The last time we had a Nintendo Direct was back in June. Since then, Nintendo has been relatively silent, especially with the unfortunate passing of Satoru Iwata, who was president of Nintendo, on the 11th of July (may he rest in peace). With having had time to respect his passing, and also to settle their affairs a bit within the company, they hit the ground running with their most recent Nintendo Direct.
The show was hosted by the loved Reggie Fils-Aime and also Bill Trinen. They had some really precious announcements to present, and I’ll discuss the most intriguing ones here.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD: They opened up with this announcement. Due to previous leaks, this news didn’t actually come as a surprise, yet is welcome nonetheless for Zelda fans. Similar to Wind Waker, they are completely overhauling the graphics to take advantage of the Wii U’s hardware, making it as gorgeous as possible while preserving the games charm and quality. Along with the game’s release on March 4th, there will be a new Wolf Link amiibo released. The game will also support the other Zelda series amiibo that are out, though how they are used isn’t completely clear yet. It’s also not clear if they will give us the choice of GameCube style and/or Wii controls. If you pre-order the game, they will include the soundtrack as well.
- The Legend of Zelda (Wii U): There was very little shown on this. All that they really said was that some data on the Wolf Link amiibo could be used in this game, and that this is planned for release next year during Zelda’s 30th Anniversary.
- Pokkén Tournament: While this fighting game being in collaboration with BANDAI Namco has been Japan for a few months, we finally got an official announcement for North America. It’s slated for Spring 2016, and if we purchase within the launch window it’ll come with a Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card that will unlock the character within the game from the start (it can be unlocked through gameplay otherwise). The game looks like a promising diversion from the main series, and will likely be the best show of what Pokémon battles would actually look like in real-time.
- Star Fox Zero: Many of us were sad when we found out the game was delayed, but the brief footage which showed off the transforming vehicles and some of the gameplay helped ease that sadness. The game looks very promising and will hopefully revive the series again. It’s slated for a final release date of April 22.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X: Among a plethora of really huge open-world RPGs like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3, Xenoblade Chronicles X is promising a world bigger than even Skyrim. Considering the high praise for the first game, this comes as very exciting news. During the Direct they showed off some of the mech customization and combat, while giving us information on installation. Due to the large size of the game, we have the option of installing extra items to speed up the efficiency of the game (similar to how you could install Peace Walker onto the PSP). It’s split into 4 pieces, enhancing various parts of the game. If you get the game digitally, this will all be installed together with the game automatically. Xenoblade Chronicles X is slated for a release on December 4th.
- Pokémon: In a surprise announcement, we will finally be getting some Pokémon games on February 27th. Red, Blue and Yellow will all be available and while the games are being preserved to be like the originals, they will be including a much needed enhancement: wireless trading and battling. This way the multiplayer features will still be preserved, which isn’t always the case with Virtual Console. Hopefully this will set a precedent for future classics that are released.
- Fire Emblem Fates: The next chapter in the Fire Emblem saga is going to be released in two versions. Rather than doing simple minor differences to milk the franchise, the story is actually going to be told from opposite sides of the war within the game, thus giving very unique perspectives. On top of that, they will be releasing a full DLC expansion called Revelation which will be playable on either version and will fill in some of the mysterious gaps that will be established during the story. If you want to get the whole package, then you can purchase a special edition for $79.99 which comes with both versions, the DLC, an art book and a 3DS XL pouch. Fire Emblem Fates will be releasing February 19th.
- Dragon Quest: Not only are we getting a remaster of Dragon Quest VII, but also Dragon Quest VIII. There wasn’t much information given on these, and all we know is that they are planned for first quarter of next year.
- FINAL FANTASY EXPLORERS: A new action-RPG for the 3DS which will implement the job system from the series into a brand new adventure. It’ll also have interesting abilities which will temporarily transform you into famous Final Fantasy characters. The game will come out on January 26th and will include all the DLC that has been released in Japan thus far with the purchase.
- Super Smash Bros.: Possibly the most surprising announcement, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII was shown off as the next DLC character for Super Smash Bros. There are a lot of awesome third-party characters, and he’ll be welcomed into the roster. He wields his signature Buster Sword and will be using many attacks from the game, including summons. He seems to have a sort of Limit Break that can be used in combat as well, though the details as to how this can be done are not clear yet. His Final Smash looks to be his all-powerful Omnislash. For Super Smash Bros. fans and Final Fantasy fans, this is a really exciting piece of news. We don’t have an official release date, but we were promised more big Smash Bros. announcements in December.
Keep in mind, this is only about half of the content that was shown during the Nintendo Direct, almost all of it promising. After a long wait, they managed to throw a lot of information at us in order to show us that they haven’t forgotten. There’s a lot of good content coming out in the next few months, and if they keep this momentum going this could be great news for Nintendo fans moving forward. It’s been a tough year, but things are certainly looking up. Check out the full Nintendo Direct below to see everything that was announced.