Nintendo Direct April 2017 Recap

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In the first Nintendo Direct since the launch of Nintendo’s handheld/console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, there was a great deal of excitement about the future of Nintendo. The Switch is the fastest selling console in Nintendo history and Breath of the Wild has sold over a million units since launch. Things are looking bright for Nintendo, especially after the bleak wasteland that was the last few years of the Wii U. So on April 12th, Nintendo aired a new Direct showcasing not only the future of the Nintendo Switch but their continued support of the Nintendo 3DS.

There was so much content shown that some are worried they didn’t save enough announcements for E3 just two months away. While they didn’t show any Mario Odyssey, I still think there are a couple ace cards up Nintendo’s sleeves to show at E3. That said, there was a lot to parse through in this Direct and a lot of validation for early Switch adopters that their purchase was not in vain.

Nintendo loaded all their 3DS content at the front of the show, opening strong with one game I’m very excited for…

Hey! Pikmin Release Date & Trailer

A big change for the well loved Nintendo franchise that saw it’s debut on the Gamecube, Pikmin is going handheld for the first time and mixing up the formula in a big way. Hey! Pikmin is going 2D, ditching the well-established method that reached its peak with Pikmin 3 on the Wii U. This new title stars Captain Olimar, who skipped Pikmin 3. We find the Captain on a new planet with the same Pikmin we met in Pikmin 3. I’m extremely excited to check out whether going 2D will be a step back for the series or whether it can offer something new and exciting in the puzzle solving series I adore. It’s releasing on July 28th and it’s getting its own super adorable amiibo that looks amazing!

Nintendo 3DS games releasing soon:

  • Ever Oasis – June 23rd, 2017
    • A new action-adventure game from Tri-Force Heroes developer Grezzo, this game was announced at E3 last year during the Treehouse Livestream. In Ever Oasis players try to build an oasis in the dessert by completing missions, building your village with the ultimate goal of rescuing the main characters brother from the evil forces of chaos.
  • Monster Hunter Stories – Fall 2017
    • Released in Japan last Fall, Monster Hunter Stories mixes up the series by allowing the player to befriend and tame monsters, essentially building a party of them similar to Pokémon.
  • YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters – Fall 2017
    • While I’m wary of any kid’s game titled “Fleshy Souls” or “Bony Spirits” the YO-KAI WATCH series has blown up in Japan and is being pushed hard in the North American market. Nintendo describes this as the definitive version of YO-KAI WATCH 2 stating that with new modes and story missions this is the best version available.
  • Culdcept Revolt – August 29th, 2017
    • Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Culdcept series, this “card meets board game mash-up” looks like a nice blend of genres.

RPG Maker Fes Announced

After these titles Nintendo surprised many by announcing a new project, RPG Maker Fes, would be coming to the 3DS on June 27th, 2017. In this game, players can create and share stories with friends on the 3DS. Whether this will work or suck like Mario Maker 3DS’ share feature remains to be seen, but this RPG creation kit is a huge hit with fans and will be right at home on the 3DS. Crossover skins from Disgea will be available and a free Maker Player will let other users try fan made levels without even having to buy the game.

Miitopia Coming to North America

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Nintendo confirmed that Miitopia is finally coming to the 3DS in North America. Miitopia is kind of like Miitomo but with a game in it! Miitopia features JRPG style combat with familiar classes like Mage or Warrior, but it blends in a real life social element that is your Miis. Real life friends populate the world of this game and depending on how you choose to have them interact you can build a cohesive party of friends or a useless party of bickering foes. No release date yet but Nintendo confirmed it’s coming later in 2017.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Trailer & Season Pass Announced

Nintendo is pumping out Fire Emblem games like crazy since the massive success of Awakening and last year’s Fates. This new game goes back to the series roots on the Nintendo Famicom, drawing inspiration from the series second entry, Fire Emblem Gaiden. The game is releasing on the 3DS in North America on May 19th, 2017 and coming to Australia May 20th.

Happy 25th Birthday Kirby!2

Nintendo is going all out in what is now for all intensive purposes the year of Kirby! They announced loads of new Kirby content coming to the 3DS this year:

  • Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is a co-op action game that’s free to start where you and up to 3 friends can take on big bad guys, and it’s available now.
  • Kirby’s Blowout Blast is a new 3D platforming game similar to Mario 3D Land where Kirby runs through stages under a time limit collecting coins and beating enemies. Releasing this summer.
  • Unannounced multiplayer action Kirby game coming this holiday.

BYE-BYE BOXBOY! Announced & Released

The last game in the BOXBOY trilogy sees Boxboy getting help from new box babies to solve another slew of puzzles as the last line of defense against evil. This game will support the Kirby Planet Robobot line of amiibo to unlock new skins! BOXBOY  or BOXBOXBOY save files on your 3DS will unlock a Gameboy filter making the game look like it’s being played on the classic Nintendo handheld!

New Zelda & Smash Bros. Amiibo

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Three new The Legend of Zelda amiibo will launch on June 23rd giving us version of Link from Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. In addition to these gems Nintendo FINALLY announced the last Super Smash Bros. amiibo Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta will be hitting store shelves July 21st.

ARMS Trailer & Release Date

This hotly anticipated Switch title is like if Nintendo took the boxing from Wii Sports and made it infinitely cooler. There’s a whole new range of customization options, maps, modes and both local and online multiplayer are why Nintendo fans are eagerly awaiting this new Nintendo IP. We finally got the release date, which is June 16th, 2017, just a couple days before E3.

