The 3DS had perhaps the best line-up of any console this year, with Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong Country, Luigi’s Mansion, Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda and many more franchises making appearances on the system.
Sure, the PS Vita had its fair share of indie games – so did the 3DS, I might add – and although the PS3 and Xbox 360 weren’t forgotten about, there were fewer big releases on each system. Even Nintendo’s home console, the Wii U, didn’t quite find its footing despite having some stellar releases.
Looking to next year, the line-up may not seem quite as impressive just yet, but Nintendo have taken to announcing games just months before release in Nintendo Direct broadcasts, and there’s still several great upcoming releases.
To me, Kirby has always just been “that Smash Bros. character my friend plays as”, and I’ve never really considered his own franchise as anything particularly exciting.
Triple Deluxe looks like a really solid platformer though, with the 2.5D perspective allowing for some excellent use of the system’s 3D, where enemies and Kirby jump in and out of the foreground and background. Kirby may have abilities inspired by other Nintendo franchises, but his sucking abilities give the game its own legs to stand on.
It will also feature some mini-games, including one where multiple Kirby characters fight against each other, and another starring King Dedede, who has to rhythmically bounce across drums.
The game releases in Japan next month, and will follow in spring 2014 in Western territories.
The latest title in the Mario Golf series, World Golf, will land on European shores next year, a decade since the previous entry, Advance Tour.
It’s essentially a golf simulation game, but features a much lighter and Mario-centric tone. That means it won’t be totally realistic, but instead fast-paced and quite arcade-like in its nature. A variety of courses will feature, including realistic courses and those inspired by landmarks in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Confirmed characters include Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Wario and Bowser. It will also feature a multiplayer component, which allows for online tournaments and real time multiplayer matches.
Mario Party is a series which thrives on multiplayer and multiplayer alone. When you gather several friends together, and play this video board game with its heavy focus on mini-games, it can be a blast, but without that it can soon become repetitive.
After eleven games in the franchise, the formula has also become quite tired, though new mini-games aim to shake things up with each release. There are 81 in this title, some of which utilise the touch screen and microphone as well as more traditional control methods.
Originally meant to release last month in Europe, it was delayed until next year. However, it still managed to meet its launch date in North America, and so far critical response hasn’t been excellent. While it still appears to be a good game, there’s nothing really revolutionary, with repetitive gameplay being a large complaint.
The game will release on the 17th of January in European territories.
While it may seem that Monster Hunter 3 just released earlier this year, you have to remember that it was a 3DS and Wii U remake of the original Wii version, released as a stop-gap while Monster Hunter 4 was in development.
MH4 isn’t heading to Wii U this time around, with development instead focused on Nintendo’s handheld system. That may seem like an odd choice considering the possible scope of the title, but it should allow for a clear focus within the title.
Japan once again got their hands on the game earlier this year, back in September, with Japanese magazine Famitsu scoring the game 38 (10/10/9/9) out of a possible 40. That seems quite impressive, so if you’re a fan of action RPGs or hunting monsters, then you should keep an eye out for this one.
There’s still no word on a European release date for the title, though it ventured outside of Japan to South Korea earlier this month.
These are both critically acclaimed and popular series which I’ve never personally taken an interest in. Although they both had standalone entries earlier this year on 3DS, a crossover is something which fans of both should be quite excited about.
Essentially, the game blends both styles of gameplay, so features mystery and puzzle solving from Layton, with Phoenix Wright representing the subject of the mystery in court. That subject will be Espella, who is chased by witches and accused of being a witch herself (with a name like that, it’s understandable why). It’s up to the duo to eventually team up and solve the mystery of Espella.
It should be great fan service, and crossovers are always welcomed within the games industry. It might be just a small crossover, but our next game is perhaps the greatest mash-up in gaming.
Nintendo recently confirmed a European release date for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright of March 28th 2014.
A portable version of Super Smash Bros. is something quite exciting indeed. While PlayStation All-Stars worked well on the PS Vita, it didn’t quite live up to the excellence and depth of Nintendo’s similar franchise.
It’s something that hasn’t been tackled before – perhaps due to Nintendo’s hardware never quite being up to the task of the fast-paced and extremely responsive fighting found within this brawler. This time round, Nintendo aren’t going for smooth visuals, but instead a more blocky and cel-shaded style.
Unlike Nintendo’s other Mario franchises, which include golf, karting, tennis and party, Smash Bros. includes characters from all of Nintendo’s greatest franchises. This makes for much more variety and perhaps a more 2respected formula, since there have only been three releases before. Characters will therefore include familiar Mario faces, along with Link, Kirby, Star Fox and more.
There’s also said to be a degree of compatibility with the Wii U version, though exactly what that entails has not been revealed just yet. Hopefully it’ll be similar to Sony’s cross-play system that we’ve seen with PS3 or PS Vita, or even just a way to take your progress on the go.
With Namco Bandai playing a part in development, and with the limitations of handheld controls, it will be interesting to see how different the game feels compared to previous Smash Bros. titles.
2D platformers seem to be Nintendo’s forté at the moment, and Yoshi’s New Island is a sequel to both Super Mario World 2 and Yoshi’s Island DS. The gameplay focuses on Yoshi escorting babies – such as baby Mario – to the end of each level.
Of course, Yoshi’s eating powers return, and you will be able to turn enemies into egg projectiles by grabbing them with his tongue. It all sounds quite morbid, but should make for a fun mechanic.
While the art style is quite basic and – for the lack of a better word – ugly at points, they’re clearly trying to continue on the style of the previous Island games, though it takes a more 3D approach this time around.
That’s not all for Nintendo – many other games will surely be announced over the coming months, as Pokémon X & Y and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds were this year. Perhaps those will even include a new Pokémon title, as the series is close to becoming a yearly franchise. Now, that could mean either Pokémon Z or a remake of the Hoenn games. Either prospect is quite exciting.
Come back tomorrow for our look at the Wii U’s upcoming year of gaming.