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Notes from Nintendo Direct: A Link to the Past and Yoshi's Island Sequels, Earthbound to Wii U VC

Plus a whole bunch of release dates and other useful info.

Nintendo held another Nintendo Direct livestream this morning, albeit one focused primarily on the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console. Still, if you're interested in either of those platforms, this morning's stream offered no shortage of useful info.

I really wasn't expecting to be writing about a direct sequel to A Link to the Past today, but it sure was a nice surprise.

On the subject of the Virtual Console, the main news was that it's coming very soon. How soon? According to Nintendo, the VC will launch the day after this month's Wii U system update, which will also improve system performance. There was no specific day cited for the update in North America and Europe yet, but it is scheduled for Japan next week. Iwata noted during the stream that Nintendo will be looking to bring GBA and N64 games to the platform.

Though it won't launch alongside the Virtual Console, fans of classic, yet underutilized Nintendo RPGs will be pleased to hear that Nintendo will bring Earthbound to the Wii U VC. Apparently the regular prodding from fans on the Miiverse paid off, as the game will launch in North America and Europe sometime this year, after having been out on the Japanese Virtual Console for some time.

That was about it for Wii U stuff (outside of a couple of release dates you'll find further down), but if you're a 3DS owner, you've got plenty of news to look forward to, not the least of which is the announcement of a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Yes, Nintendo is developing a full-on sequel to the beloved SNES entry in the Zelda series, retaining the game's top-down perspective, while using that perspective to design multilevel puzzles. Link can even turn into a wall drawing of sorts, which turns the perspective sideways, and allows him to navigate areas his three-dimensional body wouldn't. The sequel will be out in North America and Europe this holiday season, and Japan in early 2014.

Another sequel was also announced in the form of Yoshi's Island 3DS, a third game in the platforming series starring Mario's best dinosaur buddy. Little information was given on the sequel outside of acknowledgment of its existence, though Nintendo promised more would be coming soon.

Those were the biggest reveals, but here's the other stuff that came alongside these announcements, including release dates for a couple of key Wii U titles.

You can watch the full archived stream from this morning here.

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177 Comments
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Posted by Fram

I'm totally gonna buy a 3DS.

Posted by Hailinel

@brodehouse said:

@superkenon said:

@brodehouse: On the NSMB2/SMB4 thing, it's not like we're looking at Spirit Tracks graphics with a fat LTTP label plastered on it -- for better or worse, they're clearly going all the way with this throwback, thematically and stylistically. Only without the pink hair.

I get you though, and I don't doubt that the big idea is to prop this thing up on that fabled name. But it's also true we haven't really seen this kind of Zelda in awhile. I'm probably too forgiving, but hey, if this results in another good LTTP, I'll be happy.

I understand that I'm overreacting but yeah. What really tipped me over is that it's a 3DS game. I feel like making another handheld Zelda and then deigning it the heir to the LTTP name would be like making Citizen Kane 2 as an hourly drama on CBS. If you're calling it Link to the Past, you need to put it on your lead platform and you need to bring hot fire. That name is neither something to piddle out there or something to experiment with.

Handhelds aren't exactly a "side thing" Nintendo occasionally does for kicks. It's their key driving force in Japan. All the announcements for the 3DS over the past few months demonstrate that pretty clearly.

Especially when it's attracting key entries in the marquee franchises of third parties. Atlus didn't decide to put Shin Megami Tensei IV on the 3DS for shits and giggles.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

GBA games are awesome. I wish hope they put them on the 3DS marketplace?

LttP and Yoshi's Island sequels are also pretty sweet.

I'll probably get that DKCReturns port too.

Posted by ptys

@def said:

@ptys said:

This desperate scrambling by Nintendo is just getting embarrassing. I was a 'Nintendo Only' guy coming out of the Gamecube, now I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole! You just can't dismiss your core customer (who you basically flipped the bird to with the Wii) and expect them to be pandered by something as trivial as "A Link to the Past"? Come on, what kind of a nos con is that, "oohhh I never thought they'd do it so I'm back!!?"... Who cares, I play Mass Effect nowadays ; ) They should have partnered up to save the company a long time ago. I guess we're down to PS and Xbox now.

Wow, you seem incredibly bitter. Seriously, how can you find anything (aside from maybe a few little things) bad to say about what they showed here today.

Does not compute.

