Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct sure was something. You had a new Zelda game announced in the same style as A Link to the Past, a new Yoshi’s Island and even more footage of Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros to round it all out among a ton of other stuff. But here are my thoughts on each of the games and announcements from yesterday.
Mario & Luigi Dream Team
First game up is Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros, and I have to say I find myself super excited for it. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that the game actually adds new content, places and characters. Considering that the best part of any Mario & Luigi game has always been the fantastic script and all the new things it adds to Mario’s world, I’m extremely happy to see that AlphaDream haven’t gone down the Paper Mario Sticker Star route and ripped the soul out their series to please some imaginary ‘anti creativity’ casual audience. Not to mention we get to see Broque Monsieur from Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story return as Mario and co’s tour guide. Got to love how this game doesn’t just assume the rest of the series never happened.
The other main reason I’m excited for this game is that it has just the right blend of old and new to both feel like a classic Mario & Luigi game and open up new possibilities. On the one hand, the whole basic RPG gameplay and style is right from Bowser’s Inside Story complete with both 2D side view and three quarters view sections. The battles are familiar with Bros attacks being used to take down hordes of enemies. And the story and setting looks as wacky and creative as ever (complete with both block people and Beanbean Kingdom citizens making a return).
Yet at the same time it’s very different and unique. You’ve got the fantastic new graphics style and the ton of detail it adds to the world, the sort of upgrade the series needs to stand proud alongside the likes of Pokemon X and Y. You’ve got improvements to the basic structure that have things like battles actually taking place in 3D battlefields complete with more dynamic camera angles and involving attacks. And the whole dream idea with you interacting with Luigi in his own mind? Absolutely fantastic
This game is a definite must buy, and a game I will most certainly be purchasing come this summer.
Mario Party 10/3DS
Mario Party 10 looks great. No seriously, I think this new Mario Party looks like a fantastic installment in the series and actually looks like it’s worth buying. Mario Party as a franchise gets way more hate than it deserves.
Why do I like it? Well for one thing, it has boards based on actual Mario games for once. That mountain board looks like it’s straight out of New Super Mario Bros Wii and the space one takes inspiration from both Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road tracks and Super Mario Galaxy. Can you really complain about that? Heck, even Rosalina makes a cameo appearance!
So the new Mario Party definitely gets the Mario theming right. But what else I like about this game is that despite it having more ‘linear’ boards with a goal to reach the end first, you’re roaming around on your own again. Sure the car in Mario Party 9 wasn’t the utter disaster some fans made it out to be, but it really takes away from the whole point of a board game to have all four players go travelling around together as a group. It’s great to see Nintendo toss it out the window while maintaining the more interesting board designs from the ninth game.
Hence count me as optimistic about Mario Party 10. It’s not the most interesting Mario announcement around, but it looks like a great return to form for what’s otherwise been a dying series.
New Super Luigi U
For a level pack this looks nice. The levels look interesting, the new Luigi gameplay mechanics look creative…
But it’s not really convinced me so far. I’ve been a Mario fan game scene and ROM hack player for a while, and I know what people can achieve by modifying a game’s engine or improving on a past open source one. And while the idea of about 90 new levels made by Nintendo is appealing, I really do want to see more ‘new’ content before I decide this DLC is worthwhile.
Add a few new bosses. Some new enemies. New music. Something actually new that’s not just ‘extra levels with same resources’. If amateurs working on their own free can make the likes of this:
New Super Luigi U does look great, but I honestly think that in this day and age, companies need to be able to show their downloadable content can at least stand up to the stuff fans can make in their free time for nothing. In pretty much the same time frame.
I will only buy DLC when it has truly ‘original’ content not found in the old game, namely resources, features and other such things. Not level packs.
Mario Golf World Tour
Looks like a fine golf game with great online multiplayer options and a good variety of characters and courses, so it definitely looks like a great game for those interested in that sort of thing.
