Nintendo

New Mario & Luigi game, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, and Luigi DLC: 2013 is the Year of Luigi

New Mario & Luigi game, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, and Luigi DLC: 2013 is the Year of Luigi

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata gave new information on upcoming games and services for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U today, revealing several new titles and exploring the features of those which had previously been announced. We’ve voiced concern that the Wii U in particular has a dry future thanks to the delay of Rayman Legends, but the message of the day seemed to be one of reassurance; don’t worry, the games are coming.

Note: If you’d like to skip our summary and cut right to Iwata, the whole Nintendo Direct presentation can be found at the bottom of this post.

Year of Luigi

Today’s presentation revealed a special love for Mario’s sidekick brother, Luigi. Iwata appeared wearing Luigi’s green cap and told viewers that 2013 will be the “Year of Luigi.”

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Shigeru Miyamoto also stepped into the proverbial limelight as he made his first appearance on Nintendo Direct to talk about Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for 3DS. Miyamoto went over several of the new features coming to the game, such as the game’s multiplayer mode, called the ScareScraper.

In ScareScraper mode, up to four players can join in via local wireless, download play, and online. There are three modes: Hunter, Rush, and Polterpup. In Hunter mode, players work together to take out every ghost on every floor. In Rush mode, players try to escape the ScareScraper as quickly as possible. In Polterpup mode, players chase after hidden ghost dogs.

The ghost dogs are a new game play element of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. They steal gold and like to bury it before running off. You’ll find and track these dogs using another new addition, the dark light. Luigi’s dark light can reveal hidden objects, such as the ghost dog paw prints, but can also show pieces of the environment. In the demo shown, Luigi used the dark light to make a piece of a broken bridge appear.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is coming March 24.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

The next game shown during Nintendo Direct started by showing a close-up of Luigi sleeping. A small star character poked his nose and pulled on his mustache. Such interaction will be the basis of solving puzzles in the upcoming, newest entry in the Mario & Luigi RPG series, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.

In this game, Mario will explore his brother’s subconscious, running through his dreams. Luigi still appears within his own dreams, but in various forms. In one portion of the video, he appeared as a face in the sky, and poking his nose caused him to sneeze in the dream, creating a type of whirlwind. In battle, Mario summoned a pile of Luigis to fall onto his enemies. In platforming segments, Mario ran atop another pile of Luigis, keeping him elevated.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is due summer 2013.

New Super Luigi U.

New Super Mario Bros. U will be getting some Luigi-themed DLC during the Year of Luigi. Iwata said this DLC is being referred to as New Super Luigi U. Not many details were shared regarding New Super Luigi U., save for a note from Iwata that the omission of “Bros.” from the title was purposeful. Video only showed Luigi, so it’s not clear what this means for the game’s multiplayer. Speculate as you will.

While not a new game, Iwata said the production on DLC resembles the work required to create a full-fledged title. It will be coming later this year.

Nintendo 3DS

Mario Golf: World Tour

A new Mario Golf game is coming to 3DS this summer. Mario Golf: World Tour is being developed by Camelot Software Planning, the same studio behind previous, console-based entries in the series. This should mean a smooth transition from the games played on console to World Tour.

The game will feature both real world and Mario world-inspired course designs and controls. The short video preview showed one course that had a gigantic goomba standing in the background.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was touted by Iwata as the “definitive” version of Animal Crossing, and will feature several new game play mechanics to make this version stand apart. For one, you won’t be stuck performing chores to that greedmonger, Tom Nook. When you arrive in town, you’re immediately crowned mayor, and the only required task is that you plant a memorial tree. From there, the game opens up so that you can do as you like.

For the first time, you’ll be able to customize not just the interior of your home, but the outside as well. A variety of houses could be seen, and featured various designs. From cottages to mansions to castles, it looks like there will be plenty of options for customization. Your home isn’t just for you, either. You can see the homes of players you’ve connected with via StreetPass at the Happy Homes Showcase, which will give you an opportunity to show off what you’ve created.

