Nintendo lays out 3DS, Wii U game lineup: few surprises, and an overall lack of excitement
Nintendo hosted the latest in their “Nintendo Direct” series of community addresses today as they exhibited gameplay and announced release dates for a number of Wii U and 3DS games that are coming in the next year or so.
The first title to be displayed was Sonic Lost World. The game was originally announced in a Nintendo Direct back in May, but it was little more than a title and some concept screenshots at the time. This time they displayed significant amounts of gameplay as well, showing Sonic travelling through levels that were often shaped like cylinders. The fast-paced game seemed to have Sonic running perpetually straight forward while dodging obstacles on the outside of the cylinder-shaped tracks.
Sonic Lost World is due to arrive on October 22 on both Wii U and 3DS. There will be some connectivity between the versions as well, as it was noted that 3DS players can customize remote-controlled helicopters to send into the Wii U game. Ben had the chance to play Lost World back at E3, and his thoughts? “It's really good. Seriously.”
The stream then moved on to Rayman Legends which showed off the Mario and Luigi costumes that will be available to Rayman and Globox, as well as the classic levels from Rayman Origins that are included. The game is due out on September 3.
Next, Nintendo discussed a new app coming to the Wii U eShop store August 9th called Art Academy: Sketch Pad which showed users creating drawings and sharing them with other users. Nintendo said that another version is coming later, which will include art lessons.
Mario and Luigi: Dream Team then took center stage as many of the game's systems and mechanics were discussed in detail. It will release on August 11.
Pokemon Rumble U was the next game showcased. It's been available in Japan since April, but Nintendo trotted it out to showcase 4-player cooperative play, the ability to play as all 600+ Pokemon, and the Skylanders-style Pokemon figurines that will allow players to scan some pokemon into their game via the Wii U pad. Nintendo said that Pokemon Rumble U will be releasing in North America on August 29.
Nintendo then moved on to the 3DS where they announced a number of games that will be coming to the eShop download store soon. Those games included the vertical shooter Summer Carnival '92 Recca which they said was an incredibly rare game and “one of the most challenging shooters ever.” They also announced the original Donkey Kong, Temco Bowl, Wario Land 3, as well as Super Mario Bros. 3.
From there the stream turned its focus to Professor Layton and the two games in which he'll be starring in 2014: Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy as well as Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. Trailers for both games were shown, but neither got a more exact release window.
Nintendo then discussed two of their upcoming games in the Legend of Zelda series. It was revealed that A Link Between Worlds will be set many years after the events of its prequel, A Link to the Past, and that this will indeed be a new character. It will be launching in November.
They then swapped back to the Wii U briefly to show considerable amounts of gameplay from Wind Waker HD which they say will include new characters, new gameplay variety and optional activities. They also said they've made changes to the item collection section of the latter part of the game.
The conference then began to wrap up with a nod toward the Year of Luigi initiative by promising more Luigi games, and showing screenshots of the character fighting in Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS.
The final item shown was the new social area for Wii U, Animal Crossing Plaza. The stream showed footage of dozens of players socializing in a common area appearing as Animal Crossing-styled creatures, chatting and sharing pictures drawn on the touch screen similar to the Mii Plaza. It's a free download available today in the Wii U eShop and will be in service until the end of 2014.
The next “Direct” live stream will be on August 9th with The Wonderful 101 Direct.