News: Nintendo Direct – 3DS Edition

Nintendo Direct returns this month with Yoshiaki Koizumi at the helm, giving us a looking to Nintendo has to offer in the coming months. In this update I’m going to be taking a look at the 3DS announcements that were made in the North American and Japanese Nintendo Directs. While most of these videos contained a lot of the same information, there was some variation, especially the Japanese event, as a number of the games that are being released here in the west are already out in Japan. The games announced and teased in the Japanese Nintendo Direct, kinda gives us a sense of things that are to come in the future.

There are a lot of games to cover, and as such I’m not going to be able to cover every game in depth, so I’m going to focus on the video overall and then go into further details with individual games that I found particularly interesting.

If you want to watch the Nintendo Directs themselves, you can find them at the following links:

So without further ado, let’s get cracking!

Nintendo Direct 3DS – US

I can honestly say I wasn’t quite expecting this many games to appear in the 3DS portion of this Nintendo Direct, doubly so when I saw that there were even more titles in the Japanese Nintendo Direct. I knew there were still a bunch of games coming out for the 3DS in 2017, and a few coming out in 2018, but I wasn’t expecting too see any new reveals. It looks like Nintendo are definitely keeping their word and supporting this award winning system, well into the life span of the Switch. That said, I still think that they will gradually be moving their most popular franchises such as Pokémon, Mario and Kirby away from the 3DS to encourage Switch sales.

There were actually a few surprising moments in the 3DS portion of the direct, though again, more so in the Japanese Direct. So let’s look at these games. I’m not going to be able to cover everything, so I’ll only really talk about the things I feel like I have something to say about, and gloss over the others.

Hey! Pikmin

This is a game that I feel has had a lot of unnecessary hate ever since it was revealed at E3. Rather than the top down strategy game that the previous Pikmin games have been, this is a 2D puzzle platformer that uses a lot of the same mechanics, just in a different way. People who decried the Metroid Prime Federation Force game as being tone deaf, as it had been six years since the last Metroid title, and ten years since the previous entry in the Prime series, may have a point in this regard, but I found that a lot of the complaints were the same for Pikmin, that they wanted a Pikmin 4, not a spin off. Except Pikmin 3 only came out in 2013. Sure it’s round about time we did get a new one, but we’re not yet at that stage where we need to be threatening to burn down Nintendo HQ if we don’t get one revealed soon.

I enjoy puzzle platformers. I enjoy Pikmin. This seems to be a match made in heaven, even if it isn’t the same as what we’re used to. This is something I’ve written about in the past and may may do something else about it in the future, but it seems that if games are the same people complain that it’s just a clone, if the developers make a game that different, like putting the mechanics of Pikmin into a different genre, suddenly everyone loses their mind because it’s different.

I dunno about you, but I like diversity in my games. So much so that I am calling early, that Snake Pass will probably be in my top games of 2017.

Hey! Pikmin looks like a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to it.

Culdcept Revolt

This was an unexpected game to see on the list. OmiyaSoft’s Culdcept series, was first released on the Sega Saturn in 1997, and is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary this year, with Culdcept Revolt, a cross between Magic The Gathering and Monopoly with a bit of deck building and Fire Emblem-esque tactics involved. Culdcept has been far more popular in Japan, which isn’t hard seeing as it’s only rarely gotten a North American release, and has never hit the shores of Europe or Australia. However that’s going to change here, as Culdcept Revolt is getting a North American release on August 29th and a European/Australian release September 1st.

I first saw this game revealed in a Japanese Nintendo Direct last year, and thought it looked pretty interesting. Sadly, living in the UK and Australia, I’ve yet to actually be able to play this game, but I would be interested in checking it out when it releases in September.

RPG Maker Fes

When I first saw the announcement for this I nearly lost my mind. It was literally the day after I bought the previous release in the series, RPG Maker MV, and I thought it was a new application for PC. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something only to find out a better version is announced within a few days. Thankfully, this isn’t one of those times. RPG Maker Fes is another game in the DIY RPG series by KADOKAWA Games, but this partiular installment is a 3DS exclusive release, designed to allow people the ability to make their own RPG games on the go.

Making games is a complicated process, but RPG Maker Fes appears to be simplified and more streamlined, even for an RPG Marker application. I have already seen a decent amount of skepticism for this title and fair enough, considering how much more in depth the PC software is, there is a lot of junk games out there, but I think that people with this criticism might be missing the point. While I’m not expecting the find the next Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest come from the users of this software, I’m not really seeing it in those terms. If anything it’s a good place for younger people to start if they have an interest in games development, to come to understand concepts and the sort of work that goes into games, and creating small RPG adventures for the 3DS, before moving on to a more robust games development engine.

