Nintendo Direct 4-12-17 Overview

Direct 4.12 Banner

Yesterday, Nintendo dropped another Nintendo Direct presentation on us. Although they noted that a majority of the video would focus on Arms and Splatoon 2, they announced a surprising number of titles, although few were genuine surprises. I mean, anyone familiar with 3DS games released in Japan within the past year or so will recognize them, and I can’t recall anything on the Switch side that we didn’t know existed.

So let’s jump in!


Hey! Pikmin

Nintendo revealed this Pikmin spin-off for 3DS last year, but now we have a name and release date — July 28. It might make for a decent puzzle/platfomer, but I’m not sold yet. We also glimpsed a new Pikmin Amiibo, so yay?

Ever Oasis

If I recall correctly, Nintendo revealed this 3DS RPG at E3 2016, but we haven’t seen much of Ever Oasis since. We got a bit more video, but nothing uniquely different from past footage. It does look nice, and now we have a release: June 23.

Monster Hunter Stories

So… it’s Pokémon with Monster Hunter, er, monsters? Everything said about Monster Hunter Stories reminded me of Pokémon, but maybe I’m missing a key aspect that differentiates it from Game Freak’s iconic franchise. Whatever the case, it’s quite the pretty game from what I can tell. It releases sometime in Fall, without the Amiibo that released alongside the Japanese version.

Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters

Speaking of Pokémon, Yo-kai Watch 2 is getting a “definitive” version that sounds a little bit like what Pokémon often does. You know, Pokémon Crystal to Gold and Silver. It’s like they’re inviting the comparisons. The original Yo-kai Watch, or rather its demo, never caught my attention, so I doubt this’ll do anything for me. It’s hitting in Fall.

Culdcept

Culdcept Revolt

This was already confirmed coming Stateside, but now we have a release date of August 29. I looked into Culdcept Revolt a few weeks back, and it caught my interest. Hopefully there’s a demo because I’m not 100 percent sure that it’ll appeal to me. It’s coming in regular and limited editions.

RPG Maker Fes

This one is self-explanatory. Make RPGs and share them online, which makes me wonder how they moderate such content. Surely you can’t share a creation with a bunch of racial slurs or sexual words, right? Maybe you’ll get the answer to that with the free Maker Player, which is also self-explanatory. RPG Maker Fes is dropping on June 27 in regular and limited editions.

Miitopia

Released in Japan in late 2016, Miitopia is a JRPG where the characters are composed of Miis, which means that you’re able to create a team composed of Santa, Hitler, Jesus, and that creepy guy down the road. Similar to Tomodachi Life, Miis interact in weird and amusing ways, although that appears to melt into the combat. The footage showed two allied characters getting into a fight mid-battle. No release date outside of 2017.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

One of my most anticipated games of 2017, as I noted in a previous post. Nintendo only announced that Echoes of Valentia is getting both paid and free downloadable content, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering Awakening and Fates saw the same treatment. DLC will also be available as a season pass. No release date, although I won’t be surprised if the first DLC hits upon release.

I’d also like to mention to anyone interested in Shadows of Valentia to take care when online. The Japanese version was leaked ahead of its April 20th release (the rest of the world gets to wait until May), and hardcore fans have already discovered . . . things

Too Much Kirby / Kirby 25th Anniversary

Nintendo is weird when choosing what games they should celebrate. I mean, remember Metroid’s anniversary a few years back? Nintendo didn’t. Now it’s Kirby’s turn, and he has a handful of ho-hum content to who gives a crap? No, I like Kirby games. His platformers are great, and Canvas Curse was awesome. Team Kirby Clash Deluxe (available now) is a free-to-start 4-player beat-em-up, apparently. Yay?

Kirby’s Blowout Blast (coming this summer) is a weird 3D game where Kirby destroys groups of enemies by sucking in other groups of enemies. Yay? And finally, another multiplayer Kirby game. What? Um, yay?

BoxBoy

Bye-Bye BoxBoy!

The third BoxBoy is already available, this one boasting younger boxes and additional powers, like rocket blocks. If you’re unfamiliar with the BoxBoy games, Nintendo also released a demo with content from each of the three games, which I highly recommend checking out. I haven’t played the second or third games, but the first BoxBoy was a charming and entertaining puzzler.

Of note is Nintendo didn’t mention the BoxBoy Amiibo, so I suppose we’re not getting that one Stateside.

