It’s been teased for a while, but finally confirmation has arrived. Nintendo have announced via their latest Nintendo Direct presentation that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is coming exclusively to the 3DS next spring.
It’s a pleasant development, if hardly surprising after Nintendo’s success with the Ocarina of Time remake and A Link Between Worlds. While Majora’s Mask has long been a controversial entry among Zelda fans, the change of setting from Hyrule to Termia, the challenging time-looping gameplay and the overall darker tone of the game turning many off. However, it has garnered a strong cult following over the years and it’ll be interesting to revisit the game at a time when games such as the Souls series have brought unconventional and challenging game design into the zeitgeist. Hell, this and watching the streetpass fun had by people at PAX Aus last weekend has been enough to tempt me to buy a Nintendo machine for the first time in years.
The full list of announcements given by Nintendo are as follows:
Mario Kart 8 DLC: The first pack of DLC for Mario Kart 8 launches on Nov. 13 and includes new courses, vehicles and characters from other Nintendo games like The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero and Excitebike. Players can buy and download from the in-game menu or in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.
amiibo: In addition to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, multiple games will be compatible with amiibo, including Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors in 2014, plus Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Yoshi’s Woolly World and Mario Party 10 in 2015. This amiibo functionality will be available to players in the following games when the first wave of figures launches on Nov. 21.
Mario Kart 8: When players tap Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Link, Captain Falcon, Fox, Samus or Kirby amiibo figures on the Wii U GamePad controller, they will receive a Mii racing suit themed to that particular amiibo character. Players’ Mii characters can wear these detailed suits when racing in the game.
Hyrule Warriors: A Link amiibo figure gives players a special “Spinner” weapon in the action-packed Wii U game. Additionally, every Super Smash Bros. series amiibo figure will grant randomly selected materials, weapons or rupees in the game. The first wave of amiibo starring characters like Mario, Link and Samus launches on Nov. 21, the same day as the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U game, and the second wave of six characters hits store shelves in December.
Splatoon: The four-on-four online multiplayer shooter also features a single-player mode, which pits a player’s squid-like Inkling character against an army of octopi equipped with an arsenal of ink weaponry. Splatoon will launch exclusively for Wii U in the second quarter of 2015.
Xenoblade Chronicles X: In this new RPG from Monolith Soft, players embark on an epic quest in a new world. Using the city of New Los Angeles as a home base, players will embark on missions, collect items and take on requests from residents. Xenoblade Chronicles X – which features a bigger world than Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii – is scheduled to launch exclusively for Wii U in 2015.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: The newest game in the charming Kirby series finds the lovable pink puffball journeying through a world made of clay. Players guide Kirby along a rainbow line drawn on the Wii U GamePad controller’s touch screen. A new four-player multiplayer mode lets one player play as Kirby and focus on drawing rainbow lines on the GamePad, while the others control a trio of Waddle Dee characters that can collect items or carry Kirby around. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse launches for Wii U in February 2015.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: A new trailer for the game debuted during the Nintendo Direct and showed snippets of some of the 70+ levels players will encounter. The game also features different challenges that, once completed, will reveal additional content in the game. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launches for Wii U on Dec. 5.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D: One of the most talked-about games in the history of The Legend of Zelda series is coming to Nintendo 3DS. Launching in spring 2015, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D brings Link’s suspenseful, intricate quest through the mysterious world of Termina to a hand-held system for the first time with enhanced 3D graphics and added features for a smoother game experience.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.: From Intelligent Systems, the creators of the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series, comes Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., a turn-based tactical action RPG that features characters like … Abraham Lincoln? That’s right: Abraham Lincoln leads a team of newly revealed playable characters like Tiger Lily and Tom Sawyer. Each character in the game possesses special abilities, like Tiger Lily’s healing and Tom Sawyer’s gadgets, that help players complete missions across well-designed battlefields. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will launch exclusively for Nintendo 3DS in spring 2015.
Ultimate NES Remix: The NES Remix series comes to Nintendo 3DS, combining 16 of the top NES games from the NES Remix and NES Remix 2 games on Wii U. Famicom Remix Mode offers challenges from the Japanese version of NES Remix, featuring slightly different sound effects and backgrounds, and in Speed Mario Bros., players can play through the original Super Mario Bros. ramped up to super speed. Ultimate NES Remix also features online leaderboards, allowing players to compare scores in challenges with others in their region. The nostalgic game launches for Nintendo 3DS on Dec. 5.
