Surprise! A Nintendo Direct Mini dropped this morning! Granted, if you've been following the rumor mill lately, you probably weren't actually that surprised, but it still contained an impressive number of reveals and information. The Nintendo Direct's sole focus was Nintendo Switch games and DLC releasing this year, and it looks like a pretty good roster so far.
We're summed up all the big reveals in the breakdown below, but don't forget to check out the full Nintendo Direct above to see everything we got today!
Kirby Star Allies
Release Date: March 16th, 2018
We were given a good look at this game back in September, but now we have a release date, full title, and a couple new powers for Kirby. The new Artist power lets you make sentient illustrations that attack your enemies, while the Spider ability lets you shoot webs to trap enemies. We also got to see a few more of the friend/power combos you can perform, similar to the concept previously seen in Kirby's Dream Land 3.
Mario Tennis Aces
Release Date: Spring 2018
While at first you may be yawning at the prospect of another Mario Sports game, this one comes with a twist: an actual story mode! In the first new story mode since the GBA games, you compete in various tennis challenges, such as hitting fireballs back at piranha plants, and even battling Petey Piranha himself. While Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Wii U was criticized for being overly gimmicky, Aces seems to return the focus to the core gameplay that made the original Mario Tennis outings so beloved.
SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
Release Date: Summer 2018
Nintendo may not have a virtual console on the Switch yet, but that didn't stop a good number of NEOGEO games from being released under the ACA banner. These must have been doing well, because a brand new fighting game from SNK has been announced featuring only the women of classic SNK Fighting games. The gameplay looks to be mostly identical to The King of Fighters games, with a tag-team mechanic and even items thrown into the mix. To go along with that announcement, ACA NeoGeo Art of Fighting 2 was made available today on the Nintendo eShop.
Release Date: February 16th, 2018
We got our first taste of this game last year, but now we have final confirmation that the targeted February release will be met. It still looks lovely, with a 3D Ori vibe, and we've learned that Singing will also be possible via motion controls, though how exactly isn't clear.
Release Date: January 25th, 2018
If you've never played Towerfall: Ascension, grab three friends and do so right now. From its humble beginnings on the Ouya, it gained notoriety as a simple, but very fun, and VERY hectic multiplayer couch game full of cute charm. Now imagine Towerfall, but as a traditional platformer in which you are climbing a mountain, and you pretty much have Celeste. This game began life as a freeware proof of concept, so if you want to get a feel for how the final game may turn out, give the prototype a try.
The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Release Date: This Year
Anyone who has played this game on the DS will immediately tell you it's a cult classic. While the original game was built around using two screens, a mobile version was made that updated the game for a single screen, so the Switch version will likely be based on that mobile port. Interestingly, despite the game being very touchscreen heavy, there will be an option to use the Joy-Cons instead of touch controls.
Dragon Quest Builders
Release Date: February 9th, 2018
We already knew when this game was coming to Switch, but in case you were still on the fence about buying it, a demo was just released on the Nintendo eShop.
Release Date: Summer 2018
Ys VIII did pretty well all around when it first released last year, and that appears to have warranted a Switch port. It looks like a straight port, so no additional content, but this is good news for RPG fans who are already done with Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Release Date: Spring 2018
If you've been holding off buying Hyrule Warriors because you assumed it would be ported to the Switch, congratulations! The Zelda-themed take on Dynasty Warriors will be re-released and will include all of the previous DLC for the first two versions of the game, including all the characters and maps. While it doesn't look like we'll see any brand new characters (Champions, anyone?), Link and Zelda will at least be getting new costumes based on their champion garb from Breath of the Wild.
Release Date: February 27th, 2018
Despite a delay, the much-lauded heist game is coming to Switch and is bringing with it a timed-exclusive character named Joy, who opts for a nice LED mask instead of the traditional creepy clown mask. HD Rumble and touchscreen menu controls are also included. Unfortunately, it looks like cross-platform online will not be supported, so you'll only be able to play with other Switch owners.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Release Date: May 4th, 2018
Two Wii U ports in one Direct? Not a bad decision. This time around, we have a new character in Funky Kong, who might as well be named easy mode based on how OP he comes across in the trailer. Other than that, the game looks exactly like the original that everyone loved the first time. The co-op mode lends itself even better to Nintendo Switch, too.
Dark Souls Remastered
Release Date: May 25th
Prepare to Die! Again! Dark Souls is getting a remaster for modern consoles, and this will mark the first time a "Soulsborne" genre game appears on a Nintendo system. No evident changes for the remake at this point, but one nice piece of information is that From Software themselves will be handling the remake.
Updates / DLC
Pokkén Tournament DX
Release Date: January 31st, 2018 (Wave 1) / March 23rd 2018 (Wave 2)
Dubbed the Pokkén Tournament DX Battle Pack, the DLC for the Tekken inspired fighting game is being released in two waves, with both waves adding a new playable character and two support Pokemon. Wave 1 includes Aegislash along with Mega Rayquaza and Mimikyu, while wave 2 lets you play as Blastoise with help from Mew and Celebi. Both waves include avatar items as well, and some new avatar items are available right away if you decide to buy the DLC pack before it actually comes out. The Battle Pack content is only available as a combined bundle, and costs $14.99 US.
Super Mario Odyssey
Release Date: February 2018
Everyone was likely expecting some paid DLC to be announced, but in a very pleasant surprise, we've been given a free update instead! A new game mode will be added to the game after beating the main story, called Luigi's Balloon World. Sadly, you don't get to play as Luigi, and this has nothing to do with Balloon Fight, but it still looks to be an interesting challenge mode. By talking to Luigi, you'll be able to either hide balloons for other players online to find, or you can choose to find balloons other players have hidden. You have a limited time to hide and reach balloons, so this will really be a test of how good you are at moving around in Super Mario Odyssey. There's even a ranking system, so you'll be able to compare yourself with other players. The rewards aren't just superficial either, you'll be able to earn coins through these challenges, though no details were given on exactly how many coins you will get. Apart from that, the update will also includes a knight outfit, a musician outfit, and a Super Mario Sunshine outfit. Lastly more filters are being added for the snapshot feature.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Release Date: Spring 2018
HE'S FINALLY BACK. TO KICK. SOME. TAIL.
That's right, Donkey Kong is coming to Mario + Rabbids, along with a new story and apparently a new world. He apparently has a banana boomerang (Bananarang?), and gives very powerful high-fives. We'll be seeing him join Mario and the Rabbids in action soon!
That's all for this Direct. Here's hoping Nintendo won't be too long in showing off the rest of the big guns of Nintendo titles coming for 2018. I'm still pulling for Metroid Prime 4!