The last time Nintendo fans got any game related news straight from the gaming giant was during E3 about three months ago. While I feel the announcements made there were good, Nintendo junkies need announcements way more frequently in order to keep our addiction at bay. On September 3rd, Nintendo announced that a new direct would drop the very next day. As I am writing this, it is September 4th and I saw the Nintendo Direct, so I feel it is an appropriate time to talk about it. This direct had many announcements and though I will be going over all of them, some will have a lot more to talk about than others and I have more interest than others. The biggest ones I will be going over first, while the smaller things will be rapid fire. My thoughts on them could be as long as a meaty paragraph or as short as a brief sentence. Either way, here is everything from the direct.
Before the direct officially started, a trailer for the Switch port of Overwatch showcased the game on the platform and new modes on the Switch version that could not have been done anywhere else. Overwatch has always been a game that I have had a lot of interest in considering it is a cartoony first-person shooter with a lot of RPG elements and awesome character models and abilities. I have never had the opportunity to play the game due to me not having hardware capable of running it, but it has always caught my eye, and now I can play it.
As TGON’s resident Luigi’s Mansion fanboy, I can safely say that LM3 has some really cool things going for it. With each floor having a different theme, the increasingly stale idea of a haunted house is revitalized with a fresh new take every single area. This allows for so much creativity that is otherwise compromised in any direction they would have stuck with in a haunted house. Another big thing that was revealed was the party mode, where a bunch of Luigi’s and Gooigi’s go head to head to catch as many ghosts as they can. Though it may seem fun and addicting, the areas in which the party mode take place are all rectangles with minimal obstacles. This is an experiment of a multiplayer mode, but I don’t see this being a reason to come back to the game as it seems redundant and boring. I didn’t see enough of it to fully judge one way or another, but it looks as if it’s a throwaway feature. It won’t stop me from buying the game at launch.
Smash Bros is arguably Nintendos biggest franchise, but it keeps getting bigger. Everyone was wondering when Banjo would be released to play as, and Nintendo answered with “as soon as this direct is over”. This was baffling to me as I thought that one of the most hyped up DLC characters in Smash would be released around the holidays, not a Wednesday in September. Regardless, this is great news for anyone itching to play as Banjo, and anyone curious as to how he played like got their need satisfied with Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai showing off the fighting style of Banjo. Another Smash announcement that was of little interest to me was that Terry Bogard from Final Fight was going to be a playable character in Smash. Considering the first time I had ever heard of Final Fight, it was not something I was excited about. While on the topic of Smash, in Sakurai’s Banjo demonstration there was an announcement that the Mii fighters were able to wear costumes that slightly alter certain types of Mii fighters, the most notable of which was Sans from Undertale. I know this is huge news for Undertale fans, but I never saw Undertale as a game that needed any representation in Smash. To me, Undertale was always a really cool indie game that needed to be no more than that, but since it has massive popularity, it’s not hard to see why it happened. In my opinion, it will be way cooler to see the Team Rocket Members in action. There are no human fighters from Pokemon in Smash, and although I don’t think this counts as a fighter, it’s cool to see something like this in the game.
I have always wanted to play Link’s Awakening and the Switch remake looks like it will be a lot of fun and be a return to classic top-down Zelda games with a new unique art style. BUT, I do think that this direct showed that Link’s Awakening might be trying too much to be unique and innovative to the franchise. Though the main story seems to be in line with everything that we have seen, the game offers a mode where dungeon chambers from the game can be rearranged to make players make their own dungeon as well as add all sorts of things to it. This may seem cool, but I think that Nintendo has this in development for it’s own standalone game, but were too afraid that it would flop so they put a simpler version in Link’s Awakening because they knew it would sell well as is. This comes off as a Zelda themed Mario Maker but far less fun and innovative. Another strange thing about this mode is that dungeons can only be shared through Zelda Amiibos, making the initiative to make these dungeons irrelevant because the world can’t play them. A very odd choice to say the least.
