Xenoblade Chronicles & Nintendo Direct Mini

Mini Direct - Many Announcements

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Nintendo managed to provide a much needed distraction this week with a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles. The information was revealed along with a new trailer as part of a Nintendo Direct Mini. Why it’s not a full Nintendo Direct is anyone’s guess. From my perspective, it felt like it had a full raft of reveals and updates. Soberingly, the Direct began with a warning that due to Covid-19 release dates are more likely to change than normal.

Xenoblade Chronicles was a masterpiece JRPG on the original Wii. It provided one of the most in-depth, large scale adventures on the console. Late in the console life-span, and undeniably niche, the game did not exactly explode off the shelves. It was given a second lease of life on the “New Nintendo 3DS” (if you remember that that was). This new ‘Definitive Edition’ looks to be a great fit for the Switch, and it seems the game may finally find a big audience.

The Nintendo Direct Mini held more news besides Xenoblade Chronicles, though. One of the biggest surprise were 3 new ports. X-Com 2Bioshock Collection and even Borderlands Legendary Collection. Chances are you’ve played some of these before (if not all), but if not it’s a nice opportunity to play them on the go. Hopefully they’ll be priced competitively – they’re certainly getting cheap enough on other platforms. I’d wait for reviews to confirm how smoothly it plays, but a frantic RPG-shooter like Borderlands seems a great multiplayer addition to the platform.

Rounding out the reveals were titles like Good Job which launched this week on the eShop, and looks fun. There was also the mature Catherine: Full Body, the strategy RPG King’s Bounty, the Splatoon-looking free to play Ninjala coming in May, and even some classic Star Wars games. The Panzer Dragoon remake? That’s out. The next Smash Bros Character? They’re from ARMS, which has a free trial for online subscribers (presumably both are looking to boost slowing sales). Whichever character it is, they’re due to arrive in June. Check out the sizzle reel at the end of the Direct to see everything else being touted – there’s a slew great looking games.

The last thing I’d like to draw your attention to is the Bravely Default 2 demo. It joins an increasing number of RPG demos on the Switch, including the lengthy Dragon Quest XI trailer and equally generous Dragon Quest Builders 2 trailer. There’s also been a Trials of Mana trailer released, though I don’t know how substantial this is. With these last three examples all your progress carries on if you do decide to buy the game. If you’re stuck in home and low on games hopefully one of these will come in handy!

 

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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.