Amiibo

Of course, Nintendo has more Amiibo to sell us, and they’re a lot more exciting than the ho-hum residents of Animal Crossing. Link from Majora’s Mask, Link from Twilight Princess, and Link from Skyward Sword were shown, although we already had a clue of their existence thanks to internal data from Breath of the Wild (I believe). They’re hitting on June 23.

And after a considerable wait, the final Amiibo for Smash 4 were revealed. Cloud (of Final Fantasy VII), Corrin (of Fire Emblem Fates), and Bayonetta will be available on July 21 (evidently at select retailers). There are two versions of each character with a different costume (or in Corrin’s case, different gender). Isn’t it nice that Nintendo is rewarding our patience by giving us more stuff to buy?


Arms

Nintendo spent a sizable amount of time covering their upcoming new IP, Arms. We already know that it’s a motion-controlled boxing game, kind of. We got a bit more details regarding the, um, arms, including that they gain an elemental effect once charged. Each arm has a use, so while some are great at bullying forward, others are more suited to curved swings. Furthermore, each character has certain attributes and abilities, including a girl good at jumping and a hulking figure able to shrug off attacks. Combine them together to create a combatant that fits the player’s style.

We also get a look at a new fighter, Minmin. (MinMin?) Her whole gimmick is that her arms are noodles, for some reason, and air dodges cause her to kick away enemy attacks. And her left arm transforms into a dragon. Because why wouldn’t it? Dragon and noodles are like peanut butter and jelly.

Lastly, we got a look at two-on-two fights, ensuring mass chaos with arms flinging every which way. Because it wouldn’t be a multiplayer Nintendo game without the opportunity to turn towards your ally and elbow them for stealing your KO. Arms releases on June 16th alongside neon yellow Joy-Con controllers (and neon yellow straps, sold separately).

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Of course, Nintendo took the opportunity to pimp Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which launches later this month (April 28). We didn’t get anything new, but it’s still looking great. The Wii U version was outstanding, so the addition of traditional battle mode should make the game that much better. Nintendo is also priming tournaments for players to partake in, should you want to.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers

Because Capcom will never be done releasing versions of Street Fighter II. This version contains HD graphics and original sprites, along with new characters Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. (Imaginative names, boys.) This version also contains a first-person mode where you imitate Ryu to launch his signature Hadouken at foes, which looks as gimmicky as it sounds.

One mode that sounded neat (and I have no idea if this appeared in previous Street Fighter games) is two allied players sharing a single health bar. Still seems like two-against-one would be a tad simple and easy with them overwhelming the lone combatant, but maybe not. Maybe that poor, lonely player can use the Touchscreen Super Moves to level to field. Regardless, it’s releasing on May 26.

Minecraft

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition

On May 11, the world might receive the best console version of Minecraft. Forget that poor Vita version that struggled to create a decent frame-rate, now we have portable Minecraft than can be brought onto the television without using Sony’s cloud. That’s all assuming that the world size is comparable to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions. Should the Switch version have the same world size as the Wii U version, then it’s barely worth caring about.

Those who do will get the Mario Mashup Pack, previously available on the Wii U version. No word on other mashup packs, but I bet they’ll be available.

More NeoGeo Games

If you’ve enjoyed how NeoGeo games have monopolized the Switch eShop, then you’ll be happy to know that more are coming. Fatal Fury, Over Top, Blazing Star, King of Fighters ’99, Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors, Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad, and Garou: Mark of the Wolves will arrive “soon”, while Samurai Showdown IV: Amakusa’s Revenge is available now.

Sonic Forces / Sonic Mania

We got a glance at the two upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Sonic Forces is the spiritual successor to Sonic Generation, meaning that modern Sonic and classic (or pudgy) Sonic will once again team-up against Eggman. It doesn’t look too different from Generations, with modern Sonic handling 3D gameplay while classic Sonic is restricted to the second-dimension. They also teased a “new ally”, meaning that Sonic Team still hasn’t learned that we only want Sonic. And maybe Tails and Knuckles. Anyway, Sonic Forces has a release of Holiday 2017.

Meanwhile, Sonic Mania looks more exciting. Not developed by Sonic Team, Sonic Mania is the classic adventure that long-time fans have wanted for years. No new information, but the game still looks great. Fortunately, we’ll have Sonic Mania sooner, sometime in summer.

Project Mekuru (Working Title)

Flipping panels and getting the majority as your color is already drawing comparisons to Splatoon. It looks cute, but nothing terribly exciting. Interest will depend largely on price when it launches in summer.

