Nintendo Direct Announcements and Surprises
After a week-long delay due to a devastating earthquake that hit Japan, Nintendo has graced us with another Direct focusing on upcoming Nintendo Switch and 3DS games, and their soon-to-launch online service. The direct kicked things off with a new entry into a beloved series...
[Note: We will be updating this article throughout the night as Nintendo uploads the trailers to its YouTube page]
Luigi's Mansion 3 (2019)
A brief trailer showed Luigi navigating through narrow corridors and encountering his favorite enemy ghosts in the newest entry in the Luigi's Mansion series. With the original game coming to 3DS later this year, Switch fans don't have to worry about missing out on some ghost-sucking fun.
Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
Another remake is topping off the list of 3DS games as it enters its final stages. Kirby's Epic Yarn originally released on the Wii back in 2010, and the 3DS version includes all the endearing yarny original stages, along with some new goodies in this enhanced port. Kirby can now gain additional abilities from items, like crafting bigger yarn balls or taking advantage of wind to blow enemies away.
Considering the original Kirby's Epic Yarn's biggest criticism was the easy difficulty (you couldn't die if you tried), the new time-trial-esque Devilish Mode is a pleasant addition. Lastly, this port includes some new mini-games that let players take control of series' favorites King Dedede and Meta Knight. Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn releases in 2019.
The remake of the DS classic Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story sees a welcome addition with Bowser Jr.'s Journey. The trailer shows Bowser Jr. stirring up mischief with the other Koopalings trying to find his own remedy for the Blorbs. Gather allies like Ludwig, Koopa Troopers, and Shy Guys to conquer the chaos in this new entry to a beloved Mario RPG.
Luigi's Mansion 3DS
An exclusive two-player mode is making its debut on the 3Ds version of Luigi's Mansion. If both players own a copy of the game, the second player will play as a greener, shinier Luigi, and they can traverse through the entire game with their partner.
Download play is available for a boss battle mode, in case only one friend has a copy of the game. Amiibos will have different effects on the game, as well, like revealing hidden Boo's and healing Luigi. There are four different compatible Amiibo's, but which specific ones have not been revealed yet. Luigi's Mansion 3DS is making its way to stores on October 12.
Yo-Kai Watch Blasters
Yo-Kai Watch Blasters launched last week. However, new content is already on its way for the Pokemon-esque game. A free software update called Moon Rabbit Crew is adding new missions, areas to explore, new Yo-Kai, and new bosses. Moon Rabbit Crew is available for download on September 27.
Splatoon 2 Update
The researchers at Squid Research Lab keep pumping out the content with a new update to Splatoon 2. Coming soon, Ver. 4.0.0 will come with new weapon sets -- part of the Kensa Collection -- as well as Splatfest updates and new sub and special weapons. The Kensa collection consists of monotone painted designs for a new sniper, roller, and splat dualies.
The biggest change in the 4.0.0 update is definitely the new features added for upcoming Splatfests. For those unaware, Splatfests are community events that pit Splatoon 2 players on opposing sides of generally humorous debates (such as forks vs knives). The upcoming changes replace the original Solo and Team modes with Normal and Pro.
Normal mode has players jumping into a Splatfest Battle on their own or with a team of three friends from the same Splatfest Team, similar to how both Solo and Team modes worked before. However, now you won't need to play with a full team of four if you only have two or three players in a group you can add random players to your group of four for the first time.
In Normal mode, the amount you ink is added to any min bonus to determine a clout, and if your team is on a win streak, the matchmaking system will set you up with similar players. Lastly, your team can get different nicknames depending on your playstyle and weapons of choice.
Pro mode is for the players who want to prove themselves. Raise your clout high enough to make it into the Splatfest Top 100. 10x Battles will also be added to both divisions, which are just rare matches that can increase your points multiplayer. There are even rumors of 100x battles...
Mega Man 11
Although the demo was released last week, it's still great news to see the blue bomber looking as great as ever. You can check out our impression of the Mega Man 11 demo here.
The direct trailer revealed that amiibos can be used to get E-tanks and other useful items. Megaman 11 is coming to the Nintendo Eshop October 2.
Mario Tennis Aces Update
Camelot studio is giving it their all when it comes to post-launch support for Mario Tennis Aces. The game will be supported until June of next year and will see a number of returning veterans like Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha.
A new co-op challenge mode is coming, where you can play exclusive online missions that are available for a limited time. Completing the challenges while they're up nabs you new outfits, color schemes, and more. The Version 2 update comes September 19th. Here's hoping for online doubles lobbies and longer match selection options in the near future.
Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle
Seven arcade beat 'em up classics are coming to the Nintendo Switch with 4-player local and online multiplayer support. Final Fight, King of Dragons, Captain Commando, Knights of the Round, Warriors of Fate, along with first-time console releases Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit. Single joy-con play is supported, and you can pre-purchase the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle September 18.
New Super Mario Bros. U. Deluxe
Some rumors were swirling around the past few weeks about a New Super Mario Bros. collection, and it's safe to say they were mostly true with Mario, Luigi, and Toad returning for more fun.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe combines the original Wii U game along with the standalone DLC New Super Luigi U. In this enhanced port, players can also play as Nabbit and Toadette. Nabbit won't take damage from enemies, and Toadette can adorably transform into Peachette with a super crown and gain the ability to double jump.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe supports single joy-con play and comes to the Nintendo Switch January 11, 2019.
Katamari Damacy REROLL
An HD version of Katamari Damacy is making its way to the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Namco, Katamari Damacy REROLL tells the tale of how the King of Cosmos has made a serious mess. Of course, we can't say we didn't see this coming.
The remake sees new gyro motion controls, HD rumble, and multiplayer. Katamari Damacy REROLL will be available winter of this year.
Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo Switch Online launches on September 18, and the direct included a short video to discuss the included features. The video covered five basic features: Online Play, NES Online, Cloud Saving, the Smartphone App, and Special Offers.
Unfortunately, there isn't really any further information that wasn't previously announced by Nintendo. The "Special Offers" haven't been detailed either, but it's safe to assume they'll be similar to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live deals. Several NES games were shown like Metroid, Ice Climbers, and more.
All Switch owners can start a 7-day free trial when it launches. Pricing can be found below.
Nintendo is also releasing a pair of NES wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch to play the 20 NES games included with Nintendo Switch online. The pair of NES controllers will be available on September 18 for $59.99.
Pokemon Let's Go: Pikachu and Eevee
A few new details on your main partner Pokemon have been revealed. Pikachu or Eevee can now learn secret techniques, which replace the abhorred HM moves from previous titles.
The trailer included cute animations like Pikachu surfing and flying the player away with a hot air balloon. This does, however, force players to keep their un-evolvable starter Pokemon with them throughout their entire journey.
Diablo 3, the loot-filled multiplayer action RPG, is scorching its way to the Nintendo Switch November 2. The port will include all previously released DLC, features a new Ganondorf armor set, and will be compatible with local, wireless, and online play. All amiibo are also compatible with Diablo 3 and will spawn a group of fearsome demons to slay that drop rare items.
Super Mario Party
New types of games are coming to Super Mario Party for Nintendo Switch. The Direct's trailers showed a few modes like River Rush and Toads Wreck Room that connects two switch systems.
The newest Mario Party entry introduces a single player mode as well, along with an online mode where players can duke it out in their favorite mini-games. Super Mario Party releases October 5.
TOWN (Working Title)
Quite possibly the biggest surprise in this direct is Town. Brought by the Pokemon developers, GameFreak has an adorable JRPG game where the whole story takes place in one village. The main protagonist sports a fiery hairstyle, and the whole game has a Studio Ghibli flair to it.
The battle system is reminiscent of old-school turn-based combat, with battle commands that affect your battle style. You can summon other villagers to help you in combat. TOWN is set to release sometime in 2019.
Cities: Skylines Nintendo Switch Edition
As if the Civilization VI announcement didn't surprise us enough, strategy and city builder enthusiasts can rejoice as they take their favorite simulator on the town with them.
Cities: Skylines Nintendo Switch Edition features all of the content from the base game, along with the DLC packs After Dark and Snowfall. The game does seem to run at a much lower resolution, but it's still very impressive that it can run at all on the Switch.
In classic Nintendo fashion, the game is available for download today.
DAEMON X MACHINA
In this Armored Core spiritual successor, you play as a deadly mercenary who takes control over Gundam-looking giant robots. As you defeat enemies, you can equip weapons on the fly and bring them back to base for use in future missions.
Different projectile and close-range weapons can be adapted for different enemies and situations. You can exit the mecha any time during battle and run around on foot -- and you can even add enhancements to your human form.
A 4-Player online co-op boss rush mode will be available at launch in 2019.
Yoshi's Crafted World
We haven't heard much about the new Yoshi title since its reveal at last year's E3, but today we got some creative new details on Yoshi's Crafted World. Sporting a paper-mache storybook setting, the world is brimming with artistic flavor.
The newest title sees our favorite dinosaur sporting his usual gameplay, with some extra tricks up his sleeve like being able to turn the stage on its head or flip perspectives. As usual, the gameplay itself doesn't seem to present too much challenge, but it will contain a huge number of collectibles to track down.
