Nintendo had their third “Nintendo Direct” of the year last week, and I left with very mixed opinions. There was a lot covered in this 40-minute broadcast, so I’ll focus on the more important reveals.
Nintendo opened the presentation by announcing a DLC pack for “Monster Hunter Rise,” titled the “Sunbreak Expansion Pack.” This minute-long teaser didn’t tell us much, but we now know that there will be a new medieval ruins environment as well as a new wyvern-type monster. Capcom described the expansion, which will release in 2022, as “a new, ominous chapter” in the Monster Hunter universe. It’s tough to have an opinion on this, as we don’t really know much yet, but it looks to be a huge update to a game that was released just six months ago.
Then, a new “Mario Party” game will be making its way to the Switch. The second game from the franchise on Nintendo’s newest console, “Mario Party Superstars,” features maps from past games, a few new maps that can randomly transform and even minigame-only game modes. This seems to be the most innovative title in this series in years. It features online play for all modes (which “Super Mario Party” lacked) and that alone makes this title, which comes out in about a month, likely to be the best selling Mario Party game of all time.
“Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” had its newest Expansion Pass content shown off in this direct, and it seems to be pretty cool. More Zelda content is always nice, but like most people I’m just holding out for “Breath of the Wild 2” at this point. This paid add-on to “Hyrule Warriors” launches next month.
After that, the masterpiece that everyone has been waiting for was announced: “Chocobo GP!” I’m joking, this game looks ridiculous. It’s “Mario Kart” but with “Final Fantasy” characters, and I honestly don’t see why this game was created. It’s a competitor to the most successful racing game of all time, and it’s even being released on the same platform. I don’t see this game selling many copies at all when it releases next year.
Nintendo then revealed the reveal of the next “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” character, which will take place on Oct. 5. My prediction is Crash Bandicoot, but like everyone else I’m completely in the dark on who the next fighter will be.
A new Kirby game was unveiled next, titled “Kirby and the Forgotten Land.” This looks like a standard Nintendo-produced 3D platformer, hopefully similar to “Mario Odyssey.” This is Kirby’s first 3D title, and I have high expectations. Nintendo has many faults as a company (don’t worry, we’ll get there), but they do 3D games right. This game comes out in spring 2022 and I’m very excited to see how charming a 3D Kirby game can be.
We also got more information on “Metroid Dread,” primarily focused on its story. This game just seems cool to me, and even though I’ve never played a Metroid title, I’m inclined to pick this one up. The game seems to include cool mechanics and looks great, so I’ll probably pick up a copy when it comes out in a little over a week.
More details on “Splatoon 3” were released. We now know that the single-player campaign will be focused on the “Return of the Mammalians,” and that there will be new primary and special weapons in the “Turf War” online-multiplayer mode. We don’t know much about this game, but the third installment in this comical third-person shooter releases next year.
“Bayonetta 3” was also finally unveiled. First announced in 2017, this combo-heavy action game now features the ability to control demons, and looks like a ton of fun. I’m not sure if this game will be worth the five-year wait when it releases in 2022, but at least we’re finally getting our hands on it.
There’s also a Mario movie coming from Illumination, the studio famous for “Despicable Me.” The cast is a bit strange, with Chris Pratt as Mario, Jack Black as Bowser and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. We don’t have much more information on the film, but I will absolutely be seeing it. This movie is either going to be hilarious or a complete flop, and I’m here for it either way.
Nintendo also revealed a new tier of their online service that will include content from the N64 and the SEGA Genesis. The premium plan will include all elements of the base Nintendo online plan, and the extra cost will go towards access to more retro games. We don’t have pricing information on the “Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack,” but it feels scummy to me. Nintendo’s current online service is flat-out awful, with users complaining about frequent disconnects and horrible lag. Nintendo simply refuses to invest money into the online portion of Nintendo Switch Online, and now they’re asking for more money. This is a blatant cash grab, and I do not like it.
All told, this broadcast was one of the more exciting ones in recent memory. We got information on a lot of exciting new games, some of which are releasing in just a few weeks. There were highlights (Kirby and the Mario movie) and lowlights (Chocobo and the new online tier), but overall I really enjoyed this Nintendo Direct.