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

Square Enix is bringing both Dragon Quest Heroes to Switch, and Nintendo themselves is publishing Fire Emblem Warriors, but why shouldn’t the console have a third hack-n-slash game? This one features characters from the Fate series of novels, games, and anime. I’m only familiar with the series through the Fate/stay night anime, but the fiction in this game is from an alternate story, I guess. Man, who the hell knows? For those who aren’t ignorant (and assuming they haven’t already bought the PS4 or Vita versions), this version hits on July 25.

Disgaea 5 Complete

Speaking of confusing anime, Switch is getting a port of NIS’ weird strategy/RPG. Those designs are pretty stupid, but Fire Emblem fans might chew on this until FE Switch — Wait, May 23 release? Wait, that’s days after Fire Emblem Echoes hits 3DS. Guess Disgaea’s getting ignored. Still, a demo is hitting Switch soon, and the full game will be available in regular and limited editions.

Puyo

Puyo Puyo Tetris

For those of you who haven’t created a Japanese Switch account and downloaded the Puyo Puyo Tetris demo, now’s your chance by downloading the English demo. The Japanese demo already won me over, so hopefully a version of that demo in a understandable language will catch the attention of more people. The demo is available now.

Monopoly

A game that bores me so much that I always steal from the bank until the person I’m playing with gets frustrated and quits. That’s pretty asshole thing to do, actually. Regardless, I won’t be stealing from Monopoly on Switch, which kind of makes sense. Unlike other versions, this is literally Monopoly wherever you go, assuming that the Switch’s pathetic battery can stay alive through a game. Look for Monopoly hitting in fall. Or just buy one of the billion physical versions.

Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition

Remember Rayman Legends? Yeah, that game developed for Wii U, but held back because Ubisoft didn’t have faith in the console. Well, now we’re getting a new version complete with Mario and Luigi costumes along with new single- and multiplayer options. Rayman is looking at a vague 2017 release.

THQ Nordic

Let’s pretend that THQ didn’t go under and have their name purchased and adopted by Nordic Games, okay? They’re bringing shoot-em-up Sine Mora EX and turn-based RPG Battle Chasers: Nightwar to Switch, both in summer.

Payday 2

If Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t fill your twisted desire of murdering police officers during a heist (real world events are making this terribly awkward), ready yourself for a port of a four-year-old game. It’s worth noting that “a huge amount” of PD2 content is hitting Switch, so evidently we’re not getting everything that the older versions got. Anyway, Payday 2 also has a vague 2017 release.

Namco Museum

Pac-Man, Galaga, Splatterhouse, and other classic Namco games are hitting Switch in summer. Although we didn’t get a price, it’ll probably be cheaper than collecting the same games on the upcoming Virtual Console, right?

Ah, who knows.

Stupid

Nintendo Switch Hardware Updates

If you’re so enthusiastic about Switch that you’re wanting a dock for every television (I’m referring to a certain host on the Player One Podcast), good news! The docks will be available “in limited quantities” on May 19 at participating stores and Nintendo’s online store.

Furthermore, Nintendo is also readying an attachment for the Joy-Con controllers that extend their life through AA batteries. Because that’s the part of the Switch that needs its battery extended (sarcasm included).

Splatoon Wii U Tournament

Exactly as it sounds. Instead of delaying a tournament for the upcoming Switch sequel, Nintendo is focusing on the original Splatoon on Wii U. Strange.

Splatoon 2

Through a silly presentation, Nintendo revealed a new mode for Splatoon 2: Salmon Run. Or, as you might realize, it’s Splatoon does Horde mode. Four allied Inklings face against waves of enemies and collect eggs from defeated foes. Should a friend be defeated, they can be revived by shooting a life preserver, forcing a bit more cooperation. Personally, as someone who hasn’t loved Splatoon’s multiplayer (I respect it, but it’s not for me), maybe this mode will be more my style.

We’re also getting new Amiibo, which allows players to share their customized Inkling with friends for . . . reasons, I guess. Then you’re able to take photos of your Inkling and share them on social media. Again, for reasons. The game and new Amiibo are dropping on July 21st.

Anything Missing?

That concludes the North American Direct, but the Japanese Direct saw games that I really hope jumps onto our shores, including the Professor Layton sequel (spinoff?) Lady Layton, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, and Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey. They also showed The Great Ace Attorney 2, which we’ll never get outside of Japan because fuck you, Capcom. Why do you make it so difficult to be an Ace Attorney fan?

MIA


April 30, 2017: Added a Read More tag.

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