Kirby headlined the show with Kirby: Planet Robobot, a new 3DS game where the pink puffball defends Dreamland from mechanical invaders using a set of mechanized robot armor that, like him, can change and adopt the powers of his enemies. The game will also include Team Kirby Clash, a multiplayer co-op mode with an RPG-style progression, including character levels and stats.
Nintendo also announced four new Amiibo tied to the game; Kirby, King DeeDeeDee, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee. Using the four “Kirby line” Amiibo with the game will unlock a special new power. Other, non-Kirby-related Amiibo, such as Mario and Link, will also give Kirby new powers. According to Nintendo, any Amiibo will do “something” in the game. Kirby: Planet Robobot is coming out June 10.
For the Wii U, Nintendo announced that a new entry in the Paper Mario series Paper Mario: Color Splash, would come to Wii U in 2016. Color Splash revolves around restoring the faded color to Prism Island using, you guessed it, his trusty hammer, which is actually a “paint hammer” this time around.
Nintendo also announced Star Fox Guard, a Wii U tie-in game related to the upcoming Wii U sequel, Star Fox Zero. Originally announced at E3 2014 as “Project: Guard,” the game follows Grippy Toad, uncle of Star Fox wingman Slippy, as he defends an outpost from waves of invading enemies using cameras and automated defenses. Players will be able to create their own levels for the game and upload them online. Players who purchase the retail version of Star Fox Zero will get Star Fox Guard for free, but players will also be able to purchase the games separately through the eShop when the games launch April 22.
Nintendo also announced that controversial online multiplayer Metroid spin-off, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, would launch on the 3DS in the spring of 2016. Announced last year, the squad-based shooter drew ire from Metroid fans, who would have preferred a direct sequel. (Some of them even started a petition to get the game cancelled.) During the stream, producer Kensuke Tanabe said the game “absolutely belongs in the Metroid universe,” and assured fans that, while she wouldn’t be a central character, series heroine Samus Aran would make an appearance in the game.
Nintendo also announced a pair of high-profile releases for Japanese gaming fans. Monster Hunter: Generations, released in 2015 as Monster Hunter X in Japan, will come to the Nintendo 3DS this summer. The long-awaited Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei game has a new, distinctive look and feel. Now called Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, the Atlus-developed game will feature the “deep RPG gameplay” of the Shin Megami Tensei series, and a storyline revolving around Japanese pop stars in modern-day Tokyo, and will be available June 24.
In addition to all the new and upcoming games, Nintendo announced new content updates for both Super Mario Maker and Splatoon. The Super Mario Maker update, which goes live March 9, adds a set of new items, including keys and locked doors, allowing players to set up new scenarios such as boss battles. The update also adds a longer “super expert” mode to the 100-Mario challenge mode, which can only be accessed after completing the “expert” challenge, and new mystery mushroom costumes. Splatoon will receive new updates in March and April, including balance changes, improved matchmaking, and new weapon loadout recommendations.
Lastly, in retro game news, the publisher announced it would begin selling select SNES games via the virtual console for the new Nintendo 3DS. The first wave of games, Pilotwings, Super Mario World, and F-Zero, are available right now. Super Mario Kart, Earthbound, and Donkey Kong Country will be available March 24, followed by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest on April 14. Unfortunately, Nintendo will reportedly not offer any sort of “cross-purchase” promotion for players who have purchased these games on the Wii U or other platforms, according to US Gamer editor Jeremy Parrish.
Many of the announced games received only brief overviews during this jam-packed showcase. Expect to hear more about these, and all the other games discussed during this Nintendo Direct, throughout the year.
- The 25 best Nintendo 3DS games
- ‘It’s not fair!’ Zelda’s 35th birthday bummer showed us Nintendo’s favorite child
- The best GameCube games of all time
- The best Wii U games of all time
- Everything you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online