Nintendo loves to make game announcements in rapid succession, and even a day notorious for literally unbelievable news isn't enough to deter a parade of updates and trailers. The most recent Nintendo Direct just aired on April 1, with a slew of new info and reveals that shouldn't be missed. But what if you don't have an hour to spend scrubbing through the archived video looking for the breaking news? That's where we come in.
What follows is a list of the biggest announcements from the Nintendo Direct, with all the really good stuff front-loaded for your convenience. Check out what you might've missed, then let us know in the comments which games and new amiibo you're personally pumped up for. You can even imagine us speaking in the same dulcet tones as Satoru Iwata or Bill Trinen, if you like.
New Fire Emblem coming in 2016, and will make you the center of a diverging story
We still don't have a title for the new Fire Emblem game on 3DS, but we do know that it's coming in 2016. Alongside the release window, Nintendo revealed a ton more information about the game's single-player campaign, which casts your created character as the star (rather than as a companion to the real hero of the story). That doesn't just mean more dialogue - your character will literally determine the entire course of the campaign.
Early on, you must make the choice between fighting for the peace-loving Hoshido faction or the warlike, revolutionary Nohr faction. Striving to preserve peace with Hoshido will provide a more traditional Fire Emblem experience that's also more welcoming to newcomers, while fighting for glory with Nohr will make for difficult battles and a more complex narrative. Sounds like a pretty awesome excuse to play the game twice, whichever side you decide to start with.
Lucas will join the Super Smash Bros. roster shortly after Mewtwo
The Nintendo Direct had no shortage of updates on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. First off, the Mewtwo DLC will be out this month. If you registered both games on Club Nintendo, youll be getting a download code on April 15. Everyone else will be able to buy the character on April 28, costing $4 on either version, or $5 if you want the Legendary Pokemon on both platforms.
But thats not all. This June, Mother 3 protagonist Lucas will join the game as a downloadable fighter for a yet-to-be-named price. Additionally, new costume packs are coming for the Mii fighters, all as paid DLC on April 15. There are themed costumes for Legend of Zelda and Mega Man, plus cute animal outfits that are 75 cents separately, or $6 in a bundle.
You can vote for your personal favorite in the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot
Ready to write a 500-word treatise on why Ridley absolutely, positively belongs in the Super Smash Bros. roster? Get your thinking cap ready, because Nintendo is about to let fan demand influence who might be the next DLC character.
By hopping over to smashbros.com, you can fill out a survey suggesting who deserves to join the Smash Bros. cast next. Who knows how long it'll be until this survey is botted out of control, but it's a nice sentiment for Nintendo to let the fans make direct suggestions. If we all type in Goku, do you think itll finally happen?
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem gameplay finally shown
After it was teased more than a year ago, we were told little about this crossover game beyond a few facts: It's on the Wii U, is being developed in tandem by Atlus and the Fire Emblem team at Intelligent Systems, and brings together two of the most hardcore series in gaming. The first true trailer was finally shown during the Nintendo Direct, and it blends the SMT and Fire Emblem influences into a dazzling, anime-riffic display.
As in most Shin Megami games, the main characters are Japanese teens with special abilities, and they look to be battling monsters in a near-future version of Tokyo to the tune of a catchy theme song. From the Fire Emblem side of things, the turn-based battles show classic FE characters helping out the the team. No official date or title has been given to the game in North America; itll be out this year in Japan with a title that roughly translates to Illusory Revelations#FE. The rest is still a mystery, but hopefully well hear more around E3 this year.
Yoshi's Woolly World amiibo are super snuggly
Amiibo are fun and all, but Marth and Wii Fit Trainer break way too easy when you try to cuddle with them. Thankfully, Nintendo plans to get out ahead of the snuggle issue with a new line of amiibo planned to release alongside Yoshi's Woolly World in the fall. Start your little heart a-fluttering, because it's a trio of (wait for it) yarn Yoshis - one green, one pink, and one light blue.
Aside from being oh-so soft, squishy, and lovable, the Woolly World amiibo will let you play as Double Yoshi when you tap their little bottoms to the GamePad. You control both characters at once, letting you slurp up the second Yoshi into an egg, toss him to new areas, and run around with him once you get there. You'll also be able to swap between the difficulty-determining "Classic" or "Mellow" modes in the middle of a level, the latter of which gives your Yoshi wings if you can ever stop cooing at the figures long enough to play, anyway.
Even more amiibo are incoming, along with randomly inserted game demos
Because people will buy up amiibo figurines faster than bottled water before an impending earthquake, you know Nintendo isn't about to stop making them any time soon. The newest wave of Smash-themed amiibo is now know, with Dark Pit and Palutena coming this July, and Olimar, Zero Suit Samus, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf, and Dr. Mario set to debut in September. That noise you just heard was your wallet screaming, by the way.
In addition, Iwata assures us that amiibo toys for Smash Bros. DLC characters like Mewtwo and Lucas are also on the way, alongside the aforementioned Yoshi's Wooly World and Splatoon amiibo sets. You'll also be able to boot up demos of classic games with the amiibo tap: Nintendo's Greatest Hits app, which releases this spring on Wii U as a free download. By tapping your amiibo to the GamePad, you'll gain access to a limited demo of a randomly selected game from Nintendo's storied archives. It's basically like a Nestle Wonder Ball, only better.
Fatal Frame on Wii U is sure to scare paranormal photographers
For Western fans of Fatal Frame, who haven't seen a localized release in the snapshot-happy horror series for ten years, it may feel like this franchise has one foot in the grave. But apparently Nintendo has a resurrection planned, with a U.S. localization of Fatal Frame 5: Oracle of the Sodden Raven set for release later this year.
