Hey there. Real life is closing in perilously fast, and yet I have still managed to bring you news about the incredibly awesome Nintendo of America conference they held at the W San Fransisco Hotel on the 24th of February. Hold on to your hats, because it’s pretty cool. So, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is coming ou- oh, I guess William covered that already. Okay, well did you hear about the DSi XL? It’s going to - wait, William also covered that already. Man, Bill, why you gotta leave me with the scraps? Well, to be fair, they are awesome scraps.
Let’s do this in order, shall we? Nintendo PR Director Matt Franklin stepped up to the plate first to tell everybody that today the big N was going to be showcasing 15 Wii games and 9 DS games, focusing on the first half of 2010. “Focusing” means wiggle room; enough space to confirm a bunch of games, but also enough to say ‘Oh, and this one might be shipping in September’. A good phrase, if you can use it. Where was I? Oh yes. Franklin went on to say that “You’ll have to come see us at E3″ if you want to know about the latter half of 2010, so expect even more news then.
He then went over some sales figures, focusing - that word again - on new sales records set by Nintendo in 2009. 3.8 Wiis sold in December alone, 11.2 million new DS sold in 2009, and a new record for the largest number of games sold for one platform in one month - 24.9 Wii software units sold in December ‘09. Then he went over DSi XL news, which Bill covered, so we’ll move right along.
Then came the bits the fans were clamouring to see. Started off slowly, with two DS titles being revealed - America’s Test Cooking app and 100 Classic Books. Hooray. Nate Bihldoff took the stage to show off Super Mario Galaxy 2, which I’ll skip over, except to say that the drill feature looks cool and more games should involve drills. Oh, and it drops May 23rd. And was playable at the conference. And before you freak out, just because the trailer didn’t have orchestrated music doesn’t mean Galaxy 2 won’t; remember how the original’s trailers also had beeps and boops? Okay, okay, moving on…
Time for more heavy-hitters. Popular Japanese rail shooter (as in, you’re on rails like in Time Crisis or House of the Dead, not you are shooting rail guns and/or shooting trains) Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is finally getting a localisation, and will drop on June 7, and will utilise the Wii’s Wi-Fi capabilities to incorporate international leaderboards. Sweet. Next up, a quirky little game called Fling Smash, previously known as Span Smasher, where the object is to throw a hero into… stuff. Keep an eye on this, Nintendo is known to make normally ridiculous concepts fun and successful.
Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver was present, set for March 14 release Picross 3D is going to release on May 3rd for the DS, so puzzle fans may want to stay alert. Dan Adelman popped out to talk about WiiWare and DSiWare, with 11 of the games at the conference downloadable ones - including Wario Ware DIY for the DS and its associated game Wario Ware DIY Showcase, where you build the game on one and send it to play on the other. Or something. Of course, that’s not precisely new; Wired had an article on it back in May. They both drop on March the 28th.
More Ware talk! Fans of the Art Style series are in for a treat, with two games, Light Trax and Rotozoa coming to the Wii. Classic gamers will find Mega Man 10 coming on the 1st of March, and the charming little creative hit Max and the Magic Marker coming on March 8th. Super-anticipated Cave Story 2 is coming out March 22nd, and indie cult hit And Yet It Moves and Indie Games Finalist Super Meat Boy dropping in “Summer”.
That’s not all for downloadable play. The DSi gets its turn in the spotlight, with Metal Torrent and X-Scape (an arcade shooter and a 3D shooter, respectively) talked about briefly, before the conversation turned to Photo Dojo (an app where you make a fighting game out of photos and recordings of yourselves - oh man, Nintendo…). In terms of third parties, Majesco is releasing Ghostwire: Link to the Paranormal, which similarly promises to make use of the DSi’s camera features to make ghost-photography even more fun.
The Wii version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will be dropping on May 18th, with a free bonus: the original NES console version of Prince of Persia, and it includes two-player co-op. Hooray! Then a big Disney game, Disney Guilty Party, about which nothing was really said beyond that it’s a ‘mystery party game set to release in the second half of 2010, exclusively for Wii’. It’s based on a board game or something? Then Capcom started talking about Monster Hunter Tri, set to release on April 20th. Free online play for all (all meaning ‘those living in North America’)! US$60 for a pack with the Black Classic Controller Pro! Exclusive demo disc at Gamestop from March 8!
More big news: Nintendo of America will be publishing the North American localisation of Dragon Quest IX for DS. Which is good! SquareEnix will be sad to lose the licence, but this means that Nintendo of America can pour their incredible reserves of cash into promoting the Dragon Quest series. They also mentioned some rewards for Club Nintendo members, including Game and Watch Collection 2 and the Ultra Hand WiiWare game, and Mario original art posters. Cool beans.
Then some more, more, even bigger news - METROID OTHER M JUNE 27 PLAYABLE DEMOS WERE ON THE FLOOR. I mean, uh, Metroid Other M release June 27, with playable demos at the conference, IT WAS INCREDIBLE, I wish I had been there. “When you finish playing this, you’re going to feel like you know Samus in a way that you’ve never known her before,” said Executive Vice President Cammie Dunaway. Looks like it’ll be combining the classic 2-d exploration of the early Metroid series with the newer FPS mechanics of the Metroid Prime games. Whatever, I’m excited.
By the way, if there is a new Zelda this year (besides Spirit Tracks), this puts it sometime in the second half of the year, probably November. Just sayin’. So, In conclusion…
March 8th - Max and the Magic Marker
March 14th - Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver
March 22nd - Cave Story
March 28th - Warioware DIY, DSi XL
April 20th - Monster Hunter 3/Tri
May 3rd - Picross 3D
May 18th - Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
May 23rd - Super Mario Galaxy 2
June 7th - Sin and Punishment 2: Star Successor
June 27th - Metroid: Other M
October - Ghostwire (Majesco)
Spring - Art Style: Light Trax, Art Style: Rotozoa, Rage of the Gladiator, Metal Torrent, X-scape, Photo Dojo
Summer - FlingSmash [AKA Span Smasher], And Yet It Moves, Super Meat Boy
2nd half - Guilty Party (Disney)
TBA? - America’s Test Kitchen, 100 Classic Books, Dragon Quest IX
Thanks to: NintendoGal, Hero of Legend, Wired, NeoGAF. Anyone keeping track might want to know that these release dates are all for North America, and yes, Australia got screwed over again.