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Feature: Nintendo Life's View - Wii U Direct

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Our team rather liked it

When Nintendo announced Wii U Direct earlier this week, there was a mixture of fevered optimism and slight negativity, with some predicting big reveals and others expecting little more than a few release dates and trailers. Even wording promising new Wii U games was met with caution by some, but there can be little doubt that Nintendo delivered some major announcements in the broadcast, covering a lot of significant bases.

Rather than provide an editorial to consider the broadcast and what it delivered, we've decided to let your humble Nintendo Life team do the talking together. A number of your writers share their thoughts and reactions below on what was a packed 35 minutes of video.

Tom Whitehead

It was only in December that I was writing about the possibility of Nintendo Direct broadcasts settling down, and that perhaps many of us needed to approach them with less expectation and excitable predictions. Even when it was confirmed "new" games were to be announced, I still tentatively expected a couple of eShop games and the odd teaser; it was a pleasing surprise to see that Nintendo returned to its blockbuster approach. I don't buy the "rumours were true" claims about new Zelda etc because, well, of course Nintendo is making new games for its big franchises, but I was pleased to hear that there was real progress, especially with 3D Mario and Mario Kart set to be playable at E3.

The news that really excited me was the unexpected announcements. Monolith Soft's release — evidently codenamed X — looks fabulous, in that the footage suggest a game world and play style as epic as Xenoblade Chronicles, but with some gorgeous visual effects thrown in; if it is a follow up to the Wii game canonically, meanwhile, I may lose myself completely. I'm also intrigued by the Fire Emblem/Shin-Megami Tensei mashup, which I'm tempted to declare a day one buy while knowing next to nothing about it. Yes, that's excitable fanboy talk, and I won't deny it, as that's the power of brands that are loved, trusted, and in the hands of world-class developers. Oh, and there's a much-wanted Zelda release coming this year, which definitely works for me.

Mike Mason

This month's Wii U Direct was probably the most impressive of Nintendo's online presentations so far. Since launch, the internet at large has seemed intent on chomping down on Wii U's neck, claiming that its line up is lacking and lamenting the absence of future titles. This peek behind the curtain at upcoming first party games was enlightening, encouraging and exciting — and it was indeed only a peek, with several titles mentioned for E3 showings and the output of other studios, or third parties, not hinted at at all.

I'm happy that Nintendo addressed several of the main complaints and wants of Wii U owners, such as OS speeds, Virtual Console and an expanded Miiverse. But what got me most interested was the indication of future games. The Shin Megami Tensei / Fire Emblem crossover is another example of Nintendo strengthening third party ties, while the HD remake of Wind Waker — possibly my favourite Zelda game — has me drooling. My wish of seeing a Yoshi game by Good-Feel has come to fruition also, but most of all I can't wait to see more of Monolith Soft's "X". Xenoblade is one of the only RPGs I've truly loved in years, and the first showing of the team's next title is very promising indeed.

I was never concerned about Wii U's future, but my anticipation is at a high right now. And we still have a year of Nintendo Directs and E3 to come.

Orla Madden

I didn't really know what to expect from Nintendo Direct this week, apart from the usual "this game we already know about is released at this time" or "here's some new details on this previously announced game". Last thing I expected was a Wind Waker HD remake - the Zelda fangirl in me jumped with sheer delight! The game looked stunning on the GameCube, I can't imagine how beautiful it will look in HD for the Wii U. I look forward to reliving Toon Link's title while I wait for the incredible Zelda adventure for the Wii U.

Nintendo is known to surprise us when we least expect it, and it sure did with the announcement of a new Yoshi game, Yarn Yoshi. I absolutely adored Kirby's Epic Yarn, so I can't wait to see how Good Feel takes the direction of Yoshi's new adventure. The game is still in early development, but I was happy with what I saw throughout the broadcast; I just hope it's a little bit more challenging than Kirby's woolly world.

Andy Green

Though there appeared to be a lot of new information revealed in the Wii U Direct presentation, I actually don't feel like there was a whole lot of news game-wise. Revealing that new Mario, Mario Kart and Zelda games are in the works is pretty exciting - but hardly surprising. That being said, I'm more than happy to hand over money for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD!

For me, the Wii U Virtual Console was the most exciting part of the showcase. I can't wait to play some classic games on the GamePad and the 'Trial Campaign' is genuinely amazing. The only issue I have is that the West isn't getting Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo in February; I'm already having to wait until April for Fire Emblem: Awakening, it's like Nintendo enjoys torturing me!

