Special: I declare this... the Summer of Nintendo!
Throughout the end of February and the month of March, Gaming Target will be posting Publisher Forecasts of what the major players have in store for 2010. Find out what's out, what's projected, and what rumors we hope come true by reading all of the 2010 Publisher Forecasts right here at GT.
After a 2009 that didn't feature too many of Nintendo's big guns, they're going back to their franchise favorites for 2010. New titles starring Mario, Samus Aran and Link will be released alongside more Pokemon games and the return of the Golden Sun series. But even with a comittment to their classic characters, Nintendo will be spreading out into new franchises in 2010 from Monolith Soft and Mistwalker.
The Year So Far
Nintendo has never been big about releasing much of anything in the early part of the year. And even in 2010, when the first quarter of the year is being referred to as Christmas Part 2, the publisher has been mostly quiet. Thus far, The Big N has only released two games in 2010. Glory of Heracles
was released in January and Endless Ocean: Blue World
made its way to stores a few days ago.
Glory of Heracles for the DS is the first game in the long-running RPG series to be released in America. While I think it's great that Nintendo is bringing more of their Japan-only releases to America, this one didn't set the gaming world on fire. Middling reviews and poor sales mean it might be the only game in the series to ever be released in America. On the other hand, the original Endless Ocean was a surprise hit and Blue World looks to give gamers more of the same ocean exploring adventures.
March: The Month of the DS
While Sony and Square Enix are going big for the month of March, Nintendo will be going small by focusing on the DS and the brand new DSi XL. The extra large refresh of the company's popular handheld will just barely make it's promised first quarter release when it drops into stores on March 28.
The new hardware will be joined by a pair of new games on the 28th, WarioWare D.I.Y.
and America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking
. But first, Nintendo is giving Pokemaniacs something to cheer about on March 14, when Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSiver
are scheduled to be released.
Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSiver won't be a new entry in the massively popular series, but instead will be a DS remake of the Game Boy release Pokemon Gold/Silver. The remakes will feature enhanced graphics and sound, touchscreen features and a variety of new minigames that tie in to the included Pokewalker (a pedometer that combines real world exercise with in-game leveling up). WarioWare D.I.Y. is Nintendo's seventh attempt at a "microgame" compilation, this time encouraging players to create their own microgames (the D.I.Y. in the title stands for "Do It Yourself"). Finally, America's Test Kitchen is yet another cooking trainer (similar to 2008's Personal Trainer: Cooking) and it will come packed with over 300 recipes.
On top of HeartGold and SoulSilver, two other Pokemon games will be released in 2010. PokePark Wii: Pikachu's Big Adventure
will bring Mario Party-style antics to the Pokemon series on the Wii while Pokemon Ranger: Path of Light
will continue the Ranger spinoff series on the DS sometime this year.
What to 'Ware
Nintendo has not forgotten their digital download services and will have plenty of new games to add to WiiWare and DSiWare very soon.
Wario will pull double duty this Spring when Nintendo adds WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase
to the Wii Shop Channel. The standalone game will contain more than 70 new microgames not found in the DS version. Wireless compatibiliy will allow players to trade microgames between the two versions and user-created microgames from the DS version can even be played on your television using WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase.
Nintendo will also continue their very popular Art Style series this Spring with two new releases. According to Nintendo, Art Style: Light Trax "puts players in charge of a white beam of light as it engages in a surreal race against other beams across a dark track", while Art Style: Rotozoa
is very reminiscent of Snake, except it's single-celled organisms doing the eating.
On the DSiWare side of things, Nintendo plans to push out a crazy fighter and two shooters, Metal Torrent
. The crazy fighter is Photo Dojo
, which Wired's Chris Kohler described like so: "You take pics of yourself in a variety of fighting-game poses, record your own sound effects, then play what is basically a stripped-down Street Fighter with your pictures and your voice as the character." Too cool.
Read on for a look at Nintendo's big Summer plans and what the company has (tentatively) in store for the Fall.