I get the sh#ts with this "Iwata and Mario" as the face of the company thing. Very much like how Homer Simpson became the core of all the Simpsons gags after the fourth season when they discovered his popularity. Nintendo is clearly headed in the wrong direction, seems like the Sesame Street of gaming. We all grew up, but they won't offer anything new, just pander to what their weirdo die-hard Disney-like fans want. "Ooohhh please can we have another Chrono Trigger!!!! Would be sooo-cool"... for babies, lol. Yes I am bitter, what better way to vent my frustration than THE INTERNET ; )

Posted by Tireyo

This is a collection of announcements that are music to my ears! More great Nintendo games on the way!

Posted by RetroVirus

Now I want a 3DS XL.

Posted by Bartman3010

H-hey, don't forget about Umihara Kawase Nintendo. Please? Wai--

Posted by Vinchenzo

All Nintendo does is keep bringing back their old franchises again and again. What a pathetic excuse for a company.

Posted by beard_of_zeus

Looks like the 3DS will continue to be my most played console.

Definitely in for Dream Team, Bravely Default (glad they finally announced that would be coming Westward, fingers crossed for Fantasy Life as well), SMT IV, and a new Mario & DK.

Not sure what a LTTP past sequel will even look like, or do to differentiate itself from any other new Zelda game. Curious.

Online
Edited by DrIntrovert

Dammit, my condition for buying one of those overpriced and underpowered pieces of garbage was "if they release Earthbound or Mother 3 for it." Now I'm super pissed because I want to support them releasing that game, but in order to do so I have to purchase their hardware to buy an 8 dollar virtual console title. I didn't actually think there was any chance of them ever re-releasing that game. I'll probably use the machine for other virtual console titles, but I don't know if there's anything else coming to the system I'm really interested in. They must be really desperate if they're going to that stage to try to rebuild goodwill. Don't know if it worked on me yet. I'm still on the fence about it.

Edited by SleepyDoughnut

This makes me so happy to have a 3DS. This is a strong ass lineup.

Edited by _Chad

Yay! I'll have a third game to add to my 3DS collection.

Posted by joshthebear

I can't be the only one who thought the visuals for the LTTP sequel looked like shit, right?

Posted by fjor

@joshthebear: maybe not.....i for one love how they look :)

Edited by Hailinel

@fjor said:

@joshthebear: maybe not.....i for one love how they look :)

Yeah, I really like how it looks, particularly in motion.

Edited by GunstarRed

I think Bravely Default is the most exciting news from that. As much as I adore A Link to the Past and Yoshi's Island those two games seem ultra safe even by Nintendo standards. I was kinda hoping we'd be seeing more like Kid Icarus from Nintendo instead of remakes etc.

Edited by KingBroly

@bluebird14: Given its' release date, I'd say M&L:DT is also being localized by NOE since it comes out a month earlier in Europe than in North America.

I'm pretty excited about everything mentioned except the SMT stuff, since I'm not a fan of those games. LttP sequel seems really cool, but for some reason, I get a weird NSMB vibe from it. The same goes for Yoshi's Island, but I guess that's because they're trying to mimic those 2D art styles in 3D, but aren't hitting the visual mark like M&L:DT is, which is doing the same thing successfully.

Edited by Shaanyboi

Dammit, my condition for buying one of those overpriced and underpowered pieces of garbage was "if they release Earthbound or Mother 3 for it." Now I'm super pissed because I want to support them releasing that game, but in order to do so I have to purchase their hardware to buy an 8 dollar virtual console title. I didn't actually think there was any chance of them ever re-releasing that game. I'll probably use the machine for other virtual console titles, but I don't know if there's anything else coming to the system I'm really interested in. They must be really desperate if they're going to that stage to try to rebuild goodwill. Don't know if it worked on me yet. I'm still on the fence about it.

Wait two months for E3, then see how you feel about it.

Posted by believer258

@ptys said:

@def said:

@ptys said:

This desperate scrambling by Nintendo is just getting embarrassing. I was a 'Nintendo Only' guy coming out of the Gamecube, now I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole! You just can't dismiss your core customer (who you basically flipped the bird to with the Wii) and expect them to be pandered by something as trivial as "A Link to the Past"? Come on, what kind of a nos con is that, "oohhh I never thought they'd do it so I'm back!!?"... Who cares, I play Mass Effect nowadays ; ) They should have partnered up to save the company a long time ago. I guess we're down to PS and Xbox now.

Wow, you seem incredibly bitter. Seriously, how can you find anything (aside from maybe a few little things) bad to say about what they showed here today.

Does not compute.

