This week Nintendo finally brought back their long anticipated Nintendo Direct presentations on November 12th.
Below you can find the presentations and official recaps for each region, while details on each specific game/topic can be found below or on their respective posts for this week.
Nintendo Direct for Europe and Australasia:
The official recap of the European Direct can be found at Nintendo of Europe’s website, over here.
Also important, the official recap for the Australasian region, which is has different release date announcements, can be found at Nintendo of Australia’s website, over here.
Nintendo Direct for North America:
The official recap of the North American Direct can be found at Nintendo of America’s website, over here.
You can also find some Black Friday deals that were announced for that region after the direct, over here.
Nintendo Direct for Japan:
Although Japan doesn’t have official recaps, you can find most of the information about the Japanese Direct at the Nintendo Direct page for the Japanese region, over here.
Nintendo Minute – Nintendo Direct Post Show:
After the Direct, Kit and Krysta also presented us with a special edition of Nintendo Minute, featuring The Completionist and The JWittz, to talk through some of the new announcements and take a look at some of the games featured in the North American Nintendo Direct mentioned above. You can watch it below:
Finally, you can find all the newly announced release dates for all regions compiled in our very own Release Calendar, over here.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
In what is possibly the biggest and most shocking Super Smash Bros. announcement to date, Cloud Strife from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII has now joined the roster of playable fighters! A new stage based on Final Fantasy VII’s Midgar was also shown, while a Mii costume based on the Chocobo was teased. However, the release date and price for Cloud plus his Midgar stage and the Chocobo Mii costume are yet to announced. Meanwhile, you can find his introduction trailer below, followed by a screenshot gallery:
At the end of the Direct it was also announced that there will be a Super Smash Bros. Special Broadcast on December 2015. This seems to be the last big presentation about the game that we will see, at least according to some of the official Nintendo Direct recaps.
JP – December 17th, 2015
NA – January 22nd, 2016
EUR – Early 2016
AUS – Not even mentioned in the recap, but I’m assuming it will be close to the European release date.
Furthermore, some new exclusive amiibo (in North America that is) have also been spotted in some retailers’ displays. According to what we know, it seems like Ryu will be exclusive to Toys ‘R’ Us, while Roy will be coming to Gamestop. A Famicom version of R.O.B.’s amiibo has also been spotted at a Target display and is probably heading over to North America at least, taking into account there’s no reason to show that specific version in a display when they have the artwork for their own region’s version of R.O.B.. You can find some photos taken from the displays in the gallery below. Sources: Ryu, Roy, Famicom R.O.B..
Finally, you can enjoy Sakurai’s latest Famitsu Column about “Hitstop”, and how he implemented the mechanic in Smash Bros., over here at Source Gaming. It’s a pretty interesting read if you like this kind of articles.
NOTE: I would like to point out two things regarding the character roster before moving on. First, we previously knew that 3 character slots were left open in the coding of Smash Bros., so one of those three unknown characters is now confirmed to be Cloud and two more are still left. These are likely to be characters developed at the same time as Cloud, since the ballot just recently ended and they wouldn’t have enough time to make completely new characters out of those suggestions until December, right? Next, if you look at both rosters after adding Cloud, one is left with 5 spaces open (3DS) and the other with 6 (Wii U). Taking that into account, it seems like they could add an extra 3 characters based on ballot suggestions, completely filling the 3DS character select screen and leaving only one empty spot in the Wii U roster. Who knows, they could even decide to fill the last spot in the Wii U version with the Ice Climbers as the last character, avoiding that way some potential backlash because the rosters would be slightly different, while appeasing the fans that wanted them back. We will see, but this is just me speculating since there’s no way to predict them anymore after Cloud was revealed…
A new Splatoon update has now been made available after the Direct, bringing the game up to version 2.3.0.. This update adds 40 new pieces of gear and a new stage called Museum d’Alfonsino. More updates were promised at least until January, including new gear, stages and gameplay adjustments. One of those stages will be Mahi-Mahi Resort, which was also showcased in the Nintendo Direct. You can find the patch notes for this new version below, followed by a trailer and screenshots of the new content and a look at the Museum d’Alfonsino stage:
- New gear has been added, which will appear in the in-game shop at random.
