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While the majority of the Nintendo media coverage as of late has focused on their upcoming Wii U console, the Nintendo 3DS has quietly been building an impressive holiday line-up that deserves equal time in the spotlight. Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO for Nintendo of America (NOA), gave the Nintendo 3DS that very chance during a special October 25 Nintendo Direct presentation (30 minute video here), revealing many new details on some exciting new games and downloadable content. Let's jump in right now, shall we?
It was a good move on Nintendo's part to have a dedicated Nintendo 3DS presentation since many of these games titles have likely been overshadowed by news of the 800-lbs gorilla that is Wii U. This presentation served as an excellent reminder of just how great the Nintendo 3DS holiday line-up is, and gave us a taste for what's to come in early 2012.
Kicking off the Nintendo Direct presentation was a segment on Paper Mario: Sticker Star, hosted by Nate Bihldorff, Senior Localization Manager for NOA. Like previous Paper Mario games, this version keeps the unique graphic style that blends 3D environments with 2D paper cutout characters, only this time the 3D really pops out given the unique capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS. This game is really intended for gaming-on-the-go with Bihldorff stating that structurally the game is more level-based, as opposed to the open-world RPG style of previous Paper Mario games.
The biggest shake-up to the Paper Mario formula this time around is the use of stickers during combat and to enhance abilities. Instead of gaining experience after battles, Mario finds new stickers and coins that can be redeemed in shops for additional stickers. These stickers can make a big impact in battle as you strategically use stickers to exploit enemy weaknesses or chain for devastating combos. While the main story hasn't been fully revealed, what we do know is that the meddlesome Bowser interrupts the annual Sticker Fest, causing a flood of stickers to get scattered around the Mushroom Kingdom.
Take a look at the brand new Paper Mario: Sticker Star trailer revealed during the presentation:
Paper Mario: Sticker Star releases on November 11, 2012.
Next up was the reveal of the launch trailer for Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, the fifth installment in the series and the first to land on the Nintendo 3DS.
Miracle Mask maintains the familar Professor Layton formula that combines logic puzzles with top-notch graphics and cutscenes, however Fils-Aime noted that this version contains "new twists" on familiar puzzle types such as logic and slide puzzles, plus new puzzle types. As the second entry to the prequel trilogy delving into Professor Layton's past, Miracle Mask ventures into Layton's high school days, making it the earliest game in the franchise's history -- and a perfect starting point for gamers new to Professor Layton, says Fils-Aime.
To extend the puzzle-solving, Nintendo is offering 365 downloadable puzzles, one for every day of the year, for everyone who purchases a copy of Miracle Mask at no additional charge. These additional puzzles can be downloaded using a broadband wireless connection.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is out today (October 28, 2012).
Following that was some quick updates on three recently released Nintendo 3DS titles, Crosswords Plus, Art Academy: Lessons For Everyone!, and Style Savvy: Trendsetters, with the first two receiving DLC and the last getting two Nintendo eShop demos.
More DLC was announced for New Super Mario Bros. 2, in the form of two new course packs available in the eShop. The first pack is the Gold Mushroom Pack (2/5 difficulty) which contains three levels with ample Gold Mushrooms worth 50 coins each, and the other pack is the Coin Challenge Pack B (3/5 difficulty), for those who prefer a greater challenge. Both course packs will have global leaderboards on the official New Super Mario Bros. 2 website, allowing gamers to compare their scores with others from around the world.
A trailer for the new course packs was shown:
Both course packs are available now in the New Super Maro Bros. 2 in-game shop.
Next, Nintendo gave more details on a number of upcoming Nintendo eShop downloadable titles, such as Crashmo, Fluidity: Spin Cycle, Liberation Maiden, NightSky, Ikachan, and Mutant Mudds. Here are the games in action:
Following the eShop montage, Fils-Aime passed the baton over to two of NOA's localization managers to give more details on Fire Emblem: Awakening and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, both slated for early 2012.
Fire Emblem: Awakening:
Animal Crossing: New Leaf:
It was certainly a packed half-hour Nintendo Direct broadcast and I encourage everyone to take a look if you haven't done so already (video can be found here).
Of course not to leave out all the exciting third-party titles releasing for the Nintendo 3DS over the next few months, Fils-Aime ended the feed with a highlight reel (or Sizzle Reel in Nintendo-speak) of more great games coming to Nintendo 3DS:
Many of the games featured on the October 25 Nintendo Direct are available now on futureshop.ca. For more information, please see the product pages below:
The latest entry on the hugely successful Paper Mario franchise has finally arrived and this time it's in glorious 3D. Paper Mario: Sticker Star delivers a unique role playing experience where you collect stickers that will help you to win battles and solve puzzles. Enjoy a lengthy single-player campaign with plenty of content and replayability.
Follow Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke on a non-stop adventure in this fun and exciting game for the 3DS system. Solve puzzles and discover the world of Layton as you make your way through the game and explore a fun interactive experience.
If you're a wordsmith or a wordslinger then Crosswords Plus for Nintendo 3DS is perfect for you. Featuring a whopping 1,000 Crosswords to discover and solve as well as Giant Crosswords, Anagrams and a Wordsearch mode, this puzzler has enough content to keep even the most dedicated puzzle solver happy.
No matter what your standard of artistic ability, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone for Nintendo 3DS will help you improve your skills. Providing over 30 lessons, information on the theory and techniques behind art, as well as the ability to share your work via SpotPass - it's a must for any artist.
Fancy yourself as a fashion guru? Style Savvy: Trendsetters gives you the keys to a fashionable boutique and your job is to turn it into a successful business. Accessorise your shop and apartment, compete in fashion contests and make sure your hundreds of customers are satisfied in this complete fashion experience. Trade your player card online over StreetPass and share the fun.
Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach, but this time, Mario has another objective. The Mushroom Kingdom is bursting with more gold coins than before. Each level is littered with gold as coins rain down from overhead pipes, trails of coins are left behind special gold enemies and gold pipes transport Mario into coin-filled caverns.