Summer rolls on, and while the Summer Games Fest has ended, Nintendo debuted a fairly stunning buffet of titles for their upcoming releases into the later parts of 2023 and 2024. If you missed the full video on Youtube, we’ve got a quick wrap-up here of all the biggest reveals and things to keep your eyes out for!
Nintendo Directs are always an interesting gamble, albeit in many cases that’s due to the extreme pressure placed on them to deliver things that are just likely to never happen (Sorry, Silksong). This is often countered by the fact that Nintendo will also just reveal things totally out of left-field, and in an age of leaks and spoilers, sometimes a Direct can be the sort of excitement injection needed into an otherwise fairly jaded hobby.
If you weren’t able to check out the Direct itself, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest things you’ll want to know about, and there are quite a lot of interesting announcements to talk about:
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Possibly the biggest announcement of the Direct, and Nintendo revealed a brand new Mario 2D platformer literally out of nowhere, and the game looks quite amazing so far. Wonder returns to “classic” Mario, so no 3D exploration and collecting, but instead fast-paced and unique platforming puzzles seem to be the name of the game in Wonder. The game looks quite far along in development based off of the reel they showed, with up to four player co-op including characters like Peach, Daisy, Luigi, and Toad, new powers like an elephant form(?!), and stages with shifting environments. The vibrant music and colors are exactly what you’d expect, and honestly I’m 100% on board with Wonder, which is set to release on October 20th of this year.
TheChirurgeon: Not going to lie, this one looks wild almost to the point of being off-putting but there’s a 100% chance I’ll be playing this on the couch with my son when it comes out.
Super Mario RPG
No, your eyes do not deceive you, Nintendo revealed that Super Mario RPG is getting an entirely remade version of the turn-based RPG classic collaboration between Square and Nintendo from the SNES era. I loved Super Mario RPG, and I’m excited to play through the game again with all of the updated graphics and music that this trailer promises. If there’ll be any new content or surprises remains to be seen, but even if there isn’t, SMRPG is an absolute blast of a game that deserve a playthrough. And, again, it won’t be that long: Super Mario RPG is releasing on the Switch later this year on November 17th!
TheChirurgeon: Super Mario RPG is a classic I’ve started many times but never finished and I’m looking forward to actually following through this time.
Pikmin 4 / Pikmin 1+2
If you love managing small armies of little plant people, then the Direct today had a lot of great news for you: Pikmin 1+2 is available right now (yes, right now!) on the Nintendo eShop for Switch, featuring some HD upgrades to the graphics and sound. Whether there’s any gameplay changes seems unlikely, but if you never had a chance to play through the original Pikmin games, this is a great way to experience the series unique charms from the beginning. And don’t worry, because by the time you finish Pikmin 1+2, you’ll be just in time for the release of Pikmin 4, the newest title in the series featuring lots of new gameplay features, such as night missions, Dandori battles, and building up your basecamp forces and skills. Pikmin 4 is slated to release in a month, arriving on July 21st with lots of puzzling action-adventure gameplay to experience.
WarioWare: Move It!
I love the WarioWare games, so seeing a new title in the series get revealed made me excited, but I have to be honest: seeing how it controls did not. Reminding me of some of the ‘best intentions’ of Wii games, Move It! requires players to use the Switch Joycons and move them around with their arms and bodies to complete whatever the microgame wants you to do. Personally, I’ve never really enjoyed these types of games for the fact that movement based games wear out their welcome quickly, but also, the WarioWare games are usually goofy, quick fun, so I am at the very least mildly curious to see if this one changes my mind at all. It features some multiplayer functionality, so if you and a friend (or 3) can stand waving your arms around in your living room, it might be up your alley when it hits the Switch on November 3rd.
TheChirurgeon: It’s interesting to see Nintendo making a go at these after the early attempts at using the Switch as a wacky party game console really did not land – 1-2 Switch moved because of a lack of options, but no one remembers that game fondly (it’s no Wii Sports, is what I’m saying). WarioWare is certainly the franchise to attempt that with, though.
Star Ocean The Second Story R
Star Ocean 2 returns on the Switch in a beautifully done remake, and I’m frankly pumped to experience one of my favorite games again with new features. Star Ocean is a unique blend of Science Fantasy that isn’t overly common in a lot of other games, and the real-time combat system is also something that made Star Ocean stand out for me when I played the original game. The branching narratives, various characters, and unique world of Star Ocean 2 made me immediately go pre-order the collector’s edition the moment I saw the trailer, so if you’re looking for an RPG to scratch the itch or explore a game you’ve never tried before, November 2nd is your date with the Stars!
