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  • Writer's pictureKris Pranješ

A Gaymer’s Guide to the Nintendo Direct 17.02.2021

It’s been over 500 days since the last full-fledged Nintendo Direct, so when the Japanese game company dropped the announcement for it on Twitter last Tuesday, the internet lit up in flames. In the last few months, speculations have started circulating around the internet that Nintendo might have decided to let their unfailingly hyped-up Direct format become a thing of the past. For once, no one saw this Nintendo Direct coming. I’ve summarised my personal favourites and put them into categories that made sense to me and hopefully will too for my fellow Gaymers. If your favourite announcement didn’t make my list comment below and let me have it.

For hardcore Nintendo fags... FANS!

Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 join the continually growing roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as part of the second Fighters Pass. I loved that they are going for the two girls, arguably side characters, and even kind of jokingly leaving the male main character from the original game out of it. Girls, you don’t need no man!

No news on the sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but they announced there will be DLC for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity coming this Summer. Buuut… Still no news on Breath of the Wild “2”.

But… (so many butts)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is coming to Switch, and this time no one is forced to play with the oh-so hated motion controls. Skyward Sword is usually not considered among the fan favourite Zelda games, and I really think this remaster could change that. The game deserves way more credit for its great variety of puzzle mechanics and some of the best dungeons in the entire franchise. I’m looking at you two, Ancient Cistern and Sandship. And don’t even get me started on the amazing music! Oh, I can’t wait.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will soon get furniture and costumes themed after Mario & co. (Shocker!) Although one feature many might appreciate is the addition of Warp Pipes, which will make getting around your island a much quicker affair. Go lay some pipe!

A remaster of the 3DS game Miitopia is also joining the line-up. This RPG allows you to create your own hero team with custom Mii avatars. Imagine fighting a dragon with your real-life squad or the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I think the latter is precisely what Nintendo wants you to do! Why else would they have added that much customisation options for wigs?

The next sports game entry for our pipe-laying friend will be Mario Golf: Super Rush. I’ve never played a Mario Golf game, but if the gameplay is on the same level of quality as with Mario Tennis Aces, then sign me up! I’m incredibly excited to try the new multiplayer mode, which looks to provide glorious multiplayer mayhem à la Nintendo. There’s a story mode as well, where you’ll be playing as your Mii or, again, as your favourite drag queen.

I’m only mentioning the announcement of Splatoon 3 for one reason here. No more binary gender labels! There’s still a nod to binary gender by having two options, but all character customisation seems to be available for every character similar to the last Animal Crossing, and this feels like another arguably small step in the right direction. Next, they could even get rid of the still quite obvious suggestion to binary genders. Just make it a damn character. It’s easier to program too!

New ways to play with yourself (single-player)

Quality game publisher Annapurna Interactive is bringing two amazing looking games to the Switch. First, we have Outer Wilds, Winner of Best Game at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards. This open-world action-adventure drops you into a mysterious solar system where you have to figure out why you’re trapped in a 22-minute loop that always ends with the sun exploding. Mind-bending quantum physics puzzles, completely non-linear storytelling, challenging your exploration and curiosity, this game is a must-play for all indie lovers and gamers thirsty for innovation. I’m not even going to make an innuendo here; that’s how serious I am.

Neon White is the second game published by Annapurna Interactive. It features super-fast card-based combat against demons in heaven. The edgy anime-inspired style only adds to the novelty of this fresh take on the classic action platformer genre.

Another series with a cult-following is finally getting a new entry with No More Heroes III. I’ve never played any of the previous games, but I have to say they’ve tempted me more than once. Wacky, over the top, seizure-inducing visuals, badass character design and a wide variety of combat gameplay mechanics promise to always keep you on your toes. If I don’t play it myself, I’ll be sure to watch some of my favourite streamers give it a go.

The team behind Octopath Traveller (one of my favourite RPGs) is working on their next gorgeous looking game with the trademark HD-2D visuals. I’ve already downloaded the Demo version. The fact that there is a demo version paired with the game’s working title Project Triangle Strategy lets me believe they are doing what so many other game developers still fail to do. LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY! They’ve done a great job with Octopath, and I am sure this game will not fall short!

Online multiplayer (and I don’t mean all your simultaneous Grindr chats, you slag)

Fall Guys is coming to Switch! I love this free-to-play Takeshi’s Castle style game. However, I’m still waiting for a split-screen couch multiplayer mode. Playing with strangers can be fun but gets stale quickly. Wait, are we talking about Grindr again?

Star Wars: Hunters. There is not much more to say about it because the name is literally the only thing they’ve shown us. My guess is it will be online, in an arena setting, with lots of lightsabers and pew-pews. Let’s hope Disney doesn’t take this to hell in a handbag but instead finds a way to stand out in this genre’s oversaturated market. Disney, if you’re reading this, I have an idea: WIGS!

Knockout City looks and feels like a mix between Splatoon and ARMS. This new cross-platform team-based online dodgeball game could be a massive hit among streamers and their followers. There doesn’t seem to be a considerable variety in move sets, so my guess is it’s easy to learn and hard to master, which sounds promising.

Conclusion: I like big but(t)s

While there were definitely some exciting announcements, it wasn’t the big explosion of Nintendo goodness we deserved, especially after the long wait. But… and there goes another big BUT… This Direct mainly focused on the first half of 2021 or, in some cases, what comes along after that. Most of the second half of the year is still wide open, and we know the real big hitters always come around the holiday season. I’m talking Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Metroid Prime 4, whatever game Retro Studios have been working on before and still haven’t released, and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. Nintendo must be saving up the goodies, and I think we won’t have to wait another 500 days until we get more.

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