Everything we learned from March 2018’s Nintendo Direct
Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct packed a lot of information into a brief 30-minute video. The biggest announcement was saved for the end, but we won’t make you wait. Super Smash Brothers is coming out for the Nintendo Switch later this year, and it’ll feature Inklings, the protagonists of Splatoon, as new fighters. It looks as though they’ll be able to use their squirt guns and paint grenades in battle, and both a female and male Inkling were shown.
We’re not sure if this is an enhanced port of Smash Bros. for Wii U similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or if there might be some additional changes to the lineup. No other information was revealed, but we’ll definitely be watching this story closely.
The 3DS is near the end of its life, but Nintendo is still supporting the venerable handheld with several new games and remakes of older ones. It looks like 3DS owners will have plenty to keep them occupied for the next few months.
WarioWare Gold is sort of a greatest hits from the Wario series of tiny, four-second “microgames”. The new title will feature more than 300 microgames, with a wide variety of inputs. Games were shown using buttons, the touchscreen, the built-in microphone, and tilt controls, and the announcer mentioned part of the challenge will be to figure out what input to use. Both classic microgames and new additions will be included when WarioWare Gold launches on August 3.
Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers is the first full release for the armadillo sheriff of Dillion’s Rolling Western. The character has appeared in two other 3DS games, but both are downloadable titles available exclusively through Nintendo’s eShop. Dead Heat Breakers is a hybrid game combining action with tower defense, and allows an “animalized” version of your mii character to join the battle. A demo will be available on May 10, and the full game releases May 24.
Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey is a remake of the 2009 DS role-playing game, with an additional story featuring Bowser Junior. This side story looks similar to the one added to the remake of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga last year. Bowser’s Inside Story will release in 2019.
Detective Pikachu features a deerstalker wearing, coffee swilling, gruff sounding Pikachu as the main character. Unfortunately, he’s not voiced by Danny DeVito, but he is getting his own giant amiibo. The game can be pre-purchased now via Nintendo’s eShop and will be available March 23, while the amiibo comes out the same day.
Luigi’s Mansion has been remastered for the 3DS, and will come out sometime this year. This GameCube launch title was originally intended as a 3D game, and its antecedent Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon must have been a success for its predecessor to get the remake treatment. In addition to 3D graphics, the remaster will add a new Boss Rush mode. No idea if Luigi will still use a GameBoy Horror to contact Professor E. Gad.
The Switch has been a runaway success for Nintendo, and third parties are starting to support the hybrid console in earnest. There are plenty of new games and ports of old favorites coming up over the next few months.
Kirby Star Allies comes out next week, and allows four players to team up and play through the adventure together. Kirby can be joined by allies and enemies from several of his past adventures as “Dream Friends,” including King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee. More characters will be added after launch as free DLC including. Rick, Kine, and Coo from Kirby’s Dream Land 2, Marx from Kirby Super Star, and Gooey from Kirby’s Dream Land 3. The game will launch March 16, and the first update will be released on March 28. A demo is now available in the Switch eShop.
Okami HD was released on PS4, Xbox One and PC late last year, and Capcom is bringing the prettified version of Clover’s PS2 classic to the Switch this summer. Players will be able to use the touchscreen to paint in handheld mode, or utilize the joy-cons for motion-controlled painting when the console is docked.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido will release on both Switch and 3DS on June 8. The cartoony game combines an anime storyline with a conveyor belt puzzle game, and features competitive online multiplayer.
Square Enix showed a little more of Octopath Traveler, the intriguing looking 2D/3D hybrid RPG. One of the game’s developers, Masashi Takahashi, introduced two new characters and spoke a little about how fan feedback is helping to shape the game. Tressa the Merchant has the special ability Purchase which allows her to buy items from townspeople she encounters. Meanwhile, Alfyn the Apothecary wants to heal the suffering, and can use Inquire to learn information other characters aren’t privy to. The game finally got a release date, and will be coming out on July 13. A special edition with a pop-up book, map, soundtrack CD, and replica coin based on in-game currency will also be available at launch. A demo is available now on the Switch’s eShop.
It looks like Grasshopper Manufacture is switching up the gameplay for Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. Instead of slashing with his beam katana using motion controls, it looks like gameplay will be based on classic games, and takes a top down perspective rather than the third-person view shared by the Wii titles. The game will feature co-op multiplayer and an “adventure mode” that takes the form of a text adventure. Travis Strikes Again will be a Switch exclusive when it launches later this year.
