Nintendo held one of its classic Nintendo Direct events today. In it, they presented many games, but even so, it left a somewhat bitter taste. This doesn’t mean there aren’t great games, some of them real gems, or that there aren’t games for every taste, but something different was lacking. Something new. There are many remasters and remakes, many games we had already seen before. And while there will be months with two Nintendo games each, a couple of big announcements were missing to make this Direct better. Perhaps even a slight change in the order, getting rid of some repetitive announcements that didn’t quite fit the overall tone of what they were trying to convey.
Again, this doesn’t mean it was terrible. On the contrary, there were some very interesting announcements. And above all, there were many. So, to start, let’s talk about everything Nintendo announced.
Starting with something we already knew, they showed more of “Side Order,” the second part of the Splatoon 3 expansion pass. Announced to be released in spring 2024, both parts of this DLC will cost 24.99 euros. Fortunately, we quickly moved on to more exciting announcements. One thing we can say about this Nintendo Direct is that it will make Mario universe fans very happy.
Firstly, they announced a new version of Mario vs. Donkey Kong. This legendary Game Boy Advance game returns in an enhanced version with cooperative play, with pre-orders already open and a release date set for February 16. They also reminded us that Super Mario RPG will be released on November 17, with pre-orders available. A short video showed us more of Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, set to be released in the summer of 2024, and the final extra tracks for the Mario Kart 8 DLC, which will have a new physical version with all DLC included on October 6. To top it off, they also announced a remaster of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the iconic Gamecube game that gave birth to the Paper Mario series.
But the highlight of the Mario universe games, for once, has been Princess Peach. Because more information has been revealed about the game in which she’ll be the protagonist, including its name. In “Princess Peach: Showtime!” we’ll have to defeat an evil witch who has taken over a theater using the theater’s own costumes and the powers they grant us, in a mix of platforming and adventure. With a release date set for March 22, it’s already available for pre-order.
Of course, the stream of games from Nintendo didn’t end here. Amid all the excitement, they also took the opportunity to remind us that Detective Pikachu: The Return will be released on October 6 and that Wario Ware Move It will be released on November 3, adding that it will have pose detection as part of its 200+ mini-games. But the most interesting part was the two games that had not been announced until now.
On one hand, we have “Another Code Recollection.” A compilation of “Another Code: Two Memories” and “Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories,” two iconic games from Nintendo DS and Wii, respectively, which will reappear on Nintendo Switch in an enhanced version on January 19.On the other hand, there’s “F-Zero 99.” Similar to Tetris 99, this game allows you to play the legendary F-Zero with 98 other people simultaneously. Drive as best as you can, use some of the new features never seen before in the series, and outlast everyone else in this race, more deadly than ever before. Moreover, it’s already available for download, exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
They have also announced non-Nintendo games. Some of them are coming out during the remainder of this 2023. And although they are the minority, they have given us quite a handful.
Horizon Chase 2 is a very classic arcade racing game, Trombone Champ is a game that became famous a few months ago due to memes, and Wartales is an open-world role-playing game that have one thing in common: they are all releasing today. In October, we can expect Wargroove 2, a sequel to a unique fantasy game heavily inspired by Advance Wars, arriving on the 5th, the Switch version of Dave the Diver, which has garnered attention and will be available on the 26th, and a new map for Among Us called The Fungie, with no set date.
The year will end with Song of Nunu on November 1 and Super Crazy Rhythm Castle on November 14, an adventure game in the League of Legends universe and a cooperative and competitive rhythm game with references to iconic Konami franchises, respectively.
In 2024, things are heating up, as is customary. We’ll start the year on January 18 with the previously announced Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. On February 14, we’ll enjoy Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft, a very descriptive title. And to conclude the early part of the year, we’ll have Contra Operation Galuga and Eastward: Octopia, a remake of the original Contra and a DLC for the RPG Eastward with no specific date, other than they will arrive in the first few months of the year.
Among the most exciting announcements is that on March 8, we’ll get Unicorn Overlord, the new game from Vanillaware. A Tactical RPG made by the people behind 13 Sentinels and Muramasa is something we wouldn’t want to miss. Similarly, Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes, releasing on April 24, is the spiritual successor to the legendary Suikoden from Konami, so fans of Japanese RPGs should keep a close eye on these dates.
For the rest of the year, we have a mix of very interesting games. From the family adventure of SpyxANYA: Operation Memories to the unique twist on classic J-RPG with SaGA Emerald Beyond, and from the more traditional Battle Crush to the farm management game in the League of Legends universe called Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story. However, the most interesting game of all didn’t even appear in the Direct. Or at least, not in the Direct that we saw. Making its appearance only in the Japanese version of the Direct, Onion Games, the folks behind the cult classic “moon,” announced a game called “Stray Children” that, even without a release date, looks extremely promising.
In the end, it was a Direct of contrasts. With many interesting announcements and something for everyone, the only regret is that it feels like Nintendo placed too much emphasis on games they have already released in the past. With fewer games, a different order, and at least one new IP, it could have been a great Direct. As it is, it remains a Direct filled with gems, but in which you have to sift through what may not necessarily interest you. But the search is worth it, there’s certainly no doubt about that.