Nintendo crammed a whole bunch of exciting announcements into its Nintendo Direct stream on Thursday, March 8, including a detailed look at Mario Tennis Aces and a teaser for Super Smash Bros. on Switch. Here are the highlights from the 30-minute stream that focused on Nintendo Switch, but proved the Nintendo 3DS is still kicking.
‘Super Smash Bros.’
Nintendo had just wrapped up a segment on Splatoon 2 so the clever teaser for Super Smash Bros. on Switch was a bit confusing at first. Two inklings chase each other across an all-white landscape splatting the floor with orange and blue paint. Then the screen goes black and the Smash logo appears overhead. No actual footage was shown but we expect Inklings to be playable characters when Super Smash Bros. launches later this year on Nintendo Switch.
‘Splatoon 2: Octo’
In one of the strangest Nintendo trailers we’ve seen (seriously, watch it), Nintendo revealed the first paid Splatoon 2 expansion. Splatoon 2: Octo is a new single-player campaign starring Agent 8, a stylish looking Octoling that wakes up without her memories. The trailer shows off some pretty cool set pieces, so it’s definitely worth a watch. The $20 expansion launches this summer and is available for pre-order on the eShop now.
Splatoon 2 version 3.0 comes in April as well, bringing three new free maps and more than 100 new pieces of gear.
The beautiful retro Japanese RPG from Square Enix has dropped “Project” from its name and is now simply Octopath Traveler. A brief gameplay demonstration showed off two new characters including Merchant Tressa, and detailed how party members can equip secondary jobs. The Nintendo Switch exclusive launches July 13. A collector’s edition launches the same day and comes with an absolutely gorgeous pop-up book, map, and commemorative coin.
‘Mario Tennis Aces’
The brunt of the stream focused on Mario Tennis Aces, which we now officially know will launch June 22 on Nintendo Switch. The game will include online matchmaking and tournaments. A gameplay demonstration showed off the various types of new shot types. Beyond topspin, slices, and lobs, zone shots let you aim your shot to an exact point, and zone speed lets you slow down the game. These shots can be blocked and can only be executed by filling up your energy gauge. There are also special shots that use a substantial amount of energy. Zone shots and special shots can knock out your opponent by breaking their racket. An alternative motion control scheme turns a single Joy-Con into your racket.
Nintendo will host a beta before Mario Tennis Aces launches June 22.
‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will be ported to the Nintendo Switch July 13, bringing with it new puzzle stages inspired by Super Mario Odyssey. The Switch version will also boast cooperative play, with one player controlling Toad and the other assisting with things like providing cover fire.
A Nintendo 3DS port of Treasure Tracker also launches July 13 and will make use of touchscreen controls and stereoscopic visuals.
‘Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy’
The PlayStation 4 collection that made waves last year is coming to Nintendo Switch. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy launches July 10. The compilation includes Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole’
Yes, the wholesome, family-friendly Nintendo Switch will get one of the crudest games in recent memory, South Park: The Fractured But Whole. It really is a perfect fit for the hardware. South Park: The Fractured But Whole launches April 24.
The 3DS is still kicking … kinda
The latest Nintendo Direct proved that Nintendo doesn’t want the 3DS to die just yet. WarioWare Gold, a new entry in the “microgame” series arrives with 300 new games on August 3. Nintendo will bring the original Luigi’s Mansion back from the dead, porting the GameCube classic to 3DS later this year. Perhaps most bizarrely, Nintendo will port the DS title Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story (which can already be played on 3DS) to 3DS as Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Story.
Rounding out the event, we also learned Okami HD comes to Switch with touchscreen controls this summer, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition lands May 18, and indie sensation Undertale will make its way to Switch somewhere down the line.
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