Dark Souls: Remastered will be the first title in the series available on a portable platform, and there will be a network test soon to make sure the multiplayer functions work before the game launches on May 25. A Solaire Amiibo was also shown, which will unlock the “praise the sun” emote for your character when tapped to the console.
There was lots of information about Mario Tennis Aces, the newest addition to the Mario sports franchise. More than 15 playable characters are unlocked from the start, and up to four players can play simultaneously in doubles multiplayer. Some of the new mechanics include the Zone Shot, which lets you pinpoint your ball placement using motion controls, and can damage an opponent’s racquet. Zone Shot slows down time for a moment, and is tied to a gauge in the upper right corner of the screen. You can also use this gauge to perform a Special Shot, but this costs more of the meter. You can build this gauge by performing trick shots, risky recovery moves that let your character move faster but less precisely. Both Zone and Special shots can be returned with perfect timing to nullify their effect.
If this sounds a little too complicated, there’s also a simple mode which only allows basic shots, and an optional motion controlled mode similar to tennis in Wii Sports. The game will release on June 22, and a special pre-launch online tournament will precede the launch as a demo. Details are forthcoming about this demo, but we do know that participating in online tournaments will unlock special characters and outfits in the main game.
One of the Wii U’s best exclusives is heading to the Switch and 3DS. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker will add some levels inspired by Super Mario Odyssey and allow a second player to assist when it hits the Switch on July 13. A 3DS version was also announced, but no date for this version was given.
Indie darling Undertale will be coming to the Switch… eventually. No other information was provided at this time.
Another big surprise of the direct was that Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will be released on the Switch. The bandicoot served as Sony’s mascot for years, and famously taunted Nintendo in a series of commercials when Crash Bandicoot first released on the PlayStation. Crash will make his debut on a Nintendo platform when the N. Sane Trilogy releases for Switch on July 10.
Indie game Little Nightmares released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One last April, and it’s coming to Switch soon from Tarzier studios and Bandai Namco. The Switch version includes all previously released DLC for both characters and includes an option to unlock a “paku mask” outfit if you have the Pac-man Amiibo.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is coming to the Switch April 24, and all three DLC packs will be available separately or as part of a season pass.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition combines all the characters, options and other DLC from the Wii U and 3DS versions of Hyrule Warriors, the musou game based on the Legend of Zelda franchise. The Switch version will release on May 18.
Last year’s arena fighting game ARMS is still going strong, and an online tournament for US and Canadian ARMS players will take place March 8 through 18. The finals will take place on March 31, and eight finalists will receive custom artwork created by the development team. Additionally, an online demo for those who haven’t bought ARMS will be available March 31 through April 2.
Though it wasn’t called out anywhere, it’s worth pointing out that the ARMS trailer’s disclaimers mentioned that Nintendo’s paid online service will begin in September 2018. We still don’t know what will be included or how much it will cost, so look for more information about that in a future Direct.
Splatoon 2 is getting some huge updates for version 3.0 in late April. Over 100 new clothing options will be made available in the shops, and three new stages were shown off (Piranha Pit, Camp Triggerfish, and Wahoo World, an inkling amusement park). Multiplayer veterans will be able to work their way to Rank X, a new elite level beyond S+. What’s more, Callie will appear in single player when certain conditions are met, and there’s a brand-new single player campaign coming.
The trailer for the upcoming DLC shows an Octoling girl (Agent 8) walking through a subway, past many characters we’ve never seen before. The Octo expansion will cost $19.99 and features 80 single-player levels. Completing the single player campaign will allow players to customize their squid kids as Octolings in multiplayer. Preordering from Nintendo allows select Octoling gear to be equipped in multiplayer matches right away.
Traditionally, Octolings and Inklings haven’t gotten along too well in the Splatoon universe, so it’ll be interesting to see the world from their perspective. Maybe they’ll show up as alternate costumes in Smash Bros!
As you can see, there was a lot to cover, and Nintendo fans have a lot to look forward to over the next few months. We here at GameCrate are especially excited to see Super Smash Brothers hitting the Switch, but there’s plenty of games to anticipate no matter what genre you’re into.