And that’s it guys, after months of speculation, months of trolling, months of “Animal Crossing/Smash/Netflix/Mother 3 or you’re dead” statements, we’re done. The Direct is finally here. In this article, I’m gonna go through the most of the announcements, and what I thought of them. So, before we get to the meat of the article, time for the obligatory history lesson.
The “Hype Train”:
It all began in November 2017, when a Reddit user leaked what was supposedly Electronic Art’s (EA’s) marketing plans for the game, Fe. The image contained a timeline that alluded to an upcoming Nintendo Direct occurring in January. Nintendo fans went absolutely nuts over this, including myself. Why were we so excited? The Switch Presentation that Nintendo held in 2017 was packed full of surprises, Super Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem Warriors, Splatoon 2, ARMS, (which was exciting at the time, a new IP, by Nintendo may I add), third-party support was looking strong, Skyrim for Switch was formally discussed and, to top it all off, a cinematic trailer for the highly-anticipated Breath of the Wild. That’s a big line-up, no wonder Nintendo fans were craving another January Direct akin to 2017’s.
Things get crazy from here on out,so buckle up! Nintendo fans speculated that Nintendo would hold their first Direct of the year on the second Thursday of the month. What date is that? January 11th. This statement was later backed up by John Harker, who claimed he works within the videogame industry, he claimed that he’d heard Nintendo had plans for that date.
A few days before the aforementioned “sacred date”, Nintendo fans were in a state of worry. It was a few days before the alleged Nintendo Direct and there was no news, no announcement. Nintendo fans were starting to doubt all the leaks, all the stats, but then, something happened, something….weird.
Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That is, the cult classic titular videogame character, Chibi-Robo, on fire. Nintendo of America tweeted this on January 10th, one day before the alleged Direct and fans went, mental! What is this? No seriously, what is this?! I still don’t know what this is! It came out of nowhere! Funnily enough, the cult classic videogame character started a cult because soon after the inception of the tweet, people gave up on looking for answers and started burning Chibi-Robo amiibo. No joke.
Then, the Direct was released, finally. I wasn’t actually too caught up in the later hype so I wasn’t too disappointed with this Direct. It was, cool, I guess.
In this segment I’ll be going through (most) of the announcements and what I thought of them!
The World Ends With You: Final Remix
The World Ends With You is a game that I’ve never picked up for whatever reason. I’m a big fan of both JRPGs and rhythm games, I love Square Enix (Kingdom Hearts 2 is among my favourite games) and back in 2015, I played through the notable titles within the original DS’s backlog. Everything adds up but…I never picked it up. Honestly, I don’t know why. I was too busy replaying Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (for whatever reason), Pokémon Black and Super Mario 64 DS. Anyways, I’m stoked for this game and I’m gonna pick it up…..potentially….too many games, little money. (Please, give me review copies!)
Pokken Tournament DX’s New Fighters
My experience with Pokken Tournament is, funnily enough, akin to my experience with The World Ends With You. When the first trailer for the original Pokken on the Wii U was released, I was certain that this was a game that I was going to pick up!…..Then I exclusively played Mario Maker until I got my Switch. I didn’t pick up Pokken Tournament DX on the Switch for other reasons though, I didn’t want to spend the money since Odyssey was only a month away. I may pick up Pokken this year, I don’t know.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Moving on now to Hyrule Warriors, I played the Wii U version briefly at a friend’s house and I loved it! I fell in love with the game for the same reason that I fell in love with the Smash franchise, the fluid movement, the pure joy and, of course, seeing all these beloved characters in one place. Honestly, I was really surprised that this is getting ported. It was already ported to 3DS and Fire Emblem Warriors already came out on the Switch. I’m super excited for this title though and I’m definitely considering it!
Mario Tennis: Aces
Now this, this was the biggest surprise for me, this was my favourite announcement. I’ve never really delved into the Mario Tennis franchise before but this one has me sold. Story mode, that’s the reason. Apparently, the last Mario Tennis game to have a story was Mario Tennis: Power Tour on the Game Boy Advance so this is a pretty big deal. The art style looks amazing and, I’m excited to see what characters may be included in the game; Pauline, Cappy, Toadsworth and heck, maybe even Fawful. This is a definite purchase from me!
Super Mario Odyssey’s Free Update
After my playthrough of Super Mario Odyssey back in October, I figured that extra content was inevitable. What I didn’t expect was that the extra content would be free! This new update includes a few new outfits, a few new filters and a new mini-game hosted by, the man, the myth, the legend, Luigi! That’s right, Luigi is going to be in the game. Luigi is finally in a sandbox Mario game! To be honest though, the new minigame doesn’t interest me much. Don’t get me wrong, it looks fun but I don’t think it’ll hold my attention much.
Donkey Kong in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle!
This has gotten me interested in Mario + Rabbids. If you’re unaware, Donkey Kong is one of my favourite Nintendo characters (second to Diddy Kong.) I’ve also heard that Mario + Rabbids is a great entry point into the tactical RPG genre. Besides that, nothing else for me to say about this announcement.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Everyone’s favourite kooky set of apes are making their debut on Nintendo Switch! The original on the Wii U was probably one of my favourite platformers of this decade and now you can play it on-the-go! Holy moley, I’m freaking out! That’s not all though, Funky Kong is now a playable character! I’m definitely picking up this game, even though I already have it for Wii U! It’s that good!
Dark Souls Remastered
Well, it’s kind of become a joke within the games journalism community, a joke that’s been done to death but I’m gonna say it anyway, “The Nintendo Switch is the Dark Souls of consoles.” All these hardcore games coming to the Switch, L.A. Noire, PAYDAY 2, Skyrim and even frickin’ Dark Souls itself. The Nintendo Switch truly is the best Nintendo console for third-parties and developers aren’t holding back!
To conclude, this Direct wasn’t the best but there were a few solid titles that I’m excited for, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and Mario Tennis: Aces have particularly caught my eye. A bit disappointed they didn’t mention the online service or the Virtual Console, I mean, we’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. Wait? What’s that? Every Direct Mini has been followed by another Direct within 20 days? Let’s hop back on-board the hype train! CHOO CHOO! Super Mario Maker, Mother 3, F-Zero, here I come! CHOO CHOO!