The Nintendo Direct for April 12th mostly covered new additions to “ARMS” and “Splatoon 2”. Nevertheless, a good couple of chunks before the Direct and between the two main show casings they filled the video with Headlines for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch.
Starting with Nintendo 3DS news we begin with “Hey! Pikmin” (July 28), which just covers the basis of it gameplay (a 2D platforming with Pikmin to solve stage puzzles). On its release date there will also be a Pikmin Amiibo (with more news on Amiibo functionality on the way). Next we have “Ever Oasis” (June 23), a game where you help the water spirit Esna protect and grow the last oasis. This story is about showing kindness and sharing touching moments and with cute character designs like this it’s bound to be adorable, though Koichi Ishii (Director) could have looked more enthusiastic.
“Monster Hunter Stories” (Fall 2017), the “Monster Hunter” spinoff for the 3DS, features the idea of riding around on monsters from the series is actually a good change-up from the hunting formula, but the whole “Pokémon” aspect of it (turn based battles with a team of monsters) is something you wouldn’t expect from a series that was focused on action RPG elements. Speaking of “Pokémon” similarities “Yo-kai Watch 2” will get its own special third version: “Psychic Specters” (Fall 2017). This definitive version will offer new quests, the ability to befriend wicked Yo-kai, a resort location via the Hexpress, and an expansion of the multiplayer action mode “Yo-Kai Watch Blasters”.
“Culdcept”, a board/TCG game series, will be hitting its 20th anniversary this year and the game “Culdcept Revolt” (August 29) will be hitting the Nintendo 3DS to celebrate. There have been many digital board games such as “Mario Party” and “Fortune Street” but having MTG style battles into the fray sounds fun. For aspiring game developers looking for tools to work with the “RPG Maker” franchise will be available on the go with “RPG Maker Fes” (June 27). A free app called “RPG Maker Player” will allow anyone to play RPGs made in “Fes” so you can play anyone’s game without buying the full version.
The news of “Miitopia” (2017) has been spreading around and now it pops up on this Direct. You send out Miis to return the faces that were stolen by the Dark Lord (who could be your least favorite friend). It’s like a mix between JRPGs and Find Mii, with a bit of personality quirks from “Soul Hackers” and “Darkest Dungeon” (egos will clash). More news has on “Fire Emblem Echoes” (May 19) has also appeared on this Direct, but it’s only the DLC plans. It’s the same model as before: some freebies, others paid, you can buy individually, in packs, or with a season pass.
Kirby is turning 25 this year and he’s coming out with a few games this year. “Team Kirby Clash Deluxe” is now available (via 3DS eShop) and it follows the Free-to-Start model, which is essentially the whole rechargeable stamina and purchasable currency as seen in “Pokemon Shuffle” and “Fire Emblem: Heroes”. It is a fun little app for solo and local multiplayer, though the Internet adventurer download seems to be down as of writing. “Kirby Blowout Blast” (Summer 2017) has Kirby go from suck to blow as in this title he uses his Air Gun technique to blow away groups of enemies. And finally there’s a multiplayer Kirby game coming around the Holiday season this year. Happy birthday, you pink menace.
The last game of the “Box Boy” trilogy, “Bye-Bye Box Boy!”, has just been released on the Nintendo eShop. If you’re still unsure about getting it or the previous titles there is the Box Boy series demo, which contains demos for all three games. That’s one way to get an audience into a series. The last headline from under the Nintendo 3DS news ends with more Amiibos: new “The Legend of Zelda” Amiibos will be released on June 23 and the final “Smash Bros.” figures featuring Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta will be out on July 21 with two different variations for each.
“ARMS” (June 16) will feature different attributes of ARMS (the gloves and limbs of the fighters) aside from class types, which you can mix and match. The Direct also announces a new character, MinMin: the Ramen Bomber. She can deflect attacks by kicking and can turn her left ARM into a dragon that fires lasers. The segment ends with a one on one match with the new character and Spring Man (which personally got me interested) and the recently announced Two on Two Mode. Along with the game new neon Joy-Cons and straps will be available, along with a battery pack to extend game time. Not too crazy about another set of Joy-Cons up for grabs but I think the battery packs will be useful, more or less.
“Splatoon 2” (July 21) will also feature a new game mode called Salmon Run. Throughout the mode Inklings take on a freelance job to harvest Power Eggs by defeating Salmonids. Doing this co-op odd job will benefit you with some fresh rewards. There will also be new Amiibos for Inkling Girl, Boy, and Inkling Squid. Reading one of them will let them become your friend, allowing you to having them store your equipment when you’re away from your Nintendo Switch. They may even give you a gift from time to time, which makes them nice Squids (that are willing to be mules).
The rest of the Direct is on Nintendo Switch news. “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” (April 28) will feature a new Battle Mode (Renegade Roundup), new courses and battle arenas, and more Nintendo characters to make it fresh. “Ultra Street Fighter II” will be released May 26 and can be played on either HD or retro. They’ve also added Evil Ryu and Ken Violent (honestly doesn’t sound exciting), Way of the Hadou Mode where you can spam Hadouken in first person, and Two Player Co-op where two fighters share one health bar and gang up on the CPU. They’ve also brought Touchscreen Super Moves from “SFIV: 3D Edition” to the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode but I have a feeling this is going to feel awkward to play.
“Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition” (May 11 via eShop, physical at a later date) will be coming onto the system with the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack, which contains skins and maps based on the Super Mario Universe. Neo Geo Games will be heading to Nintendo Switch this year starting with “Samurai Showdown IV” (available now). From the look of things they got the screen ratio accurate. Sonic is coming back with style in “Sonic Forces” (Winter 2017), which looks like a call back to “Sonic Generations” with a new ally (there should a trope name for every time SEGA has a new Sonic character), and “Sonic Mania” (Summer 2017), a game that goes back to Sonic’s Genesis roots.
“Project Mekuru” (Summer 2017) looks like it shares some similarities with “Bomberman” but with a twist; instead of blowing players up you turn panels to your color while flipping the opponents off the stage. This four player game (local and online) can be found on the Nintendo Switch eShop. “Fate / EXTELLA: The Umbral Star” (July 25) will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, featuring characters from the “Fate” series. Seems like Nintendo took an interest in titles “Dynasty Warriors” gameplay.
All Hell is going to break loose with “Disgaea 5 Complete” (May 23) when it’s released on the console. Guiding the Overlord Princess Seraphina and Demonic Wanderer Killia you’ll encounter several iconic characters, including Laharl and the gang from “Hour of Darkness”. At the moment the demo of “Puyo Puyo Tetris” (April 25) is on the Nintendo eShop. This is a very strange combination of puzzle games, especially since you can play one while opponents can play the other. “Monopoly” (Fall 2017) will be hitting the Nintendo Switch with TV and handheld modes in mind (I guess Hasbro is trying to corner the virtual board game market). The game will also be compatible with HD Rumble to simulate dice rolling (now if only we can get Wizards of the Coast on this action with a “D&D” Switch title).
“Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition” (2017) will contain “Rayman Legends” as well as new content exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. There will also be an option to connect two systems for local co-op. THQ Nordic will publish “Sine Mora EX” (a game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality) this summer and will feature a main campaign, local co-op, and versus. They will also be publishing “Battle Chasers: Nightwar” (Summer 2017), a game inspired by classic RPGs and based on the “Battle Chasers” comic series.
Probably the most surprising headline (mostly because it was unexpected) from Nintendo Switch news was the port of “Payday 2” (2017) heading to the system. You and three other players will go on heist, get bigger jobs, and upgrade your gear with the money you robbed from the banks. Who needs to print money when you can crack a safe and score some clams? “NAMCO Museum” (Summer 2017) will be released once more, this time on the Nintendo Switch. I’m sure many of you have a copy but then these games are a part of history, and it looks like each installment of the Museum series has different games so it would be worth it for retro lovers. And finally there’s the announcement of releasing individual Nintendo Switch docks (limit quantity) starting May 19, for those who have multiple HDMI compatible TVs.
In conclusion the Nintendo Direct for April 12 was alright. The segments for “ARMS” and “Splatoon 2” were entertaining (even a bit campy) while showing off the new features in details. The headlines were okay for the most part, giving attention to some games such as “Culdcept Revolt” some recognition to an audience that may have not known their existence. I’ve felt that, however, a good number of them didn’t have much to offer to be considered for headlines. They could have been trailers of gameplay to show off what’s developed and slapped a release date at the end. Personally I believe the headline for “Fire Emblem Echoes”’s DLC was unnecessary with description of the upcoming content was too vague to have any interest invested with upcoming content, let alone a season pass.
But what do you people think? Did the headlines do anything for you? Excited for ARMS or up in arms? Please leave a comment in the Disqus section and let us know your thoughts.
The games shown at Nintendo Direct 4.12.2017:
0:41 – Hey! Pikmin
1:33 – Ever Oasis
2:31 – Monster Hunter Stories
3:12 – YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters
4:00 – Culdcept Revolt
4:23 – RPG Maker Fes
5:03 – Miitopia
6:06 – Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
6:46 – Team Kirby Clash Deluxe
7:23 – Kirby’s Blowout Blast
8:06 – BYE-BYE BOXBOY!
9:18 – The Legend of Zelda amiibo
9:27 – Super Smash Bros. amiibo
9:44 – ARMS
17:07 – New Joy-Con Color & Battery Pack
17:30 – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
18:38 – Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers!
19:39 – Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
20:40 – NEOGEO Arcade Archives
20:56 – Sonic Forces
21:39 – Sonic Mania
21:58 – Project Mekuru
22:37 – Fate/Extella
23:05 – Disgaea 5 Complete
23:38 – Puyo Puyo Tetris
24:45 – Monopoly
25:16 – Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
25:53 – Sine Mora EX
26:21 – Battle Chasers: Nightwar
26:44 – Payday 2
27:16 – NAMCO MUSEUM
27:56 – Standalone Nintendo Switch Dock Info
28:18 – Splatoon US Inkling Open
28:50 – Splatoon 2
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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