Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Nintendo Direct Nov' 15 Thoughts

I have no intention of doing regular posts on these updates from Nintendo but in between 'proper' posts, I thought I might as well share a few brief thoughts about what was shown in the latest Direct. There was a heck of a lot of stuff that I simply wasn't interested in but it was a long video and inevitably, several games ended up my wishlist shortly after watching!

But before I detail the good stuff, I can't resist asking if there is really any point in the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD? I played and thoroughly enjoyed the original release on the Gamecube (the version with PROPER controls!) but I can honestly say that the footage for the HD remake looked no better than it did back in 2006. Maybe I was imagining it but it looked worse. So why are they making it? Oh, that's right...

I suppose we can expect the Amiibo boxset to quickly sell out, become a MEGA RARE ebay item listed for sale higher than the original RRP and to make the hardcore collectors go mad for it...

Onto the positives!

I've had a Wii-U for a fair while now but have only bought 5 games for it off the top of my head so there are obviously a hell of a lot of things that I need to catch up. At the same time, a few attractive games were shown off in the Nintendo Direct footage. Xenoblade Chronicles X is something I'd already been semi-following but the footage I saw in the Direct video (whether it's new or not, I don't know) was incredible. I've yet to start my copy of the original game but I'm sorely tempted to get X anyway in case it sells out and ends up going for more than the standard RRP in no time at all as happened with the original Xenoblade. I'll be avoiding the collector's edition this time though as the added extras didn't look to justify the considerable price hike over the standard edition.

Elsewhere, I really liked the look of both Mario Tennis Ultra Smash and Pokken Tournament. You can always rely on a Mario Tennis game to be all kinds of aces (see what I did there? I'll get my coat...) and this new installment could be the kind of game that never truly dies, just like Mario Kart and Smash. Being a fan of fighting games and Pokemon, Pokken Tournament has naturally been on my radar since the arcade version was first announced. I'd been hoping for a home release on the Wii-U so I'm extremely pleased that it's happening because who doesn't want to cross Pokemon with Tekken? Nobody, that's who.

Fast Racing Neo was the revelation of the video for me, a digital title that I hadn't previously been aware of. It looks incredible and also resembles the F-Zero game we're probably likely to never get. Could this be my first digital download for the Wii-U?

Rounding out the Wii-U news was the fantastic announcement of Final Fantasy VII's Cloud Strife coming to Smash Bros. as the latest DLC character! This was extremely unexpected but Cloud and his stage both look amazing (he also has his Advent Children outfit available in-game). His special moves (particularly the summons) are epic so I can't wait for the DLC to go live. Come on already!

The 3DS actually had the lion's share of upcoming must-have titles however. Project X Zone 2 was shown again but I've been keeping close tabs on this anyway after absolutely loving the original. Other games that I knew about already but only now became serious contenders for my wallet's money were Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (anything to do with the Paper Mario sub-series is essential for me) and Fire Emblem Fates. In the case of the latter, I was pretty impressed by the limited edition pack which includes both versions of the game as well as some nice extras. The extras themselves don't sell the pack to me but Fire Emblem Awakening was so addictive that I can pretty much see myself lusting after both versions of the latest title anyway. May as well get 'em at the same time!

The other big news was the announcement that Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow will be made available on the 3DS e-shop with emulated link cable support for trading! Pokemon might have become a big flashy experience today with hundreds upon hundreds of monsters to catch but the originals are still great games and (dare I say it?) the best. I still have my original copy of Red but it will be nice to play it on the 3DS without worrying about the battery in the cartridge being knackered...

So overall, there were only a handful of games that appealed to me but I think that's more than enough to be getting on with in 2016! Nintendo's future is still looking uncertain (will they replace the 3DS? What exactly will the NX be?) but with titles like these in the pipeline, I can't say that the big N has lost its touch at all.

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