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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.
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.

Alex Navarro on Google+
177 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for vigorousjammer
Edited By Vigorousjammer

Oh man. Lttp Sequel. The art style in that screenshot looks pretty good.
I still consider Minish Cap pretty much a sequel to Lttp, or, I guess it'd be a prequel.

Still, pretty hyped about this... also excited about Earthbound prices to go down on Ebay.

Avatar image for superkenon
Posted By Superkenon

@darji: Uhh. Assassin's Creed has come into existence and made five titles in this last console generation alone (this, of course, is not counting the upcoming sequel). There has been one new Zelda game. Two if you want to count Twilight Princess, but that predates even the first Assassin's Creed.

Admittedly, there's been also two handheld releases for Zelda in this time-frame. Though, off the top of my head I can think of four more handheld-based Assassin Creeds too, so... yeah. Wanna call it 9 vs 4?

Avatar image for deathpooky
Posted By Deathpooky

Supremely excited for both of the sequels. Smart usage of nostalgia - bring back things that don't have a place in the current gaming landscape. I've still found the portable 2D incarnations of Zelda to be better than most of the 3D releases, and consider LttP to be the best Zelda to date. Easier to be creative and have more of an exploration element to them. Ocarina it's a little harder to go back to when it comes to combat, movement and camera.

And Yoshi's Island is extremely underrated and pretty much unique gameplay-wise. The egg throwing / hatching and level design were great and it'll be great to see them get back to it.

Also highly recommend Earthbound. One of the only older games that had a great sense of humor, intentionally. Can be a little difficult or grindy at times, but not as bad as other games from that era.

Avatar image for winternet
Posted By Winternet

@superkenon: I don't follow Nintendo releases that thoroughly, but there's around 6 or 7 games in that list above with the Mario name in it.

Avatar image for fcdrandy
Edited By FCDRandy

I wonder if the title for Square Enix's Bravely Default: Flying Fairy will also be localized, because what the fuck

Avatar image for kaiserreich
Posted By Kaiserreich

All those overinflated Earthbound prices on eBay are about to come crashing down.

Avatar image for darji
Posted By Darji

@winternet said:

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

I don't think it's such a hard distinction to make. When people are talking about being tired of sequels, they're speaking to annualized (or near-annualized) games, coming out so fast and largely resembling their predecessors. It's like you've just barely had a chance to finish eating, you're satisfied and full, yet they immediately dish you up a meal made of all the same ingredients, with maybe a cherry on top or something -- you liked it before, but you just can't do it again. Not yet. "Please, thanks, that's okay... but no more. I'm good for now. Maybe later?"

But if you're a Nintendo fan, you're friggin' starved. It's always years and years between proper installments of their flagship franchises, so it's more of an event when they roll around.

starved of a MArio or Zelda game? WTF are you smoking?^^ They release these games faster than Ubisoft does release a new Assassins Creed Game or Activision a new COD game.

Online
Avatar image for TechnoSyndrome
Edited By TechnoSyndrome

@ghostnpc said:

Oh look, no new IP. How surprising, Nintendo.

There were several new digital titles announced, Alex just decided to ignore all of them even though two of them looked and sounded awesome.

Avatar image for phatmac
Posted By Phatmac

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is going to be so good!!! It isn't the year of Luigi. It's the year of the 3DS!

Avatar image for endurancefun
Posted By EnduranceFun

@psychohead: This is a 3DS game. From the UI, it's likely this is developed by the team behind the extremely successful Ocarina of Time remake, I forget their name. Personally I would guess that after this they would remake Majora's Mask, so maybe the cycle for them will become remake -> new game / sequel -> remake if they continue to sell well.

Avatar image for roycampbell
Edited By RoyCampbell
No Caption Provided

Avatar image for superkenon
Posted By Superkenon

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

I don't think it's such a hard distinction to make. When people are talking about being tired of sequels, they're speaking to annualized (or near-annualized) games, coming out so fast and largely resembling their predecessors. It's like you've just barely had a chance to finish eating, you're satisfied and full, yet they immediately dish you up a meal made of all the same ingredients, with maybe a cherry on top or something -- you liked it before, but you just can't do it again. Not yet. "Please, thanks, that's okay... but no more. I'm good for now. Maybe later?"

But if you're a Nintendo fan, you're friggin' starved. It's always years and years between proper installments of their flagship franchises, so it's more of an event when they roll around.

Avatar image for prettyflacco
Posted By PrettyFlacco

Link to the Past is the greatest game ever made and I'm going to pretend this is not actually going to be a sequel because I'm a baby who wants to keep his nostalgia intact. thanks.

Avatar image for superfriend
Edited By Superfriend

That Donkey Kong game without the dumb waggle-to-roll feature is absolutely worth buying and a proper new 2D Zelda game sound amazing! So does a new Yoshi´s Island.