But eh, I’m not much of a golfer myself and my knowledge of the sport is nearly non existent, so it’s probably not a game I’ll be buying in future.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
This game is looking quite a bit better than I expected. Seriously, I was originally a bit hesistant to even consider this game given how much like a basic port it looked, but the extra world of levels may just have sold me on the title.
Seriously, we’re getting a proper Golden Temple people! A whole world of bonus levels instead of just a single one! This is EXACTLY what should have been the case in the original Wii game, and we’re finally getting what we should have got to begin with.
The new items could be useful too. Hell, I know the Crash Shield is going to be useful in many of the more difficult mine cart and rocket levels, namely Crowded Cavern, Bombs Away and the final rocket section before you face Tiki Tong.
Unfortunately, there is one thing I’m not sure about, and that’s how the old ideas for secret levels seem to have been scrapped. Sure the new world is nice and all, but did we really have to toss away such ideas as a Virtual Boy inspired mine cart ride or a Super Mario Bros 1 inspired wacky wonderland in Donkey Kong Country style?
Still, even getting some new content is much better than getting none, and the amout of new stuff included here is making me really want to buy this version of the game as well.
Yoshi’s Island 3
The game I certainly wasn’t expecting to see at all, this new Yoshi’s Island title looks pretty good. It’s got all the unique stylings of the first game and Yoshi’s Story, new mechanics that really take advantage of the system and much more. And come on, it’s a third Yoshi’s Island game for me to play!
However, I do have to say I’m going to be a bit cautious in regards to this title. For one thing, there’s a definite roughness around the edges when it comes to graphics in some levels. For instance, the grass lands look good:
But the caves need way more detail to stand out and look interesting:
The background just looks too empty above. I see what they might be going for, the style does look a bit remniscient of the underwater backgrounds from Donkey Kong Country 1:
But it doesn’t look right for a Yoshi game. These titles need loud, detailed backgrounds. Like the waterfall one from the first Yoshi’s Island game, ones which stand out and look amazing, not more subtle ones which blend into the foreground.
The other concern I have is that we don’t know whose making the game. Are Nintendo behind it? Good, but I don’t want to see a company like Artoon ever make a Yoshi game ever again.
So I’m cautiously excited for it, but will only definitely purchase it if Nintendo can prove a qualified internal studio are behind the title rather than a no name third party like the (now defunct) Artoon.
Lego City Undercover on 3DS doesn’t excite me at all. It looks like a good game, it’s just not my kind of game. I’m also curious to how it’ll stack up to the Wii U version of the title, since portable versions of games like this tend to be treated as ‘cut down extras’ rather than the definitive version to buy.
It’s nice to hear that Bravely Default is coming to the US and Europe.
Fire Emblem Awakening was nice to hear about, but I already knew most of what Nintendo were saying about it due to the game already being out in both Japan and the US beforehand. It’s a great game though.
Animal Crossing New Leaf looks good, and the fact we really are getting the special 3DS XL that goes with it is fantastic news.
As for the others, I didn’t really listen much in regards to Guild 02, none of the games interest me at all. Shin Megami Tensei IV looks good, but again it’s not a title I have much interest in.
The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past 2
A huge surprise all things said, I am quite literally shell shocked we had a new Zelda title was announced prior to E3. And it’s a 2D game in the style of A Link to the Past that takes place in the same world? Wow, that sure is something!
But I do have to admit I’m a bit skeptical about the whole thing. Sure it looks nice and the gameplay looks mostly good, but I’m not quite sold on the style of the graphics in this yet. Don’t know, maybe 2D sprites would have worked better than 3D character models for a game like this.
Above: It does look good though.
Either way, I like all the throwbacks, I like how Nintendo are finally making a proper 2D Zelda game after all these years without the crappy gimmicks used in the DS titles and I especially like how we’re getting a brand new Zelda game instead of just another average remake.
So there are my thoughts on every game and announcement mentioned in yesterday’s Nintendo Direct (the European version).