Vote for the next Super Smash Bros. fighter and more highlights from Nintendo’s livestream

nintendo direct april 1 2015 smash bros wii u lucas mewtwo
Despite the date, the April 1st, 2015 Nintendo Direct was no joke, with exciting details shared about a wide range of Nintendo’s upcoming games and DLC. Here are the highlights:

New Smash Bros. challengers appear!

Two familiar fighters have been confirmed as incoming DLC for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS. Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo, first revealed last October, has been confirmed for an upcoming paid DLC on April 28th, 2015. Dedicated fans who registered Super Smash Bros. on both Wii U and 3DS before March 31 on the now-defunct Club Nintendo will be rewarded with free, early access to the character in both games on April 15. The telepathic Mewtwo previously fought in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube.

Another veteran fighter, Lucas from the Earthbound sequel Mother 3, will also be joining the roster in a June DLC. Lucas, who last appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, plays very similarly to his Earthbound brethren, series regular Nessbut with slight variation in speed, power, and a few moves, like Falco is to Fox, or Luigi to Mario. There will also be DLC with costumes for your Mii fighters, letting you dress them up as iconic characters like Mega Man.

The most exciting announcement, however, was that Nintendo has opened up polls for the fist time so you can vote for the next Smash Bros. character. There is no list of options from which to choose, but rather an open, write-in ballot that asks for your gender, the character, the title of their game, and up to 500 characters on why they should become a fighter. Voting runs until October 3, 2015, so there’s plenty of time to pore over gaming history and find your favorite. I personally suggested one of Final Fantasy‘s moogles, as an iconic character with a lot of material to draw from that once made its home on Nintendo consoles.

Vote here, and let us know in the comments whom you submitted.

Put the pedal to the metal!

Ever since the series began in 1992 on the Super Nintendo, Mario Kart has been divided into three speed classes: 50cc is for leisurely Sunday drivers, looking to unwind with a few low-key laps; 100cc turned up the intensity, requiring a little bit of braking finesse to make the most out of those corners; 150cc is for speed demons to test their skill, and until now was the highest level of challenge available in the series. You’ve had over 20 years to practice, and now it’s time to turn the intensity up another notch with the new 200cc class.

The new speed class will be available for every track in the Mario Kart 8, and will make your braking and power-sliding skills more important than ever. It will arrive in a free update on April 23, alongside the next DLC pack, which includes new racers and tracks themed around Animal Crossing. The new course will change seasons every time you play, and features a special musical score, which Iwata described as “a souped-up, racing version of the Animal Crossing theme, recorded live in-studio.” Jazzy!

Amiibo, a-you-bo, and a-everyone-we-know-bo

new amiibos

New Amiibo announcements were peppered throughout the hour, along with new ways to use them. July brings a Kid Icarus themed infusion, when Pit and his patron goddess Palutena join their Super Smash Bros. colleagues. In September we dig deeper into the Nintendo archives with characters like Olimar, Zero Suit Samus, Ganondorf, and Dr. Mario.

Splatoon will also be getting its own set of Amiibos that will release alongside the shooter on May 29. The Inkling girl, boy, and squid will be available individually or as part of  a three pack. When used with their game, they will unlock special missions that reward the player with unique weapons and gear that can’t be found anywhere else.

Nintendo also revealed two brand new types of Amiibo: Yoshis made of soft yarn for Yoshi’s Wooly Worldand card-based Amiibos for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on 3DS. The yarn Yoshis will add an additional Yoshi to help you in the game, while the Amiibo cards will act as clients for the new interior decorating game. It is interesting to see Nintendo experimenting with form, following the success of the initial Amiibo release, and we look forward to seeing how the toy line expands into different form factors and types of gameplay going forward.

