Nintendo may have taken the wind out of the sails of its latest Nintendo Direct presentation when it announced a lack of news Legend of Zelda news last week, but the company made amends by doubling down on the wild success of its Amiibo toy line.
The announcement of Amiibo Tap: The best stuff from Nintendo finally fulfilled Nintendo’s promise to unlock classic games with the toy line. The Wii U app will launch “this spring” as a free download and will unlock three-minute demos of random games. Super Mario World demo or a demo for the original Super Mario Bros. Whichever demo your Amiibo unlocks, it will also enable “scene switching” when you tap it again in the middle of a demo – after which the three-minute count starts again.
Speaking of Amiibos, Nintendo has announced quite a few new toys in the line, including three Yoshi toys based on the upcoming one Yoshi’s Wooly World game – and yes, that means that toy will be cloth. The upcoming colorful Wii U online shooter Splatoon will receive a special set of three Amiibo toys, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS get another set of nearly a dozen toys, including Wario, Pac-Man and Child IcarusDark Link. Nintendo has also finally announced a local multiplayer mode for Splatoonalong with a May 29 release date for the game.
More details were finally revealed about the very first DLC character in the Super Smash Bros. series. Mewtwo, the pokemon character who debuted in the GameCube iteration of the series was announced as an add-on last year and the character will be available on April 28 as a paid add-on for both the 3DS and Wii U for $3.99 in one game or $4.99 as a two-game DLC bundle. Fans of the series who have registered both versions of the game with the now-closed Club Nintendo service will get Mewtwo for free on April 15.
Mother/Earthbound series hero Lucas – a not-quite-clone of that series’ Ness character – will also return to the fighting game in June, though no pricing information for that character has yet been announced. Apparently that’s not the end of it Super Smash Bros. DLC, as Satoru Iwata also announced a way for fans to petition the game’s creators for new characters. (Costume DLC is also on the way, complete with costumes from series like Mega guy for the game’s “Mii” fighters.)
Toys weren’t enough? Also have some maps
Animal Crossing: Happy Home designer was the biggest new announcement in the 3DS space, especially as Nintendo introduced the new “Amiibo Card” series – a set of collectible cards with NFC chips that can be used just like Amiibo figures. The game seemed like a condensed take on the company’s beloved village sim series, focusing entirely on decorations and designs within your player’s virtual home, as opposed to playing in a larger village. Players need Amiibo cards to bring new virtual friends into their home. That game’s “fall” launch coincides with the launch of an NFC sensor for older Nintendo 3DS consoles; currently only the “new” Nintendo 3DS XL has NFC support.
The Wii U virtual console roster was expanded immediately after the Nintendo Direct presentation with the reveal of support for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 64 systems. Yoshi’s Island DS And Super Mario 64 were announced as eShop games and they will soon be followed by other classics from those systems. In a cool twist, each downloaded Nintendo DS game will run in multiple display modes on the Wii U gamepad, allowing players to enjoy different sizes and layouts of touchscreens.
The rest of the presentation focused on many previously announced titles, particularly the upcoming ones Mario Maker game and a mash-up of beloved Japanese RPG series Fire emblem And Shin Megami Tensei. Mario Kart 8’s final DLC pack was given an April 23 release date, and while racetrack details weren’t fully revealed, that lack of detail was made up for with an announcement of a free, same-day update for all players: a new “200CC” class, which will reportedly boost the game’s speed to the fastest ever in the series. (From the look of that mode’s video footage, it certainly resembles the insane speeds of games like F-zero.)