Nintendo announced plenty of material for the Wii U for the first few months, including casual fare like Wii Fit U to hook lapsed Wii owners on the new machine as well as Game & Wario, a game chock full of the weirdness Nintendo’s diehard fans adore. Anyone worried that Nintendo’s wayward handheld the Nintendo 3DS would be left out in 2013’s early cold will be happy to know that, as is common, Nintendo’s most promising software is portable. Nintendo even committed to a release date for a Nintendo 3DS title originally announced back at E3 2011.
The game in question is Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Originally announced in June of last year as Luigi’s Mansion 2, Nintendo has repeatedly delayed the title, first into early 2012, then late 2012, and finally into 2013. We got an extended play session with Dark Moon back in June and it was, even at that stage, one of the best looking and playing games yet made for Nintendo 3DS. We won’t know if the entire game maintains that level of quality until it releases some time in the spring of 2013, as Nintendo again didn’t announce a firm release date.
That wasn’t true of the other big Nintendo 3DS games announced. Nintendo confirmed that strategy RPG Fire Emblem Awakening will be out in the US on Feb. 4. Fire Emblem is actually one of Nintendo’s longest running series, but the games have only sporadically been translated into English since the 1990s. It’s also the first brand new entry in the series since 2007’s Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn on Wii.
The third retail Nintendo 3DS game due out in the spring is Brain Age: Concentration Training, a sequel to the Nintendo DS Brain Age games that helped Nintendo create a hugely profitable fad of intelligence building games in the mid-‘00s. Concentration Training is billed as a way to build up your “working memory,” helping you to focus on individual tasks. The game faces an uphill battle in finding an audience, as similar games are available for much cheaper on devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPad, devices which that audience likely already owns. It’s out on Feb. 11.
Nintendo also announced two excellent looking downloadable titles for Nintendo 3DS. Hamoknight by Game Freak, the studio behind Pokémon, is a platformer that looks like a strange mix of Canabalt and Elite Beat Agents. There’s also Tokyo Crash Mobs, where you play as live actors superimposed on digital backgrounds where they have to throw hipsters at ninjas. That is really what it is. Let it not be said that Nintendo isn’t willing to embrace the surreal.