Unlike Japan’s latest installment of Nintendo Direct, which also aired earlier today and highlighted a variety of upcoming games for the company’s different platforms, North America was treated to its own special Nintendo Direct presentation dedicated exclusively to the 3DS.
Reggie Fils-Aime kicked off the proceedings with the news that more than two dozen titles would be hitting the handheld, be it in retail or in digital form, over the course of the next few months. He then turned the proverbial stage over to Nate Bilhdorff, who gave us a bit more information on Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the upcoming action-RPG slated to hit stores– and the eShop– on November 11. Being the series’ first foray on a handheld console, Sticker Star is designed to be a more portable experience; unlike other Paper Mario titles, for instance, Sticker Star is level-based in its structure, allowing gamers to play it in shorter bursts while away from home. The game also eschews the traditional leveling system for new power-ups that augment Mario’s abilities, placing a greater emphasis on exploration and item collection than other titles in the series. Combined with its focus on stickers, which allow you to solve puzzles and battle enemies, and it looks like Sticker Star will offer a unique take on the Paper Mario gameplay when it is released in roughly two weeks.
We also got a brief look at Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, which will be hitting stores on October 28. This particular adventure features the same logic-based gameplay that fans of the series have come to love, and its brand-new storyline even gives players a glimpse at the professor’s high school days. Best of all, players will be able to download a new puzzle for the game every day for the next year– all free of charge! (Well, outside of the initial cost of the title, that is.) Like Sticker Star, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask will also be released simultaneously on the eShop in digital form.
After a brief look at some of Nintendo’s more casual offerings (Crosswords Plus, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!, and Style Savvy: Trendsetters), the presentation quickly made its way back to Mario when Reggie announced the second batch of DLC for New Super Mario Bros. 2. Like the previous batch of DLC, each new Coin Rush level pack contains three stages, and comes in two varieties: the Gold Mushroom Pack, which features levels replete with golden mushrooms to collect (each of which nets you 50 coins, allowing you to boost your coin total quickly), and Challenge Pack B, which tallies your score and features it on the game’s official leaderboard. Both new level packs are available for purchase today.
Perhaps most exciting of all, we finally got some new information on the upcoming installment of Animal Crossing. Dubbed Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the popular life sim looks like it will be shaking things up for its 3DS debut. Unlike previous titles in the series, players will now take on the role of town mayor and assume all of the appropriate duties, decorating your village with landmarks, setting store hours, and much more. The game also features a new island resort where you and your friends can unwind with mini-games, and even take a dip in the waters. New Leaf is scheduled to hit stores in the first half of 2013.
And that’s just scratching the surface of today’s announcements; we were also given some new details on Fire Emblem: Awakening, which will also be hitting stores early next year (and will feature DLC in the form of new maps and characters), as well as a look at upcoming eShop titles like Crashmo, Fluidity: Spin Cycle, NightSky (which is available on the service today), as well as a host of upcoming Virtual Console releases like Wario Land 2, Castlevania: The Adventure, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and many more! Be sure to check out the full thirty-minute presentation (linked at the top of this article) for all of the exciting announcements!