by Nolan Leahy

Here’s a list of what was announced with the March Nintendo Direct:

Nintendo 3DS Headlines

  • WarioWare Gold arrives with 300 microgames on August 3.
  • Dillon the armadillo returns to Nintendo’s portable consoles in Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers on May 24.
    • A demo will be available May 10.
  • An updated version of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story arrives in 2019.
    • Bowser Jr’s Journey is also included.
  • Detective Pikachu arrives on March 23.
    • The game will be supplemented by an extra large detective Pikachu amiibo.
  • Luigi’s Mansion port arrives this year on Nintendo 3DS.
    • The port includes a new Boss Rush mode.

Nintendo Switch Headlines

  • Kirby Star Allies is launching on March 16.
    • The game features new playable characters that include:
      • Meta Knight
      • King Dedede
      • Bandana Waddle Dee
    • More characters will also be made available through free updates.
    • A free update will  available on March 28 to add new content to the game.
    • A free demo is available now on the Nintendo eShop.
  • Okami HD launches this Summer, enabling players to use motion controls or the touch screen to play.
  • Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, a sushi battle game, launches June 8
    • The game will launch simultaneously on the Nintendo 3DS.
  • Octopath Traveler features new characters:
      • Merchant Tressa
      • Apothecary Alfyn
    • New battle details were revealed.
    • Octopath Traveler launches with an optional special edition on July 13.
    • A free demo is available now on the eShop.
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes launches this year.
    • The game spans across 7 different game types.
  • Dark Souls: Remastered is getting a Solaire of Astora Amiibo, allowing players to do the “praise the sun” gesture in-game.
    • A free Network Test is coming soon, allowing players to try the game before buying.
  • Mario Tennis Aces , launching June 22, had new gameplay details released including:
    • Zone Shots will allow precise aiming before shooting.
      • Getting hit with a Zone Shot can possibly break opponents’ rackets.
      • However, it can be blocked by an opponent to protect their racket.
    • Zone Speed, which creates slow motion to make it easier to block Zone Shots, was shown off.
    • An energy gauge system was shown off.
      • Energy can be gained quickly through risky trick shots.
    • Special Shots are powerful shots that can break rackets in one hit, but cost high amounts of energy and can still be blocked.
    • These features aren’t a required staple in the gameplay; traditional tennis gameplay is also available.
    • Online gameplay will be included.
      • Online tournaments will also be available online.
    • Motion control options can also be used.
    • Pre-launch online tournament announced.
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker arrives on Nintendo Switch and 3DS on July 13.
  • Undertale arrives on Nintendo Switch “eventually.”
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy arrives on July 10.
  • Little Nightmares: Complete Edition includes all past downloadable content and arrives on May 18.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole arrives on April 24.
    • Downloadable content will be available in a season past and for separate purchase.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition releases on May 18.
  • ARMS U.S. and Canada Online Open tournament starting on March 8.
    • Look to the Nintendo online website for more details.
    • Also announced were planned talks for the Game Developers Conference on March 21, detailing the development of ARMS and the Splatoon franchise.
  • Splatoon 2 will get its 3.0 update in late April which will include:
    • 100+ items of new gear will be added.
    • More stages:
      • Piranha Pit
      • Camp Triggerfish
      • Wahoo World
    • Rank X was introduced for ranked playmodes, making for a new elite designation for the most talented players.
    • The single player purchasable DLC “Octo Expansion” was revealed.
      • The new content arrives this Summer.
      • It is available for pre-purchase for $19.99.
  • Super Smash Brothers was announced for a 2018 release, hinting that the Inklings from Splatoon are playable characters.

The Biggest Announcements

Starting out with the elephant in the room, seeing Super Smash Brothers announced is music to the ears. Unfortunately, this Nintendo Direct didn’t mention much other than the inklings becoming playable. Is it a port? Is it a fresh, new Smash Brothers? Only time will tell.

The next most shocking announcement is seeing that Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy is coming to the Switch. While this title is also coming to other platforms like PC and Xbox One, the remaining editions are coming on the same release date. For months, it’s been a mystery if Activision would sell Crash Bandicoot on other consoles. Now, there’s no need to question.

A humorous bit concerns the Pikachu in Detective Pikachu being voiced by what sounds like a grown man, even though it was shown before in previous trailers. The footage shown from the game seems to offer a platter of adult humor, which is odd considering Pikachu’s previous iconic high-pitched tone from past Pokemon and the anime series.

Lastly, a big shock is seeing South Park: The Fractured But Whole coming to the Switch. Considering Nintendo’s family-friendly nature in the past, it’s been difficult to predict what mature games will arrive to the console. Sure, it has Doom, and L.A. Noire, but to see something as raunchy as South Park is surprising. This announcement displays the ever-growing relationship between Ubisoft and Nintendo.

One definite staple of this Direct is the sheer variety of games that Nintendo is offering to various audiences. Got kids? Get Mario Tennis Aces. Tired of the simple childish challenges? Get Dark Souls: Remastered. Wanting a classic throwback? Get Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy.

Further Questions

As stated above, is the new Smash Brothers a port? Personally, I’m hoping for a new Smash, but I’m not keeping my fingers crossed. It would really be nice to see a new roster for the Switch. As great as the Super Smash Brothers for Wii U and 3DS is, it is coming up on four years since the Wii U version launched in September of 2014. The Switch is also getting the reputation of having exclusives being “littered with ports” despite the releases of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey. With a new Smash instead of a port, it will help shed the porting reputation.

There are different characters that can potentially be added to the Smash Brothers roster either returning or brand new that can make Smash feel fresh again. As seen in the Direct, the Inklings will be playable, but what about characters that didn’t return in the Wii U/3DS versions? Ice Climbers and Wolf definitely need to return. Pronto. In addition, why not make Solaire a guest character considering that he’s already got an Amiibo on the way? It will draw in the Souls fans and it can have a lightning moveset that can compete with Pikachu. Also, character moves can also be updated given the latest installments of the games. Mario could be changed around and have Cappy for special moves. What about Link with his runes?

Another question is what about virtual console? There’s still no information on any possibility for the service. Sure, there’s the classic games service coming with the paid online subscriptions later this year, but that’s the closest information that even comes close to the idea of virtual console. Other games that have been announced were not mentioned leaving many Nintendo fans to wonder about the development of games like the Switch’s upcoming core Pokemon game or Metroid Prime 4?

What other intellectual properties (IPs) will we see from Nintendo in the future for the Switch? Will the likes of Star Fox or Animal Crossing come to light? Mario Party seems like a perfect fit for the console, but the last several installments weren’t received well by critics. With all of these announcements spanning a multitude of IPs, Nintendo currently has an excellent momentum for exclusive games, but it will be curious to see how the company plans to keep it up.

Source: YouTube

Image: Game Focus



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