Yesterday afternoon while I was driving to drop off my son to visit my grandparents for the weekend, Nintendo dropped a half-hour Direct packed to the gills with announcements about upcoming titles for the 3DS and the Nintendo Switch. I finally got home around 9 PM EST and immediately jumped on YouTube to check out the video. What I saw…well, that’s what we’re here to talk about. If you haven’t seen the Direct yet and want to watch it before seeing my thoughts on each announcement, you can check it out here.
Did you watch it? Really? Alright, then let’s jump in and talk about it!
The first series of announcements focused exclusively on 3DS titles, and before I jump into specifics, I just want to take a moment to be flabbergasted by how far out these titles are scheduled. Specifically, there is one game that is currently scheduled for the year 2019. Really? 3DS titles are still coming out in 2019? I know Nintendo has stated that the 3DS sold pretty well last year and that they intend to support the handheld into the Switch’s lifespan, but I thought 2018 was a really good wrap-up year for the platform. Allowing the 3DS to quietly live out its final days in 2018 seems dignified – stretching it into 2019 feels like beating a dead horse. Nintendo gamers have serious “why isn’t this coming to Switch?” syndrome as is, and some of the titles in this list only serve to make that condition worse. I’m no expert on the market and maybe there are some people who are really excited about having continued support for their 3DS, but I feel as if the world at large has moved on pretty decisively to the Switch.
With that being said, we had a decent number of 3DS announcements, so let’s explore them one at a time.
The WarioWare series is one that I personally have never experienced, but I know a lot of folks are really into the microgame formula. Wario is wacky, weird, and a little bit creepy, and most of the games featured in this series fall pretty safely into one or more of those categories right along with him. Gold promises to feature not only old favorites but also brand new entries into the series.
This is definitely a cool reveal for series fans – as someone outside of that fandom, I can’t help but wonder if that syndrome I mentioned earlier might not be popping up here. WarioWare excels on the 3DS because of all the different control options: button, touch screen, microphone, and gyro controls all give the player interesting ways to compete in microgames. But the Switch and Joy-Cons offer a similar variety of options: motion controls, gyro controls, an IR camera, HD Rumble, touch screen – a game like this could certainly excel on the Switch as well. Perhaps this title will whet the appetite and then the developer will move in for the kill in the future?
DILLON’S DEAD-HEAT BREAKERS
Another entry on the “I’ve heard of it but never played it” list, Dillon’s Rolling Western is one of those indie titles I just didn’t get around to playing. As a result, I honestly don’t know if this game is representative of the gameplay that fans have come to expect. It’s certainly an interesting combination, though. The game is described in the trailer as both tower defense and racing, but there seem to be some RPG mechanics thrown in as well as some top-down shooting action. Watching the trailer, I had a difficult time gauging what sort of game this really is – luckily, for those truly curious there will be a demo available May 10th to give the game a shot.
There’s an interesting Miitopia-style element that the trailer references in that your character in the game is an animal version of your Mii. The Miis of friends can pop up in the game and support you by firing what appear to be tank missiles at the bad guys. I guess folks liked that feature of Miitopia more than I thought or Dillon didn’t get the memo. Still, there’s definitely an audience for animal versions of Mii characters, so I anticipate there are some folks out there who are pretty excited for this. Fans of Dillon’s Rolling Western will want to be ready to pick up the demo on May 10th.
MARIO & LUIGI: BOWSER’S INSIDE STORY
Fresh off of the heels of the Superstar Saga remaster, it looks like Bowser’s Inside Story is getting the same treatment. This is cool because this game is (at least from what I have heard from other people) the best one in the Mario & Luigi franchise. A 3DS version will certainly appeal to those who wish to revisit the game, and is a great opportunity for players who never owned the classic DS to experience the game for the first time. This is a title I personally might consider picking up since I never played the original, but there’s only one problem: I’ll have to wait until 2019 to do it.
