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Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wii U in a software drought now but Zelda, 3D Mario, Mario Kart and more in the works

Since its launch in November, the Wii U is in the midst of a dry spell when it comes to games. The next notable release is at the end of February with Rayman Legends, followed by Lego City Undercover and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in March. The big one, Pikmin 3, is scheduled for release later this spring.

Until then we're stuck playing with launch games. It's disappointing and I wish there were some more games already out, but I'll survive. Reading exaggerated comments online, whether fake or real, about how Nintendo is doomed is always a laugh. They're not going away anytime soon, as they proved with their most recent Nintendo Direct presentation.

One of the big announcements was the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, originally released on the GameCube. It's scheduled for release this fall, giving the Wii U some holiday power. A new Zelda game is also in the works, but we won't see that for a long, long time.

The team behind the Super Mario Galaxy games for the Wii and Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS are working on a new 3D Mario game for the console. It's scheduled to be playable at this year's E3 along with a new Mario Kart game. Could both of these games actually release this year? It would be a huge lineup to go up against possibly Microsoft's and Sony's new consoles during the holiday season. I would bet Mario Kart gets released then, then Mario 3D early in 2014.

The team behind Kirby's Epic Yarn is developing a Yoshi game set in the cutesy world of yarn and fabric. Even though it was very simple, Kirby's Epic Yarn was a good-looking, relaxing game. Hopefully Yoshi's game will be more challenging.

Other announcements included a new Wii Party game planned for a summer launch; a Pikmin 3 (above) feature allowing players to take pictures and share them on the Miiverse; a Fire Emblem-Shin Megami Tensei collaboration; a new game from Monolith Soft, who worked on Xenoblade for the Wii; and Wii Fit U will let players create user communities on Miiverse, and share fitness goals and tips with one another. The Wonderful 101 and Game & Wario are scheduled for launch in the first half of 2013. The newest Super Smash Bros. installment and Bayonetta 2 are also in the works. Virtual Console software will be available in a spring system update.

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