Ranked Match Results Pages Adjustments:
- Changed the display of the results screen in Ranked Battle. Players will be listed in the order of their winning percentages in the last 10 matches for the current mode (Wins – Losses).
*Previously, players were listed in the order of the number of enemies they splatted. This adjustment was made since there are other ways to contribute to the team’s victory that cannot be measured in numerical terms.
*The winning percentage will not be recorded in Regular Battle, Splatfest, Squad Battle, and Private Battle, so the results page will remain the same.
*When the users’ Ranks go up, the winning percentage will be reset.
- Fixed the issue in which the blasts from Blaster weapons don’t quite reach the opponent even though the direct hit marker (x) is displayed while taking aim.
- Adjusted the amount of damage that rollers inflict when rolling over Splash Shields to match the amount of damage they inflict when rolling over opponents.
- Adjustments were made in Tower Control so that Sprinklers placed on the towers break when they hit the ground (The Sprinklers previously only broke if they were placed on the ground and were hit by the towers)
- Adjustments have been made to make for a more pleasant gaming experience.
Official overview of the Museum d’Alfonsino stage:
“This time, the battlefield is the courtyard of a modern museum, characterized by a number of revolving doors. Time your jumps well across high platforms to reach the most strategic turf! With a little bit of luck, you can turn each and every painting into a Jackson Pollock and claim victory for your team!”
Finally, during the Japanese Direct, details were announced regarding the 8th Japanese Splatfest. The event will be held on November 22nd at 12 PM, and players will be asked what they prefer to eat, mountain or sea food. Nintendo is partnering with Saga-Gyu for this Splatfest.
While nothing new about Super Mario Maker was revealed in the Nintendo Directs, a new patch is now out bringing the game up to version 1.21., mainly implementing enhancements for a smoother experience. You can also watch the video below and then try out some of Nintendo Uk’s favorite courses.
In addition, Nintendo has released 3 new courses in Japan during the week that let you acquire costumes for Mario based on Cat Mario, Cat Peach and Necky the fox (Famitsu’s mascot). You just need to beat the courses to unlock the costumes. You can find videos showcasing each one of the costumes in action below.
Polygon has also released a new Super Mario Maker article with comments from producer Takashi Tezuka and senior director Yoshikazu Yamashita. In it, they spoke about the game’s development process, how they wanted the game to appeal to all kinds of players worldwide, how they are choosing and implementing costumes, and future updates. You can read the article over here.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
Nothing new was revealed about Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash in the Nintendo Directs, but a new commercial has been released on Nintendo UK channel that you can watch below.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Although the Nintendo Directs didn’t really reveal any new details on Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, a release date of January 22nd is now confirmed for North America.
A new trailer was also shown and some new screenshots have been made available. You can find those below:
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
During the Japanese Direct a trailer was shown for Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It was also announced that the 3DS version will be released in Japan on February 18th. You can watch the trailer below:
Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival
While most of the information shown in the Nintendo Directs was already known, a few extra details have been revealed.
Apparently, Nintendo will release a limited run of the diorama display seen below when the game launches in Japan, letting you display your amiibo figures in all their Animal Crossing style:
The second wave of Animal Crossing amiibo figures, comprised of Blathers, Celeste, Kicks and Mr. Resetti, was also confirmed to be coming to the West, with release planned for the following dates:
JP – December 17th, 2015
NA – January 22nd, 2016
EUR/AUS – Early 2016
You can find some package shots of these amiibo in the gallery below:
Moreover, amiibo figures for Timmy & Tommy Nook, Rover and Kapp’n, have been spotted in some retailer displays after the direct, with the first one being exclusive to Target stores. Although they haven’t been revealed yet, they will probably be announced sometime soon, most likely early next year. You can find some photos of these in the gallery below. Sources: Timmy & Tommy Nook, Rover and Kapp’n.
Besides what is featured above, a new Japanese commercial was released for the game, which you can find below, followed by an unboxing video and some gameplay videos by GameXplain.
