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LONG BLOG

Don't Call it a Comeback: Today's Nintendo Direct

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The latest Nintendo Direct dropped this morning and as soon as it was over, this was my immediate feeling.

Now that I've had a few hours to let the dust settle and thing about the announcements. I'm feeling more like this.

The Good

First thing is first. The New 3DS finally has a release date! Japan and Australia have been enjoying the new systems for quite a few months now, so it was only a matter a time before we got them but Nintendo remained rather coy about announcing a release date or any info on the system post it's intial announcement. I'm happy that the system is launching and it has two solid special editions on day 1, granted at this point it's near impossible to attain a Majora's Mask system. My only dissapointment from this announcement is that we're only getting the XL edition of the system. I was a really a fan on the Super Famicon buttons on the regular version and was looking forward to picking up that version. That said, I will definately be picking up a New 3DS before the summer arrives.

Oh well.

Second, new Fire Emblem! The hype is real right now. I was a huge fan of Fire Emblem: Awakening. I sunk numerous hours that should've been spent writing papers, doing homework, or even taking notes in class into adventuring with Chrom and company. The permadeath mechanic gave an intensity to battles that no game before or after has been able to replicate in my personal experience. My biggest regret is never seeing Donnel reach his full potential. He had so much in front of him dammit! So much life to live! Ahem. Sorry. Also,  the 3D was actually used to neat effect and the gameplay mechanics were tight, difficult and always fair. So news of a new entry in the series has got me very excited.

Yassss.

Third, Wii games on Wii U! I have to say that when it comes to backwards compatability Nintendo is killing it compared to it's competition. Playstation is still trying to figure what the hell to do with their Playstation Now service and Xbox One, at least to my knowledge, hasn't made any attempt to allow players to purchase Xbox 360 or Xbox games on it's digital store. Nintendo on the other hand has the extensive virtual console and the Wii U is capable of playing Wii games on disc. The ability to buy them straight from the e-store and elimating having to enter Wii mode is awesome.

Fourth, Nintendo's line up is looking really solid. From Monster Hunter 4, Majora's Mask 3D, Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Party 10, Donkey Kong vs Mario, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Puzzle and Dragons Z, there are some good titles coming out across both platforms. There was nothing shown that didn't look, at the very least fun. I still can't make heads or tails of Codename S.T.E.A.M but with the pedigree of the talent involved I'm confident that it'll be, at the very least, a solid if not notable addition to the 3DS line up. It looks like Nintendo is trying to make the gaps between releases, if not completely gone, substantially shorter.

The Meh

There was nothing, in my opinion, outright terrible about the video. All the announcements were for the most part cool. Though there were some things that were generally meh or worrisome.

First, Amiibo. I'm glad to hear that they've listened to the fans and are going to restock some of the characters that have all but disappeared from shelves. But! They then said something that left me a bit confused. They announced a Super Mario wave of Amiibo to be compatible with Mario Party 10. Then they showed the figures that would be releasing and they looked exactly the same as the Smash Bros. Amiibo. Granted, they added Toad but the figures looked the same. I didn't understand why they didn't program the Amiibo to work across multiple games. Maybe the chip in the figure isn't big enough or the tech isn't there yet but it's still kind of bad. I mean, if you're going to release a new wave why not make them aesthetically different? It could be a different pose, a different costume, something notable. Otherwise, it kind of ruins the collectability aspect. Why would someone want to collect the Super Mario wave when it looks exactly the same as Smash Bros? Outside of that it adds to consumer confusion. Does Nintendo honestly expect parents to differientiate between the Smash Bros and Mario Party figures when they look exactly the same?

Second, while the announcement of Wii games on the e-store was really cool it made me remember that Nintendo still haven't put N64 or Gamecube titles on the Virtual Console. They announced it was in the works and haven't said anything since. If they aren't going to make a new F-Zero I would at least like to be able to play GX on the gamepad.

Lastly, this isn't meh so much as it is just outright missing. The announcement of Fire Emblem made me remember that it's been two years since the announcement of Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei. Outside of the cryptic teaser they inititally released it has been virtually silent on news for the game. I'm huge fan of the Fire Emblem games and I'm an even bigger fan of the Shin Megami Tensei series in all it's iterations. So the idea of a crossover sent me over the moon. I assumed that the game would come out last year or that maybe this Direct would provide an update but no. With the announcement of new Fire Emblem it makes me curious if the game is even in active development anymore. I sure hope so, I don't want this game to simply be nothing more than a fanboy dream.

Where did you go?

Overall, this was one of the more solid Nintendo Direct's. It started the year off on a good foot and displayed that there is a lot to look forward to from Nintendo this year. Outside of a few missteps, I have to say that Nintendo is doing a good job of building off of the momentum they've gained in the last year.

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About Joe Juradoone of us since 1:13 PM on 12.12.2014

Hello! My name is Joe! I'm a writer, first and foremost in addition to being the host of GameTrip. But that's fine! I hope to present some interesting opinions and reviews on games themselves and the industry that creates them. Soooooo yeah! Hope you enjoy it.