Philip J Reed

Personally I couldn't be happier. As a retro nut I'm thrilled about all the Virtual Console news. Yes...all of it! Bringing the GBA to the VC is thrilling on a number of levels. I do hope it comes to the 3DS VC as well, but I'm over the moon that I'll get to play all those great games again. I'm also happy about the upgradable Wii VC titles. I know folks don't want to pay again, and I understand that, but my outlook is that they did additional work on these games, so if you'd like to enjoy the fruits of that labour you have to pay for it. If you don't...you don't have to! You can still play the VC games in Wii mode. I know it's clunky, but it's there. Personally I'm happy to pay a buck to upgrade my favourite games, and for the rest of them I'll just deal with Wii mode. It's a win win, in my opinion.

Also, the Wind Waker remake: YES PLEASE. It's my third favourite Zelda game (right after Majora's Mask and A Link to the Past) and it's also got my vote for the single best looking video game ever made. I can't wait to get my hands on it again. Is it too much to hope for Super Mario Sunshine receiving similar treatment? Yes...yes it is. But a boy can dream...

Ron DelVillano

With the plethora of good news that was shared with us this week, it's a little difficult for me to pin-point what my favourite part of the latest Nintendo Direct was. JUST KIDDING. Wind Waker HD is an absolute dream come true, and I can't wait to see how gorgeous it's going to look. Plus, they're working on a new Zelda game as well, so WW HD is just here to wet our whistles and hold us over until something even bigger emerges. I'm beside myself with excitement over all of the love that us Zelda fans are receiving!

I'm also pretty excited about posting pictures of a very pants-less King Hippo on Miiverse as soon as Punch-Out!! drops on the Wii U Virtual Console in a couple of months. You've all been warned.

Marcel van Duyn

Kirby's Epic Yarn was a pretty cool game, so I'm excited for Good-Feel's yarn take on the Yoshi universe. Hopefully it's not as overly easy though! The HD Wind Waker remake came as a bit of a surprise to me - I was expecting a Majora's Mask remake for the 3DS before it, but Wind Waker is my second favourite Zelda game, so I can't complain too much! The screenshots looked pretty great, though I hope they tone down the bloom a little bit, that sun was way too bright.

For me the highlight came at the very end, though. Xenoblade Chronicles was a pretty self-contained game with an ending that leaves no loose ends, so I was absolutely not expecting a sequel. The title of this new Monolith game hasn't actually been revealed yet, but judging by the gameplay in the trailer, I'd be very surprised if it's not a Xenoblade sequel. It looked absolutely beautiful, and the world looks even more massive this time, which is great. It also seemed like there was an optional co-op feature, which is hopefully like Secret of Mana - three players going through the main quest together. If the game is any bit as long as its predecessor, that'd be awesome - an 80+ hour co-op adventure. It also looked quite polished, so maybe it could already be released at the end of this year?

Gaz Plant

Since the Wii U launched there has been one thing I’ve been asking for – give me games I want to play. It’s the reason I don’t own a Wii U and the main reason I don’t want a Wii U. In half an hour, Iwata changed all that. While I’m still not sold on the premise of Wii U, the fact that there are games en route, and quality first-party games at that, means that finally there’s a reason for me to own a Wii U. And you know what? I’m excited about owning one.

The highlight for me has to be the Wind Waker HD announcement; the reinvention of my favourite Zelda game would always be a cause for celebration, but to see what is already a stunning game looking better than ever is just amazing. I just hope the move to HD doesn’t lose the game’s cel-shaded heart. Close behind is the announcement of Yarn Yoshi, a game that will undoubtedly have a PEGI warning for an unsafe level of what scientists are calling “adorableness”, although I am hoping it moves away from the Kirby’s Epic Yarn gameplay style as development progresses. Two big games, two beautiful games, and the net result is that Wii U is looking a lot more appealing. And that’s before I mention Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Zelda...

Morgan Sleeper

I was pretty much grinning from ear to ear throughout the entire broadcast of this latest Nintendo Direct, but I nearly unravelled when I saw the footage of yarn-Yoshi on my screen. Kirby's Epic Yarn has been my favourite game of the last decade or so, and I was absolutely ecstatic to see a charmingly crocheted Yoshi carrying on that game's crafty conceit.

Wind Waker HD was another wonderful surprise, and I was very happy to hear about the Wii U Virtual Console too - $.30 games and a $1/$1.50 upgrade price from Wii versions sound like a good deal to me. All in all, I thought this was one of the best Nintendo Directs ever - Christmas in January for Wii U owners!