Yes, this game is the offender which stretches all the way out into next year, which seems so odd to me. The game looked pretty well polished in the trailer. Why such a big gap between Superstar Saga and this entry? A mourning period for the not-remade Partners in Time, perhaps? Speaking of mourning, somehow Nintendo missed the memo about the Bowser’s Minions mode of the remaster being rather unpopular and have now added a similar minigame to Bowser’s Inside Story. This one features Bowser Jr. and tells his story behind the scenes of the main game’s plotline. It’s a nice touch, I suppose, but I would have settled for the original game.
I’ve been hearing a lot about Detective Pikachu but this trailer was the first time I’ve ever seen any real details about the game. And I’ve gotta say, there’s a weird charm to seeing a Pikachu in a hat talk with a gruff voice and make jokes. This to me is one of those things that on paper probably sounds like a dumb idea but may actually work well in practice. It certainly has a lot of Pokemon fans excited, and after seeing the Quick Attack joke I’m kind of excited too.
The only thing that makes me hesitant is the fact that the game comes out in two weeks and there was no gameplay shown off in this trailer. There was game footage but everything looked like cut scenes. How does the mystery solving in this game actually work? Is it like the investigation sequences in Phoenix Wright or the escape sequences in Zero Escape? Do you solve puzzles? Are there meaningful dialogue choices? Before I’m completely sold on this title I’ll need to see the game in action.
Can you hear it, adventurers? There’s a low rumble issuing forth from the earth below us. If you lie down on the floor and hold perfectly still, with your ear pressed to the ground, you might be able to hear a chorus of voices from all over the world echoing back up after these words were muttered towards the ground:
“Why isn’t this on Switch?”
A remaster of the original Luigi’s Mansion is a great idea, especially if releasing it means that the series might get a third entry in the future. I personally prefer the original game to Dark Moon, as I feel the unique ghost portraits add a lot more character to the game and create a more interesting lore to explore. I probably won’t pick up Luigi’s Mansion on the 3DS because I still own the Gamecube version, but if this 3DS remaster is a stepping stone to Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the Switch, then I’m all for it.
Now let’s make the switch to Nintendo’s console and discuss the upcoming Nintendo Switch titles! *click*
KIRBY STAR ALLIES
I’ve written in the past about how I always kind of forget about Kirby despite the fact that his games always impress, and I still kind of feel that way now. I’m not excited about Kirby Star Allies and don’t plan to get it. But there are definitely lots of reasons to check it out. At least five reasons that I saw – special friend characters that are released as free updates only a couple of weeks after the game is released!
I think what is holding me back on Star Allies is that I want to save my limited game purchasing money for those titles for which I am 150% bought in. While I do enjoy Kirby games, I tend not to enjoy them enough to warrant a purchase. I’m excited in the sense that Star Allies represents a strong first party release for the console, but with so many other games coming that I want more (even just the ones announced during this Direct) I’m going to have to pass on Kirby again. Sorry, little pink friend.
Now this game…THIS game I’m hyped for. I never got the opportunity to play the original Okami but I have heard about how amazing it is over and over again since the game was released. The unique art direction for the game looks absolutely gorgeous, and I like the idea of exploring some Japanese mythology through the story. Being able to finally pick up this game is pretty exciting, and the Switch’s portability makes it all the more appealing.
I’m a little uneasy about how the Joy-Con motion controls are going to work for the drawing sequences, just simply because I haven’t played any games that really pushed the motion controls of the Switch. I know some of the indie games have played around with it, so I’m going to trust that it works very smoothly and I won’t end up flailing my hands like a moron while trying to draw on the television.
Hey, remember this game? It’s been a day or two since we’ve seen anything from Sushi Striker and to be perfectly honest, I forgot about it. These high-intensity fast-paced puzzle games don’t really do it for me, so I definitely won’t be looking more deeply into this title. What I will say positive about this one is that it’s more multiplayer support, and the Switch is a great device for multiplayer gaming. You can check out this game on June 8th, or if you’re like me and would rather play a different sushi-themed game, you should check out the card game Sushi Go!
PROJECT OCTOPATH TRAVELER
I gave Project Octopath Traveler a try when the demo came out a while back, and while it certainly is a unique homage to classic JRPGs I wasn’t able to get into it. My experience was pretty unique to me, though, in that the implied abuse/trafficking of Primrose cut a little too close to my day job for me to have fun when playing the game. For those without such hangups, I have seen nothing but glowing praise for this game and the fact that new characters were revealed in addition to a release date is a pretty big deal.
