Nintendo recently dropped a lot of knowledge with its latest general Direct, with some announcements coming straight out left field. Some big first-party titles, a handful of beautiful remasters, and a heavy emphasis on RPGs all came out of the fifty-minute presentation.
Below are all the games and DLC that were announced with their included release dates, plus a few informative details that were gleaned from the footage that was shown.
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD
Probably one of the biggest announcements of the whole event and was held as the penultimate reveal, the latest LoZ game to be given a facelift is the Nintendo Wii installment of Skyward Sword, dropping on July 16th.
Transferring the Wii’s motion controls to the Joy-Cons of the Switch, Nintendo gave a demonstration of how to use Link’s sword and shield in combat and even using the two together to shoot arrows from your bow. The game also supports button-only controls owing to the Switch Lite’s absence of removable controllers.
They also announced information on the Breath of the Wild sequel would come later this year, and Skyward Sword has its own unique Joy-con designs being released with the game.
Nintendo’s extremely popular ink shooting multiplayer game is getting a third outing, showing off new maps, weapons, deployment mechanics, and all the madness one expects from this fun and manic title. Inkling and friends won’t arrive until an unspecified time in 2022.
Mario Golf Super Rush
An announcement I was personally very excited about, Mario has another sports title following Mario Tennis Aces from 2019, this time trading the court for the fairway with Mario Golf Super Rush.
MGSR showed off its characters, mechanics, environments, and most notably its motion controls, with the act of swinging the Joy-Cons like a golf club to play. The Speed Golf mode also looks like decent fun, with players playing their shots as fast as possible and racing to their ball to complete the hole in the quickest time. Super Rush will also have a single-player mode with light RPG elements and will be available from June 25th.
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir/The Girl Who Stands Behind
Two titles that originally appeared back on the Famicom and Super Famicom (hence their names) in Japan, these two murder mystery games have been beautifully updated to the modern standard and translated to English.
One for fans of games like Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, both games will see you interviewing people and investigating environments to get to the bottom of a wealthy girl’s murder and the mysterious deaths of three schoolchildren in each game’s respective story. Both games are sold separately and will drop on May 14th.
Monster Hunter Rise
The latest Monster Hunter game saw a fairly lengthy cinematic trailer delving more into the story with a sprinkling of gameplay footage, with the player fighting some of the most fearsome monsters in the game. The new Monster Hunter “rises” on March 26th.
Pyra and Mythra Join Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
Finally, letting Shulk have some company from his franchise, the characters of Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 were announced as the latest fighters that were to be added to the Smash Bros. Ultimate Roster.
This was a slight letdown for some people, as many are still holding out hope from very outside entries into the series like DOOM Guy or the Master Chief, but for now, they’ll have to make do with this pair.
A “Mr. Sakurai Presents” is scheduled for March 4th, where the man himself runs through the character’s movement and abilities, plus any new stages and music.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
The hugely popular alternative battle royale title will arrive on the Nintendo Switch in the summer of this year, with no official nailed-in-release date announced as of yet.
A different kind of game from Annapurna Interactive, Outer Wilds is a groundhog day experience where you “No Man’s Sky” across planets to uncover each world’s secrets. After 22 minutes, the sun explodes, and the game resets, forcing you to gradually use your accumulated knowledge to solve the big mystery.
Samurai Warriors 5
A hack and slash title, Samurai Warriors 5 will quench the thirst of fans of Dynasty Warriors and Onimusha Warlords and will feature “1 vs. 1000 battles”. This sword-fest will be available from Summer 2021.
Legend of Mana
The Square Enix gem Legend of Mana is getting a remaster for the Switch on June 24th, with upgraded visuals and a new soundtrack.
Anyone who’s not had the joy of playing this game should definitely check it out when it launches.
Tales From The Borderlands
TellTale Interactive’s narrative experience set on the world of Pandora will land on the Nintendo Switch on March 24th, featuring all 5 episodic instalments.
Capcom Arcade Stadium
Capcom is dropping over 30 of its most renowned arcade classic titles for the Switch, with the games having several options adjustable for accessibility and preference, with the ability to rewind the game and switching the display options.
Retro favourites like 1942, Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts, Strider, and Dynasty Wars come out to play, but it’s not completely clear how the collection will work from a purchasing standpoint. The narrator of the Direct states, “Get 1943 for free, then purchase game packs or the standard Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins add-on to build your collection”. This makes it sound like it will follow the model of Killer Instinct on the Xbox One with one free starter pack and all additional features having to be paid for.
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse
A very unusual one, the original Xbox exclusive Stubbs the Zombie, will be releasing on Switch on March 16th. No new features were announced at the Direct, so expect for now for this to be a part of the 2005 game with maybe a slight graphical improvement.
No More Heroes III
Travis finally touches down in No More Heroes III, which sees him fighting in a superhero tournament held by aliens that have enslaved the planet. The game keeps up its quirky idiosyncrasies by requiring the player to perform random jobs and activities to earn enough money to pay the entry fee to enter each stage of the competition, and it looks just as insane as it always has. NMH3 is out on August 27th.