Pokemon was never my cup of tea, but following the backlash surrounding Sword and Shield has really made me want to look at everything this game is coming with. There were four things announced in this direct that were major updates to the game. Three of them were needed additions to the franchise such as new Pokemon and customizable clothes, but one stuck out like the dungeon maker in Link’s Awakening: Curry on Rice. For some reason, Nintendo thinks that cooking in a Pokemon is the next big thing and it appears that Curry on Rice is going to take the world by storm. All you do in this mode is make the best Curry on Rice. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. In this game everyone is obsessed with it, but doesn’t mean fans will be.
Nintendo Online memberships include a free download of Tetris 99 as well as the opportunity to play NES games. I always didn’t like that idea considering Nintendo released a mini NES that came out a few years ago with a lot of the same games on it. They are doing it again with SNES titles and I am really not enthused about this at all. Most Nintendo fans already have an SNES Classic, so why release it again? As a Nintendo fan, why would you want this? Is it to play the games in HD? The Classics already do that. Hate short wires? Buy an extension cord or a wireless controller. Want those games on the go? Emulators can do that. Want a broader selection of games? The Classics are very easy to mod and put many more games on. The notion that Nintendo wants us to shell out $30 a controller for games we probably already have is very infuriating and very insulting.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games has always been seen as shovelware when the previous entries were on other consoles. Considering the series skipped out on the 2018 winter games, I thought the series was done for. Out of nowhere the M+S Olympic games series came out with an announcement that it will return to the Switch in celebration of the 2020 Olympic games. I liked these games before, but this direct made it seem like this game will be a huge game celebrating the Olympic games as well as the Mario and Sonic franchises. 10 events can be played in a retro mode with the original character looks like the 8-bit Mario and the 16-bit Sonic. I think that this is very cool and can prove to be a charming and unique way to celebrate the history of the franchises in a game notorious for being something no one cares about.
All of the announcements that I had invested interest in are out of the way, so I will go over the rest very quickly.
Super Kirby Clash: Cool idea for a mobile game, not a free-to-start Switch title.
Trials of Mana remake: I should play the other two before I make an opinion about this.
Return of the Obra Dinn: Cool story, beautiful artstyle, mixed on whether to buy or not.
Little Town Hero: Cute RPG from Gamefreak that isn’t going to make people mad about nothing.
Dragon Quest XI S: If I were a Dragon Quest fan I would be thrilled.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE: I know it was really popular on the Wii U, but it still looks really silly.
Deadly Premonitions 2: I heard about this franchise for the first time today so I don’t really know what to expect.
Divinity: Original Sin 2: More fantasy RPG’s for the Switch, nothing too enticing.
Doom 64: Looks like it could be really fun considering it’s going to be played on a competent controller for once.
Tetris 99 2.0: Man I should really download this, it looks like it can get fun and addicting.
DAEMON X MACHINA Demo: If the game comes out next week, why are you announcing a demo now?
Jedi Knight II: If I have never heard of this game before and it doesn’t look like there was any graphical update, why should I care? Put the first two Battlefronts out instead.
The Witcher III: Games of this size do not perform too well on the Switch, which could make this a hard pass for me.
Assassins Creed Rebel Collection: I’m glad good AC games made their way to the Switch.
Dauntless: This looks like a mobile game Youtubers are paid to sponsor.
More Games incoming!: Just Dance is still a thing? I thought everyone hated NBA 2K games on the Switch?
Animal Crossing New Horizons: Cute things going on for fans of the game, otherwise nothing all too special.
Xenoblade Chronicles: STOP PUTTING EVERY RPG EVER MADE ON THE SWITCH. I LIKE OTHER GAMES TOO. I know that this is huge news for fans of the series but I can’t see myself investing 40 trillion hours into a JRPG I know nothing about.
Technically speaking I didn’t cover every single game from the direct, but it was most of them. There were a lot of cool things and a lot of not so cool things in the direct. A lot of RPG fans will be stoked after watching this direct, but as someone who isn’t too interested in the genre, there wasn’t too much for me to get incredibly excited about.