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What does 2013 hold for Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros and more

The year ahead for Nintendo's biggest stars

You may have noticed that Smash Bros and Zelda didn't feature in our list of the best Wii U games for 2013. That's because we currently have no idea as to when either game will be released. Beyond Q2 2013 when Pikmin 3 is released, no one knows when some of Nintendo's biggest Wii U games are coming out.

As good as the Wii U launch was, the best is yet to come from Nintendo's new console. We're talking a 3D Mario game, the new games from Retro and Miyamoto, and the aforementioned Smash Bros and Mario games. Now we're going to look at what Nintendo's biggest stars are up to in 2013 - the big games that are in development, what we know so far about each one and what we want to see.

Mario

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2012 was a massive year for Mario as the plumber starred in three new adventures and still had time for a game of tennis and to throw a party. First up was Mario Party 9 in March and that was followed up a few months later by Mario Tennis Open before the serious business of Peach saving began with New Super Mario Bros 2, New Super Mario Bros U and Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Let's not forget that Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 were both released at the back end of 2013 so that means there have been seven Mario games released in just over 12 months. Is it time for the plumber to take a break?

Well, after two 2D platformers in 2012, it would be hard to see him featuring in another one in 2013 so thoughts turn to the next 3D effort.

3D Mario Wii U

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We know that Nintendo are working on a 3D Mario game after President Satoru Iwata said that the company "will announce the launch schedules for new 3D Zelda and Mario games in the future."

However, that's all we know about it but the anticipation is high for the follow up to Super Mario Galaxy 2. It would be a surprise if Nintendo released another Galaxy game but then they shocked us by announcing a sequel in the first place.

It would be nice, however, if Nintendo released a brand new 3D Mario game rather than a sequel. As great as Galaxy 2 was, I want to experience that feeling of awe when we first clapped our eyes on Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. So no Galaxy 3 or a Sunshine remake please...

Will it be released in 2013? Well, nothing has been confirmed but the timing would be about right. NIntendo don't usually hang around when it comes to releasing 3D Mario games. Super Mario 64 was a N64 launch game, Sunshine came out in October 2002, five months after GameCube launched while Mario Galaxy was released in November 2007, 11 months after Wii. That said, Super Mario Galaxy was announced in May 2006 while, aside from Iwata's quote, we have yet to hear anything about this 3D Mario game.

Mario Kart Wii U

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Mario Kart was beaten to the track by Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing Transformed but Nintendo will want to beat it with its own racing game. So what next? Well, while the first Mario Kart Wii U game has yet to be announced, MK producer Hideki Konno did say he wants to create a Mario Kart Wii U game that uses the console's unique features.

"I can't get into specifics, but I do want to create a new and enjoyable Mario Kart that uses the unique functions of the Wii U," he told Nintendo Power last year. Nintendo always has something new in store for Mario Kart whether it be the bikes and Wii Wheel control system of Mario Kart Wii or the kart customisation, gliding and underwater racing of Mario Kart 7 or the two racers in one kart of Mario Kart: Double Dash.

Obvious Mario Kart Wii U ideas for the new controller include aiming weapons and customising your kart on the touchscreen, plus using gyro controls for steering, but it will need something more. How about the ability to make your own tracks on the touchscreen?

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  1. torterratrainer Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 17:14

    a 3D pokemon on 3DS would be amazing and the system would sell loads. but what about a 3DS first person shooter? if the 3DS has better graphics than the wii surely a goldeneye style shooter could become available in the next two years

  2. wghtmf Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 18:32

    Pokémon on Wii U would be brilliant. You could control your character on the TV screen using the left control stick on the GamePad, and also be able to arrange your items and team on the GamePad screen using the right control stick/D-pad/touchscreen. I know Game Freak said that they wouldn't release Pokémon on a home console but that was before they knew about the Wii U.

  3. shy guy 64 Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 18:34

    we all ready know there's a zelda game being made for the 3ds

    and its to early for gen 6 of pokemon

  4. CyberGW Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 18:43

    This was a very good, interesting and well written article. Enjoyed reading that.
    2013 will certainly be a very exciting year. We may not have loads and loads of new blockbusters released, but we'll certainly get loads of amazing news for others.