Speaking of tracking things down, Yoshi can play entire stages backwards to look for those secret items. Yoshi's Crafted World will support a second player, and the game will be available in Spring 2019.
Tabletop gaming is coming to Nintendo Switch with Asmodee Digital. Asmodee is a French publisher of board games, card games, and role-playing games -- and they're bringing a number of them to Nintendo Switch starting with Carcassone.
Other tabletop games coming are Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game, Pandemic, Catan, and Munchkin. Titles will feature 3D maps, local and online multiplayer, and expansions features as DLC.
Sid Meier's Civilization VI
This announcement may have been spoiled by the delay of the Direct last week, but it's still endearing to see Civilization VI being playable on a Nintendo console. Sid Meier's hit strategy game comes with all previously released DLC and an exclusive four-player local co-op mode on November 16.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
With Wolf back in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it's only fair to include him in the cameo appearance in Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Although the Ubisoft toys-to-life game is coming to all platforms, Nintendo gracefully lent over some franchise favorites to the game in the form of the Star Fox Team.
Starlink for Nintendo Switch will have exclusive missions, and not much is said, but Fox's arch-rival Wolf will take part in the story one way or another. Starlink: Battle for Atlas will launch October 16 of this year.
An official release date of the popular free-to-play action RPG Warframe was announced. The powerhouse Switch-porting studio Panic Button is bringing this highly anticipated title to the EShop November 20.
Third Party Games
Just Dance, FIFA 19, Team Sonic Racing, NBA 2K19, NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, Lego DC Super-Villains were all presented in a short third-party showcase with release dates. The release dates seem to match those of other consoles.
Final Fantasy Nintendo Switch
Another announcement that was spoiled by the Direct delay was the announcement of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition. Also coming to PS4, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was originally released on the Gamecube and required Game Boy Advanced systems and link cables to actually play the multiplayer.
The remastered edition comes 15 years after its debut, and comes with a new online multiplayer mode and newly added areas.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, the downscaled adorable chibi version of Final Fantasy XV, is available for download today on the Nintendo Switch. Sporting nearly all of the content of the original, but portable and as cute as can be, players can cruise through Eos with the bros anywhere, anytime.
The Final Fantasy announcements aren't even close to over yet. World of Final Fantasy: Maxima, an enhanced port of the Vita and 3DS game World of Final Fantasy, sees some up-scaled graphics and a new feature called Avatar Change, that allows you to transform into legendary characters across the series history. If you can't get enough of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition's cute chibi graphics, then you'll have a little extra something on your radar come November 6.
Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy is another enhanced, and adorable, Final Fantasy port making its way to the Switch. The port comes with co-op joycon support and the ability to befriend all of the monsters in the game. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon releases this Winter.
Coming to a Nintendo System for the first time, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be available in 2019. We gave this fantastic remake a 9 out of 10, adding portability only makes it sweeter.
Speaking of delicacies, there are even more Final Fantasy classics hitting the Nintendo Switch. Coming soon, players can download the original versions of Final Fantasy VII, IX, and X & X-2 Remaster and play these masterpieces on a Nintendo system for the first time ever.
Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Switch System
New bundle approaching! This upcoming bundle will include a #NintendoSwitch system, Super #SmashBrosUltimate branded Joy-Con controllers and dock, as well as a download code for the game. Available 11/2. pic.twitter.com/x4tXUngnOk— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 13, 2018
Available November 2, a whole month before the official release of the game, is a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch System. Featuring custom artwork on the dock itself with the original Smash roster, along with Smash-themed joy-cons, the console bundle also comes with a download code for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for when the game releases.
The official Nintendo Gamecube controller and adaptor are available the same day.
Isabelle for Smash
Everyone watching the direct live knew there was something more...something special...something...smashing. At first glance, it seemed like the obvious surprise Animal Crossing announcement was underway, but as soon as Isabelle mentioned the mayor is too busy with Smash, it was all over.
Isabelle will be the second Animal Crossing character to join the fight. One of the most requested fighters on the Smash Ballot, Isabelle sports confetti cannons, her fishing rod, and her adorable buck teeth as one of my new most anticipated characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch
Of course, it would be plain cruel to tease fans with an Animal Crossing announcement and leave us hanging. With no further details other than a message from Tom Nook planning to empty our bells with mortgage payments, Nintendo has confirmed a new entry to the Animal Crossing series will launch on the Nintendo Switch next year.
That ends another spectacular series of announcements for the Nintendo Switch...other than some clarification on the lack of basic features for Nintendo Switch Online. Regardless, Super Smash Bros. and Animal Crossing fans can gleefully cheer as their favorite series bring excitement around the world.