Nintendo’s February Direct: No Big Hitters, No Problem

Anticipation was in the air as the world waited for the Nintendo Direct to broadcast this past Wednesday. With so many big games announced (Animal Crossing, Pokemon Switch, Luigi’s Mansion 3, etc.), Nintendo had the daunting task of showcasing games that would delight most Nintendo consumers without plowing through all their exclusives. While none of the games I mentioned above were included in the Direct, Nintendo had some other aces up their sleeve to avoid having this
Direct be a bust.

Super Mario Maker 2 (June 2019)

Super Mario Maker 2

Nintendo started off the Direct perfectly. Super Mario Maker for the Wii U was acclaimed by critics and fans alike, so it was only a matter of time before the title would appear on the Switch as a port or in the form of a sequel. Nintendo showed off some new features and introduced 3D World as a new theme set. Finally the masses can enjoy Mario Maker without having to lug around a Wii U. If there wasn’t much of a reason to have a Wii U before, there will soon be even less of a reason.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (Summer 2019)

MUA3.jpg

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is coming soon and it is looking better than ever. Whether you’ve played the prior entries or not, it looks like Team Ninja has succeeded in preserving what made the originals great. With so many characters to play as, you will likely find yourself replaying the campaign just to try out all of your favorite superheroes. There will also be local and online multiplayer which will allow you to experience the game with your friends. If you like Marvel and fun, this is a game worth your attention.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Summer 2019)

Bloodstained has been in the public eye for quite some time now. Although it looks promising, no aspect of the game looks particularly outstanding. The director was involved in the development of the original Castlevania games and Bloodstained is meant to be the series’s spiritual successor.  The protagonist is female and has some intriguing abilities. Hopefully everything pans out for this title.

Dragon Quest XI S (Autumn 2019)

Dragon Quest XI released back in September on other platforms. To make up for the time discrepancy, the Switch version will come with a few extra bells and whistles including additional soundtrack work and the option to play the game in a 16-bit aesthetic.

Fire Emblem Three Houses (July 26th, 2019)

Fire Emblem

The Direct spent a good chunk of time highlighting features of the upcoming Fire Emblem game. Just like previous entries, players will work to increase the bonds of squad mates and engage in robust turn-based strategy gameplay. The animations are better than they have ever been and the Harry Potter-like house divisions are an interesting inclusion. What was showed will likely not sell you on the game, but that can easily change with a good gameplay trailer in the future. On the other hand, if you are in for Fire Emblem, watching the Direct will serve to cement your feelings on the title.

Astral Chain (August 30th, 2019)

Astral Chain 2

Astral Chain was my personal highlight of the Direct. It is being made by Platinum Games, the developers who previously made Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Nier. Astral Chain takes notes from their previous works while introducing a whole new futuristic metropolis setting. The combat looks amazing, there is a cool mechanic allowing you to chain up enemies, and you have access to mounts, even during combat. I encourage everyone to watch the trailer for this game; it looks outstanding.

Link’s Awakening Remake (2019)LInk'

The gaming community is still losing their minds over this announcement. 1993’s Link’s Awakening is being remade for the Switch and is coming this year. Those who are attached to this game will sleep like a baby knowing the remake is a thing. For others, this isn’t quite the showstopper that you may have been looking for. The game oozes of quality, but it is still based off of a game that had a top-down perspective while being limited by the technology of its time. The trailer is an excellent depiction of what you’ll be getting.

Other announcements:

  • Assassin’s Creed III Remastered (May 21st, 2019)
  • BoxBoy (April 26th, 2019)
  • Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker additional content (March 14th, 2019)
  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY! (March 20th, 2019)
  • Daemon X Machina Demo available & the full game will release this Summer
  • Dead By Daylight (Autumn 2019)
  • Deltarune Chapter 1 (February 28th, 2019)
  • Disnep Tsum Tsum Festival (2019)
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 (July 12th, 2019)
  • FFIX (available now)
  • FFVII (March 26th, 2019)
  • GRID Autosport (Summer 2019)
  • Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice (Spring 2019)
  • Mortal Kombat 11 (April 23, 2019)
  • Oninaki (Summer 2019)
  • Rune Factor 4 Special (2019) + Rune Factory 5 announced
  • Smash 3.0 Update & Joker coming before the end of April + amiibo announced
  • Starlink Battle For Atlas update centered around Wolf’s crew (April 2019)
  • Tetris 99 (available now)
  • Unravel two (March 22nd, 2019)
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World is coming out March 29th, 2019

 

With so many of their high profile games not in the Direct, Nintendo did an amazing job compensating with some other great titles. However, with all of their previously announced games, it is difficult not to feel a bit let down with the lack of any new footage. For those unimpressed by Link’s Awakening, the Direct was a solid 7/10 (good) because there was a bunch of other quality content revealed that is sure to pique your interest. For those invested in the Link’s Awakening remake, the Direct is an 8/10 (great). Again, the lack of news about Nintendo’s biggest games keeps the Direct from reaching a greater score.

What did you think of Nintendo’s Direct? What were you most excited about/disappointed by? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

 

Images retrieved from Platinum Games’ official website & Nintendo’s official website

Image rights belong to Nintendo, Platinum Games, Team Ninja, and/or Koei Tecmo

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