After the longest ‘Direct’ drought in recent history, Nintendo truly set the tone for 2019 with an announcement-filled Nintendo Direct. The stuffed-to-the-brim 35-minute preview of what’s to come nailed down some release dates, updated fans about previously announced games and dropped some surprises along the way. Whether the Direct meant to or not, worries of the Nintendo Switch’s magic wearing off in its third year dissolved completely. 

Here’s a rundown of the biggest announcements from Nintendo during the February 2019 Direct:

Super Mario Maker 2 – June 2019

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Opening the show, Super Mario Maker 2 wasn’t what we were expecting. With rumors of a port being released, finding out a full-fledged sequel, with Super Mario World-esque art styles, power and more heading our way — this summer, no less — was a true treat. We’re a bit skeptical on how Nintendo plans to work around the very touch-heavy gameplay mechanics, but we can’t wait to dive into the uber-customizable world!

Dragon Quest XI S – Fall 2019

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With all new scores, updated story quests for party members and more, the latest Dragon Quest entry makes its triumphant jump to the Nintendo Switch. If the HD, ultra-saturated graphics aren’t your thing, fear not. Dragon Quest XI S has a charming 16-bit mode that allows you to experience the epic story in retro glory. 

DAEMON X MACHINA – Summer 2019

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One of the creators of DAEMON X MACHINA appeared on screen to give us an update of the Pacific Rim-meets-AI overlord sci-fi adventure beat-um-up — with a surprise announcement that fans would be receiving a demo the same day the Direct dropped! (Spoiler: we tried the demo, fell in love with the customizations, frenetic gameplay and teases to a deep, developed lore). 

The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening – 2019

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Yes, you read that right. The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening is headed to the Nintendo Switch this year. In typical Nintendo fashion, the best was truly saved for last, with this announcement coming at the very end of the presentation. With an adorable cinematic — begging to be turned into an anime — Link’s perilous seaward journey played out. As the title card appeared over a familiar volcanic mountain, the video quickly cuts to — all hyperbole aside — the cutest, most unique Zelda game to ever be released. Staying true to the story and map, from what we can tell, the game’s creators took Link and co to the next level, with almost claymation-like appearances and adorable sound effects. 

The announcements and information above were truly the tip of the iceberg, with many more games headed to the Switch — from indie darlings to AAA blockbusters. Stay tuned for more Nintendo coverage as we dive deeper into what 2019 holds for the successful hybrid console!