After a week’s delay due to unexpected, but reasonable, circumstances, the September Nintendo Direct has finally aired. Filled with rapid-fire headlines, new game announcements, and a ton of news to go over, this Direct had something for everyone (except Metroid and Fire Emblem fans).
I know nobody gives a shit about my opinions for this Direct, but you know what? I’m gonna say them anyway. Hah!
For convenience’s sake, I’m going to go in order of how the games were shown in the Direct itself.
Luigi’s Mansion Becomes Luigi’s Skyscraper
Starting out, we have a new Luigi’s Mansion, which a lot of people mistook for the 3DS remake at first until they noticed the graphics were way too high resolution for the 3DS. The gameplay looked pretty standard, but the first two games were a lot of fun, so this should be just as great, especially since it seems to be developed by the same people who did the second game, Dark Moon. What’s better, the title screen had a super tall skyscraper that seems to be the setting of the game, meaning we’ll have a lot more to explore than either of the previous games. While I was never a huge fan of the previous games, I still had a great time and will likely pick it up when it releases next year.
A Bunch of 3DS Games
Putting all the 3DS stuff in one section for simplicity’s sake. I loved the original Kirby’s Epic Yarn, so I’ll probably pick up Extra Epic Yarn when it releases just as an excuse to replay the game again. I know a lot of people preferred Yoshi’s Woolly World, and it is indeed a great game, but I loved how relaxing Epic Yarn was back on the Wii. Bowser’s Inside Story was a great game on the DS, but I’ve fallen so far back on the Mario & Luigi series that by the time I get around to this, it’ll probably be ported over to the Switch. Don’t really care about the Bowser Jr. side game, but it looks a bit more involved than the one for the Superstar Saga remake. The other 3DS remake, this time for Luigi’s Mansion, looks a bit cool, but I may not have a lot of free time to play this one. I don’t have any friends that have a 3DS, so the co-op is lost on me, but at least the amiibo options can help out. I don’t play Yokai Watch at all, so Yokai Watch Blasters is just whatever for me, but I did like how one of the cars in the game looked like it was inspired by the Ecto-1.
Splatoon 2 Goes Full Anime
I don’t play Splatoon because I absolutely suck at twin-stick shooters (as the Global Testfires made quite clear to me) but I absolutely adore the style of the game, so the trailer for this looking like an anime intro made me laugh. A bunch of the new weapons looked really cool, such as the giant ink grenades and the massive hammer weapon, but my favorite was easily the Ink Death Ball, which will hopefully soon give way to the Ink Hadoken and the Ink Kamehameha in future updates. I also like the changes made to Splat Tour and Splatfest. You can eventually get team names and an extra bonus for staying together, plus additional bonus points if you do well yourself, meaning it should be a lot easier to level up your Rank as well as your clothes and weapons. That’s in Normal mode, but there’s also a Pro mode where you go alone and try to build up your individual Clout, which gets you more bonuses the higher your Clout is. Plus, Splatfests now take the votes, Clout from Normal Players, and Clout from Pro Players as the three totals used to decide the winner. That should make things more fair than what was used before.
The Blue Bomber is Still Difficult
I’ll come right out and say it: I absolutely suck at Mega Man. I’ve never been able to beat any traditional Mega Man games and can barely beat a single level of Classic Mega Man, so it should come as no surprise that things haven’t changed with the newest game. I died multiple times in the Mega Man 11 demo and it took forever for me to even get to Block Man. So, yea, I won’t be beating the X Challenges on the Mega Man X Legacy Collection anytime soon. While I doubt I’ll pick this game up because I suck at it so much, I did have fun with the demo. I’ll enjoy watching Let’s Plays of this one.
Mario Tennis Gets Hats!
I’m not a huge tennis fan, so I didn’t bother with Mario Tennis Aces, but I like the new additions coming to the game. The new modes look fairly fun for seasoned players, though the Co-op mode, specifically the battle against King Boo, doesn’t look like quite as much fun. But the most important part is that Chain Chomp gets a hat if you complete the online missions, which is absolutely adorable.
