Nintendo Direct – September 2023

A new Nintendo Direct aired today. The games highlighted are all for Nintendo Switch, and all are coming out either this year or next year. You can watch the full Direct in the video below or read the highlights under it. (Or both; you can always do both.)

The Nintendo Direct opened with wave 2 of the Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass called Side Order, featuring… I don’t know, goo-covered robot land whales (not that kind; they look like small whales that crawl on land). The real upgrade is a new “color chip” that increases damage and speed. Side Order will release in spring of 2024.

Next was Mario vs. Donkey Kong, an update of a Game Boy Advance game I never heard of wherein Donkey Kong has stolen a bunch of Mini Mario toys from a factory, and Mario has to find him and get them back via a platformer that requires “observation and action.” My big takeaway from this is that Mario sounds like Mickey Mouse. Mario vs. Donkey Kong will be available on February 16, 2024.

Then came some footage from Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, a new addition to the action game series that unfortunately doesn’t feature the voice talents of Jake Gyllenhaal. In this one, you play a warrior named Sargon (not that one) who must fight his way through waves of bad guys to rescue  the kidnapped Prince Ghassan. This one looks like a lot of fun; the graphics are amazing, and some of the bosses they showed are really cool. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown will be available on January 18, 2024.

A quick trio of announcements followed that: racing game Horizon Chase 2, which looks like every other racing game ever made and will be available today; Super Crazy Rhythm Castle, a music game that will be available on November 14, 2023, with pre-orders beginning today; and SPYxANYA: Operation Memories, about schoolgirls making a photo diary (whatever floats your boat), which releases sometimes in 2024.

After that, Super Mario RPG was revealed to be getting an updated remake for the Switch. New character-driven moves and boss rematches are some updated features. The Super Mario RPG remake will be available on November 17, 2023, with pre-orders available now.

Then, Nintendo announced Another Code: Trace Memories, a remake of Trace Memory from the Nintendo DS. It’s about a girl going to a mysterious island and solving puzzles to find her long-lost father. Also included is a sequel that was never released in North America called Another Code R: Journey into Lost Memories, which is cool if you’re into this game. Together, the set is called Another Code: Recollection, and it’ll be available on January 19, 2024, with pre-orders beginning today.S

The next big showcase was Princess Peach: Showtime! Peach takes center stage in this one, fighting bad guys with a… ribbon to stop an evil witch named… Grape from… ruining a play she wants to see. But that’s only one game; there’s also one where Peach becomes Detective Peach to find artifacts stolen from a museum, one where she becomes a chef called Pâtissière Peach to find stolen cakes, and one where she turns into a swordfighter. I guess it makes sense; Peach seems pretty popular. Princess Peach: Showtime! will be available on March 22, 2024, with pre-orders beginning today.

Another series of quickies followed that: SaGa Emeralds Beyond, an Anime-style, turn-based role-playing game launching in 2024; an upgraded remaster of the first three Tomb Raider games called Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft (astonishingly, they didn’t giver her a breast reduction), in which you can toggle between the remastered look and the old polygon style, which will be available on February 14, 2024, with pre-orders beginning today; Detective Pikachu Returns, in which Pikachu and Tim must find Tim’s father, which releases on October 6, 2023; Trombone Champ, another music game about playing the trombone, that is available now; Battle Crush, an online free-to-play brawler featuring characters from various mythologies that actually looks kind of fun, which launches on consoles like Nintendo Switch in spring of 2024, although a closed beta test will be available in October; Wartales, an open-world tactical RPG where you play as mercenaries and take jobs that all sound fairly noble, which is available now; Contra: Operation Galuga, a “reimagining” of the classci Konami run and gun game that looks way more fun than the games they’re showcasing, and will be available “early next year.”

The next biggie was Unicorn Overload, a “tactical fantasy RPG” that looks much more generic than the big deal they made about it would suggest. This will be available on March 8, 2024.

Then came Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, a remastering of the Nintendo 3DS game, the gist of which is in the title. It will release in the summer of 2024.

Following that came two announcements: a gallery of Nintendo’s past called Nintendo Museum will open in Kyoto, Japan, with construction planned to finish in March of 2024. Then, some Amibo figures were announced, including Zelda and Ganondorf on November 3, 2023, Noah and Mio from Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on January 19, 2024, and Sora from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (by way of Kingdom Hearts) sometime in 2024.

After those announcements, a remake of the Super Nintendo racing game F-ZERO 99 was revealed. This will be available for “active Nintendo Switch Online members” today. You can use the Super NES controller exclusive for Nintendo Switch Online members.

The next two showcases are spin-offs of League of Legends. The first is Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story, which apparently involves a lot of knitting; scintillating. This will be available sometime in 2024. Then came Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story, where you travel through an arctic world to learn more about some magic creatures. This one will be available on November 1, 2023, with pre-orders beginning today.

After that came a showcase for WarioWare: Move It!, a party game that looks like it’ll entertain kindergartners the world over. This will be available on November 3, 2023, with pre-orders available now.

A few more quick hits came next. Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes is an RPG launching on April 23, 2024. The DLC Eastward: Octopia will be available at Christmastime. Wargroove 2, another tactical RPG, will release on October 5, 2023, with pre-orders beginning today. Dave The Diver, in which you catch fish and use them to make and serve sushi, will be available on October 26, 2023, with pre-orders and a free demo available now.

Next came a preview of the final wave of the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Booster Course Pass, wave 6. It’ll feature courses like the Daisy Circuit from the Wii version of Mario Kart and Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, Pauline, and Peachette as playable characters. This will be available at Christmastime, and if you’re a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack member, you get it for free.

A new Among Us map called “The Fungle” was the next showcase. It’s got a lot to do with mushrooms. It will be available for free in October.

The final showcase (following a sizzle reel) was for a remake of the Gamecube game Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, where Mario (is he called “Paper Mario” in these games?) must find a treasure through an RPG world. It also features Princess Peach teaching something that totally isn’t HAL-9000 how to love. This one will be available sometime in 2024.

And that’s all she wrote. With a couple of exceptions, these games reassure me that my decision not to buy a Nintendo Switch was the right one, but I’m sure plenty of people like them.

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