Following Nintendo's latest Direct broadcasts, a much clearer picture of the upcoming goodies on Wii U and 3DS has emerged. It was pitched as a presentation to show off current-gen games in our near-future, and it delivered on just that.
Following on from our equivalent list for the first quarter of the year, we've decided to take the opportunity given to us from Nintendo's latest showcase to show just how many promising titles are on the way in the next few months. It seems we'll have some solid gaming choices on Nintendo hardware before the E3 centrepiece sets the stage for the second half of 2016.
So without further ado, let's look at some of the gems on the horizon.
Wii U and 3DS
It may not have '2' in the title, but it's shaping up to be an intensely challenging follow-up for fans of Renegade Kid's original action platformer - Mutant Mudds. Following the first game's break-out success on the 3DS eShop, in particular, this one's sure to get quite a bit of attention from download aficionados.
The next key release for the Wii U, this Pokemon fighting game spin-off - developed by Bandai Namco - arrives on Wii U after its debut in arcades around the world. The home console version adds online play, story elements and an assortment of extra modes, while first run copies will also come with a Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card.
Another late arrival in Europe following a previous North American release, this is a stylish music-driven RPG developed by the now-defunct Imageepoch. We rated this very highly and awarded it a 9/10 in our review, saying the following in its favour: "A fitting swan song for imageepoch and another gem in the 3DS' legendary RPG lineup, Stella Glow is smart, stylish, and seriously satisfying."
This portable version has had a greater focus from Nintendo so far - it includes local multiplayer, some limited amiibo support and the usual range of mini-games. There are some new sports in this iteration, and it'll look to continue the strong run for the series.
The E3 2015 reveal for this was blown ahead of time by Tecmo Koei, and this is certainly an interesting release. The cross-over / spin-off was popular on Wii U, and now arrives on the portable with all previous DLC included and new characters, such as Tetra and newcomer Linkle; there'll even be a Season Pass for four brand new DLC packs. There'll be more fairly skilful button mashing and seemingly endless levelling up to indulge in, and this will provide a welcome action gaming fix.
Wii U and 3DS
Also available from 25th March when buying amiibo figures from some retailers, this amiibo-centric title is the latest (spiritually, at least) Mario vs. Donkey Kong title. As expected scanning different compatible Mario-themed amiibo will give characters with different abilities, like a wall-jumping Mario or a Yoshi that can eat enemies. There's no European release window as yet.
Given headline status in the March Nintendo Direct, this co-development with PlatinumGames features alternate paths within stages and unlockable routes for the campaign. In addition there'll be co-op play in which one player flies and another shoots, while the Fox amiibo will unlock an awesome sprite of the SNES Arwing. Either as a separate release or in a bundle with Zero, Star Fox Guard revives 'Project Guard' in utilising the GamePad and TV for managing multiple screens, while there'll be online play and level sharing.
One of the year's most intriguing Wii U eShop releases, this is an online co-op action free-to-play title from Bandai Namco. The formula seems rather simple as you battle through areas to reach treasure, and it'll be interesting to see how the open beta and microtransactions work out.
Another welcome RPG sequel, this time with Square Enix stepping forward. Its predecessor was warmly received, with an attractive visual style combining well with the adventure, and prior to the sequel's release in Japan the development team emphasized that new ideas and a lot of content are included in End Layer. We loved this in our review.
Currently only confirmed for North America, this collection will come with nine games in total, with four of those appearing for the first time outside of Japan. SEGA's 3D classics are among our favourite eShop downloads, so at $29.99 this collection should be a treat.
This franchise has become a sales juggernaut for Level 5 in Japan, and following its North American debut in the Holiday season it'll finally arrive in the West. It has some similarities to Pokemon but also its own style, with a neat order-based approach to combat; we gave it a recommendation in our review.
Revealed in leaks and retail listings beforehand, this looks like a rather safe spin-off in the popular drawing series. The draw of IPs such as Mickey Mouse, Frozen and more is likely to be significant here, with this being the latest in Nintendo's efforts to promote the 3DS to the younger demographic, in particular.
In light of the sales success for Fire Emblem: Awakening and the record-breaking launch for this title in North America, Nintendo of Europe will be hoping for equivalent success. The key 'choice' brings two separate core campaigns, and a third will follow as DLC (along with a whole load of maps). We loved this in our Fire Emblem Fates review.
Release some time ago in Japan, this Game Freak title has players work through a normal game of solitaire on the bottom screen while a horse race is taking place on the top, with successful moves propelling your horse further up. It appears that there will be some light RPG elements in place, too; players will be able to level up horses and each horse will have special characteristics and abilities that determine how it performs.
Wii U & 3DS
This LEGO take on the hugely successful Star Wars film is coming to both Wii U and 3DS - not a huge amount is known, though it will feature some new story elements including one that'll be exclusive to the games.
Called Genei Ibun Roku #FE and critically acclaimed in Japan, this is a mash-up RPG that incorporates elements of Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. It's hugely colourful and undoubtedly intriguing, and will bring a distinct RPG flavour to Wii U.
Recently shown off by Nintendo, this HD iteration arrives later than the 3DS equivalent, but still in good time for the main event in Brazil.
Just recently revealed, this is the latest Kirby platformer for 3DS with the twist being that the mascot can use the enemy's mechanised robots against them. Team Kirby Clash allows co-op players to tackle boss encounters, while Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight and Waddle Dee amiibo figures will arrive with the game.
'Spring' / 'Summer'
This was given a major focus in the Nintendo Direct, with Nintendo keen to change the narrative on a title largely derided during E3 2015. A project that's been in the making for a number of years, it'll aim to bring co-op play and elements of RPG decision making - through weapons chosen and their role in battle - to the 3DS. It's considered an important part of the Metroid Prime series, whether fans like that or not.
An announcement very much expected after a trademark listing appeared online, this is the Western localisation of Monster Hunter X (Cross), an entry that introduces new Arts and combat styles into the classic formula. With Fire Emblem armour suits as one of what's likely to be many free DLC offerings, this'll be a must-have for 3DS-owning franchise fans.
A very welcome sequel after the positive impact of the first release from Inti Creates. Gunvolt's rival Copen is now a playable character and possesses the trait to copy all of the seven new boss characters abilities and use them as his own; it's looking rather slick.
So there you have it. We've not included every eShop game we're particularly keen on (especially as many still await final release details), so there's certainly plenty to look forward to beyond this list.
So, are you excited about what Spring and Summer are bringing to Wii U and 3DS? Have we missed anything blindingly obvious? Sound off and let us know in the comments below, and you can also express your support for a few of these games in the poll.