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Friday, November 13, 2015

Was the November 2015 Nintendo Direct THAT Mind-Blowing?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ludwig is the rain Cloud over your hype.

Now that it's been a full day and then some, let's look at yesterday's Nintendo Direct more objectively.

There was a LOT discussed and mentioned in yesterday's Nintendo Direct in North America and Europe. Here's a graphic showing... pretty much everything, I hope.

Nintendo Direct November 2015 collage games announcements collection
I worked hard on trying to get everything to fit!

So... That looks like a ton of information, right? After all, we haven't had a Nintendo Direct or any kind of live thing since E3. However, what does the collage look like if we remove stuff that we already knew? Already knew means we knew the information since before the day of the direct in official capacity.

Nintendo Direct new announcements November 12 2015 collage infographic
There's room to breathe! ...But... that seems like a bad thing.

Let's delineate what's left. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD PLUS a Wolf Link amiibo, Animal Crossing amiibo plus Lucas amiibo, Gold Mega Man amiibo, an amiibo Shadow Mewtwo card for Pokkén Tournament, a free update to The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes that gives new costumes and a huge dungeon, a free Splatoon update that has been implemented (and knowledge they'll continue through January), a free-to-use Super Mario Maker mobile-friendly website to let you find courses, localised Final Fantasy Explorers, localised Dragon Quest VII and Dragon Quest VIII, Linkle existing in Hyrule Warriors Legends, Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow being ported to the 3DS, and Cloud being DLC in Super Smash Bros. 4. With the next live reaction log presumably coming in December that is a "special broadcast" for Super Smash Bros.. Plus Pokémon Picross.

Those can be grouped up as: Remakes/ports, amiibo/amiibo cards, (mostly free) DLC/updates, localisations, and one new free-to-start game. Plus, some Nintendo events to watch.

Is that reductive list really something that should get people to say they'll empty their wallets? Twilight Princess is already available on the GameCube and the Wii. Now Reggie is saying putting it on the Wii U will be a "key title coming for 2016." That's not a good sign. I already felt guilty about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD being the best thing on Wii U in 2013! (And NOW I feel guilty that two KoopaTV traitors (though not at the time) got to outvote me and declare Fire Emblem: Awakening as KoopaTV's Game of THAT Year 2013!)

You can't keep having a console's best games be remakes and ports! Why are people excited over the Generation 1 Pokémon games, anyway? Nintendo said they'd keep them as-is besides wireless trading over link cables. That means the games are still unplayable by any modern standard.

Meanwhile, Nintendo keeps tripling down on amiibo. These things ruin lives and must be stopped. Nintendo is literally releasing crappy Animal Crossing games and are trying to get them to sell by throwing amiibo and amiibo cards into the package. And it's apparently working.

Nintendo's real plan is just extending the lives of their current games with add-on content. Which... I don't really have an issue with if it's done right. The games in question have enough life-span and have enough depth that they don't need the add-on content. It's nice most of it is free.

Okay, elephant in the room. Cloud. Not free. That said, the first thing he hurts in his trailer?

Cloud Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Mario
Bigger version of what's in the collage.

He slashes that plumber! Great! A lot better first impression than another blond-big-sword wielder.

Cloud Strife DLC Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Pac-Man spike
This is a nice bonus.
I've always said that I'd prefer Crono from Chrono Trigger as the Square Enix representative, but I will be buying Cloud's DLC. That said, Cloud has... even more limited exposure to Nintendo consoles than the other characters. He has not only not done anything good for Nintendo, but he's actually been opposing Nintendo since he's been around. I'm not really sure on what basis he's in this game. Still, for whatever reason, I'm not angry about his inclusion.

At least his game series has real music in it, unlike Pac-Man.

Linkle. Linkle... Linkle...... What a disgrace. Tecmo Koei is shaming the Zelda series with their idiotic "original characters". I think it's to the point of parody now. Maybe it was a parody to begin with, with their other "original characters" in Hyrule Warriors that end up taking a ton of attention? (And are majority female for some reason.) I don't know.

