After just a couple of months away Nintendo have been back again, literally smashing it with another Direct. This one provided a lot of release dates, announcements and even one epic surprise at the end. Lachlan wrote a roundup of everything that was announced. After watching it and gathering our thoughts, the Switch Watch team decided to tell you some of our highlights and even a couple of low points from that direct.

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Juan Romero

I am not going to go for the obvious reveal at the end, I think everyone is excited about Super Smash Bros and let’s be honest we all knew it would happen at some point. I was more excited to see Mario Tennis Aces and the extended footage. I have always liked sports games and tennis games when good are a lot of fun. For Nintendo to spin their magic on this genre I believe will bring fun for everyone. For me, I am really competitive so I can’t wait to set up some tournaments and play.

I was very surprised to see Crash Bandicoot and I cannot wait to get the little Bandicoot on my Switch, this used to be one of my favoured platformers back in the day and I am happy to take this little guy on the move. Another game I am really excited by is Travis Strikes Back and cannot wait to see how this one plays when it finally drops. Those mini-games all look cool!

Overall this Direct was decent, it’s good to see games flowing through onto the Switch but I would like to see a few more original titles in the future and that would be my only slight disappointment. We are seeing a lot of ports of games which have been around a little while. I just want to see some newer stuff but can’t really complain. The Switch is my go-to machine for everything Indie and that’s a space I am very comfortable in along with a triple AAA every now and again.

mario tennis aces logo
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Lachlan Bruce
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Lachlan Bruce

After the killer first year Nintendo had with the Switch, there seemed little in the way of releases for year two. This worried me somewhat, as I was hopeful that they would be able to carry the momentum they had into 2018. As such, this direct felt like it had a bigger need to deliver than most. The release schedule seemed somewhat barren, even leading up to e3 at the midway point. Could Nintendo fill the gaps in their release window and satiate our growing appetites for releases each month? I believe the answer was an emphatic yes!

There were many games that really caught my eye, not just for the Switch, but for the 3DS as well. The first Luigi’s Mansion and Bowser’s Inside Story, my favourite games on the GameCube and DS respectively, are making their way over to the 3DS. Undertale… enough said. Mario Tennis Aces looks absolutely wonderful, as does the new Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion. Even Dark Souls looked to be running well from what little they showed, and a Solaire of Astora Amiibo? Are you kidding me?!

All that said, nothing got me more excited than Project Octopath Traveler. I already have my preorder for that absolutely stunning special edition, and what they showed cemented this as possibly my most anticipated Switch title. A classic gameplay style with an interchangeable job system sounds right up my alley, and I cannot wait to finally get my hands on this beautiful game. Getting a release date that’s only a few months away just made this news all the sweeter.

Jordan Humphries
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Jordan Humphries

I personally thought the Nintendo Direct was mostly positive, it was better than expected and had a couple of announcements that made me a very happy bunny.

You may think that Smash Bros would be my number one highlight, but although that is close, I was so happy when I saw Okami HD. Not because I think Okami is better or more important than Smash, but because I was so disappointed when it was initially revealed to be not coming to Switch. I really wanted to play Okami on Switch and I was devastated when it seemed like it wasn’t happening. Imagine my squeal at 6am when it was finally announced! Yes, I’ll buy it for probably the fourth time, and yes, I swear I will complete it this time!

There was some other good stuff in there too. We got to see more of the new No More Heroes game and Mario Tennis Aces looks like it could be the perfect remedy for what I thought was a tainted series after the shocking misstep that Ultra Smash was. I’m also looking forward to seeing more information about Smash, new characters, what’s changed and so on, and I really can’t believe it’s out so soon. I’m team Isaac by the way.

Finally, I did have one slight disappointment and that was with Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. Not that I’m against Captain Toad or anything, only that I would have much preferred this to have been a sequel rather than a port. It comes across as a little lazy and phoned in, especially this style of game which has all the assets ready and could be completely switched around with whole new puzzles. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch, but considering all the ports we’ve had or will have, this seems to be one of the lazier ones. But hey, it’s coming to 3DS too which is kind of cool!

Smash logo in the inkling's eye
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Brian Myers
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Brian Myers

While this Nintendo Direct wasn’t incredibly mind blowing, it was a very solid one indeed.  We may not have gotten any huge bombshell announcements such as GTAV, Fallout 4 or Final Fantasy 15, but we got a whole slew of exciting, smaller announcements.  I don’t think anyone can deny the immense popularity of Undertale regardless of whether you like it or not, and the Crash Bandicoot trilogy remake has been rumored and highly requested for some time.  Along with a couple major announcements from Nintendo, I found this to be a very well-rounded Nintendo Direct.