New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward
New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward was only briefly showcased on the European Direct, but Nintendo of Europe uploaded a new trailer on Facebook. You can check it out below:
Xenoblade Chronicles X
During the week, including the Direct presentation, we got a couple new Xenoblade Chronicles X trailers and the 3rd episode of the Survival Guide. You can watch all three of those below:
The North American Direct did remember players who are planning to buy the physical version of the game that they can download several Data Packs from the eShop to improve gameplay performance. These packs will come already included with the downloadable version of the game itself. You can also watch a video below that GameXplain put together showcasing the differences in loading time speeds when you have the Data Packs installed.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks now on the Wii U Virtual Console
After the Direct, the DS games The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks were made available on the European eShop to entertain fans while they wait for Zelda Wii U. Each title’s price is set at €9.99 / £8.99. However, if you pick up one, you can grab the other for €4.99 / £4.49 until November 19th. You can check out the eShop trailers for both games below thanks to Perfectly Nintendo.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
During the various Nintendo Directs it was announced that The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is getting some DLC this December. The DLC will include a new area, the Den of Trials, and two new costumes, one based on Linebeck and another one based on Fierce Deity Link. All of this will be available in the following dates:
EUR/AUS/JP – December 3rd, 2015
NA – December 2nd, 2015
You can find some screenshots showcasing this DLC in the gallery below:
Hyrule Warriors: Legends
Hyrule Warriors: Legends was also featured in the lastest Direct, introducing us to a new character that will be added to the game, Linkle, who uses two crossbows to fight.
JP – January 21st, 2016
EUR/NA – March 25th, 2016
AUS – March 26th, 2016
A Limited Edition was also announced for Europe, containing a clock replica of Linkle’s compass, which you can see in the trailer below:
Some new screenshots and artwork of the game were made available after the Direct and you can find them in the gallery below:
Meanwhile, Koei Tecmo released another trailer for the game, showing off the King of Hyrule. You can watch it below:
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
After many rumours and speculation, Nintendo officially revealed that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will be coming to the Wii U next year on the following dates:
EUR/NA – March 4th, 2016
AUS – March 5th, 2016
JP – March 10th, 2016
The game is being ported and updated to the Wii U with help from Tantalus Media in Australia. It will feature improved visuals and some gameplay adjustments.
One of these new gameplay features comes in the form of interaction with the newly revealed Wolf Link amiibo. Players will beable to save date in this amiibo that can be carried over to Zelda Wii U when that game releases next year.
A bundle with the Wolf Link amiibo and a pre-order bonus soundtrack will also be made available.
A standalone Wolf Link amiibo package will be release in Japan on the same day as the game, but only at later time in the other regions.
A very small clip of footage from Zelda Wii U was also shown during this portion of the Nintendo Direct, so make sure to check the reveal footage below if you are interested in either game.
Moreover, you can find some screenshots and package shots of the game and photos of the Wolf Link amiibo in the gallery featured below.
Finally, you can find a video by GameXplain below, comparing the HD version of the game for Wii U with the older GameCube/Wii version.
NOTE: Since they still have around four more months to polish the game, don’t forget it might end up looking even better than what the footage above portrays for now.
Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Fates is now confirmed to be coming to the West in the same “two versions formula” as in Japan. These two versions will be known as Birthright and Conquest, while the third DLC Story will be known as Revelation. You can buy the other version at a reduced price via an in-game eShop. A Special Edition will also be made available to fans of the series, containing all three story paths and an exclusive artbook. The game releases on February 19th in North America and at an unnanounced date in Europe and Australasia.
You can find the North American boxarts and some english screenshots of the game in the gallery below:
Genei Ibun Roku #FE
Although the Japanese Direct showcased Genei Ibun Roku #FE for a moment, the only mentioned detail I don’t recall seeing previously is that the Mirages apparently can change classes as the game progresses, just like they do in Fire Emblem games, at least from what I could understand.
Outside of Direct information, we actually got a lot of new details in the past two weeks or so, via Nintendo and Famitsu. These details mostly cover the side stories aspect of the game and some side characters. You can find them listed below, followed by a video showcasing this side stories element.
Main story vs. side stories
– The gameplay is divided into two parts, the main story and side stories;
– In the main story, the world is attacked by Mirages, beings from another world known as the Idolasphere;
– Itsuki and his friends are “Mirage Masters” from the same entertainment company and join forces with friendly Mirages to repel the Idolasphere’s mysterious invasion;
– Side stories consist of mini-dramas that focus on Itsuki’s friends and their daily lives as entertainers instead;
– Each of them has their own struggles, dreams and goals, and these stories will show how Itsuki will support them through their live shows, dramas, hero shows, handshake meetings and cooking shows, as they progress in their respective fields;
– As they improve as entertainers and enhance their “Performa”, their ability in battle will increase, unlocking special skills you can use in combat.
