The Average Gamer

Nintendo Direct Highlights: January 2015

Here’s everything you need to know from today’s Nintendo Direct in handy written form, plus a few videos.

New Fire Emblem. It’s coming to 3DS from Intelligent Systems (Fire Emblem: Awakening) with character design from Kozaki Yusuke and the story by Shin Kibayashi. There’s no official English title for the game yet.

Puzzle and Dragons Z and Puzzle and Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition. These two games will be bundled together in a single package coming out in May 2015. They appear to be match-3 combat games set in the worlds of Draconia and the Mushroom Kingdom, respectively. You’ll be able to customise your team and travel through the themed worlds to take on an array of enemies in violent, match-3 combat.

Pokémon Shuffle: This match-3 battle game will be available for free on the Nintendo eShop from February 2015. You have a limited number of moves for each battle so use them wisely. Collect pokémon and evolve them for new match battle powers.

Wii U Software Update for Wii: Wii games will now be available in the Wii U menu. Some games which previously required the Classic Controller can now be played on the Wii U GamePad.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 should be available now from the eStore now. PunchOut will be there from 22nd January and Metroid Prime Trilogy from 29th January. Each of the three games will be on sale for half price in the week of their release.

Splatoon: Nintendo revealed the central hub that connects the game modes – a 3D plaza filled with Miis from Miiverse and looks suspiciously like PlayStation Home. Run around the plaza to find the weapon and clothing shops that let you customise your “inkling”. Clothing will affect your stats – strength and speed. As well as buying hats, shirts and shoes, you can customise your loadout, or “set”, as it’s called in Splatoon. Each set has a main weapon, a sub weapon and a special weapon that causes huge amounts of damage once you’ve charged up your meter.

Splatoon will be out in May 2015.

Hyrule Warriors: The Majora’s Mask DLC Pack will be out on 5th February. This will add Tingle (complete with disturbing dance), Young Link, a new adventure mode map and three additional costumes for characters already in the game.

Xenoblades Chronicles X: A new trailer showcases a few locations around the world. The game will be out some time in 2015.

Mario vs Donky Kong Tipping Stars: This puzzle-platformer has you guiding adorable clockwork Mario characters to the level exits. You can create your own levels and download levels created by other players. Completing levels earns you stars that you can use to purchase new level design components. You can also tip the creators of levels that you like by sending them your stars.

It’s coming out on both Wii U and 3DS as a crossbuy purchase. Buy the Wii U version and you’ll get a download code for the 3DS version, and vice versa. This will be available from 20th March.

Miiverse: Marty, the Miiverse guide will be replaced by new Miis, Chris and Erika. Here’s Marty’s retirement song and their introduction video. Marty is going to the moon. Seriously.


New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL

The New Nintendo 3DS will be available in black or white, while the New Nintendo 3DS XL will come in black or metallic blue. As with the Japanese versions announced back in August, the smaller version will have changable cover plates that let you easily customise the outside of your handheld console. There will be 12 sets of cover plates available at launch, with more coming in the future. You’ll also be able to buy black or white charging cradles to hold your New handheld.

New Nintendo 3DS and XL

Both New handhelds include an NFC sensor, so you can use it with your Amiibos. They also have better CPU performance. Nintendo will continue to support the current 3DS family but also plan to release some games that will only work on the New 3DS in the future. If you have a current 3DS, you’ll be able to transfer software and data onto a New model, so better start saving for that upgrade.

The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL will both be out on 13th February 2015.

[I really wish they’d picked a less awkward name for this thing.]

Nintendo Anime Channel: This new video-on-demand channel will be available across Europe on Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS. It will launch with Pokémon, Kirby and Inazuma Eleven anime, and more to come in the future. Download the free app from the Nintendo eShop from 13th February.

Codename: Steam: A strategy game set in a steam-powered world. Each agent has a special attack that doesn’t consume steam. The game supports Amiibo figures from Fire Emblem. Marth, Ike, Lucina and Robin will appear in the game as guest characters upon using your Amiibo and help out in battles by using their Fire Emblem weapons and special attacks. The game will be out on the eShop from 15th May.

Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+: This is essentially the original 3DS game with a few feature additions for the New handhelds. This version has stereoscopic 3D visuals and compatibility with the C stick, ZR and ZL buttons. Also “collaborations” with Mario and Bowser. It supports Amiibo – Luigi, Fox, Link and Peach will unlock special jets themed to their characters. This will be out in February 2015.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: There will be a special MH4U version of the New Nintendo 3DS XL coming out when the game launches. A demo of the game is available now, with codes sent out to many Club Nintendo members today. This will include all 14 weapon types usable across 3 levels of the game and has full local and online multiplayer functionality. The game is compatible with all consoles in the 3DS family and is launching on 13th February.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D: This release of the game will be exclusive to the New 3DS and New 3DS XL. This includes a bonus mode that allows you to view 3D models of the characters and listen to the soundtrack. It will be out on 2nd April 2015.

Majora’s Mask 3D: This new version will have improved graphics and extra features for 3DS. There will be a special edition hardware bundle with a gold Majora’s Mask-themed 3DS XL. This will launch on 13th February alongside the New handhelds and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

Ironfall Invasion: This is a first-person shooter for all 3DS handhelds.

Amiibo News

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. This game will have Amiibo support. Once a day you can give Kirby a power-up on a single stage by tapping select Amiibo to the GamePad.

  • Kirby: Allows you to use his star dash whenever you want.
  • King Dedede: Give you a hat and six health bars instead of the normal four.
  • Meta Knight: Gives you the Meta Knight hat to increase your tap dash speed.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse will be out on 20th February.

Super Smash Bros Amiibo Nintendo Direct Jan 2015Super Smash Bros will get 11 new Amiibos in February.

Mario Party 10 will get a bunch of Mushroom Kingdom Amiibos at launch. The game will have a separate Amiibo game board with its own set of minigames and you’ll need Amiibos to access it. A limited number of Mario Party 10 bundles will come with the Super Mario Amiibo. Since Amiibos can only hold data for one game at a time, if you want to use your Super Smash Bros Mario Amiibo for Mario Party 10, you’ll have to erase the Super Smash Bros data.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker will get a software update to add Toad Amiibo functionality. Touching a Toad Amiibo to the GamePad’s NFC sensor will add a tiny Pixel Toad to each level of the game. You’ll have to track him down.

Information on which games work with which Amiibo is available on the Nintendo website Amiibo compatibility page.