Nintendo Direct 1/14/15 – New Nintendo 3DS and More

Fire Emblem, Majora’s Mask, amiibo, and more.

Earlier today, Nintendo ran a new Nintendo Direct to reveal some of their upcoming plans for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo eShop, and Wii U for the coming year. In case you missed it, you can view it in its entirety below:

Naturally, while the Nintendo Direct provides more general information much of the time, there are some specifics based on whether you’re living in the United States or, as I like to focus on here, in Canada.

First up, let’s talk about the questionably-named New Nintendo 3DS XL.

Those who follow the business more closely are no doubt already aware that the New Nintendo 3DS came out in Japan and Australia last year, while other regions have had to wait for an announcement of their own (hence my own silence on the subject). Today is the day we would learn more, and February 13th is the day it will be available here in Canada. The price is $229.99, and unlike the aforementioned regions, the only size here will be the XL version. Plus, if you’re looking at upgrading from a previous iteration of the hardware, you’ll want to hang on to your AC adapter, as that’s not included. If you’re new to the Nintendo 3DS experience, then you can still purchase one separately, and you’ll definitely need it– while the battery usage in this version is less than the others, you’re still going to need to recharge sometime.

From the press release, “New Nintendo 3DS XL offers a number of new enhancements designed to offer the smoothest and most engrossing portable gaming possible. New Nintendo 3DS XL features a wider range of controls with the addition of a C Stick and ZL/ZR buttons, super-stable 3D via face-tracking technology and built-in NFC functionality that allows for communication with amiibo figures.”

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Four versions will be available on February 13th: In addition to New Black and New Red, there will be a The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D-inspired version which also retails for $229.99, but doesn’t come with the game it’s named for. This will be available at EB Games, Future Shop, Best Buy, and Amazon.ca. As of this writing, the latter three are not yet listing it online, while the EB Games website appears to have already sold through their stock.

Speaking of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, it too will be available on February 13th.

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Similarly, this may just be a formality at this point, but exclusive to EB Games is the $259.99 Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate bundle, which comes with a copy of the aforementioned game preloaded. Like the Majora’s Mask 3D version, this one is also sold out online already. Between these two, you may want to try your luck in-store.

I’ll try to have a review of the New Nintendo 3DS XL hardware for you before long, but that wasn’t the only thing talked about during the Nintendo Direct. Let’s get into some games!

Starting with Nintendo 3DS:

The showing kicked off with a teaser of a new Fire Emblem game– not the mysteriously quiet Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, however. Created by the same folks who brought us Fire Emblem Awakening, “the new adventure adds challenges never before seen in the series and asks players to make decisions that will affect the game’s world in new ways.”

In addition to single player hunting, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will allow multiplayer on a portable system through use of broadband internet for the first time. Plus, select players will soon be able to download an early access demo which features both single and multiplayer options.

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In April, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (whose Wii version I reviewed here) will be released exclusively for the New Nintendo 3DS XL. In addition to offering 3D visuals and the ability to view maps and character stats on the bottom screen, a new mode will allow players to view 3D models of the characters and listen to music from the game’s soundtrack. If you’re wondering what the deal is with that Shulk guy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U or Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, now’s your chance to find out!

Oh, and if you want to see the game in action, I’m afraid you’ll have to watch the full Nintendo Direct for that.

A one-two punch of the popular Puzzle & Dragons is coming to the Nintendo 3DS. Not only will the strategy-RPG puzzle game be released in the form of Puzzle & Dragons Z, but it will also come with Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, featuring power-ups and enemies from the Mario games.

Arriving on March 13th, one month after the release of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will see Abraham Lincoln bring together a collection of heroes from American folklore and classic literature to fend off an alien invasion. What’s more, the game uses the New Nintendo 3DS XL’s built-in Near Field Communications (NFC) reader to scan Fire Emblem amiibo characters, allowing you to use the likes of Marth, Ike, Lucina, and Robin in the game as well.

“But wait!” you say. “How can I get a Marth amiibo now? They’re all gone!” Fortunately, the Nintendo Direct brought good news on this front, as it seems more Marth are on the way. With any luck, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer, among others in short supply, will be getting the same treatment.

Launching this spring, Etrian Mystery Dungeon from Atlus and Spike Chunsoft is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive which combines the gameplay of the two series which form its namesake, Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon. Create your own party of heroes, then embark on a near-infinite quest for loot!

Marvelous USA and XSEED Games will bring Story of Seasons to Nintendo 3DS this March. It combines farming and life simulation, and players with other lands throughout the in-game world will be able to connect with other players online.

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Ever wonder what would happen if Nintendo did Free-to-Play? You’ll find out in February with this free Nintendo eShop download as players “put their puzzle-solving skills to the test by matching three or more Pokémon in the Puzzle Area to deal damage as they battle wild Pokémon across a variety of stages.” You can purchase items in-game using Nintendo eShop funds, and more details and footage can be found in the Nintendo Direct video at the top of the page.

Available for all Nintendo 3DS systems on February 13th, Bandai Namco’s Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ is best experienced on the New Nintendo 3DS XL, thanks to its additional shoulder buttons and second analog input. You can also use select amiibo figures to customize your craft with different Nintendo-themed skins.

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Fossil Fighters Frontier will be available on March 20th, allowing two to six players to team up and battle each other’s Vivosaurs in local or online tournaments. Again, more details and footage are in the complete Nintendo Direct.

That’s mostly it for the Nintendo 3DS news. Now, want to find out about the Wii U, amiibo, and stuff for both platforms in the Nintendo eShop? Read on!

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.