As you may have gathered from our Nintendo Direct live blog yesterday, we don't speak Japanese. Thankfully, Nintendo Life reader and Japanese resident Jeremy Thain (also known as Tsuchinoko) was kind enough to provide this in-depth guide to the presentation. Enjoy!
Jeremy Thain: As it is the end of Summer break, and the start of a new school and working season for many people in Japan, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata decided to treat us to a Nintendo Direct not from his usual spot within the offices of Nintendo itself, but closer to where all the festival action is taking place in the birthplace of Nintendo: Kyoto. Yesterday's Nintendo Direct took place on the same day as the famous 五山送り火 (Gozan no Okuribi - Send-off fire from Five Mountains), so Iwata treated us to a view of the most famous of these fires, the Daimonji (大- Dai meaning large).
Iwata talked mainly about 3DS titles debuting from after June, both explaining further those that have already been released, and giving information about titles yet to come out.
To start off, Iwata gave us information regarding Culdcept (カルドセプト), a board game/card trading game which was released on the 28th of June. This title was announced during the previous Nintendo Direct. To further expand upon the information given previously, Iwata explained that there will be a national All Japan Culdcept tournament to be held on the 3rd of November. He then went on to explain that there will be a special edition Culdcept 3DS to celebrate the tournament, as well as a special card available to download for those with internet access. Further information on entree details and contest results, as well as game rules will be announced on the Culdcept Twitter page.
Next up was information on Pocket Soccer League: Calciobit (カルチョビット, a joining of Calcio, the Italian word for Soccer, and ちょびっと, an uncommon Japanese slang word meaning "a little"). The title was released on the 12th of July. To start, Iwata told us that from the 31st of August until the 13th of September (the same day that the special Big Mac 3DS Puzzle will end), all McDonalds in Japan will host a "McDonald's Cup" through their マックでＤＳ (Mac de DS) service, with special content for owners of the game. The McDonald's Cup will be a way to see the ranking of all the other players throughout the country. Also, during this time, there will be a "ranking tournament", and those in the top ranks by the end of the McDonald's Cup will receive prizes, including a special 500yen McDonald's gift card. He then went on to give us information about the special teams available through Spotpass consisting of famous Soccer players, and that there will also be special teams consisting of members of the Nintendo development staff.
Next Iwata showed us one of the special Kirby goods meant to help celebrate the 20th anniversary: the new Kirby Bead Cushion. This and other goods are available as items in the Japanese Club Nintendo store. He also showed us the special Kirby badges, the Kirby Wii disc case, and Kirby cards (that are round, not the regular rectangle shape). Then he told us that Kirby's Pinball will be available on the 3DS Virtual Console once the Nintendo Direct presentation is finished.
Then came an explanation of New Super Mario Brothers 2, which was released on the 28th of July. As of August 27th, the world coin total was 57,629,071,258. He stated that this was reached quicker than they anticipated, and they were very surprised. Then came an explanation of Coin Rush mode, with new methods and techniques for collecting coins. New coin rush modes will be coming soon.
Next he presented us with information on Dragon Quest X (目覚めし五つの種族, Awakening of the five tribes), which will be a unique online Dragon quest title for the Wii. To supplement the title, on the 22nd of August a special app will be available for download on the 3DS. This title will be called 冒険者のおでかけ便利ツール (Adventurer's Convenient Outing Tool). This will be directly connected with the Wii game. For those that have the Wii title, a special code will be given for use on the 3DS eShop for downloading the game for free (it will not be available to those without the code). Using this supplemental game, players can check the status of and affect the goings-on of the main game from their 3DS, and use a live camera to look in on the characters. Points can be obtained through Spotpass and used in the 3DS tool and main game. Iwata then informed us that in addition to the sub-quest 1 that was made available on the 27th, sub-quest 2 will be available from August 30th. New sub-quests will be made available as time goes on.
From this point in the presentation, Iwata talked about games that will be coming out from September onwards, mainly from third-party publishers.
Starting off, he introduced us to Medarotto 7 kuwagata and kabuto versions (kuwagata and kabuto and two different kinds of beetles). The game is an action game involving robots bugs. This title has been completely revamped for the 3DS. Local multiplayer will be available. Additional items and parts for the robots will be available through spotpass. There will be over 700 different parts for the robots in the game. The game, from Rocket, will be released on the 13th of September.
Next came information on the long-gestating Bravely Default: Flying Fairy, from Square-Enix. With over 20 jobs and 300 abilities, the game is meant to be very customizable. Clothing and jobs can be based on white or black magic, and this has an effect on the character's defense or offence stats. Also, through Spotpass, players can link friends to their characters in the game through the Abi-Link system.
Iwata also gave an explanation on the Brave and Default system, which sacrifices or saves turns so that they can either be used in succession in the current turn, or in later turns. For example, if the player chooses to have three successive turns, their next several turns are sacrificed and the enemy characters get to have multiple attacks in a row. Players can also sacrifice turns so that they can build up points and use them later for multiple attacks. Enemy characters can also use or save points for multiple hits, making for a very complicated, thrilling battle. In this game, timing is very important.
