With Nintendo delivering their first Nintendo Direct of the year, there was a fair bit of information for Mr Iwata to get through. Below is a topline of the key highlights for you. Let us know what you think. The full presentation can be seen here.
The first reveal was for the latest Smash Bros title for Wii U and 3DS. Little Mac from the Punch-Out series is set to feature as a playable character for the first time. As his name suggests, this newcomer will be a shorter playable character than most allowing him to get in low shots and jabs, and his all-powerful uppercut move. From the trailer you could spot an interesting counter move a la Marth and Ike from the previous installment. As well as a Power Meter that he can build up to increase his attack power, his Final Smash move was also revealed to be a transformation into Giga Mac from the Punch-Out game on the Wii
We were introduced to a new feature of 3DS Mario Golf World Tour - castle club - which allows players to customise ther Mii golfers with different clubs, balls and clothes. However these customisations were more than just cosmetic, they affect various abilities of your character as well. There was also a new training section announced for you to hone your skills. The game will be released on May 2nd 2014.
Kirby Triple Deluxe showcased a Catching Horn ability from Kirby that allowed for multiple new abilities, such as skewering enemies, giving you lots of options as you play. The wealth of collectibles in the game was also revealed, with numerous sunstones and key chains to collect. But more intriguing was the Streetpass functionality that if you connect with people who also have the game, it allows you to not only receive helpful items throughout your quest, but also additional key chains for your collection. The game is launching May 16th 2014.
In Yoshi's New Island we were shown the dynamic of protecting Baby Mario in the adventure. When Yoshi gets hit, Baby Mario is put in bubble for a time, and a counter starts ticking down. Yoshi has until the timer gets to zero to rescue Baby Mario or you fail and die. It was also revealed there would be no time limits in the levels, to encourage you to traverse them at your own pace. More exciting announcements came in the form of a couple of big eggs. Mega Egg Dozers and their metal counterparts are giant powerups that Yoshi transforms into and can destroy anything in their path. The metal variant also allows for exploration to new areas such as underwater. The other big announcement was Yoshi transformations, where the loveable dinosaur transforms into a jackhammer and even a submarine for various levels, opening up new gameplay opportunities, and are controlled using the gyro controls of the 3DS. Other items such as the super star and flutter wing were also demonstrated. This game will be launching in March 14th 2014. It was also announced later in the presentation that a special green Yoshi's Island 3DS would be launching alongside the game in March.
A couple of new eShop titiles followed in the form of Steel Diver: Sub Wars and Pokemon Link Battle. The first is described as a "tactical FPS" where you are a submarine, and acts as a sequel to the side-scrolling action game released back in 2011. It allows for single player action, and up to 4v4 team battles, supporting local and online multiplayer. Interestingly Nintendo are offering a free version of the game on eShop, with only 2 submarines to choose from, and only a couple of single player missions, but with the full online multiplayer part intact. Pokemon Link Battle is a Bejewelled-style game with Pokemon. It features every Pokemon ever released since the Red & Blue versions, and applies some of the traits of the franchise to this game, such as the ability to catch 'em all and select pokemon with type advantages over your enemy to gain the upper hand. The game offer 4-player co-op play as well so you can get help against particularly tough enemies. Steel Diver: Sub Wars is available immediately, and Pokemon Link Battle will be available on March 13th 2014.
We then got a little more information on Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright. This was delivered by LEVEL-5 President Akihiro Hino, as he shared his vision and perspective on the new title. Unfortunately we got very little new information on this title from him. However to compensate Nintendo announced a free Layton style puzzle section and "Iwata Asks" section on the website that will provide more information. The game itself will release on March 28th 2014.
Nintendo also reiterated the recent Capcom announcement that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate wold be coming to the 3DS in early 2015. Videos again showed off the more dynamic movements that have been incorporated into the game, to make hunting more diverse than before, as well as reiterating the online multiplayer support the game will feature.