This was the game that piqued my interest the most. Neon White looks like a navigational rail shooter where you play as an assassin in Heaven, ridding the utopia of unwanted demons. In your journey through each level, you pick up cards that can change your weapon, ammo, and abilities.
The game looks like a visceral and frenetic thrill, something like a mix between Mirror’s Edge and Superhot. You can get your hands on it in the Winter of 2021.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power
A rather perplexing entry with its cute and cartoony visuals, this all-star female cast of DC characters has two very distinct halves to the gameplay. One portion seems like a kid-friendly version of a beat ‘em up featuring characters like Batgirl and Wonder Woman, and the other a customizable character-building experience akin to The Sims. A strange mix, this oddity drops June 4th.
Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition
Sprouting up on March 19th, the Complete Edition of this PopCap shooter says to “Play to unlock every character, every costume, every prize,” which I’m guessing means every bit of previously downloadable content is included in the game and only held behind in-game challenges or milestones.
A rather bizarre game, Mittopia looks to be a cute, light-hearted RPG starring your own customisable Mii’s with a focus on maintaining your relationships with party members, coming out on May 21st. From the sound and the looks of it, I’d like very much wager co-op being a big feature.
Super Mario Items for Animal Crossing New Horizons
To celebrate Super Mario’s 35th Anniversary (along with a few other items and events not associated with Animal Crossing), themed items have been added to the island and life-building sim, Animal Crossing New Horizons.
The trailer showed off the plumber siblings’ iconic red and green outfits, Super and 1-Up Mushrooms, Coins, Question Mark Blocks, Power Stars, Koopa Shells, and Thwomps to name just a few things. Warp Pipes look to be the most useful addition, acting as fast travel points to get around your island. The free update is live right now, and all items should be available for purchase in the in-game Nook Shopping.
Project Triangle Strategy
Given a lot of screen time was another project from RPG specialists, Square Enix, however, is just a working title from what looks like an extremely in-depth tactical RPG. Conjuring memories of Fire Emblem, Octopath Traveler, and the little-known GBA title Tactics Ogre: Knights of Lodis, this could be another fantastic entry in Square’s already impressive archive of role-playing games. The game will be roughly 1.6 GB in the size.
Star Wars Hunters
Having a less than a 60-second trailer that seemed to possibly be in the Petranaki Arena on Geonosis, Star Wars Hunters will be a free-to-play, competitive online game set between Episodes VI and VII, and is being developed by Zynga, NaturalMotion Games, and Lucasfilm Games for a 2021 release.
This tongue-in-cheek title from EA looks like a city-wide game of dodgeball with heroes and characters with their own special abilities and map power-ups. Coming from EA Originals and Velan Studios, this interesting twist on the standard sports title lands on Nintendo Switch on May 21st.
Trio-centric, hero-based battle royale Apex Legends will hit Nintendo Switch players on March 9th and will have cross-play enabled. Switch gamers will have access to an exclusive skin for Pathfinder, plus 30 free ranks for the Season 8 Battle Pass. Apex Legends will also be running double XP for players on Switch for the first two weeks of the game’s launch, so it’s the perfect time to take your Apex Legends account to the next level.
World’s End Club
A mash-up of different genres, this mystery narrative features the Go-Getters Club as they seek to find out how Japan became deserted in their short absence. This suspenseful action platformer is available from May 28th.
Roguelike RPG Hades received its full release recently, much to fan and critical jubilation. The Direct announced that the game would get a physical release for Nintendo Switch on March 19th with some unique content like a PC download code for the soundtrack and a snazzy artbook compendium of all the game characters.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
Fans of insanely difficult games rejoice; Nintendo is giving you not just one but three Ninja Gaiden games for the Switch on June 10th. Master Collection will contain Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1 & 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, plus all previous DLC that was released for each game.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass
Offering just a short cinematic trailer and then a list of details, the epic battle game of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity had its Expansion Pass revealed.
The pass will give Link a new weapon and costume from May 28th; Wave 1 will have an “expanded roster,” new weapon types, Royal Ancient Lab challenges and enemies from June, and Wave 2 will feature new stages, another roster addition, new battle skills for all characters and character vignettes in November. The Expansion Pass will cost $19.99.
Bravely Default II
Available for purchase now, this epic turn-based RPG will quench the thirst of those with a deep love for Final Fantasy and similar games with a grandiose adventure at their heart. You can watch the trailer on Youtube or here.
Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins Resurrection
Available at this very moment, this tough cookie of a platformer has been redone to look gorgeous and now features a local co-op to make the game that much easier (hopefully). Sir Arthur now has supporting characters to help him that can build bridges, give him a protective shield, or allow him to hover.
SaGa Frontier Remastered
Another remaster from Square Enix, this multi-protagonist RPG set in a cyberpunk-Esque future, will be released on April 15th. This update has a completely new playable character, along with some new gameplay features.