We've now kicked off into a New Year, and to get us going we've already published our feature for ten of the biggest Wii U games of 2015; now it's the turn of the 3DS.
While Nintendo has been going all out to emphasize a relatively busy 2015 line-up for Wii U, it's been a lot quieter with regards to the 3DS. If it wasn't for a hugely exciting Nintendo Direct reveal in November last year it'd be truly lacking. With that said, we do have a few serious big hitters due in the early part of the year, so the optimistic viewpoint is that Nintendo will flesh out releases for the second half of the year in due course, which was certainly the case in 2014. We do have the opportunity to feature some games that slid over from last year, a few eShop treats and one game that isn't technically confirmed for the West - we'll be amazed if it remains Japan-only, however.
As always you'll be able to vote for your choice in a poll at the end, so let's get to our list for ten of the biggest 3DS games on the way in 2015.
It's the remake that many have been demanding for the last few years, and it's set to arrive in Spring; it's safe to say that the official release date is eagerly anticipated. This second Nintendo 64 Zelda title is quite a departure from its famous sibling, adopting a darker tone, a more surreal approach and a high pressure doomsday scenario. Iconic and fully deserving of an opportunity to shine, we're optimistic that Grezzo will do a terrific job, as the studio did with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
The series that's an ongoing phenomenon in Japan will have another crack at the West, following on from the excellent Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. This'll be the first 3DS Monster Hunter title in the West to include online multiplayer, which is a vital feature of the previous entry on Wii U, while this promises a huge amount of content and new monsters to tackle. Other innovations in this entry include multi-tiered environments, aerial attacks and new weapons, so fans of the series should be rather excited for this one's arrival.
This was held back for a big reveal at E3 last year, representing a new IP from the strategy game masters at Intelligent Systems. It takes place in a peculiar world in which Abraham Lincoln is the President of Britain and assorted warriors (human and otherwise) are recruited to fight invaders. It features 3D environments and turn-based actions dependent on available steam power; we're looking forward to seeing more.
This series continues with its first 3DS iteration, as you explore a prehistoric land, searching for fossils and building a team of deadly dinosaurs. You can expect plenty of tapping and swiping on the touch screen to interact with fossils and the environment, while there'll be online battles to see who's discovered the most powerful beasts.
There's a peculiar tale behind this title, as it's actually Harvest Moon: Connect to a New Land in Japan, but due to XSEED not owning the naming rights in the West it was renamed. It's a different game - actually a predecessor - to Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, though for some this entry may be preferable as it's less of a departure from the series norms. It'll have a lot of focus on connectivity, however, and you can learn more about it from our E3 interview with Yoshifumi Hashimoto.
This is the speculative punt that we referred to in our introduction, as this Wii re-make - which is exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS - is only confirmed for Japan so far. We'd be amazed if this doesn't get a release for the new hardware in the West, too, simply due to the fact that the original has already been localised and the hardware will be available worldwide. If it coincides with Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U we'll be in RPG heaven.
This was originally planned for Fall last year, but as its creator Bertil Hörberg told us last year, he's "not the best at following schedules". We're inclined to wait patiently, in any case, as the budget-priced original was one of the gems of the 3DS eShop when it arrived in late 2012 / early 2013. We can expect more content, varied environments and some new play styles in this sequel; this is an eShop game to be excited about.
A surprising inclusion, perhaps, but this promises to take the terrific work of the DSiWare original to new heights. A powerful option to learn coding and create games with the BASIC language, this new entry will include more tools and allow you to easily add stereoscopic 3D support to your creations. The promise of publishing and sharing your games more easily with the online community is also rather exciting; for budding programmers and game creators, this could be a surprise hit on the eShop.
Renegade Kid had a 2014 of ups and downs, but the developer seems keen to have a strong 2015. We were tempted to list Treasurenauts, a platforming adventure that's been long awaited by fans of the studio, but opted for this late 2014 announcement instead. This is an enhanced remake of the DS retail release, with promised improvements to gameplay, 60FPS performance, autostereoscopic 3D and enhanced visuals. The 3DS isn't graced with many tense, atmospheric horror games, so we're hopeful that this one will scratch an itch for that genre.
This isn't the only 3DS eShop release on the way from Curve Digital, but we've opted for this one due to OlliOlli also coming to the Wii U store. Previously available on Sony platforms, this is a fun modern take on the Space Invaders template. It begins simply enough, but in no time you're taking in new environments and enemies while levelling up shields, weapons and more. Lovely pixel-based visuals are also a feature, so this should certainly be on your radar.
So that's our list for ten of the biggest 3DS games on the way in 2015; there are more eShop games confirmed, of course, and as was the case last year we expect Nintendo to pull more titles out of the bag with less notice than we typically enjoy with the Wii U.
Let us know what you think of this line-up with a vote for your favourite in the poll below, while you can share views and post your own lists in the comments section.
What's your most anticipated 3DS game of 2015? (736 votes)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Code Name S.T.E.A.M.
Fossil Fighters: Frontier
Story of Seasons
Gunman Clive 2
Dementium: The Ward
My choice isn't on the list
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