Thoughts on 9/4 Nintendo Direct

Earlier this evening at 5pm(CST) Nintendo broadcast another of its Direct presentations. Speculation about a September Nintendo Direct had been circling around social media for a few weeks before it was announced that a 40-minute Direct presentation was indeed happening, this brought upon a wave of speculation(with a dash of skepticism). It had been announced that we would be receiving more footage and information about upcoming Switch releases like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Pokemon Sword/Shield, as well as word on the release date of Banjo & Kazooie as the newest characters in the Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass. Any time a Nintendo Direct is announced, gamer’s imaginations run wild fantasizing about what was in store, everything from earlier than expected release dates for the Breath of the Wild sequel or Animal Crossing: New Horizons to remasters of older titles to sequel announcements(Spoiler: No Pikmin 4 😦 ). While most what Nintendo showed may not have been a huge surprise, here’s a few things that I’m excited to see or find interesting…

More Switch Ports – I’m not going to get too excited simply about more games being ported to the Switch, but Overwatch being released on October 15 on the Switch is still pretty cool. Overwatch is still my favorite multiplayer game of the current console generation(Lucio main and proud!) and Blizzard taking advantage of the enormous user base on the Switch makes sense. My only concern is….the game is several years old already, I feel like I got into the game a little late and that was a couple years ago so I’m curious to see how that plays out. I’m also excited to get another chance to play Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast when upon it’s release for the Switch. I only played the game for a very short time when it was first released, so I’ll gladly take any chance to play more Star Wars games on the Switch. I also think that if EA were to change their mind and realize the units they could sell if they released something like the Battlefront OR The Sims games on the Switch, but alas, they don’t think their player base has any interest in the Switch(I guess EA is suddenly against making that extra cent?). Another Switch port that isn’t much of a surprise – Doom 64. A listing for the game was found on an Australian ratings board a couple weeks ago so the game being formally announced wasn’t entirely surprising, but still welcome. I bought a copy of Doom 64 from a local retro game store a while back and had a bit of difficulty seeing anything in the few moments I spent playing the game, the brief shots of the upcoming Switch release appear to have fixed what I had always heard was the biggest problem facing the game “I can’t see a damn thing!”. Doom 64 will be released on November 22 and hopefully won’t have the Bethesda.net login issues that infuriated everyone after original Doom, 2, and 3 were re-released digitally.

Switch Cross Play/Cloud Saves – This ties in a bit with a few of the newly announced Switch ports, namely games like Divinity Original Sin 2 and Dauntless. Both were announced during the Direct, with Divinity Original Sin 2 being available immediately. I think the most interesting aspect of this is Nintendo’s willingness to embrace the idea of cross-play between consoles. Titles like Overwatch, Divinity, and Dauntless having the ability to play across platforms will be a huge feature, they’ve already found a large audience across PC/PS4/Xbox One but will now add the enormous Switch user base. I’m still a little wary about playing a game on my Switch against someone playing on their PC, especially with the Switch being WiFi only. I mean, playing Overwatch at my local Starbuck’s SOUNDS COOL…but isn’t really the way I prefer to play online multiplayer games, especially FPS games. During the announcement of Divinity Original Sin 2 being available today on the Switch, it was announced that you will be able to use your cloud saves between both Switch AND Steam; this is an incredibly user-friendly aspect that I’m really glad Nintendo is open to embracing. Nintendo’s past hasn’t always reflected an attitude of embracing change within the gaming community as technology advances. I myself haven’t played Divinity Original Sin 2(yet…) but have heard many people praise the game since its release and being able to access my profile between Steam and Switch is a step in the right direction for integrating user bases.

Switch Online SNES – Ever since Nintendo launched their Switch Online service offering the ability to play a select library of NES games, many have anxiously awaited for when Nintendo would inevitably expand that library to include other past consoles like the Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64. A few months ago a patent for a wireless SNES controller was spotted which further amped up anticipation, this along with the fact Nintendo was releasing NES titles for its online service much too seldom, and many games were seen as questionable choice as they were fairly obscure. During the Nintendo Direct it was announced that gamers would finally be able to play SNES games as the Nintendo Switch Online service will now include SNES titles beginning tomorrow. The list of games includes essentials like Super Mario World 1&2, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid, along with more obscure titles like Demon’s Crest or Stunt Race FX. The two games I’m most excited to check out right away will be Breath of Fire and Kirby’s Dream Land 3 – a game that gets quite expensive in used game stores. Nintendo also unveiled a wireless version of the iconic SNES controller to be used alongside the retro games; the retail price for the SNES controller will be $29.99 – exactly HALF of what the wireless NES controllers cost. Of course, you need to be currently subscribed to the Switch Online service to be able to purchase either controller. I was still hoping for ANYTHING Metroid-related to be announced during the Direct, so I guess another place to play Super Metroid will have to do for now 🙂

Banjo in Smash Bros! – Banjo & Kazooie were unveiled as the 4th DLC character in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter’s Pass during Nintendo’s E3 Treehouse event to the elation of all those behind the #BanjoForSmash hashtag and today, we were finally given the release date for our beloved bear and bird. Shortly after the Nintendo Direct, Banjo & Kazooie will be available to use in Smash Bros. Ultimate, with a short segment after the Direct being hosted by Masahiro Sakurai himself showing the new in-game moves and soundtracks. I also love how Sakurai stated how Banjo & Kazooie were first introduced in Diddy Kong Racing on N64 in 1997 but are now currently owned by Microsoft and even though this was part of a Nintendo Direct, he encouraged gamers to check out all three games(Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie/Nuts N’ Bolts) on Xbox. Hearing a Nintendo executive telling people to go play a game on a Microsoft console is pretty funny and shows just how far along the relationship between the two Redmond, WA neighbors has come.

Here’s a link to the past entire Nintendo Direct if you’d like to check it out yourself as there’s too much to go over right now…I didn’t even mention anything about the Dungeon Builder in Link’s Awakening or Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition either did I? Either way, I’m going to kick back with my Switch and play some Smash…Guh-HUH!

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