The last announcement is potentially the most exciting: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting the full remake treatment on the Switch. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a 2D Zelda, so the reveal got a strong reaction – particularly as Link’s Awakening is beloved in its own right. The game did already receive the remaster treatment once before with a Deluxe version launching on the Gameboy Colour but even that version turned 20 back in January. The game’s graphics and art style look incredible in the above trailer, not oly preserving all the simple charms of previous top-down Zeldas, but with Nintendo clearly differentiating this from Breath of the Wild and whatever will follow it.
The other big first party title that’s sure to sell is Mario Maker 2. As one of the Wii U’s best-loved titles it was expected to reappear in some form but its nice to see it getting a sequel rather than an ‘enhanced port’. The game does not really need to add much to the original formula since its based around user-generated content. The addition of slopes was the real star in the this trailer, with the cat suit also putting in an appearance. Expect to hear more about this one closer to release. We also saw some of our first insights into the strategy roleplaying game Fire Emblem: Three Houses. With the earlier footage looking so ominous this looked like it was moving in a more serious direction. That seems not to be the case as the story details confirmed the game is set in a sort-of Hogwarts for Warlords, with students from each nation being placed in a corresponding house. Its looking like a strong entry in the series, but Fire Emblem isn’t really for everyone. The trailer is worth a watch, if just to see a fantasy kingdom called Leicester.
Dragon Quest 11 and Dragon Quest Builders 2 was confirmed for a release date of July 12, while an enhanced version of Dragon Quest 11 was more-nebulously labelled ‘Summer 2019’. With Square Enix’s localization policy being somewhat erratic its nice to bet word that both of these are still heading to the Switch. Square Enix unveiled a lot in this Nintendo Direct. There’s a new RPG called Oninaki, a new Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon game and the surprise launch of Final Fantasy IX (with VII to follow soon). Overall this was Nintendo Direct with lots packed in for RPG fans.
The Direct was absolutely packed with new information, release dates, and a fair few things we had no idea were coming. Platinum Studio’s announced their next game: Astral Chain. Unsurprisingly its a frenetic looking action game, and its as intriguing as it is stylish. If you were hoping for Bayonetta 3 news there was nothing on show other than a reminder that development continues. Daemon X Machina has a demo out now with the intention of gathering player feedback, and is still penciled in for a Summer release. There were a few ports worth taking note of, such as the much-lauded Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the less-beloved Assassin’s Creed 3, and Mortal Kombat 11. This Nintendo Direct made it clear not only is the Switch receiving wide third-party support, but that there’s lots of mature games on offer besides Mario, Zelda and Pokemon.
Since its reveal co-op and multiplayer has been a major selling point for the Nintendo Switch, and this Nintendo Direct showed that’s continuing. Tetris 99 is a new game exclusively available to Switch Online members – competitive Tetris on a grand scale. There’s no official video out for this at the moment, but a cursory YouTube search suggests this has already become very popular with streamers. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was shown off again with a few more details, but it’d be nice to get a more in depth look and a full character roster. With Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel both heading to cinemas soon the timely release of this could prove to be a big hit. The co-op content didn’t stop there though, with this Nintendo Direct also confirming a Switch port of puzzle-platformer Unravel 2 and that a co-op mode (as well as new, paid content) is heading to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. If that wasn’t enough, and you’re looking for something altogether darker, then there’s the decidedly strange looking online-multiplayer slasher game Dead by Daylight.