Compared to the hilariously brief Pokemon Direct last week, which lasted a whopping six minutes, last night's Nintendo Direct seemed to go on for forever. At a relatively unfriendly time of 10pm, well past our bedtime, it showcased the Wii U and 3DS games we'll be playing in the next few months - and while the Wii U had a few really big games up its sleeve (Paper Mario: Colour Splash amongst them), it definitely seems to be winding down to make way for it's currently mysterious successor, the NX. On the plus side, the 3DS doesn't seem to be showing any signs of stopping. With a new Kirby game, a healthy dose of Rhythm Paradise and a Disney Art Academy announced, plus a whole host of release dates and other titbits, the handheld isn't dead yet. Unfortunately, Nintendo don't make this easy, as not everything they covered last night has its own separate video, but where a video isn't available, we've gone through dividing the Nintendo Direct into chunks so you can watch the bits that appeal to you. Click play on any of the generic Nintendo Direct videos below will jump you straight to the bit you're interested in, so you don't have to skip through trying to find it.
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Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
The age-old gaming rivalry returns on the 8th April, with Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which sees all your favourite Mushroom Kingdom and Sega characters facing off in sports-themed mini-games galore. The 3DS version of the game brings with it new supercharged events, which mix traditional sports like Football and Table Tennis with Mario and Sonic craziness - dodging Goomba stacks in BMX, vaulting over Thwomps in Equestrian or shooting moving Boo targets in Archery to name but a few. Also exclusive to the 3DS game is Golf, an event which marks its triumphant return to the Olympics proper after a 112 year absence.
Hyrule Warriors: Legends
Hitting stores on the 24th March, with a demo up on the eShop now, Hyrule Warriors: Legends lets you take all your favourite Legend of Zelda characters into battle, fighting your way through thousands of enemies. Originally released as a Wii U game, and now as an enhanced 3DS version with a load of extras, all new copies of Hyrule Warriors: Legends will come with a code that lets you download the five new characters - Toon Link, Tetra, the King of Hyrule, Skull Kid and the new female Link, Linkle - for use in your Wii U game too. As with it's predecessor, Hyrule Warriors: Legends will also receive way too many downloadable extras, and if you're silly enough to buy them, you'll be pleased to hear you can plump for a Season Pass, which lets you prepay at a slight discount for all four packs of extras at once, before they become available, and will net you an alternate Ganondorf costume as a freebie/badge of stupidity. You'll also be able to download Medli, the duck-faced girl from The Wind Waker for free, for both versions of Hyrule Warriors.
The ghostly Pokemon-alike Yo-Kai Watch is finally making it's way to Europe, on the 29th April, with a demo available on the eShop right now! Centred around the spirit-like Yo-Kai, unseen beings who create mischief and confusion wherever they go, it's up to you to find and befriend them, ready to team up in battle against other, misbehaving Yo-Kai. It's a game which has done insanely well in it's native Japan, spawning it's own anime series and even it's own dance routine - a dance which Mr. Shibata decided to show off. For more on the game and how it plays, be sure to check out our extensive hands-on.
Disney Art Academy
One of the few surprise announcements in the 3DS section of the Nintendo Direct, Disney Art Academy is where it's at if you want to learn how to draw all your favourite Disney characters, from Frozen's Olaf to Buzz Lightyear to the main man Mickey Mouse himself. Taking you through step by step in traditional Art Academy style, from drawing outlines and colouring in, to more complex shading and different styles, you'll be surprised at quite how impressive some of the finished doodles look. There's also a number of effects you can use, sprinkling a bit of Disney magic and glitter on your finished creations - the perfect finishing touch to Cinderella's ballgown. Disney Art Academy will be hitting the 3DS on the 15th July.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
First announced at last year's E3, and generally raising more questions than it answered, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is the latest spin-off for the long-running space shooter - and one of the only games revealed at the Nintendo Direct that seems to require a New Nintendo 3DS model to run - ruling out what's presumably 90% of the 3DS market. Telling the story of the battles between the Galactic Federation and the Space Pirates, it has more of a focus on team-based multiplayer. Letting you and your team mates divvy yourselves up between different character classes, all with different strengths, weaknesses and weapons, and working together to get past the puzzles, boss fights and enemies the missions throw at you is key.
SNES Virtual Console Games
Another New Nintendo 3DS exclusive, you'll soon be able to download a load of old SNES titles from the Nintendo eShop. Why are they exclusive, we hear you cry? Apparently because the New Nintendo 3DS consoles have a "similar button layout" to the SNES, by which they seem to mean the colour coding - seeing as the A, B, X and Y buttons are in exactly the same positions whichever 3DS model you're looking at. We smell a rat.
Because seemingly Nintendo have decided they need to shift their stock of new 3DSs, and letting you download old games exclusively to new 3DSs will make them fly off the shelves, a number of SNES games will be launching on the new 3DS over the next month, with the initial line-up being as follows:
- 3rd March: Super Mario World and EarthBound
- 10th March: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid
- 17th March: F-Zero and Super Mario Kart
- 24th March: Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
There doesn't seem to be a single official price point for the games, although the presentation pegged Super Mario World at £7.19 and EarthBound at £8.99. Nintendo will be offering a bit of a discount for anyone who buys the games in their launch week, where if you buy one at full price, you'll be able to get the other for half price - also known as the price they should have been to begin with.
