Link’s Awakening, Super Mario Maker 2, and so much more.
Nintendo’s first Direct of 2019 was jam packed — 31 games in about 35 minutes.
That is a lot to cover, so let’s dive into everything discussed in today’s Direct.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Remake Is Happening This Year
While Nintendo’s Direct didn’t cover many of the biggest 2019 games we already know about — Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 — it did debut a surprising new addition to 2019’s lineup.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake ended the Direct with a bang of lightning, showcasing the new art style, Nintendo’s efforts to recapture the gameplay of the original, and enough teases to make IGN’s Brian Altano very, very happy.
Here’s a comparison of the 1998 Game Boy Color version to today’s announcement trailer:
Super Mario Maker 2 Is Coming Soon
Though many have expected a port of the Wii U’s Mario Maker, Nintendo instead decided to go for a direct sequel with Super Mario Maker coming to Switch this June.
The first look reveals some gameplay additions, like the ability to create slopes, and the addition of Super Mario 3D World assets, but we still have unanswered questions about whether already created levels will carry over, nor what else has changed.
Fire Emblems: Three Houses Dated and Detailed
Nintendo dedicated a solid segment of the Direct to the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses, revealing its slightly delayed release date into July.
The extended showcase also included looks at how Three Houses…well, three houses, will cohabitate the game’s world, and what role players will play in it.
Smash Bros. Ultimate Updates Are Coming
Nintendo couldn’t let a Direct go by without mentioning its sales powerhouse Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it seems we’re in store for more information in the future.
Nintendo briefly mentioned the 3.0 update will come this spring, as well as gave us a vague window for Joker’s launch as a DLC fighter, plus some amiibo details.
Platinum Games’ New Switch Exclusive
Platinum Games revealed Astral Chain, a new Switch exclusive coming later this year. Astral Chain takes place in a futuristic sci-fi setting, with players tackling some fearsome monsters with the use of whip-like weapons.
And, for those wondering, Platinum confirmed Bayonetta 3 development is still progressing.
Five Things to Play on Switch Today
Five announcements from the Nintendo Direct teased either games or demos available to play on your Switch sometime today. They include:
Tetris 99, a battle royale Tetris game available for Switch Online subscribers.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’s free co-op update
Demos for Daemon x Machina and Yoshi’s Crafted World, and the release of Final Fantasy IX.
Third-Party Ports a Plenty!
Nintendo detailed a plethora of upcoming Nintendo Switch ports from third-party developers and publishers.
- Dead by Daylight – announced for fall 2019
- GRID Autosport – highlighted for summer 2019
- Deltarune: Chapter 1 – being released Feb. 28
- Mortal Kombat 11 – April 23
- Unravel 2 – announced for March 22
- Disney Tsum Tsum Festival – announced for 2019
Dragon Quest Updates
Nintendo spotlighted two Dragon Quest titles during today’s Direct. The first, Dragon Quest Builders 2, now has a release date of July 12, and will feature local and online co-op play.
Additionally, Nintendo also highlighted Dragon Quest 11 S Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition coming to North America this fall. Previously released in Japan, DQ11 features the option to jump between 3D and 16-bit styles, turn-based battles, and both English and Japanese voice acting.
Final Fantasy Ports Release Dates
Nintendo and Square Enix offered three release dates for some of the previously announced Final Fantasy games coming to the Switch.
Final Fantasy IX is being released today for the Switch, while Final Fantasy VII will be released on March 26. Additionally, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy will debut on March 20.
Release Windows for Known Games
Nintendo revealed, generally, when we can expect two games slated to hit the Switch this year. Both the Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order and the multiplatform Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will be available in summer 2019.
Starlink Is Getting More Star Fox Content
Nintendo and Ubisoft revealed a continuation of the partnership that allowed for Starlink: Battle for Atlas’ Star Fox content.
Peppy, Falco, and Slippy will all be available as playable pilots with their own skill trees. Starlink will apparently be getting more content in a spring update, including starship races and faction missions.
The beloved 3DS puzzle series BoxBoy is returning on Switch with BoxBoy + BoxGirl, coming on April 26.
The largest game in the series yet, this entry will feature 270 stages, a campaign for the oblong Qudy, and enough puzzles to solve to make IGN’s Peer Schneider nearly as happy as Brian Altano is for Link’s Awakening.
Square Enix’s New RPG
The next RPG from Tokyo RPG Factory, the developers of I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear, debuted its new title Oninaki, during the Direct, highlighting how players will traverse the planes of the living and the dead to save lost souls.
Rune Factory 5 Is Happening, RF4 Being Remastered
Nintendo’s Direct highlighted the reveal of a Rune Factory 4 Special remaster, set to come to the Nintendo Switch. Additionally, Rune Factory 5 is confirmed to be in development.