Beat Up the Beat-’em-Ups!
The Capcom Beat-’em-Up Bundle was the first game of the Direct to really get me interested. I love playing old 16-bit beat-’em-ups, and this set looks to be an awesome collection. Hopefully it includes a credit option like the Arcade Archives releases. The only one of these games I’ve played before is Final Fight, so I’m eager to get in and go through the other 6 games. Best of all, the collection is only $20, which is a GREAT deal. Less than $3 a game. Price is the main reason I haven’t picked up a bunch of the Neo Geo games on the Switch, so this is really tempting for me.
A Deluxe Mario That Isn’t Very Deluxe
I only ever played the portable New Super Mario Bros. titles. While I do own New U and Luigi U, I never actually gave them a try. While there is a lot of levels in this game, I would be more inclined to buy New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe if it was a complete collection and included New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. 2, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I do like that they added Toadette into the game because Toadette is awesome, but her ability to turn into Peachette is very, very odd. Why not just bring in Daisy instead? But at least you can choose not to morph into this form, just by avoiding that power-up. My only qualm with that is that I don’t know if Toadette has access to the other power-ups. I can see this selling well and a lot of people enjoying this a lot, but I likely won’t buy this until it becomes a Select title or gets a massive sale.
We Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’...
I never got much use out of my Playstation 2, since I bought it a few years after the Playstation 3 came out and soon became obsessed with other games. I bought Katamari Damacy, but I never ended up playing it. However, I love watching Let’s Plays of this game, so I’m excited to play this game for the first time via Katamari Damacy Reroll. I play exclusively in handheld mode, so the new gyro controls won’t do much for me, but HD Rumble is always great. I am a little curious if there will be bonus missions or anything else new with this game, maybe a little preview of other games in the franchise.
Paying For What Used to be Free
Nintendo detailed its online plans, which is mostly what we knew before. I think the only brand new thing we found out was some of the other games that will eventually be available. I don’t play online a lot, nor do I really care about NES games, so I won’t be getting the Online Service just yet. I’ll wait until we get these Special Offers that Nintendo keeps teasing us with but never revealing. When the Online starts getting N64 games, as I already have every SNES game I want on my Classic Edition through hacking, then I’ll heavily consider it. Also, even though I have no interest in the NES Joy Cons, I think it’s hilarious that they exist and I’ll be curious to see what the SNES versions look like.
By the way, we did get a launch lineup for the NES games available through the Online. They are: Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Soccer, Tennis, Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Double Dragon, River City Ransom, Ghosts‘n Goblins, Tecmo Bowl, Gradius, Pro Wrestling, Excitebike, Yoshi, Ice Hockey, and Baseball.
We also got a listing of what games will be added for the rest of the year, including apparently Special versions of NES games that will have unique functions. No idea what they are though, they haven’t said. October will have Special versions of Double Dragon, Gradius, and Super Mario Bros. 3 alongside NES Open Tournament Golf, Solomon’s Key, and Super Dodge Ball. November will have Special versions of Dr. Mario, Metroid, and Super Mario Bros. along with Mighty Bomb Jack and TwinBee. December will see a Special version of The Legend of Zelda released with Adventures of Lolo, Ninja Gaiden, and Wario’s Woods.
Not Gonna Catch ‘em All This Time
I am a big Pokémon fan and have loved every Generation, but I don’t care at all about Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. I don’t really want to traverse through Kanto again, especially since it looks like nothing’s changed from Fire Red/Leaf Green, I don’t like the Go mechanics, and I don’t like the simplification of the formula. I won’t be picking up either game unless I can get them for under $10. With the footage of this Direct, I noticed that Game Freak still doesn’t like animating characters outside of cutscenes. When the S.S. Anne captain didn’t move to use his Cut technique, it felt really lazy to me, especially since this is in HD and not the 3DS. As for the special Switch bundle, it looks fine, but again, I have no interest in getting these Joy Cons and I don’t use my Dock anyway.