Azure Striker GUNVOLT 2
If you fancy something a bit more modern, the Nintendo Direct also showed off a couple of the upcoming eShop games for the 3DS. Azure Striker GUNVOLT 2 is a fast-paced side-scrolling shoot 'em up, that brings with it a new playable character in the form of Copen, Gunvolt's rival. Copen has the ability to dash into enemies to lock on to them, before unleashing a devastating homing shot - and comes with a nifty special ability he blatantly stole from Nintendo's pink puffball Kirby, as he can also copy the abilities of all seven new boss characters and use them as his own. The game will be hitting the Nintendo eShop this Summer, but you can pick up the original Azure Striker GUNVOLT at a 33% discount until the 1st April - so £7.79 down from a gigantic £11.63.
Fire Emblem Fates
The latest instalment in the long-running Fire Emblem series of strategic role-playing games, Fire Emblem Fates will be landing on European 3DSes on the 20th May. Split into three different stories, Fire Emblem Fates forces you to choose a side come launch day, as two kingdoms fight for control, guided by a corrupt dragon deity. Similar to the Pokemon games, Fire Emblem Fates will launch as two different versions - Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, which see you taking opposite sides in the same conflict, as the kingdoms of Hoshido and Nohr respectively. A third campaign, where you refuse to take a side altogether, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation will be available as a downloadable add on later, on the 9th June. Fire Emblem fans will be able to pick up all three games on one game cartridge, alongside an art book, double-sided poster and an exclusive Steelbook cover in the Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition too, while a limited edition Fire Emblem Fates New Nintendo 3DS XL will be hitting stores separately too.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS is a role playing game that's been a long, long time coming, hitting Japan way back in 2013 - so long ago, we'd basically given up hope on it ever coming west-wards. Completely remade for the 3DS from the ground up, with new graphics, character models and a new translation, you play as Auster, a fisherman's son, who decides he wants more from his life than fishing. Setting off on an adventure with Prince Kiefer and the headstrong Maribel, the three must search the world for fragments of stone tablets, which, when pieced together, will allow them to save the present by travelling to the past. Packed with traditional Dragon Quest turn-based battles, more than thirty different character specialisations and classes for your characters, and oodles of puns and humour, it's been at the top of our want list for a while. Unfortunately, there's no set release date yet, outside of a vague 'later this year'.
Monster Hunter Generations
Making it's way to the West this summer, Monster Hunter Generations marks the most customisable entry in the series so far. For the first time, you'll have the option to play as a Felyne character, there's a new Style system, which adds multiple different fighting styles to each weapon, while Hunter Arts, attacks which have various bonus effects associated with them, such as massive damage, stat buffs or healing, help mix up combat more, bringing another layer of strategy to your monster hunts. There'll also be a special armour set based on Fire Emblem's Marth included, while anyone who plays Monster Hunter Generations with a Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate save on their 3DS will unlock a slew of bonus bits in the new game too.
Rhythm Paradise Megamix
As huge fans of the previous Rhythm Paradise games, this announcement was music to our ears! Packing in over 100 rhythm games onto one small cartridge, Rhythm Paradise Megamix is a bit of a 'best of' collection for the silly mini-game music series, with seventy or so songs taken from Rhythm Heaven for the DS, the Wii's Beat The Beat: Rhythm Paradise and the original Japanese GameBoy game, which never made it to Europe. There's also 30 brand new rhythm games, including ballroom dancing with a robot and translating for an alien life form - we don't know about you, but we can't wait to get tapping, scratching and pressing when Rhythm Paradise Megamix lands later this year.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Finishing the show with a 'puyo!', the lovable pink puffball Kirby is back with another 3DS adventure in Kirby: Planet Robobot. This time, a load of technologically advanced aliens have mechanised Dream Land, and in order to return it to it's green and pleasant former self, Kirby will need to take the fight to the Robobots! Much like with Kirby Triple Deluxe, levels are split into a foreground and background, which Kirby can hop between, but Planet Robobot's twist comes with a giant pink robotic mech - his 'Robobot Armour' - lets him punch, trample and withstand almost anything the enemies can throw at him, destroying everything that stands in his way. Like Kirby himself, the Robobot Armour can also absorb and use enemy abilities, transforming into a flying missile-firing jet, or a mech with drills for arms. A new batch of copy abilities for Kirby is also promised, with a new doctor/scientist teased in the trailer, shown attacking with a clipboard and a volcanic blast of fire from a round-bottomed flask. Not wanting to break from tradition, it looks like Planet Robobot will also include a few sizeable side games too, such as Team Kirby Clash, which lets up to four players work together to take out bosses in a multiplayer quest - the best news? It'll do download play too, so you can play with friends who don't have a copy of the game too!While we're on the subject of Kirby, Nintendo are also planning a new range of Kirby-themed amiibos too, with Kirby, Metaknight, King DeDeDe and Waddle Dee coming to stores alongside Kirby: Planet Robobot on the 10th June.And that, some two thousand words later, is your lot! Phew!