Nintendo announced earlier this year that there would be a traditional 2D Mario platformer released for the 3DS later this year. Later, the company trademarked Super Mario Bros. 4 which led to wild speculation that the 3DS would be host to such a title. That is not the case, but 3DS owners have a reason to be excited nonetheless.
Nintendo of America announced that the 3DS will play host to New Super Mario Bros. 2, the sequel to the best-selling DS game. Nintendo is describing it as a "traditional side-scrolling adventure game." Funny, I always called them platformers, but I guess Nintendo knows best. They are also saying it's a "pick-up-and-play experience that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels." The screens confirm one awesome feature: the return of the Super Leaf for some Raccoon Mario action.
A new Mario game wasn't the only news to come out of the announcement. The company also announced that this year is the 20th anniversary of Kirby, the pink puffball that may be more famous for his down+b attack in Super Smash Bros. than his actual games. For the occasion, the company is releasing a 20th anniversary compilation disc on the Wii that will include "fan-favorite Kirby games." They are also planning more Kirby festivities to be announced at a later date.
“A new Mario game and a big Kirby celebration will help make 2012 an especially great year for Nintendo fans,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Whether they’re playing at home on Wii or using Nintendo 3DS to have fun on the go, players can look forward to experiencing some of our biggest franchises in exciting ways.”
In other news, the Nintendo 3DS is getting a firmware update on April 25. This update will add the ability for 3DS owners to create folders on the main screen to put their apps and games into. The update will also allow Nintendo to patch games post-release. This will first be implemented in Mario Kart 7 which has been plagued by an exploit that allows players to use shortcuts to their advantage making multiplayers races unfair.
As a proud owner of a 3DS, I'm pretty stoked for the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2. If it can capture the feel of the first New Super Mario Bros. and not the Wii version, I'll be happy. The Kirby celebration is also sure to make plenty of the Nintendo faithful pretty happy. It does make me wonder though, where was all this celebration and hoopla last year when Metroid turned 25?