Nearly a year after the Nintendo Direct that officially announced all the details about the Nintendo Switch came more great news for owners of Nintendo’s newest major console release (I say major because they keep re-releasing the 3DS and 2DS). The first half of 2018 is shaping up to be, well, decent. Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo is my favorite gaming-related company, and I’ve owned all of the consoles since the GameBoy Advance. But I think my love and high expectations for Nintendo lately is the reason why I feel like the Direct Mini was mediocre.
Let’s start with some of my favorite highlights we can expect for 2018:
The World Ends With You: Final Remix
The World Ends With You: Final Remix, an action-RPG developed by Square Enix that originally came out on the DS in 2008, is making an appearance sometime this year, and this seems to be a pretty big hit according to posts from social media. I love the comic book art style that the game has as well as an interesting combat system. Having never played the original I would be going into it fresh, but I’m thinking I might pick this up if it comes out in the $30-40 price range. Again, based on what I’m seeing on the web, things are looking pretty good for the success of this game.
Dragon Quest Builders
Oh boy, Dragon Quest Builders, and a second Square Enix release mentioned in this Direct. What can I say? This game is what I wanted Minecraft to be. I remember seeing a trailer for it in 2016 and thinking “if this game is even close to what the trailer depicts, then I’m buying it.” I will say that I didn’t buy it day one, but got it as a holiday gift. I came home after visiting family, put the disc into the PS4, and sunk 9 hours into it in one sitting. I don’t know what it is about this concoction that is an RPG mixed with Minecraft survival mode mixed with tower defense, but it was my game of the year for 2016 because it consumed 50 hours of my time in one week and I cherish every minute of it. The character art, the resource gathering, the chapter system that puts you in a new terrain with a fresh start, just everything about it amazed me and scratched the itch that Minecraft gave me.
So that’s my tangent review that you didn’t ask for, and the real news is that the demo came out yesterday on Switch! This game is going portable and I couldn’t be more excited. I think out of all of the announcements from this Direct I would say this was a very friendly reminder that the game comes out so soon on February 9th. I’m picking this up as soon as possible.
Mario Tennis Aces
This is one was out of nowhere. I mean, I guess it makes sense that we need a Mario sports title eventually, right? Mario Tennis Aces for the Switch will be what we can assume is the beginning of Mario sports games that will come to the console. One of the highlights Nintendo mentioned that increased my interest was that it will have a story mode, something we haven’t seen since Mario Tennis: Power Tour on the GBA. This means travelling to different worlds and completing mini-games and skill-based objectives to move forward in the game. I would think this would be how the player can unlock more characters, different skills or rackets, etc. Mario Tennis Aces seems like it will be a good start for our favorite plumber’s sports games but for me, it’s a rental. For someone like me who is big into single-player games the biggest draw is the story mode and maybe some quick matches or a couple tournaments. Nevertheless, we’ll see this game available for purchase this spring.
Super Mario Odyssey Update: Luigi’s Balloon World
An update for one of Nintendo’s best games of 2017 is coming this February, and that game is (drum roll) Super Mario Odyssey! This update will be free and will add what appears to be what I would say is a treasure hunt mini-game that requires players to hide a balloon and see who can keep their balloon hidden the longest. This is (or has?) an online feature, so you’ll be hunting and hiding balloons with people around the world. I think this is a pretty creative idea, but I personally didn’t find it too thrilling and tuned out after they started explaining the leaderboard features. I’m sure it’ll do well for the first month or so but then die down quite a bit.
Dark Souls: Remastered
I know I’m probably singing with the choir on this one, but these games are the hardest and most frustrating games I’ve ever played, and I’ve played QWOP. I don’t know if we really need this, but I guess Nintendo, Bandai Namco, and the hardcore fans decided we want this. I get that the series is popular for that reason, but I’ll save my money and my GameFly queue space on this one. We can expect this on store shelves May 25th.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
One of the Wii U’s strongest titles is coming our way onto the Switch on May 4th. What I got from this announcement was that players can surf on land now. Neat…
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Another great title from the Wii U & 3DS that I put some time into will at your nearest retailer this spring, and will come with all of the DLC available as well as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild outfits for Link & Zelda.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle DLC
Sometime this spring we can expect DLC to come to the eShop for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle that will add the classic Nintendo character Donkey Kong as a playable ally. While Ubisoft hasn’t set a price, those with the season pass for Mario + Rabbids will get the update for free.
Kirby Star Allies
The beloved pink puff is finally making way to the Switch on March 16th, which will introduce friend fusion mechanic thingies, and 4-player multiplayer. It reminds me of what Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes on the 3DS could have been.
The Short and Sweet. TL;DR, If You Will
I know that there’s a lot more announced in the 15-minute Direct on Thursday but like I said: I wasn’t all that impressed, but there were definitely some surprises that Nintendo fans have to look forward to for this year. I am confident that they have more up their sleeve that they’re saving for later in the year, perhaps the Treehouse during E3, that’ll really knock our socks off.