Nintendo Direct Recap: 06.21.2012

Nintendo announces a brand-new 3DS (and games galore) during its Nintendo Direct presentation.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 06/21/2012 23:00 6 Comments     ShareThis

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime kicked off the latest Nintendo Direct presentation in a big way (quite literally, as you’ll see in a moment) by announcing the 3DS XL, a super-sized version of the popular handheld system. The 3DS XL boasts 90% bigger screens than the vanilla 3DS, and will come with a 4 GB SD card and improved battery life. The system goes on sale in North America on August 19 (the same day that New Super Mario Bros. 2 launches in the region) for the price of $199.99.

That announcement set the trend for the rest of the news that was to follow, as this particular Nintendo Direct was all about 3DS. Nintendo recapped some of the major third-party titles that were scheduled to hit the system before the end of this year, including Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, Skylanders: Giants, Lego Lord of the Rings, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, which is available in demo form right now on the eShop.

From there the presentation turned to first-party games, starting off with the newly-announced (for North America, anyway) Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. What’s particularly great about this installment (besides the usual mind-bending goodness that fans have come to expect from the series) is that it will receive one downloadable puzzle a day for an entire year after it is released, all free of charge. Miracle Mask will be available this November.

We also got our first details on the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games. Masahiro Sakurai will once again be sitting in the director’s chair, and while production on the pair has only just begun, he wants to assure fans that they are hard at work on the titles. Carrying out the brunt of the development will be Namco Bandai Games and Namco Bandai Studios, who have been specially selected to work on the series for their experience in the action/fighting genre.

In an odd bit of Wii-related news, Nintendo also confirmed that Kirby’s Dream Collection, a compilation of six of the puffball’s finest adventures released in honor of his 20th anniversary, will be making its way to North America this fall. Unfortunately, that was the extent of the company’s Wii announcements (sorry, anyone who was hoping to see Pandora’s Tower or Fatal Frame 2)

The remainder of the presentation once again turned back to 3DS, starting with some new footage of New Super Mario Bros. 2. As was announced at this year’s E3, the game will challenge players to collect as many coins as they can, even giving them new power-ups that can turn enemies and obstacles into cold, hard cash. The game also boasts a new Coin Rush mode, which will see players competing to clear three sequential stages as fast as they can– all on one life. Best of all, the game will also receive a steady stream of new Coin Rush stages through the eShop after it is released, ensuring that it stays in fans’ systems for a long time to come.

Nintendo also teased the latest installment of Fire Emblem (sans its Awakening subtitle), which it quietly announced in the wake of its E3 press conference. No new information on the game was revealed, but it will be hitting North American stores in 2013 and will also support downloadable add-on content.

In fact, downloadable content was a recurring theme during Nintendo’s presentation, culminating with the announcement that it will be releasing two Virtual Console titles a week from July 5 to August 1. The company also announced that certain eShop games will briefly go on sale in celebration of its first anniversary.

The presentation ended with a quick look at the upcoming Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 versions. Like their predecessors, these all-new games will be released for Nintendo DS, but 3DS owners can download two console-exclusive apps to supplement the experience. The first, Pokémon Dream Radar, will allow them to capture rare Pokémon (including Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus in new beast forms) and transfer them to their games, while the second, Pokédex 3D Pro, gives them access to a wealth of information on each of the 649 monsters. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, as well as the two Pokémon eShop apps, will be available to purchase this fall.

6 Responses to “Nintendo Direct Recap: 06.21.2012”

  • 138 points
    MaStEr Of SaNdZ says...

    Well the 3ds XL was obvious and it’s about time

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    Not seeing a second slide pad on the 3DS XL/LL was a disappointment. I know it’s an optional peripheral for the basic 3DS and not used often… surely Nintendo isn’t planning an even bigger version of the accessory now?

    It’s an ugly catch. If they don’t provide the second analog for 3DS XL/LL then some (very good) 3DS games become more difficult to play and enjoy. But if they do release an add-on then it’s going to be absolutely massive.

    Also very disappointed to see that NoA really has abandoned Wii. At least importing and playing European games is easy and relatively inexpensive.

    Biggest, and maybe only, surprise: select eShop games will be on sale. Not beneficial to gamers like me who already own the titles, but great news nonetheless!

    • 225 points
      wombatguy880 says...

      I think such addons were released in fear but the thing is I don’t think as many portable gamers are clamoring to play more games that require 2 controls. It’s a somewhat false belief that the portable market should be anything like the home console market. It’s neat that we can have a Resident Evil that looks like a home console version of the game but the real investment would be in making that game something that could be played in short bursts. I think they will prefer add-ons over direct inclusion in this case for the entire life of the portable. It would normally be a bad decision but in general they probably don’t want to force developers into making too many modern traditional games in a market where 2D, Puzzles, and unique gameplay has always been the best seller. People buy Tetris, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Boktai, Scribblenauts, and Mario for on the go. I doubt their focus will ever be “hardcore” in this market no matter how much more powerful we make these consoles.

  • 177 points
    AceIcarus says...

    Didn’t you read the mesage from the namco bandai about smash bros? THE DIRECTOR FROM THE TALES SERIES AND THE TEAM FROM TEKKEN ARE WORKING ON THIS PROJECT!

    • 1 points
      Kevin Knezevic says...

      I take it someone is very excited about that announcement. :P

      • 177 points
        AceIcarus says...

        Well we are talk experts in fighting games working on a series where the two critzisims are poor balancing and poor netcode wich the tekken team are good at . Plus for the more optmistic of us the director is a veteran of the tales series wich is an rpg were battles are fought like they would be in a fighting game. So is it any wonder why I COMPLETELY LOST MY MIND!

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