Little is known about the title as of yet, aside from the standards common to every Fatal Frame game: you play as a (presumably) teenage girl stuck in a haunted locale and use a camera to protect yourself against homicidal specters while trying to solve the mystery of their deaths. What makes this Wii U release special is the use of the GamePad, with the inlaid screen functioning as the only access you have to your life-saving camera. And you thought these games were nerve-wracking before.
New StreetPass games and Mii Plaza Premium coming April 16
If you've had your fill of space battles, planting flowers, global conquest, and battling ghosts, Nintendo has a pair of new games to freshen up your StreetPass Plaza. Ultimate Angler sees your Mii travelling to the StreetPass Islands to bag more than 150 varieties of fish, using bait that they receive from fellow travellers. Meanwhile, Battleground Z lets you engage in action combat with hordes of zombies using weapons pulled from each Mii's hobbies.
The two games will be available on April 16 together for $7.99, or separately for $4.99 each. "StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium" will also launch on April 16, letting you store designated Mii characters in a VIP room and set StreetPass birthdays for your virtual travelers on a new calendar. StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium will be sold separately for $4.99.
New amiibo cards debut with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Do you enjoy collecting amiibo, but wish they were easier to fit in your pocket? Thats what the upcoming amiibo cards are for. They function similarly to the figures, meaning the cards are scanned via NFC to unlock features, and the first set is themed around Animal Crossing. As it so happens, a new Animal Crossing spin-off will launch alongside the cards by the end of the year.
Called Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, the game focuses on the series indoors action, making players do some interior design to the desired specifications of their animal neighbors. And you get unique assignments by scanning different amiibo cards for characters like Isabelle. The game and cards launch this fall, along with the long-promised NFC add-on that allows non-New 3DS handhelds to scan amiibo and add the content to their games.
Mario Kart 8 update revs up to 200cc
Go-karts are fun, but as far as racing goes, they're not actually all that fast unless you drop an even bigger engine and some Super Mushrooms in there. Nintendo plans to add a 200cc racing class to Mario Kart 8 in a free downloadable update on April 23, enabling a new, super-speedy mode on all tracks. Get comfortable with tapping that brake button, because taking corners at full speed is about to get a whole lot trickier.
The free update will release alongside DLC Pack 2, which adds three new characters (Animal Crossing's Villager, Isabelle, and Dry Bowser), four new vehicles, and eight new tracks, giving you plenty of new wheels and pavement to tear up as you zoom around at ludicrous speeds. You do have to pay $8 for the DLC pack, mind you.
Splatoon shows off three modes and three amiibo figures
It may not have the established fanbase of series like Smash Bros. or Fire Emblem, but Splatoon is shaping up to be a fun, inventive shooter that still retains Nintendo's classic sense of whimsy. Two online modes were shown off during the Nintendo Direct: Ranked Battle, with 4v4 matches that determine your (what else) rank, and Splat Zones, a king-of-the-hill style melee where everyone's fighting over one central location. Offline multiplayer will also be available in the Battle Dojo mode, a 1v1 skirmish that puts one player on the TV and the other on the GamePad in a race to pop balloons.
Being that it's a relatively big game for Nintendo, you knew there had to be some amiibo involved. Three Splatoon amiibo will be available starting on May 29th: an orange humanoid Inkling girl, a blue humanoid Inkling boy, and a green Inkling in squid form. You can buy the humanoids separately, or pick up all three in one convenient pack.
Mario Maker builds up to September
Super Mario Bros. is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and Nintendo revealed has a bunch of surprises in store for the occasion. Thankfully, Mario Maker's release date is no longer one of them: it will finally democratize the piranha plant placement process in September.
The Wii U game / level-creation workshop will feature four different visual themes pulled from across the 2D Mario canon: the original 8-bit goodness of Super Mario Bros., the classic look of Super Mario Bros. 3, the SNES-talgic Super Mario World style, and the 3D-rendered visuals of New Super Mario Bros. You'll be able to swap between the four at will and easily share all of your creations online. No better way to celebrate Mario history than by making some of your own, right?
Even more Wii U Virtual Console and 3DS eShop games are on the way
If you've been pulling your hair out waiting for for the day you could play Super Mario 64 on glorious new-gen tech, then yank no more! Nintendo 64 and DS games will officially be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, starting with Super Mario 64 and Yoshi's Island DS, which are available immediately - yeah, right now! Go get them! Other titles you can play on your Wii U in the coming months will include Donkey Kong 64 and Mario Kart DS, and we can undoubtedly expect more nostalgic goodness in the future.
In addition, Nintendo has shown off a slew of games for the eShop that'll be released throughout the next year. The headliner is Pokemon Rumble World, a free, simplistic brawler starring toy versions of pocket monsters. And in addition to previously announced games like Don't Starve: Giant Edition and Runbow, games like forma.8, Dementium Remastered, and Starwhal will join Nintendo's collection of indie offerings.
That's a wrap
Phew! Of all those announcements, which are you the most excited for? Do you plan on diving headfirst into the JRPG goodness of Fire Emblem and SMTXFE (the best acronym ever, pronounced 'smit-ze-fee')? Or are you gearing up to take part in the battle for those precious amiibo? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you're looking for more, check out Nintendos Game & Watch past is its guide to its mobile future and Why Nintendos abundant gold coins are also among its most valuable offerings.