A big game-changer that was shown off about Octopath Traveler is the ability to mix and match jobs on each character. The base jobs we’ve seen in the game so far appeared to be locked to each character, but it turns out they can learn other job skills in order to create new strategies. This adds a lot more character customization to the game and I think it’s a pretty good mechanical decision on the part of the developers. If you’re interested in Octopath Traveler but are a bit unsure, the demo is still free on the E-Shop so you can try out the game right now. The full version of the game will be released on July 13th.
TRAVIS STRIKES AGAIN: NO MORE HEROES
This is the part of the show – er, article, that is – where I admit that I know nothing about this game. I’ve heard of Travis Touchdown, I know there’s another game out there somewhere, but I have no idea what to expect from this kooky title. That being said, the overarching concept is pretty cool: Travis is dragged into some kind of virtual world where he must beat seven different video games and their final bosses. Each game has its own genre and mechanics that make it different from the other game worlds that Travis explores. The trailer shows that this concept allows for some really interesting and varied level design. This is definitely a title to keep an eye on.
DARK SOULS REMASTERED
Praise the sun or whatever, because Dark Souls is getting Amiibo. For those among us who love to collect these figure-shaped DLC, this is a pretty cool announcement. For those who still don’t use Amiibo and have never felt the need to buy one, that is about all we have to look forward to based on this trailer. At least, that’s the case for veteran players. If you want to try out Dark Souls because, like me, you’ve never felt the need to dive in before, there’s going to be a network test that will allow you to play it and get an idea of what this game will really be like for you.
MARIO TENNIS ACES
Aces got the most attention of the games shown off at this Direct, at least in the sense of actual screentime given to a single game. It is certainly doing a lot to change up the series formula. There are multiple types of special shots and movement techniques that incorporate new rules into each match. You build energy by volleying the ball back and forth and pulling off trick shots. You can then spend that energy to aim (whoa, talk about a novel concept), move very quickly, and even pull off a special strike that can break the opponent’s racket. This is a core piece of the game’s strategy – do you go for racket breaks and risked getting blocked? Do you focus on basic shots? Do you risk a trick shot to build energy even though one mistake could cause you to lose the game entirely? It’s a lot more thinking than you’d have to do with a typical Mario sports title and that makes Aces feel unique in comparison.
Of course, Nintendo can’t just make a super-strategic sports title without also putting a little of their own touch upon it. You can play a mode that uses basic shots only where you control the game by using your Joy-Con as a tennis racket. This allows you to play shadow-tennis against the computer or against other players in local multiplayer. Speaking of multiplayer, Mario Tennis Aces is going to premier with a tournament which players can participate in to try out the game, much like ARMS and Splatoon 2. This will be a great chance for interested players to give the game a try – if you aren’t totally sold on the idea yet, look out for more details about the Mario Tennis Aces online tournament on the official Nintendo website.
CAPTAIN TOAD: TREASURE TRACKER
YES! I am so hyped for this release. I acknowledge that being really excited for a Wii U port may seem a little odd, but I never owned a Wii U and so this will be my first opportunity to experience Captain Toad. I love the concept of the game – it looks a ton of fun and like the perfect relaxing game to play after a long day at work. Navigating small levels looking for collectibles while outwitting rather than directly confronting enemies? Absolutely. I wouldn’t say Captain Toad is my favorite Mario character because there are many others whose personalities are fleshed out more, but this frightened yet enthusiastic explorer is definitely up there on my list.
Interestingly, this game is seeing a simultaneous release on both the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS. That’s cool for 3DS fans who own neither a Wii U nor a Switch, or I suppose for those who believe that the game is worth a mere $40. Honestly, looking at it from a financial perspective, if Captain Toad is full game price on both devices, I may seriously consider the 3DS version over the Switch version. It’ll save me $20 bucks, and a simple game like this doesn’t really demand the extra power or screen size that the Switch provides. The 3DS release here grants more options, which is cool, but I’m glad that we’re seeing a full version on the Switch as well.
