After almost two full years, Nintendo kicked off 2021 (in February) with a full-length Direct spanning 50 minutes. It was chockers full of announcements, including a look at upcoming Smash Ultimate DLC, a Splatoon sequel, tons of JRPGs and some cool new accessories.
The direct immediately kicked off with a trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, with Rex finally discovering Pyra — only for Nintendo to pull a 180 and reveal that Pyra would be the next Smash Ultimate character. Pyra’s not alone: Mythra and Gramps will also be joining.
Pyra, Mythra and co. will be added into Smash Ultimate in March, Nintendo revealed.
The next game was Fall Guys finally coming to the Switch sometime this Australian winter. The Outer Wilds is also finally getting a long-awaited Switch port, too, around the same time.
The next games announced was updated versions of the Famicom Detective Club series. These games first shipped in the late ’80s, but they’ll both be localised and on the Switch on May 14 (after being delayed last year).
Next cab off the rank was Samurai Warriors 5, another game coming out sometime in the Australian winter. The Legend of Mana remake followed, with new features including the ability to disable encounters. It’ll launch on the Switch on June 24.
Gameplay for Monster Hunter Rise followed, showing off some cinematics, dialogue, main characters and a couple of monsters you can expect to fight. As before, Rise launches on March 26, and the special editions of the Switch and Pro Controller are still on track for release.
Next up: who asked for Mario Golf? Not me, but I will absolutely take it.
There’s motion controls, multiplayer, a Speed Golf mode, a Story Mode as a Mii character, and RPG stat progression. Mario Golf: Super Rush launches on June 25.
Tales from the Borderlands is also dropping on March 24. In more recent news, Capcom Arcade Stadium with 32 Capcom classics including Street Fighter 2, Strider and more, is available later today.
No More Heroes 3 is also making its way to the Switch on August 27. Which is totally not in the first half of the year, but hey, I’ll take it. And if you want more strange games, Annapurna’s demon-exterminating first-person card juggling game Neon White launches in the Australian Summer. (It’s from the same developer behind Donut County and What Remains of Edith Finch.)
And if you remember Miitopia, which first launched on the 3DS, well good news. The RPG is getting a Switch re-release on May 12.
On February 25, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will get some Mario crossover items. They’ll be available through the Nook shop as per usual.
Project Triangle Strategy (a working title) was the next major reveal of the show, sporting a HD 2.5D style and tactical RPG elements. There’s a lot of changes in elevation, elemental factors, and positional attacks that will let you cannonball enemies from one character into another.
Like Fire Emblem, there’s also story elements and dialogue choices that will change the story. While the game won’t launch until 2022, Square did announce that a demo will go live on the Nintendo eShop today.
Next up was a “competitive free to play” Star Wars third-person shooter called Star Wars: Hunters. It’s out later this year, but no idea on what it actually looks like yet.
After that we got a look at Knockout City, a dodgeball brawler game from EA and Velan Studios. There’s some obvious co-op and team-based elements, and players have the ability to transform into a ball. It’ll be out on May 21, 2021.
World’s End Club — from the makers of Danganronpa — hits the Switch on May 28. Hades is also getting a physical release, although no word if that’s the case in Australia. For those who get the physical edition, however, the Switch version of the game will come with a PC download code for the Hades soundtrack and an art book.
I can’t actually think of many instances where Nintendo games have shipped with PC download codes. Anyway, that’s dropping internationally on March 19.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Sigma 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge are all being re-released in the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection. It’s available on June 10. Age of Calamity DLC was also announced.
If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo also reminded everyone that Bravely Default 2 drops on February 26. A new gameplay trailer will supposedly be out later today.
A day before that, the Ghosts & Goblins remaster is launching on February 25. I still can’t get over the change in art style, but at least the remake has co-op play.
Square’s also releasing SaGa Frontier Remastered on April 15, if there wasn’t enough JRPG action in your life already. As for Apex Legends, the Switch port is finally arriving on March 9. I’ll be very keen to see how on earth a game of that size and speed runs on the Switch. (Switch players will also get double XP for the first two weeks of the game’s release.)
The Direct came to a close with Zelda news, but nothing regarding Breath of the Wild 2 — although Nintendo did say more on that front would be revealed later this year. However, we will be getting Skyward Sword HD.
Fortunately, you’ll be able to play Skyward Sword HD on the Switch Lite or the regular Switch with button controls. If you’re on a regular controller, the Sword attacks are all mapped to the right analog stick.
There’s also special JoyCon controllers, dropping on July 16 at the same time as Skyward Sword HD‘s release.
But that wasn’t all. The final announcement for the Direct was after way too long: Splatoon 3.
We saw a few new weapons and some new locations, but the main thing was that Splatoon 3 will be released on the Switch in 2022.
“It’ll be a while,” Nintendo said. We’ll likely get some Treehouse footage or gameplay at E3 this year, though.