So there you go, some of our thoughts on this week's Wii U Direct, which succeeded in attracting headlines for Wii U as well as causing a fair amount of excitement. As always we'd love to know what you think in the comments below.

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User Comments (49)

Wonder_Ideal

#1

Wonder_Ideal said:

I was very happy with this Nintendo Direct. It put a lot of exciting games and announcments on my radar. Wind Waker HD looks amazing!

Supereor

#2

Supereor said:

^^^
I was ninja'd :(
On topic, I agree 100% with what everyone says! I'm very excited for each game Nintendo announced for their new system :D

Marks

#3

Marks said:

Nice article. I, too, liked this Nintendo Direct.
My favourite announcement was the Fire Emblem x Persona. :)

Lalivero

#5

Lalivero said:

Even though the Wii U getting GBA when 3DS hasn't even gotten the portable for VC(aside from ambassador games) is confusing as all hell, that ND shocked the hell out of me because of how much big news we got. Can't wait for E3!

I also can't wait for the next 3DS one!

drdark

#6

drdark said:

Next 3DS one HAS to come soon, and have news of 3DS GBA VC and MiiVerse [Iwata's already mentioned how fun Animal Crossing + MiiVerse will be, so it can't be THAT far off.]

This presentation was good. I love Yoshi :).

Nardar

#7

Nardar said:

I was pleased with it and confused as to why GBA isn't on 3DS. I know Nintendo doesn't want to upset Ambassadors, like me, but they could put GBA titles that aren't Ambassador games.

Hokori

#8

Hokori said:

@Nardar I was thinking for ambassadors they could give all GBA games to EVERY 3DS owners and once Miiverse and NN IDs come to 3DS they could give ambassadors a Deluxe Promotion to ambassadors only

WingedSnagret

#9

WingedSnagret said:

Freaking Smash Bros. was confirmed to be shown at E3, both Wii U and 3DS versions. That's good enough for me! :D

Shworange

#11

Shworange said:

I definitely thought it was one of the best Nintendo direct showings yet. There have been many that have been simple fluff, but we saw true delivery here. Also, I'm with you Gaz. There is some concern that the cell shaded originality will be lost in the upgrade. However I feel confident that those who created originality in the first place will lovingly craft it with honor, respect and from a fan's perspective.

miletich3

#12

miletich3 said:

So the bad news is... Zelda Wind Waker is coming to Wii U, but won't be a Virtual Console title for GameCube. The good news is it's getting an HD makeover! Wow.

Ryno

#15

Ryno said:

Yeah it was pretty awesome. Definitely brought back some much need Wii U hype.

misswliu81

#17

misswliu81 said:

terrific nintendo direct - my favourite one was last year's in september with the revealing of monster hunter 3 ultimate and bayonetta 2 as a wii U exclusive. but wednesday's nintendo direct blew my mind. lots of surprises and the yarn yoshi game looks great. that last game - possible sequel to xenoblade chronicles- looked stunning. it is like xenoblade 1 plus monster hunter. happy about the legend of zelda: windwaker getting a HD remake- i wanted a toon link-based zelda game after years with adult link, so this was a nice surprise.

smash bros, 3D mario and mario kart rounded up the best of what we got- i can't wait for smash bros when it is unveiled at E3 this summer.

in all, great presentation and so much to look forward to!

rjejr

#18

rjejr said:

Have to agree, lots of big news and it was presented in order of awesome, something that seemed backward at E3 - open with Pikmin 3 then spend way too much time on Nintendo Land. Having great news is great, but there's also something to be said for presentation. Job well done all around.

Peach64

#19

Peach64 said:

I think they made it seem bigger than it was. I definitely agree with Andy Green. Telling us that 3D Mario, a new Zelda and Mario Kart are coming isn't really news at all. If they'd shown footage, then it would be a big deal. This seemed more like a hastily arranged video to deal with the negative sales figures and lack of excitement amongst the general public.

I'm also kinda disappointed at the change in art style for Zelda. Wind Waker, upscaled in dolphin looks utterly gorgeous, and far, far better than what was shown in the Nintendo Direct.

However I was really excited by the Yoshi Yarn game. It looks gorgeous. It's making me wonder if they'll use the 'epic yarn' tag as a way to spin-off franchises, like the Lego games have. I could definitely see a Mario game in that style.

The Monolith game is great news too, and Wonderful 101 looked pretty nice, but I don't think this ND was anywhere near as epic as most people are seeing it.

