By Connor Weller, January 23, 2013
Well, that was quite the pleasant surprise. You may remember the Nintendo Direct which was happening today. Well, it's happened, and there was a certainly a fair few heavy-hitters in the lineup. Here's a summary of what happened today:
- Virtual Console will be coming in a Spring Update. This update will also speed up the system, however certain Famicom games will be available before launch for £.30 starting today (Balloon Trip). Games you have on Wii VC can be re-bought on Wii U VC for £.99 ($1.00 USD) if NES or £1.49 ($1.50 USD) if SNES (no word on other systems yet). In addition, the Virtual Console can be played on the Gamepad only, and as such will include the GBA, amongst other platforms (though what other platforms is still a mystery)
- Miiverse is undergoing some revamps, namely allowing for users to create communities and more than one community per game. In addition, selected users verified by Nintendo can upload links to other pages or embed YouTube videos.
- A Wii U Party-esque game will be launched in the Summer. Dice Rolling and Baseball were shown, expect more details soon.
- Speaking of more details, we shall be seeing Mario Kart, 3D Mario and Smash Bros. for Wii U at E3. It's already shaping up to be a great one for Nintendo.
- The long-rumoured Yoshi's Land is an actual thing, and was shown off today. Made by the team who produces Kirby's Epic Yarn, the art style is very similar. It's a 2D platformer, but that's about all we know.
- Other games which we already knew about were fleshed out a bit, mainly Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2. Both seem to be shaping up nicely, and you should be able to get your hands on them sooner as opposed to later.
- A new game in the Fire Emblem series will be released on Wii U; it will be a crossover with Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei series. Little given on this but a teaser trailer, but expect the usual Fire Emblem SRPG system. That's not a bad thing.
- Whilst waiting for the new Legend Of Zelda game for Wii U, you'll be able to buy Wind Waker HD, which will be out in August. It will have re-balanced gameplay features, as well as an updated artstyle (see above), the ability to play on the Gamepad only and Miiverse compatability. It certainly looks good, and hopefully it will play just as well as it did originally.
- Sticking with Zelda, the Wii U Zelda is clearly a ways away yet, but hints were dropped as to the direction of the series. The new game will aim to "challenge the Zelda conventions", namely it being a single-player, linear progressing game. Is this a hint of a multiplayer mode with an open world? We'll have to wait and see on that one.
- Finally, perhaps the best bit of news to come out was the reveal of Monolith's new project. A gameplay video was shown, and let's say it looks truly special. Following patterns laid down by their most recent game, Xenoblade Chronicles, this title shows the protagonist exploring a huge, beautiful vista and battling giant enemies with a battle style not dissimilar of Xenoblade. Little else was given away, but hopefully we won't have to wait as long for it to come overseas as its predecessor.
For more details, check out the official page here. It's fairly safe to say, though, that this was a pretty good day for Wii U owners, and those interested in the system. More news as we get it.