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Everything you missed from Nintendo’s September Direct live stream last night

Nintendo Direct roundup

On Wednesday evening, Nintendo hosted its latest Nintendo Direct live stream, highlighting many of the Switch and 3DS games that will launch this fall and through the holidays. Most of the games were known commodities, but there were a few surprises as well, including a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the reveal of a Mario Party minigame collection and a few surprising ports of popular third-party games.

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Watch today’s Nintendo Direct live for Super Mario Odyssey, Switch and 3DS updates

Nintendo Direct live stream

In one of its longest Nintendo Direct streams of the year so far (45 minutes!), Nintendo will talk about what's next for the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS, while also sharing new details about Super Mario Odyssey. The new Mario game is one of our most anticipated games of the fall, so you know we'll be tuning in.

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Metroid: Samus Returns is a return to form for 2D adventuring

You'll be whacking a lot of charging enemies with well-timed melee attacks in this game.

Remaking a popular portable game from more than two decades ago is a delicate balancing act. If you're too faithful to the original, the new game will likely look and feel a bit dated after years of hardware and game design advances. Change too much, and fans of the original classic will wonder why you even bothered using the established template in the first place.

Metroid: Samus Returns on the Nintendo 3DS manages this balancing act pretty ably. Developer MercurySteam's ostensible remake of the original Game Boy's Metroid 2: The Return of Samus plays pretty loose with its source material, layering on new abilities, enemies, and features from later in the Metroid series as well as quite a few that are completely new to the franchise. Despite all the differences, though, the game shares a certain thematic familiarity with the very first portable Metroid that should please retro-minded fans.

The more things change...

Like the original Metroid 2, the overarching goal of Samus Returns is to track down all of the floating, amoeba-like, life-sucking Metroids hiding below the surface of planet SR388. Like almost every other Metroid game, this involves searching the maze-like underground caverns for suit upgrades that let you get past otherwise impassable barriers and enemies to find the Metroids' hiding places.

The design of those caverns and barriers makes Samus Returns a joy to get lost in. Even when you've found the new ability you need to make progress, it takes careful observation and strong map-reading skills in the best Metroid tradition to figure out exactly where to go next or to find hidden upgrades peppered throughout the world.

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Nintendo says the 3DS is here to stay, but not everyone is convinced

Will the Nintendo Switch kill the 3DS?

Will the Switch make Nintendo's handheld consoles obsolete? According to Nintendo, the answer to that question is a resounding "no," but some analysts are convinced that the age of the handheld is over now that the Switch has become a viable platform for gaming at home and on the go.

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Nintendo ceases production of the New Nintendo 3DS in Japan

You won't be able to buy this in Japan anymore, now that Nintendo has stopped production.

Nintendo is discontinuing the last of its compact, flip-top, stereoscopic 3D portables in Japan. The New Nintendo 3DS—which packs additional RAM, more shoulder buttons, and a second analog nub over the original system—is no longer being produced for the Japanese market, according to a message on Nintendo's Japanese website. The original 3DS, which was replaced by the New 3DS, was discontinued in 2014, alongside the original 3DS XL (called "LL" in Japan).

The move leaves the Japanese market without any standard-sized 3DS hardware that supports the system's once-ballyhooed stereoscopic 3D feature. Japanese players that want a system with a smaller form factor and screens are now stuck with the Nintendo 2DS, which doesn't feature stereoscopic 3D. The larger, flip-top New Nintendo 3DS XL is still being sold with a glasses-free stereoscopic display, but it seems set to be replaced by the recently launched New Nintendo 2DS XL, which omits the 3D feature.

Nintendo has been reducing its focus on the 3DS line's stereoscopic 3D capabilities for years now. Recent games like Super Mario Maker for 3DS go so far as to ignore the feature entirely, saying right on the box that the game "plays only in 2D."

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