Mario Golf, Splatoon 3, Pyra and Mythra join Smash, and everything else announced during Nintendo Direct

It’s been more than a year since we got a proper Nintendo Direct, and the announcement for this one was shadow dropped yesterday. Fans have some big expectations for a presentation that is supposed to cover everything Nintendo will be publishing in the first half of 2021. What big titles will release and what surprises did Nintendo have in store? Let’s take a look.

And the new Smash Brothers Ultimate Character is…

Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Cue the cries of “Oh no, not another anime sword user!” Well, this isn’t just another anime sword user. It’s TWO anime sword users. Much like Sheik and Zelda before them, Mythra and Pyra can switch between each other. One would wonder why they would return to this design after Zelda and Sheik were split so long ago. Pyra and Mythra will come with a new stage, Gramps from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, flying through the skies and visiting several different islands. No date was given for their release, but it’s likely that we will get a Smash Direct from Masahiro Sakurai soon.

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind

If you aren’t familiar with this series, Famicom Detective Club was a text-based mystery game that released on the, appropriately enough, Famicom. That’s what the Nintendo Entertainment System was called in Japan, for anyone who doesn’t know. The first was a murder mystery and the second was a supernatural thriller, and while they were well received in their heyday they never made it to the US. Now they are being re-released with HD animated graphics for the Switch over 30 years later. They will both be available for purchase on May 14.

Samurai Warriors 5

Tecmo Koei has been focusing so hard on spinoff titles like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and Persona 5 Strikers it’s about time that we got back to some classic musou style action. Samurai Warriors 5 will let you control major figures from the Sengoku era of Japan as you mow down useless peons in 1 vs 100 battles.

Legends of Mana

Legends of Mana is regarded by some to be the last major “new” Mana title ever released on consoles, and everything else has been mobile and handheld games and remakes. This hidden gem from the PSone era is coming to the Switch with HD remastered graphics and a brand new re-arranged soundtrack. It also comes with its multiplayer capabilities intact. There is also the new quality of life improvements including the ability to turn off enemy encounters and the introduction of a new Tamogatchi style mini-game Ring Ring Land. It will launch on Nintendo Switch on June 24.

Monster Hunter Rise

We got a new look at some of the monsters coming to Monster Hunter Rise in this new trailer from Capcom, focusing on different ecosystems like volcanos and swamps. We also got to see more about the story, in which a hunter fights against a beast that has been terrorizing his village for generations, and who protects the village from a regular event called The Rampage. Monster Hunter Rise will release on March 26.

Mario Golf Super Rush

Mario Golf sure isn’t the AAA bombshell that everyone was hoping for, but for a golf game, it does actually look pretty cool. It has new meters and readouts that show how your shot will bend. It has a scanning utility that maps out the height of the terrain you are playing on. It has multiplayer “speed golf” which is a chaotic power-up-filled mode where everyone tries to get their ball into the hole ASAP. It even has a full story mode, reminiscent of the hit indie game Golf Story. It also has full online play and… motion controls… you know if you are into that sort of thing. Mario Golf Super Rush will be available on June 25.

Capcom Arcade Stadium

Relive Capcom’s arcade classics with options like save-states and rewind, and it's available now! Though it does have an unfortunate amount of microtransactions and expansion packs attached.

No More Heroes III

The next chapter of the No More Heroes saga is coming to Switch and it’s as crazy as ever. It seems to include sendups of all sorts of games from Stardew Valley to Fatal Frame and Final Fantasy. Also, Travis has some JoyCons attached to his glove now. It’s that classic Suda 51 weirdness you know and love. It will land on Switch on August 27.

Neon White

What do you do when Demons sneak into heaven? You contract a group of badass Angel assassins to do some house cleaning. This high-speed story-focused first-person shooter with rogue-like elements is seriously nothing like you have ever seen. If the Switch is good at anything it’s good at innovating and screwing around with genres. It will release for the Switch in Winter 2021.

DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power

Look, I don’t want to be too judgmental, but this game looks like it was designed by someone who has never spoken to a teenage girl in their life. I guess this is an action/daily school life game set in an alternate universe where all the DC Universe superheroes are teen girls at Metropolis High? Look, someone out there is going to like this, but this certainly feels the most “shovelwary” of the titles showcased today. It will launch for the Switch on June 4.

