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Nintendo Direct 2/13: A bunch of release dates and trailers with no surprises

Nintendo of America just aired their first Nintendo Direct presentation of 2014.  In this presentation, as expected, Nintendo unveiled a new playable character for the new Super Smash Bros. and cleared up a few ship dates for upcoming software, but hardly anything came as a surprise.

Little Mac is playable in the new Super Smash Bros.

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Nintendo unveiling a new playable character in Super Smash Bros. has pretty much been the expected pattern as far as their Nintendo Direct presentations go.  This comes as no surprise seeing as how prior to the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, Nintendo used their online Smash community to unveil its new characters.

This time around, it’s  the highly requested Little Mac from Punch-Out!! fame.  The game marks Little Mac’s first foray into HD gameplay hot off the heels after releases on the NES, Super NES, and Wii.  His moveset includes an array of different punching moves as expected, along with what looks like a Final Smash that’s pretty much an instadeath knockout punch.

Competitive Melee players around the world have been begging for Mac to be featured in the game for a long time, and not just as a cameo (he was an Assist Trophy in Brawl), so this is an addition that we expect plenty of people to be excited about.

Mac looks like a force to be reckoned with, but if anybody gets a good hit on him, it’ll be hard to recover as his jump moves look to be pretty pathetic.

Release dates galore

Nintendo announced a few release dates and timeframes for some noteworthy, both anticipated and new, titles.  Here they are:

Steel Diver: Sub Wars looks particularly more interesting than the sidescrolling adventure that initially launched with the legacy 3DS.  The action looks like the Blue Marine mission in Aquas from Star Fox 64. — (Available today in the 3DS eShop).

Weapon Shop De Omasse might be your typical digital filler, but there’s some promise in this game.  It’s an RPG developed by Level-5 (Ni no Kuni, Professor Layton), where instead of a hero, you play as a shopkeeper forging items for heroes through different minigames. — (Available next week in the 3DS eShop).

Yoshi’s New Island looks to be a marquee title for the 3DS this year.  The new trailer (featured in the presentation above) showed some potentially nice maps and gameplay, including power-ups for a Super Yoshi that can run around upside down, loop-de-looping ala Sonic.  With hidden items all over the place, it looks to be a completionist’s dream game. — (Available on 3DS March 14).

Pokémon Battle Trozei is a puzzle game very similar to the original Yoshi on NES where you have to pair up pokémon avatars not only to clear the screen, but to defeat certain bosses. — (Available March 20 in the 3DS eShop).

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball also looks like digital filler, but those into baseball and gimmicky minigames might find it interesting.  The game is free, and you can buy more minigames as DLC, but the interesting fact is that the DLC really is a game within the game.  You can haggle with Rusty to lower the price on some of the DLC, and that’s a rather unique (though gimmicky) feature. — (Available in April in the 3DS eShop).

NES Remix 2 is exactly what the first NES Remix was, but it features even more NES classics to play.  So those looking forward to remixing Metroid and Zelda will be happy to know that it’s possible here.  We just hope it has better controls than the first one. (Available in April in the Wii U eShop).

Developed by Ubisoft, Child of Light will come out on the 3DS and Wii U (and just about every console’s) eShop.  It’s a sidescrolling RPG with fantastical whimsical art that hardcore gamers really could enjoy. (Available basically everywhere on April 30).

If you’ve played any of the handheld Mario Golf games, you’d know how awesome these are.  Previous iterations developed by Camelot gave the series an awesome RPG mechanic to, and that seems to make a return in World Tour with tons of customizable options. (Available for the 3DS on May 2).

Kirby Triple Deluxe has made appearance in the last three Nintendo Direct presentations, and that’s kind of bothersome because they might be unveiling too much.  Though I’m not the biggest fan of the Kirby series, this one still has quite a bit of potential. (Available on the 3DS on May 2).

Mario Kart 8‘s release date was unveiled with a new trailer today.  Nothing much to say here.  It’s Mario Kart. (Available on May 30 for the Wii U).

Monster Hunter Ultimate 4 was also unveiled with a trailer for release on the 3DS next year.

Nintendo also unveiled new trailers for Super Smash Bros. (Little Mac), Monolith Soft’s Project X (battle system gameplay),  and Bayonetta 2, but no specific release details were unveiled.  All of these, except for Project X, are due for release this year.

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How was it?

The overall presentation was informative as per usual.  There were some slight surprises, highlighted by the Mac unveiling, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and NES Remix 2, but nothing really head-turning unless you consider GBA games on the Wii U to really be a big factor.

If anything, now we can officially mark our calendars for highly anticipated first party titles like Mario Kart 8, but other than that, we wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo waited until E3 to really unleash the “big guns.”

Come to think of it, these really aren’t all that interesting anymore.  I personally wouldn’t mind if Nintendo went back to having their huge press conferences, which are always a big draw.  I mean it’s not like any of those were failures.

For more information, stay tuned to SmashPad.

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