Nintendo Directs are Nintendo’s way of giving fans a preview of their plans. The Direct of Sept. 13 was no different, giving everyone a taste of what to expect for future releases and updates. In terms of hype, the announcements made surpassed the previous Feb. 9 Nintendo Direct, and for a good reason; all the announcements were exciting for the community. Here are the five best announcements made by Nintendo and what you need to know about them.
Ever since paid downloadable content was announced for “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” I’ve been getting back into Mario Kart. So when I saw two courses from the third wave of “Mario Kart 8” DLC, I was naturally thrilled. Fitting for its holiday release, one of the courses featured was Merry Mountain from “Mario Kart Tour,” the other being Peach Gardens from “Mario Kart DS.” The “Mario Kart Tour” courses included so far aren’t the best choice for DLC in my opinion, since those courses are recent and available on mobile. Older courses, on the other hand, are prime candidates for remasters, and the inclusion of a fan-favorite course from an older title earns this a spot in the top five.
Paid online services on the Nintendo Switch have been a controversial topic, so giving online users the ability to play older titles from the NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64 was a good idea. Nintendo revealed plans to release more N64 games to their online subscribers, such as the first 3 “Mario Party” games, the first two “Pokémon Stadium” games, “Pilotwings 64,” and “Goldeneye” (which is planned to have online play included). With these being some of the best-selling titles on the Nintendo 64, having them easily accessible to modern gamers earns this the fourth spot.
When I bought “Splatoon 3” on the day it came out, I knew an eventual Splatfest would be happening. As the first event of the game, I think it rightfully deserved a good amount of hype. The first post-launch Splatfest took place from Sept. 23 to Sept. 25, based on the question “What would you bring to a deserted island?” For the first time in Splatoon history, there were three teams available instead of the usual two, those teams being gear, grub, and fun, represented by Shiver, Frye, and Big Man respectively. I think that as a first theme, it’s a good way to get the ball rolling since it’s a straightforward question that can be built upon in different ways. On a more personal note, I’m happy to announce gear won as somebody who proudly represented it.
No. 2: Pikmin 4
Before this Nintendo Direct, the idea of a fourth “Pikmin” game seemed unreal. Once Nintendo had made a “Pikmin” mobile game, I thought the series had been reduced to nothing. But when all hope seemed lost, a fourth mainline game was announced. After a short announcement from Shigeru Miyamoto about the mobile game, the prayers of the fans were answered: Pikmin 4 is in development. Not much is currently known about the new release, but Pikmin might not be known as some franchise with a guy in “Super Smash Bros” any longer.
Honorable Mention: Farming Simulators
With “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” selling over 37.5 million copies, many game developers have seen the popularity of casual life simulators. So the Nintendo Direct featured more casual simulators, much to the humor of myself and others. New and returning life/farming simulators coming to the Nintendo Switch include “Fae Farm,” “Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life,” “Various Daylife,” and “Rune Factory 3 Special.” Try these games out if you enjoyed “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” but need more games to fill the farm-shaped void in your heart.
Nintendo undoubtedly saved the best announcement for last, and it’s a big one. The final announcement in the Nintendo Direct involved a sneak peek at the newest “Legend of Zelda” game, a sequel to “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” “Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” will be released on May 12, 2023. A confirmed release date is monumental, looking back at the many delays due to COVID-19. Seeing how “Breath of the Wild” sold over 27 million copies and is still one of the best titles on the Switch, this announcement deserves the title of most hyped.
Overall, this particular Nintendo Direct had good announcements, ranging from decent to exciting. While the others that didn’t make this list may not be as hyped, they were quality nonetheless and deserve their spot in the Nintendo Direct.