– During battles, if you trigger a Session Attack (which is a chain attack) with an artist (a playable character), eventually the artist’s “Stage Rank” will increase;
– As the character’s Stage Rank increases, they will be faced with a wall that needs surmounting. This is how a side story is born;
– Each side story is a quest that players can attempt at any time, and is triggered via the Topics menu;
– In this menu the characters communicate with each other via text messages;
– By completing side stories, our heroes’ source of energy, “Performa”, will shine greater than ever, unlocking new abilities and improving their prowess in battle.
Side story examples
– One such side story is titled “Princess of Horror”, involving Eleanora;
– Eleanora has been cast for a part in a horror play at school, but she’s terrified of all things creepy and requests Itsuki to help her overcome her fear;
– Eleanora and Itsuki both arrange for a date at a cinema to watch a horror movie together, trying to use it to help Eleanora get over her fear;
– That idea doesn’t seem to work, so Eleanora and Itsuki return to the drawing board;
– The pair decide to go hunting for ghoulish-looking monsters in the Idolasphere, and after defeating them, Eleanora discovers a new Performa;
– Having bravely triumphed over her fear, Eleanora rewrites the horror play to become “Horror Hunter”, a story about a high school girl who vanquishes evil;
– Tsubasa’s side stories focus on her life as a newcomer idol;
– In them, she has to undertake hand-shaking events, commercial shoots and solo concerts;
– Kiria’s side stories depict her as a popular musician with a “secret she can’t tell to anyone”.
“Tiki is my Waifu” – A high school girl known as “Tiki is my waifu” who creates music with synthesised voice software. Her love for Tiki transcends gender and all logic.
Ayaha Oribe – Tsubasa’s elder sister, a renowned and talented former idol. Now works as a secretary at Fortuna Entertainment. She provides assistance to Itsuki and the others throughout the game.
Kuen Tarachino – An exceptional drama director with a peculiar fashion sense. He is strict on himself and others, causing his production staff to fear him. Currently disdains the entertainment and TV industry.
Yatsufusa Hatanaka – An ace producer, said to be the cornerstone of any successful production. Having lost his way in the Idolasphere once, he keeps a watchful eye for Mirage incidents.
Riku Suzumoto – A young lad who watches hero shows at the top floor of the department store. After meeting Toma, his feelings of despair towards the world gradually change.
Teru Gojouin – A comedian that presents Tsubasa’s idol audition show. Although he acts like a cheerful clown, he’s a serious and cowardly man.
Chouten Sawafuji – A genius musician, nicknamed: “man with a million promises”. Composed music for idols who died sudden and mysterious deaths, and is currently composing music for Tsubasa.
Nobu Horinozawa – A popular cameraman that can capture the purest beauty of any woman. His debut piece of Maiko during her gravure idol days instantly propelled him to the top of the industry.
Mahiro Tsurumi – The new Diver TV president. He came from a political background, so few people know of him. Has an air of authority similar to those that have experienced many hardships.
Below you can also find four more character trailers showing off Tsubasa Oribe, Toma Akagi, Mamori Minamoto and Barry Goodman, another two clips featuring some gameplay, and a gallery of screenshots and artwork that was released in the past couple weeks.
Pokémon Picross is a new free to start eShop game announced during the Nintendo Direct, where you catch Pokémon by completing their respective picross puzzles.
The game is schedule to release in early December in all regions.
You can find a trailer and some screenshots of Pokémon Picross below:
Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Yellow coming to the 3DS Virtual Console
The classic first generation Pokémon games Red, Green (Japan only), Blue and Yellow are soon making a comeback on Nintendo 3DS’ Virtual Console. The games have also been slightly modified to allow for trading via the 3DS’ Wi-Fi capabilities, since that’s the only way to catch em’ all and completely fill the Pokédex. The games are scheduled to be released on February 27th on all regions. You can watch a small annoucement trailer below:
Additionaly, and exclusive to Japan, players will also be able to purchase a new commemorative retail package containing a download code for one of these games, a magnet resembling the original cartridges, some stickers and a Town Map.
