Thoughts On The Nintendo Direct Mini

As it turned out, the hype over a potential Direct was not unfounded as last Thursday we were treated to a surprise Nintendo Direct mini which was just dropped out of nowhere. It wasn’t a live stream this time around, so it took some slick maneuvering on my end to get to the video without having the contents of it spoiled before watching it.

That being said, I was quite pleased with the announcements especially since I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from a Direct mini. The Dark Souls: Remastered reveal was great, even though I was a little peeved we didn’t get to see any gameplay yet. As someone who hasn’t played past the first hour mark of the first entry in the series I’m vastly looking forward to it. In retrospect, all those cryptic tweets from the different publishers alongside Nintendo were likely referring to the bonfires used as checkpoints in the game as a little tease before the Direct. Hopefully this means we’ll get the other two installments later on down the line.

I got the Mario Odysssey DLC prediction right in an older entry, but the contents of it were something I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years. It’s a mini-game of sorts given to you by Luigi where you scatter a balloon around a kingdom of your choice in a set time limit and then another player has to try and find it. I found the concept quite intriguing, although I definitely think a lot of people got let down when they saw Luigi in the beginning just for him to be the NPC that runs the mini-game. I look forward to see how the internet will ruin this one like they did with the jump-rope leaderboards.

The Mario Tennis announcement was highly unexpected, at least for me. I’ve never played any of the Mario Tennis games, but this one looked really nice. The inclusion of a story mode was something I definitely wasn’t prepared for, and it ever so slightly raises my hopes for a proper Paper Mario sequel at some point in the Switch’s lifecycle.

Kirby Star Allies is looking better and better, and even though I’m not that into Kirby this entry may change my mind on that regard a bit.

Regarding Nindies, Fe looked really stunning and I’m anxious to play it. Had a little bit of that Unravel vibe to it. I was little unsure regarding Climb Mountains In Celeste, so I’m going to wait on it and see what the overall reception for it is.

Now on to the ports, and there were quite a few. Hyrule Warriors is getting a definitive edition which I’m sure quite a few people are amped up for. The World Ends With You is getting ported, which originally was a Nintendo DS title. I honestly hadn’t heard of it prior, but surprisingly it seems to have quite a decent following so I might be tempted to try it out once it releases.

Most of all I’m really psyched for the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze port as I never played it on the Wii U. I always thought it looked really neat, and I’d hear people sing its praises a lot so I’m definitely looking forward to its release. The inclusion of Funky Kong as a character initially confused me as I thought he was very broken until I realized later on that he’s pretty much an “Easy Mode” setting for people that aren’t very used to playing games. So that’s a thoughtful addition for players that need it.

All in all, for a Nintendo Direct Mini this was quite jam-packed with some exciting announcements. This might even indicate a full-fledged Direct in the near future as they tend to follow the Minis. I could see a lot of people being a tad disappointed after seeing the rumors that amassed during the days that led up to it, but personally I expected less so I guess that helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things The Switch Might See In 2018

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I can feel it in the air. I can almost sense a January Nintendo Direct announcement being tweeted out by Nintendo in the next few days. Of course, I could be wrong but it’s just the feeling I’ve gotten as of late.

As you may have heard by now, the Nintendo Switch just became the worlds fastest selling video game console ever and considering the sales of the Wii that is truly something else. Nintendo has just been knocking it out of the park with the Switch throughout 2017 with game release after game release, giving consumers little to no excuse to not own one. Especially after the flop of the Wii U, the first year line-up for the Switch was a breath of (the wild) fresh air for Nintendo fans all around. However, I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details of the first year as that’s something I plan to tackle in a separate entry.

What I intend to do for this piece is compile a list of things I expect from Nintendo in 2018. I’m going to do my best to keep my expectations as realistic as possible.

 

5. More Wii U ports to the Switch

 

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I know a lot of people might deem this option to be the lazy route for Nintendo to take, but I think it would be very smart as well. The downfall of the Wii U can be deemed a blessing and a curse in that they’re still sitting on quite a few finished Wii U games that could be highly successful on the Switch.

The titles I’m mainly referring to are Super Smash Bros U, Super Mario Maker and Wind Waker HD. I think all three of these titles could heavily benefit from being on the Switch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m evidentally not expecting all three of them to just be announced during the course of 2018 but I am expecting at least one of them to be ported over this year. I feel as though that’s a realistic expectation.

I feel like porting any of these titles would pad out the development time for the creators hard at work on the new Switch titles.

4. Introduction of the paid online service alongside Virtual Console implementation

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I mean, you could argue this is hardly speculation worthy since Nintendo has officially confirmed that the launch of the paid online service is slated for 2018. That being said, I think this will mark the point in which Virtual Console titles will be integrated with the eShop as well.

However you put it, Nintendo intentionally withheld Virtual Console titles for some reason. In my opinion, this is either because they want to re-work them to function differently from their 3DS, Wii and Wii U counter-parts or because they didn’t want them to outshine indie and third-party titles in the eShop and instead opted to introduce them at a later date in order to coincide with the paid online service. How they plan to implement VC with the service remains to be seen, as they could either go the PS+ route or something akin to a Netflix subscription and both are equally enticing.

I do expect there could be more delays in the horizon for this monthly service, but I don’t think Nintendo will drag it out past 2018.

 

3. Fleshing out the bare-bones aspects of the Switch

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I’m hoping Nintendo will introduce Cloud Saves sooner than later, and I’m banking on that this will be the year. Other additions such as themes and a functional internet browser aren’t as expected in my opinion, but would be appreciated regardless.

Hulu was recently added (come to Sweden, you’re past due) which opens up hope for future streaming services like Netflix or HBO.

I think the Switch will receive various UI overhauls during the year, and hopefully that’ll apply to the eShop as well.

2. Super Mario Odyssey DLC

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I definitely find this plausible, seeing as Breath Of The Wild had two DLC expansions released in the span of the same year. They could provide us with new worlds to explore, maybe even a throwback to Delfino Plaza from Sunshine. Either way, I think this is more than just a pipe-dream, so unless they plan to save all the goodies for the inevitable Super Mario Odyssey 2 then I could easily see some more worlds being added in for DLC in the later part of the year.

1. A lot of third-party announcements

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Now that the initial third party games such as Skyrim, DOOM, Rocket League, LA Noire etc have been introduced I think now is the time that the floodgates will open in terms of third party developers announcing content for the Switch. Bethesda was faithful from the very beginning and it paid back in spades. I could easily see them porting other previously released games like one of the Fallout titles in the future, but not necessarily this year.

That being said, I think there’s enough trust in the Switch now for developers to hold off any longer from producing titles for it and I could easily see 2018 filled with quality ports and new releases from third party developers all across the board.

Recently a Brazilian retailer listed a remaster of Burnout Paradise for the PS4, which was also slated for the Switch. I think that announcement will come forth in due time as well.

I can’t tell you what titles as of yet, but I can say with reasonable confidence that I think this year will be a doozy for third party releases.