Nintendo shows off new Monster Hunter, Kirby for 3DS; more of Tokyo Mirage for Wii U

All the shiny from the newest Nintendo Direct announcement. Especially the cats.

There's something special in the air today. The skies seem brighter. There's an extra spring in your step. What could it be?

...Well, it's National "What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs" Day, but apart from that, it's also the day of the new Nintendo Direct video! So let's all get into our pajama onesies and race on down to the eternal Christmas Tree of our collective nostalgia and start unwrapping today's presents.

(Unless you're me, and you grew up with Sega. Or you don't buy into the narrative of childhood affiliation with games at all, but shh, we take all comers here.)

Here are some highlights from the newest Nintendo Direct.

Better rankings coming to Super Mario Maker

It was brief, but Nintendo of America senior product marketing manager Bill Trinen let us know that some updates were in the pipeline for Super Mario Maker, including new level creation items and, critically, some changes to level ranking, to hopefully improve the game's as-yet limited curation options.

StarFox Zero

FOOOOOO-- oh. Wrong Fox.

We saw some brand-new gameplay footage of this upcoming Wii U StarFox title today, as well as extra details from lead designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who provided an overview of the game's branching levels and story campaign.

Miyamoto describes StarFox Zero as "an authentic action game, the type I haven't worked on in a long time." It seems pretty dynamic, for sure!

We also saw an update on StarFox Guard (formerly Project Guard), a tower defense game in which players assume the role of StarFox's companion Slippy in setting up surveillance cameras and guard units to deter invaders. Players will be able to upload their defense layouts to an online server for other players to try to beat, in a similar vein as Super Mario Maker levels.

Monster Hunter Generations

Known as Monster Hunter X in Japan, this 3DS title received its first US trailer today. Take a look:

Players with Monster Hunter Ultimate 4 save data will unlock bonus content, and we'll also see some crossover extras in the form of Fire Emblem costumes.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

This is just like one of my URs in Love Live.

This hyper-niche JRPG, which crosses over the teams behind Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei, has been dated for June 24th. We also learned that, while it's coming Stateside, it will be keeping most of its original Japanese flavor, foregoing an English-language voice cast in favor of subtitles.

I won't lie, I'm personally extremely excited for this one. It looks to be every JRPG cliche in the book shoved into one game, and I love it. I don't know who got a pitch like "Fire Emblem plus Megaten" and came back with "I know, magical pop idols!" but they are my new friend and I will follow them into anime nerd hell.

Kirby: Planet Robobot

If there is one thing Kirby definitely needed, it's a mecha. Or, well, a "robobot," I guess. I wonder how many times Bill Trinen had to read the lines for this one before he stopped stumbling on it.

"I want him in the games until he dies playing."

One cool thing about this 3DS Kirby game, which is new as far as I can tell and very much in the spirit of Kirby's absorption ability, is that it will integrate with virtually any Amiibo. Stick a Link Amiibo on your system, and Kirby obtains Link's cap and sword, and so on. Trinen claims that "any" Amiibo will do something, though I imagine only core Nintendo properties will lend really special effects.

CATMANCERS!

So Bravely Default's sequel, Bravely Second, is probably up your alley if you're into that traditional JRPG thi-- holy crap, is that a MAGE with a CAT?

OH MY GOD

THAT IS A MAGE WITH A CAT. This new "Catmancer" class, as much as I could gather, acts like a blue mage: you learn abilities from enemies and teach them to your cat, who then performs them. GOTY, right there.

(See, I told you it was National "What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs" Day.)

My god it's full of Pokemon

There's plenty of more in the entire Nintendo Direct video, including spotlights on Pokken Tournament fighters, a new story campaign for Fire Emblem: Fates, and Nintendo's new customer loyalty program, so be sure to catch the whole thing here!

Many thanks to our Reviews Editor Danielle Riendeau for helping with this post!

Kris Ligman is the News Editor of ZAM. They bought the Dreamcast theme for their 3DS and don't feel bitter about what could have been. At all. Find them on Twitter @KrisLigman.