I'm not going to talk dismissively of the localisation news. That IS news, and that is something to be happy about. I know from empathy the joy of waiting long and hard for news of things to be localised. So good job, Dragon Quest fans. You got two victories. Still, the things that are being localised are... y'know, remakes of games that DID see their original releases in North America. The games I want are stuck in Japan and have been sitting there for years.

Meanwhile, in Japan, they get this on their Virtual Console:

MOTHER 3 Wii U Japan Virtual Console Nintendo Direct
MOTHER 3. I told you it was coming soon! Wrong continent, but this has to happen first, wouldn't it?

Now if we got MOTHER 3, that'd be the biggest news. But we didn't, so it's Cloud.

The one totally new game, Pokémon Picross? The next in a line in free-to-start Pokémon games that you shouldn't touch. Besides, Picross is a garbage activity that you have to be a robot to enjoy. (I don't recommend clicking that. Leads to the same place it did yesterday!)

If you look at this Nintendo Direct objectively, you see a Nintendo clinging to their already-existing successful games and trying to extract more revenue from those, while propping up the shovelware releases with amiibo. In-between, we got remakes and ports of things that didn't need to be remade or ported. This strategy is getting rather shameless. This doesn't mean Nintendo is a failing company, but it does mean that this particular Nintendo Direct is overrated.

Oh well. I hear Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is pretty good. Fortunately, there are tons of titles already on the Wii U and 3DS you can enjoy that you probably haven't played yet. I haven't even opened Yoshi's Woolly World!

Hope you noticed the subtle KoopaTV background in the collage photos! That's KoopaTV's idea of a watermark! You may see it in future articles. Follow Ludwig at NNID PrinceOfKoopas, because it's the dang right thing to do.

To promote Pokémon Red/Blue, it's the subject of a Splatoon Splatfest. Worldwide!
Let's talk more about that Picross thing.
In 2020, Ludwig has reversed his opinion on Picross and no longer considers it garbage.


  1. Just wanted to say I lost my mind on Cloud. NO ONE SAW THAT COMING. He wasn't even a ballot character! So I'm VERY content on his arrival. Other than that, Splatoon DLC was nice, I'm surprised they implemented it so fast. Loving the new gear.

    1. I haven't played Splatoon all week so I better go do that and freshen myself up.

  2. I was surprised when I went back yesterday to go through the Nintendo Direct to get the information for my blog post how few big announcements there were, since it FELT like this amazing overwhelming Nintendo Direct. (Maybe part was because we haven't had one for so long.) With that said, I'd like to address a few of your points.

    Remasters are big right now. Why, I'm not sure, but I saw people begging for Twilight Princess ever since Wind Waker got its HD re-release. It may seem questionable since it's not a new game, but it was a big winner.

    Likewise with the Gen 1 Pokémon games. Sure, there's some question over why you'd want to play them, but I've seen numerous people ask why the old Pokémon games weren't on Virtual Console and cite it as an example of how Nintendo is out of touch with its fanbase. Now Nintendo looks more in touch... and having the old games available is great for people who want to play ALL the Pokémon games or just go back and see where it all began.

    About Linkle: she was discovered over a year ago, in the artbook, I believe. Fan reactions to her must have been positive enough for Tecmo Koei to realize she could be a selling point. Why, I don't know, but all they did was think of the character and decide NOT to put her in the game. It had to be fan reactions that made them change their minds.

    You might underestimate the Dragon Quest localizations. Yes, they're remakes, but fans have been begging for these games. This version of VII is also said to be notably improved over the original (which some people described to me as the worst of the series, made much better through its remake). I also think it's significant that Nintendo is publishing them. (And you, as a fan of turn-based RPGs, should appreciate this sign that at least *someone* believes the genre still has a market in the West. xD)

    1. Yeah! At first glance, it looks like the first collage! And it was 45 minutes, which is HUGE for a Nintendo Direct.

      Twilight Princess doesn't even look that much better from what I could tell. I didn't like remastering Tomb Raider from the PS3 to the PS4, so I sure don't like remastering Twilight Princess from the GameCube to the Wii to the Wii U.

      I've seen people ask why Pokémon has never been on the Wii's Virtual Console or anything either, besides, like, Pokémon Snap. I think we know why and it doesn't have to do with Nintendo.

