No video gamers of the 90s, you do not need to check your monitor settings or send your touchscreen in for a repair. What you are reading is not a glitch. Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is joining Smash Bros.
Yes, the star of the game that famously ditched Nintendo in favour of the PlayStation will now be joining the Nintendo crew as a downloadable character for Smash Bros on the Wii U and 3DS, as well bringing along a new stage set on Midgar. Fitting in like a proverbial glove, bringing his omnislashing antics to a game that already has perhaps the most outrageous roster imaginable. If you’d said back in the day that we’d see Mario, Link, Pikachu, Sonic, Megaman, Pac-man, Ryu and Cloud in the same game, well it goes without saying there’d be a lot of laughing involved. Amazing they managed to keep this a secret, and to think of all those remixed Final Fantasy tunes being added to an already legendary soundtrack.
Cloud’s announcement was the big surprise in the recent Nintendo Direct, the first since the sad passing of former president Satoru Iwata. There were plenty more interesting reveals to be had. Many of them were Zelda related, with Nintendo confirming that an HD version of Twilight Princess will be coming to Wii U early next year to commemorate the series 30th anniversary. It also confirmed that the all new Zelda adventure will be out on Wii U sometime next year, hopefully.
There was also the pleasant surprise of a new playable character revealed for the upcoming Hyrule Warriors port to the 3DS. That would be Linkle, who is pretty much a female version of Link, sort of. Wearing a green hooded cloak that resembles his now famous tunic and wielding a pair of crossbows, she looks like she’s going to both be a fun character and will fly the flag for gender equality in video gaming. Maybe Nintendo are testing the waters for a playable female Link in a mainline Zelda sometime?
In other announcements, get ready to emit further nostalgia fuelled squeals of delight 90s kids. Pokémon versions Red, Blue and Yellow are getting re-released in all their Game Boy-era glory on the 3DS Virtual Console next year. Once again you can endeavour to ‘catch them all’, get fed up of encountering Zubats in Mount Moon and wonder why the hell you picked Charmander when you’re struggling against the first two gym leaders. Least you won’t have to use those blasted link cables to trade this time, as now you can do so wirelessly. There was also confirmation that Pokken Tournament, the Pokémon/Tekken hybrid, will also be coming to Wii U next year for the Pokémon series 20th anniversary, (hell are we really that old already?)
There was plenty of new info about the various games Nintendo have lined up to bide your time until they get the NX out. A release window was revealed for Starfox Zero (April 2016) and more information on Fire Emblem Fates provided (which will come in two versions with a third available to download, but will have all versions included in a pretty pricey bundle). Details of free updates to Super Mario Maker and Splatoon were provided. Indie developers also got a moment to shine, with FAST Racing Neo grabbing the spotlight with its great graphics and high speed action, as well as making everyone question why we haven’t seen a new F-Zero recently for the millionth time. And naturally there was new footage of their big Christmas releases Mario Tennis Ultra Smash, Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam and the brilliant looking Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Overall it was a thoroughly stuffed Nintendo Direct, but one which, Cloud aside, was a little light on big surprises. Nintendo have seemingly now played all their big cards for the Wii U, and from now on it’s about making the most of what they have while they beaver away on their new console(s). Looks like Nintendo fans are going to have a lot to look forward to over the next year, not just in the form of the games showcased last night, but in those we’ve yet to see for the upcoming NX.
But still…Cloud in Smash Bros…how could they possibly top that? Goku maybe? Could the universe possibly handle the pop culture atom bomb that would implode the very core of the gaming industry?
Check out the full European Nintendo Direct below for the full list of announcements and trailers.