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Nintendo Direct – Wii U

While the focii of Nintendo Direct this morning were noticeably concentric about the 3DS, there was plenty in reserve to sate the home console crowd.

One of the more enticing tidbits revealed this morning was a catalog of Wii games scheduled to be made available for download on Wii U consoles in the near future. Mario Galaxy 2 and the Metroid Prime Trilogy are first from the diving blocks – an exclusive 50% off deal when purchased within two weeks of the respective release dates, or today for Mario Galaxy 2.

Amiibo compatibility was elucidated on at length for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Players will have access to extemporaneous upgrades via Kirby, Meta Knight and King Dedede Amiibo figures. The release date was confirmed for February 20th.

amiibo

On the topic of Amiibo, alongside the staple Super Smash Bros. series, Nintendo has released information about a new run of Super Mario Amiibos, with a distinctive red base and memorable characters from the Mario franchise. Nominal interactions include new replayability for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker with a Toad Amiibo providing a further largesse of pixel toad icons to find in each level. The Amiibo functionality was demonstrated at length for Mario Party 10, with new character-specific board stages bolstered by figurine functions.

Splatoon was italicized in this morning’s press. A Destiny-type open hub for player interactions and access to the games various local and online modes was revealed, as was the assiduous character upgrades, both combat-related and visual, vis-a-vis a stat system that can be purchased at segregated shops run by marine wildlife inspired shopkeepers. The weapon system – a class demarcation of primary, secondary and special weaponry was introduced. The title is shaping up to be a light-hearted jig to the tune of ‘Hang the Kaiser’; devilishly discreet shooter mayhem in the guise of a universally appealing overlay – if a tad scant on depth.

In the spirit of Nintendo’s trump card, Majora’s Mask 3DS, releasing February 13th, Hyrule Warriors is getting 2 new chracters, a new series of conquests and 3 new costumes as part of an exclusive Majora’s Mask DLC dropping February 5th. We saw Tingle, uncharacteristically belligerent, laying into enemy hordes from his buoyant confetti-filled balloon. Young Link will also take to the fray, wielding what appears to be a stylistically engorged version of the base sword from Majora’s Mask and unleashing the Fierce Deity Mask in ferocious combo variations. Of the three new costumes, it’s possible to make out Skull Kid’s silhouette. My guess is a skin for Sheik, as her costume would be the most appropriate drapery for the lonely imp’s frayed sartorial appendages.

Xenoblade X was another high profile launch this morning. The textures look rough at this point, but with such a vast expanse of alien world to render, it might be the best we can expect. The diverse ecology of Xenoblade’s brave new world was the focus, the camera panning laterally as characters jogged across icy tundras and grassy fields to snapshot the new grandiose vistas.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars was announced, with the all important ‘tipping’ feature explained as a kind of charity where you reward people who create maps so they can use the accumulated wealth of ‘tips’ on top of their own hoard to spend on better stage functions and create better maps. It’s also worth noting that when you purchase the Wii U version, you also get a DL code for the 3DS version and vice-versa.

For the full Nintendo Direct, click here.

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Austin Small

Austin Small

If not writing about or playing the latest offerings of over-dressed simians and over-enthusiastic plumbers, can be found still trying to conquer the Ghost Ship in Super Metroid.