Recently, I attended Hyper Japan at Earls Court in London, and between gorging myself on Japanese food and hamburger flavoured Kit-Kats (they’re as disgusting as they sound), I got the chance to play some upcoming games from Nintendo.
Now that summer and its notorious games drought is almost over, it’s time to trade in the absurd looking Hawaiian shirts for even more absurd looking woolly hats. It’s also the time to get ready for that part of the year when seemingly every game comes out at once. For Nintendo gamers, the future is surprisingly a lot brighter than certain members of the press like to make out…
Super Smash Bros for 3DS and WiiU
Probably the main item on everybody’s list, Smash 4 is shaping up to be the definitive version of Nintendo’s party brawler. If you’re unfamiliar with Smash as a series, it’s a game that lets you and up to three other friends fight it out with each other using a huge roster of characters. Nintendo have pulled out all the stops this year, touting a line-up of 37 playable fighters, and both versions are playing fantastically.
Nintendo have definitely heard the criticisms from more serious players who want the game to be more competitive, and they’ll be getting just that. What I played was the build they unveiled at E3 earlier this year, so I didn’t get the chance to play with some of the recently announced characters, but that didn’t stop me from immensely enjoying what I did play.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
This is my personal favourite on the list, ever since Monster Hunter 4 was released in Japan back in 2013, I’ve been sending strongly worded letters to Capcom demanding that they release it in the west, and it looks like my hard work paid off. For those out of the loop, Monster Hunter is a game about hunting huge, terrifying monsters with huge, terrifying weapons, and making fancy clothes out of them, which you then use to hunt bigger, more terrifying monsters. Just as with Smash, Capcom are pulling out all the stops with 4 Ultimate, with more monsters, two new weapon types, and improved mechanics, such as faster movement, and more vertical areas to hunt your next fur coat or giant hammer in.
The demo I got my hands on was a little bare bones, offering three monsters to hunt, each representing a different scale of difficulty, naturally I tried my hand at the hardest monster, the Gore Magala, and lasted all of 5 minutes. If you’re a fan of extremely difficult games, or just a masochist, this might be the title for you.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is planned for release sometime in early 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. Just don’t tell PETA.
I didn’t get to play it myself, but as a huge fan of the first Bayonetta, I’m incredibly excited for the second instalment. It’s been too long since I’ve stepped into the gun sporting, uncomfortable looking heels of a witch that kills angels with her hair. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, the game will include a port of the first Bayonetta on a separate disc when you buy it.
Bayonetta 2 will launch in October 2014 for the WiiU.
Another one I didn’t get to play personally, but I was happy with what I saw, and if you’re already a fan of Dynasty Warriors and Zelda, then you will be too. It takes the hack and slash action Koei are famous for, and throws in the Legend of Zelda as a backdrop, instead of the usual highly stylised and over the top version of ancient China.
Hyrule Warriors will launch on September 19th, 2014 for the WiiU,
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Joining the ever growing list of Mario spin-offs, Toad is getting his own game next year, because everyone loves Toad, right? Right?
If you played Super Mario 3D World, and enjoyed the Toad segments crammed between stages, then you should be at home with Treasure Tracker, which expands on that concept and turns it into a fully-fledged game. And honestly, it works, I really enjoyed what I played, and next to Hyrule Warriors, it’s one of the better spinoff titles to release this year. The simplistic design and controls makes for a very fun puzzle game that’s easy to pick up and play for short bursts.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker lands on the WiiU in Janurary 2015.
Have you ever wanted to watch Nigel Thornberry and Susan Boyle get married, or form a cult that worships smoked salmon? If you answered yes to that question, you should probably have a look at Tomodachi Life, and then check yourself into a psychiatric hospital.
This one is actually already out, but I thought it’d be worth mentioning since it was so heavily on display. Tomodachi Life is a life simulator (think The Sims), combined with complete insanity. Now, Nintendo are no strangers to the bizarre, their main franchise involves a plumber that eats mushrooms and fights a giant turtle, but Tomodachi Life is breaking new ground, and that’s saying a lot.
The concept is simple, you choose a Mii, give them the funniest voice available, change up their personality, and unleash them on Tomodachi Island, a virtual paradise that also doubles as an insane asylum. You then get to watch them engage in various day to day activities, like taking a bath, throwing objects at each other for no discernible reason, and organising impromptu, completely nonsensical musicals. Take whatever you think you about ordinary life, and forget it, because Tomodachi Life isn’t interested is what’s normal, and neither should you be.
Tomodachi Life is available in stores and on the Nintendo eShop as a download now. And remember, what happens on Tomodachi Island, stays on Tomodachi Island.