BUT I want to play those at home on my big screen TV. Don´t want to buy a handheld thingy ever again. My dusty day-one PSP reminds me that I don´t play handhelds.

Avatar image for winternet
Posted By Winternet

@huser: I just said people in general, not that everyone was like this.

@tearsinmyfro: That didn't stop people from going "ugh, a sequel" when Killzone 4 was announced.

Avatar image for popogeejo
Posted By Popogeejo

starman.net must be happy about this.

Avatar image for psychohead
Posted By Psychohead

The real question regarding a LTTP sequel is whether or not Nintendo pulls a New SMB on us should LTTP 2 prove popular. If the game is actually good, I'd really hate to see them drive it into the ground. I also reeeeally hope this is a project they've had in mind for a while, and not just Nintendo hitting a big green panic button to garner interest in the flagging WiiU.

Bring us back home, Nintendo! And don't screw it up! For all our sakes.

Avatar image for tearsinmyfro
Posted By tearsinmyfro

@winternet: People usually say that about series that get a sequels every year, not series that get a sequel once or twice per console.

Avatar image for haziqonfire
Edited By Haziqonfire

My head hurts from all these announcements. So happy though.

Avatar image for the_nubster
Edited By The_Nubster

@sixpin: Odd in that it's a direct sequel to a 20 year-old game in a franchise that doesn't often deal in direct sequels. On top of that, it's coming close to a remake of another much-beloved Zelda game, both of these games in lieu of a new Zelda announcement. It strikes me as a very 'safe' strategy, which isn't very fun. At least, it isn't what I would want out of Zelda announcements.

Avatar image for eribuster
Edited By Eribuster

@winternet said:

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

This times a hundred.

You'll find complaints on sequels if you look for them. They're even in this particular thread.

@ghostnpc said:

Oh look, no new IP. How surprising, Nintendo.

And completely ignore Bravely Default: Flying Fairy, The Starship Damrey, Bugs vs. Tanks, and Attack of Friday Monsters: A Tokyo Story. Now if you want to say that those don't count, then that's a different thing.

I'm not ecstatic with Nintendo's nostalgia mining either (the only game I'm really excited for from this Direct is Bravely Default), but give some credit when new stuff does show up on their systems whether it's by Nintendo or other people.

Avatar image for leinad44
Edited By leinad44

Oh the internet, don't ever stop being so grumpy.

Interested to see how this new zelda turns out. Looks like I got my 3DS at just the right time.

Avatar image for mrfluke
Posted By mrfluke

@winternet said:

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

This times a hundred.

its the hypocrisy that we all share in the sense that we all have our favorite franchises that we would go for more games in that universe,

Like brad for example on twitter hes down on the idea of a new zelda game in the link to the past world, but gets totally stoked for a new game in the infamous world..

Avatar image for jacksukeru
Posted By jacksukeru

Also I love Square Enix titles.

Not the games but the names.

Avatar image for huser
Edited By huser

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

Anyway, either Nintendo has a couple of cards under their sleeves or their E3 event will be a bummer.

Made in jest perhaps, but is there a single IP of Nintendo that has had dozens of games? And of course the simple explanation is that even a lot of people doing a thing doesn't mean that everyone is. Heck it doesn't even mean a majority.

Avatar image for brendan
Posted By Brendan

At first this list looked cool, but I grew fatigued by the end due to the sheer amount of Mario-based games. I understand that the games themselves are varied enough to make it an unfair comparison to other franchises such as COD when using the term "sequalitis" but I wish Nintendo would invent a new character and setting to freshen the paint up a bit.

Avatar image for beb
Posted By Beb

Holy shit.

A direct sequel to the greatest game of all time.

Avatar image for recroulette
Posted By recroulette

Just finished watching it, and more people should be talking about Game and Wario.

Avatar image for patth
Posted By Patth

@gaff said:

Maybe my heart has turned into a cold, cold chunk of ice, but Link to the Past 2 and Yoshi's Island 3DS look terrible?

Zelda is visually "Okay"and the gameplay seems fine. But Yoshi's Island, man, everything looks prerendered in the worst way with some snippets of 2D sprites...

Avatar image for casper_
Posted By casper_

some of this is real cool and im pretty psyched but i cant help but feel like nintendo is completely shackled to their group of like 4 franchises and we wont be seeing games not involved in those franchises for a bit.

Avatar image for teoball
Posted By Teoball

Aw, I thought the LttP sequel was for the WiiU too. It would look awesome in HD.
I do have a 3DS, but I don't really wanna play Zelda on a small screen.

Avatar image for huser
Posted By huser

@joeyravn said:

Nintendo announces a bunch of cool stuff. The Internet is not satisfied.

