Wooo! Nintendo Direct! I had some pretty high hopes for this Direct considering how Smash-Heavy the last two had been. I enjoy Smash and I’m excited to play the next entry in the series but my Switch is more than just a Smash-Machine to be. Like a lot of other people, I’ve been anticipating this Direct and since I’ve had a couple of days to settle and gather my thoughts on it as a whole, I think I’m ready to offer my full thoughts on it.
I’m going to get the things I don’t care as much about out of the way first. I own New Super Mario Bros U and Luigi U on the Wii U, you see, so seeing a re-release of that isn’t surprising but it’s still disappointing. As similar as they all are, I would rather see a collection of New Super Mario Games instead, if not a straight-up new entry to the series. Splatoon and Mario Tennis DLC is happening and that’s nice but I don’t own or particularly care for either game. Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the 3DS is a fine idea but it looks like a graphical downgrade and I beat this game years ago. Return to Dreamland would have been more desirable for me but I still wouldn’t see myself buying into it because sadly, I just don’t buy 3DS games any more. I would buy Star Fox 64 on the 3DS but in the United States it’s still unreasonably expensive, even pre-owned. Most controversially is my opinion on the reveal of Welcome to Animal Crossing (working title I guess): I loved New Leaf and I’m very excited to play a new Animal Crossing game but the reveal didn’t have anything interesting to say other than, “This is a confirmation that a new Animal Crossing is being developed for the Nintendo Switch”. I’ll feel more excited about it when I see gameplay footage (this is how I felt about the Metroid Prime 4 reveal too). As for Civilization VI and Cities Skylines, I’m more interested in Cities but overall, these are games that are outside of my comfort zone. I like that I have the option of grabbing these on Switch but I don’t see myself doing so unless they went on sale. Daemon X Machina still looks good, Bowser’s Inside Story still looks good even though I’m still not completely sure what’s up with Bowser Jr.’s side game. Downwell looks nice too I suppose and Home looks interesting but didn’t The Last Story have the same premise?
I loved how the Direct kicked off with a reveal not only of Luigi’s Mansion 3 but a reveal that showed off gameplay. The new Poltergust was teased already in a Smash reveal but seeing it in context was cool and I can’t wait to see just how huge and expansive the haunted hotel turns out to be.
The Capcom Brawler Bundle looks downright bad ass but I think they missed an opportunity if this is going to be digital only; They should go all out with the physicality after all. In all seriousness, I’ve only ever played Final Fight but I’ve wanted to try Knights of the Round for a few years now and Armored Warriors looks like it’s going to be multiple flavors of badass. I would love to brawl with all of you once this launches!
Nintendo Online sounds like it’s a step or two below bare-bones. I’m not excited about the NES games they’re offering but this is the only way I’m going to be able to backup my save data and play games online so I guess they’ve got me snared. I haven’t played anything online for a while but I can see myself wanting to play Smash online and the Capcom Brawler Bundle too. I still hope that more than just NES games are eventually made available through the online service but my hopes aren’t high. As for the NES controllers, they look fine to me and I’d love to use them to try playing non-NES games like Axiom Verge or the Mega Man Legacy Collection. It’s too bad there aren’t enough buttons for me to use them to play Dark Souls though.
The last time I played Katamari Damacy, or rather, a Katamari game in general, it was on the PSP. I played the Hell out of it but back when I had the PSP, I would go through phases where I would either not touch it for weeks at a time or I would be glued to it for the sake of one game. Katamari was one of those games and I’m happy to see the series being given a new lease on life. It’s a unique game and I can see it gathering a big fan base once it launches on Switch...I think I just made a pun…
Yoshi’s Crafted World looks utterly gorgeous and I’m pretty sure it got the most positive reaction out of me during this direct. It doesn’t look like it’s yet another variation on Yoshi’s Island and the concept of flipping levels sounds gimmicky but I love the extra depth it gives to the levels that were shown off. Part of what I loved about Yoshi’s Woolly World and Kirby’s Epic Yarn is how real they looked. I guarantee that within the next couple of weeks I can find approximations of those games’ assests re-created and for sale on Etsy. It doesn’t look like Crafted World will be too difficult as a platformer but it’s always difficult to tell from these trailers. I don’t see myself getting this on day one but if they re-release yarn yoshi amiibo, I’m going to have to.
Asmodee bringing board games to Switch feels like a concept that was scrapped for the Wii U and I’m glad the first time we’re seeing this is here. Of the games shown, I’m really curious to see how Catan and Munchkin turn out since those have licensed variants. I’m also excited about Pandemic but the twist here is that I’ve never played any of those games before. I have trouble getting people together and there are enough animals around me that playing an actual table-top game (Hell, just owning one that isn’t sealed) would be a potential recipe for disaster. These are games that I’ve always wanted to try and if they’re online enabled than I am absolutely planning on eating this kind of thing up. I would also like to see what other games are adapted by Asmodee if the original 5 are successful. I love the concept of video game adaptations of tabletop games and I’m ecstatic to see that we’ve finally moved away from Monopoly.