  5. Slinkington Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 18:55

    Realistically, we can expect news on:

    Starfox, presumably for the Wii U
    New Zelda for 3DS
    New game starring Luigi, most likely for the Wii U

    Aonuma said quite a while ago: "we've set sail on the next Zelda" so for this reason we should expect boats. Hoping it's not Toon Link AGAIN.

    Retro said "Our project is a different Barrel Roll from Donkey Kong Country" which leads me to believe it'll be a Starfox game.

    The last main Nintendo Direct said this will be "The year of Luigi" and they've also said that Mario will be sitting back for a while now. I doubt we'll hear anything of a new Mario Kart or Mario platformer, or a new Zelda for Wii U. It's very unlikely we'll hear about Smash Bros, and if we do, it'll only be because fans are begging for it. I hope they don't get desperate and release it early.

    I've also heard rumours of a new Kirby Tilt and Tumble style game, and that Retro may actually be doing Metroid, though to me it sounds more like Starfox. Time will tell...

  6. irishmarcoos Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 19:02

    I am expecting some sort of 3DS Pokémon main series game to be released.
    I'm also looking forward to seeing Professor Layton VS Ace Attorney this year, and Possibly Ace Attorney 5, although that may be early next year for us.

  7. innerglee Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 19:05

    New Chibi-Robo!

    Can we finally have English versions of Giftpia and Captain Rainbow, maybe in the eShop?

  8. IPecksU Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 19:16

    Monolith's wii u RPG will be amazing if it's anything like Xenoblade.

    Kid Icarus on the wii u would be amazing if done right

    5 player Nintendo sci fi action adventure 3rd person shooter/beat em up where you play as samus/pit/fox/Kirby and Captain Falcon to save the universe and shoot stuff and use melee combos and fly through space and blow stuff up with a big epic story that is 100 hours long with lots of laughs and sad bits it will be called nintendo defenders and I will never stop playing it also theres an on/offline vs mode.

  9. linkfinity Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 19:20

    @Slinkington

    Red herrings everywhere, if Nintendo have taught me one thing it's to just be patient and see what happens. Speculate all you like, but don't be surprised if you have been lead down the wrong path, it's just those "clues" look far, far too obvious to me.

    On the subject of where Mario can go next, the only way I think he could go is time travel, i can't think of how they'd do it but Nintendo has the time and imagination to pull it off nicely. failing time travel, I'd like to be alternate universes, who wouldn't want to see Mario have to jump into a different parallel universe and meet different versions of himself and other mushroom kingdom characters. Nintendo could do an epic mickey and bring back some forgotten characters and let them have a role in the story.

    From zelda i'd like to see a return to normal controls, a realistic art style for Wii U and a cel-shaded style for 3DS, and i'd like it to be bigger than skyward sword which for me was far to small in what it tried to do (Twilight princess had a better story, majora's mask had better characters, and wind waker had a better map. They committed to getting motionplus control to work, which they managed perfectly, but forgot to build a decent game to put it in.)

    Metroid I think should play like prime but have a story like other M.

    But the games I most want to see are No more heroes 3, Bayonetta 2, what ever monolith soft have been working on, and monster hunter 3U + 4. If we at least get some details on most of them (only monster hunter 3U has a chance of reaching us before 2014 starts) I'd be a happy camper.

  10. MistaChristopher Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 20:05

    I'll just say that it was confirmed that Retro AREN'T working on a new DKC game. Either Miyamoto or Reggie said that I believe. I think Retro are working on either Star Fox, F-Zero or something completely new.

