3DS: What To Look Forward To In 2014
The 3DS was a monster in 2013. The system single handily went from “Nintendo should get out of handhelds” to “one of the best handhelds of all time” within a single year. Software sells hardware and thanks to incredible exclusive titles like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem Awakening, Shin Megami Tensei 4, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and the juggernaut that is Pokemon X and Y – the 3DS became the best selling system of 2013. But now we look into the future of the 3DS, what else do people have to look forward to?
Yoshi’s New Island – March 14 (Amazon Preorder)
What once looked like a cheap and stiff remake of the original Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s New Island has certainly benefited from some more development time and some better trailers showing off some of the newer features. Definitely looking forward to this as I’ve always enjoyed Yoshi’s games. Yes, even Yoshi’s Island DS.
Mario Golf: World Tour – May 2 (Amazon Preorder)
Mario Golf Wold Tour was supposed to come out in the summer of last year but look where we are now. Thankfully, I think all that extra time really helped in solidifying a good game into a great game. Also there is an underwater course. Ladies and gentlemen, AN UNDERWATER COURSE.
Pokemon Battle Trozei – March 20
Pokemon and Puzzle games? You had me hooked at Pokemon Puzzle League and while Trozei isn’t League, it certainly isn’t bad. It follows a basic bejeweled like gameplay with some Pokemon strategy of weaknesses and resistances. Battle Trozei will be an eShop only title but don’t let that make you think this will be a tiny game. It contains within it every known Pokemon up to Generation 6!
Kirby: Triple Deluxe – May 2
I’ll say one thing about the Kirby Series. It has a way of getting into your heart and making you smile. The music is infectious on a level that is scary. The graphics – always charming. To say I am excited about this new Kirby is an understatement.
Smash Brothers – 2014?
Of course this would be on the list. Need I say more? It is Smash Bros and the first portable installment of the series to date! This version of the game will have some way of connecting with the WiiU version (although no cross-play/cross-buy) and will likely have online gameplay much like Brawl before it did. This is as hype as it gets.
Bravely Default – Square Enix – Available Now
The game is already out in America and is pretty great. Already a contender for “RPG of the year” in my book. Bravely Default is very reminiscent of the classic Final Fantasy games (think Final Fantasy 4 and 5) If you enjoy Final Fantasy in any sense of the word, you’ll love this.
Bravely Second – Square Enix – 2015?
Hot on the heels of the release of Bravely Default in North America comes the announcement of a sequel by the name of Bravely Second in Japan. The game will most likely come out this year in Japan and next year in North America if the timing is consistent. Bravely Default seems to be doing rather well in the U.S. and sold somewhere around half a million in Japan. Perhaps we have the start of a brand new big franchise from Square Enix?
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – Capcom – Early 2015
While we will have to wait quite some time before we get the next Monster Hunter, it is coming. It seems Capcom likes to bring over the enhanced “G” versions of the games overseas. No Wii U version is in sight this time but the 3DS game will have Online Play on its own which will certainly help in the West. Two new weapon classes, plenty of new villages and Monsters round out the changes.
Persona Q - Atlus – Late 2014?
What happens when you cross the dungeon crawling Etrian Odyssey series with the ever awesome Persona series? Well, you get this new Persona spinoff called Persona Q. The game features your favorite characters from Persona 3 & 4 while also being a cross between the EO and Persona styles. While no official confirmation is available, this game is definitely coming westward, considering how quick Atlus is at bringing their Persona series over. (Note that Persona 4/4 Golden came out in the U.S. within the same year as its Japanese release) I can totally see this coming late 2014.
Theaterhythm: Curtain Call – Square Enix – Late 2014
Did you love the RPG-lite/Rhythm game from 2011? Good because here comes more! Curtain Call is more of an enhanced version of the 1st game containing all of the DLC songs from the 3DS version and characters/songs from the iOS version on top of the already large original song list. It also packs some exclusives and button input if you didn’t like the stylus. Along with an improved multiplayer and quest melody feature! Think of it as the final and most expansive Theaterhythm yet.
Disney Magical World – April 11
Going to Disney world and interacting with Mickey and friends is basically a sure-fire way to sell a bunch of copies of anything. Not to mention it’s in 3D. It is as if they created a Disney and Animal Crossing cross over as it follows similar guidelines to the Nintendo Life Sim. Your Mii can explore, play, and dress up with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minny and a whole assortment of Disney Characters.
Prof. Layton and the Azran Legacy – Level 5 – February 28 (Amazon Preorder)
The last of the Professor Layton series is finally here. If you’ve played a Professor Layton game in the past, you get the idea by now. You follow Professor Layton, Luke, Emmy, and company as they solve mysteries and puzzles. I imagine that you’d want to play the previous games in the series if you really want to get the full effect of the story. But if the latest game is anything like Layton’s previous adventure, there will be some backstory to go over the previous games.
Prof. Layton vs. Ace Attorney – Level 5/Capcom – 2014
OBJECTION! It appears that Azran Legacy won’t be the last Professor Layton title. For the first time in the series, we have a crossover between Level-5 and Capcom. It mixes together the puzzle solving of Professor Layton games and the court-room style battles in Ace Attorney. The crossover title will appear in Europe on March 28th but no official date has been set for North America.
Devil Survivor 2: Break Record – Atlus – 2014?
