Login | Signup

"Nintendo just won 2015. In January!" - Nintendo Direct Impressions

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
3DS Games, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, Nintendo, Nintendo Direct, Splatoon, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Wii U games, Xenoblade Chronicles X

The first Nintendo Direct has been and gone, and it was a big one. We learned that the New 3DS models will release over here on February 13th, we got fresh looks at a number of titles including Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X and 3D, and Mario Party 10, Nintendo dished the dirt on a new wave of Amiibo figures coming later this year, and then let rip with a fat handheld lineup culminating in some seriously pretty special edition hardware bundles.

Here's what we made of the presentation...

Matt

I'm finding it quite hard to sit still right now, such is my excitement. That Nintendo Direct did exactly what I wanted: it answered some of my biggest questions about the Wii U and 3DS. I was worried after going hands-on with Splatoon that it might not have the longevity to make a great impression, but Nintendo swept that concern aside with this video. The game looks brilliant, the customisation absolutely spot-on. None of that depth had been exhibited mid-way through last year, but the variety in weapons and devices, and the numerous ways to add your own flavour to the game should really serve to shake things up. I can't wait to play it again this year in any case.

I'm so glad I bought a Wii U.

Then there was Xenoblade Chronicles X, which looks heart-stoppingly expansive, and breathtakingly beautiful. I'm stoked for the 3D remake that's coming this year, the original game was one of the finest JRPGs of last-gen on any platform, but the sequel looks deeply impressive too. The high-concept setup to that trailer was perfect, and although most of the showing was just characters running around, I found it difficult not to be drawn in by the lush, varied locales, and the captivatingly enormous beasts that populated them. I want, nay need, this game in my life.

I was impressed by Nintendo further embracing cross-buy strategies with Mario vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, along with the Play Create Share mentality that game exudes. Now that the New 3DS will come with a C-stick and dual bumper inputs, hopefully we see more titles releasing across both platforms for a single price. I love the partnership with GungHo too for Puzzle & Dragons Z and the Mario Edition. Match-3 meets Pokemon? Sign me the hell up!

But my biggest questions surrounded the 3DS. In drafts I currently have an article about falling out of love with handheld gaming, and my 3DS has been gathering dust these past few months. Not for much longer, methinks.

The barrage of 3DS titles was cracking, the variety much needed. The double whammy for strategy fans in a new Fire Emblem and Codename S.T.E.A.M. made me do a little jig, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate looks ace. Speaking of Ace, I can't wait to take to the skies in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy +, although some of those Amiibo-unlocked planes look awful. Bowser's was okay, but Link's just looked like someone had dropped several pots of Dulux on an aircraft and not bothered to clean it up.

And then there was that Majora's Mask New 3DS XL. I'd been eyeing up the bigness of the XL, but I liked the customisation coolness of the standard version. Looks and personality vs comfort. Thankfully the Zelda XL has them both, and it will be mine.

Jonathan

Nintendo just won 2015. In January.

Okay, I'll cop to hyperbole, but it's difficult to overstate just how impressive today's Nintendo Direct really was and how brilliantly it managed to cement my excitement about the upcoming 3DS and Wii U lineup while revealing more games to boot. Starting with new 3DS Fire Emblem was a sure-fire way to grab my attention, and it was only uphill from there, fleshing out Splatoon into a a well-rounded shooter with strong progression and customisation to compliment its innovative gameplay. May is often a slow month, but with Splatoon and Project STEAM hitting shelves, we've got summer sorted.

It's great to see Nintendo fully embracing cross-play with Mario vs Donkey Kong on 3DS and Wii U, not to mention the new features that Amiibos will bring to existing games such as Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, but in all honesty my heart is still racing after getting another long look at Xenoblade Chronicles X. Topping the best JRPG of recent years will take some doing, but it's clear that the massive open world is even more expansive in terms of scale and scope, more beautiful to behold and explore, not to mention a cool fusion of colourful sci-fi and dirty dark fantasy.

I'm so ready, professional detachment be damned. I'm allowed to get excited about things that look incredible.

However, once the adrenaline wore off, the New 3DS stole the show. Idiotic and confusing branding notwithstanding, make mine an XL - most likely the Monster Hunter 4 special edition. As someone who's been waiting for this more dynamic and mobile take on the franchise for literally years, I can't wait to get involved on the revamped hardware. Even if I'll have to faff about to carry my content over.

Nintendo still have a mountain to climb, but for me, today's Nintendo Direct shows a confident company ready to fight and deliver on its strengths: great games that you can't find anywhere else. Bring it on. And maybe find time to get rid of region locking while you're at it.

Carl

Well, I suspect that the Nintendo fanbase will be happy with the first Nintendo Direct of 2015. It did everything it needed to – showed off the big titles that will hit later in the year, introduced a few new titles, and gave us solid dates for games and the New 3DS system. However, I’m not part of that Nintendo fanbase, and because I hate fun (apparently) I’m not coming away with the same levels of enthusiasm.

That said, it was a good showing and here’s why – the new Fire Emblem title that was demo’d renewed my interest in getting a (new) 3DS, and the Xenoblade Chronicles X vista-ganza video increased the chances of me getting a Wii U to play it on once it releases. Hell, Splatoon continued to look incredibly fun and colourful, although the mention of abilities linked to clothing does bother me a little bit in that players of certain playstyles will ultimately all look the same.

Otherwise it was the same old of showing trailers and then explaining them (ugh) and announcing re-releases of games I’m not a huge fan of. Still, closing on the reveal of IronFall Invasion was an unexpected surprise, although the emphasis on how the second stick gives “new levels of precision” came off as naive. However, what Ninty have done with today’s presentation is successfully fire up the excitement levels of existing customers while raising a few interested eyebrows from those who have yet to make the jump. So while I’m not yet sold, I think it’s fair to say “good on you, Nintendo.”

