Thursday 2 April 2015

Nintendo Direct 1-April-2015 [Gaming]

Like I've been saying, it's been near enough two years since I covered any gaming event of any type. So to warm up for E3 this year, I decided to cover one Nintendo Direct. And this Nintendo Direct covered pretty much what I expected, along with some I didn't see coming.
Before the introduction from Iwata, a Super Smash Bros. 4 trailer played showcasing Mewtwo. Once the trailer ended, Iwata then introduced us to the Direct as a whole, and gave a few words about Mewtwo before giving his release. To those who registered both Super Smash Bros. 4 games on Club Nintendo, you'll be getting him free on the 15th of this month. The rest will have to wait until the 28th, and will need to pay up for him. A small update will also be released on the 15th, allowing for more Mii Fighter costumes in the form of download content. These will be crossover costumes, like the Mario Kart Racing Suits. The pricing, while not confirmed for Europe, will be $0.75 per pack on one console or both for just $1.15 in America.
Another trailer proceded this. Another character announced - Lucas, from the Mother/Earthbound series. While the character isn't finalised yet, he will be released in June. We also got info for the Smash ballot, a form on the microsite allowing people to submit characters to be in the game. It's quick and simple to do so, but requires a bit of thought. If you can't give a justifiable reason for a character being in the game, that character will be unlikely to appear. A new set of amiibo characters was also shown off, including Greninja, Jigglypuff, Dr Mario, Olimar, Zero Suit Samus, and Dark Pit. This new set will be released in three parts over May, June, and July.
A quirky little app for WiiU was shown off next. Using amiibo, you unlock three minute demos for Virtual Console games. The game you get isn't related to the character on the amiibo, and the same character isn't locked to just one game. If you have two of the same character, each one can get a separate demo. While not a brilliant idea, it does mean you can try before you buy.
Mario Maker, the game allowing you make your own Mario levels and share them globally, is part of what Nintendo are calling the 30th Anniversary Celebrations. More details for the 30th anniversary are soon to follow.

Region specific information then followed. While mostly the same throughout, there are some differences. Being from the UK, I'll only be covering the European information.
And first up was Yoshi's Woolly World. There will be two modes available in the game. Traditional mode will keep the game exactly at the difficulty of previous Yoshi games. Mellow mode tones that difficulty down, allowing for less skilled players to still enjoy the game. As a bonus, these two modes can be swapped out at any time - even in the middle of a level. Another amiibo was then revealed. This one being different. It is a fully knitted amiibo of Yoshi made from yarn. This adds another Yoshi into the game, allowing for some sort of co-op even with just one player. Think of it as the double cherry in Mario 3D World or Captain Toad. Duplicate characters both following the same control input. The game and the amiibo will be available on the 26th June, and a bundle with both together will be in stores.
Splatoon was up next, featuring a review of the info we know. Ranked battles will be in the game soon after launch allowing for tighter control of skill levels in matches. Splat Zones is a King of the Hill type mode, where control over areas for a period of time earns your team a point. And new mode Battle Dojo is a local multiplayer game, where the points are earned by shooting balloons out of the sky. It's one vs one, but now we know local multiplayer can be done in the game, there might be more local modes within the game.
Also revealed were Inkling amiibo. These are based off the characters in the game, and when scanned allow special missions to be played, giving special equipment upon completion. While America get a three pack, with Inkling Boy and Girl, and the Squid amiibo, Europe only get a special edition with just the game and Squid amiibo. It all depends on the pricing of these to know which region gets the better deal. The game and amiibo launch 29th May.