I, for one, am extremely excited about the new LttP. 2D Zeldas are my favorite... I can hardly wait to get the Oracles on the eShop to play them again.

God forbid being stoked about what you get rather than what you didn't, or you know not bother to click a link when it's clearly about something you weren't fond of anyways (which will be even more awesomely present when the new consoles come out and the next war begins).

Avatar image for originalgman
Posted By OriginalGman
No Caption Provided

What's the over/under on them naming it "A Link to the Future"?

Avatar image for darthorange
Edited By DarthOrange

@ghostnpc: Keeping their cards to their chest, I doubt they'd announce a new IP on a Nintendo Direct. Wait for E3.

What was their big reveal last E3? Nintendo Land? I wouldn't be surprised if their big thing at E3 this year is a trailer and maybe some gameplay of the new Smash Bros.

I really really really hope they bring out a new IP. Last one we got was Pikmin and that was over ten years ago.

Avatar image for slashdance
Posted By SlashDance

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

This times a hundred.

Avatar image for bluebird14
Posted By bluebird14

Interestingly Bravely Default is set to come out in 2013 in Europe. This suggests that NoE are doing the translation like with Xenoblade.

Avatar image for jacksukeru
Edited By jacksukeru

I'm interested in Bravely Default, heard mixed things though.

Not sure how I feel about another Mario & Luigi, I like the series but had mixed feelings on Bowser's Inside Story. On the one hand it looked great, the battles were fun and the story & characters was a good return to form after the middling-but-good second game.

At the same time there where a lot of needless minigames thrown in and repeated, and the constant tutorializing bogged down the pace considerably , making it somewhat of a chore for me to get through. I'll keep an eye on it for sure, but it's not a done deal just yet.

Avatar image for gaff
Edited By Gaff

Maybe my heart has turned into a cold, cold chunk of ice, but Link to the Past 2 and Yoshi's Island 3DS look terrible?

Avatar image for baltimore
Posted By Baltimore

Avatar image for toomuchcraig
Edited By toomuchcraig

Sequels everywhere! AHHHH!

Avatar image for ben_h
Edited By Ben_H

August 4th, the day I buy a Wii U. I have been waiting for new Pikmin for far too long. I just replayed Pikmin 2 and it continues to be one of the best games I've ever played. So fun, so challenging, so rewarding. The the last area is absolute hell. So many Pikmin deaths...

So many Nintendo games coming out and I want them all. I still have to get the new Luigi's Mansion.

I am always down for more Mario & Luigi. Those games are among the best.

Avatar image for casper_
Posted By casper_

how incredibly weird.

Avatar image for winternet
Edited By Winternet

I'm still baffled by how people are all "Please, no more sequels. Please, no more sequels." regarding other press conferences, but then everyone is excited about Nintendo and what is mostly games from franchises with dozens of games under their belt.

Anyway, either Nintendo has a couple of cards under their sleeves or their E3 event will be a bummer.

Avatar image for wrighteous86
Edited By Wrighteous86

@icantbestopped said:

I can't tell, Nintendo fans. Is this exciting news?

I'd say it's good news, but not really exciting news. Games I'm interested in and know I'll get around to playing and most likely enjoy, but nothing that's really blowing my mind or anything.

Like Gears of War: Judgment or something. I like the franchise, I want to play it, and I'll probably have a good time, but it's not scratching an inch or something I crave enough to go out and get it right now.

Avatar image for deathfromace
Posted By deathfromace

All these Zelda games coming only to the 3DS and I don't want to play them that way. It's awesome they are making/remaking them but give them to me on the Wii or WiiU. I want to play the remake of Ocarina of Time but don't want to play it on a 3DS....come on Nintendo make them for both consoles and you would get a lot more money.

Avatar image for wrighteous86
Posted By Wrighteous86

@darji said:

@joeyravn said:

Nintendo announces a bunch of cool stuff. The Internet is not satisfied.

I, for one, am extremely excited about the new LttP. 2D Zeldas are my favorite... I can hardly wait to get the Oracles on the eShop to play them again.

Maybe because it always the fucking same?^^ How about some new Ideas or IP's

Nintendo games usually have tons of new ideas. They just use familiar IPs to garner attention for them.

I understand the frustration, but it's preferable to almost every other company out there who have no new ideas AND no new IPs.

Avatar image for dynablade
Posted By Dynablade

I am throughly happy with this Nintendo Direct and am looking forward to playing a bunch of the games shown today. A sequel to a Link to The Past, a Mario Golf game that has online multiplayer, new Yoshi's Island, an actual confirmation that EarthBound is getting re-released on Virtual Console. Today is a good day to be a Nintendo fan.

Haters gonna hate, and for that they can go suck a rock.

Avatar image for kalibr
Posted By kalibr

That new Zelda video is gonna make me buy a 3ds