It’s not surprising that I loved everything I heard at the Direct that just ended, mainly because I’m still half asleep after reading predictions of what I would hear until all hours of the night. Actually, let me go make a coffee first so this doesn’t turn out terrible. Be back.
…and I’m back. I jotted down some barely legible nonsense as the direct was going on, as I was too excited for the next thing to pause the live stream. So let’s dive right into it!
Pokemon Sun and Moon
So much damn information has come out regarding this game that it’s getting overwhelming! I cannot recall a time when there were so many new features added into a Pokemon game like this, but then again I’ve been out of the Pokemon loop for a solid 15+ years prior to last October.
Things like the Z-Moves and all of those secret moves don’t do much to impress me, as I definitely consider myself a “classical” player and I think those moves are super OP, but what I love about Sun and Moon are how they are giving more of a focus to the backstory of the Pokemon and the region itself. Rather than just adding more Pokemon and moving to a new location, I really feel like they’re giving it the lore it deserves, especially a Hawaii-inspired location like the Alola Region.
The regional variants are gearing up to what I think might be my favorite part about these games. In the Direct, they discuss a regional breed of Rattata who evolved to become nocturnal to avoid Yungoos. The potential for this is very exciting!
Super Mario Maker 3DS
There might have been rumors floating around about this one, and this is certainly very cool. I lack a certain.. creative attribute that would allow me to create levels with this, and I also lack a certain patience that would allow me to play levels that others have created. Super Mario Maker was and is a great idea and has done exceptionally well on the WiiU.
That being said, the inability to share levels online and instead only giving this sharing ability to local friends and the Streetpass feature feels foolish to me. I think Nintendo forgets sometimes that most people in the world do not like in Tokyo. Streetpasses are not common, and neither are folks with a 3DS. Heck, the only place in New York City I can seem to get Streetpasses is inside the Nintendo World Store!
Mario Party Star Rush
I haven’t owned a Mario Party game in a while, but the last time I played was on the Gamecube with some friends. We had a great time – part of that great time was everyone being together on the same screen. For the Mario Party franchise, the transition to handhelds hasn’t been graceful. Mario Party: Island Tour did not go over very well and there are probably hundreds of reviews advising you to stay far, far away.
Of course, as a fan of Mario Party since early high school, I was bummed upon hearing about this, so news of a second installment on Nintendo’s handheld was enough to pique my interest. They’re taking a whole other direction with this one, addressing the concerns of playing on a portable device, wherein waiting your turn while another player lands on a 1-player mini-game space might not be all that much fun. Now, everyone rolls and plays at the same time.
This should shorten the playtime and make it more accessible for playing while portable. I’ll be checking this one out if I can convince some friends to play locally.
Streetpass Mii Plaza
When I first got my 3ds over a year ago, I became obsessed with Mii Plaza and Streetpasses. I still get pretty excited seeing that blinking green light. Unfortunately, loading times made clearing your Streetpasses a real chore, and it took a while to just get some puzzle pieces or play any games.
The addition of “Quick Plaza” is a great idea! Essentially this speeds up load times, allows you to load games immediately from the bottom screen, and run through your Streetpasses with shorter text introductions.
The best part? You can now have up to 100 people queued up!
New Streetpass Games
Due to where I reside (and as mentioned above), I don’t see a whole lot of Streetpasses. For this reason, I’ve kept it simple with the Streetpass games. Meaning, I only play the puzzle game and Find Mii. There are a bunch of games in there that look interesting, and while I’ve been close to handing the Sales Bunny my credit card information, I realized that I will likely never finish any of these games, as it’s a problem of currency. I need human beings to play these games!
Be that as it may, there were some really cool looking new games announced today: a slot car game, a stock price prediction game, one where you cook meals, one which actually uses the step counter, and one where you shoot other Miis out of a cannon that looked really fun! And you can pick either the slot car game or the stock price prediction game and get a copy for free.
Picross 3D 2
I’m a HUGE Picross fan, but sadly I have never played Picross 3D. I’ve been meaning to order it but just haven’t gotten around to it. Well now I have a reason to buy it ASAP – the announcement of Picross 3D 2! I’ve seen plenty of people talking about how much they’ve love a sequel, and now I finally feel like I need to experience the puzzle game series I love so much, but in 3D mode.
It’ll be on the eShop later today as well! I’m going to be holding off until a physical release possibly, especially since I still have the first one to obtain and play through.
Reduced Prices on New Game Launches
It seems a plethora of new games are being released on the eShop in the coming weeks! For the next five weeks, a new game will be launching every Thursday (or whatever day your eShop updates regularly occur), and at an introductory low price. Score!
New Zelda Amiibo!
As a lover of all things Amiibo, I’m excited about this. That’s putting it lightly. I’m buying all of these day 1. There, that’s better.
Yo-Kai Watch 2
I loved Yo-Kai Watch and I’m excited to get into it again. Unfortunately it’s extremely overshadowed by all of the releases going out the end of this year for me, so it’s going to be on the back burner until, most likely, next year. I can only get into so many long-term collectathons, and Pokemon is going to take priority.
Some nice new features have been detailed for Yo-Kai Watch 2, however. There are ways to increase your chances of befriending wild Yo-Kai, a feature that was desperately needed in the first installment. There are also special moves that can be unleashed which will give you more things to do in battle, another feature that is much needed. Overall, if they can manage to keep battles interesting the entire game and prevent any sort of ‘hang time’ where you’re waiting for something to do, I will absolutely get back into this franchise.
Since watching the Nintendo Treehouse a couple months ago, going into this Direct the game I was most hyped about has been Ever Oasis. I absolutely loved everything I heard about it at the Treehouse, and it really looks like it’s shaping up to be a perfect game for me. The rewards of collecting and beating and exploring, directly reflected in an ever-growing town full of travelers, is just the kind of reward system that keeps me coming back. It’s why Dark Cloud 2 is one of my favorite games of all time.
This seemed little more than a rehash on the Treehouse keynote, but it still got my excitement up. Travelers moving through your town will need things, from what I can tell these “things” are basically sidequests if I’m understanding it correctly, and if you help them, they can decide to reside in your Oasis. Sounds very cool and one more bullet point on the list of reasons I’m extremely excited for this game.
Pikmin on the 3DS!?
Well here we go – I didn’t see this one coming at all. Not sure what I was expecting of the big reveal at the end, but it certainly wasn’t this. Let me just say that I am not a huge Pikmin fan. Don’t get me wrong, the gameplay mechanics are terrific and it’s a great looking series that performs very well, but I could never really get a good handle on it. The only one I ever had was the original one on the Gamecube.. and I sold that one last year.
However! This is a total re-imaging on the Pikmin world to be played on a handheld, and I think it looks brilliant. It’s been turned completely into a 2D-sidescroller wherein you control Captain Olimar, find Pikmin, and use them like you normally would to progress through the level. I think this is a great attempt at moving this successful IP on to the handheld.
Nintendo has breathed even more life into the 3DS and I can see it being supported way into 2018 at the rate they’re moving now. I’d like to have heard about some new SNES eShop releases but this is a hell of a great start that’s sure to keep me busy for the next 6-8 months!