How about you, folks? What did you make of today's Nintendo Direct? As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Add a comment11 comments
Superman222222222  Jan. 14, 2015 at 20:04

Won, yeah right. X is the only game that shows promise and even that's riding on the coattails of the HIGHLY overrated Xenoblade.

David267  Jan. 14, 2015 at 20:05

And just look at all the third party games they got, such as.... Ummmm....uhhhhh

Axe99  Jan. 15, 2015 at 01:07

Haha, the Nintendo fan is strong in Matt and Jonathon ;). This isn't a bad thing, and for Nintendo fans it was a great Nintendo Direct, but looking more broadly at videogaming it was a good rather than mindblowing presentation.

A comparable response from me would see an impressive dev diary for Hearts of Iron 4 and claim that Paradox Interactive had won 2015. They might have won it for me, but if I was selling myself as a gaming journalist, I should reflect a broader view.

And a broader view is exactly what Carl supplied - bravo :).

fowler002  Jan. 15, 2015 at 01:23

Won, yeah right. X is the only game that shows promise and even that's riding on the coattails of the HIGHLY overrated Xenoblade.


And just look at all the third party games they got, such as.... Ummmm....uhhhhh


And the obligatory anti-nintendo comment/s, can't have a article, thread, whatever without at least one such comment. Has gotten seriously old. Would it have been to much trouble to keep the comments to yourself?

ttes  Jan. 15, 2015 at 01:34

I'm looking forward to Splatoon, Zelda and I'm picking up the Metroid Prime Trilogy, as I've never tried that.

Shaping up as another good year for Nintendo's software.... and best part is that I can play off-screen ... so the gf won't complain when her shows are on :)

shloob  Jan. 15, 2015 at 02:20

Won, yeah right. X is the only game that shows promise and even that's riding on the coattails of the HIGHLY overrated Xenoblade.


And just look at all the third party games they got, such as.... Ummmm....uhhhhh


And the obligatory anti-nintendo comment/s, can't have a article, thread, whatever without at least one such comment. Has gotten seriously old. Would it have been to much trouble to keep the comments to yourself?


What would you expecto happen with a headline like that? Nothing that really showed was impressive.

iliimaster  Jan. 15, 2015 at 04:33

And just look at all the third party games they got, such as.... Ummmm....uhhhhh
lol really are you bragging about games that are 60$ yearly ports "third party" games that come along with 30$ expansion vip exclusive packs that should have been included in the first place... no thank you third party

Last edited by iliimaster, Jan. 15, 2015 at 04:34
aaaaaand  Jan. 15, 2015 at 08:40

Won, yeah right. X is the only game that shows promise and even that's riding on the coattails of the HIGHLY overrated Xenoblade.


And just look at all the third party games they got, such as.... Ummmm....uhhhhh


And the obligatory anti-nintendo comment/s, can't have a article, thread, whatever without at least one such comment. Has gotten seriously old. Would it have been to much trouble to keep the comments to yourself?


Dude who gives a crap, there will always be anti quotes after positive news about everything that's related Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony..so ignore it, that being said, I think the characters in X have god awful faces, just the faces, they seem off and bland to me, damn I hate them, the only eyesore for me:/ the game itself still looks good in everything, hoping the finished product looks closer to the reveal:D

But yeah, I concur, the anti comments get real annoying but that's the Internet haha, oh and I won't reply to added comment(s) to my post^^ stay frosty-

Last edited by aaaaaand, Jan. 15, 2015 at 08:41
fowler002  Jan. 15, 2015 at 11:45

Won, yeah right. X is the only game that shows promise and even that's riding on the coattails of the HIGHLY overrated Xenoblade.


And just look at all the third party games they got, such as.... Ummmm....uhhhhh


And the obligatory anti-nintendo comment/s, can't have a article, thread, whatever without at least one such comment. Has gotten seriously old. Would it have been to much trouble to keep the comments to yourself?


What would you expecto happen with a headline like that? Nothing that really showed was impressive.
l

Your opinion, others(like Matt and John) thought otherwise.


Haha, the Nintendo fan is strong in Matt and Jonathon ;). This isn't a bad thing, and for Nintendo fans it was a great Nintendo Direct, but looking more broadly at videogaming it was a good rather than mindblowing presentation.

A comparable response from me would see an impressive dev diary for Hearts of Iron 4 and claim that Paradox Interactive had won 2015. They might have won it for me, but if I was selling myself as a gaming journalist, I should reflect a broader view.

And a broader view is exactly what Carl supplied - bravo :).


Umm how is that comparable? The nintendo direct covered a number of different games/products(a handheld and figurines) while your example only has the single game, sorry but that's not comparable.

JonLester  Jan. 15, 2015 at 12:50

@Axe99: Haha, I'd argue that the Nintendo owner is strong in Matt and myself. We both own a 3DS and Wii U, so this Nintendo Direct was catnip to us - much as an emphatic Microsoft, Sony or PC press conference would be. As a grand strategy fan, I'm psyched for HoI 4 too. ;)

But Carl doesn't own a 3DS or Wii U - a situation shared by a great many gamers. As such, you're right, we absolutely need his more pragmatic view to round out and ground our impressions, and to speak to what is probably the majority of gamers too.

That's why we do these roundtables - three points of view to help readers form their own opinion. Even if I occasionally stray into hyperbole or polemic. ;)

Last edited by JonLester, Jan. 15, 2015 at 12:53
Yukes  Jan. 16, 2015 at 09:10

Quite surprised that you were blown away by the Nintendo Direct, Matt and Jon. Alternative opinion over on GamersFTW at the moment, which links to this article, if you're interested and want to take a look. It's more in line Carl's thoughts, I reckon!

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.