Can we just talk about how fantastic it is that this advertisement perfectly gelled with the sense of humor Undertale provides? It’s interesting how this gives you such a sense of the game without actually showing off any of the gameplay. At any rate, Undertale is coming to the Switch eventually and I will seriously consider double-dipping for a couple of reasons. I prefer traditional game controllers to the keyboard-and-mouse setup, and currently my only form of computer the play the Steam version of Undertale is a tablet. I imagine that Undertale will absolutely shine in the Switch’s handheld mode compared to my old tablet’s outdated and weak visual output. This also might be the best way to get my wife to try out the game, as she said she’s interested in experiencing it but her playing through it on my tablet would end up being a pain for both of us.
CRASH BANDICOOT: N’SANE TRIILOGY
I played the Crash Bandicoot games pretty often with my stepfather when I was a kid. I have lots of fun memories of jumping over pits, running from boulders, sending bad guys flying with a wicked spin, and trying to mimic the mask’s cool accent. I have even MORE memories of falling into pits, getting crushed by boulders, and being stabbed, crushed, electrocuted, boiled, and pretty much any other horrible form of demise you can think of. Crash Bandicoot may be a game, but it doesn’t play: this was tough when I was a kid.
Seeing the game on Switch is very cool to me, although I can imagine on some dark corner of the internet a Sony fanboy is seething and muttering obscenities to his Daniel Fortesque action figure. For those few folks out there who only own Nintendo consoles, or for those too young to have played Crash Bandicoot back in its prime that now own a Switch, this will be a great opportunity to experience a series that many consider to be a staple of their childhood. Who knows, maybe his appearance on the Nintendo Switch will allow Crash Bandicoot to make an appearance in another popular Nintendo franchise…
I’d heard of this game before the Direct and I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about it. It seems like a really strong combination of creepy and clever that I could certainly enjoy. And as someone who games primarily on the Switch, I’d be open to adding this quirky title to my collection and getting a little creeped out. I think the great thing about titles like this is that we’re seeing Nintendo expand their audience – or rather, we’re seeing games that dismantle the stereotype that Nintendo consoles are only relevant for children. Portable versions of games with darker content could draw in adult players who don’t play Nintendo’s typical fare but would love to take their games on the go. And perhaps even more representative of that is our next title…
SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE
Never in a million years did I think I would ever Google “South Park” or talk about it on my blog. I am NOT a fan of the television show and personally have no interest in this game, but personal bias aside there’s no denying that these games have a certain appeal. I’ve heard from other people around the internet spheres that objectively, as video games, the South Park games are actually very fun to play. I don’t plan to put that to the test myself, but if you’re old enough to play and you like roleplaying games, perhaps you’ll be willing to try!
HYRULE WARRIORS: DEFINITIVE EDITION
Another Wii U port that I am probably disproportionately excited about. I’ve been wanting to play Hyrule Warriors since it was first announced, but without a Wii U at my disposal (and with the 3DS version reportedly running horribly on the original 3DS) I haven’t been able to check it out yet. The Switch has actually been great for folks like me who missed out on all the Wii U franchises, as it brings them back and does so with all of the DLC built into the game. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been fun to play with the full roster of characters and stages already available to me, and I imagine I’ll feel the same way about the huge character selection in Hyrule Warriors.
I’m curious if this game will now get Breath of the Wild DLC. The Switch version features a Breath of the Wild costume for Link (and maybe Zelda? I sure hope so), but I would love to get the four champions and their modern heirs as playable characters in the game. As much representation as there is from across the entire series, it’d be amazing to have the latest entry added into the cast and the Switch version is the perfect opportunity to do that. Perhaps they could even throw in a small Breath of the Wild story arc?
Poor ARMS. I was so hyped for a new Nintendo IP, picked it up right around launch, played for like a week and basically never picked it up again. It’s no fault of ARMS, really – this game doesn’t gel with my playstyle. I don’t particularly care for competitive online multiplayer and rarely get invested in games that don’t have a strong single player experience. Because ARMS is designed for online play, it simply doesn’t fit the kind of game that I like to spend my time on.