TheChirurgeon: Another classic RPG I haven’t finished, and one I’m looking forward to picking up. I should really play First Departure too, I guess. Maybe after I finish ToTK and Diablo IV.
Detective Pikachu Returns, and Pokemon DLC!
Detective Pikachu is back baby, and I’m pumped for this sequel to the first game. Pokemon as a universe is such an interesting world to consider in various ways, and the Detective Pikachu game was a lot of goofy fun wrapped up in an easy to play and enjoy story-based game. The idea of a talking Pikachu was good enough to spawn a pretty good movie, and frankly I’m happy that we’re getting as second foray into the world of the Detective Pikachu game world too. For traditional Pokemon fans, don’t worry: Nintendo also showed off some updates and news for the upcoming Scarlet and Violet DLCs, Hidden Treasure of Area Zero! Scarlet and Violet had a somewhat bumpy reception, but there was a lot of fun to be had in the game (and some AMAZING music, thanks Toby Fox!), so hopefully the DLC will expand on the best parts of the game, with part 1 arriving in Fall and part 2 in Winter.
I almost was ready to write this game off initially because, frankly, I’m 40 years old and *I* barely remember the era of Saturday Morning Cartoons that this game is going for, but after seeing that the game is a first-person, multiplayer possible, roguelike melee combat game, I’m quite intrigued by what they showed off here. The corny Dungeons and Dragons and He-Man cartoon aesthetic vibe aside, first-person roguelikes aren’t super common, and the game does manage a really good attempt at the cartoon aesthetic (at times looking like Dragon’s Lair a bit) so I’m down to give it a try if it holds up. I wish there were more details about the ‘roguelike’ part, as that gameplay loop is what keeps me coming back to those types of games, so hopefully we’ll get some more details since right now the game just says ‘coming soon 2023’.
TheChirurgeon: I *do* remember the era of Saturday Morning Cartoons but ironically I’m in the opposite camp – This game seems like it’s resting too much on its aesthetic and not enough on its gameplay, and while the notion of a fps roguelike is interesting, I’m not sure an FPS is the best way to show off your signature aesthetic. I mean, half of the appeal is how you’re rendering the characters, and I won’t actually be seeing the one I’m playing as. This is a game I’m going to keep an eye on, but the lack of focus on the gameplay gives me pause – 80s saturday morning cartoon aesthetic is not a big enough draw for me.
Persona 5 Tactica
Revealed during the Summer Games Fest, Persona 5 Tactica was certainly not a game I expected. Persona 5 getting so many genre spin-offs speaks to the popularity of the series and this particular iteration of it, but to be honest I’m mostly interested in how good the tactical RPG combat will be. I’m not sure, exactly, if the trailer actually answered that, but I’m hoping to see more of the game as it gets closer to release. At the very least, it looks extremely colorful and brings the expected Persona aesthetics and music, so when the game arrives on November 17th, so here’s hoping!
The massive board game that seems to have ignited what a board game can do and how much space it can take up in your closet, Gloomhaven, arrives on Nintendo Switch. This isn’t a brand new title, but it might be one of the best ways to experience the game electronically, as Gloomhaven is fairly in depth and playing it on the couch in your hands sounds like a way better time than sitting at your PC or, frankly, across an entire dinner table. Still, what really will matter here is how well the Gloomhaven experience translates to an electronic form, and how smooth the game is to play. There is always something a little lost in the transition from analog board game to digital, but Gloomhaven has a lot of game ‘management’ that would, if done well, provide a lot of stress-free adventuring in the palm of your hand on the Switch, coming on September 18th.
One of the more intriguing games on the line-up, Palia promises to be a massive multiplayer game that features crafting and some level of adventure, and reminds me very slightly of games like Valheim mixed with Animal Crossing, with an emphasis on ‘cozy’ village life and crafting mixed with a dash of adventuring and exploration. The game is supposedly free to play, so the biggest issues will be how much the game actually costs to ‘play’ in terms of monetization, how engaging it is to play with others, and what exactly is offered. That said, there aren’t a lot of games like this on the Switch, and a pick up and go MMO, even one that isn’t focused on constant adventure, sounds unique enough to be worth checking out when it releases on the Switch later.
There were quite a few other smaller games that were announced, as well as some returning remasters. The Arkham Asylum games are returning in a trilogy collection, although whether they hold up at all and how they’ll play on the Switch remains to be seen. Dragon Quest: Monsters also returns with a new entry, but not a ton of details on how it will play compared to earlier games in the series, and Ubisoft announced more DLC for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Rounding out some of the news, Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection, Just Dance 2024, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC are all on the way as well. Perhaps of interesting note is the hit Vampire Survivors is coming to Switch, and frankly that seems like a perfect home for that type of oddly relaxing simple yet challenging game.
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.