eShop title Affordable Space Adventures was given a small recap - the game is a 2D game where you control a ship through difficult levels - and given a release of 9th April. Swords and Soldiers II is another 2D game, this time a real time strategy battle game in the vein of Worms. It'll feature easy to use touch controls, and will be available some time in May. DS and Nintendo 64 games announced for the WiiU Virtual Console, with the first two DS games being Mario Kart DS and Warioware Touched. The Nintendo 64 games being Super Mario 64 and, for the first time since original release, Donkey Kong 64. All four of these games are available right now to download, and if you buy three of them, you will get the fourth free. The offer runs until July, so there's plenty of time to get on board. Wii Download games are Pandora's Tower on the 16th April, and Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies on the 30th April. Both games will be reduced by twenty-five percent during their first week of sale.
The Atlus logo was shown on-screen. A trailer followed. Anime styled, in both 2D and 3D, with a Japanese song playing over it, giving players snippets of gameplay in the process. The game was then revealed to be Sin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. The game was first announced two years ago, and nothing has followed since. Until now. The game was purely said to have more information soon after the trailer.
Chilling survival game Project Zero [Fatal Frame outside Europe] has been confirmed to be coming to WiiU. Another Atlus game, Attack on Titan, was also shown for the 3DS with new information. Local and online co-op will be availabe for the game, as will leaderboards. The New Nintendo 3DS' C-Stick will be available to use in the game. To get people excited for the game, the first two episodes of the anime series will be available until 30th June on the eShop for free.
Azure Striker Gunvolt, a 2D side scrolling action game, had gameplay shown. It was also revealed two 3DS home themes would be available to buy. The game is out now.
Box Boy, from HAL Labratory - the creators behind Kirby - was shown off as a simple game in which the player creates shapes with connecting boxes to solve puzzles and progress through the level. Those levels are short, but there are more than 150 of them. The game is out right now, so if it interests you, get on buying on the 3DS eShop. If you buy the game, you can give a friend a trial with Download Play.

Next up was the rumoured Pokemon Rumble World for 3DS. Confirmed, given information about it, and a set release date [8th April], the game follows the same structure as others in the series, except for the fact it is free-to-play. To explore lands, you use Poke Diamonds, which is where the micro-transactions come into it. While you can get them through normal play, the paid method is obviously faster.
More Streetpass games in the Mii Plaza. First is fishing, which give you various bait to use from Miis you collect. There are over 150 fish to catch. Streetpass Zombies gives you weapons based on the hobbies of Miis you collect. Controlling your Mii, you have to defeat zombies and protect the town of Hobbyville. Also announced was a premium mode, which gives a VIP area to put special Miis and friends. It also allows additional personal information to be added, such as birthdays. As per usual, they need to be paid for, and as per usual, I'm cynical as to the price.
Puzzle and Dragons Z was shown to have over 250 monsters to collect in total from eggs, and chips will allow monsters to evolve. Monsters have different elements, so you need to pay attention to those when in battle [that play out as a match three puzzle game]. The Puzzle and Dragons Z and Puzzle and Dragons: Super Mario Edition dual pack releases 8th May, and a demo for the Super Mario Edition will follow soon.
Codename STEAM was given release of 15th May, and features local and online multiplayer battles, as well as worldwide tournaments. Fire Emblem was given a release of 2016, and was said to give your character main protagonist status. What you do in the game affects the path you follow. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer uses amiibo cards to select which character you design a house for, and once it is complete, you can scan more cards in to invite more villagers over. While the cards were only shown, it was revealed that the NFC Reader - needed for any 3DS system other than the New variants - will be released the same time as the game.

Back to Iwata and worldwide announcements, there was only one. But it was multiple content within one game. Mario Kart 8's second download content pack, Mario Kart 8 x Animal Crossing, was revealed to be coming in 23rd April. The track shown was the Animal Crossing track, which took racers through the whole of the town. From the look of the trailer, Villager will have variants, and Isabelle looks to be having fun on the bike that's Animal Crossing themed. The season will change depending on the time of year, and all the music will be live recorded. More information will be coming between now and release.
On the same day, more amiibo will be able to be scanned into the game for more Mii Racing Suits, including Sonic, Mega Man, and Pac-Man. Also available with the update will be 200cc mode. This extra engine class will be far faster than 150cc, and it looks it as well. It was said that over the course of Mario Kart history, no new engine classes have been added, and so the format has grown a bit stale. With the new 200cc mode, races will become faster and harder, in both competition and tactics.

And that was that. Fifty minutes of Nintendo gaming gold. I'll certainly be getting both Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 content on release, as well as trying the demos that'll be released. I might give the amiibo demo app a quick play, and I'll certainly consider Codename STEAM and Super Mario 64. As for Splatoon, I'm going for that special edition if I can. Everything else I'll certainly be keeping an eye on, though.
And with that, this wrap-up comes to an end. The next time a big one of these directly related to gaming comes up will be E3, but I'll certainly be managing something like this for Star Wars Celebration later in the month.