Nintendo Direct 2/21/2024: A Cult-Favorite Franchise Returns, A Whole Lot of Ports, and South Park

Nintendo released a new Direct on Wednesday morning focusing on third-party titles coming to the Switch platform in the coming months.

The Direct was focused to a significant degree on ports, remasters, and collection re-releases, perhaps owing to reports that the new Nintendo Switch hardware previously planned to release holiday 2024 had been pushed into the first half of 2025. This would necessarily move the release window of all third-party games for the new hardware back as well, and turn the rest of 2024 into a relatively quiet period for both new first-party and third-party Switch releases.

Perhaps the most interesting items to make it into the Direct from an industry perspective were the Switch ports of Grounded (releasing 4/16) and Pentiment (releasing 2/22) from Xbox Games Studio, listed in the port roundups at the front and the back portion of the Direct respectively. The games were presented alongside titles from Sega, Konami, and Deep Silver instead of segmented off into their own presentation, reinforcing Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer’s comments last week that these games leaving exclusivity was a limited initiative signaling no greater partnership or strategic shift with regards to the Switch and Sony PlayStation.

Other notable games from the Direct included:

Endless Ocean: Luminous, the first new title in the Endless Ocean series in over a decade. Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean: Blue World were third-person scuba diving exploration titles for the Wii released in 2008 and 2010. Now in 2024, the series will make its return with a new title that focuses on ever-changing ocean floors and multiplayer supporting up to 30 players at once.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble, which looks to continue the Super Monkey Ball franchise’s expansion into online multiplayer experiences with modes that allow up to 16 players to compete at once in addition to the usual party-mode 1-4 player co-op.

Shin Megami Tensei 5 Vengeance, an ultimate-edition release of the base game in a similar style to Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal, allows the player to choose at the beginning of a new save file whether they would like to play the base game or the new Vengeance scenario, which follows the setup of the original but with significant changes and new NPCs in the mid and late game.

Ender Magnolia: Bloom in the Mist, sequel to the 2021 Metroidvania Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights, was announced in this Direct and will be coming to Switch at some point in 2024. It appears to be Switch exclusive for the time being, pending any future announcements from the developers.

South Park: Snow Day! They are still making South Park games in 2024.


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