Edgy

#20

Edgy said:

I'm excited by the new games and Wind Waker HD - but is it still the game that Miyamoto referred to as unfinished, or will we have some new dungeons to add to the originals?

BrightBeing

#21

BrightBeing said:

This is what Nintendo Direct was made for. Nintendo can give gamers jaw-dropping announcements in their own time. Just link: a decade or less ago, we would have had to wait for E3 for these announcements. Good job, Big-N!

Pixel-Perfect

#22

Pixel-Perfect said:

I didn't have time to watch it, but I'm very satisfied with the announcements. The highlight for me was definitely the Xenoblade sequel closely followed by the SMT/FE crossover. I'm a bit disappointed that the Wind Waker remake seems to be getting all the attention over these titles, but since I haven't finished the original I'm excited none the less.

shonenjump86

#23

shonenjump86 said:

Yeah, it was pretty good. I like the save states in VC games and a new Yoshi game is cool. Bayonetta 2, Rayman Legends, and Monster Hunter 3 will be coming soon so I might as well get a Wii U. Gotta admit though, was not excited for the Wind Waker HD or Wii U Party.

placidcasual

#26

placidcasual said:

So I was thinking about the gba vc..... Advance Wars on the wii u gamepad will be awesome beyond belief!

SparkOfSpirit

#27

SparkOfSpirit said:

I really do wonder what people who were disappointed were actually expecting.

13 games (but they can't be 3D Mario, Kart or Smash! somehow that's cheating!) released tomorrow?

Edgy

#29

Edgy said:

There were an extremely large amount of ports on the Game Boy Advance. Off the top of my head (and because I had them)

The legend of Zelda (NES)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
Bomberman (NES)
Gradius (I think) (NES)
Super Mario Bros. (NES)
Metroid (NES)
Donkey Kong (NES)
Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)
Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES)
Super Mario Bros 2 (SNES)
Super Mario Bros 3 (SNES)
Super Mario World (SNES)
Yoshi's Island (SNES - as Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES - with 4 swords tagged on)
Final Fantasy I & II (NES)
Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
Final Fantasy V (SNES)
Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
Excitebike (NES)
Ice-Climbers (NES)
Chu Chu Rocket (Dreamcast*)
Doctor Mario (NES)
The Lost Vikings (Megadrive I think*)
Castlevania (NES)
Aladdin (Megadrive and I believe SNES*)
The Lion King (which I believe to be a port of the SNES game)
and I'm sure many more. The point being that whilst there are a lot of new and original games on the GBA, a large number of the top sellers were ports of SNES games.

*Whilst not a Nintendo console, the Wii VC currently handles most of SEGA's systems :)

SparkOfSpirit

#30

SparkOfSpirit said:

^ There were a lot of non-ports, though. Heck some of the ports aren't even available on the SNES or Genesis VC. (Final Fantasy 1 and 2 aren't ports, they're ground up remakes and the best version of those games)

There's a lot of good stuff regardless.

banacheck

#32

banacheck said:

The Wii U VC i'm so hoping for Donkey Kong Country (SNES), Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES), Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES). Then there is the Demo next month Moster Hunter3 & release March, Bayonetta2 Pro Pad Controller please. Smash Bros, 3D Mario, the New Zelda, Rayman Legends out soon & Monolith Soft's "X". And there is more so Nintendo you've done us Wii U gamers proud.

Metal_Slugger

#33

Metal_Slugger said:

Zelda Minish Cap will be a dream come true if that comes to pass. It would be great to see an upgraded Mario Sunshine. Great stuff coming though that is for sure. I want it all! :)

ajcismo

#34

ajcismo said:

Enjoyed and impressed by Big N's broadcast, I'm almost fully under the impression they've righted the ship. Lets hope they continue to move forward with more Monolith and less Wii Music.

simbakitty

#35

simbakitty said:

I'm sad :( I HATE Toon Link! WTF! I refused to play Wind Waker on GC and I will have to avoid it once again. C'mon Nintendo give us a hardcore mature Link!

Edgy

#36

Edgy said:

I would be surprised if Minish Cap didn't see a VC release - What with Wind Waker getting a graphical update.

