Nintendo Direct Roundup: Splatoon 2, ARMS, and everything Switch
With the Switch released and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild buzz finally starting to die down, Nintendo put together a brand new Nintendo Direct to show us what new Switch and 3DS games will be releasing this year.
The stars of the show this time around were Splatoon 2 and Arms, though we also saw plenty of quick announcements for other Switch and 3DS titles as well. They called these announcements “speedruns.” Looks like they are getting ready for Summer Games Done Quick as well!
Nintendo 3DS Speedrun
Nintendo gave us a look at the newest Pikmin title, a 2D puzzle platformer on the Nintendo 3DS. Players will tap the screen to send Pikmin out to do tasks, form bridges, and otherwise assist Olimar in collecting Sparlium seeds and treasure. It’s kind of like Pikmin’s take on The Lemmings. Hey! Pikmin will launch on July 28. It will launch alongside a brand new Pikmin amiibo figurine.
Ever Oasis is the story of a young man named Tethu who must create a new down in the desert with the help of the water spirit Esna. You will forage for materials in dungeons to earn currency and build new shops and buildings around your oasis town. This new RPG will launch on June 23.
Monster Hunter Stories
It’s all the gritty Monster Hunter action you have come to know and love, in turn-based Pokemon style. As if Monster Hunter needed to be any more addictive. If you want to try out this new cutsey anime take on the Monster Hunter series, you will be able to do so sometime this fall.
Yokai Watch 2: Psychic Specters
Dubbed the “definitive version” of Yokai Watch 2, this version features new areas, more Yokai to collect, and an expanded multiplayer mode. It will be available for purchase this fall.
It’s a combination board game/card game/turn based strategy game, made by Nippon Ichi, the developers of Disgaea. In short, it will feature a ton of math and will take 500 hours to play, and you will love every second of it. It will be available in stores on August 29.
RPG Maker FES
If none of these games sound fun to you, consider making your own. RPG Maker FES allows you to make full RPG campaigns using the 3DS touch screen. Not only that, but your friends can download the RPG Maker Player in order to play your games even if they don’t own the creation suite themselves. It will also include special graphics packs themed around the Disgaea series. RPG Maker FES will be available on June 27.
Released last year in Japan, Miitopia is a combination of The Sims and a JRPG. Instead of controlling characters directly, you put characters together in an awkward living situation, and see them try to get along. If they like each other, they will assist each other on the field of battle. If they don’t, they might fight each other rather than the hulking demon you are trying to face. It’s worth it just to see all your friends dressed in JRPG costumes. The game will launch internationally this year.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo Direct without an update on Fire Emblem. It is now confirmed that Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will have numerous DLC chapters to play. You can either purchase them individually, as packs, or in bulk as one season pass.
Kirby’s 25th Anniversary
A number of new Kirby games will be hitting the Nintendo 3DS E-Shop. Originally mini-games in other larger Kirby titles, fighting game Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and 3D puzzle platformer Kirby’s Blowout Blast will both be available for purchase. Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is available now while Blowout Blast will be available this summer. In addition, a new multiplayer Kirby game will be available this holiday, but no further details were available.
Bye Bye Boxboy
The final game of the Boxboy puzzle trilogy is here. Bye Bye Boxboy is available on the eShop now, as is a demo for all three games if you never checked them out.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo revealed how the brand new online modes for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will work. In online race, you will choose 11 other players and randomly cycle through their tracks of choice for each race. In battle mode, you’ll switch between different game modes each game. You can also make custom friend rooms where you pick the rules. If that wasn’t enough, you can also create and run official Mario Kart tournaments offline and online.
Nintendo will be hosting two tournaments officially, one for race mode, and one for battle mode, though official prizes and rules have not yet been given. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will launch on April 28.
Ultra-Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
The only new info for this classic Street Fighter revival is the introduction of a new dramatic battle mode which lets you and a friend share a health bar and fight against a single opponent. In addition, special moves can be mapped to the touch screen for quick execution, which is sure to anger pros who will note that being able to throw a Sonic Boom or do a 360 without the required charge-up time is basically broken. The game will be available on May 26.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
We all know what Minecraft is, and this version isn’t that much different, except now it’s on the Nintendo Switch! You can play with eight players online or four players locally. In addition, the Super Mario Mashup Pack filled with blocks and textures specifically from the Mario universe will be releasing on the Switch. The game will launch on May 11 on the E-Shop.
