Another Nintendo Direct has come and gone, leaving a trail of exciting announcements behind it. Yes, there were a few notable absences – long anticipated titles like Bayonetta 3, Shin Megami Tensei V, and Metroid Prime 4 were all missing in action. However, with the games that did appear, Nintendo still put together an enticing presentation filled with much-needed updates and announcements straight out of left field. As the dust settles on all the post-Direct hype, it’s time to take a step back and look at some of the very best reveals from the showcase.
Ports, Ports, and Some More Ports
Developers are addicted to bringing their games to Switch, so sure enough, this Direct was stuffed to the brim with older titles. In fact, this was the very first announcement of the show – the reveal that the eternally popular hero shooter Overwatch is headed to Nintendo’s hybrid wonder at long last. This was followed by a plethora of games new and old, including the former Wii U exclusive Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, a bundle of fan favorite Assassin’s Creed games, and DOOM 64 finally coming to modern platforms, to name a few highlights.
This point may be beaten to death in every Nintendo advertisement at this point, but it remains true: it never gets old to be able to play classic games at home and on the go. For this reason alone, it’s still exciting to see these old games get new life on the Switch, even if some of them are starting to show their age.
Out Today – Everything
Nintendo loves to shadow drop games during its Directs, and this showcase was no different. It seemed almost as if every other announcement was made available either immediately after the show, or shortly thereafter. This was an incredibly diverse bunch of announcements too, starting off with Super Kirby Clash, an all-new adventure for everyone’s favorite pink puffball with an emphasis on boss battles and local multiplayer that was made available during the Direct. It definitely looks promising, and better yet, it’s completely free to start playing.
Kirby paved the way for plenty more “Out Today” announcements. These ranged from the reveal and release of the cult classic Deadly Premonitions Origins on Switch (with an entirely new sequel to follow later), to the western RPG Divine Original Sins II Definitive Edition, to the release of new DLC for the Switch Online hit Tetris 99, to a brand-new demo for Daemon X Machina, a game that needs all the help it can get. However, easily the biggest shadow drops came from none other than a little fighting game about smashing legendary game characters.
Super Smash Bros. Digs Deep
Fans rejoiced back at E3 2019 when Nintendo revealed that Banjo and Kazooie were finally getting representation in gaming’s greatest crossover, and they officially joined the roster when they released immediately after the Direct. Just like every other character added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Banjo and Kazooie are packed with fan service and references to their original appearances in their classic N64 platformers. Now that the bear and the bird have returned to their Nintendo roots, they’re looking better than ever.
But as amazing as Banjo and Kazooie are, Nintendo dug even deeper into gaming history with the next DLC fighter: Terry Bogard, the mascot of SNK’s signature Fatal Fury series. This brawler might not be as instantly recognizable as other fighters, but Terry is the face of the genre-defining fighting games SNK created for its Neo-Geo console, which more than earns him the right to battle alongside other industry icons. He should be an exciting fighter to watch out for when he enters the battle this November.
Although there is only one fighter left in the initial Fighter Pass for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we’re still nowhere near the end of new challengers. The Direct confirmed that more characters will come beyond the first batch of DLC fighters. In other words: if Terry is a bit too obscure for you, then you might have better luck with the next few characters.
Is Switch Online Finally Good?
Nintendo Switch Online has been out for some time now, but for many, the service is frustratingly bare bones. Perhaps it tries to make up for its lackluster offerings by providing access to classic NES games, but these types of games are only enjoyable for so long. However, the service might get a much-needed boost thanks to the addition of Super Nintendo titles. These include all-time classics like Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid, along with some more unexpected titles like Stunt Racer FX, all of which launch a day after the Direct.
These (likely) won’t distract too much from the meager lineup of features in Switch Online, but they should sweeten the deal a bit and give the service some more worth, which is probably the best it could hope for at this point.
New Info and New Games
Fittingly enough, the Nintendo Direct wasn’t limited to all-new reveals; in fact, a good chunk of the presentation featured previously announced games. These included new trailers for some of the biggest upcoming Switch games, such as new trailers for the gorgeous Link’s Awakening and the spooky Luigi’s Mansion 3, as well as a healthy dosage of new information about Pokémon Sword and Shield, including new gameplay elements and Pokémon. To top it off, five new minutes of gameplay of the delightfully laid back Animal Crossing: New Horizons were revealed. These games all looked promising in their own ways, but with all this additional info, they’re already looking even better.
That’s not to say that there weren’t any all-new games shown off; rather, there were a handful of exciting original reveals. These included Rogue Company, a new shooter from Smite publisher Hi-Rez, which along with Overwatch should nicely fill the void of new multiplayer shooters on Switch. Yet one of the most delightful surprises was the official re-reveal of Little Town Hero, which was first shown off almost exactly one year ago. Most significantly, it was revealed that the creator and composer of Undertale, Toby Fox, has written almost all of the game’s original soundtrack. Considering how charming Undertale’s soundtrack is, this bodes well for the game’s presentation.
And of course, let’s not forget the very game that ended the showcase altogether: Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, the ultimate HD version of one of the best RPGs of all time. With the added power of the Switch, this classic can finally move beyond the meager power restraints of its original launch on the Wii to achieve its full ambitions. Better yet, the reveal trailer even hints at some previously cut content making it into the game in this remaster. It might not be as exciting as an all-new title from developer Monolith Soft, but there are worse ways to end a Nintendo Direct than by revealing an upgraded version of one of the greatest games ever made.