Games made in this system can be shared with friends, via a free download, that allows game files to be downloaded and played on a 3DS without having to purchase the full release. Some additional content has already been revealed for release which includes character sprites and artwork from Disgaea and Phantom Brave.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Shadows of Valentia looks fantastic, and there’s not really a lot I can say about it aside from that. nintendo certainly made the right move in remaking this classic title, and finally bringing this early game in the series across to the west.

For those who don’t know, Fire Emblem Echoes is so named because it’s a remake of the second game ever released in this series back in 1992 on the Famicom, an echo back to those early games. It was also the very last game to be developed on that system. Fire Emblem Gaiden, is a side story based in the same world as the first game, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, which received it’s remake on the Nintendo DS in 2008, as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.

My hope with this new “Echoes” suffix for the title, is that we’ll start to see more of the older games remade in this series for modern systems, especially the ones that have never previously seen a release outside of Japan. While I hold on to that hope, I’m going to play Shadow Dragon in preparation for Shadows of Valentia’s release.

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Kirby’s Blow Out

While Culdcept Revolt was unexpected, these new Kirby releases on the other hand, especially for the 3DS, came right out of left field. There was something of an inkling that Nintendo might do something for Kirby’s 25th Anniversary, but this was a real surprise. A bunch of new Kirby games, hell yeah!

Or so I thought.

However, that excitement soon became disappointment when I actually did a bit of  research. I haven’t played Planet Robobot, so I thought these were new and original mini games, but instead, they turned out to be the alternative game modes from that game, updated slightly, and re-released separately from the main game. That came as a bit of a blow.

I suppose knowing that there is a new multiplayer action game for the Kirby series currently in development, does soften that blow somewhat, I really do hope that this turns out to be a Switch title, rather than 3DS. Transferring Kirby over to the Nintendo Switch for the 25th Anniversary game, would help bring fans of the games over to the Switch, potentially selling more systems, and depending on the release date for the game, breaking up the June to December big game drought, that we’ll have while waiting for Mario Odyssey.

BYE-BYE BOXBOY!

I’d previously not played the BOXBOY! games, however I am a fan of puzzle platformers, so when I discovered that they were releasing a new game, and they previous two games in a collectors pack, I decided to get them. The inclusion of an Amiibo, no matter how ridiculously simple it may be, may have sweetened the deal, just sayin’.

As the name suggests, BYE-BYE BOXBOY may turn out to be the last game in the series, at least for the time being. A part of me wonders if they will end up releasing these games on Nintendo Switch in the future, something that I would be very happy about, maybe with a new game BOXBOY RETURNS! or soemthign similar.

Nintendo Direct 3DS – Japan

There were a few other games that were revealed in the Japanese Nintendo Direct that caught my attention. Right now we can’t confirm one way or another how many of these games we’ll actually see outside of Japan, but it’s always fun to take a peak into our possible gaming future!

Three New RPGs from Atlus

In one quick segment Atlus gave us three new titles for release throughout 2017 in Japan. These games were announced earlier in the year, in a dedicated video stream from Atlus. The set starts with an unexpected complete remake of Radient Historia, called Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology. When this game came out on the Nintendo DS, it recieved a lot of high scores, but still remained a mostly unknown title. The second game was Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2, a fantasy role-playing game in the style of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Finally we have a new first person dungeon crawler, Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey, bringing with it all the weirdness and horror elements that the series has become known for.

Phoenix Wright The Great Ace Attorney 2

There is a new Phoenix Wright The Great Ace Attorney coming out soon for Japanese audiences, though it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see it in the west, seeing as the first game hasn’t even been translated yet, due to “localisation issues”. Basically there are two main problems. Firstly there seems to be some “circumstances” preventing localisation to the west. The games developers have not stated exactly what those circumstances are, but there are three theories.

Firstly it’s believed to be a dispute over copyright regarding Sherklock Holmes, despite the character entering public domain in 2000 in Europe, and in 2013 in the US.

Secondly, it could be a concern over censorship, seeing as the game tackles a lot of sensitive subjects regarding racism towards Japanese, which is integral to the plot. There may be some concern that this will be censored, and the game would require a complete rewrite to appease the western ratings board and not be panned by the social justice driven media, of which Japanese developers have become increasingly aware.

Thirdly, the fact that they made Phoenix Wright an American in the localised games creates a continuity issue. This game focuses heavily on the fact that this Phoenix Wright is Japanese, meaning that just like the question of censorship, would require a huge rewrite for the plot to make any sense. Personally I don’t see an issue here, this could still be localised as an alternate universe, or seeing as this is supposed to be Phoenix Wright’s ancestor, there’s really no reason his great grand father can’t be Japanese.

Nintendo Direct Switch

For me though, the big deal was the Nintendo Switch games and details. However, this article is already getting pretty long, so you’re going to have to wait until part two. Which will actually be coming this time…

Until then!

Peace and High scores!