On Feb. 17, Nintendo had their first major Direct since 2019. “Nintendo Direct” is a series of presentations the company gives in regards to their upcoming work.
Due to the pandemic, Nintendo stuck to indie showcases and franchise-specific Directs throughout most of 2020. Now that they’ve got a better handle on things, they decided to finally make some larger announcements. While there were many exciting reveals, some Nintendo fans walked away from the highly anticipated showcase rather disappointed.
The Direct starts off by revealing Pyra and Mythra from “Xenoblade Chronicles 2” as the latest fighters in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” This announcement has received mixed reactions from fans. Many are upset about their inclusion due to how sexualized they are in their game while others are upset about the inclusion of another “anime sword fighter.” Especially after hype around the announcements for Steve and Sephiroth, the previous two fighters, this felt rather underwhelming. Despite this, a lot of “Xenoblade” fans are ecstatic about their franchise getting more representation and recognition. Pyra and Mythra will be available starting in March.
A new Mario sports game was revealed, “Mario Golf: Super Rush.” The last "Mario Golf" game, “World Tour” for the 3DS, was in 2014. “Super Rush” will be the first console "Mario Golf" game since the Gamecube’s “Toadstool Tour” in 2003. For many Nintendo fans, this was the most exciting news to come from the Direct. Since the Wii console never received a "Mario Golf" title, Nintendo will be utilizing the Switch’s motion controls to create a truly immersive experience. This game is set to release in June.
A significant announcement for “The Legend of Zelda” was expected with the series approaching its 35th anniversary, but fans were rather disappointed with what they got.
Many were hoping to learn some new information about the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s “Breath of the Wild,” but instead Nintendo made a point of emphasizing that they had nothing new to share about it. Instead, they announced that 2011’s “Skyward Sword” was being ported to Switch. After they released three Mario classics in one in the form of “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” for the Mario 35th Anniversary, fans were confused as to why only one Zelda game was to be rereleased for the same price. Especially with previous entries such as “Wind Waker” and “Twilight Princess” already having HD remakes for the Wii U, it seemed like a no-brainer to package these three together. “Skyward Sword HD” for the Nintendo Switch is set to release in July.
Arguably the most surprising reveal was the announcement for “Splatoon 3” at the end of the presentation. It is sent to release in 2022, five years after its predecessor “Splatoon 2.” Most people were surprised as they expected Nintendo to save the third installment in the “Splatoon” series for their next console. Downloadable content (DLC) such as the “Octo Expansion” has been added to “Splatoon 2” in the past, so many wonder how much could be added to another Switch installment in the series that couldn’t have just been another piece of DLC.