Isabelle being in Smash was another exciting announcement. At first I could have sworn she was an echo fighter of Villager but she looks different enough to be her own character I suppose. She looks more different from Villager than Dr. Mario looks from Mario at any rate. Her reveal trailer was incredibly cute and I see myself playing as her though I don’t really plan on using her as my main character. I don’t really know who my main is going to be in Smash Ultimate: I loved using Bowser and Link in the past but between those two, King K. Rool and, the Belmonts I was feeling very conflicted. Then Isabelle came in and I’m feeling even more conflicted about my player character!
(She just wants to help)
The biggest thing about this direct for me though was the utter deluge of information on Final Fantasy content launching on the Switch. Before the direct, it was announced that an HD remake of Crystal Chronicles is in development for Switch and I feel really ambivalent about it since I didn’t grow up with this spin-off. During the direct though, I went on an emotional roller coaster when it was announced that World of Final Fantasy Maxima, Chocobo Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD and, Final Fantasies VII, IX, X, X-2 and, XII are all on their way to the Switch. I turned down the opportunity to get World of for the PS4 a couple months ago and now I have no reason to consider it since it seems like Maxima is going to be a more complete version of that. Chocobo Mystery Dungeon is a franchise I’m aware of and have played on the original Playstation but I need more info on this version before I commit to it since the dungeon crawling playstyle doesn’t really suit me. I want to play the complete Final Fantasy XV and since I already have the base game on the PS4, the best option for me is still to just pony up the additional $20 or so for the episodes I’m missing. I don’t know everything that’s been cut out of the Pocket Edition but between that and the isometric camera angle, the Pocket Edition of FFXV is something I’m just not interested in. Final Fantasies VII, IX, X, X-2 and, XII are all games that I’ve bought before and even have available to play right now (except for X/X-2 actually). I’ve tried getting into XII and since I already have it on the PS4, the Switch version is unlikely to be something I buy. I don’t see myself double-dipping on the X/X-2 collection either even though my copy of that is the PS3 version. As for VII and IX, these are among my favorite entries in the series and indeed, my favorite RPGs so once they’re launched on the Switch I’m absolutely going to buy them. Final Fantasy IX specifically is one of my all-time favorite games in general and once it launches on Switch I’m going to play through it again. I wonder if anything will be done to make it easier (or indeed, doable), to find and collect the fabled Excalibur II: It’s something of a white whale for me.
(Fun fact about me: This part always, ALWAYS, makes me cry)
As happy as I am about the Final Fantasy announcements, a few details seem somewhat strange to me. For one thing, there’s no mention or push for Final Fantasy XIII on the Switch. In hindsight it’s kind of surprising that a XIII trilogy hasn’t been announced this generation in general but I’m sure it’ll happen in time. The lack of Final Fantasy VIII is also upsetting to me but I understand that it was somewhat divisive among fans and critics. Since Final Fantasy XII was built off of a modified version of the FFXI engine, I also think it’s kind of strange that one of the Final Fantasy MMO’s aren’t being pushed to Switch yet. Personally I hate MMO’s and maybe there’s no push yet because of Nintendo’s historic difficulties with console based online features but I wouldn’t be surprised if XI or XIV eventually come to the Switch. Finally, the lack of any pre-3D Final Fantasy titles is disappointing but I’m going to take this as a sign that one, some or, all six of them could be in the process of being remade using the Octopath engine. There’s no evidence of this of course but it’s something I’m not going to shut up about until it happens. Square has re-released Final Fantasy IV on Nintendo consoles multiple times over for example and it’s strange to me that it hasn’t been announced as coming to Switch yet so in my mind, it being remade with the new engine makes some sense, even though (again) there’s no evidence of that being the case.
The September 13th Nintendo Direct had a lot that I enjoyed and a lot that I’m looking forward to. I’m overjoyed by what was shown off of Yoshi’s Crafted World and I never would have believed so many Final Fantasy games would be launching on the Switch. There are still a lot of ports launching on Switch but at least they’re ports of games that I know are good and don’t mind double...er...triple dipping on. At least the ports are getting somewhat creative and different: I never expected to have an opportunity to play Plague Inc or Munchkin. on Switch for example. I can see myself picking up a lot of what was shown off but I would have liked more information on Final Fantasy Pocket Edition HD. More importantly, I would have liked more info on Metroid Prime 4 which was last spoken of last summer. I fully anticipate 2019 being a huge year for Nintendo, even if Prime 4 is pushed back. We know that 2019 is expected to be the year Luigi’s Mansion 3, Pokemon, Welcome to Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Yoshi’s Crafted World and, of course New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe. Even with all of this new info and all of these new games to excitedly anticipate, I’m looking forward to the next Nintendo Direct...even though the next Nintendo Direct or two will be focused on a single game...we still don’t know what the green Smash game mode is after all!