Nintendo Switch fans were recently given a preview of things to come as the company put the spotlight on several upcoming titles for the console with its latest Nintendo Direct.
The 38-minute video presentation showcased a slew of game announcements that included a variety of exclusives as well as ports and new IP.
So what were some of the highlights?
A big new announcement was the inclusion of a new library of Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games for the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, featuring 20 classic SNES titles including, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts and Super Metroid, with more to be added in the future.
The Direct also showed a trailer for Blizzard’s hugely successful multiplayer phenomenon, Overwatch. A winner of over 100 Game of The Year awards, Overwatch is will be making its presence felt in the handheld arena when it comes to Switch on October 15 this year.
More was revealed for Trials of Mana, which launches on April 24 next year. The Direct shared that players choose one protagonist and two companions from six different characters, where the ones chosen decide which interwoven stories are followed through a reimagined world.
The Return of the Obra Dinn will be arriving on Switch in fall 2019. The game sees players take on the role of an insurance investigator from the East India Company and try to solve the mystery surrounding a trade ship that went missing in 1803 before reappearing four years later, with no sign of survivors.
Also shown was Little Town Hero, a new RPG from Game Freak, Inc in which players will control a boy named Axe and make use of a battle system that relies heavily on coming up with new ideas and strategies to defend a town from monsters when the game releases on October 16.
A Super Smash Bros. Ultimate segment saw the announcement of downloadable character Banjo-Kazooie’s immediate availability as well as the addition of Terry Bogard from classic fighting game series Fatal Fury, with a November 2019 release slated, while more DLC fighters are in development.
Moving on, the September 20 release date for the remake of beloved classic Gameboy title The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening draws ever nearer, and the Direct showcased the Switch exclusive’s all-new Chamber Dungeon feature, which allows players to place chambers earned on their adventure to arrange dungeons, which can then be transferred to amiibo characters from The Legend of Zelda series so that friends can play them.
Another impending release is that of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition on September 27. Considered the most complete version of the adventure, the game features options to change between HD and 2D graphics, visit past Dragon Quest worlds as well as new character-focussed stories. Announced in the Direct was free DLC that will be releasing the day the game launches in the form of The Champion’s Pack, which includes consumable items and appearance-changing equipment.
Also announced was Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, which sees the worlds of Fire Emblem and Atlus Games cross paths. With a story set in modern Tokyo, players will get to engage in turn-based combat against threats known as mirages when the game launches on January 17, 2020.
Sports fans were not left out during the Direct as more was shown for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which features over 20 events, including the 100m, karate, football, skateboarding, rugby sevens, sport climbing, badminton, gymnastics and surfing, to name a few. Additionally, the game features 10 retro-style events that use 2D style graphics. There are also mini-games, unlockable characters and a story mode for players to experience when the game comes out on November 5.
The next titles in the core Pokemon series – Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield – were also covered. The Direct focussed on some specific aspects of the game, specifically how players can customise their appearance as well as the Pokemon Camp feature, which players can access at any time during their journey and where they can play with their Pokemon, get to know them better and help them improve in battle. Fans of the series will get to jump into the new adventure when Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield release on November 15.
The highly anticipated Switch exclusive Animal Crossing: New Horizons is scheduled for release on March 20, 2020. The Direct focussed on a new feature where players can gather materials to craft items using a workbench, while also highlighting the game desert island setting, along with its various weather effects, activities and multiplayer options for up to four players together on one system and eight players online.
Another notable revelation was that Ubisoft will be releasing Assassins: Rebel Collection on December 6, 2019, compiling two action adventure games – Assassins Creed IV Black Flag and Assassins Creed Rogue – featuring all single-player DLC as well as new features such as touch control and motion aiming. Black Flag sees players take on the role of pirate Edward Kenway in the Caribbean in the 18th century, while Rogue is set during the Seven Years’ War and focusses on lead character Shay Patrick Cormac.
Some of the other titles shown in the Direct and set to arrive on the Switch in 2019 are: Devil May Cry 2 on September 19; GRID Autosport on September 19; Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch on September 20; Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast on September 24; Call of Ctulhu on October 8; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition on October 15; Vampyr on October 29; Luigi’s Mansion 3 on October 31; Just Dance 2020 on November 5; Doom 64 on November 22; and Farming Simulator 20 on December 3.
Also shown were games that are now available on Switch, including: third-person mech combat action game Daemon X Machina; the latest edition of 2K’s basketball franchise NBA 2K20; and critically acclaimed RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition; and Deadly Premonition Origins.
Some additional titles which will be releasing in 2020 are Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise and Hi-Rez Studios’ brand new title Rogue Company.
Online free-to-play RPG Dauntless will also be making its way to the Switch, as will sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds, though a specific release date has yet to be announced for either game to arrive on the handheld console.
The Direct’s conclusion came with a trailer announcing Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, showing some upgraded graphics and a release window of 2020. The popular RPG was originally released on the Wii in 2010 before coming out again on the 3DS in 2015.
Local gamer Hadi had this to say about this most recent direct, “It was not as good as the Nintendo Direct shown during E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in June, but this was still good.”
“I’m glad to see they’re finally bringing one of the most underrated gems and one of the best RPGs from the Wii-U to the Switch – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. It combines the best of Persona and Fire Emblem, both of which I am a big fan of.”
He said that other notable highlights for him include Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition as well as Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition. He added that the addition of the SNES library to Nintendo Switch Online is good for nostalgia-seekers.
The announcement of Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition was also a highlight for fellow gamer Brian. “Given how the switch is a home to a lot of Wii remasters, it’s nice to see that they’re coming out with this Xenoblade remaster,” he said.
He also shared his thoughts on the Direct as a whole, saying, “Based on my personal preferences I thought it was fantastic. It was well suited to my preferences, particularly in terms of JRPGs.”
A highlight for him was getting to see some of the new features in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. “It’s less of a town and more of a vacation ‘desert’ island. They’ve taken New Leaf and made it bigger.”
He noted, in particular, the addition of crafting. “It gives a degree of responsibility for what tools you have. It’s not just about going to a store to buy things, now you can just craft them yourself. This is definitely a welcome addition.”
He also pointed out the addition of SNES games for the Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
“I thought it was really smart on their part to do that since it’s almost a year since they announced it. What this does is gives people who are already subscribed and are about to end their one-year subscription a reason to come back, and this might just provide more incentive to subscribe, particularly the allure of the classic SNES titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Mario World.”