Nintendo Direct – 3DS Offerings
The ever-charming Satoru Iwata unloaded Intelligent Systems’ starting gun for the Nintendo Direct this morning.
New Fire Emblem for 3DS. After a brief cinematic, in which we see grand open spaces rollicking with the tide of armies on opposite sides of feudal-era-inspired weaponry, a man on a gilt-breasted, white-haired pegasus, a tachistoscopic rendering of masked faces and a dull-eyed golem constitute Nintendo’s intended aesthetic vignette for the enigmatic upcoming release.
It promptly cuts to a less opulent gameplay sequence, showcasing how the familiar mechanic from Fire Emblem: Awakening is mutating to accommodate updated graphical apexes and New 3DS controls. It looks very much as notable Fire Emblem history would lead one to assume, familiar vistas aiding the title’s youthful vigor to find a place in the franchise oeuvre for the latest generation.
Puzzle & Dragon – GungHo Entertainment’s hit mobile RPG/puzzle release – is coming to US shelves this year as a bundle of Puzzle & Dragon Z with the recently announced Puzzle & Dragon: Super Mario Bros. Edition. The vagaries of Puzzle & Dragon would seem to be consonant with the Mario & Luigi RPGs, the Paper Mario series and the somewhat non sequitur spin-off, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The dynamic keynotes of GungHo’s pet project looks to thread neatly the needle-eye aperture of Mushroom Kingdom aesthetic while not trying to violently shoehorn the Mario cast into alien environments beyond the pliability of their character molds.
As we mentioned in our sweeping editorial of 2014, Nintendo will need to begin an intensive lacquering of future titles with a first-party brush if they are to continue the current momentum in the hangover of an economically fiscal end to last year. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy was announced and expatiated on this morning in Nintendo Direct; alongside the improved controls and the vague mention of face-tracking 3D adding to the immersion of the experience, Nintendo seems to have ramified predictions of first-party emphasis – unique planes are shown with Mario, Bowser, Link and Star Fox paint-jobs, which adds considerable gravitas to the assertion that Nintendo will continue its renascence by piggy-packing on nostalgia and/or demand for fan-favorite characters and their accompanying myths.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D got a very brief once-over, with a short segment reporting the new developer and the comfortable transmutation of the Wii port onto New 3DS firmware. The title will be out April 2015.
Resident Evil: Revelations 3D and Moon Chronicles proving that the shooter can swim in the mutifarious ocean of ‘Nintendo-esque’ releases, Iron Fall: Invasion, an eShop release by VD-Dev, that seems to have robbed Gears of War of its grit and its gameplay. Six player online and local play will provide the plat du jour alongisde an “intense” single player campaign when the title blasts its way onto Nintendo’s release schedule in February.
Speaking of Moon Chronicles, Episodes 2, 3 and 4 will be made available separately or lashed together in the more economically efficient season pass from eShop this year. Renegade Kid has impressed so far with its unique blend of archetypal sci-fi story-telling, complete with sinister, mutated nasties, ebullient scientists and parodistic caricatures of un-cooperative military personnel.
Among the eShop releases worth noting, Gunman Clive 2, the successor of a much beloved flagship, makes a saloon-bar cadence laced return, showing just as little regard for historical accuracy as it pits cowboy against samurai in the 2015 release. Also high on Nintendo’s list of titles to retail in this Direct was Pokemon shuffle, which has little thus far to distinguish itself from myriad other puzzle titles. Another title making use of a familiar franchise, as with Ace Combat and Codename Steam, which was announced this morning to have Marth, Ike, Lucina and co. from Fire Emblem to exotify the roster with market-friendly faces from foreign Nintendo lands.
The quaint art-infused puzzle experience, Blek made an appearance, as did Citizens of Earth, an admittedly trite looking animated RPG and an entry in the Harvest Moon (Bokujou Monogatari / 牧場物語) series – Story of Seasons.
The Jurassic Park meets Pokemon mash-up, Fossil Fighters Frontier, also got light coverage. The vivosaurs snap and snarl their way in 3D onto this third installment, the first on 3DS. Players can now face off in competitive match-ups online in stadium contests with friends as well as engage in a vehicular-borne fossil finding cruise to resurrect primordial predators. The cursory demos and inchoate press looks quite shallow and slipshod, graphics aren’t excellent and the hackneyed tit-for-tat battle system looks stale; there is almost explicitly a demographic in mind, a minute coterie of paleontology inclined younger persons that will likely enjoy the accessible peculiarities we’ve seen so far.
Fans likely experienced heart palpitations of an acute variety when, in the perorations of today’s Nintendo Direct, screens were graced with a glint of Majora’s Mask branded New Nintendo 3DS hardware. As if the upcoming release, revealed to be February 13th, needed any more consumer hype, with limited runs of the game already sold out across Gamestops nationwide, the new console will inexorably be a neat tally on much-needed hardware sales for Nintendo in 2015.
Further information on the newest releases and the demo for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be up on eShop in the near future. Full Nintendo Direct footage from this morning here.