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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.
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.