Nintendo appropriately chose Valentines Day to show some love for its fans via Nintendo Direct broadcasts, with a 3DS extravaganza in Europe and a mixture of the handheld and Wii U setting the agenda in North America. We live-blogged events of course, and then covered the big stories that emerged. Rather like January's Wii U Direct, Nintendo opted to go big with these broadcasts, unveiling key release dates but also previously unannounced titles.
As so much happened — to the extent that a number of the stories have already been pushed to the second page on Nintendo Life — we thought we'd once again give you a handy all-you-can-read buffet of the stories in one place. If you want to watch either broadcast again, meanwhile, simply jump to the end for the videos.
The Year of Luigi
Whether you were watching the respective broadcast in Europe or North America, the introductory section featured Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, in a rather dapper Luigi hat, declaring this to be the "Year of Luigi". After a solid 18 months when it seemed like Mario was everywhere, he's now only going to be almost everywhere, with everyone's favourite neglected sibling seizing the limelight. We'll leave some of the more questionable Luigi links for another section, but here's the Luigi goodness that we can look forward to — in addition to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, of course.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team brings RPG goodness this summer — OK, so Mario is in the title, but this is also the next entry in the famous RPG series featuring the brothers, games that were the definition of fan-favourites on Game Boy Advance and DS. A surprise announcement landing on 3DS this summer, Luigi is the central star as the adventure takes place within his dreams. If the charming footage is anything to go by, this is certainly one to watch.
New Super Luigi U to bring new life to Wii U launch title — New Super Mario Bros. U was a Wii U launch title that many picked up with their new system, though of course it meant that Nintendo had already played its "2D Mario platformer" card. As hinted by Nintendo previously, DLC is the answer, though the surprise news was that the new content would be New Super Luigi U, featuring 80 alternate stages designed to test your skills, all featuring the famous brother. Due this year, with the "Bros." dropped to reflect the green one's starring role, it'll be a "large scale" download that'll bolt into the main game, allowing you to switch at will between the new content and original retail release. We look forward to learning more about multiplayer options and pricing in the current months.
All new 3DS releases
Donkey Kong Country Returns, returns — A surprise announcement was the unveiling of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, a handheld re-make of classic Wii title Donkey Kong Country Returns. The original platformer was, in our view at least, a top-class platformer from Retro Studios, and its continual shifts of perspective from the foreground to background will suit the stereoscopic 3D perfectly. It's an announcement that prompted debate, however, as many would prefer a new game rather than a remake of a title barely past its third birthday. No release window was given, but it'll be interesting to see how well the Wii release translates onto the portable hardware.
Mario Golf: World Tour hits the greens this Summer — Joining the new Mario & Luigi RPG this summer is an all new Mario Golf title for 3DS, being developed by the mascot sporting Kings and Queens at Camelot. Courses will naturally draw inspiration from Mario environments, as the moustachioed one decides that golf is the sport of the day, after last year's tennis outing.
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move brings the cute to the eShop — A new 3DS entry in the Mario vs Donkey Kong spin off series sees the former foes team up, with cute mini toys of Mario, Peach, Toad and Donkey Kong taking on a huge number of levels, along with the now-customary level editor to beef up the package further — the trailer is below.
Splash or Crash falling onto the eShop — Known as Kersploosh! in North America, this one lands on the eShop on 28th February in Europe and 7th March across the pond; it's an action title with the quirky premise of guiding a stone down increasingly wacky wells. It's as peculiar as it sounds, which you can see in its trailer, below.
Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger moseying into North America — Arriving on 11th April in North America, this follow up to Dillon's Rolling Western features more action/tower-defence gameplay, though this time around Dillon will have greater support from other characters. The first entry was fairly popular, and no doubt a number of European gamers are hoping for an equivalent announcement soon.
Harvest Moon And Legend Of The River King both fishing for Virtual Console sales — Good news for fans of charming RPG experiences in North America, Harvest Moon and The Legend of the River King are coming to the 3DS eShop soon. Both are from the Game Boy Color era, and will be sure to have keen retro fans readying their funds.
Confirmed release dates
At last, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is dated for North America and Europe — Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been a smash hit in Japan, and we now have dates for its arrival in the West — North America on 9th June, and Europe on 14th June. That adds this title to what looks like a particularly active 3DS summer release schedule, and we expect social lives to be lost.
Fire Emblem: Awakening confirmed for Europe, along with a gorgeous 3DS XL bundle — With its recent arrival in North America, Europeans have been the odd ones out with Fire Emblem: Awakening. Now confirmed to arrive on 19th April, there'll also be a blue 3DS XL model exclusive to the region. We're counting down the days.
Code of Princess bringing the fight to Europe this Spring — Describing "Spring" as a release date is clearly pushing it, but considering rumours that this would arrive late in the year, we were pleased when Satoru Shibata confirmed this eShop "retail" title to arrive in the next few months; also one to consider if it's passed you by in North America, too.
Bundles, new features and everything else
Nintendo of America offers a free retail game if you splash the cash on a 3DS XL — After a promotion of a free retail download for 3DS XL owners in Europe, Nintendo of America has weighed in with its own offer. It's not quite as generous, as you have to register a system on or after Valentine's Day this year to qualify, as well as buy and register Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity or Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. One for XL newbies, or those who've simply forgotten to register their handheld to date.
Monster Hunter hardware bundles sinking their claws into PAL regions — Confirmed for Europe, Australia and New Zealand, there will be Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate hardware bundles for both Wii U and 3DS; the former will include a Deluxe system, Pro Controller and the game, while the 3DS XL model will be an all-new black design with a copy of the game pre-installed.
Zelda fans now have a home on Miiverse — While the Miiverse communities primarily exist for people to talk about games, Nintendo is broadening the scope to have themed areas, with this one in existence to talk about all things The Legend of Zelda; keep an eye out for Eiji Aonuma.
3DS Ciricle Pad Pro XL finally coming to Europe — Though arguably one of the ugliest add-ons conceived in recent times, the 3DS Circle Pad Pro is undeniably useful. Not surprisingly, considering the original version was supposedly the result of pressure from Capcom, the XL version finally comes West to launch alongside Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Confirmed for Europe, we expect it to also arrive in North America.
So there you go. Let us know what you thought of the various announcements, and by all means watch both broadcasts once again below.
Nintendo of America
Nintendo of Europe