New Switch Joy-Con Color & Battery Pack Announced

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Available June 16, Neon Yellow Joy-Cons and Joy-Con Straps are available for purchase. This neon yellow matches the promotional colours for ARMS which makes it no coincidence they’re launching on the same day. Also coming that day are battery packs you can purchase to attach to the back of your Joy-Cons to extend the battery life, making those awkward gorilla chest beating 1-2 Switch matches last that much longer (Nintendo hasn’t actually stated how much longer, so maybe hold off until impressions are out).

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Trailer

Available April 28th, this is the next big Nintendo game coming to the Switch since launch and before ARMS. It has a real battle mode, which was the biggest complaint about Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. Now with specially tailored maps for battle mode and all new items like the cape feather, battle mode in Mario Kart 8 appears to be a direct response to fan feedback. There’s also new characters to race with like Squid Kids from Splatoon and Bowser Jr.

Another slew of releases, this time for the Switch:

  • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers! – May 26th
    • Featuring fighting game fans long awaited feature: touch screen controls! Just kidding, no one asked for that or will use that. Joy Cons and Pro controllers will be the go to for fighting fans as the Switch doesn’t currently support fight pads. Street Fighter II is still coming to the Switch, which will be a perfect fit for quick matches on the go with friends.
  • Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – May 11th
    • The Switch version features all of the Nintendo content on the Wii U version including Mario skins and Peach’s castle!
  • New games in the NEOGEO Arcade Archives including: Fatal Fury, Over Top, Blazing Star, Garu: Mark of Wolves and many more.

Sonic Galore!

Nintendo gave the stage to Sega to talk all about the new Sonic games coming to the Switch in 2017. Touting “Two Sonics, Two Styles” the two sonic games releasing on the Switch this year are:

  • Sonic Forces – Holiday 2017
    • This is the next 3D sonic title to feature both “Modern” and “Classic” Sonic since the release of Sonic Generations back in 2011. This next game sees the speedy hedgehog in an alternate timeline where Dr Eggman has conquered the world and imposed his own dictatorship.

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  • Sonic Mania – Summer 2017
    • This is essentially a love letter to classic Sega Dreamcast Sonic games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. With classic pixel art visuals and that familiar, floaty gameplay everything should feel right at home for fans of the classic Sonic games.

Project Mekuru Announced

Releasing this Summer for the Switch, Project Mekuru (working title) is a new multiplayer game in which up to 4 players battle for control of a tile based board by butt slamming on the tiles to flip them to that player’s colour. Players can get power ups, environments can mess with the board and players can knock each other off. It seemed very basic from the trailer but for a low price it might be a fun coop game to take to a friend’s house and mess around with.

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star Announced

This game looked awfully similar to the Dynasty Warriors titles, featuring hack and slash combat with hundreds of on screen enemies being blown away by special attacks. It’s doubtful this game is anything more than a simple Warriors clone but if you love those games this should be right up your alley.

More Switch releases:

  • Disgaea 5 Complete – May 23rd, 2017
    • In this version of Disgea 5 there are 7 new characters that can be recruited to your party as well as new side missions and story content.
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris – April 25th, 2017
    • $15 more than the PS4 version releasing the same day, this puzzle game mashup has a free demo now available on the North American eShop if you want to check it out.
  • Monopoly – Fall 2017
    • Monopoly on the go might actually make sense, if only a game of Monopoly was a short experience that didn’t outlast your Switch’s battery.
  • Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition – TBD 2017
    • Yet another game several years old resurrecting on the Switch, Nintendo hasn’t detailed any of the new content except to say “It will make full use of the power of the Switch and its new controllers” (Source).
  • Sine Mora EX – Summer 2017
    • Twin-stick shooter from THQ Nordic, nothing too eye catching.
  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar – TBD 2017
    • Another game from THQ Nordic, they seem to be all on board with supporting the Switch. This titles looks much more interesting than Sine Mora EX, it seems like a fleshed out turn based RPG with a lush and gorgeous world.
  • Payday 2 – TBD 2017
    • Another game released ages ago (coughSkyrimcough) if you haven’t played Payday 2 yet then now you can! Well, in a couple months you can.
  • NAMCO MUSEUM – Summer
    • A bundle of classic NAMCO games from Splatterhouse to Pac-Man.

Standalone Switch Dock Restock

The standalone dock will be back in stock on May 19th, allowing users to conveniently move their Switch between TVs without having to move their docks.

Splatoon US Inkling Open Announced

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In what will be the last splat for Splatoon on the Wii U, the Splatoon US Inkling Open is a nation-wide competition to find the best American Splatoon players to compete to win a trip to E3 2017. Qualifiers are now open and the finals happen April 29th. For more info check out battlefy.com/splatoon.

Splatoon 2 New Mode & Trailer

Salmon Run is a new mode coming to Splatoon 2 in which a team of 4 players defend a base from Chum, which are just gross fish that track their own green paint over the map. It’s essentially tower defense, which if that’s your thing then great! Check out the rest in the trailer below:

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That’s it! A lot to take in and a lot of great games coming to your 3DS and *snap* Switch in the near future. What did you think? What did you like? What are you hyped for? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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