Yoshi's Woolly World gets a release date in the latest Nintendo Direct

Mario Maker, Fire Emblem and Mario Kart get updates too

Yoshis Woolly World gets a release date in the latest Nintendo Direct
2nd April, 2015 By Ian Morris

Are you one of those strange people that has a job, a family, or a life that comes with unfortunately timed commitments? If you are, then you probably missed last night's Nintendo Direct - first announced on Monday, and broadcast last night at the family friendly time of 11pm. Still, after having spent most of the day trying to convince the internet that this wasn't an April Fools joke, and there genuinely would be some new news after all, Nintendo delivered another one of their online broadcasts, packed to the gunwales with new information.

To save you the 47 minute slog through the video, we've included everything you need to know below:

Nintendo does DLC

First out of the gate was news that Nintendo all-star beat 'em up Smash Bros will be receiving that thing Nintendo always told us they would never do - paid for, single character downloadable add-ons. Beginning with psychic Pokémon Mewtwo for a pretty pricey £3.59, the game will also add annoying Earthbound star Lucas at some time in June. If you've just checked yourself into the loony bin with ten pound notes spilling out of your pockets, you'll also be able to buy premium costumes for your Mii characters, based on games - including a Skull Kid mask from Zelda: Majora's Mask, or a cat costume, for 69p each, or £1.09 for a costume that'll work on both the 3DS and Wii U versions. In a slightly more exciting twist, Nintendo are also asking for players to suggest favourite characters that they'd love to see done as Smash Bros downloadable add-ons on a special site - but at £3.59 for one character, they can keep it. Microtransactions. Just what we all wanted, right? 

amiibo Touch and Play Nintendo Classics Highlights

Those amiibo just won't go away. Seeing the success of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, and wanting a piece of the pie, Nintendo will soon be releasing a free program for the Wii U called amiibo Touch and Play Nintendo Classic Highlights. The idea here is that by scanning an amiibo on the Wii U gamepad, you'll be able to play a chunk (of no more than three minutes) from a classic game. And not a relevant classic game - just a totally randomly chosen classic game from the program's selection. Out for free in May 2015, we're not convinced this will have amiibos flying off the shelves more than they are already. 

Mario Maker gets a new 30th Anniversary trailer

Thankfully moving swiftly on to some more exciting news, Nintendo showed a new trailer for its Mario Maker game - an upcoming "make your own" Mario level designed that's set to release this September. We were pretty impressed when we went hands-on with this at an event last summer, and the trailer above shows it looking better than ever. With the ability to switch your level's style to that of four different Mario games on the fly (from the original Super Mario Bros all the way up to New Super Mario Bros U), this is one to keep an eye on - if only because once the community get their hand on it, Mario Maker will essentially provide a free, unlimited supply of brand new, user generated Mario levels. Add in some four player co-op and we're sold. 

Yoshi's Woolly World is out soon

Perhaps a surprise entry in this latest Nintendo Direct, the gorgeous looking Yoshi's Woolly World was given a release date of the 26th June. A hand-crafted platformer starring everyone's favourite little green dinosaur, this is from the studio that bought us the amazing Kirby's Epic Yarn, and ticks every box that made that so special. It's a side-scrolling platformer, it's got cute appeal in spades, and it has full support for two-player co-op. Announced in this most recent Nintendo Direct was "mellow mode" - a great sounding addition that lets newcomers play as "winged Yoshi" - a character that can essentially fly, making those tricky platforming sections that little bit easier. A fantastic little helping hand to younger players and families, this is a really nice touch, and proof that Nintendo still have it. 

And, in a move that's already made us check our bank balance in preparation, Nintendo also announced a limited edition bundle, coming with a cuddly Yoshi amiibo (!!!!!). With three colours of Yoshi amiibo available, and also sold separately, this is a great little starter set - even though the amiibo doesn't really do anything in game.

Splatoon also gets amiibo

Splatoon is one of those games that only Nintendo would come up with. A uniquely brightly coloured take on the shooter genre, this is a third person, mostly online team based shooter with a difference - rather than spraying your opponents with lead, you're instead trying to cover the arena with ink. And, as a half human half squid hybrid, you can swim through the ink to gain access to new areas. While it's an interesting concept - and we enjoyed our time playing it - we're yet to be sold on this, at least partially due to the apparently lack of any sort of split-screen multiplayer (a surprise for a Nintendo game). Of course, as a new Nintendo game, there had to be some sort of amiibo involvement, and so certain weapons, items and costumes will be locked off in the game until you buy the relevant Splatoon amiibo figure. While a cynic would say Nintendo are just looking to make a quick buck from these figures, we're sure there's some deep and logical reason for their existence... We just haven't found it yet. Splatoon launches on the 29th May. 