I get the sh#ts with this "Iwata and Mario" as the face of the company thing. Very much like how Homer Simpson became the core of all the Simpsons gags after the fourth season when they discovered his popularity. Nintendo is clearly headed in the wrong direction, seems like the Sesame Street of gaming. We all grew up, but they won't offer anything new, just pander to what their weirdo die-hard Disney-like fans want. "Ooohhh please can we have another Chrono Trigger!!!! Would be sooo-cool"... for babies, lol. Yes I am bitter, what better way to vent my frustration than THE INTERNET ; )

I did not play Chrono Trigger until last year. It was one of the best games I've ever played. I was 21. It's not a "baby's" thing, it was pretty fun and entertaining. It was also a Square game, not a Nintendo one.

Anyway, I'll continue to laugh away at the Wii U but the 3DS is really pulling out some good stuff this year. OK, it's mostly from Atlus and Nintendo (side note: Shin Megami Tensei, at least, is not at all for babies), but hey, most of it still sounds like great fun.

Online
Edited by EnduranceFun

@ptys said:

@def said:

@ptys said:

This desperate scrambling by Nintendo is just getting embarrassing. I was a 'Nintendo Only' guy coming out of the Gamecube, now I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole! You just can't dismiss your core customer (who you basically flipped the bird to with the Wii) and expect them to be pandered by something as trivial as "A Link to the Past"? Come on, what kind of a nos con is that, "oohhh I never thought they'd do it so I'm back!!?"... Who cares, I play Mass Effect nowadays ; ) They should have partnered up to save the company a long time ago. I guess we're down to PS and Xbox now.

Wow, you seem incredibly bitter. Seriously, how can you find anything (aside from maybe a few little things) bad to say about what they showed here today.

Does not compute.

I get the sh#ts with this "Iwata and Mario" as the face of the company thing. Very much like how Homer Simpson became the core of all the Simpsons gags after the fourth season when they discovered his popularity. Nintendo is clearly headed in the wrong direction, seems like the Sesame Street of gaming. We all grew up, but they won't offer anything new, just pander to what their weirdo die-hard Disney-like fans want. "Ooohhh please can we have another Chrono Trigger!!!! Would be sooo-cool"... for babies, lol. Yes I am bitter, what better way to vent my frustration than THE INTERNET ; )

I did not play Chrono Trigger until last year. It was one of the best games I've ever played. I was 21. It's not a "baby's" thing, it was pretty fun and entertaining. It was also a Square game, not a Nintendo one.

Anyway, I'll continue to laugh away at the Wii U but the 3DS is really pulling out some good stuff this year. OK, it's mostly from Atlus and Nintendo (side note: Shin Megami Tensei, at least, is not at all for babies), but hey, most of it still sounds like great fun.

Same here. I'm always amused by those who think their "mature games" are the best because they're made for mature gamers like themselves. If you're an adult and embarrassed that your taste may not be "grown up enough," that is the childish behaviour, not enjoying games that aren't tailor made for your age group.

Edited by MrKlorox

Long live the SNES! I'm down with a 3D-ified LTTP sequel, since that was my favorite incarnation of that series.

Shame Earthbound isn't coming to the 3DS, but at least Nintendo is finally giving that series some attention. Now, all thirteen of you who own a WiiU have the responsibility of buying it on the Virtual Console so Nintendo can see that it's worth releasing the rest of the games in the series, and potentially on the 3DS.

Edited by ssdelorean

15 games mentioned, 8 of which hinge on the mario name. and thats not counting the yoshi, donkey kong, and wario games. nintendo, please. step outside your comfort zone.

Edited by hoonsama

I don't have a 3DS but all these new games excites me. Thinking about getting that Animal Crossing bundle, but I might hold out in hopes that they'll do a Bravely Default bundle.

Edited by Orbitz

Nintendo's seeming lack of interest in their Wii U console is really starting to piss me off, YOU NEED GAMES ON THAT THING BIG N! Stop with the handheld crap and release SOMETHING on your shiny new home console. I'm probably overreacting but that's just the way it looks from where I'm sitting.

Posted by cruellordsoth

F Zero X N64 with the Japanese expansion on the 3ds?

thats what i need

Edited by DrGreatJob

@ghostnpc: This would mean something if Nintendo didn't have like 30 years of history with mostly great, memorable games with their existing IPs.

Edited by pickassoreborn

Oh god. Animal Crossing. Yes please!

I love the Nintendo Directs - they give more of a human face to Nintendo as a company. They're not full of any particular PR bullshit spin - just an honest look at what's to come from them. I appreciate that.