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Nintendo Direct aired in North America this week, and in addition to some welcomed Wii U announcements, did two things for the 3DS: Gave a release date for the new (and awesome looking) Fire Emblem title, and second, made NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of the new Animal Crossing that has been out in Japan for a month(!). Yeah, I got a shiny new Wii U and a season’s worth of the biggest games across all platforms, but I wanna start designing couch cushions and stackin’ Bells NOOOOW!

Alright, I’ve calmed down, so let’s start with Fire Emblem. Portable, 3D cel-shaded, and interesting new layers to gameplay make for a nice looking package all around. While usually I don’t have time in my life for RPGs that involve anything other than collecting eight gym badges and seven-hundred or so monsters, I haven’t found past iterations as appetizing looking as this one. I might just have to feed my starving 3DS with SOMETHING this February, ESPECIALLY if my Tom Nook fix is nowhere in sight.

Above: Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Too good for a release date?

Other than new footage and box art for Luigi’s Manson: Dark Moon, it looks like the 3DS is set for a minor dry spell in US territories till February with only a tentative “first half of 2013” frame given for the spooky title. This staggered release schedule is made even harder to swallow knowing that Japan’s December is getting tripled-slammed with a holiday of hits that include the mentioned Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Monster Hunter 3, and that Sega X Namco X Capcom game that features Bruce Willis as a playable character (seriously!). The DS reign is far from over, and I know there are plans to trickle some of these titles over stateside, but let’s thicken up that first-quarter roster, Nintendo! You’ve got the ammo.

Other announcements about a western release of the new eshop Game Freak rhythm side-scroller and a new 3DS Brain Age were made, but the fact is I’d trade both of these for an Animal Crossing release date. All and all, not a terrible Nintendo Direct for Nintendo’s portable, but an even better one for Wii U. Some good stuff on the horizon, but if you didn’t get the picture by now, I definitely need to hear more (and by more I mean anything) about Animal Crossing next time. Also, any updates on that pulse reading peripheral for the Wii? Aw, forget about it. –T.C.

Above: Lookin’ good, Bruce!