As an owner of the original Devil Survivor and Devil Survivor 2, these are some great tactical rpg games. They take the best of the Shin Megami Tensei series and mix it in with a bit of Final Fantasy Tactics. It truly is fantastic.
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson – I wish…
More Senran Kagura is on the way! Or at least to Japan for now. The series has sold rather well on its…assets. I joke, but seriously, Brawler type games are quite fun and the characters in Senran Kagura are actually quite enjoyable, so why not have another?
Puzzle & Dragon Z – 2014
The Smash hit Cellphone game/3DS title in Japan is confirmed to be coming to the U.S. If you didn’t catch on by the title, the game is a mix of Bejeweled like gameplay on the bottom screen with RPG elements on the top. It certainly looks cool and it gives me a Puzzle Quest vibe, which is always a good thing.
Dragon Quest 7
Dragon Quest 7 is a classic in the Dragon Quest series and was given the remake treatment for the 3DS. The game was already available in the United States (on the PS1) for that matter so making a translation should not be a lot of work. However, Square Enix often enlists the help of Nintendo to publish the Dragon Quest series in America so we would have to wait on word from Nintendo to ever see this game in the west.
Already semi-announced by Iwata at a Nintendo Shareholder meeting, Tomadachi Collection will certainly be coming to the U.S. once Nintendo has found a way to edit the content to better fit North American culture. Here’s a free one Nintendo: market this as your version of the Sims. It has the capability to be a huge franchise much like Animal Crossing if done right.
Another life sim/jrpg (the 3DS seems to be getting a lot of these huh?) but this time by Level-5 and it seems to have a very “professor layton-y” meets Final Fantasy vibe to it. I can certainly dig it. Trademarks have already been filed for Europe and U.S. and while one hopes for a physical release, I could also see a digital only just to keep costs down.
Youkai Watch is one of those games that just sounds funky on paper. Ghosts and demons are controlled by little kids with ghostbuster wrist watches? I don’t understand but the game looks like a cool cross between Pokemon and Persona with a much lighter kid-friendly vibe.
Puyo Puyo x Tetris
Puzzle games are my guilty pleasure so imagine my excitement when I found out that two of my favorites, Tetris and Puyo Puyo are crossing over in a new game made by Sega? The only worry I have is whether or not this game will come to America but Tetris alone is pretty popular here so perhaps we will get an eShop release.
GameCenter CX 3
Ok so I don’t really think the new GameCenter will make it to the west but I can dream can’t I? The first GameCenter did make it to the DS in the form of Retro Game Challenge by Xseed but since it sold poorly GameCenter CX2 never got here. Here’s hoping Xseed takes another chance with these wonderfully retro collection of games.
Daigassou! Band Brothers P
Aka Jam With The Band in Europe, this series never got a release in the United States despite our love for rhythm games involving bands and instruments. (hello, Rock Band/ hello Guitar Hero) This new game even has a vocal manipulation feature something akin to auto-tune which could make for some odd but fun music sessions.
Hatsune Miku Project Mirai / Mirai 2
Hatsune Miku has always had a weird relationship with the west. While she is incredibly popular in Japan, that same success has never really translated very well here. Although Sega was kind enough to bring both Diva games for the Vita and PS3, they haven’t brought their chibi-fied spin off titles to the 3DS. SEGA: if your listening, I and many other Hatsune Miku fans wouldn’t necessarily be against an e-shop only, translated menus only game. (Heck, I bought and loved Project X Zone and that had the Japanese vocals which I had no problem with)
Rumors and Possibilities
New Ace Attorney
We pretty much have a confirmation that yes, a brand new Ace Attorney is in development and according to the developers, this game will fundamentally change the way Ace Attorney plays. It looks like the series will receive a pretty big change in terms of gameplay this time around. Ace Attorney 5 was great so I can’t wait to see how this new one fares.
Pokemon Z / Honen Remakes?
If you didn’t catch on with the DS Pokemon Games, ever since the launch of Pokemon Platinum, GameFreak has been relentless with a new Pokemon game almost every year (and almost always it arrives in October). Quickly after Black/White we got Black/White 2 and the year after we got Pokemon X and Y. Most likely, we either see an enhanced version of X and Y (Pokemon Z with Zygrade on the cover?) with a few new Pokemon for the sparse Gen 6. Or perhaps the fabled Honen remakes (Ruby/Saphire) are truly in development and will release this year. Also lets see if the Pokemon Company can keep up this new “worldwide” launch of newer Pokemon games.
Zero Escape 3
Zero Escape and its fellow games in the series are some of my favorite visual novel/seek a way out room puzzlers. And while it is sad that the series director has recently voiced concern in terms of finding funding for the third game, I’m not too worried. Considering the fan outcry and support for the game – I can see someone coming along to pick it up.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
Miyamoto has of course gone on record to say that early on, they were deciding between releasing the spiritual successor to A Link To The Past (A Link Between Worlds) and a remake of the classic Majora’s Mask when considering a new Zelda title for 3DS. With all of the teases and hints at Majora’s Mask in A Link Between Worlds, this game is happening. The question is: when is it happening?
Looks like the 3DS has a lot to look forward to in 2014 and beyond. Whether or not the 3DS sells as well as the original DS isn’t much of an important question anymore, considering it has easily solidified itself as the go-to-handheld this generation with many great exclusives worth buying the system for. Once again, Nintendo proves its doubters wrong by doing what they do best: making great games.