Yesterday, Nintendo streamed a brand new Nintendo Direct video — the first since the passing of beloved Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. While his presence will be sorely missed, the return of these videos are exciting since they always seem to be sort of a big event for Nintendo fans. This time, Nintendo of America’s chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime introduced the new video while allowing newcomer and Nintendo marketing manager Bill Trinen to take the helm to introduce all of the new announcements and little Nintendo skits throughout the presentation. Let’s be honest here — Bill Trinen is certainly no Iwata and came off as extremely hokey and bland, but we’re not here to see Bill being a cornball, we’re here for the announcements!
The presentation started out with a game announcement that was spoiled back when a user found it’s icon buried in eShop code earlier this year. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD was shown which releases on the Wii U on March 6th, 2016 alongside of an awesome Wolf Link Amiibo that releases in a bundle with the game. Twilight Princess HD seems to present itself in a higher resolution (obviously) and revamped textures, but all of the other new features were not discussed. Sadly, the game still sports a very low polygon count and still looks a little rough, but the game is fantastic so sign me up! Hopefully Twilight Princess HD will be a solid mixture of the best elements of the Gamecube version with the best elements of the Wii version, creating a definitive version of the game.
Thank heavens we finally got some new information on the new Legend of Zelda for the Wii U… in the form of a 5 second piece of footage of Link riding Epona. However, Reggie did confirm the game will release on the Wii U in 2016 and will include Amiibo support. We just REALLY need to see more of this game.
Star Fox Zero was shown, which releases April 22, 2016, and surprisingly had a great presentation! The game was pushed back from its December release while the game was looking quite bland. Now, Star Fox Zero sports some new features, faster-paced gameplay and a better graphics engine than shown before. I believe the delay was for good reason judging from this new trailer.
A nice little addition to the Virtual Console library on the 3DS was announced in the form of Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow, which are coming soon to the eShop. Anyone who wants to relive their childhood by running through these games again, or new players who want to experience where it all started, will be able to do so soon. The coolest thing about this announcement is that the link cable functionality has been stripped and replaced with an online feature, which was totally unexpected!
New free downloadable content has been announced for Super Mario Maker and Splatoon too. Super Mario Maker will recieve an online and mobile search tools that allows players to fine tune their searches for stages they may be interested in. The tool will not be in-game and only functions on a web browser, but luckily you can tag these stages and they’ll be added to your favorites in-game so you can easily access them. Splatoon will receive two new stages, some new gear and weapons too. I like how the two new stages morph mid-game which makes the players stay on their toes much more than before. All of this content will be fully available in December but one Splatoon stage and gear are available now.
A lot of content was crammed into this Nintendo Direct, but a lot of it was stuff we’ve already seen. We got a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fire Emblem Fates which will release in three version similar to the Pokemon games, Pokken Tournament and Hyrule Warriors Legends featuring a new female Link character named Linkle. I’m digging Linkle’s design but her name is sort of silly.
Finally, the last notable announcement in the Nintendo Direct came from Super Smash Bros in the form of new DLC. It looks like Final Fantasy’s most popular hero, Cloud Strife, will be joining the fight this year. I’m assuming this announcement was from the results taken from the fan vote website for DLC. Cloud’s inclusion is surprising but totally fitting for the game.
Overall, Nintendo’s new Direct video was a meaty one, but most of the 45 minute run time was spent on smaller titles. We did get a few new great announcements such as Twilight Princess HD and Cloud Strife DLC in Super Smash Bros, but the show being helmed by Bill Trinen sort of made the whole presentation lack some charm that we usually get from Iwata and company. I still feel like Nintendo really needed to let Nintendo fans peer into the new Legend of Zelda project a bit more so we’re not so deep in the dark on that one. I guess we can keep our fingers crossed for the next Nintendo Direct.
Check out the full presentation below for all of the announcements and trailers.