Well folks, I am feeling really good about this Nintendo Direct. For a 30 minute video focusing on the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo detailed several important pieces of news:
1. Bravely Default (3DS) launch date and collector’s box information
This trailer is eye wateringly beautiful, showing off visuals on the 3DS the way they should be made. I fully expect Square-Enix to flub the business side of the equation somehow, but this looks like an amazing game with plenty of heart. My only real concern is that I may not need or know that I will enjoy bonus content like a music CD or art book; the ones that I have on my shelf go unseen/heard virtually all of the time. Considering recent challenges that I`ve had with playing JRPGs, I feel like a hint book or guide to get me started might be a better investment.
2. Plenty of new info and launch date for Mario Party 3DS
Honestly this game isn`t really on my radar, but the focus on online play and the ability to play with friends without the game (as long as I have it) … doesn`t really change things for me. Sorry. Internet age … I have no friends! Poo!
3. Another trailer for Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS), which surprised me
I’m a little surprised about the Zelda trailer: the game goes live later this month and has had a ton of coverage so far. True it debuts the same time as Mario Party 3DS, but that game is comparatively unknown. While some spoilers now fill the Internet, I can’t help but feel all the better about my decision to purchase Zelda. I love the range of characters in every Zelda, and I truly adore Link to the Past, ensuring that I will find plenty to love in A Link Between Worlds, despite its visuals (which seem a little off-putting even for me.
4. Unified balances for the eShops, allowing us to formally start talking about the Nintendo eShop
Keep calm people! Nintendo has only announced that the balances on the respective eShops will be shareable. This was already true for the eShop cards, which I favor as a safer alternative to pay online for content than providing a credit card. Now, the balances deposited on one Nintendo machine will count towards the balance on the other machine, allowing consumers to move money between freely. Or at least, that`s my reading of it; Ninty`s psyched me out before. While it sweetened the deal for me to buy a WiiU and play some fine eShop and Virtual Console games, I confess that I am still waiting for the day Nintendo announces that we can transfer games freely from one console to the next. I know, right, pie in the sky dream! Honestly, that is the only feature of the Playstation Network that I envy – I`m okay with hosting my content locally. It`s PSN-hack proof!
5. Balances are tied to the Nintendo Network ID, and finally, that ID can be obtained with a purchase of a 3DS, including full access to a Miiverse app.
Miiverse is a social software that debuted exclusively to the WiiU last year. I`ve been very interested in trying it, as I have always felt isolated in my love of Nintendo. It was ported to iOS, mobile, and the 3DS a long time ago, but all you could do was watch posts; to post yourself, you need a Nintendo Network ID. I can`t wait to set mine up and see the network in action. So … does Nintendo send us an email when it is ready, or is it done through Club Nintendo? Common Nintendo, don`t leave me hanging!
6. We got a great new sizzle reel for indie content.
Nintendo of Europe got such a trailer during the E3 direct last summer, and I certainly agreed with criticisms that Nintendo of America should have done likewise for us. Honestly, I can sort of see why Nintendo is not pushing indies harder – they are at least indirectly competing for dollars. Still, Nintendo needs to change the story about its lack of third party support on the WiiU, and this was a great minimum to do for the effort.
7. New content for Pikmin 3 and Animal Crossing Plaza (WiiU)
I love Animal Crossing, but I`m still unsure what ACPlaza is. I may need to do a blog series on it, just to describe what it is for fellow fence sitters once I have my WiiU. The new content for Pikmin 3 is icing on the cake I can`t eat yet, but I`ll be glad to see Louis again. Someday.
8. A significant new trailer for Super Mario 3D World (WiiU)
This trailer was long and impressive for a 3DS focused Nintendo direct. I am so excited. Clearly, Nintendo`s WiiU fortunes are ridding on SM3DW first and foremost. Those outside the hype engine, understand that we inside are very excited. Full puzzle paced stages using the Toad Captain? More challenge stages like Super Mario 3D Land? Play as Rosalina? And … wait … that’s a straight foot race! I`ve been waiting for two decades for Sonic to try foot racing again; it figures it would be Nintendo`s Super Mario to get it right first! It`s so simple, and I love simple racing concepts, like Sonic 2`s or the Gourmet Race (Kirby Superstar, SNES). It's the simplest concepts that make the most amazing and replayable gameplay! This looks so great, I cannot wait!
This Nintendo direct had no features hosted by the staff in Japan, but I recognized Animka, formerly of IGN who left earlier this year to join Nintendo`s staffers ranks. You go Audrey Drake! Keep living the dream, and you`ll banish that fool Bill Trinen to the non-speaking parts before you know it.
I kid, Bill Trinen can stay … I guess.