People have come to expect big things from Nintendo Direct events--the often-lengthy videos that the company has been using to announce new games for the last several years. That expectation is warranted, too, as there are often exciting surprise reveals in each one. However, as the most recent Direct (released this past Wednesday) proved, they can’t all be winners.
While there were a few pretty interesting announcements to come out of this Direct, it was pretty mediocre overall. It had been a year since we’d had a proper Direct, and people had high hopes--too high for Nintendo to satisfy, perhaps. When folks are clamoring for a new Mario Kart and a release date for Breath of the Wild 2, announcing Samurai Warriors 5 and a couple of Famicom Detective Club games just doesn’t cut it.
All of that said, there was still some good info on offer! To no one’s surprise, the newest addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was announced: Pyra and Mythra from the popular RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I’ve never gotten into the Xenoblade franchise, so I can’t say for sure how cool this two-in-one character will be, but the preview video certainly made them look dynamic and exciting!
A bit more surprising was the announcement of a new Mario Golf game, subtitled Super Rush. It’s been a little while since there was a new Mario Golf title,the last one having been released on 3DS in 2014. This new entry in the franchise will feature optional motion controls, a story mode with light RPG elements, and a new competitive mode where every player tees off at once and you have to race your opponents across the green. I’m not a massive golf fan, but I have to say, these Mario sports titles are usually a ton of fun even if you don’t like the sport involved, so I’m actually looking forward to Super Rush.
Mario isn’t the only Nintendo mainstay that got some love during the Direct. The Legend of Zelda also got some news, though probably not the kind most fans were asking for. The big announcement for this franchise was the upcoming release of Skyward Sword remaster. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is one of the less-popular games in the franchise, owing in large part to its frustrating motion controls (that was the price of releasing on the Wii, sadly). Thankfully, this remastered version makes those motion controls optional; hopefully, that will make the game as a whole a bit more palatable. This is one of the few Zelda games I’ve never played, so I’m looking forward to finally trying it out when it hits Switch. There’s even going to be a special Master Sword-themed Joy-Con set to accompany its release!
Arguably the other ‘main’ announcement of the Direct was Splatoon 3--its trailer was placed at the very end of the show, a slot usually reserved for big surprise reveals. However, there wasn’t really much shown for this game, and… I mean, it’s Splatoon. It’s exciting, yes, but I think we pretty much all know what to expect from a new entry: more paint-based squid-kid fun! Not much else to say about it right now.
For me, though, none of these big Nintendo properties were the star of the show. No, the reveal that got me most excited was a new project from Square Enix: a new Strategy RPG called Project Triangle Strategy. First off, I’m just a sucker for SRPGs, so there was no chance I wouldn’t be pumped for this game regardless. Add in slick pixel art reminiscent of Octopath Traveler and a branching story in the vein of Tactics Ogre, and you’ve got one of the most interesting SRPGs in years! Plus, it looks like you’ll have a level of control over the environment that you don’t often get in a game like this. I absolutely can’t wait to see more of this game!
All in all, while this Direct wasn’t exactly what a lot of fans were hoping for, it did have at least a few solid announcements. With any luck, the next one--whenever that may be--will be even better!
More articles and reviews by Ethan McIntyre can be found at rollwithit.blog.