First, here’s the recording of the presentation itself:
Star Fox Zero, Star Fox Guard
First, Shigeru Miyamoto came to talk about Star Fox Zero, which is finally complete. He explains that it’s an authentic action game, the kind Nintendo hasn’t made many of for a while. Basically, the more you practice, the more fun you will have with the game. The overall plot and structure is like Star Fox 64, but the story itself and the map layout are completely new.
In the levels, some teleporters will appear: they play an important role in the story, but not only… they also allow you to take branching paths. And just like in Star Fox 64, there’s branching paths within levels too, such as Corneria (the very first one). They allow you to fight never-seen-before bosses, which are worth beating.
Once you’ve completed a stage, you go to the map and chose where you want to go. Once you’ve beaten Venom in normal mode, even more branching paths will appear for you to chose from. During the presentation, Shigeru Miyamoto showed a brand new level: Fortuna, which is filled with bioweapons, and is said to be pretty challenging.
Of course, the Star Wolf team will appear in the game, and in “unexpected” ways according to Shigeru Miyamoto. Even if you take one of the branching paths, you will end meeting them at several points during the adventure.
If you scan the FoxMc Cloud amiibo, you will unlock a special mode where you get to use the original Arwing from Star Fox on the SNES, complete with the original sound effects, and even the Walker from the cancelled Star Fox 2.
Next, Shigeru Miyamoto intoduced Star Fox Guard, which is actually one of the tech demos shown as E3 2014. You get to play as Grippy, Slippy’s uncle, who is gathering rare materials in space. But there’s a problem: he just keeps on getting attacked by enemies. You have to ward off incoming monsters using 12 carefully positioned cameras.
The game features 100 missions in total, but it turns out you can also edit the placement of monsters and then share the pattern with other players online. You can collect some rare materials by uploading patterns for other players to play, but also by playing other players’ stages.
Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard will both be released on April 22nd in North America. Star Fox Guard will be available separately on April 22nd via the Nintendo eShop. Unlike in Europe, Star Fox Guard at retail is only available in the Star Fox Zero + Star Fox Guard set. If you buy it on the Nintendo eShop, buying both games will cost the same as the packaged bundle.
Star Fox Zero will cost $59.99 at retail (with Star Fox Guard), and $49.99 on the Nintendo eShop (stand-alone).
Star Fox Guard will cost $14.99 on the Nintendo eShop (stand-alone). If you buy either Star Fox Zero or Star Fox Guard, you will get $4.99 off.
Head after the break for the rest of this post!
Today, some new updates for Splatoon were announced:
- The first one will have various changes for gear abilities, adjustments to ranked battle matchmaking, and will add new elements to Splatfests. It will be released on March 8th;
- The second one will have various adjustements for weapons, and will add Sheldon’s picks: some of the most popular and appreciated weapons, with different combinations of sub and special weapons. There will be two sets of Sheldon’s picks: the first one will be released at the same time as the update, in April. The second one will come at a later date.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympics
During the Nintendo Direct, Bill Trinen reminded us that the Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympics would launch on March 18th in North America. The opening video for the Wii U version was shown:
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympics (Wii U) will be released on June 24th in North America.
Super Mario Maker
During the Nintendo Direct, it was announced that more than 6.2 millions levels have been created in Super Mario Maker. And soon, there will be even more new types of levels, thanks to a Software update that will add the following:
- shake a Thwomp to create spiked pillars
- shake a P-Switch to create a key (that you can hide in blocks, or on enemies to have mandatory boss battles for example)
- shake a door to create a locked door (which requires a key)
- shake a coin to get a pink coins (you can have the players collect them all in order to get the key to open a door, for example)
- a new Super Expert mode for the 100 Mario challenge. You have to beat 6 extremely hard levels, which will allow you to unlock 12 additional mystery mushrooms (including a Tetra costume).
But that’s not all… the Super Mario Maker Bookmark web portal will also be updated, and the following will be added:
- ranking categories for world records
- number of first clears on courses
The update will be released on March 9th.
Tokyo Mirage Session #FE
Tokyo Mirage Session #FE is the English title of Genei Ibun Roku #FE, the Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem collaboration title. During the Nintendo Direct, it was announced that the western version would only include the Japanese voice track, but with English subtitles (naturally). It will be released on June 24th in North America.
Next, Bill Trinen talked about Lost Reavers (previously known as Project Treasure), Bandai-Namco’s F2P co-op action game for the Wii U. He announced that an open beta would launch on April 14th. The full game will follow two weeks later, on April 28th.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
A few weeks ago, we heard rumours that a Paper Mario game was in development for the Wii U. And during the Nintendo Direct, Nintendo did reveal one: Paper Mario: Color Splash. This time around, the theme is colours and paint, and the game takes place in a colourful paradise called Prism Island.
Prism Island is being drained of its colours, and as you can imagine, Paper Mario will have to go on a journey to brings colours back to the land. To do that, he can use a special hammer: the Paint Hammer, which can splash paint on everything it touches, restoring the land. You even bring some Toad back to life by hitting them with the hammer (it also works on houses).