      Pokémon RBY was recently publicised with Twitch Plays Pokémon. While everyone agrees that was a spectacle, what that should've also done is demonstrate how bad the game has held up. I don't make purchase decisions based on "nostalgia" like apparently a lot of Pokémon fans will be doing. I do it based on enjoyment. <_<
      Besides I literally own Blue and FireRed.

      Yes, Linkle was discovered in an artbook. I'd like to see you submit evidence of this overwhelmingly positive fan reaction.

      I'm not underestimating the localisations they were the one thing here I had nothing ill to speak of!

    2. Did you watch a comparison video? To me, Twilight Princess HD looked exactly the same as what I *remembered* TP looking like, until I compared the two.

      Twitch Plays Pokémon (note: my iPad auto-corrects Pokemon to Pokémon, but my computer does not) was hilariously funny. Maybe it's kind of like the Super Replay phenomenon. Game Informer has done Super Replay of bad old games (like terrible, awful games) and then the prices of those games shot up because people who watched the Super Replay suddenly wanted to play them... even though they were awful.

      I don't have actual evidence, just logic. If they already made the decision to not include the character, why would they change their minds unless they thought fans wanted it? Searching the Internet, it looks like Linkle was very divisive when people saw the concept art. Some people wanted her, some people wanted Zelda instead (isn't Zelda already playable in Hyrule Warriors?), and there are long arguments about her. XD

      I know you didn't say anything bad about the localizations, but I wasn't sure you gave them enough credit for being big news, either.

    3. No, but I did see a side-by-side.
      I guess I have fonder memories of how TP looked like on the GameCube, but if that's how I thought TP looked like to begin with, and perception is reality, what's the point of getting this HD version if we were all fine thinking TP looked good to start with?


      So your actual attempt at evidence does end up contradicting your logic. Hm.

      I said it was news but I didn't call it "big". So maybe I didn't give "enough" credit.

  3. I grew to tolerate the newest addition to the Smash cast but I will still be wary of SSB5.

    1. Part of my issue with DLC is that it screws up the whole sequel thing.

      I guess it's different if Smash will only get sequels on new consoles and the DLC will stop in early 2016, though I dunno how they'll approach SSB5 in a non-shameless manner. If it'll exist at all.

      Hope Sakurai gets to do what he actually wants with his life. (Non-Smash.)

  4. Now that the E3 circlejerk is over and done with, people are completely fine with actually being positive towards things Nintendo revealed at the show. We didn't really need new announcements: All we really needed was more information. I don't see anyone attacking Star Fox anymore, for example. That delay is really doing wonders.

    We simply already have too many great games in the pipeline to really need to get worked up over new announcements. Xenoblade, Devil's Third, and Fast Racing NEO are all on the way, and all look great. After that, we get Fire Emblem Fates. There's a lot to be excited for before the next Direct. We can't get new games in every Direct, after all.

    1. That's definitely true.

      That said, after E3 2015 Nintendo said there were new things in the pipeline not announced at E3 2015 that would be existing. Now would've been a nice time to show them. ( )

      Instead, we get statements like Twilight Princess HD being a key software. And it may very well be, but that's not comforting.

      This was really directed to people saying that Nintendo is basically emptying their wallet as their reaction to this Direct. If they were going to be emptying your wallet, they would've been emptying it before the Direct as well. Because the amount of new information isn't wallet-draining. So if you're suddenly very "Nintendo did amazing!" then you should've thought it was amazing back at E3, too!

    2. I was surprised at the overall positive reception as well. They really didn't show anything new. Honestly, I preferred the E3 Direct.

      I feel like the only reason this Direct is being so well received is because of the Cloud reveal. As I think I've told you before, Nintendo Direct viewers are more interested in being 'hyped' about something than actually getting anything of value.

    3. I found someone today who is actually excited for Pokémon Picross that isn't the head admin of NSider2. So hey, they showed something new of value to someone out there!

      People loooove style over substance. (See: Leading candidates in the Republican primary.) This Direct was pretty much that.


    1. Awesome! Then you can finally turn your Wii U on again!


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