In an exciting thirty-minute series of announcements, the Japanese giant of gaming revealed and updated news on more than 20 games for its hit console… and the 3DS, which still exists somehow.
After having already given fans a ton of information to ponder, the Nintendo Direct ended as they always tend to do: with one last big surprise. This time, Nintendo finally used its trump card.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch
One of Nintendo’s most successful series of all time was finally confirmed to hit the Switch. Even better, the release date is some in 2018.
Just as the Nintendo Direct drew to a close, viewers were greeted with an odd scene of two Inklings from Splatoon duking it out in a colorless background. This came right after an annoyingly lengthy spotlight on Splatoon 2, so for a moment it was unclear what was being advertised. However, one of the Inklings soon turned to look at something approaching in the distance, and the Smash Bros. logo was shown burning in her eyes.
The immensely popular fighting game of Nintendo all-stars has appeared on every home console since the 64. All viewers were able to see were the Inklings, silhouettes of Mario and Link (and others, very briefly), the generic Smash Bros. text, and the promise of a 2018 release date.
We still don’t know whether this will be a brand new Smash title (potentially the fifth of the series) or a Switch port and upgrade to Super Smash Bros. Wii U. If Nintendo goes the port route, they could follow in the footsteps of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe by running a new and improved version of the Wii U game, complete with things like new fighters, modes, items, and perhaps elements of the largely forgotten 3DS version. I would love to see some of the incredible music from the 3DS game make its way onto the Switch.
As a competitive Super Smash Bros. player, this news was easily the highlight of the Nintendo Direct for me. There will be so many things to consider: roster changes, tournament logistics, controller scheme viability, and much more.
However, this was far from the only big announcement from this Direct.
Undertale for Switch
Only Smash Bros. could have possibly overshadowed this announcement. In classic Undertale style, the surprise announcement of a Switch port ran with a headline that didn’t even reveal the game in question.
Instead, a cute and chuckle-worthy trailer begins with the familiar text boxes and pseudo-voices of Sans and Papyrus, Toby Fox’s dynamic skeleton brothers. The quick announcement ended with a cheeky line that the port will be “coming… eventually.”
Undertale has become one of the most popular indie games in history since its 2015 release. Almost completely a one-man creation, the game boasts a moving story, fabulous characters, an innovative morality system, and one of the most beloved soundtracks of all time.
Whenever “eventually” is, Undertale for Switch will be a fantastic pickup for hardcore fans and newcomers alike.
Mario Tennis Aces
Previously revealed in January’s Nintendo Direct Mini, Mario Tennis Aces got a much more in-depth spotlight Thursday.
Featuring several types of special moves, the gameplay seems surprisingly strategic. If it turns out as presented, Aces will be all about quick reactions and smart shot selections.
Switch motion controls will be incorporated, hearkening back to the glory days of Wii Sports. However, these controls are optional, which I believe is a great move.
Of course, the biggest draw to Aces for many will simply be the chance to play against friends as over 15 popular characters from the Mario universe. Waluigi seems especially… flamboyant, as usual.
The game will also feature an online tournament system, which promises to provide value for more competitive players who long for a challenge beyond their living room. All in all, while Mario Tennis Aces may not have been the most gripping title from this Nintendo Direct for me, it may serve as another ace in the hole for Nintendo.
Square Enix released some exciting new information about its upcoming Switch-exclusive RPG, Octopath Traveler, which thankfully dropped “Project” from the front of its name.
Most importantly, two new playable characters (of the eight promised) were introduced: Tressa the merchant and Alfyn the Apothecary.
Each character gives players a unique interaction tool in the overworld. Tressa can buy unique items from NPCs, while Alfyn can learn information from them. Each role will also afford different advantages in combat as well.
With that in mind, we learned that characters can also adopt a second role to use during combat along with their primary function, opening up new ways to strategize against enemy encounters.
Since its initial reveal in a Nintendo Direct back in the fall, Octopath Traveler has seemed like a great mix of classic RPG throwbacks and new ideas. With each new announcement, I become more ready to pick this up on launch.
The most important 3DS announcement at Thursday’s Nintendo Direct was probably a remake of the GameCube classic Luigi’s Mansion. Detective Pikachu, a strange game about a hardboiled Pikachu sleuth who can actually speak, also got some new information, including a triple-size amiibo.
Other Switch highlights include more information on Kirby Star Allies and the upcoming Dark Souls port, including a “praise the sun” amiibo for the latter.
Expect more coverage on many of these upcoming titles for Nintendo Switch and 3DS right here at The Nerd Stash.