One game I was particularly excited to hear about was South Park: The Fractured But Whole.  This is a game which completely flies in the face of Nintendo’s classic, family-friendly image.  As a huge fan of the South Park franchise, I couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing this game make an appearance on the Switch.

If you read my Brawlout review, then you will know how big of a Super Smash Brothers fan I am.  The first ever all-nighter I pulled was while playing a 99-life match on Smash 64 with my friends when I was just 11 years old.  In the time since, I have dedicated innumerable hours to playing and master the subsequent games which have come since.  Finally seeing a real confirmation of the franchise on the Nintendo Switch was both expected yet absolutely mind blowing for me.  On top of that, it being revealed along with the unveiling of the highly requested Splatlings as playable characters was a complete stroke of genius.

The logo shown in the trailer was similar enough to the Smash 4 logo that I believe that this will be the same sort of Wii U Deluxe port that we have been seeing for the last year.  Smash 4 was a very solid entry in the series, so I will be interested in seeing how exactly what will be added to this title.  Obviously there are going to be new characters since we now know about the Splatlings.  Will we perhaps see the return of Wolf, Ice Climbers or (incredibly unlikely) Snake?  Will we have all of the combined content of the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game?  Perhaps we’ll finally get a new, proper story mode? And why not buff the Puff while you’re at it, Sakurai?  Please?  Only time will tell, but I know that this is one game I can’t wait to get my hands on for the Nintendo Switch.  Now, how’s about that virtual console with an online-enabled Melee?

South Park Fractured But Whole
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Jennifer Reichel

Watching news regarding the Switch even more intensely now, I was somehow startled as news laid flat down for a few days. The new Nintendo Direct popped out of nowhere and it was pretty clear why we had not heard much. Hopes were high for big announcements and jaw-dropping moments. This Nintendo Direct made me feel a little bit… uneasy. Let’s get to that in a moment…

I was not very excited about the Nintendo 3DS releases except for Detective Pikachu. This strange combination I encountered a few months back as I saw a Japanese article about it. I am interested in this game and will probably buy it – I hope the reality meets my expectations. Luigi’s Mansion was a lovely game and I played it quite often, but I will not consider buying this remake again. As well as Okami HD for the lovely handheld console.

The biggest news for me were those regarding Project Octopath Traveler, now officially named Octopath Traveler. This game captured me instantly. I wanted to continue playing from where I left the demo which showed off stories for Primrose and Olberic. The new characters, Tressa and Alfyn, look interesting. I cannot wait to slay my opponents with the amazing job system they have in this game! Loving the Bravely Default-titles, I knew this would be something I liked and cannot wait to play the final version and will look to pick up the special edition.  To honour this title with such a nice limited edition brought joy to my heart. This pop-up book fits so perfectly with the vibe the game gave in the demo and trailers. Finger’s crossed to get it somewhere here in Germany on July, 13th!

Mario Tennis Aces is a major title, but I was not too much into sports games of the Mario-series (except Mario Golf. I LOOOOVE to hit those golf balls! *wink*). I have not played any title of the Crash Bandicoot-titles yet. Guilty as charged, I know these games are good! Never had a chance and Nintendo seems to know that and now I will get the chance. Thank you for that, my dear friends over there in Japan!

Huge surprise to see Undertale on the Switch! I have not played this game, but I watched my friend stream it. Watching her, the wish of playing it on my own someday grew inside me intensely. Secretly was hoping for a port and – there we are! Nintendo read my mind again!

Speaking of a surprise, Little Nightmares gets a launch, too! When I took a trip to New York City last year, I held the version for the XBox One from Little Nightmares in my hands in a Microsoft store. I was drawn to it, the cover waking my curiosity. Somehow, I never picked it up back here in Germany but when it launches I will certainly be getting it!

… Again, speaking of coincidences, I went out to finally purchase a certain game yesterday. You know, it was International Women’s Day and I am a woman, so… Instead of shoes, I got a game. This game was Splatoon 2. Seeing this massive Update made me even more excited to play it and I hold the retail copy in my hand, asking myself?

Nintendo, are you inside my head? All the way from Japan!

Undertale
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James Romero

Project Octopath Traveler was the game that caught my eye when the playable demo came out. Having a release date this summer alleviates my fear of an end of year release. The fact that you can swap out a second class is awesome and the Special Edition looks… wow!

Hyrule Warriors looks set to fix that hack and slash itch. Undoubtably it will do a better job than the poorer dynasty warrior style games we’ve had so far. The games out on May 18th so not too long to wait.

Splatoon 2 is probably the game I’ve had the most fun with on the Nintendo Switch. We saw a load of footage of the 3rd expansion that looked cool but it’s the paid DLC and the octoling; Agent 8 and her story and new locations that looks awesome.

Smash Bros of course is the main highlight this time around and whilst we don’t know anything about it – how exciting!