After many rumors and lots of speculation, we got our first Nintendo Direct of the year this week. It wasn’t too hard to guess that there would be one, there’s almost always one in either January or February. And sure enough, we got one. Was it any good? You probably already know this, but yes, it was very good. Let’s talk about it.
As usual, I’m not going to go over every single announcement that was made, I just want to talk about the ones that left an impact on me and the presentation itself. At this point, Nintendo Directs have become very formulaic. That’s not a bad thing, but just about every general Direct has the same setup now. One host on a green screen presenting headlines. But it works. It’s a fast and efficient way to get through all the info. I do miss the old days when we’d get weird skits from various Nintendo executives, but it’s hard to argue with a style that works tis well.
The show opened with a new trailer for Pikmin 4. I love Pikmin, so of course I was very excited. Although the game itself was announced at the previous Direct, we didn’t really get to see the game in action. This time, we got to see a lot. The game has a new ground level perspective, which while it seems to make what you can see a little more restrictive than previous titles, really helps convey the scale of the world. As always, you’re very, very little and are exploring what is at least implied to be a post-apocalyptic Earth.
You’ll find and command little creatures called Pikmin to take out enemies and collect items. The game appears to follow closer to the structure of Pikimin 2 then 1 and 3. In 2, you weren’t stranded on a planet, you were there to collect treasure, and sure enough, in this trailer we see them collect a pair of binoculars, which is referred to as a treasure when brought to our ship. It also seemed to show a return of Pikmin 2’s caves, which were basically a series of dungeons. But of course, there’s new things too. The most prominent of those shown was a new Ice Pikmin, that can freeze enemies and water, and a weird dog like creature that can break down large structures and transport you and your Pikmin. This all looks great and I cannot wait to play it in July.
After a very long delay, I was fully expecting Advance Wars 1+2 Reboot Camp to be reintroduced and released during the Direct. It did get a new trailer, after being not talked about at all for over a year, which was great to see. However, it’s still not out, but it will be in April. Advance Wars is a great dormant Nintendo series, and I’m so excited to see it back on the Switch.
Remember when Metroid Prime 4 was announced in 2017? Well, we still don’t have anything new on it, but we did get an announcement of the long rumored remastered version of the original Metroid Prime. It’s literally called Metroid Prime Remastered, but it looks like it’s been rebuilt with brand new models. At least based on the trailer, it looks like a modern game, and apparently they’ve included a new, modern control scheme too, although they allow you to use the original scheme if you’d rather. Not only did the game get announced, but the digital version is already available to buy. I can’t wait to play it, but I’m forcing myself to wait a couple weeks for the physical release. I just like having games on my shelf, okay?
A few games had new DLC shown off. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 showed it’s next two waves of DLC, one being a new hero, and the other being a new story campaign. It would take a very long time to describe all the Xenoblade lore for why the brief bit they showed of the new campaign was so exciting, but it was very exciting. Fire Emblem Engage’s next few waves of DLC were revealed. It’s a few new Emblems and some new story content. I haven’t finished the main game yet, so I don’t know how big of a deal the story bits that were shown are. Splatoon 3 also revealed their expansion pass. It has two waves, the first of which I wasn’t very impressed with. It’s basically a skin for the main lobby, turning it into Inkopolis from the first game. But the second one is a new story campaign, which is extremely exciting. I love Splatoon’s single player stuff, and 3’s is the best they’ve ever done, so yes, I would like more.
Of course, with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releasing in May, it makes sense to end the show with a new trailer for it. It still didn’t show a whole ton of the game and what makes it stand out from the previous one. But we saw new weapons, some new enemies, and some new vehicles. I saw some people speculating that you’d be able to build the vehicles, kind of like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. I hope that’s true, that sounds really fun, but I didn’t see anything in the trailer that really implied that. I definitely would have liked to see more, but the game is out so soon, so keeping it mysterious isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
On top of all this stuff, there were also plenty of smaller announcements that were also very exciting. Kirby: Return to Dreamland Deluxe features a new epilogue. There’s a new Professor Layton coming out. Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games are available now for Nintendo Switch Online members. An enhanced port of We Love Katamari is coming. All very good stuff.
This was an excellent Nintendo Direct. I feel like I’m usually more positive about them than other people I see online, but I think people will have a very hard time being disappointed by this one. There’s been some questions about how good of a year the Switch is going to have, but after this, I’m very confident that this is going to be a great one.