Nintendo just wrapped the broadcast of its latest Nintendo Direct, and since the Wii U is enjoying an early retirement and the company still isn’t ready to talk about its next console, this edition of its beloved news blasts was all about what’s next for the 3DS. We got new looks at lots of upcoming games, including the new Pokémon installments, Phoenix Wright’s latest legal adventure, the exotic role-playing action of Ever Oasis, and the remakes of Dragon Quest VII and VIII. There were a handful of unveilings as well, the biggest news being that two Nintendo favorites are making their way to the 3DS for the first time, albeit it in a somewhat altered state.
First came the news that Super Mario Maker, one of Gameological’s favorite games of 2015, is making the leap to Nintendo’s handheld. While they’re still able to build their own Mario levels from the same toolset as the original Wii U release (except for the transformative “Mystery Mushrooms”), 3DS players can’t upload their creations and share them with the world. You’ll be limited to passing them between friends in your immediate vicinity, which not only defeats much of the game’s purpose, but also puts the wise asses who make infuriating obstacle courses in physical danger. You also can’t browse the game’s vast library of user-created levels or search for a specific one using its ID number. Instead, you’re limited to Nintendo’s “recommended courses” list and the 100 Mario Challenge mode, which feeds you a handful of randomly selected levels. This new version of Super Mario Maker is scheduled to be released on December 2.
On a more promising note, Nintendo also announced the first ever portable Pikmin game. In its transition to the 3DS, the series is making some big changes. Instead of the top-down strategy game of Pikmins past, this 3DS installment is moving to a side-scrolling 2-D format. Looking like it’s taken some inspiration from Lemmings, Pikmin 3DS (an official title is forthcoming) has Captain Olimar tossing around his colorful plant buddies to solve puzzles and fight oversized beasts. As in the original games, the hue of the Pikmin determines what it can do, and players will have to use their various shades and abilities to get ahead. This one is set to launch sometime next year.
Other announcements included a new 3DS version of Yoshi’s Woolly World—which will give the unbearably adorable yarn Poochy some more to do and an amiibo of its own—a new Mario sports anthology, Picross 3D Round 2—which is available right now—and a new game called Tank Troopers that’ll have players diving into some cartoon vehicular warfare when it’s released this winter. Nintendo also revealed some more of its plans to celebrate The Legend Of Zelda’s 30th anniversary (which we did earlier this year). For starters, if you missed Skyward Sword on the Wii and have the equipment to play it on the Wii U, it’s just been released for the system’s virtual console. Nintendo will also be publishing a new book that collects pieces of artwork from across the series’ history. It’s available to pre-order now, and according to the Amazon listing, it won’t be released until February 2017. And for those of you who are still collecting Amiibo, there’ll be a new set containing Link in three forms: blocky 8-bit, angsty ocarina-playing teen, and lovable cartoon. The latter will be bundled with a Wind Waker Zelda figure, which is not nearly as cool as a Tetra figure would’ve been.
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