Nintendo Direct – E3 Edition Recap

With the kind of fanfare you'd expect from a Nintendo Direct video presentation streamed over the Internet, Nintendo got right to the business of showing off new games for the 3DS and Wii U that would appear in some fashion at its E3 booth this week in Los Angeles. All of the games shown during today's event were first-party.

– Nintendo revealed that Pokémon X and Y for the 3DS will include a new Fairy Pokémon type and a new mini-game to help you bond with your Pokémon. This new Fairy type will be applied to existing Pokémon, including Jigglypuff, Marril, Sylveon and Gardevoir. A new feature called Pokémon Amie was also revealed today. The feature allows players to pet and feed their Pokémon on-screen to make them happier and strengthen the player's relationship with a Pokémon. Pokémon X and Y are set for an Oct. 12 launch on 3DS.

– Super Mario 3D World for Wii U is set for release later this year, promising four-player multiplayer using Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad. The unique powers for each character seems to be the same as the previous Super Mario Game but a new Bell power-up that turns players into a cat has been added for additional fun. With this power in effect, players can climb walls and scratch enemies. The Wii U Gamepad's touch screen can also be used to unearth hidden objects. The game is set for launch on the Wii U eShop and at retail in December.

– Nintendo announced this morning that Mario Kart 8 is in development for Wii U. The game, which adds new features such as rotating tracks that task drivers with racing along the walls and ceilings.  Like in Mario Kart 7, the karts can sprout hang gliders and propellers for underwater racing.  Motorcycles are back too.  Mario Kart 8 is set for a spring 2014 release.

– A new Art Academy title is on the way for Wii U this summer in the eShop. The game will let players draw using various artist tools on the Wii U Gamepad and then share it with friends via the Miiverse.

– A reworked and remastered version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker will hit the Wii U in October of this year. Besides the spiffy new graphical facelift, the Wii U version of the game improves a handful of the game's features and adds Miiverse social features into the game.

– Nintendo announced today plans to launch a new title in the Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, set to release on Wii U this year. The game will feature HD graphics, and Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong as playable characters. Nintendo did not offer a release date for the game at its press event.

– Bayonetta 2 will be released in 2014. Nintendo showed off a little bit of Platinum Games' latest entry in the series today on Wii U.

– Wii Party U and Wii Fit U have both been slightly delayed. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that both games need more work, but they will still be released later in 2013. Wii Party U will release later this year, and Wii Fit U will be released this winter, according to Nintendo.

– Nintendo showed off the open-world successor to Xenoblade Chronicles at its press event complete with dolls (mechs) and dinosaurs. Nintendo said that the game will be released in 2014 and that development is being led by Monolith Soft studio lead Tetsuya Takahashi.

– Nintendo also showed an interesting title called The Wonderful 101. The game, which looks like it borrows the crowd-based character system in Pikmin lets players use a mass of characters to fight bosses, turn valves and generally interact with the world to get things done. The game will be released Sept. 15 in North America and August 23 in Europe. It is being developed by Platinum Games.

– The most exciting thing coming out of the Nintendo E3 Direct event for Nintendo fans was new Super Smash Bros. titles for both the Wii U and 3DS. Coming sometime in 2014. The game will feature familiar characters such as Mario, Fox, Donkey Kong, Link, Kirby – along with new characters like the Villager from Animal Crossing and Capcom's Megaman. The video shown by Nintendo seemed to indicate that Megaman will have access to the power-ups he'd have after beating multiple bosses in his own game universe.

All in all, Nintendo focused exclusively on first-party titles in its prepared E3 video stream. The company does have its usual presence on the floor of E3 and Nintendo executives are likely making the rounds to various media outlets as we speak… Hopefully we will hear more about third-party titles from other publishers later in the week.

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