Nintendo hosted Nintendo Direct sessions in both North America and Europe today, announcing a new installment in the Mario Party series for 3DS, release dates for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the Virtual Console release of Earthbound or Mother 2 if you will, and a 2014 release for Bravely Default: Flying Fairy in the west.
During the NA Nintendo Direct session, a new 3DS game in The Legend of Zelda series was announced. It contains and all new adventure which takes place in the world of A Link to the Past, and allows Link to become a drawing and move along walls. A 3D video of the new game is now available to download in the Nintendo eShop. The game will launch this holiday season.
Yoshi’s Island, the third installment in franchise is making its way to 3DS, where Yoshi and Baby Mario are back with their typical movements along with new actions. More details about the game, as well as launch timing, will be announced in the future.
A release date for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was announced for retail and eShop. Expect it to land on August 11 in North America and on July 12 in Europe.
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3Dmodes were once again gone over, and the game will contain eight new stages to complete once the core title is finished. The game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on May 24 in both regions.
Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, the eShop exclusive, will contain over 180 stages in four different modes. Players can also create their own stages and share them with others to play around the world. It launches on May 9 in both regions.
Like in the UK, North America is getting an Animal Crossing: New Leaf Hardware Bundle with the game pre-installed. It will be available on launch day, June 9, for $219.99 in the US and June 14 in the UK.
Mario Golf: World Tour will feature competitive real-time multiplayer matches against others across the globe along with community feature to find others to play golf with. The game is scheduled to launch this summer.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons will soon be available on Virtual Console for 3DS. The games are interconnected, so playing one unlocks secrets in the other. The games are scheduled to launch in the eShop on May 30 in both regions.
A new game in the Mario Party series is scheduled to launch for Nintendo 3DS this winter. The game features seven different game boards, each with its own set of rules. The game offers 81 new mini-games that test speed, concentration and luck. In addition to the board game elements, players will be able to play mini-games exclusively or try their hands at a 30-floor tower climb, AR Card games and StreetPass battles.
Sometime during 2014, Bravely Default: Flying Fairy and the third game in the second Professor Layton trilogy, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, will be made available for 3DS in North America. Those in Europe will be able to play both games "later this year."
The Guild 02 titles published by Level-5 are coming "soon" to 3DS and include: The Starship Damrey from Kazuya Asano and Takemaru Abiko; Bugs vs Tanks! from Mega Man creator and Comcept boss Keiji Inafune; and Kaz Ayabe’s Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Tokyo Tale.
Atlus fans will be pleased to know that when Shin Megami Tensei 4 releases on July 16, every copy in the initial shipment will be a Limited Edition Box Set that includes a 176-page Strategy & Design Book containing the official starter strategy guide and full-color artwork; the Shin Megami Tensei Music Collection CD with tracks specially selected from the 20-plus-year history of the SMT series; and a deluxe-sized Collectible Slipcase featuring key art designed by character designer Masayuki Doi.
Wii U announcements
Probably the biggest news of the day is that EarthBound, or Mother 2 if you will, will arrive on the Wii U Virtual Console this year. The original game was created by Shigesato Itoi and released on Super NES in 1995 and fans have been clamoring for the title to be released on VC for ages. Patience, finally paid off. This will be the first time the game was released in Europe.
During the Nintendo Direct session, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata once again discusses the extra-large New Super Mario Bros. Wii U DLC coming soon: New Super Luigi U. The DLC starring Luigi comes with 82 updated stages and a new adventure and many stages start with only 100 seconds on the timer, and quicker stages are populated with many obstacles. New Super Luigi U is scheduled to be released this summer during the Year of Luigi. It's out sometime this winter in both Europe and North America.
Game & Wario was detailed a bit more. Apparently each game in it will use the Wii U GamePad in a unique way and it will be made available in stores and through the eShop on June 23.
A new Pikmin was announced for Pikmin 3. It's a flying critter called: Winged Pikmin. It will follow the player and carry items in the air. Pikmin 3 will be available in stores and in the eShop on August 4.
Gameboy Advanced games are coming to Virtual Console as well, and you can get an idea of what these titles are through the many, many videos posted below.
The Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Update which enables off-TV play using the Wii U GamePad is now available in both North America and Europe. Now, the two regions can join each other’s online games.
Finally, a Wii U system update is coming next week, and it will add new functions and enhance existing ones, such as shortening load times when switching between applications or using the B button to return to the Wii U Menu. It contains other goodies as well, such as the ability to transfer and copy from two USBs, you can finally install updated while playing games. The update will also allow you to receive automatic updates and instillation will continue even with the system turned off.
Once the update is completed, the Virtual Console service and Wii U Panorama View will be available with the later getting a demo as well.
You can re-watch both the European and North American versions of Nintendo Direct below.
There are also videos of the upcoming games and Virtual Console titles on the docket below as well. Lots of videos, actually.