As for Donkey Kong Country games being ported - I'm not so sure they will now. We haven't yet seen the Donkey Kong Land games appear on 3DS Virtual Console, nor have any other Rare-developed games been re-released recently. I know Microsoft were a little relaxed (whether there were legal issues preventing them from interferring previously I'm not sure, but look how Nintendo seemingly blocked Goldeneye from XBLA release, maybe Microsoft are playing tit-for-tat), but didn't Nintendo recently pull the DKC games from the Wii VC? I've got a feeling that any Nintendo franchise game that Rare had involvement in will not see re-release and I seriously hope I'm wrong. :(

Jumanji_Arcade

#37

Jumanji_Arcade said:

Excited for Monolith's X but lost my mind over the ShinMegamiTensei X Fire Emblem announcment. Can't wait!

eviLaTtenDant

#38

eviLaTtenDant said:

They're doing some pretty amazing and unique things for Nintendo fans. With stuff that great out of the way before E3 maybe during that show they really can appeal to other gamers as well this time. If they're not already intrigued enough by Bayonetta 2 that is.
And yes, i also want to Yoshi Yarn to be a wooly different game than Epic Yarn.

OdnetninAges

#39

OdnetninAges said:

This is going to be a very good year for Nintendo. Can't wait for Yarn Yoshi and Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Emaan

#40

Emaan said:

Like I said before: This Nintendo Direct, along with the Pokemon announcement of X and Y, will go down in history!

LightSuitGuy

#42

LightSuitGuy said:

Alot to look forward to once I finally get a Wii U. Bring on Mario U, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros.! (Hopefully Metroid or F-Zero too...)

E3 '13 can't come soon enough!

Marioman64

#44

Marioman64 said:

@Nardar wait, why would ambassadors be upset if they released game boy advance games on the 3ds eshop? we got the games for "free" and everyone else would have to pay ( i say free like that because we paid extra for our 3ds's, but I think we still "saved" money getting all those games free)

eltomo

#45

eltomo said:

Will deffo be buying the Wii U this year. As soon as a newer model with more space is out!

Bobhobob

#46

Bobhobob said:

I never got to experience Wind Waker, so to say I'm excited about the remake would be an understatement.
3D Mario sounds epic, could it be... SUPER MARIO GALAXY 3?
New Zelda sounds cool, back to it's roots! That means DUNGEON FUN TIME! But new art style? What could they do? Have everything painted like in that one level in NSMBU?
The Yoshi game seems cool and all, but I won't be excited until later in development when it is more advanced. I mean, there wasn't even any music for the game yet! It'll be a long way off.
SMASH BROS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111189721!!721!
I hope the 3DS one is different from the Wii U one so that I have an excuse to get both versions.
I'm quite possibly most excited about new Mario Kart. Just thinking what they could do with the gamepad... it leaves me drooling. Maybe they could throw in a track maker like in LittleBigPlanet Karting(Racing? whatever.) I hope that they don't make it overly easy, like MARIO KART 7, and GIVE MORE CHARACTERS THAN MARIO KART 7! (Don't get me wrong, I love Mario Kart 7!)
Also, that X game seems cool.
And I'm officially sold on The Wonderful 101.
SORRY FOR LONG POST
/RANT

Edgy

#47

Edgy said:

Ambassadors wouldn't be upset - speaking as one myself. I got 10 games for free for GBA (albeit, most of them ones I already paid for on the GBA...but that wasn't the point). I would be happier to see more GBA games including those originally given exclusively for early buyers of 3DS appear on the 3DS VC.

TheRealThanos

#48

TheRealThanos said:

@eltomo
Yeah right, have fun waiting for that.
Wouldn't hold my breath though, if I were you... ;)
Just buy a portable HD, like you're supposed to if you want more storage space. And it's a far cheaper option at that, so why wait?
Making yet another version of the Wii U with more storage memory will only make it more expensive, so that's really not going to happen.
ON TOPIC:
To all the 'GBA coming to Wii U and not to 3DS' whiners: stop complaining, playing these on the Wii U controller will be far superior to the 3DS, while STILL giving you a handheld experience (although it won't be on the move, probably the biggest 'issue' for you people that I can come up with) and besides that, NOTHING concerning GBA titles NOT coming to 3DS has been announced yet, so maybe they will still be mentioned in the 3DS Nintendo Direct that is still to come, who knows? Nintendo have certainly started the party big time with this Nintendo Direct, so they may as well continue in the same fashion on 3DS, so let's stop crying until that has been revealed, okay?
@Spark_Of_Spirit
That first sentence said it all; you seem to be one of the few people that sees things from a glass half full perspective instead of complaining about what you're not getting.
@placidcasual
Couldn't agree more. One of my all time GBA & DS favorites.

BossBattles

#49

BossBattles said:

Replayed WW after my playthru's of skyward sword, but will be 100% excited to play it again late this year, especially if they add the dungeons that were cut originally.

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