You’re never going to get everything you want in a Nintendo Direct, that’s guaranteed so you just have to hope there will be something you’re looking for in their 40 minute segment. Luckily for myself and I’m sure many others, we were really treated by Nintendo just like we have been the last couple of years. Clearly some games are taking a lot of time in development such as the highly anticipated Metroid Prime 4, but even so some of Nintendo’s other franchises were able to shine.
I will rundown information and thoughts on the bigger games first and then proceed to other titles that caught my eye. Please note I will not be mentioning everything such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses due to my lack of interest or experience with the games. It feels like a long time since we had a Nintendo release with Yoshi’s Crafted World back in March and I was started to get worried with Nintendo but, the Direct’s always keep my faith that they’re bringing out some of the best games out there. Post-Direct I have learned that Super Mario Maker 2 will be adding a multi-player aspect to the game in the future which can be up for debate whether the game should have had that in the first place.
After an hilarious introduction from Deputy General Manager of Entertainment and Development, Yoshiaki Kozumi and new Nintendo of America Preisdent, Doug Bowser we were treated to a look and gameplay of Luigi’s Mansion 3. The Luigi’s Mansion games are always great fun and demonstrates Nintendo at their best to thinking out of the box and trying something new. Once again Luigi is in a mansion filled with ghosts and sees the return of Professor E. Gadd along with Mario and co. The trailer showcased the stylistic rooms Luigi will explore through which looked great and a real graphical advancement on the previous two titles.
New gizmos and gadgets were introduced that change the way you play the game this time. The ‘Poltergust G-00’ enables you to suck onto a ghost you’re tracking and add damage by slamming it around the room; by using this mechanism you can take out other ghosts in the process with damage. The ‘Suction Shot’ fires a plunger and lets you pull away doors and items in your way to reveal paths and treasures and also lets you get an advantage over certain enemies. In moments where there are a group of ghosts, a ‘Burst’ attack will blow away ghosts making it easier to challenge them.
One of the best new features has to be ‘Gooigi’ and it’s not just a clever name. A gooey (and co-op) form of Luigi can walk through bars and step over spikes with no damage taken and will be important to progressing through the game. I am really looking forward to trying out these new abilities that will surely make the game enjoyable. Finally, a new co-op time trial mode ‘ScareScraper’ is a great add-on for online and local multiplayer that shows Nintendo are really working on their games to make them better than before with simple mini games.
We finally have a release date for the remaster of Link’s Awakening which will hit shelves on 20th of September. The Direct gave us a look a different areas of Koholint Island and the enemies Link will come up against. The bright and colourful art design and adorable Link are really a fine advancement to that of the original GameBoy release. The 2.5D art style really works well with the style of gameplay when fighting mobs, fishing or exploring dungeons and being a huge fan of A Link To The Past the map is well laid out and presents some of my fondest gaming memories. A new addition to the game is the ability to craft your own dungeon with the chambers you have encountered in the game which adds instant re-playability.
Now we did receive a lot of Pokémon Sword & Shield information in last week’s Direct, however we have found out that there will be a water Pokémon trainer called Nessa. You are also able to use the Pokéball Plus that was introduced in Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee which previously worked as a controller. This time it will not work for that purpose, but like before you can put one of your party Pokémon in the ball and carry it around with you which may result in some kind of reward, a mystery gift perhaps? I still don’t think it will convince me to purchase the device due to the price tag of around £40-£50. The after show Treehouse preview did include a look at Dynamax battles and that there will be Pokémon roaming in the wild which you will be able to see before battling.
One of my most anticipated games for this year is in fact now not releasing this year, but the wait isn’t too bad with a 20th of March 2020 release date. The game I am referring to is the upcoming Animal Crossing game which will be called Animal Crossing: New Horizons and will see the setting of the new game on a deserted island courtesy on Tom Nook. The art style is a huge advancement on the last title New Leaf which feels so long ago so I guess it’s expected to look a lot better. The colours are warm and fuzzy and the trailer showed off different seasons, day and night and the ability to pole vault over rivers and roll huge snowballs to build snowmen. There are many returning faces including Fuschia and I am just so happy to waste so many hours on this game; really hoping for some kind of multiplayer as well!
One of the best and biggest announcements came from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate where new fighters were revealed. The biggest and one I am excited for was Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie who first premiered on the Nintendo 64 in the mid-90’s. This does make me hopeful that we might one day see their games on the Nintendo Switch, but XBOX still has a hold on the assets of Rare. The other fighter announcement included Dragon Majesty’s ‘The Hero’ as well as the games being ported to the Nintendo Switch. Banjo-Kazooie is one of my favourite 90’s games and I cannot wait to try them out in Smash later this year.
One of the major highlights of the show was its closing moment which revealed that Nintendo have started working on a The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild sequel which will certainly have fans excited. The trailer previewed a similar art-style and a look at Link and Zelda and clearly they are not finished expanding the universe with maybe a new threat from Ganondorf. I’m sure this time next year we will have a lot more information on the game which I imagine will be one of Nintendo’s big upcoming titles.
Other games that peaked my interest
There weren’t just Nintendo’s own great catalogue of games that peaked my interest as the Switch is also home to great third party and indie games. There are some games I have always wanted to play over the years but haven’t had the chance to and the beauty of the Switch is that there doesn’t seem to be a cut off point for games coming to the system. From the trailer I am looking forward to finally playing Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch, Super Lucky’s Tale and The Witcher 3 so I can finally enjoy Geralt’s infamous bath scene on the go.
The beauty of Nintendo does come down to retro a lot with their online service enabling you to enjoy many classic games. Well now we will be able to enjoy a vast majority of Contra games with a new 3D shooter in the works. Classic JRPG Mana games are coming to the Switch including Secrets Of Mana, as well as a 2020 release of the upcoming game Trials Of Mana. The Sega Saturn classic Panzer Dragoon will be receiving a HD remake and for a game that is hard and expensive to come by these days I welcome it with open arms. Panzer Dragoon is of the rail shooter genre like Starfox, but with dragons!
At the end of the year we will be seeing another Sonic & Mario At The Olympic Games, with the new setting being the 2020 Tokyo games. The games are always fun with the characters looking fantastic and any opportunity I get to play as Waluigi is one I will take. A title that I wasn’t expecting was a Dark Crystal game, but with the Jim Henson classic seeing its first Netflix season in a few months I can imagine there is a lot of hype for anything Dark Crystal. The game will be called The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics and will be a turn-based RPG which I look forward to playing.
Finally, the upcoming Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order previewed that our heroes will be up against multiple villains from their respective series including the Children of Thanos, Thanos, Mysterio, Doc Oc and Hela. The Nintendo exclusive is set for 19th of July and looks to be a ‘hack ‘n slash’ game set in many areas of the Marvel universe and I hope all the action happening in the game doesn’t cause a lot of lag.
Those are my picks and for me Nintendo have beaten the competition again with plenty of exciting titles and lots of gameplay shown. The fact the showcase more in their Nintendo Treehouse event afterwards is always important and lets fans see even more content before release. Let me know yours in the comments below!