We haven’t seen much of the game yet, but apparently, the battle system uses cards you have to paint, and then flip to start the battle. Of course, there’s also special cards you can use to deal a lot of damage at once.
Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U) will be released this year, worldwide.
During this segment, Bill Trinen talked about Pokkén Tournament (which launches on March 18th), and more precisely the Ferrum League. You start at the very bottom, and then make your way to the top where even stronger opponents await. By playing the game, you get some in-game currency, which can then be used to buy items to change the appearance of your avatar.
There’s various types of Pokémon: those focused on speed, those focused on raw strength, those focused on tricks. There’s also Support Pokémon who can help you during battles.
Here’s three Pokémon you can play as in the game:
- Lucario: uses powerful aura based attacks, which allows it to send projectiles from far away. When you activate Burst Attack mode, it can launch a massive beam of aura energy;
- Machamp: he relies on brute strength, with rapid punches, deadly throws, and more. It’s a heavy hitter, and a force to reckon with (especially in close combat);
- Gengar: tricky, it can appear everywhere, and throws punches out of nowhere.
Bill Trinen reminded Pokémon fans that the first print copies of the game come with a Shadow Mewtwo card, at retail. Finally, for those of you who want to see more of the game, you can check out the last battles of the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competition on March 17th on Twitch!
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
During this segment, Bill Trinen announced that the 4th and final episode of the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess retrospective would be uploaded today. It will focus on all the new features and changes from the Wii U version of the game.
Nintendo Accounts, My Nintendo, Miitomo, Flipnote Studio 3D
During the Nintendo Direct, Bill Trinen briefly mentioned Nintendo Accounts, My Nintendo, and Miitomo, but didn’t give new details.
Bill Trinen announced that Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge would launch on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS on March 25th in North America. You will be able to get a free download code if you buy an amiibo at GameStop, BestBuy, or Amazon.com. If you don’t want to buy anything, you will have to wait until April 28th for the game to be available for free from the Nintendo eShop.
Also, more amiibo will launch on June 10th:
- Animal Crossing cards – Series 4
- Isabelle (stand-alone)
- Isabelle (Summer outfit)
Bill Trinen also announced that SNES were coming to the Virtual Console on New Nintendo 3DS (but not the Nintendo 3DS or the Nintendo 2DS). They will feature some handy options, such as perfect pixel mode (original resolution), controller port choice, and more. Here’s the line-up for North America:
- already available: Pilotwings, Super Mario World, F-Zero
- March 24th: Super Mario Kart, Earthbound, Donkey Kong Country
- April 14th: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Donkeu Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Pocket Cards Jockey
If there’s one game we were not expecting to see localised, it’s Pocket Cards Jockey (by Game Freak, developers of HarmoKnight and the Pokémon series). Basically, it’s a unique and addictive mix of horse racing and… solitaire. Yes, you read that right!
It’s actually pretty simple: by clearing cards, you get unity power. You can use that power to move your hose faster on the track, or save it for a boost at the end. By winning races (which is done using strategic placement on the tracks), you can level up your horse. When you do, its stats will increase, along with your game bonuses.
After a while, you will start earning trophies for winning high ranking races, which will catch the attention of sponsors. You will also be able to get new horses, pair them up, breed them, and train new mounts for you to use in races.
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2
Announced last year, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 was finally showed last month during the MAGFest. And yesterday, during the Nintendo Direct, it was revealed that Copen (Gunvolt’s rival) would be playable in this sequel. He can dash into enemies, which then allows him to launch devastating homing shots. He can also copy the abilities of the 7 new bosses found in the game, and use them as if they were his own (not unlike a certain blue robot!).
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 will launch this Summer, on the Nintendo eShop. If you haven’t tried out the original yet, it’s now on sale!
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Bill Trinen mentioned the third path for Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, which is coming out on March 10th in North America. When it launches, you will have to select Explore Fates > Purchase Revelation in-game, and purchase it for $19.99. Once you have it, you will be able to chose a third option during Chapter 6. And of course, there’s even more DLC incoming: check out this post for the full planning!
Hyrule Warriors Legends
Hyrule Warriors Legends comes out on March 25th in North America, and all new copies will come with a download code. This code allows you to “transfer” the new characters (and the Trident weapon for Ganondorf) to the Wii U version of the game. Also, the physical copies come with a download code for a free Nintendo 3DS Theme. And if you pre-order at GameStop, you will be able to get a special edition 16 page artbook.
Bill Trinen also gave details about the upcoming DLC for the game. On launch day, a Season Pass will be available for purchase, and will give you access to 4 DLC packs down the line (which will all be available for purchase separately). You will also get a bonus costume for Ganondorf, to be used immediately.