N64 games come to the Wii U Virtual Console

And, in an announcement that many saw coming, Nintendo revealed that N64 games will soon be available to download from the eShop on your Wii U. Starting with (what else) Mario 64, the service will follow up with Donkey Kong 64 - a game never before re-released on the virtual console - along with Mario Kart DS and Wario Ware Touched on the DS side of the Wii U virtual console. If you've previously downloaded these games onto your Wii and transferred them across to your Wii U, you can pay £1.79 to "upgrade" them and take advantage of their new features, like off-screen GamePad play - but to be honest, you're probably best off just booting into the Wii Menu and playing them there for free... If you're not "upgrading", the games will set you back £8.99 each.

In a similarly download related announcement, Wii RPG Pandora's Tower and shooter Sin and Punishment will also be available for download to your Wii U over the coming weeks, for "only" £13.49 - a special discount from their usual £17.99. Best stick to the bargain shops for these.

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem cross over gets a trailer

Apparently a strategy game that mixes the worlds of uber tricky strategy RPG Shin Megami Tensei with the more fantasy whims of Fire Emblem, this trailer doesn't really answer many questions - but it does ask a fair few. Give it a watch and bop your head a bit to the J-pop soundtrack.

Project Zero Wii U trailers spooks Shibata

While we're not usually ones for horror games, Project Zero has us interested. Using the Wii U GamePad as a camera, it's up to you to find, and fight off a load of spooks using the power of flash photography alone. Apparently set for a release later this year - and something that probably isn't all that Nintendo-y, this is one to keep an eye on.

Another free to play Pokemon game...

Seemingly buoyed by the "success" of the  free-to-play match three game Pokémon Shuffle, Nintendo has another free-to-play, micro-transaction fuelled title in the works, in the form of Pokemon Rumble World. Taking the button mashing, Pokémon collecting gameplay of the fantastic 3DS version, but robbing it of all fun thanks to its use of a premium currency called Pokédiamonds to restrict how often, and where you can adventure (unless you're willing to pay), this is yet another Pokémon game we would happily have spent £30 on, but won't spend a penny on as a free to play game. Hopefully, we aren't the only ones, and Nintendo give up on this free-to-play jaunt soon. 

StreetPass Plaza gets the "premium" treatment

The 3DS's StreetPass Plaza - a free program that lets you collect the Miis of people you walk past in the street, and even play little minigames with them - has been a guilty pleasure of ours. The add-on games, we're less keen on, though - if only because of the price. Now, Nintendo have announced that two new StreetPass Plaza minigames will be added, in the form of Zombies and Fishing, with one letting you fend off zombie hordes with items based on the hobbies of Miis you meet, and the other letting you catch over 150 fish. Either game will set you back £4.49 each, while you can get a bundle of the two for £7.49.

Perhaps more upsetting is the news of StreetPass Plaza Premium, a new, £4.49 download that adds a VIP room to the plaza, where you can store your favourite Miis, and the ability to see other Miis birthdays. For £4.49. A few months ago, this would have been a free update. What's happening to you, Nintendo?

Fire Emblem gets a new trailer, but no new name

First announced at the start of the year, Fire Emblem is one of those games we simply can't wait for. A turn based, strategy RPG, it's a slow paced game that puts the emphasis on your brain rather than your trigger finger, with a great cast of characters keeping the story going. Unfortunately, it seems we'll be in for quite a wait, as the game won't launch over here until 2016. With two separate stories to play through - an easier story, and a harder one - we're looking forward to getting more on this.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

This is a bit of a weird one. A new, Animal Crossing themed game, Happy Home Designer revolves around the fun of designing homes. Each of the characters in the game wants an ideal home - and it's up to you to make their dreams reality. What's not clear is quite how much of a game there's actually going to be to this, as most of the presentation was spent talking about new Animal Crossing cards - cards with amiibo-like functionality that could be scanned into the game to unlock what sound like extra missions. A game with added amiibo functionality, or a game that exists only to sell amiibo cards? Only time will tell.

Mario Kart 8 add-on pack launches 23rd April

After what seems like an age of waiting, Nintendo closed up the Nintendo Direct with the reveal that the Animal Crossing expansion pack for Mario Kart 8 will be launching on the 23rd April. Bringing with it three characters (Animal Crossing's Villager and Isabelle, plus Dry (skeleton) Bowser), four vehicles and eight courses for just £7 (putting into stark contrast how incredibly expensive those individual Smash Bros characters are at £3.49 each), this is actually a pretty good value expansion. Launching on the same day is a new, super fast (and uber hard) 200cc mode - but that's likely best left to the hardcore players.

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