Remakes, sequels, and PlatinumGames, oh my. This month’s Nintendo Direct has dropped, and we’ve set up a page for all its news. In addition, our reactions are below. In addition, we’ve included the information used
- Super Mario Maker 2, featuring new ice and water terrain, slopes, the Cat Mario costume and Super Mario 3D World art style, additional playable characters, and an extensive variety of new materials such as controllable scrolling and the Angry Sun. Releases in June.
- BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL!, a Switch sequel including a second co-op campaign (as well as a bonus challenge campaign). Has 270 puzzles. Releases April 26.
- Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age: Definitive Edition will be releasing as a Switch exclusive this fall. Offers both 3D and 16-bit graphics while walking in the overworld, as well as additional stories.
- Disney Tsum Tsum Festival releases some point this year, with up to four-player co-op.
- Rune Factory 4 Special, an updated version of the original game, will be releasing on Switch “later this year.”
- Rune Factory 5 is officially in development.
- Oninaki, an RPG from the people behind I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear about rescuing lost souls from monsters. Releases June.
- Tetris 99, a free to play (though it requires Nintendo Switch Online) battle royale game which allows ninety-nine simultaneous players, is available today.
- Dead by Daylight, an asymmetric survival horror title, releases this “fall.”
- Deltarune Chapter 1, Toby Fox’s follow-up to Undertale, releases February 28 for free.
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the 2017 cult classic about a Viking warrior fighting enemies and mental illness, releases on Switch this spring.
- Unravel two has local and online co-op; releases March 22.
- Assassin’s Creed III Remastered, previously leaked earlier this week and containing Assassin’s Creed III and Liberation, releases May 21.
- Astral Chain, Platinum’s next action game and supervised by Hideki Kamiya, releases August 30. It features sandbox combat, various game mechanics involving whip-fighting, and giant glowing dogs.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, an extensive remake of the 1993 Game Boy classic. Releases 2019.
Japanese Direct Announcements
- Doraemon: Nobita’s Bokujou Monogatari, a slice of life RPG that follows the life of Nobita in a fantasy world.
- Dragon Quest Rivals, an online card game released today as a free eShop download.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: the Black Order notably features at least some characters from Marvel properties unconnected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Wolverine, Venom, and Storm (who notoriously failed to grace Marvel vs Capcom Infinite). Available this “summer.”
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be getting Ver. 3.0 “soon,” though what that contains is still a secret, and Joker will release by the end of April. Amiibo of Snake, Simon, Squirtle, Pokémon Trainer, and Ivysaur are still planned to release.
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Switch will be getting a free update today allowing co-op. It will also have paid DLC for five new courses, with eighteen new challenges spread between them and old stages. The DLC is now available to purchase, with the first stage available now and the rest on March 14. Both the DLC and co-op are exclusive to the Switch version.
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will be releasing this “summer.”
- Dragon Quest Builders 2 releases July 12.
- The Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas will be getting a spring update providing new Star Fox-themed missions. Falco, Peppy, and Slippy are available as characters and can be retroactively used in the base game’s Fox missions.
- Yoshi’s Crafted World will be getting a demo later today.
- Daemon x Machina will be getting a limited demo on the Switch eShop, called “Prototype Missions,” that will be available for only a limited time. Hoping for feedback, Marvelous plans to e-mail a survey to a small number of players who download it. The game as a whole will release this “summer.”
- GRID Autosport releases this “summer.”
- Mortal Kombat 11 releases April 23.
- Final Fantasy VII releases March 26.
- Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy! releases March 20.
- Final Fantasy IX releases today.
Japanese Direct News
- Gyakuten Saiban 1, 2, 3 – Naruhodo Selection releases February 21.
- Super Robot Taisen T releases March 20.
- Atelier Rurua’s The Alchemist of Arland 4 releases March 20.
- Zoid Wild: King of Blast releases February 28.
- Destiny Connect releases March 14.
- Caligula Overdose releases March 14.
- Forgotten Anne releases February 28.
- A Hat in Time is slated for release in “spring.”
- Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyu is slated for release some time in 2019.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- The plot involves three powerful rival states, with a church sitting independently between the three to balance them. The player’s avatar character is a mercenary who begins working within the latter region in a school that accepts students of all three states, three of which are their future leaders.
- Becoming the leader of the school, the player directs thir students to become stronger. They ally with one of the heirs to the eponymous Houses, presumably fighting the other two over the course of the story.
- Game uses extensive animated cutscenes, and the game itself has been co-directed by Koei Tecmo, creators of Fire Emblem Warriors.
- Releases July 26 instead of this spring, as the game required more development time.
Pretty pleased with this, though that’s far from atypical. Sure, the final “official” announcement of Assassin’s Creed III was as underwhelming as the game itself, but for the most part the new announcements were really fun. I’m happy Deltarune’s getting on Switch,
That battle royale Tetris game looks great (or, really, stupid in a great way), Mario Maker 2 looks kinda like what most people were hoping from Mario Maker 1, and Hellblade coming aboard was kinda shocking. Even stuff I don’t care a ton about – Unravel two, Dragon Quest – looked pretty neat, though I’m still on the fence about Zelda. And Astral Chain looks especially incredible, a lovely follow-up to NieR: Automata. This time, they felt like they overshadowed the news about games we already knew; Smash getting Version 3.0, for instance, feels sudden after it already got 2.0 so recently. And given how much we’ve been wanting announcements of new games, this felt needed.
I managed to catch the Direct on my bus ride home and unfortunately there wasn’t a lot to pique my interest. Super Mario Maker 2 looks like Super Mario Maker 2. They showed Joker standing. Fire Emblem looks like a bizarre cross of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. They showed a bunch of ports of games that I’m just not interested in.
But all that changed when Astral Chain hit. The one game to light my eyes up. The one game that I could look at and say with absolute certainty, “that’s my jam!” The moment it hit gameplay I knew it was a Platinum Games game. And hey, it’s being produced by Hideki Kamiya, and that’s typically a good sign. It looks stylish, it looks wacky, and it looks absolutely spectacular.
Oh and that Link’s Awakening remake looks okay.
Oh boy, oh man, oh boy oh man. So let’s get straight into what I was expecting first: Joker announcement for April, Fire Emblem Three Houses (of course) for a May release, and Animal Crossing news. So from that, what did we get? Well, we got quite a lot of great stuff this Direct! To start off, I wasn’t expecting a full sequel of Super Mario Maker and I’m actually really happy about that, even though I wasn’t expecting it at all! Slopes, finally… Boxboy is back! Never played any of his games, but I’m actually really happy that he’s back and on Switch, along with Boxgirl in Boxboy+Boxgirl!
Smash Ultimate V3.0 announcement! It’s doing the exact same thing that Splatoon basically did where every big update is a new version of the game, which means we can expect new additions to other functions and modes as well! Joker really is coming out before the end of April, like I was expecting, so that’s great! Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks very interesting, but I do wish there was more going on in the background of battles. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Dragon Quest XI S, Oninaki, Tetris 99, Deltarune: Chapter 1, and Link’s Awakening was announced and they all are very interesting. Daemon X Machina is getting a demo, that literally comes out TODAY – definitely pumped to test that game out and see if it plays as good as it looks artistically. But, most importantly, Platinum Games is coming out with a new title for Switch: Astral Chain! It looked absolutely amazing, it’s produced by Kamiya, has a banging art style – so I’m all about that.
A pretty standard Direct, all things considered. I didn’t find anything particularly amazing until the news of that Daemon x Machina demo came along, and that’s the highlight in my eyes. Having the chance to play this early means everything in terms of me buying something later on.
Smash stuff is coming in April, not really unexpected. No newcomer yet, though I imagine we’ll see the next character alongside Joker’s full gameplay reveal. Most of the other stuff in the Direct, I’m honestly rather ambivalent towards. Not super excited for Link’s Awakening or Dragon Quest or Three Houses; not yet for that last one, anyway, though those who were happy with the announcements, I’m happy for them too. Hopefully the next Direct is more substantial.