  11. PrinceMidna Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 20:12

    I really think that it's time that Nintendo brought Mario back to the Mushroom Kingdom, rather than space. I'd like them to expand on the kingdom somehow. Maybe Super Mario U could bring back some of the levels from previous Mario games, to show how they all fit into the Mushroom Kingdom. I'd like to see these levels blended together, so that we could be running around a HD version of Bob-omb Battlefield one moment and then, the next, we could have gone beyond the hills in this level and be running along the original SMB's World 1-1. I'm a strong advocate for Mario returning to levels from previous games. With the power of the Wii U, the quickly-approaching thirtieth anniversary and the fact that SMG2 and NSMB2 both featured updated versions of old levels, I think that the time is right for Mario to revisit his past.

    I'm also a strong advocate for bringing some story to the 3D Mario series. The power of the Wii U means that it is more possible than ever before to bring some proper story to the Mario series rather than the tired "plumber-saves-princess" formula. I do believe that Nintendo's trying to bring Luigi out into the spotlight so maybe the next Wii U Mario game will actually be a Luigi one. This one could have a lot more story to it and would be a lot more refreshing. Perhaps Mario could be killed and the Mushroom Kingdom would have been taken over. It could be like the Mushroom Kingdom apocalypse and Luigi could be the sole saviour. (Don't worry: he could always find a life mushroom at the end of the game which resurrects his brother.)

    Whatever the Wii U Mario game is, I hope that it will be epic. I need the panorama-function to be incorporated into the game and I'd also like a massive, Zelda-style overworld map. Wouldn't it be awesome if the plumber was able to travel to every level without the need to return to the HUB all the time? (Perhaps there could be a map, so the player would have the choice to manually travel to each destination or else to teleport there.)

  12. Dalekbuster523 Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 20:34

    I'm hoping for a Donkey Kong 3DS game,similar to Donkey Kong Country Returns,with two player download play and a option to play as Mii characters.

  13. Dalekbuster523 Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 20:40

    I really think that it's time that Nintendo brought Mario back to the Mushroom Kingdom, rather than space.


    God no. The inclusion of space made the Mario universe feel more expansive and epic. It was nice to see some of the planets outside the Mushroom Kingdom and for me,if the 3D Mario games returned to the Mushroom Kingdom,it'd just feel like a anti climax. The next 3D Mario game needs to be bigger than space. Super Mario Time Travel, perhaps? They could set it on various different planets like Super Mario Galaxy,only each planet is in a different time period: either past,present or future.

  14. VinceLovesToast Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 21:32

    Pikachus safe but I hope they bring back the trainer but with a new team

  15. thecoolmana777 Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 22:42

    To be honest I don't think we will see zelda U until at least 2014 with perhaps a small teaser at E3 as for zelda 3D I'd like to think September or October time announced via Nintendo direct. I think that we will probably see another metroid game for Wii U around christmas time and perhaps a star fox game too *crosses fingers*

  16. Dan-the-Wii-man Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 22:55

    It has to be a huge HD Metroid Prime 4. It would a) be amazing and b) would be exactly what nintendo needs to prove to western gamers that they are a major player in the hordcore games industry

  17. kirbysonic Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 23:15

    Any news on Kirby's Dream Collection?

  18. Kirby8 Wednesday 2nd Jan 2013 at 23:29

    New Chibi-Robo!

    Can we finally have English versions of Giftpia and Captain Rainbow, maybe in the eShop?

    I'd LOVE a new Chibi Robo...but very doubtful of that. Chibi-Robo 2 never came to Europe, and I brought it at Wal-Mart when I went to America on holiday. The 3rd game, which sounded awesome, was Japanese exclusive. Sad times.

    That last sentence on the Kirby section made me so sad!! Why does no one ask or care about Kirby? ='(
    Kirby is awesome! Want some Kirby news. Some Zelda and 3D Mario news would be great! And I can't wait from Smash Bros! But we are definitely in for a wait.

  19. CraigEmberson Thursday 3rd Jan 2013 at 10:48

    I'm confused... You seem to not have any idea that the Zelda E3 demo WASN'T a demo of Zelda - it was showing off console power and possibilities only. Anyone who got their hopes up are dumb.

  20. MartinIsAwesome Thursday 3rd Jan 2013 at 12:29

    To be fair, Kirby did have two games out at the end of 2011. Let the lil' fella have his rest.

    http://images.wikia.com/kirby/en/images/a/a5/Sleep.jpeg ... bless.

