It's been a long time since Nintendo aired a Nintendo Direct - the company's video press releases that detail a chunk of news taking up 30 minutes to an hour that they broadcast "directly" to fans. In fact, going by the companies own archives, the last Nintendo Direct video was released all the way back in March, half a year ago. Needless to say, today's direct was highly anticipated - although Nintendo did state that only games for Nintendo 3DS would be announced ahead of time, silencing any thoughts of news on the upcoming Nintendo NX. For those who missed it, the entire American Direct is embedded below. For those who want all the information, let's go over what was announced!
Dates below are for North America, unless otherwise noted.
Pokemon Sun and Moon
It was to be expected, but today's direct gave us some announcements regarding Pokemon Sun and Moon. A new Alolan form for Rattata was announced, with the rodent Pokemon receiving a new Dark/Normal typing. It was also detailed that some Pokemon will receive their own unique "Z-moves". One Pokemon that will receive a special Z-move is Snorlax, which will be available for Early purchasers via a Munchlax and a Snorlium Crystal that will come with the titles at launch. More information can be found here.
Super Mario Maker 3DS
Much like Hyrule Warriors last year, Super Mario Maker is shedding its Wii U exclusivity to come to Nintendo 3DS. The title will include 100 additional "medal challenge" courses, will play most courses from the Wii U version, and players will be able to share their creations over local wireless and StreetPass. However, it is also losing the ability to share more stuff online. The port will release December 2nd, read our article on the title for more details.
Mario Party: Star Rush
This newest Mario Party title will include seven different modes of play, will support Download Play via an app on the eShop (so you can play with your friends if they don't own the game) and more. In a change up for the series, the Direct made note of a focus on skill-based competition, but we'll have to see about that when the game launches on November 4th.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Nintendo is shining the spotlight once again on one of the 3DS' most successful game releases. Besides detailing the amiibo update that will come to the title later this year, the company detailed the new "Welcome Amiibo" physical release that will come pre-loaded with the upcoming update, and will ship with a "free" Amiibo card. An Animal Crossing mini-Direct will broadcast later this Fall.
A new update was announced for the title, giving the system software its biggest update yet. Players will be able to use "Quick Plaza" to cycle through StreetPasses quicker, while "Premium Plaza" will allow players to get up to 100 players for Streetpass at a time. Nintendo also detailed five new Streetpass titles that release today (Slot Car Rivals, Market Crashers, Feed Mii, Mii Trek, and Ninja Launcher). Players can choose to get either Slot Car Rivals or Market Crashers for free, while the rest will be available as a discounted bundle.
Tank Troopers is a previously unannounced title that is coming to the eShop this Winter. Players take control of their own "Trooper" in this third-person action game. Up to 6 players can play at once, and Download Play is supported as well. More information can be found here.
Picross 3D: Round 2
Released in Japan last year, the sequel to DS game Picross 3D comes to the west today, with a digital-only release. The title released after the Direct ended, and a free demo has also been uploaded to the eShop. Players now must manage two separate colors while painting their 3D creations, making the game more challenging than before. The title includes amiibo support and comes equipped with over 300 puzzles.
Nindies Summer Jam
Stretching the definition of the word "Summer", Nintendo will be highlighting and discounting a different indie game on Nintendo platforms each week this month. A Twitter contest was also announced, with the winner receiving each game and the chance to curate their own section of the eShop. More details on each game in this program can be found here.
Hyrule Warrior Legends/Zelda 30th Anniversary
The next bit of DLC for the title has been revealed, and subsequently released. Toon Link (with the Sand Wand) and Toon Zelda (using her possession powers to fight) have been made available to purchase, alongside an all-new Adventure map. Nintendo also detailed an artbook they're releasing for the Zelda series' 30th anniversary, as well as a variety of Amiibo that will have special compatibility with the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There's much more to talk about here, so check out our Zelda-specific article for more information.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice
This was just a small overview of the newest entry into the Ace Attorney series. Featuring both Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice, players will use techniques both new and old to solve cases before uttering a properly timed Objection! Spirit of Justice will be on the eShop on September 8th.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
Not much was announced here that wasn't already known, though the game's Streetpass and online features were detailed. Pre-ordering the game on the eShop will give you access to a special Dragon Quest VII theme for your system. Releases September 16th.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
In other Dragon Quest news, the Western release for Journey of the Cursed King has been delayed. The game is still aiming for a release on Nintendo 3DS, but it will now hit next year. A Metal Slime draws near! But quickly retreats to 2017.
