On April 12th, Nintendo made numerous announcements regarding upcoming titles for the Nintendo Switch in their Nintendo Direct online broadcast. For those of you who may have missed the broadcast, here are the biggest takeaways:
The Broadcast started off with a reintroduction of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, an enhanced port of the 2014 Wii U game, Mario Kart 8. The Switch port adds a slew of new features, including new characters and vehicles, the return of double items, but most substantially, a traditional battle mode which didn’t appear in the original game. The battle mode seems to provide many different gameplay options for players, and the game will support online play in much the same way the Wii U version did. Nintendo will let us know more about the game closer to its release on April 28th.
In terms of hardware news, consumers will soon be able to purchase extra docks for their Switch console starting May 19th; a second dock would allow for the console to…switch… between different televisions without having to unplug anything, however, there was no word on the fact that the Switch docks have the capacity to inadvertently scratch the screens of the console when not placed inside very carefully. Other console issues, such as desyncing Joy-Cons, have allegedly been rectified; this comes as good news, since Nintendo is planning on releasing new Yellow Joy-Con controllers to tie in with the release of ARMS.
Speaking of ARMS, it’s a new fighting game from Nintendo which pits colorfully eccentric characters against each other in boxing-like combat. The twist is that the fighter’s arms become elongated when throwing punches. New details about this game were unveiled, including a previously unseen character whose design is, humorously, simultaneously inspired by a serpentine dragon and noodles. The game will support up to four players in two v two combat, and each character’s fists are customizable, which looks as though it will give the game some depth. Each of the characters also possesses unique abilities such as parrying attacks, or unleashing a charged beam. This new IP from Nintendo is slated for release on June 12th.
ARMS is not the only new IP getting some love from Nintendo; Splatoon 2 had a large presence in this Nintendo Direct. Three new Splatoon Amiibo have been revealed, which will add new content to the game (and remove money from collectors’ wallets). In addition to that, Splatoon 2 will feature a brand new multiplayer mode where Inklings will splat hoards of enemies in waves. Splatoon 2 has already undergone a global test fire, and the game will release July 21st.
Splatoon Amiibo aren’t the only new figurines coming to stores; three new Link Amiibo are on the way, each based on his appearances in Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword respectively. Furthermore, Super Smash Bros. Amiibo for FFVII’s Cloud, Fire Emblem Fates’ Corrin, and Bayonetta are finally on the way, and each will come in two varieties. Good luck finding them in stores. The three Link Amiibo will be released in June, with the Super Smash Bros. Amiibo following in July.
Third party publishers were also present during the broadcast. Among the most notable third party games coming to the Switch are Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, Minecraft, both Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Rayman Legends, Namco Museum, and perhaps most surprisingly: Payday 2.
Overall, this was a Nintendo Direct going through the motions of announcing Switch-related news. Unfortunately gone, are the silly, yet entertaining little skits Nintendo higher-ups such as Reggie Fils-Aime perform, and though the news announced wasn’t in anyway ground-breaking, it’s good to see that the Nintendo Switch has a steady stream of software titles from now until mid-summer; hopefully we’ll see a lot more upcoming games during this year’s E3.
Written By: BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner