Nintendo Direct for August 7, 2013: Animal Crossing Plaza, Prof. Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, Wii U / 3DS updates and more
Big news wasn't the main priority of today's Nintendo Direct video presentation, as bossman Satoru Iwata spent the majority of it providing updates on some of the big Wii U/3DS titles coming out before year's end. Still, there were still a few juicy announcements to be had, so read on and find out.
To start, a new feature was announced for Sonic Lost World, one that will involve both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game. The feature will allow players to create remote-controlled helper vehicles, like a helicopter, which they can then transfer via wireless connection to the Wii U version to assist Sonic throughout the game when it launches on October 22.
Following that, Iwata hyped the bevy of features and levels that will be coming to Ubisoft's former Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends, before announcing that the Wii U version will sport special Mario and Luigi costumes for Rayman and Globox, respectively. The game will launch September 3.
Next came news regarding Art Academy SketchPad. The Wii U app was previously announced during the E3 Nintendo Direct in June and will allow users to create their own colorful drawings and share them via Miiverse. The app will launch on August 9, followed eventually by a full-on Art Academy title for Wii U, complete with “in depth” art lessons.
At this point, Iwata passed the baton of news-sharing to Erik Peterson of Treehouse (Nintendo's English localization division). He talked about a feature of the recently-released Pikmin 3 that turns the GamePad into a camera that takes in-game photos (which can be shared with others). After giving players picture-taking advice, he revealed that players can add captions to their photos on Facebook, with the Big N highlighting the best on its Facebook page.
After detailing gameplay tweaks in next week's big 3DS release, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Erikson showed off Pokemon Rumble U. The Wii U installment in the “fight with wind-up Pokemon toys” sub-series will make use of the GamePad Near-Field Communication (NFC) capabilities by giving players the ability to placing real-world figures onto the controller and into the game (think Skylanders). The game will be available on August 29.
On the 3DS side of things, a slew of new Virtual Console titles were confirmed to be coming soon. This includes the original Donkey Kong, former Famicom-exclusive Summer Carnival '92, Tecmo Bowl, and Wario Land 3. Erikson topped it off by announcing a re-release of NES classic Super Mario Bros. 3 for both 3DS and Wii U later this year.
StreetPass was the subject next. As part of a recent system update, the 3DS is now capable of receiving StreetPass data from the thousands of Nintendo Zone locations around the country, even if there are no players in those locations. Starting August 11, Nintendo will distribute special Animal Crossing: New Leaf items via Nintendo Zone. This will go on until late September.
Finally, Erikson looked to the future, showing off new footage for next year's Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. After which, he confirmed that another game starring Layton, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, will be coming stateside in 2014.
The video then turned back to Iwata, who proceeded to provide updates on 2013's two big Zelda titles, A Link Between Worlds and The Wind Waker HD. For ALBW, Iwata showed off footage of the game's Dark World and confirmed that the game is set several years after A Link to the Past (therefore meaning that the game stars a new Link). Iwata then proceeded to talk about Wind Waker HD, toting the visuals, sidequests, and gameplay tweaks (such as the streamlining of the infamous Triforce quest) that will be included in the Wii U remaster this October.
A smaller piece of news related to Nintendo's “Year of Luigi” followed. To sum up, Luigi was confirmed to be a playable character in 2014's Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, with several new screenshots showing the greener Mario brother in action.
At the end of the video, Iwata unveiled plenty of news that social fans of Animal Crossing will be excited about. Along with a new Miiverse community, Nintendo will launch the Animal Crossing Plaza, a AC version of the Wii U's main Wara Wara Plaza where players can interact with animals and other players. They'll even be able to share images from New Leaf and scan QR codes. The service is now available for free and will be available until the end of 2014.
There will be more Wii U news to come later this week, as Iwata announced that a ND video devoted to Platinum Games' The Wonderful 101 will air this Friday, August 9. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, watch the entire video on Nintendo Direct's page or YouTube!
Source: Nintendo Direct
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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