Until now, there have been four demos available for download on the Japanese eShop service, and coming soon, a fifth and final demo will be coming in anticipation for the release of the game, which is set for October 11th. For the presentation, a video for the game has been made, to be shown after the main presentation.
Next was Project X Zone, from Banpresto and Namco Bandai. This game includes many characters from Namco, Capcom, and Sega franchises. The game is a grid-based RPG. Teams and abilities can be customized, and over five characters can be used in a team. To further the chaotic experience and fast-paced battles, many animation sequences will be shown during attacks. The game will be released on the 11th of October.
Next, as was hinted in the last Nintendo Direct, was information about AKB48+Me, a game featuring the ridiculously popular girls band AKB48, made by Kadokawa Games. The player plays as a researcher following the band for a period of three years, and focuses in on the popularity rating and success of the girls. The player also gets to use their own Mii and join in on the band, getting to see what kind of member they could be if they were to join. Using the actual Miis made from members of the band, the player also gets to join in a rhythm game based on some of their popular songs. The game is scheduled to be released on the 25th of October.
Next, a video advertising Inazuma Eleven 1 2 3!!, a compilation game that gathers all of the DS Inazuma Eleven titles together in one package. The video has been optimized for the 3DS screen, and there will be a new museum mode, which will include the videos for the opening and ending credits to the anime, as well as many other extras. The game is made by Level 5, and is scheduled to be released on the 15th of November.
The next video was for action RPG game EX Troopers, from Capcom. The game is meant to emulate the feel of an action anime film, and will be sold from the 22th of November.
Naruto SD Powerful Shippuden, from Namco Bandai Games, was the next game introduced. The game combines the main Naruto, as well as other characters from the game. Battle is done with the touch screen. The game is scheduled for sale in the winter.
The presentation then switched to Hino, a CEO from Level-5. He introduced us to レイトン教授と超文明Ａ遺産 (Professor Layton and the Great Civilization "A" Legacy). He stated that the game was just completed, and presented us with a special video made for the presentation. He then said that the game is meant to be the biggest of the franchise, and that there will be many twists and surprises in the story. It is scheduled to be released sometimes in 2013.
From there in the presentation came information regarding first-party titles being released from September.
First up was New Art Academy (新絵心教室, New Artistic-taste classroom). This game will feature a free-paint mode, and will be one of the next titles to be simultaneously available as a download title on the eShop. One of the big features will be the ability to use the 3DS camera to take a photo and use that as a template for a drawing. Then came a presentation on how to use the game by horror Manga artist Umezu Kazuo (whose works include The Drifting Classroom). Iwata also said that the game saves to the SD card to allow for more paintings to be stored and easily transferred to other media such as blogs and digital printers. The game is available for retail and download from September 13th.
Also presented was わがままファッションＧｉｒｌｓ Ｍｏｄｅよくばり宣言 (Selfish Fashion Girls Mode, Greedy Declaration). The player becomes a clothing store manager, who tried to make the best store possible. The clothing, interior and store window can all be customized. Men's fashion is also available. The player can also dress a model with their fashions to be presented in a runway show. this title will be available for retail and download from September 27th. A pink and white 3DS LL (XL in the west) will also be released on the same day.
Next, とびだせ動物の森 (Rushing out, Forest of Animals, which I think will be called Animal Crossing: Coming out), was the next game introduced. The player quickly becomes the mayor of a village, and has to make many desicions on how the village should be run and designed. The game runs on the same calender that the players 3DS is using, but the player can chose what kind of village he is running, such as a village that sleeps early, or one that runs 24 hours. Like in previous titles, the players home and clothes can be designed to fit his/her style. Clothing can also be obtained through Spotpass or QR codes. The game will be sold from the 8th of November.
Next was Paper Mario: Super Seal (Stickers are called "seals" in Japanese). The game uses stickers in various ways, either as weapons, or items, and some can be presented as small puzzles that the player must solve in order to proceed. The player can also use items they find to make new stickers. The game uses RPG elements, similar to earlier games in the franchise. The game is scheduled to be released at the end of the year.
Also for release this year:
- Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers and Senran Kagura Burst on August 30th
- Lost Heroes from Namco Bandai on September 6th
- Medarotto 7, Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd, and New Art Academy on September 13th
- Wagamama Fashion Girls Mode and Pink+White 3DSLL on September 27th
- Project X Zone and Bravely Default: Flying Fairy on October 11th
- AKB48+ME on October 25th
- Tobidase Doubutsu no Mori (Animal Crossing 3DS) on November 8th
Then came a quick presentation on 3DS eShop titles.
First was Denpa Ningen RPG 2. In this game, the Dempa Ningen can be further customized, and there are a variety of new mini-games. Available from September 26th. A demo for the game will also be released.
Next was Rhythm Hunter: HarmoKnight, from the makes of the Pokémon series. This is a action rhythm game. HarmoKnight will be sold on the eShop from the 5th of September.
Iwata ended the Nintendo Direct showing his own creations from the upcoming 3DS version of Tomodachi Collection, due for release in 2013. He also teased a new weapon that will be available in Monster Hunter 4, due for release in Spring of 2013.
Well, that's it. Are you looking forward to any of these games? Many of these games have the potential for a worldwide release, so keep your fingers crossed!