September Nintendo Direct Highlights

Many New Games Heading to the Switch

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The start of the month brought with it a the September Nintendo Direct presentation. Naturally, this focused on upcoming Switch titles due out this year. However, the September Nintendo Direct did bring some surprising revelations. As always, if you’re interested its worth checking out the full video on Youtube. For everyone else, here are some of the key highlights.

Nintendo Online: Now with SNES

A much hoped for feature finally arrives on the Nintendo Switch. The Switch Online subscription coming with access to Super Nintendo games. It’s a stellar launch line-up, with some absolute masterpieces. A lot of them aren’t surprising; Metroid, Mario, ZeldaThe best first-party SNES games that were also on the SNES Mini. Online play for games like Super Mario Kart is incredible making it much more tempting. If you and your buddies have online play sessions some of these retro classics are sure to find a place.

I also find the Super Nintendo games much more appealing than the NES ones. With a lot of indie games still being 16-bit, being able to play Demon’s Crest or Breath of Fire as part of the subscription adds a lot of value. I’m still not sure this is  better place for these titles than the virtual console, however. Stop paying for the Switch’s online and you lose access to these games. Hopefully the option to purchase retro games outright, not locked to a console generation, will show-up eventually.

Overwatch Coming to the Switch

The arrival of Overwatch onto Nintendo’s hybrid handheld would have been quite the shock were it not for the branded case spotted for sale online last week. Still, its a very popular title and sure to be warmly received. Overwatch is more than just a brightly-coloured shooter though; its a highly competitive game with a dedicated following its hard to imagine making the leap to Switch. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for some reviews for this version nearer release to see how it performs. Another potentially off-putting aspect is that currently it’s not cross-platform, though Blizzard have indicated this may change.

Banjo Kazooie Out Now in Smash Bros Ultimate

Not only did Banjo Kazooie get released after the September Nintendo Direct for fighter pass purchasers, but there were a few other pieces of Smash Bros news. Terry Bogard from SNK’s Fatal Fury was revealed as the fourth DLC fighter. Stealing the show, though, were new Mii Fighter costumes for the first time ever. Undertale‘s Sans is a costume for the Mii Gunner, bringing with him a new remix of the much-loved ‘Megalovania’. Equally surprising was confirmation that even after the 5 DLC characters more DLC characters are being added.

New Info on Nintendo’s Next Big Titles

The September Nintendo Direct gave us another look at some big titles heading to the Switch. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming in October, and looks better the more I see of it. The addition in this presentation were an 8-player multiplayer modes that see a team of Luigis face off against Gooigis. Local multiplayer modes are always welcome. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is also shaping up to look like a tempting release, with a single player mode and some very stylish retro events. Multiplayer remains a very visible theme across Switch releases. The new Animal Crossing is no exception. Multiplayer local co-op is the big addition here, too. The game also has new crafting components, and much more freedom about where to put furniture and other items. Its nice to see the series being changed-up, but hopefully not too much for its fanbase.

There was a handful of new details on Pokemon Sword and Shield in the September Nintendo Direct, too. Your Pokemon trainer will be much more customisable than previous entries, allowing you to sport your own stylish look. New camp and cooking features seem intended to make the game feel more like an open world RPG. For me it remains to be seen if these are just a new way of performing functions that may have previously just been a menu option; it doesn’t look like your character needs to eat or sleep so these are likely just bonuses. Two new Pokemon were also in attendance. I can’t say I’m a fan of Polteageist [on the right] but Cramorant looks great. The way we’re being drip-fed new Pokemon in these tiny bursts makes me think we’re potentially not getting many at all.

Tokyo Mirage Session and an Avalanche of Ports

If anything was made clear during the September Nintendo Direct its that you’re not going to be short of games to play on your Switch. The latest Wii U game making the leap was the fantastic, albeit niche, Tokyo Mirage Sessions. The game is coming in an ‘Encore’ edition with new characters and story content. If you like your RPGs co-op and a little less Japanese take note that Divinity Original Sin 2 is also on its way to the platform.

The presentation ended with a huge amount of other ports, including retro games like Doom 64 and Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. There was a short trailer for The Witcher 3, which didn’t really do it justice. A collection of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Rogue was announced. Black Flag is easily the Assassin’s Creed game I enjoyed the most. But, even the inclusion of Rogue isn’t likely to make me buy it again. A final reel  included clips for Just Dance 2020Farming Simulator 20Call of Cthulu and Vampyr. It really reminded me how far third party support for Nintendo has come since the Wii U.

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Matt Crofts
Matt is the SFFN's Retro Editor, focusing on all things old but interesting, including (but not limited to!) books, movies and video games. As a researcher in Gothic literature Matt also has an affinity for black cats, Hammer horror, and all things Dracula.