Nintendo aired its first Nintendo Direct since E3 2015, and for those that are taking note–yes, it’s the first Direct since the tragic passing of former Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata.
To keep things light-hearted, Nintendo didn’t spend too much talking about the passing of its respected pioneer of a president, but Reggie Fils-Aime did thank Nintendo followers for their patience and really began to hit the ground running with announcement after announcement.
Here we keep you looped with everything you should care about.
The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary
Reminding us that 2016 marks the 30th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series, the Direct started things off with a trailer of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Originally released on the GameCube and Wii in 2006, the game will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary with an HD version of the game to be released for the Wii U on March 4.
In addition to that, the initial shipment of the game will come bundled with a Wolf Link amiibo, with popular character Midna riding Wolf Link. You can pre-order the game at Best Buy now, and pre-orders of the game will also include a Zelda soundtrack.
While it also features use of the Link, Toon Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf figures, it was also mentioned that Wolf Link data will also be usable on the new Legend of Zelda game for Wii U out later in the year. No title or release date was confirmed yet.
Staying on the topic of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes will have a free DLC pack available for download on December 2 and more information regarding Hyrule Warriors Legends was unveiled, namely a female version of Link named Linkle. It’s due out on March 25.
Pokémon is easily one of Nintendo’s most popular properties, and the series doesn’t appear to be dying anytime soon. Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is scheduled for release next week, and worth noting is the fact that every Pokémon will be in it. All 700+. For those unfamiliar with the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, it’s a game where you actually take control of Pokémon and recruit other Pokémon to fight alongside you in randomly generated dungeons. It’s nothing incredibly difficult, but the depth of each game has gotten more and more involved with every release. This time, battle preparation that looks similar to Final Fantasy X‘s sphere grid come into play.
If Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon isn’t your cup of tea, there’s Pokémon Picross. This is a Pokémon take on Nintendo’s popular puzzle game, and it’s free-to-start as early as December.
If dungeon crawling or puzzling isn’t your thing, Pokémon will also be heading back to its roots at the eShop on February 23 as they will be releasing Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. The games are exactly as they were in 1998. They’re black and white and played on a square-shaped screen, but they’ll have one major difference. There’s no more link cable. So while you can bask yourself in black and white nostalgia, it’s also pleasing to know that you no longer need a Game Link Cable for trading and battling purposes.
Lastly, the Game Freak and Namco collaboration Pokken Tournament made an appearance on the direct and was confirmed for the Wii U this spring. The game will also come packed with a Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card.
Splatoon has been a splash hit for Nintendo this year, and they plan on maintaining the momentum with DLC that’ll be made available both tonight and tomorrow in the forms of new maps and equipment. In addition, the Nintendo Treehouse will also be holding a tournament that they will also be playing in.
Super Mario Maker was arguably their biggest release this year, and while we just had a DLC update a few weeks ago, the developers will be adding more functionality that’ll make finding certain levels easier. There’s no doubting the fact that the current in-game search option needs work, so players will now be able to use their computer and mobile devices to help augment that. This addition is scheduled to roll out next month.
The last big release this year is going to be Xenoblade Chronicles X on December 4. In fact, the game is going to be so big that Bill Trinen went ahead and took the liberty to tell people who plan on picking a physical copy of the game that there are patches available on the eShop that players can download now to make the game run better, faster, and things of that sort. If you’re picking up a digital copy through the eShop, you won’t need it. Seems like a better option to me than buying a game only to know that you won’t be able to play for an hour due to a software update.
This brings us to the last big update, and it’s for Super Smash Bros., our 2014 Game of the Year. While Nintendo didn’t announce the winner of the Fighter Ballot, they did dish out something big that wasn’t even close to being leaked.
Yep. That’s Cloud. Aside from cameos on the handheld Kingdom Hearts games as well as Thearhythm, Cloud is an absolute stranger to Nintendo platforms. Now that Cloud is a character in Super Smash Bros., that means an amiibo is confirmed. I don’t know what kind of dealings Nintendo recently made with Square Enix to make this happen, but it does beg me to question whether or not we should expect to see the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake on a Nintendo system. The NX perhaps?
The Smash hype doesn’t end either. We’ll have another Direct event next month talking about Smash Bros. and only Smash Bros.
The Nintendo Direct had a slew of other information, but this summarizes all the big things that happened. For now, we’ll just leave you with every retail game mentioned along with its expected or announced release.
- Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival w/ Isabelle & Digby Amiibo (Wii U) — 11/13/15
- Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon (3DS) — 11/20
- Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash (Wii U) — 11/20
- Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) — 12/4
- Devil’s Third (Wii U) — 12/11
- Pokémon Picross (3DS) — December 2015
- FAST Racing Neo (Wii U eShop) — December 2015
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS) — 1/22/16
- Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (3DS) — 2/19/16
- Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest (3DS) — 2/19/16
- Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition (3DS) — 2/19/16
- Mega Man Legacy Collection (3DS) w/ Gold Mega Man amiibo — 2/23/16
- Pokémon Red Version (3DS eShop) — 2/27/16
- Pokémon Blue Version (3DS eShop) — 2/27/16
- Pokémon Yellow Version (3DS eShop) — 2/27/16
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U) w/ Wolf Link amiibo — 3/4/16
- Hyrule Warriors Legends (3DS) — 3/25/16
- Star Fox Zero (Wii U) — 4/22/16
- Bravely Second: Endlayer (3DS) — Spring 2016
- Pokken Tournament (Wii U) w/ Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card — Spring 2016
- Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS) — Summer 2016
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS) — 2016
For all this and more, keep it locked on SmashPad. Be sure to check out the Nintendo Direct in its entirety here.