What does the Valentine's Day Nintendo Direct announcements mean for gamers?

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Screenshot - Nintendo Direct

Another Nintendo Direct is in the bag; Nintendo fans were given announcements that'll surpass anything your significant other could possibly do for you on Valentine's Day. With a ton of new information, 3DS owners have to be feeling pretty good right now. With some exciting new titles headed to the handheld, 2013 is shaping up to be a really exciting year. However, the Wii U didn't get anywhere near the amount of attention I was expecting. Here's what the announcements mean for gamers:

The year of Luigi

Nintendo isn't kidding when they called 2013 "The year of Luigi." Mario's brother might be the face of Nintendo this year, as he is going to be in at least four games this year for the 3DS and Wii U -- two of them as a leading role. Mario Golf: World Tour he'll be a playable character, but the other games are where he's really going to shineexcept in Luigi's Mansion because he's in the dark. New Super Luigi U is large-scale downloadable content coming to the Wii U eShop this year. While it just looks like more new levels for New Super Mario Bros. U with Luigi in it, it sure does look promising. 

But what does it mean for gamers?

It means that the other two Luigi games are two more reasons you should own a 3DS. With Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon available March 24 and a new installment in the Mario and Luigi series of role-playing games, it's hard to see the PS Vita ever coming close to competing with Nintendo's handheld. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team is coming this summer, and it's exciting to the cool gameplay elements of Luigi's dream world. 

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon multiplayer

The most exciting thing for gamers has to be the multiplayer element for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Not only does the game really pop and come to life with 3D and immersive realism for lighting and shadows, but the game will have a four-player co-op mode. These players will all play as Luigi as they climb the floors of the 'Scarescraper.' It has local wireless play, download play and online play. You use the same tools to progress the way Luigi does in the main game. The idea of working together to escape each floor in a certain time limit is very exciting. It adds a ton of replay value to the game and might come out being the best multiplayer game for the 3DS.

Holy 3DS eShop Batman!

Wow, there's a lot coming to the 3DS eShop. First, I'm afraid of being made for of for talking about the Animal Crossing fashion sense in Style Savvy Trend Setters -- so I'm just not going to mention it. But oh my god, this is a great gift for my wife. Harmo Knight is a unique action-rhythm game, and Kersploosh looks like a frantic stone-dropping game. One of the most exciting eShop announcements was Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, an action-puzzle game featuring Mario and Donkey Kong, obviously. 

But what does it mean for gamers?

It means great games at great prices for 3DS owners. And if you don't have a 3DS, there's incentive to get one. Nintendo announced that you get one of Super Mario 3D LandFreakyforms DeluxeArt AcademyProfessor Layton and the Miracle Mask or StarFox64 3D‚Äč if you buy and register a 3DS XL and one of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon or Pokemon Myster Dungeon: Gates to Infinity from March 21 to April 30. 

Lackluster Wii U announcements

Yea, The Legend of Zelda Miiverse community was a nice little addition, but the rest of Nintendo's Wii U announcements were rather bland. So there's a Wii U Deluxe bundle that comes with a pro controller, ZombiU and Nintendo Land; so there's a deluxe digital promotion where you get points; so Bit.Trip Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, Zen Pinball 2 and Toki Tori 2 are coming to the Wii U eShop soon -- so what? 

But what does it mean for gamers?

There wasn't enough exciting Wii U information to inject some life into the console's sales. There were no release dates announced for Pikmin 3 or Bayonetta 2 -- something that a lot of Wii U owners have been waiting for. Third-party titles like Disney InfinityInjustice: Gods Among Us and Need for Speed: Most Wanted U are on their way, but seeing as how they're available on other consoles, what's to make gamers adopt the Wii U console to play them?

Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate are almost here

Animal Crossing: New Leaf awesome

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is coming March 19 to the 3DS and Wii U. What's the best thing about it? Cross-platform play! A Wii U player can connect with up to three 3DS players to create a hunting party. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is almost complete, and it releases June 9. It's going to have more big decisions, and you can customize your home and town in more ways than ever before. The coolest feature that I wasn't expecting is Happy Home Showcase. Here, you can see the homes of players that you've connected with via Street Pass. There's more online connectivity features, but they'll need more time to talk about them later on.

But what does it mean for gamers?

It means that these are two of the biggest titles for the 3DS that people have been waiting for, and they're almost here. Combine these with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and it looks like Nintendo is pushing online connectivity and multiplayer more than ever before. 


This was a great Nintendo Direct for 3DS owners and those thinking of purchasing one. With plenty of new, awesome games on the way -- and soon -- the 3DS is bound to further the gap between itself and the PS Vita. Before all is said and done, it might be the most popular hand-held gaming system of all-time. Also, the multiplayer for three of its biggest titles is very exciting. The Year of Luigi brings us an exciting Luigi and Mario RPG, and no one was expecting that. However, it just seems like the Wii U is treading water. The Deluxe bundle was really the biggest announcement. Nintendo dropped the ball when it comes to the Wii U. Let's hope they pick up some steam heading into E3. 

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email at LLiebl@GameZone.com

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Lance Liebl Gamer, Disney enthusiast, opinionated sports fan, movie buff, and a father of two. You can follow Lance on Twitter @Lance_GZ.
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