A new Paper Mario heads to Wii U, Star Fox Zero gets a release date, and #FE is on its way

It's our Wii U Nintendo Direct March round-up

A new Paper Mario heads to Wii U Star Fox Zero gets a release date and FE is on its way  Everybody Plays
4th March, 2016

If you were otherwise occupied at 10pm last night, be it due to having a family, work, or simply fancying an early night, you may have missed Nintendo's latest Nintendo Direct broadcast, the latest in a long line of videos that bunches three month's worth of Nintendo related news into one "short" broadcast. With this being the first proper Direct since the passing of former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, there was a lot of news to get down - and we've rounded up everything that happened below. Unfortunately, Nintendo don't make this easy, as not everything they covered last night has its own separate video, but where a video isn't available, we've gone through dividing the Nintendo Direct into chunks so you can watch the bits that appeal to you. Click play on any of the generic Nintendo Direct videos below will jump you straight to the bit you're interested in, so you don't have to skip through trying to find it.

Star Fox Zero gets a release date

Along with debuting a brand new trailer for their high-octane on the rails shooter, Nintendo announced that Star Fox Zero, the latest in a long line of games that was once known as Lylat Wars, will release on the 22nd April. Better yet, it was also revelealed the game will have a co-op mode, with one player using the GamePad to shoot, and another using the pro controller to fly the Arwing.

Perhaps more surprisingly, it was also announced that a brand new game, Star Fox Guard, would be launching alongside Star Fox Zero. Based on a Miyamoto concept game that was shown a few years ago at E3, Star Fox Guard takes the concept to the next level, asking you to protect a maze of corridors from enemy attack. Inside, you can place cameras at various places, with a feed from all cameras being shown on the TV screen. Using your GamePad, you can switch between the cameras, and blast any enemies as they try to get in.

What's perhaps a bit more confusing is how the games will be sold. Both Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard will launch on the 22nd April, with a limited edition "first print run" bundling them together into one box with a limited edition steelbook. Once that's gone, you'll be able to buy Star Fox Zero from retail, but the only way to get Star Fox Guard will be to download it from the eShop.

Splatoon Software Update

Splatoon Screenshot
Meanwhile, Nintendo's ink-based take on an online shooter will also be getting a series of updates, beginning on the 9th March. While the first update is mostly tweaks and balancing, balancing gear abilities, tweaking ranked battle matchmaking, and adding as yet unknown "elements" to Splatfests, some more substantial add-ons are on the way too. At some point in future, two new updates will add new weapon set recommendations known "Sheldon's Picks" to the game, along with a few tweaks to how the weapons work. Essentially a "developer's picks" of the existing weapon customisation options, these updates will roll out starting in April.

Mario and Sonic at the Rio Olympics launches on 24th June


Along with a brand new trailer, Nintendo also announced a few new details of its upcoming multiplayer sport-themed mini-game fest, Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympics. New for this instalment are Rugby 7s ("You should give it a try" says Nintendo of Europe boss, Satoru Shibata - we see what you did there), and Rhythmic Gymnastics, which sounds like a sport Bowser would be great at if ever we saw one. Bound to be a great game to get the family playing together, the game launches this June.

Super Mario Maker gets an update

Super Mario Maker Screenshot
If creativity is your thing, you may be interested to know a new update is on its way for Super Mario Maker, the "make your own" Mario game that is essentially on big level editor. Along with a new Super Expert difficulty for the game's 100 Mario Challenge (which sounds like it'll be reserved for only the most masochistic of masochists), the update also adds a range of new tools, including keys (shake a P Switch to turn it into a key, shake a door twice to turn it into a key door), and a massive spike pillar, as seen in Super Mario World. More interestingly, enemies can also be made to hold keys - making it perfect for giving your level a bit of a puzzle. The new update hits on the 9th March.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE launches in June


If you were wondering what Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was, you're likely not alone. The game formerly known as [unintelligible japanese characters] #FE has finally been given an English name - and, more importantly, is getting an English release. The mythic Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem cross-over that was initially thought dead following its announcement in 2014 (that's one of the problems with Nintendo Direct - you end up thinking games have died because of the lack of news), Tokyo Mirage Sessions is an incredibly stylish Wii U exclusive Japanese role playing game - and, as you'd likely expect, it's more than a little bit weird too. Packed with songs from Japanese idols, and with a plot that centres around one too, the story tells the tale of a group of youngsters recruited by Fortuna Entertainment, a talent agency that's actual purpose is to defend the earth from attack from the Idolsphere - an alternate dimension that we can only imagine is entirely populated by teenage girls in fancy dresses. A game that's full of music, weirdness, and turn-based battles (yes!), the game launches on these shores on 24th June. Click the trailer above to just watch the Tokyo Mirage Sessions part of the Nintendo Direct.

Paper Mario: Colour Splash


Arguably the biggest news to come out of the Nintendo Direct is that of Paper Mario: Colour Splash, a brand new "action adventure" game that looks more like a traditional role playing game to us. Set in a gorgeous papercraft world, the story here is that Paper Mario and chums find themselves on an island where a nefarious villain is going around robbing objects, items, and even people of their colour. Armed with a paint hammer, it's up to Mazza to go round whacking everything in sight, and return colour to the land. Battles still look turn based in traditional Paper Mario style, and also make use of cards, with each card representing a certain action you can perform in the battle - all you have to do is flick them from your GamePad to the TV to use them! We don't even know that much, but this has already shot to the top of our most wanted list.

And finally...


Rounding off the Wii U section of the Nintendo Direct with more of a damp squib than a bang is Lost Reavers, a free to play co-op action game that will soon be hitting the Wii U eShop. With the words free-to-play setting the warning sirens going, we're sceptical about this one, although the concept itself seems interesting enough. Kind of like a team based tomb raiding games, it's up to you to get into an ancient ruin, beat up enemies on the way, and grab a sizeable ancient artifact, before trying to make it out alive. Of course, as one of you has to carry the heavy artifact out, that kind of means you can't fight for yourself - so you'll need to rely on your team mates to survive. An open beta will kick off on the 14th April.


And that's your lot! Lots of free updates, a name and a release date for the SMTxFE cross-over, and one very nice looking brand new Paper Mario makes this a pretty good Nintendo Direct for Wii U owners - although it's perhaps to be expected that things may start to wind down a little now, as we could be less than a year away from the big N's next home console, the NX. We can't wait to hear more about Paper Mario - what are you looking forward to?
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