Persona Q Edition Nintendo 3DS XL: In honor of the Nov. 25 launch of the ATLUS role-playing game Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, GameStop will be the exclusive retailer for the Persona Q Edition of the Nintendo 3DS hardware. The design evokes the essence of Persona Q with styling on the front of the iconic Grimoire – the tome used by the attendants of the Velvet Room and containing information on the many Personas – and the new style of character art represented on the back. It will be available at a suggested retail price of $199.99. (The Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth game will be sold separately. Both the Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: Wild Cards Premium Edition and Limited Standard Edition versions of the game will be available for a limited time only.)
Wii U & Nintendo 3DS
PIKMIN Short Movies: Last month, Shigeru Miyamoto premiered PIKMIN Short Movies, a series of animated short films he directed that takes place in the Pikmin universe. These short films are now available as one paid download in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. As a supplement to the movies (in addition to popcorn, of course), a free demo version for Pikmin 3 is also now in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.
Sonic Boom: A free demo for Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, the new Sonic the Hedgehog game launching exclusively for Nintendo 3DS on Nov. 11, is now available in the Nintendo eShop. The free demo for exclusive Wii U game Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (also launching on Nov. 11) will be available on Dec. 4. In addition, a new Nintendo 3DS Home Menu theme and Puzzle Swap panel inspired by Sonic Boom are both coming to Nintendo 3DS on Nov. 11.
Indie games!: Nintendo’s support for indie developers continues with a host of indie games coming to both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. In addition, fans will be able to discover a CommanderVideo trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U based on the classic character from the Bit.Trip series, as well as download a new Nintendo 3DS Home Menu theme based on hit indie game Shovel Knight. Many of the creative indie games coming to Wii U and Nintendo 3DS include the following:
Runbow from 13AM Games (Wii U) – 2015
Chromophore: The Two Brothers Director’s Cut from Ackk Studios LLC (Wii U) – Winter
Citizens of Earth from ATLUS (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS) – Winter
Nihilumbra from BeautiFun Games (Wii U) – Winter
The Swapper from Curve Digital (Wii U) – Nov. 6
Thomas Was Alone from Curve Digital (Wii U) – Nov. 25
Proun+ from Engine Software (Wii U) – Winter
Trine Enchanted Edition from Frozenbyte (Wii U) – Winter
Chariot from Frima Studio Inc. (Wii U) – Winter
A.N.N.E. from Gamesbymo (Wii U) – Winter
Gunman Clive 2 from Hörberg Productions (Wii U) – Winter
SteamWorld Heist from Image & Form (Wii U) – Spring 2015
Affordable Space Adventures from KnapNok Games (Wii U) – Q1 2015
Gone Home from Midnight City (Wii U) – Winter
High Strangeness from Midnight City (Wii U) – Winter
forma.8 from MixedBag (Wii U) – Winter
A World of Keflings from NinjaBee (Wii U) – Nov. 13
Tengami from Nyamyam Ltd. (Wii U) – Nov. 13
Treasurenauts from Renegade Kid (Nintendo 3DS) – Q1 2015
Xeodrifter from Renegade Kid (Nintendo 3DS) – Q4
Swords & Soldiers II from Ronimo Games BV (Wii U) – Winter
Beatbuddy from THREAKS (Wii U) – Q1 2015
Sportsball from TOO DX (Wii U) – Nov. 6
6180 the moon from Turtle Cream (Wii U) – Winter
Rive from Two Tribes (Wii U) – 2015
All in all, it’s a pretty impressive list, with Splatoon and Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. sounding promising, and the raft of indie games announced containing a couple of surprising choices (Gone Home and Thomas Was Alone particularly). The big one, however, is undoubtedly Majora’s Mask 3D. While there is a basis for arguing that Nintendo is milking the elf with these re-releases, they also reinforce the cultural cache the franchise still holds. All in all however, with Mario Kart 8 and Bayonetta 2 also giving the Wii U a commercial and critical boost in recent months it seems like Nintendo may finally be poised to press the advantage and win back some hearts and minds in 2015.