Yokai Watch 2: Bony Spirits/Fleshy Souls
Various exclusives to each version of the game were detailed, as well as the information that physical pre-orders will come with a bonus physical medal that gives you a move in-game. The title releases on September 3oth. No sign of Japan's "third" version of the title coming west, unfortunately.
Disney's Magical World 2
Nintendo detailed that pre-ordering this title will give the player access to Frozen-themed outfits. Additionally, previously Japan-exclusive Disney 3DS themes are coming to the North American theme shop.
Hoping to break the ice regarding the silence surrounding the title, it was announced that pre-orders of the title will include a DVD containing 3 episodes from the Sonic Boom TV show. This new Sonic title launches September 27th.
Shin Megami Tensei 4: Apocalypse
Today's announcement stressed that the title can be played without having played the original Shin Megami Tensei IV before. First prints of the game will come with a set of three medals. The title launches September 2oth in North America.
Poochy and Yoshi's Wooly World
Much like Super Mario Maker and the aforementioned Hyrule Warriors, Yoshi's Wooly World is coming to 3DS with a few additions. Namely, new stages themed around the "poochy" character have been included, and it should be easier for players to find secrets with the help of poochy companions. The game will come with 30 shorts by animation stuido "Dwarf Studios". Alongside the titles launch, a Yarn Amiibo Poochy was detailed. Will be available separately as well as part of a bundle with the game when the port releases February 3rd, 2017. More info can be found here.
Announced during the Treehouse stream at E3 this year, Ever Oasis is a desert themed RPG where your goal is to build up an oasis to bring people together in the sandy wasteland. We've gathered more information about this game here.
Mario Sports Superstars
This game is a compilation of various sports, including Soccer, Baseball, Tennis, Golf, and Horse Racing. The title includes both local and online multiplayer and will release this coming Spring. More information here.
Pikmin (Working Title)
Pikmin is coming to Nintendo 3DS as a side-scrolling action game and comparisons to Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash are inevitable. Pikmin retain the signature abilities of the characters in their side-scrolling form and the title launches next year. More information can be found here.
They Came From Japan
Below this line are a few announcements that come from the Japanese Nintendo Direct. For various reasons, these titles or announcements didn't make the cut for the North American Nintendo Direct - but seem likely or possible to come to the west in some form.
Monster Hunter Stories
Continuing Capcom's recent tradition of collaborating with Nintendo for additional content in Monster Hunter titles, Japanese players will be able to cosplay as Link and fight using Epona when the game comes out in Japan this October. Considering both the game's upcoming Amiibos and today's announcement, I'd be shocked if Monster Hunter Stories doesn't come to the west at this point. At any rate, the title releases in Japan on October 8th.
Celebrating the series' 25th Anniversary, Puyo-Puyo is getting an RPG on the 3DS. Besides featuring a story mode where players battle enemies using their Puyo-Puyo skills as their weapon, players will have access to 17 different Puyo-Puyo rulesets spanning the history of the series. Much like Puyo-Puyo Tetris, the game can be played alone, locally between systems, and online. The main reason that Puyo-Puyo Tetris didn't come to the west was due to issues with the Tetris license, so hopefully fans of the series might see this latest title in the series come to the west. The title releases in Japan on December 8th.
New 2DS Colors
Following in the footsteps of Japan's earlier Pokemon-themed 2DS systems earlier this year, Nintendo is releasing a new wave of 2DS colors in the country starting September 15th.
Announced at the very end of the Japanese Nintendo Direct, not much information was given about the game. However, considering it has "Mii" in the title, it would be a surprise if whatever the title turns out to be, it doesn't end up heading West when it releases later this year.