In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, today’s streaming Nintendo Direct video featured both numerous announcements and juicy new details regarding Nintendo’s long-running Super Mario franchise. Nintendo of Japan’s president, Satoru Iwata, once again took center stage to talk about both previously announced and newly announced games in the series.
Continuing with the previously announced “Year of Luigi” that kicked itself off with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, the first game to be showcased was Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the first 3DS entry in the portable role-playing game series showcasing both brothers. Featuring a gorgeous new graphical style, the game will make use of a mechanic where Mario must switch between the real world and the world of Luigi’s dreams to save Princess Peach from danger. While in the dream world, a sleeping Luigi will be displayed on the lower screen, who must be interacted with via the 3DS’s touch capabilities to affect the dream environments. The game was confirmed for a simultaneous physical and digital release on August 11.
Next up is Mario Golf: World Tour for the 3DS, launching sometime this summer. In a first for the series, worldwide online competitive play will be supported, along with the ability to upload scores and participate in online tournaments. Mario Kart 7‘s community feature will also make a return, where gamers will be able to set up various conditions for each match and compete against others. Iwata confirmed that local multiplayer will also make a return.
The first 3DS entry in the Mario Party series was also announced for a Winter release, featuring over eighty new minigames and seven unique boards each with their own set of rules and unique gameplay conditions. Iwata also hinted that the overall length of individual rounds could be shorter, which is better suited for the pick up and play nature of handhelds.
New Super Luigi U, a downloadable expansion for New Super Mario Bros. U, was also detailed. Featuring a total revamp of every level and the ability to play single-player as Luigi instead of Mario, controls will also be adjusted to account for Luigi’s higher jump and looser movement. Each course will also have a shorter time limit, with the timer starting at 100 seconds.
In terms of spinoff titles, a new 3DS Yoshi’s Island game was also announced. Details are scarce, but what was shown displayed what appeared to be polygonal or pre-rendered characters in a 2D platforming world, with nice-looking backgrounds akin to a painting. Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move will be an eShop exclusive launching May 9, which is a puzzle game where players must place tiles to clear a safe path for the mechanical Mini Mario toys, similar to the Lemmings series. Game & Wario, the first Wii U entry in the WarioWare franchise, was also confirmed for a North American release in both stores and the eShop on June 23.
We will keep you updated on future news regarding the Mario franchise as it develops.