A number of new Neo-Geo games will be coming to the Nintendo Switch E-Shop including Fatal Fury, Over Top, Blazing Star, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Samurai Showdown IV, The King of Fighters 99, Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors, and Shock Troopers 2nd Squad. Official release dates were not given, except for Samurai Showdown, which is available right now.
Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania
Both new Sonic titles will be coming to the Switch. Sonic Forces will hit this holiday period while Sonic Mania will be available this summer.
For puzzle addicts there is the new Project Mekuru. It’s a puzzle game completley themed around Mario’s butt stomp. Your goal is to pound enough tiles to make them change color, and control more of the board than any other player. Stomping certain tiles will give you power-ups, increasing your stomps range. So think of it like a combination Bomberman/Splatoon… with butts. It will release on Nintendo Switch this summer.
The latest action game in the Fate series is coming to the Nintendo Switch. It’s basically Dynasty Warriors but really, really, anime. Fate/Extella The Umbral Star will launch on July 25.
Disgaea 5 Complete
The award winning strategy RPG addiction will be coming to the Nintendo Switch with a ton of DLC pre-unlocked. It will be available May 23.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
The Puyo Pop/Tetris Crossover is just about here. The new trailer we got to see showed that you could play both games at once, and that Tetris will inherit a Puyo style “fever” mode. And when we say “the same time” we mean the same time. You’ll have to play one game while the other idles as pieces slowly fall. Can you handle two games at once! Now if only they could add Dr. Mario to the mix. Puyo Puyo Tetris will launch for the Switch in about two weeks. You can download a demo on the e-shop now.
Even Monopoly is coming to the Switch, this fall. It looks like it will bring a couple twists to the formula, but the coolest new innovation is the ability to use the Switch itself as the game board.
Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
Yet another classic platformer will be making its way to a new console, with new DLC and content, along with a brand new solo mode for the Kung-Foot experience. It will launch later this year.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Based on the popular Battle Chasers comic series, this dark RPG will feature Mario RPG style timed combat, a brilliant art style similar to a moving painting, and a unique cast of characters when it launches as a timed exclusive for the Nintendo Switch this summer.
And yes, the Switch even has hardcore games now. This heist based shooter will hit the Switch later this year.
Re-live the classic arcade days with games like Skykid, Tank Force, Splatterhouse, and of course Pac-Man when this collection comes out this summer on the e-shop.
Sine Mora EX
You want schmups! We got schmups! This new installment in the Sine Mora series will include a local co-op and versus mode. Take to the skies and dodge those bullets this summer!
Yet More Zelda Amiibos!
If there was any product that Nintendo was pushing in this direct, it was amiibos. Yet more Zelda amiibos will be released soon, featuring three new Links: Majora’s Mask Link, Skyward Sword Link, and Twilight Princess Link. They will be available June 23rd. `
And Even More Amiibos!
And if you are still playing Smash Bros. there are some new amiibos for you as well. Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta are all getting amiibo figures. Each will come in two styles. Cloud will have his FF7 and Advent Children costumes, Corrin will come in male and female variants, and Bayonetta will have her costume from Bayonetta 1 and Bayonetta 2.
Yellow Joy-Cons and Extended Joy-Con Batteries
If you are the type of person who needs some variety in their Joy Con colors, a new set of yellow Joy-Cons and Joy-Con Straps will be releasing on June 16. Both left and right yellow variants will be available.
Joy Con battery packs will also be released alongside these new Joy-Cons. They take two AA batteries and extend the Joy-Coin battery life, at the cost of making the backside of the Joy-Con bulkier. Official prices for the new yellow Joy-Cons and the Joy-Con battery pack has not yet been given.
You spoke and Nintendo listened. The Switch dock will now be sold as a standalone accessory. They will be made available on May 19. You can hook up two docks to two separate TVs so you can switch from TV to TV with ease.