An interesting new way to use your Amiibos will be Amiibo Tap: Nintendo’s Greatest Bits, coming to Wii U as a free download in the spring. Players can tap an Amiibo onto the Wii U Gamepad and unlock brief gameplay highlights from classic Nintendo games like Excitebike and Super Metroid. Games will not be assigned to each Amiibo by type, but rather will be randomly assigned to each Amiibo the first time it is used. That means one Mario could unlock F-Zero, while another gives you Kirby’s Adventure. Each scene is no longer than three minutes, but tapping the Amiibo again will cycle through a selection of playable highlights for each game.

And much more

Nintendo 64 and DS games are finally coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, starting with Yoshi‘s Island DS and the iconic Super Mario 64, both available now. More classic games from those systems will be released in the coming months, with N64 games costing between $10 and $12, and DS games going for $7 to $10. Games from both systems can be played on either the TV or GamePad, and DS games can be configured in a number of ways between the two screens to best match the particular gameplay requirements of the DS’s two screens.

Other highlights from the stream include details about Mario Maker, new Mii-centric games for 3DS, details about the next Fire Emblem for 2016, and a trailer for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, a Wii U crossover RPG and the most aggressively anime thing you will see all day. You can watch the whole stream below:

Gaming

Tariffs may raise cost of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo’s next-gen consoles

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have joined together to pen a letter that makes a substantial case for the removal of game consoles in a proposal made by the Trump administration that taxes controllers, consoles, and more.
Gaming

Missing YouTube gaming creator and Twitch streamer Etika confirmed dead at 29

The NYPD has confirmed that Desmond Amofah, better known as Etika, has died at 29. This news comes after the popular Nintendo-centric YouTube creator and Twitch streamer was hospitalized multiple times for previous threats of suicide.
Gaming

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for June 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Gaming

Flyers in Apex Legends may be hinting at something monstrous for Season 2

Flying beasts have appeared in Apex Legends' King's Canyon map. While the creatures are peaceful for now, they may be hinting that something more monstrous is coming to the team-based Battle Royale shooter once Season 2 launches on July 2.
Gaming

Blizzard suffers another blow with exit of global esports director Kim Phan

Blizzard suffered another blow with the departure of global esports director Kim Phan. Her exit comes after Overwatch League's founding commissioner Nate Nanzer left last month to join Epic Games.
Computing

Apple has a plan to save Mac gaming, but it’s not the one you want

The Mac isn’t known for being a game-friendly platform, but Apple hopes to change that in the coming months and years. The thing is, its plan may not be quite what you were hoping for if you’re a Mac gamer.
Gaming

Here’s how to get early access to FFXIV: Shadowbringers

You can get early access to FFXIV: Shadowbringers by pre-ordering it, but simply purchasing it isn't enough to get you in. Here's how you can get early access to Shadowbringers, regardless of what platform you're on.
Gaming

Our guide to taking down the monsters in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

The Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beta features three large monsters to hunt: Great Jagras, Banbaro, and Tigrex. Our hunting guide will help you learn the ins and outs of each of these foes.
News

Cyberpunk 2077 will feature romance options beyond heterosexual relationships

CD Projekt Red’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will feature a gender-fluid character creator, and the game’s lead quest designer reveals that the romance options will be more diverse than The Witcher 3's.
Deals

The Dell G5587 Nvidia GTX 1060 gaming laptop just dropped to $799 at Walmart

Gone are the days when you had to spend a grand or more to get a great gaming laptop. PC makers like Dell are cranking out some excellent and affordable machines today like the Dell G5587, which is on sale right now for just $799.
Gaming

Grab the best games in the Steam Summer Sale before the store goes down again

The 2019 edition of the Steam Summer Sale has officially kicked off. Running into July, the Steam Summer Sale offers huge discounts on some of the PC's biggest games, including recent titles.
Gaming

Bungie delays an upcoming Destiny 2 patch to avoid overworking developers

In response to a question about a patch fix for one of Destiny 2's weapons, a Bungie developer shared that it was delayed due to an effort to preserve work-life balance for the team.
Gaming

Here are the gaming deals you don't want to miss on Prime Day

Amazon's annual Prime Day sale is almost here, and there will be plenty of gaming deals. Whether you want games, hardware, or accessories, these are the Prime Day gaming deals to expect.