Iwata in a Luigi cap presenting Nintendo Direct Iwata in a Luigi cap presenting Nintendo Direct

It’s the “year of Luigi,” according to the latest Nintendo Direct.

Nintendo’s bigwigs took the stage for a Valentine’s presentation that revealed what kind of love 3DS owners can expect over the next few months, including a release date for Animal Crossing New Leaf and several new game announcements!

New Game Announcements

LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins (3DS)

A 3DS version of the Wii U’s forthcoming open world LEGO game, Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins tells the tale of Chase McCain’s very first mission as a police officer. Set 2 years before the Wii U version, The Chase Begins will feature the same open-world gameplay of the console release and should be worth checking out for anybody interested in LEGO games. Look for it on store shelves on April 21st.

Mario and Donkey Kong Minis on the Move (3DS)

Perhaps the rivalry between Mario and Donkey Kong has died down, since this newest mini-Mario management puzzle game loses the Vs. moniker that has been used for all previous entries in this series. Minis on the Move looks like a 3D interpretation of the Lemmings-like puzzles seen in Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: March of the Minis and Minis March Again, having players place sections of path to guide the minis to a goal. No concrete release date, but Nintendo says we should expect this title “soon.”

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (3DS)

The Mario & Luigi RPGs have always managed to capture the depth and charm of SNES classic Super Mario RPG, and this next installment looks to be just as imaginative and whimsical as any entry in the series. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is set within the troubled dreams of Mario’s green brother. The trailer shows Mario entering Luigi’s mind through a kaleidoscopic portal. The bottom screen gives players the opportunity to interfere with Luigi’s face, which in turn affects things within the dream world. Maybe this game will finally give players a chance to help Luigi with his unfortunate inferiority complex. We should be seeing this game at some point this summer.

Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)

Camelot is back with yet another Mario Golf game. Mario Golf: World Tour features new environments and characters. The teaser video showed off a course with a truly enormous goomba looming in the background. Hopefully this title will resurrect the RPG elements that were so popular in Mario Golf for Gameboy Color. Check for it on store shelves and in the eShop this summer.

Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger (3DS)

A sequel to the eShop hit Dillon’s Rolling Western, this new title boasts expanded environments and deeper gameplay. Beyond Dillon’s repertoire of established moves, he can no recruit new allies by defeating them, including a squid assassin. The main crux of the gameplay this time around will come in the form of a moving train that Dillon must protect as it travels through the stage. The Last Ranger will also allow players to share level strategies via Streetpass. Look for it on the eShop on April 11th.

Donkey Kong Country Returns (3DS)

If you missed Retro Studio’s excellent revival of Donkey Kong Country for the Wii, you’ll get a second chance to experience this phenomenal 2D platformer when it arrives on 3DS later this year. Presumably this version will do away with the annoying motion controls that marred the original experience. The whole package will be presented in glorious stereoscopic 3D, which should work well with the game’s layered environments. 3DS owners can check out a video of the game in action on the eShop today.

Kersploosh (3DS)

This eShop title charges players with the task of ensuring that a stone makes it to the bottom of a well. Similar to Ketzal’s Corridors, Kersploosh provides a top-down perspective on the falling rock, giving players a clear view of the various obstacles up ahead. The game features different types of stones with various properties, which should shake up the gameplay on subsequent playthroughs. Look for it on March 7th.


New Super Luigi U (Wii U)

Touted as a “large-scale project similar to full software development,” New Super Luigi U will be the next big piece of downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros U. This DLC apparently changes all of the game’s 80+ existing courses for Luigi to overcome. Supposedly, Mario will not be making an appearance in this pack, which is why Nintendo has dropped the “Bros.” from the title. Could this mean these new levels will be single-player only? No release window was given, so we may not know more for some time.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (Wii U)

Team Ninja’s latest will soon be updated to include Kasumi as a playable character. Another pack will be coming later this month with 25 ninja trial missions and a handful of new outfits for all playable characters. Best of all, it’ll be completely free.

Style Savvy Trendsetters (3DS)

The 3DS’s premier fashion game will be receiving some Animal Crossing-themed DLC soon to promote the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Expect styles based on the creations of Animal Crossing’s porcupine seamstresses alongside the release of New Leaf.

Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)

Also announced were two new downloadable maps for Fire Emblem Awakening. Champions of Yore will feature new playable characters and a new story, while the Golden Gaffe map will provide well-to-do enemies for players to conquer that drop a lot of gold. Both maps bring new items and class types and will cost $2.50 apiece, or can be purchased as a pack along with the first map for $6.

eShop Sale

Several 3DS eShop games will be getting temporary price cuts over the coming months:

Bit.Trip Saga $9.99 (Originally $14.99) starting today, 2/14/13

Crashmo $5.99 (Originally $8.99) starting 2/21/13

Fractured Soul $7.99 (Originally $11.99) starting 2/28/13

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword $4.99 (Originally $6.99) starting 3/7/13

Ketzal’s Corridors $4.99 (Originally $6.99) starting 3/14/13

Mutant Mudds $5.99 (Originally $8.99) starting 3/21/13

Nintendo is also running a promotion for prospective 3DS XL buyers. Buy the oversized handheld along with Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Inifinity between March 21st and April 30th and receive a free download of any one of the following free of charge: Super Mario 3D Land, Freakyforms Deluxe, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask or Starfox 64 3D. Not a bad deal.

Other Tidbits

  • A Legend of Zelda Miiverse channel launches today. Series director Eiji Aonuma is supposedly joining in on the conversation, so make sure to let him know what you think of Zelda these days.
  • Animal Crossing New Leaf was finally given a release date of June 9th. Nintendo teased that North America can expect some exclusive multiplayer features for their region, but refused to say what those features actually are.
  • Wii Street U powered by Google available for free today. Finally, you can explore the whole flippin’ world from the comfort of your couch. Free for a limited time.
  • Gamefreak’s HarmoKnight was on display, featuring a level based on the Pokemon theme song. A demo is coming to the eShop on March 14th with the full game following closely behind on March 28th.
  • Virtual Console getting Natsume’s Gameboy Color classics Harvest Moon and Legend of the River King at some point in the near future.
  • The Wii U Deluxe model’s rewards program has finally taken effect. Go to ddp.nintendo.com to begin getting your 10% back for each purchase made on the Wii U’s eShop.
  • A special Zombi U bundle is heading to the US and Canada on February 17th and comes bundled with everything the Deluxe model has to offer, plus Zombi U, a black Pro Controller and an exclusive Zombi U art book. Nintendoland will still be included, but as a download instead of a disk. The bundle will set you back $389.99.

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