Two Nintendo Directs aired simultaneously in Europe and North America today. The big news? Western release dates for Animal Crossing New Leaf and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D for 3DS.
The Year of Luigi
The NA session started off with Mr. Iwata wearing a Luigi hat, and calling 2013 "The Year of Luigi." He went on to discuss the previously announced four-player multiplayer levels for Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and detailed two online modes: Climber and Chaser. There's also a new Polterpup Mode where you search for a ghost pup who loves gold. You will need to use the black light to follow his footprints.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon launches March 24
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was also announced as a new RPG in which players mess with Luigi's face as he sleeps. You can pull on his mustache, and poke around on him in order to solve puzzles which take place in his dream state. It is coming to 3DS this summer.
New Super Luigi U was announced as DLC content for Super Mario Bros. U. Iwata described it as "large scale DLC" and similar to development of new software. In it, Luigi stars in alternate versions of the game’s over 80 stages. Players can also change between the New Super Luigi U and New Super Mario Bros. U stages. It will be released later this year.
Luigi and his "Mushroom Kingdom neighbors" will also star in Mario Golf: World Tour on 3DS, which will feature courses designed in the traditional sense, as well as inspired by the Mushroom Kingdom. The game launches this summer.
“Luigi is just the green tip of the iceberg of all the great news we have to share with Nintendo fans this year and beyond,” said NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime. “We’re showing how Nintendo 3DS and Wii U continue to be a source of fun, entertainment and great surprises.”
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D was the big news today, with Reggie popping onto the Nintendo Direct session at the very end to announce it. The Wii game is getting "a portable 3D makeover" and will launch this summer. You can watch a 3D video of today through the eShop for Nintendo 3DS.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf will arrive in North America on June 9 and in Europe on June 14. Starting today, you can download fashions themed after the game through Style Savvy: Trendsetters.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity will release in Europe on May 17.
Nintendo also reiterated the release dates for LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins on 3DS - April 21, and LEGO City Undercover for Wii U - March 18.
Downloadable games for the 3DS eShop were also announced: Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (coming soon), Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger which releases April 11, and HarmoKnight from Game Freak which will release on March 28. A demo will be available March 14. The firm also announced Kersploosh, a puzzle game where you drop things, which will release on March 7.
Two new Fire Emblem: Awakening downloadable maps are now available for purchase at the Outrealm Gate on the world map in Fire Emblem Awakening. For $2.50, the Champions of Yore 3 map lets players battle against legendary characters such as Marth, Roy and Ike. Players who have already purchased the Champions of Yore map pack can now access this new map to earn a new playable character named Michaiah and a special skill that will increase all of a character’s stats by two points.
The Golden Gaffe map is the first in a second set of three maps, and is also now available for $2.50. It pits players against a group of very wealthy enemies, and is a great way to earn gold. Nintendo plans to release fresh downloadable content in the weeks and months ahead to keep the adventure going with more playable characters and class types. The Champions of Yore 1 map is available as a free download through March 6.
Remember this Fire Emblem bundle announced for North America? You're in luck, Europe, because it will hit stores on April 19.
Code of Princess will release in Europe through the eShop this spring. No further information was available. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity will release in Europe on May 17.
Two classic Game Boy Color games from Natsume, Harvest Moon and Legend of the River King, will also release through Virtual Console for 3DS "in the coming months."
A demo of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate hits the eShop on February 28, and the full digital game download launches on March 5.
Those who buy and register a 3DS XL will get a free game as part of a special promotion. Anyone who registers a Nintendo 3DS XL and either Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon or Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity between March 21 and April 30 will receive a code to download one of the following five games for free from the eShop: Super Mario 3D Land, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!, Star Fox 64 3D or Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive.
An eShop sale is also going on for a limited time, and each week, you can pick up one of the following games for a reduced price: BIT.TRIP SAGA, Crashmo, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword, Ketzal’s Corridors, Fractured Soul and Mutant Mudds.
Wii U news
The Miiverse is getting its own Zelda community, dedicated to the The Legend of Zelda series, It launched today, and lets fans "discuss the past, present and future" of the franchise.
Nintendo also revealed some new sections for LEGO City Undercover, such as the LEGO City Airport, Kings Court and Paradise Sands.
Wii Street U powered by Google is now available through the eShop for Wii U as a free download for a limited time.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is getting new DLC later this month, in the form of one costume each for Ryu, Ayane, Momiji and Kasumi. It also includes 25 new Ninja Trials missions.
BIT.TRIP Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien will launch this month, as will Zen Pinball 2, and Toki Tori 2.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U releases on March 19 with full Miiverse functionality added into the gameplay, and comes with the Ultimate Speed Pack for no additional charge.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct from Activision will also release for Wii U on March 26, and Injustice: Gods Among Us launches on April 16.
Disney Infinity from Disney Interactive is coming to Wii U, 3DS and Wii this summer
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate launches for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS on March 19, and a demo will be available on the eShop on both platforms February 21.
Monster Hunter hardware packs for Europe
Black and white editions for Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as new bundle releases for both 3DS XL and Wii U, were also announced for Europe.
The Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate bundle hits March 22. The Wii U Limited Edition Pack comes with a black Wii U console with 32GB of storage, a black Wii U Pro Controller and a copy of the game. The Nintendo 3DS XL Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Pack comes with the game pre-installed on a black Nintendo 3DS XL.
The Circle Pad Pro for 3DS XL, will be also be launching in Europe on March 22.
You can watch a replay of both Nintendo Direct sessions below, as well as game videos shown in both presentations.