The Splatoon Online Inkling Open
It looks like Nintendo was serious when their Switch trailer alluded to them investing in Splatoon e-sports. Hosted by Battlefy, the Splatoon Online Inking Open will give the best players in the world a chance to make a name for themselves. Open qualifiers will start on April 22, with Grand Finals being held on April 29. Unfortunately, there is no cash prize at stake, just a trip to E3. Register your team on Battlefy.com/splatoon.
We finally got a look at some of the inner workings of ARMS, Nintendo’s new Switch fighting game. First we got a look at the game’s core weapons. Each character will equip a weapon to their right arm and left arm, and each has different properties.
The glove is the standard weapon, and the one you have seen most in trailers and gameplay. It has no particular strengths and no particular weaknesses.
The multi-shot allows you to attack in three directions at once, though it sacrifices some range, maneuverability, and power. Think of it as a shotgun.
Curve-type arms are slow and aren’t very powerful, but their maneuverability is off the charts. You can easily curve these fists in multiple directions after punching, even curving behind your opponent’s head!
Heavy-type arms are slow and have very little curving capability but do the most damage of any weapon in the game. You usually won’t hit with these raw but if you cover their approach with another attack, you can usually find a setup which will get the damage in.
Dragon-type arms only travel a short distance, but fire a laser afterward right at the opponent’s position.
Finally, Whip-type arms have the longest reach of any other arms, making them perfect for playing a zoning game, though they lack in power as a result.
Arms also have their own unique elements which allows them to inflict status effects over the course of the battle.
Fire-type arms knock the opponent down, allowing you to create wake-up mixups.
Electric-type opponents shock the enemy temporarily, allowing you to set up combos.
Wind-type arms have the ability to push and pull the opponent around, changing their position.
Ice-type arms inflict a slowing status, making your opponents movements easier to predict and their attacks easier to dodge.
There are also explosion, stun, and blind elements, though those elements’ properties were not revealed in the rundown.
To unlock these arms you need to use the “get arms service.” This mode puts you in a series of mini-games which earn you currency, which can then be used to unlock new arms to equip. It’s a shame that these mini games give you rewards in the hundreds and thousands while you only seem to earn about four pieces of currency for a match. Hopefully this will be changed in the final build.
Finall,y there are the characters. Each character comes with a special ability and varying base stats.
Spring Man gains a power-up as well as an auto-charge ability when his health gets below 25% and can deflect attacks, similar to a Street Fighter parry.
Mechanica is a slow brawler that doesn’t flinch when she takes damage.
Ninjara can teleport and is the fastest moving character in the game.
Master Mummy is slow moving as well, and cannot be moved by other character’s abilities.
Ribbon Girl has special jumps that control her vertical movement.
And finally we have a new character, MinMin, who can turn perform kick attacks in addition to her standard punching.
The final revelation in this presentation was the unveiling of a brand new 2 on 2 team mode, allowing four players to fight in the right at once. Arms is scheduled for a release on June 16 this year.
Splatoon 2 – Salmon Run
Finally we got to see Splatoon 2’s unique take on a wave-based hoard mode, Salmon Run. In this co-op mode, a team of Inklings will defend against wave after wave of… Salmonids. These fish like creatures leave their own color of ink and goo in their wake, making any Inkling that steps on it slow down. By shooting these Salmonids, Inklings collect power-eggs, which they then need to return to a power-egg collection receptacle in the middle of the map. Each egg added raises a flag and if the flag can be raised before the Inklings get overwhelmed, they win.
The rules of death work a little differently in Salmon Run. When an Inkling dies, they turn into a lifesaver which can move very slowly around the map. If an allied Inkling shoots their ink at the life-saver, the friendly Inkling will re-spawn.
Apparently playing this mode will get you unique rewards, but Nintendo wasn’t ready to reveal them at this time.
That’s all we have for you this Nintendo Direct. You can watch the full event and all the individual trailers on Nintendo's YouTube channel. Stay tuned in the following weeks as we hear more about Nintendo’s summer titles.