Nintendo Directs us to mediocrity
Video games are a large, multi-billion dollar industry with a value only expected to increase over time as technology becomes more and more accessible. With Xbox and Playstation releasing their brand new consoles, all eyes have turned toward Nintendo for their next big move in the console wars.
Nintendo from their very inception as a video game company has been synonymous as the company with the highest potential game quality (with the absolute worst PR practices). Last week saw the first Nintendo Direct of 2021 and the first Nintendo Direct in over 500 days. A Nintendo Direct is a showcase of games for the Nintendo Switch console, usually with major first party titles like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. So what did this Nintendo Direct have in store? Was the 50 minute long presentation worth the 500 day wait? The short answer is no, not in the slightest, but I guess it was decent.
Starting off the Direct was a character reveal trailer for the game Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, where the characters of Pyra and Mythra from the game Xenoblade Chronicles 2 were unveiled as DLC for the game releasing in March. Fan reception ranged from overjoyed support to over-exaggerated anger and frustration.
Following this reveal was the showcasing of a majority of third party games, like Square Enix’s Legend of Mana being remade for the Switch, and the release of another Square Enix title, Bravely Default II, and the remaster of Square Enix’s SaGa Frontier, and the announcement of Triangle Strategy (working title) from Square Enix, and sandwiched in between these announcements was a port of Nintendo’s Miitopia from the 3DS to the Switch.
If you have not noticed the trend here, it is that most of this Direct has been predominantly third party announcements. This is not anything new, in fact most Nintendo Directs follow this formula. The problem is that this is yet again nothing new. It has been over 500 days since the last Direct, with the last event teasing major titles such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild II, and with other major titles like Metroid Prime IV and Bayonetta 3 being in the works as well, expectations were built for massive announcements surrounding these games but recieved no real payoff.
Speaking of, toward the very end of the Direct, we did receive word from the director of Breath of the Wild II, Eiji Aonuma, about the heavily anticipated Breath of the Wild II. The announcement was that there was no announcement and to please wait a little bit longer for information. Instead they announced that they are remaking The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, originally on the Nintendo Wii for the Nintendo Switch. The port itself, bar some quality of life changes in the controls, looks lazy upon first inspection and is being priced at 60 USD, which if this port is anything like the ports of Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, and Mario Galaxy, which all were poor emulations of the original titles, this announcement does not make up for a lack of information.
So far this direct has sounded like nothing but “meh” announcement after “meh” announcement, so how did Nintendo save it at the very end? What did they announce that would amaze everyone and make up for a lack of impactful announcements? To end the Direct, Nintendo showed off a sneak peek of the intro to Splatoon 3, the next installment of their hit series Splatoon. This was not enough in the slightest to make up for a lack of information regarding most of, if not all of the monumental first party games they have been hinting toward for the past two to three years.
Overall this direct was a disappointing let down and squandered so much potential for greatness. There could have been so many great games unveiled with all of the hype building up over these past two years but then they did nothing with it and instead had third party announcement after third party announcement.
I give it, a 1/5. If I had to describe it in two words: A shame
They did however announce Mario Golf Super Rush, which is a new Mario sports title, that has Bowser wearing golf pants similar to Tiger Woods…
Note Bowser in his bright red pantaloons right by Mario, who is wearing white pants
Make it 1.5/5