Hell Comes to Nintendo
Diablo III makes me wish I was more into this style of game and had friends I could play this on co-op, but alas, I am neither. Still, it’s really cool that Diablo III is coming to Switch and beefs up the holiday lineup a lot. Hopefully it sells well. I will say that the Ganondorf skin looks pretty cool.
Party Time, Boys and Girls!
I’m so happy Super Mario Party is returning to the series’ roots. I do have some minor qualms about the presentation and the boards don’t look as amazing as previous games, but it doesn’t have the car and doesn’t look as terrible as 8, so that’s a step in the right direction. The extra modes look fun to play a few times, but I don’t see them getting as much attention as the main boards. Hopefully this game sells well enough that the next game can go all out on the boards and maybe bring back a bunch of the redone minigames from The Top 100.
Protecting Town and Country
Town is a game from the creators of Pokémon, Game Freak. The battle screen looks a bit confusing once all the options pop up, but it’ll probably pass when I get used to the controls. I love the art style for this game, as it reminds me a bit of something out of Studio Ghibli. Since the entire game takes place in one town, hopefully it’s a really huge town with lots to do. I am going to reserve judgement until we get more info (especially price, specifically if it’s full-priced), but this initial look is quite promising.
SimCity Without the Sim, But Technically With the Sim
I haven’t played any SimCity games since the SNES/floppy disk days, but Cities Skylines has had some good press, so I might check this out eventually. Especially since actually playing a good modern SimCity game nowadays is impossible (Thanks, EA). My only real concern is that the pans around the city had a LOT of frame-skipping, so hopefully the devs can optimize this through patches down the road.
MECHAS! And Some Other Stuff, But MECHAS!
As much as I love Super Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Daemon X Machina caught my attention just as much and it’s a shame it keeps getting ignored by the Nintendo fandom. Developed by the same team that did the Armored Core games, this game looks freaking awesome. I love mecha combat, and the furious action combined with the eye-catching art style really makes me want to play a demo right now. I do hope the game has voice acting, however, otherwise I predict a lot of the battle chatter will go unnoticed because I’ll be too busy blowing stuff up to pay attention. I also love how customizable it is and I hope there’s amiibo support down the road.
Poochie! And Yoshi Too, I Guess
Yoshi’s Crafted World looks a lot more interesting here than it was in its teaser a year or so ago, and given how much I liked Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Woolly World, I predict I’ll have tons of fun with this game. The various gimmicks like flipping the stage around and even going backwards look like a lot of fun. And thankfully, they included Poochie from the start this time, hopefully with more of those cute shorts from the 3DS version of Woolly World. My only real qualm is with the coins. I know it’s a minor detail, but they look way too shiny and stick out too much from the papercraft levels.
The Top of the Tabletops
As I said, I don’t have a lot of real life buddies that share my interests, so I don’t play any tabletop games. So, unfortunately, all the various tabletop games from Asmodee just fell flat for me. Still, it seems like a good way to get friends together to play these games without the long setup or worrying about losing pieces.
Create a Civilization That Will Collapse in 5 Minutes
I’ve never played any Civilization game, not even VI, but I’m still happy that it’s coming to Nintendo Switch and hope it does well enough for other similar games to get on the system. I don’t really have much more to say about this one.
Link Up to the Stars
Unlike a lot of people, I was interesting in Starlink: Battle for Atlas from the initial reveal. Mostly because I like toys-to-life stuff and I really liked the designs of the ships. The Star Fox additions are just icing on the cake for me, personally. I’m not a huge fan of the Arwing design, though. I get why the body is so fat (to include all the necessary electronics), but it still looks off to me. But hey, getting the Star Fox crew back in action with no motion controls, plus Star Wolf is well worth the price of admission. I also have a feeling it’ll be more interesting than No Man’s Sky. (Yes, yes, I know.)
RPG Double Feature
I tried to play The World Ends With You back when it was first released for the DS, but I never got used to the control scheme and gave it up for another game after a short while. I dunno if I will pick up this Switch game, especially given how much of the touch screen the game requires, but I’ll never say never. As for Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country, I still haven’t gotten through the first Xenoblade Chronicles nor Xenoblade Chronicles X, so I haven’t even bothered with Xenoblade Chronicles 2, much less this expansion. It’s great that the game is being supported, however, and I hope it’s profitable.
