A new Smash Bros character, Wii Sports Club game and a new Luigi game have also been announced – plus release details on a bunch of other stuff.
It’s that time of year again. Nintendo’s Satori Iwata has given another “Nintendo Direct” briefing showing some of the stuff that the company are working on next year. So let’s start where everyone will want me to start. Click play on this video – NEW ZELDA:
The new game, dubbed “Hyrule Warriors” (though this isn’t the final title) isn’t a canonical entrant into the Zelda series, and as you may have guessed from the fast-paced combat, it’s something else entirely. Based on the Dynasty Warriors series, it appears as though this is going to be much faster paced than the traditional games. As you can see in the trailer, it seems to take inspiration from everywhere – with the map very much reminding me of Ocarina of Time, in addition to the big monster from the Fire Temple… but also there’s those weird pig things from Skyward Sword. How intriguing. Apparently it’s coming this year too.
Slightly more disappointingly was the Smash Bros announcement – Nintendo have added yet another new character: Princess Rosalind & Luma. Meaning – yes – that’s right, the series has now had *four* separate princess characters. So much for feminism and meritocracy, I guess.
Meanwhile the forthcoming Donkey Kong Game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was announced for release on February 21st, and for the first time Cranky Kong will be a playable character.
Yoshi is getting another game too. Yoshi’s New Island is a direct sequel to the original Yoshi’s Island, and is being developed by the guy who led the main game – working with Nintendo’s internal EAD development team. It’s got all of the egg-laying action you could want, and will no-doubt reaffirm Nintendo’s place as King of Platformers.
Speaking of which – Sega’s Sonic Lost World, which was received with an almighty shrug when it was released earlier this year is getting some downloadable content. Apparently they’ll be two new states available: one of which is themed around Yoshi’s New Island and the other was not revealed, though it was heavily implied that it would be Zelda themed.
This wasn’t the only mash-up announced. Perhaps the most intriguing title on show was NES Remix for Wii U – which apparently takes classic stages from NES games – like Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong and mashes them up – adding new game modes and seemingly switching characters about. In one of the clips in the trailer, you can see an 8-bit Link – and not Mario – taking on DK. I’m torn between thinking it looks great fun, and being impressed that Nintendo have managed to squeeze yet more mileage out of recycling their back catalogue. Whatsmore, NES Remix is available today on the Wii U online store – for £8.99.
Iwata also announced another sport that has been added – as of today – to Wii Sports Club, Nintendo’s unusual micro-payment driven game, in which sports can be purchased separately, with “day passes” available for parties too. In this case, they’ve added Golf, which for my money is the best of the Wii Sports games. There’s the classic nine holes from the original Wii Sports game, and a further “new” nine holes, built from the spritey blueprints of an old NES Golf game. Yes – they couldn’t even come up with some new hole designs.
What’s perhaps coolest is that there’s actually a vague use for the Wii U Gamepad. In Golf, you put it on the floor, and it displays the ball on the tee – and you use the Wiimote to swing as before, but can more carefully align how you strike the ball. Clever.
One other new announcement was Dr Luigi, who is clearly not trying to live in Mario’s shadow, and has put himself through medical school, presumably driven by bitterness. It’s basically Dr Mario with L-shaped blocks. The difference here is that it’s faster paced than the podgier Mario, and chaining combos in multiplayer has a different effect – in essence, it will change the colour of your opponent’s capsules at the last second, ruining their ability to plan head. The glorified mobile phone game will be available from January 15th for a stonking £13.49 – and people wonder why Nintendo are struggling.
And finally, whilst there wasn’t any new specific announcements as far as I can tell, Nintendo did drop this trailer for Mario Kart 8 – the first HD iteration of the series.
So stay tuned – we’ll hopefully review the games when they’re released next year.