During the Nintendo Direct, some new Pokkén Tournament footage was shown and a release date of March 18th was confirmed for Japan, while the West keeps its Spring 2016 date for now. Japan will also be receiving a Wii U bundle with the game at launch.
Another small detail that was mentioned is the inclusion of a Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card with first-print versions of the game that will let you play as the character right away.
You can watch a trailer and a video containing the footage showcased in the Direct below:
Zygarde Complete Form in Pokémon Tretta Ultimate Z
The official Japanese Pokémon channel posted a new video of the Pokémon Tretta Ultimate Z arcade game, where we’re able to get a look at Zygarde’s Complete Forme in action. Could this be an indicator we are indeed getting a Pokémon Z?
Big Pokémon news teased for the next issue of CoroCoro magazine
According to the latest CoroCoro magazine, the next edition will contain some big news about the Pokémon franchise in 2016. Expect these news to leak out before December 15. Keep in mind these news can be about anything to with the franchise and don’t immediately mean we will get details about a new unnanounced game or something similar, ok?
Star Fox Zero
Another highly anticipated title that was covered in the Direct was Star Fox Zero, now confirmed to be releasing on the following dates:
JP – April 21st, 2016
NA – April 22nd, 2016
EUR/AUS – April 2016
In addition to this, we got a new introduction trailer, some gameplay clips from the Japanese website, and some new screenshots. You can find all of this below:
Mother 3 coming to the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console
It was announced in the Japanese Direct that Mother 3 will be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan next month, on December 17th. Maybe we can keep the dream alive of it ever coming to the West, who knows!?
Collectible Badge Center has finally come to the West as Nintendo Badge Center. Announced during the Direct and released soon after, it’s now available via the eShop.
Below you can find the European overview of the game, the trailers for Europe and North America, and a gallery full of screenshots and various badges from the game.
In this lively arcade run by a chatty rabbit, players can take a shot at crane games and similar classic amusements, collecting badges based on Nintendo games and series like Mario Kart, Splatoon and Animal Crossing. Badges can be used to decorate the HOME Menu, with some even usable instead of the standard system icons that access, among others, Nintendo eShop and StreetPass Mii Plaza – perfect for total HOME Menu makeovers.
Every day, visitors to the arcade get five free plays on a practice machine: it only offers dummy badges, but with skill and a little bit of luck, players can win free plays for the machines packed with real badges. Plays can also be bought at a price of £0.90 / €1.00 for five plays (All prices are Nintendo eShop prices, inclusive of applicable VAT).
Players can show off their unique HOME Menu designs via Miiverse, and check out other creators’ designs for inspiration. There’ll be plenty to discover in the weeks and months following launch too, as the badges and machines on offer will change regularly, opening up even more customisation possibilities.
Details on the DeNA partnership’s mobile projects
Earlier this week, DeNA held their Earnings Briefing for the 2nd Quarter of the 2015 Fiscal Year, which you can watch over here, and in it released details regarding their partnership with Nintendo. Most of the important details can be seen in slides 12 and 13 of the presentation, which you can find below:
It was also mentioned by DeNA chief executive Isao Moriyasu that “games currently in the pipeline are all free to play” and that the MiiTomo app will be updated continuously. It seems like DeNA is focusing its efforts on co-developing Nintendo’s free-to-play apps while the Big N handles the paid ones.
The Game Awards 2015
The Game Awards 2015 will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 3 at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT.
Nintendo of America’s president Reggie Fils-Aime will be part of The Game Awards’ advisory board. He’ll be joined by other well-known figures of the industry such as Xbox’s boss Phil Spencer, Sony Computer Entertainment America’s CEO Shawn Layden and video game designer Hideo Kojima.
Finally, Nintendo itself has been nominated for the following categories:
- Game of the Year – Super Mario Maker
- Best Shooter – Splatoon
- Best Family Game – Splatoon, Super Mario Maker
- Best Multiplayer – Splatoon
- Developer of the Year – Nintendo
It will be interesting to see if Nintendo has some kind of presence at the show, like last years showcasing of Zelda Wii U. We will see…