Every time, without fail, Nintendo Directs exceeds fan expectations, and the September 2021 show was no different. Even if some of today’s announcements were accidentally leaked before they were scheduled.
Be it bizarre, wonderful surprises like Chocobo GP or crowd-pleasers like Bayonetta 3, there was a bit of something for everyone at this show. The last Super Smash Bros. announcements were the most important. Ultimate fighter and a highly-anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons update, are set for a larger reveal at a later date, Nintendo fans were well fed by Thursday’s 40 minute showcase.
Kyle: Monster Hunter Rise stole so many friends away from me. Although they all said I would love the third-person combat and intricate armor crafting, I didn’t buy the game at launch. With this new Sunbreak expansion, which looks gorgeous, maybe I’ll finally give this series a shot.
Mary: The Monster Hunter grind isn’t for everyone, but I did enjoy the bit of time I sunk into Monster Hunter Rise earlier this year. This DLC will bring new monsters, new gear, new locations, and new quests. It’s the perfect time for players to get back to the original before the summer release.
Kyle: I’ve never been one for card RPGs. I love Yoko Taro and this one will be my first. If Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is even half as good as NieR: Automata by some slim, unlikely chance, then JRPG fans are in for quite a treat.
Mary: I am… so excited for this game. You might wonder why? You might be a little bit disappointed that a simple, card-based JRPG is not worth your time. This project is headed by Nier series Director Taro and Nier music creator Keiichi Okabe. There’s no reason to be excited.
The entire game’s world is made up of playing cards. This is a great idea for a game. This game is Taro’s creation, and Okabe’s beautiful music will make my heart break.
Kyle: As a huge Final Fantasy fan, I have no idea what to say other than Chocobo GP looks hilarious. I’ve partaken in quite a few rounds of chocobo racing in Final Fantasy XIV, which is either a maddeningly frustrating endeavor to just chill prances about the race track. If Chocobo GP can capture that magic, then I’m totally into the idea of this kart racer.
Mary: Mario Kart, in MY Final Fantasy? Although this was not the announcement I expected, I am so glad I did. Final Fantasy ‘ Square Enix has a huge roster of memorable characters that makes for an excellent racing game collection. I would love to race my cart with Final Fantasy’s favorite characters.
Kyle: Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks like a cutesy mashup of Super Mario Odyssey and The Last Of Us. Well, maybe not quite. I was able to laugh at Kirby’s adorable platforming in post-apocalyptic settings. It’s beautiful and shows that the Switch has enough technical flexibility to display some stunning visuals.
Mary: No doubt inspired by Super Mario Odyssey before it, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is going open world in a full 3D title. You’ll find everything you need in a Kirby game, including puzzles and platforming as well as their famous ability to steal.
Kirby makes a post-apocalyptic world look fun.
Kyle: What I look forward to most about Mario Party Superstars is learning to hate my friends all over again! This series is a great way to bring out the competitive side of everyone. Too many nights were spent worrying that Yoshi would steal my coins in a Hot Bob-omb match.
Mary: Set to release in a little over a month, Mario Party Superstars is adding three iconic boards to the mix as the background for your upcoming fights with friends and family alike. This one looks like it will be a hit at your next get-together or party.
Kyle: Metroid Dread is going to be my first game in the series. Yes, I do. This blasphemy is not justified! However, I am incredibly excited about it all. Coming to adore 3D action platformers like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Hollow Knight, it’ll be interesting to jump into the series that practically invented the genre finally.
Mary: I also have never played a Metroid game — I’m sorry!! Metroid Dread is both terrifying and fun to play. I am already intrigued by the atmosphere and the game’s snappy platforming.
Kyle: I’ve never heard of Actraiser until today, but apparently, it’s a cult classic SNES game — one that combines the frenetic platforming of Castlevania with city-building simulation elements of Sim City. Sign me up! This is my favorite kind of mashup, although it sounds a little strange. This remake hopefully captures the essence of what made the original so loved.
Mary: I will once again side with my coworker here in that I too had never heard of Actraiser, but to be fair the game came out before I was born! The trailer for the remake features a nice art style and two types of gameplay. I find the city-building the most fascinating.
Although this trailer isn’t for me, it will be a great experience for fans of the original game.
Kyle: I lost so many hours to Splatoon 2. The series is like a blend of Jet Set Radio’s electric punk aesthetic with a container full of gak from Nickelodeon’s golden age during the early 2000s. The only thing missing is good netcode, an issue I desperately hope Splatoon 3 rectifies in time for launch. Oh, and Nintendo, bring back Salmon Run. My friends and i need to kill more fish dudes.
Mary: I spent a bit of time playing Splatoon 2 some summers ago and very much had a blast with its really wholesome vibe and insanely fun gameplay loop. Like seriously, listen to this track from the series and tell me it doesn’t fill you with a childlike glee as you get set to splatter some Inklings in paint?
Splatoon 3 looks to build more upon the series’ formula of addicting combat and the bright and cartoony atmosphere that fans of all ages enjoy.
Kyle: I’m deeply ashamed of how little I know about Castlevania. It has dapper vampires, tight 2D platforming and great soundtracks. But I have never tried one. So the Castlevania Advance Collection is the perfect introduction. It’s coming with the Game Boy Advance titles Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, and even the illusive SNES entry Castlevania: Dracula X. I can’t wait for this series to be finished!
Mary: My experience with the Castlevania series has mostly come from the Netflix show which was inspired by the games, but this collection seems to be a great jumping off point for someone like me. With an entire bundle of some of the series’ greatest hits, there’s sure to be something for everyone here, from newcomers like me to Castlevania franchise veterans.
Kyle: Had Bayonetta 3 not made an appearance at this Nintendo Direct, I’m almost certain half of my friends would’ve passed away from overwhelming disappointment. Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are, without question, some of the best character action games ever made. They are both amazing. It was almost four years ago that Nintendo and Platinum Games launched Bayonetta3 . The wait for a third one became unbearable. She’s finally here! She’s also sporting a new, spiky hairstyle.
Mary: The queen is back and looking better than ever! Although the trailer’s first minute was confusing to many, it soon became clear that the Witch Time sound effect had played and you could hear the joyful screams from Bayonetta fans all around. Platinum Games has had one hell of a run since kicking off the Bayonetta series back in 2009 and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for one of video game’s most stylish characters when this launches next year.