And at the same time as the first DLC pack, a free character will be released for both Hyrule Warriors on Wii U, and Hyrule Warriors Legends on Nintendo 3DS: Medli, from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
Disney Art Academy
After Pokémon, it’s Disney’s turn to get a special version of Art Academy. Disney Art Academy will teach you how to draw various Disney and Pixar characters, with an instructor to guide you along the way. The game features a brand new tool: the magic brush, which allows you to add stars, glitter, clouds, and more to your works.
The game will feature over 80 characters, ranging from Mickey to Winny the Pooh, including the Disney Princesses, some of the most famous Pixar characters, and even Frozen. Of course, there’s various art styles for the artworks you can draw.
Disney Art Academy (3DS) launches on May 13th in North America.
Bravely Second: End Layer
Looking forward to try out Bravely Second: End Layer? The demo version will be launched on March 10th. On the same day, the game will be available for pre-purchase from the Nintendo eShop. If you’re a member of the BestBuy Gamers Club, you will get a download code for the demo on March 7th. And if you’re craving for some RPG goodness, the demo for the original game is still available!
Finally, don’t forget that Bravely Second: End Layer will get a Collector’s Edition, and you can click here to learn more about it.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
Next, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past was showcased. You get to play as the son of a famous fisherman, who isn’t really satisfied with the life of a fisherman and wants to go on a journey instead. He’ll do so with Prince Keifer and Maribel, and using a fragment detector, will try and find stone tablets all around the world. After putting the table together, they’ll travel to the past, in order to save the present from imminent doom.
The game features traditional turn-based battles, but also 30 different classes to master (each with their own abilities). It will launch later this year.
Monster Hunter Generations
Next, a “new” game was announced: Monster Hunter Generations, which is known as Monster Hunter X in Japan. It will be released this Summer in North America, and players with a Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate save file will get some bonuses. There will also be a special collaboration with the Fire Emblem series: a costume based on the one and only Marth.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the game, make sure to check out the official livestream from 6PM CET / 5PM GMT to 8PM CET / 7PM GMT on Twitch! Also, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is currently on sale ($19.99) until March 5th!
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Next, Kensuke Tanabe came to talk about Metroid Prime: Federation Force. He reveals that development started back in 2009 (with early prototypes in collaboration with Next Level Games): at that time, Nintendo wanted to make an online-focused Metroid game, for the Nintendo DSi.
However, it quickly became clear they wouldn’t be able to reach the type of performance players would be expecting on Nintendo DSi, which is why the project was ultimately moved to the Nintendo 3DS. Kensuke Tanabe mentions the New Nintendo 3DS, which not only solves the performance issue, but also provides additional controls with the C-stick.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force tells the story of the conflict between the Federation and the Space Pirates, which is something that was never explored in previous Metroid (Prime) games. Obviously, Samus is not the main character in this game (though she apparently does make an appearance).
Gameplay-wise, the game is not unlike some RPGs, with players picking up specific roles (tank, healer, warrior, etc.). You receive specific weapons in each mission, and you have to divide them between all players using a weight system (you can only carry so much). For example, you can have a player get all the Repair Capsule, and make them a healer. Alternatively, a player can hoard plenty of missiles, and focus on attack.
More details about Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Metroid Prime: Blast Ball will be revealed at a later date. They will be released in late Spring 2016 in North America. If you want to try out the game before launch, there will be several opportunity for you to do so: the first one will be at the Wondercon, in late March.
Rhythm Heaven MegaMix
Rhythm Heaven MegaMix (known as Rhythm Heave: The Best+ in Japan) is coming to North America this year! As mentioned previously, it features over 100 rhythm games, including 30 brand new ones, and 70 from previous entries.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Kirby: Planet Robobot is a brand new Kirby game coming on June 10th in North America, on Nintendo 3DS. In this one, some alien robot invaders have mechanised Dreamland, and it’s up to Kirby to save it. The game features over 25 copy abilities, including some brand new ones.
But the main new feature of the game is that Kirby can use enemy robot technology against them, and basically become Mecha-Kirby. The Robobot armour is pretty strong, and you can also use 10 (modified) copy abilities when riding inside it.
Kirby: Planet Robobot will be compatible with all amiibo figures. They allow you to get some copy abilities when you scan one, but specific figures will give you specific copy abilities (and a costume):
- Mario: Fire Kirby
- Link: Sword Kirby
- Kirby: Smash Bros. Kirby
What’s more, Nintendo will also release some additional Kirby amiibo:
- Meta Knight
- King Dedede
If you scan those, you will get some special abilities (the Kirby figure is the only way to get he UFO ability).
For players looking for some multiplayer fun, Kirby: Planet Robobot has a separate mode called Team Kirby Clash, where up to 4 players (who have to chose among 4 different roles) go tackle co-op quests with bosses to defeat.
By completing quests, you get XP: gather enough, and you will level up, allowing you to tackle even more difficult quests. During battles, if you manage to gather all the tablets, you will be able to launch a powerful Team Meteor attack. Team Kirby Clash is compatible with Download Play.