Thursday, February 14, 2019

Nintendo Direct Highlights

While I always have several games queued up to play next, I still can’t help myself from keeping an eye on the upcoming release calendar, especially where Nintendo is concerned. Nintendo has a knack for making announcements fun to watch and last night’s Nintendo Direct was jam-packed with interesting-looking titles! Here’s some of my highlights from the presentation:
  • Mario Maker 2 – Having loved the original Wii U game, I can only imagine that a Mario Maker title with more features and on a system with a larger install base would be even better. I was happy to see that this new game will include elements from Mario 2 and Mario 3D World. I’m already imagining new levels featuring Cat Mario and radish-throwing battles.
  • Box Boy & Girl – I missed the original Box Boy series of puzzle platformers on 3DS but this new co-op focused entry for Switch looks like a great place to jump on for some husband/wife gaming sessions.
  • Captain Toad Expansion – Speaking of husband/wife gaming, we had a great time with Captain Toad on the Wii U, so I’m glad to see that it’s getting some love on the Switch with an upcoming expansion. Unfortunately, the new content appears to be Switch-exclusive and I have no intention of buying the base game again just to play the expansion material. If the new content ends up getting a standalone release, I’m definitely on board.
  • Blood Stained Ritual of the Night – Considering that last year’s Bloodstained Curse of the Moon was one of my favorite games of 2018, I was of course excited to see more of the upcoming game. While I’m partial to the 2D style of the previous game, as opposed to the cluttered polygonal look of this one, Ritual of the Night’s level design looks really interesting.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 – I’ve been hesitant to get into these games since the building genre tends not to appeal to me. However, I’ve been hearing so many good things about Dragon Quest’s take on the genre that I may just have to give it a go, especially since the new game has a co-op mode.
  • Dragon Quest 11 – I’m really glad I held off on getting the PC version of this game because the Switch version looks fantastic. It features the 2D mode from the 3DS version as well as the HD 3D visuals of the PC/console version, has orchestrated music, dual language voice acting, and will apparently feature some expanded content as well! This version of DQ11 looks like it will be well worth the wait.
  • Rune Factory 4 and 5 – I’ve never played any of the Rune Factory games but it looks like the series will have strong Switch support with a remake of Rune Factory 4 and a new 5th entry as well. I’m not usually into farming games, but the inclusion of RPG elements could end up pulling me in (similar to Ever Oasis).
  • Oninaki – A new game from Tokyo RPG Factory (of I Am Setsuna fame) was announced. It looks more stylized and original than the studio’s previous work, so I may give this one a look.
  • Starlink Expansion – Starlink is getting an all-StarFox themed expansion campaign. I’ve been meaning to pick up the base game (I love me some aerial dogfighting) but have been waiting for the digital version to go on sale since I’m not really into toys-to-life stuff. The Arwing statue does look kind of cool though…
  • Fire Emblem Three Houses - This was the flagship game of the Direct and it deserved it. The production values and world-building look elevated beyond anything we’ve seen the Fire Emblem series so far. The game seems to further emphasize the relationship-building elements of Awakening and Fates, however I’m a little concerned how this will be handled since the player character is a teacher and most of the other characters are students. That concern aside, it’s a brand-new Fire Emblem on Switch, so I likely will have pre-ordered it by the time anyone ends up reading this.
  • Astral Chain – My wife and I both initially mistook this new action game from Platinum as a Xenoblade game. The cyberpunk setting reminded me a lot of the anime Psycho Pass. Bayonetta didn’t grab me and I missed the Nier games, but Astral Chain looks like it has the potential to finally get me into Platinum games.
  • Link’s Awakening remake – The Gameboy Zelda games are not among my favorite entries in the series, but this chibi 3D remake looks incredible. If the remake upgrades the mechanics to the same level it does for the visuals, I may revisit Link’s surreal island adventure after all.

After the Direct, Nintendo released downloadable demos for Yoshi’s Crafted World and Daemon X Machina. They also dropped a surprise free game, Tetris 99! I’ll have impressions of each of these available in my next post.

Based on all these announcements, it sounds like my wallet will be getting much lighter in the coming months! I’m curious to know what other folks are excited about from this Direct, so be sure to let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

1 comment:

  1. The Rune Factory announcement was huge considering that the developers went under years ago, so the series was implicitly dead. It's kinda niche, but any news at all was big news for fans!

    In the same boat about DQXI! Looks like the Switch version is gonna be the one to get; very glad it looks to be worth holding out for.