As 2013 draws to a close, Nintendo still has many announced titles up in the air without proper release dates, many of those with little more than teasers from the year's trade shows to go on. It didn't rectify that problem entirely with this morning's Nintendo Direct, focused on games releasing in the early months of the coming year, but it did the usual Nintendo thing and threw out just enough to keep the fans salivating.
There was a fair bit of overlap with previous reveals: Any footage shown from the Wii U's upcoming Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze was old news for those following the titles closely, though in the case of the latter it's always neat to have another excuse to see Cranky Kong out and mixing it up with the young 'uns. Pokémon Bank and Poké-Transporter also got their own segment re-explaining just how they work for late-comers, but with the added news that early adopters will find a free Celebi in their boxes.
We also got to see a few more tentative steps into DLC territory for Nintendo, though reactions are bound to be incredibly mixed: In the way of Sonic Lost World, one of two promised Nintendo-themed downloadable bonus stages was put on display, one based on Yoshi's Island that mixes elements from the two properties; The totally-not-Final-Fantasy 3DS title Bravely Default also got some screen time to talk about bonus-granting Sleep Points - essentially a reward for the long blocks of idle time recent Nintendo games like to encourage - and how they can be refilled via eShop microtransactions. Extra stress was put on the fact that this is entirely optional and doesn't grant anything that can't be otherwise gained through playing the game, almost like their ears were already ringing from fans crying foul.
Ever the showman, the Big N wasn't going to let this show slip by without throwing a couple surprises. Leading off with a hybrid Legend of Zelda/Dynasty Warriors game with a working title of Hyrule Warriors did a great job whipping up the crowd, and the Kirby Mario Kart fakeout leading into the reveal of Super Mario Galaxy's Rosalina as a playable character in the upcoming iterations of Super Smash Bros. had speculation flying before the actual announcement was even made. Nintendo also saw fit to squeeze one last game featuring their second most famous plumber into The Year of Luigi with the announcement of the game I'm sure someone asked for - Dr. Luigi - for Wii U.
Most of the show centered around 3DS and eShop software. Kirby's Triple Deluxe showcased two new modes: Kirby Fighter (essentially Smash with copy abilities) and rhythm-platforming minigame Dedede's Drum Dash. Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder is a 3DS downloadable that utilizes the system camera in a 3D platforming scavenger hunt, and NES Remix plays to the retro crowd with a series of short 8-bit mashups that looks like the closest thing to an official Super Mario Crossover that we may ever see. Not Nintendo's strongest show, but a decent close to a year and a next-gen system still hurting for new titles.
Bravely Default (3DS) - 2/7/2014
Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder (3DS eShop) - 1/9/2014
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) - 2/21/2014
Dr. Luigi (Wii U) - 12/31/2013
Hyrule Warriors (Wii U) - 2014
Kirby's Triple Deluxe (3DS) - 2014
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) - Spring 2014
NES Remix (Wii U eShop) - now available
Pokémon Bank and Poké-Transporter (3DS eShop) - 12/27/2013
Sonic Lost World DLC (Wii U eShop) - now available
Wii Sports Club Golf (Wii U eShop) - now avaialble
Yoshi's New Island (3DS) - Spring 2014