So, the troll-tastic teasing culminated in a Mini Nintendo Direct. Which should have shocked absolutely no-one, really. It zipped along at a decent pace too and had a surprising amount of announcements.
It’s also really late as I type this so no shiny images or jokes, just a few thoughts in list format.
THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU: FINAL REMIX
I’m okay with this. TWEWY is a bit of a cult hit from the Nintendo DS days, and this is the Final Remix – and the teaser footage definitely showcased new content which likely fills up for a bigger ending. This is a really decent game which might struggle in docked mode (it was built for touchscreens), but in full HD and with even more content – as long as the price isn’t grossly offensive (i.e. it becomes a premium physical product), I’d see myself recommending it and picking it up to see what has changed. [4.5/5]
POKKÉN TOURNAMENT DLC
I know lots of people like Pokkén Tournament because it is different – and if nothing else, it did outsell Street Fighter 5 (I still find that bloody hilarious). Aegislash and Blastoise at £14 though? Eh. If you really love Pokkén Tournament, then this is a no-brainer but personally, I’m kind of over it now there’s the promise of a proper Pokémon Switch on the horizon. Disappointing it was limited to just two characters – and they should have been in from the start anyway. Just not my thing. [2/5]
KIRBY: STAR ALLIES
Kirby is one of those things I like… but I wouldn’t pay full price for. I know plenty of people who absolutely adore Kirby, and this is a massive deal for them, and I’m happy for them and look forward to seeing what happens in this game and how it sells. I don’t know, in my early days I was Alex Kidd and Gods and that sort of thing. Still, can’t deny that it looks gorgeous, bright and colourful and vivid and complex as well – so yeah, awesome. But not at £45. [2.5/5]
HYRULE WARRIORS: DEFINITIVE EDITION.
Nope, nope, nope. You are NOT sucking me back into this one, Nintendo. It took me months to break free from Hyrule Warriors. Yes, it’s fantastic – it’s also a horrific little time-sink, and for me I developed an unhealthy obsession with it. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled to see it there, and with all content to boot. But I’m done with this. It’s fantastic and I think everyone else should be very happy about this – but I’m out. Do enjoy it though. It was and is damn fun gaming. [3/5]
MARIO TENNIS ACES
Camelot is back with a proper RPG-styled Mario Tennis! Wahoo and all that stuff. A full-on story mode, new power moves, new arenas, some great visuals and boss battles – this is the Mario Tennis that we’ve been waiting for since… well… the Game Boy Advance. Questions remain on the co-op and online competitive scene – I’ll get to that in a bit – but it looked great, and I’m all for a good bit of Mario Tennis (though I admit I prefer Mario Golf for some reason). [4/5]
Ys VIII: LACRIMOSA OF DANA
My relationship with the Ys series is hot and cold; some are good, some aren’t, but the same is true of Final Fantasy so I guess I can’t really beat this up too much on that front. It does, however, look and play a bit like Xenoblade X-come-Monster Hunter and if that’s your thing… cool. The skimpy dream waifu, however, was a step too far for me. But people do like their JRPG waifus and so I’m sure this is going to be a bit of a hit. I’d just rather see Xenoblade X on the Switch instead. [2/5]
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY FREE DLC
Yup, free DLC for Super Mario Odyssey. Someone call EA and tell them that Nintendo is undercutting their market by everything. Okay, it’s not the most expansive of DLC – it’s a new mini-game of hiding and finding balloons with Luigi, but I can see this being a bit of silly additional fun in an already very packed game. Not only that, I can see some very tricky challenges finding balloons by some of the more skilled players. Hey, until Mario Maker Switch, the sadists need something – right? [4/5 (Because it’s free DLC)]
SNK HEROINES: TAG TEAM FRENZY
And speaking of Waifu games, SNK comes right out with arguably the most fanservice-y game on the Switch so far. All the SNK lovelies, and you can dress them up and make them fight each other for your amusement. It does have a girly gloss, but I know some burly dudes who’ll have this thing quietly tucked away in their cases for when no-one is looking. Others just won’t care either. Not the fighting game I wanted to see – but I concede this will absolutely have a market and do very well. [3/5]
DONKEY KONG IN MARIO + RABBIDS
This was… predictable, yet again the sense of humour and slapstick is on point and Donkey Kong looks great, with trademark swagger and preening. We didn’t really get to see gameplay, but it’s a whole new story chunk and since I absolutely loved Mario + Rabbids, any excuse to jump back in for a little more is good enough for me. After reading the story of how the game came to be, I’m thrilled for its creator and team and am glad their labour of love has been so warmly received. [4/5]
We knew this was coming but at least it has a date now – end of February. With Joy, a new character, for the Switch (for now, though since she is a play on Joy-Con, don’t get psyched to see her elsewhere just yet…). I think people like Payday 2 again – I know it’s not had the easiest of runs, and it is getting on a bit, but a Switch version with local multiplayer does seem a fitting way to send this game off. Not my thing – but I’m sure many will be happy. [2.5/5]
FE // CELESTE
Fe is a game that shockingly EA didn’t kill for more multiplayer things. It looks gorgeous. The question remains – will EA’s involvement be the problem? Time will tell. Also, Celeste looks like an interesting little indie game in the sort-of-Meat-Boy vein, with a peculiarly charming pixel-art style. In amongst everything else I think these games kind of got lost, but it’s nice to have a brief spotlight on something a little more niche. [3/5]
DONKEY KONG COUNTRY: TROPICAL FREEZE
Another Wii U port, which I’ll talk about in a different post I think. But considering most people won’t have played it – I’m fine with this port. I would have preferred Funky Kong as a challenge mode, rather than the Easy Mode option, but that’s a personal gripe and little more. Tropical Freeze deserves a second chance to shine on the Switch, as do a lot of Wii U games, and hopefully it does well enough for a proper 3D Donkey Kong in the future. [4/5]
DARK SOULS: REMASTERED
The big one. Much rumoured, never confirmed… until now. A full remaster? Excellent (also, not surprising, since the original – as amazing as it was – was also technically a pig of a game and I can’t imagine porting that would have been any cheaper). There are loads of rumours now – new areas, new NPCs, new enemies, new bosses… for now, I’d just say it’d be nice to see them (1) fix Blighttown and (2) fix the Bed of Chaos fight. Do that, and you have pretty much fixed the two major gripes everyone had on the original. [5/5 Praise the Sun etc.]
OVERALL ASSESSMENT – 3/5. Good Job, Nintendo.
As a “Mini” Direct, this isn’t a meaty thing. It’s more a taster for perhaps a bigger direct in a few weeks, or perhaps in March before the Fiscal Year is up. Still, there’s a lot of meat on the bones of this Mini Direct – two very solid port ideas (I like that Nintendo is spacing this out), a good selection of content of different genres, free DLC was a nice touch for Odyssey and Dark Souls on Switch… it’s bloody Dark Souls on Switch. I can take this anywhere now. A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E!
Still, for all the hype – Dark Souls was the payoff, and sadly this has been so rumoured and so teased that the catharsis is nice, but I guess that buzz just quickly wore off. Plenty of good stuff there though – and for the next few months at least, the Switch has a pretty interesting slew of games.
This is a quick thoughts, I’ve got something in mind to blog about tomorrow.
But it was good. Not amazing, but certainly good enough for now.