Nintendo Direct defies April Fools, announces upcoming games and products

Last Wednesday, April 1, Nintendo released a Nintendo Direct, a short presentation about upcoming products and games coming to Nintendo’s consoles, the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. Despite the peculiarly chosen date, none of the games presented were an April Fool’s joke.

“Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U”:
Right out of the gate, Nintendo presented information about “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.” Mewtwo, a highly anticipated “Super Smash Bros.” DLC character, was showcased in his own character trailer. Fans of “Super Smash Bros. Melee” will be pleased to know that Mewtwo appears to have a very similar moveset as his appearance in that game. Mewtwo will be released early for those who took advantage of the Club Nintendo offer on April 15 and will be available for purchase on April 28.

Additionally several new costumes for Mii Fighters in “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U” were announced, including a Link outfit, Mega Man X outfit and Proto Man outfit. These costumes will be available April 15.

But perhaps the biggest news of the Direct came in the next announcement. Lucas, the player character from the Japan-only “Mother 3” and a fan-favorite character in “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” was announced as the next DLC fighter. Lucas will be available this June.

Furthermore Nintendo announced the Super Smash Bros. Ballot, a form on the official website that allows all players to voice their opinions on who should be added to “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U” as a fighter. Already thousands of players have voted in the poll, with characters such as Shovel Knight, Snake, Wolf, Bayonetta, King K. Rool, Shantae and Banjo and Kazooie being among some of the more popular choices.

Fans of Nintendo’s amiibo figurines will find a lot more use for their amiibo. Nintendo announced “Nintendo’s Greatest Bits,” a free download title that allows amiibo to unlock a demo of a Nintendo title from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) eras of games. The game an amiibo unlocks is randomly generated. As Nintendo President Satoru Iwata himself put it, “That way it’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”

“Nintendo’s Greatest Bits” will be available this spring.

“Mario Maker”:
“Mario Maker,” a game that allows players to create, edit and play their own Mario levels, will be released as a part of the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Players will be able to play their levels in four different graphical themes: “Super Mario Bros.,” “Super Mario Bros. 3,” “Super Mario World” and “Super Mario Bros. U.” Additionally players will be able to upload their levels for others to play online and can connect levels together so other players can play multiple levels in sequence. The game will release this September.

“Yoshi’s Woolly World”:
The next game in the Yoshi series, “Yoshi’s Woolly World,” features Yoshi in a world of yarn, allowing for new puzzles such as weaving platforms or unraveling yarn walls. A new feature announced for this game is called Mellow Mode, an easier mode that allows players to play as Winged Yoshi, who can fly around levels without having to deal with platforming elements. Additionally a Yoshi amiibo figure made entirely of yarn was announced and will have a unique compatibility with “Yoshi’s Woolly World,” allowing the player to play with an additional Yoshi. The game will release this fall.

A new intellectual property for Nintendo, “Splatoon” is an action shooter that is something of a cross between paintball and a third-person shooter, with the main objective being to cover as much of the ground with your team’s paint color as possible. New modes were announced, including Splat Zones, a king of the hill-style mode and Battle Dojo, a local one-on-one mode that allows players to train themselves on the stages of the game. Additionally three amiibo for “Splatoon” were announced: Inkling Boy, Girl and Squid. These amiibo will unlock exclusive missions for the game. Releases May 29.

Virtual Console:
The Wii U will soon be seeing many Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS games in its Virtual Console library. Several controller layouts are possible for both virtual consoles. Players who own a Nintendo 64 title on their Nintendo Wii can upgrade to the Wii U version for a discounted price. Currently the service includes “Yoshi’s Island DS,” “Super Mario 64,” “Yoshi Touch & Go” and “WarioWare: Touched!”

Upcoming games include “Donkey Kong 64,” “Mario Kart DS” and “Paper Mario,” releasing on April 16, 23 and 30, respectively.

“Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem”:
The much-anticipated crossover between the “Shin Megami Tensei” series and the “Fire Emblem” series only had a small trailer in this Direct. Nintendo of America Director of Product Marketing Bill Trinen described it as a game where “everyday life exists alongside a secret world of fantasy.” No release date was announced.

“Fatal Frame”:
The latest in the “Fatal Frame” series has the player control three characters at a cursed tourist destination. The Wii U gamepad will be used as a camera to both explore the environment and fend off hostile spirits. The game will release “later this year.”

Nintendo 3DS eShop titles:
“Box Boy!”, currently available for the 3DS, is a puzzle platformer where the player controls a block that can create duplicates of himself to solve unique puzzles. “Pokémon Rumble World,” also currently available on the 3DS, is a free-to-play game where players play as toy Pokémon that fight each other in real-time. “Puzzles & Dragons Z + Puzzles & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition,” available May 22, is a game containing two titles, each with similar tile-matching combat mechanics. “Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains,” available in May, has players taking on the role of one of many characters in the famous Attack on Titan anime series, taking down titans by themselves or with their friends.

“Code Name S.T.E.A.M.”:
“Code Name S.T.E.A.M.,” a recently released turn-based action strategy game, will be updated soon to provide a speedup button to decrease waiting time during enemy turns. Additionally Fire Emblem series amiibo, which are compatible with the game, will be restocked soon.

“StreetPass: Mii Plaza”:
“StreetPass: Mii Plaza” will be getting an update that will add two purchasable minigames soon: “Ultimate Angler” and “Battleground Z.” “Ultimate Angler” has players catching fish using bait gained from StreetPass hits, while “Battleground Z” has players using weapons gained from StreetPass hits to fend off a zombie outbreak. Additionally “StreetPass: Mii Plaza Premium” is a premium service that enables some extra features, including StreetPass birthdays and a Mii VIP Room. The update will be available April 16.

“Xenoblade Chronicles 3D”:
“Xenoblade Chronicles 3D,” a title exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS system, will feature the same gameplay and story as the original “Xenoblade Chronicles” on the Nintendo Wii, with several extra features such as a collection of 3D models and the ability to listen to the game’s entire soundtrack while in sleep mode. The game was released today.

“Fire Emblem”:
The next title in the “Fire Emblem” series (subtitle unknown) had a new trailer. Players will again have a player character take part in the battle, much like in “Fire Emblem: Awakening.” However the player character will take a more prominent role in this game, rather than being a secondary protagonist as in “Fire Emblem: Awakening.” Players will need to take sides in a war between two kingdoms: the peace-loving Hoshido and the glory-seeking Nohr. What makes the choice interesting is that the player character is born to the Hoshido royalty, but raised by the Nohr royal family. The Hoshido side is more traditional to the series, while the Nohr side is more difficult and more complex. The game is planned to release in 2016.

“Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer”:
“Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer” is an upcoming game that allows players to experience decorating houses for characters in the “Animal Crossing” series, without the need to do chores like in other games in the series. Additionally Nintendo announced a series of amiibo cards. These cards will function exactly like their figurine counterparts. The first series of cards will be for the “Animal Crossing” series and will unlock characters for “Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.” Also a NFC reader for regular Nintendo 3DS and 2DS consoles will be released alongside this game. The game, cards and NFC reader will be released fall 2015.

“Mario Kart 8”:
A trailer for the next Mario Kart DLC pack, featuring characters and a course from the “Animal Crossing” series, was displayed. The pack will include three new racers (Isabelle, Villager and Dry Bowser), four new vehicles and eight new courses. Additionally nine new Mii Racer suits, unlockable by certain amiibo figurines, will be added for free on the same day. Finally a whole new class of karts was announced alongside the free update: 200cc, allowing racers to race at speeds far faster than the current fastest class, 150cc. The DLC pack, new Mii Racer suits, and 200cc racing will be released on April 23.