Iwata also teased that you’ll see new species in town, and see some old favorites in new shops. It wouldn’t be accurate to call New Leaf a sequel, but it certainly looks like a well-rounded game, full of new features to keep players interested. It’s due June 9.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Not much to say here, unfortunately, as scant few details were revealed. This is a remake of the 2010 Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns, with 3D capabilities for the 3DS. Donkey Kong Country Returns will… return… this summer.

Downloadable titles

HarmoKnight

HarmoKnight mixes up platforming and music rhythm genres with an adorable aesthetic. Your character runs across the screen, occasionally jumping over gaps and obstacles, with enemies in the way. The twist is that you’re not just trying to reach the end of the level, you’re also collecting notes to make music, and the timing of your actions determines how good of music you can make.

The game is being developed by Game Freak, the same company behind Pokemon, and as such, features a special Pokemon-themed level. The artwork is reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and looks all kinds of cute and fun. It’ll be out as a download-only title for 3DS on March 28, but you can download a demo starting March 14.

Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger

Dillon’s Rolling Western, an action/tower defense hybrid released last year, is getting a sequel. Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger adds a new villain – a squid assassin – and new game play in the form of a train you need to defend that makes its way through each level. It’ll be available to download April 11.

Kersploosh!

Drop something down a well. That’s the goal in Kersploosh!. The premise for this game couldn’t be less exciting, but it actually looks kind of fun, and a potential devourer of time. Each item has different properties, and each well is a maze of obstacles and traps. Here’s a quirky one to look out for. It’ll be available March 7.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is billed as an “action puzzler.” There are multiple puzzle modes, but the premise looks to be the same in each: create a path for Mario. Game play looks like a modern, Mario-infused twist on Pipedream, with lots of mini-games and the ability to create your own puzzles. No release was given for North America, but a Q3 2013 window was announced for Europe.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is coming to the 3DS, with a demo due at the end of the month, Feb 28. The full version of the game will follow shortly after, on March 5. Expect the same whip-whipping and Dracula-slaying as always, but the game looks pretty satisfying and cool.

Wii U

LEGO City Undercover

Did you ever wish Grand Theft Auto was a bit more kid-friendly? LEGO City Undercover looks a lot like that, with players controlling hero cop Chase McCain in an open world environment. Nintendo showed off three new areas during today’s Nintendo Direct: LEGO City Airport, King’s Court – a medieval-themed area of the city – and Paradise Sands – which looks like some sort of amusement park.

The game will be out March 18 for the Wii U, but will also have a tie-in game on 3DS, called LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins. The concept of The Chase Begins is the same, but takes place two years before the Wii U LEGO City Undercover game. It will be available April 21.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted U

Need for Speed: Most Wanted U is the Wii U adaptation of the latest entry in the racing franchise by the same name on Xbox 360 and PS3. It will be the first third-party game to support Miiverse functionality in game play, as well as several Wii U features such as off-TV compatibility, co-op mode where one player drives and another affects the environment, and the Ultimate Speed Pack DLC at no extra charge. It’s coming March 19.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

The DC universe fighting game from Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm Studios is on track to the Wii U. Injustice will be off-TV compatible, and Nintendo assured players they needn’t worry about any sort of graphics discrepancy between the Wii U version and 360 and PS3 versions; it will run at a smooth 60 frames per second, no matter which system you pick it up for. Injustice lands April 16.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

The Monster Hunter series comes to Wii U with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. This title features connectivity between the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, so that up to four players can form a local hunting party. You’ll also be able to transfer your save data from the Wii U to 3DS and vice versa, so that you can take your game with you from home on the road. It will be available March 19.

The whole show

Nintendo went over a lot of information in today’s Nintendo Direct, with plenty of new information, reveals, and even some sales information. If you want to hear the Direct presentation in its entirety, you can watch it below.