Warframe is a free-to-play MMO game, which doesn’t interest me at all. Never got into Warcraft, Everquest, or any of the other similar games, and I doubt I’ll start now. Also don’t play Just Dance, but I find it amusing that the Nintendo versions not only sell the best, but that the Wii version (Yes, OG Wii version) consistently sells better than the Playstation and XBox versions. I don’t care about soccer, so FIFA is whatever to me. While I enjoyed Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, Sonic Team Racing looks really plain and dull, especially after how good Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is. While I enjoy basketball, I prefer arcade sports to sims and loathe how much 2K Games have fucked their series up, so I will ignore NBA 2K19. I did enjoy the first NBA Playgrounds, but I likely won’t pick up the sequel unless it’s under $10. As for Lego DC Supervillains, I wasn’t a big fan of Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, so I’ll have to see more before I take the plunge, but either way I’ll wait until it’s $20.
Every Modern Final Fantasy Except the Crappy Ones
I’m not exactly a huge Final Fantasy fan. The only games in the series I’ve had extended playtime with have been the Kingdom Hearts games, which should tell you something. Crystal Chronicles is a mostly co-op game, which I’m meh on, but a lot of people love it, so that’s cool. I would probably pick up Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition if the art style was better and they actually bothered to animate their mouths. As it is, I think I’ll pass. Now, World of Final Fantasy Maxima is my jam. Even though I don’t have a big connection with Final Fantasy, I absolutely adore the artstyle of this game and I love how charming the cast is. I actually considered getting a Playstation 4 just for this game (and eventually Kingdom Hearts 3), so I’m ecstatic that it’s coming to the Switch. I don’t like the Mystery Dungeon games at all, so Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon is whatever to me. I’ll probably skip Final Fantasy XII, but I may pick up the re-releases of VII, IX, X, and X-2, since they are classic RPGs. I did laugh at the lack of release for VIII and the XIII trilogy, though.
Bundle Up Early
I have no need for another Switch and don’t use my Dock at all (I bought it on release day and my Dock is still in the box), so I will be avoiding this bundle. Also, that Joy Con looks really plain. I do find it strange that it’s releasing a month before the actual game, though.
The Two Minor and Unimportant Announcements Nobody Cares About
Thankfully, Isabelle’s a Clone Fighter (like Dr. Mario) in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate instead of an Echo Fighter, so my pie-in-the-sky prediction of Pockle as Villager’s Echo Fighter can still technically come true. I’m actually not a huge Animal Crossing fan. I played a ton of the GameCube original, but I stopped playing both City Folk and New Leaf after a week or two. I actually bought New Leaf twice. Once when it first came out because it was the hot new thing, and then again digitally during the Club Nintendo fire sale, and both times I just couldn’t get into it. I still haven’t paid off Tom Nook in my digital New Leaf save. So, yea, the announcement of a new game coming in 2019 did nothing for me. At least now I can stop hearing people whine about Nintendo not making another mainline Animal Crossing game as if the series was gonna go the way of F-Zero despite its continued presence in Nintendo’s marketing and big sales numbers.
Also, the Japanese Direct included Undertale, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Warriors Orochi 3, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Tangledeep, Nidhogg 2, Downwell, Muse Rash, some indie game where you control two characters on opposite sides at once, and a new game called Billions Road, which seems like a crazy Fortune Street-style game. Of those, the ones I’d like to get eventually are Warriors Orochi 3, Valkyria Chronicles 4, and Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Overall, I enjoyed the variety of games shown in the Direct and while there weren’t any huge, earth-shattering announcements, I was still satisfied. My biggest draws were World of Final Fantasy and Katamari Damacy, followed by Daemon X Machina and the Capcom Beat-’em-Up Bundle. While I didn’t go ga-ga over it, I’m still eager to play Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, plus any Smash Ultimate news is good news. My wallet’s going to be crying by the time the year’s done.