Here’s the thing, though – it’s good at what it does. If you’re sleeping on ARMS, I do recommend that you check it out. The game is fun, has a couple of pretty decent modes, there’s a quirky cast of characters; it really is worth your time if you like competitive online multiplayer or even casual online multiplayer. If you haven’t touched ARMS since launch (like I didn’t for a long time), there’s something like five or six new characters, a couple of additional minigames for Party Mode, a new structure for Ranked matches, and a badge system that allows you to earn ARMS money in buckets so you can invest in more ARMS.
So why talk about ARMS during this Direct? This month, there’s going to be a US/Canadian Open that will pit the best players together in a massive tournament. The eight finalists all will receive specialized artwork from the developers of the game, and I’m sure there’s a very cool prize for first place as well. On top of that, if you haven’t played ARMS, now is the best time to jump in – you’re getting the most bang for your buck with this version of ARMS. If you’re of the mind that you want to try the game first, you’ll have an opportunity to do that during a 3-day Global Testpunch event starting on March 31st. The Testpunch is how I originally tried out and fell in love with ARMS (however briefly), but you may not have the hang ups I do about online play. If you enjoy playing with others online, this game is one to keep your eye on. Check out the Testpunch and see if ARMS is a good fit for you!
SPLATOON 2 OCTO EXPANSION
ARMS taught me pretty quickly that just because a game is a cool Nintendo title doesn’t mean I would change playstyles to an online format. As a result, I didn’t end up grabbing Splatoon 2 at all. However, despite my general disinterest in the game, I have to say that the trailers continually grab me with how interesting and unique the game world is. The long scene during the Octo Expansion trailer where the agent walks all the way through what appears to be a subway train while passing all of the weird creatures was really fun – it creates such a unique and strange atmosphere. It’s clear that the developers of this game care very much about the lore of their world.
The Octo Expansion adds something I’ve heard players clamoring for in the past: playable octolings. These creatures served as the nemeses in the first game but now can be playable in multiplayer battles by purchasing and completing the Octo Expansion. This also adds a lot more single player content to the game, and when paired with the version 3.0 update there are going to be a crud-ton of new costumes and character customization options for Splatoon fans. While I know this type of game just isn’t my style, I’ll again recommend this game for those who do enjoy online multiplayer and haven’t checked it out yet – if anything, you want to get in on Splatoon just for the fun, themed tournaments. I think Chicken versus Egg is next and I love that idea.
SUPER SMASH BROTHERS
And here it is, the biggest announcement of the Direct. Unfortunately I had this one inadvertently spoiled for me before I got to see the presentation, but all I was told was “Smash Bros is coming to Switch.” That made me think that a definitive edition port of the Wi U and 3DS Smash Bros was confirmed. Instead, what we saw in the Nintendo Direct trailer appears to be the build-up to a new Super Smash Brothers. The unique logo, the distinct designs of the characters (Link is obviously the Breath of the Wild model now), and the obfuscation and hype of the trailer all point to this being something more than just a regular port.
Other than a few character silhouettes, the confirmation of the inklings as playable characters, and a nebulous 2018 release date, we know nothing about this game. I expect the speculation and hype for this title to go absolutely wild and I love it. As a blogger there’s a goldmine of content here for me and I’ve not been active during a time where a new Smash Brothers was on the horizon. I for one cannot wait to get in on the character theories and to follow the news as it comes out, so you can certainly expect plenty of Smash Bros coverage here on Adventure Rules in the coming months.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed this Direct and I am so bought-in to the Nintendo hype for 2018. Even though the main game I wanted to see was not mentioned at all during this Direct (that game being Fire Emblem Switch), there’s a lot here to be excited about and I find myself wanting many of the games that were shown here. With the reveal of a new Smash Bros and with a steady stream of new games coming out, I’m going to have a lot of content to talk about in the coming months. And that’s perhaps the most exciting part for me – I can just imagine the discussions I’ll get to have with other bloggers as we share our ideas and get excited about the new titles on the horizon.
In fact, why don’t we get that part started right now! Did you enjoy the Nintendo Direct? What was your favorite reveal? Anything you wish was shown off that wasn’t? There’s a lot to be excited about and to talk about, so let’s start a discussion in the comments and get hyped for the next year of Nintendo Switch titles!