We also then got more information on Nintendo Pocket Football Club following it's announcement in the last Nintendo Direct. It's still a very watered down looking Football Manager game mixed in with FIFA, but it has a certain Nintendo charm. Today's news was about training, and the ways in which you obtain Training cards by winning matches, which are then used on players to improve their stats. You can even combine them together for special combos for your players. It was also revealed you can send duplicates of your star players to friends to help them out in their endeavours. It will also have a dedicated website set up packed full of details. It's an eShop exclusive available on April 17th 2014.
And then things got a bit weird. Nintendo weird. They announced Weapon Shop De Omasse, a game from LEVEL-5, where you play as a blacksmith, who makes weapons for heroes to take on quests. The idea being that you beat out your metal in time to specific rhythms to create your masterpieces. If your weapon is good, the hero is more likely to succeed, and you get paid at the end. This quirky title is available for download on February 20th 2014. As an additional bonus Nintendo are offering all previous LEVEL-5 3DS software available for just £2.69, so you can go and grab yourself a bargain. This sale only lasts until the 23rd February though, so you'll need to be quick.
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl from Atlus was also revealed to get a European release. Like previous games in the series, it's an RPG with a focus on maintaining your own map, and turn-based combat and action. Two different modes - a Story Mode and Classic mode - were revealed, with the former using pre-set characters, and the classic allowing you to create your own cast. The game will be released on May 2nd 2014, plus there will be a free demo available from April 18th for you to try, to get to grips with this different type of adventure.
Then we moved onto Wii U games, and the first up was Child of Light, an RPG with platformer and puzzle elements. You play as the young princess Aurora who needs to acquire 3 sources of light. You are assisted by a firefly sidekick, who can be controlled by a second player if desired. This sidekick can heal you, disrupt enemies and also leave helpful messages in light on walls to help other players. The game will be available on May 1st 2014
A new trailer was shown for the imminently-released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The new video showcased more of the diverse levels DK and family will be traversing, the fast paced nature of the game and more examples of the dynamic camera system in action. We were also treated to more time with some of the game's apparent bosses. The game launches next week - on February 21st 2014
It was then revealed that NES Remix is getting a sequel - the aptly titled NES Remix 2. This game features titles later in the NES's life with games like Adventure of Link, Super Mario Bros 3 and the original Metroid game. Remix levels - arguably the best part of the previous game - will appear again in various zany forms. The new addition to this game however is that it comes bundled with Super Luigi Bros - a mirrored version of the original Super Mario Bros game, containing all levels playing from right to left as Luigi. This new eShop download will be available from April 25th 2014.
Nintendo then followed up with more detail on the news of Game Boy Advance games featuring on the Wii U Virtual Console. It was confirmed that titles would appear from April, with three games confirmed - Metroid Fusion, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Yoshi Island: Super Mario Advance 3 - straight away, with a promise of more GBA games to follow in time.
Then the big guns got released. A new trailer for Mario Kart 8 was revealed, with the new info that Bowser's Koopalings from previous Mario games would be joining the racing. So whether your favourite was Iggy, Ludwig or Wendy, all of the Koopalings will be available for racing, shelling and starring when the game finally comes to Wii U on May 30th 2014.
We then got an extended video of combat for the Monolith Soft game simply known as X. This video confirmed that battle will be based heavily on that of the superlative Xenoblade Chronciles on the Wii. However this time there will be much more focus on Mechs, with one being showcased in combat and how with it's added firepower it can take down bigger foes with ease than you can by hacking and slashing. How this will work into the gameplay and difficulty curve still remains to be seen, but it certainly adds a different dimension to how the game will play. Unfortunately no release date was confirmed.
And finally we had a video of Bayonetta 2 where more of the background of the game - with particular focus on the Umbra Witches and their fight against the Lumen Sages. The video also introduced a story-based assistant to Bayonetta, although no gameplay footage was shown of them, so they may not included in the actual combat. The super powerful move, the Umbran Climax was also revealed, where Bayonetta can release all of her charged up power in a devastating on screen attack. The closest thing we got to a release date was that it will be released later this year.
And that's it. Phew, Nintendo certainly know how to cram a lot into 41 minutes. Well, what are your thoughts, are you excited by any of the news or updates? Or have they left you ambivalent to the Big N? Let us know in the comments section below.