  21. vtheyoshi Thursday 3rd Jan 2013 at 13:39


    Can we finally have English versions of Giftpia and Captain Rainbow, maybe in the eShop?

    Trust me, that is not a good idea on Nintendo's behalf.

  22. jellyjal Thursday 3rd Jan 2013 at 16:38

    " Let's not forget that Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 were both released at the back end of 2013"
    ... ok happy 2015 everyone... :lol:

  23. mrgameandwatch Thursday 3rd Jan 2013 at 18:13

    i'de be happy with either kirby or the revivel of a certen hardcore rpg seris (cough'earthbound'cough)

  24. jaykthepikachu Thursday 3rd Jan 2013 at 19:56

    Tbh, I'm hoping for another 2D Mario game because SM3DL made me feel dizzy even with the 3D off and i would often think i was gonna land on a Platform and then i wouldn't.I enjoyed MKW a lot and really want a MK Wii U Edition.Maybe a Totally new Zelda game for 3DS would be good but i think the next Zelda will likely be on the Wii U.Super Smash Bros 4 is the thing i got a Wii U for and i'm hoping the 3DS/Wii U Inter-Console Compatably is good.GLaD that Meta Knight,Pit and Pikachu are gonna be in it as i used them the most in SSBB,really hoping it has DLC Stages and Characters.I think Main Series Pokemon will only move over to 3D when Gen 6 Begins...mind you,there is a Big PokeAnnouncement coming next Week so you never know.Also GLaD that PMD is getting a instalment with Gen 6 Pokemon,hoping Arceus is in it and not a statue like Explorers Of Sky,Mangagate System sounds interesting.I have Completed Metroid and i have played Other M so i would enjoy a 3D Metroid for Wii U and a 2D Metroid game for 3DS.

  25. That Guy Ganon Friday 4th Jan 2013 at 11:15

    Hoping for a 3DS remake of Link to the Past, a Wii U Metroid title and a new F-Zero (either platform will do).....

    Not asking for much haha :D

    I can assume though that a Wii U Mario Kart, Zelda and SSB is a given.... Hopefully.

  26. epiclink Friday 4th Jan 2013 at 12:02

    Super Mario Galaxy 3, please?

  27. ThePokekid78 Friday 4th Jan 2013 at 14:01

    Tbh, I'm hoping for another 2D Mario game because SM3DL made me feel dizzy even with the 3D off and i would often think i was gonna land on a Platform and then i wouldn't.I enjoyed MKW a lot and really want a MK Wii U Edition.Maybe a Totally new Zelda game for 3DS would be good but i think the next Zelda will likely be on the Wii U.Super Smash Bros 4 is the thing i got a Wii U for and i'm hoping the 3DS/Wii U Inter-Console Compatably is good.GLaD that Meta Knight,Pit and Pikachu are gonna be in it as i used them the most in SSBB,really hoping it has DLC Stages and Characters.I think Main Series Pokemon will only move over to 3D when Gen 6 Begins...mind you,there is a Big PokeAnnouncement coming next Week so you never know.Also GLaD that PMD is getting a instalment with Gen 6 Pokemon,hoping Arceus is in it and not a statue like Explorers Of Sky,Mangagate System sounds interesting.I have Completed Metroid and i have played Other M so i would enjoy a 3D Metroid for Wii U and a 2D Metroid game for 3DS.


    The sooner you discover the 'enter' key on your keyboard, the better.....

  28. me4ndubz Friday 4th Jan 2013 at 15:45

    There's too many good games coming out all at once! I'm gonna be so broke :(

  29. MarioBlox Friday 4th Jan 2013 at 20:33

    There's too many good games coming out all at once! I'm gonna be so broke :(


    So am I because I want all of these games now!

  30. LOZanges Friday 18th Jan 2013 at 20:53

    I want Rayman from origins in SSB4. Just think about the moveset's possibilities! No Rabbids though.

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