Miitopia

The Mii-based JRPG/Life-simulator from the Nintendo DS is coming to the Switch. It’s pretty much the same game that released four years ago, except now there are more character customization options including more hairstyles and colors and makeup options. It will release for the Nintendo Switch on May 21. Pre-orders are open now.

Super Mario Themed Animal Crossing Update

Mario-themed items are coming to Animal Crossing New Horizons. They include things like brick and power-up blocks, goal flags, and the very useful pipe warp that can take you from one side of the island to the other. The new update will go live on February 25 but items will be available via Nook Shopping on March 1.

Project Triangle Strategy

A new grid-based strategy RPG from the Octopath team, this very clearly takes cues from Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. Everything from classic PSone era tactical games is here, from multiple characters and classes, range and terrain-based effects, the ability to alter the terrain around you to give you an advantage, a complex morality system with branching paths, combo attacks, and more. It’s the greatest hits of all the mechanics that made tactical games hype in the ‘90s. It won’t be available until 2022, but a demo version is available now. Much like Bravely Default 2, Square Enix will be using feedback from this demo to influence the design of the final game.

Star Wars: Hunters

It’s a multiplayer free-to-play shooter in the Star Wars universe that, unfortunately, we only got a cinematic trailer for. It will release sometime in 2021, though an official date has not yet been given.

Knockout City

Did you want an online multiplayer extreme dodgeball game? EA thinks so. With special attacks, unique characters, huge maps with a focus on verticality, and much more, Knockout City is the extreme sports game you didn’t know you wanted. Coming May 21, 2021, and soon to be broadcast on ESPN 8, The Ocho.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass

Were you one of the completionists that went out of their way to 100 percent Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity? Well, get ready for more content, as an expansion pass will bring more battles and more characters to this BOTW themed musou game. It includes new weapons and costumes, new weapon types, now Royal Ancient Lab challenges, new enemies, new story missions, new stages, new skills for each character, and several new characters to play.

Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection

We got a closer look at the gameplay of this brand new Ghosts n’ Goblins title, including Arthur’s new helpers, Barry, Carrie, and Archie, who can use defensive skills, transportation skills, and stage building skills respectively. They can also fight alongside Arthur in two-player mode. Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection will launch on February 25.

Saga Frontier Remastered

This classic PSone title is coming to the Switch with new content and an entirely new character. Fans have been waiting over 20 years to see this branch of the story and they can when it releases on April 15th.

Bravely Default 2

It’s only a week until we get to play the latest in Final Fantasy-style retro RPGs. A newly expanded demo is available now, and the full game will launch on February 26.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

While there was no news on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, there was news on a brand new HD re-release of Skyward Sword, everyone’s favorite… er… enjoyed… uh… most tolerated Zelda game. You can now play it without motion controls. Instead, Link can swing his sword with the right analog stick, similar to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Of course, you can still play with JoyCons and motion controls if you want. It will be available July 16 and will release alongside two special themed JoyCons.

Splatoon 3

The Inklings are back, now with a story? Splatoon 3 is coming, and while we didn’t see much more than the character creator right now, it looks great. It’s certainly gotten a graphical upgrade and, if the short scenes we have seen so far are any indication, it’s also going to fool around with its game modes as well.

The many ports and re-releases

Many trailers in the direct were for old games coming to the Switch platform without any extra new content. They are:

  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – Coming to Switch Summer 2021
  • The Outer Wilds – Coming to Switch Summer 2021
  • Tales from the Borderlands – Coming to Switch March 24, 2021
  • Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse – coming to Switch March 16, 2021
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborviille Complete Edition – No release date given
  • World’s End Club – Coming to Switch May 28, 2021
  • Hades, physical versions with artbook – Coming to Switch, March 19
  • Ninja Gaiden Master Collection (Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razors Edge) – Available on Switch, June 10
  • Apex Legends – Available on Switch, March 9 with cross-platform play.

What Nintendo announcement were you most excited for. Let us know in the comments.