The moment people have wanted finally happened today… well kind of. People want a Nintendo Direct to see what is next for the company, myself included, and we usually get a good number of them every year. Partner Directs that focused on third parties started during the dreadful 2020 when a lot of things were turned upside down for people. Nintendo hasn’t had one of these shows for a while but they brought it back. So no, you aren’t going to see the Zeldas, Donkey Kongs, or anything else that Nintendo owns; but it does mean you will get some great titles coming to the unique hybrid console.
Third parties are what helps keep consumers really happy during times when first party releases are not happening. Nintendo already has an insane summer with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes releasing last Friday, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on July 29th, and Splatoon 3 on September 9th, Nintendo already has massive first party titles that are packed in for the summer and not much room left for any other big games from Nintendo directly. So a focus on other games from third parties make sense here, even if I wanted to see the rest of the holiday lineup they have like everyone else does. So, what are my thoughts?
It started with Monster Hunter Sunbreak. Listen, it looks fantastic, but I am not a MH fan so it didn’t really appeal to me. Something bigger finished out the showcase; even if it was a little bit predictable. Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 3 Portable were all announced at the Xbox Showcase, and later confirmed to be going to PS4/5 later that same day. Now, we know they are coming to the Switch as well. I will say this about P4G and P3P, they are digital only titles for all platforms and that makes me upset, but I will still be getting P4G and P3P. Not sure yet if I am going to buy P5R again.
Started pretty decent, ended fantastic but not super surprising, but what about all of the middle of the showcase? Well, it was a combination of things. Ports, collections, remasters, remakes, and new games were all there along with updates to previously announced titles. There was a shadow drop of a game that was announced a while ago, the Portal Companion Collection. The Portal collection came out and is available to buy for $19.99 but I feel like there may be a physical copy down the line and I am personally going to wait and hope to see if that will happen.
There were a bunch of updates to big games that were previously announced titles that got updates at the show. One of these was Sonic Frontiers. Some of the marketing that SEGA has been doing for it has been confusing, but what was shown here was decent and clear. Another big update that we got was Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. The release date was announced, a new trailer with that showed more gameplay, and also Bowser being a playable character. Another big update was for Live-A-Live which is technically a third party developed game, even if Nintendo is publishing it in the west. The game got a demo that released today that allows the save data to transfer. Another big update was Dragon Quest Treasures, which I was interested in before, but after seeing the gameplay I am not sure about it.
I am not going to describe everything new from the show that was announced, but rather just two of my favorites. Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a remake of the first Pac-Man World game that is coming out in August. It gives me hope that Pac-Man World 2 and 3 games are also coming later as those were really fun on the PS2. The other thing that was really good that was the announcement that Mega Man Battle Network: Legacy Collection is coming out next year. It is a collection of the GBA games and I personally missed out on those back in the day, but they look fun to play so I will probably pick it up and play them.
One of the new big ports that was here at this showcase, was NieR Automata. While the game does look pretty decent on the console I have to ask the question, does this seem like too late of a port? Maybe, but again some people only have a Switch and NieR probably would sell pretty well on Switch. My problems about this port isn’t what the game is that is coming; but the disrespect it does to a different Square Enix IP that remains a cloud version while this is a native port; but I digress on that. A native PS4 game gets a native port on switch but HD remasters of PS2 and handheld games get a cloud version. I get that KH3 might be too hard, but the others I still don’t fully understand why haven’t been ported.
There were some smaller indie style games in the showcase that I am definately interested in. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes from Annapurna Interactive and Simogo, Blanc from Casus Ludi and Gearbox Publishing, and RPG Time: The Legend of Wright from DeskWorks and Aniplex were the three indie titles that really got me interested. Return to Monkey Island was here too and was confirmed to be a Switch console launch exclusive and it looks good, but I never played the original ones so I am not sure if I would understand the story for this game. These were my three indie games that are most interesting to me, plus one I would like, but missed out on the prior titles.
All in all, if you knew that first party titles weren’t going to be here, you probably would walk away with something fun to play. Nintendo has a good lineup already and third parties are just as important to hold up a console, so I was definately happy about this showcase. People always need to remember to keep expectations in check and it is harder to be disappointed about a show that is basically a marketing tool for people to see what is coming out in next in the world of video games.
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