Player 2 Versus Nintendo Direct June 2023
Just when you thought that Nintendo was going to skip out on the June gaming festivities they’ve gone and surprised us with a 40-minute Nintendo Direct. Join Player 2 editors Jess and Paul as they debrief on each of the games shown at this latest showcase
Pokemon Scarlet/Violet DLC
Jess: I didn’t touch Scarlet and Violet, so this one’s a little lost on me, but despite all the crap it got when it released, it still has quite the dedicated fanbase who I know are going to be pretty excited by this. And that mask Pokemon? Genuinely creepy.
Paul: Much like you Jess, my experience with Scarlet and Violet is extremely limited, playing briefly at launch, but barely scratching the surface of the game properly. Both games getting DLC is great news, as what was added to Sword and Shield was quite enjoyable, but it will be quite a while before I am in a position to enjoy it I sense
Jess: I am genuinely excited for this game. I’m traditionally not a Sonic person, but I’m now at a point in my life where this is exactly the sort of game I want to play in couch co-op with my friends. And honestly, who doesn’t wanna go fast? Particularly when you can summon an army of clones that ALL go fast. The dream.
Paul: Yeah, Sonic isn’t my thing, and they’ve done nothing in recent decades (save for when they had a group of fans make a game) to leave me feeling confident that the future of the franchise is in good hands. Sega forgive my cynicism, but I’m not feeling confident in your ability to deliver with this one.
Jess: In some ways, Palia is extremely my shit. I love this kind of farming sim/adventure game, but I also hate playing MMOs, and this is a little too MMO for my liking. Farming and traversing the countryside? Yes. Farming and traversing the countryside with a bunch of strangers? That’s a no. But it does look like it could be something new and different for those who do like MMOs, which is exciting!
Paul: I’m definitely intrigued by the idea of blending farming sims with a more social experience, hell, our beloved Story Of Seasons is embracing the model with an upcoming entry. This genre, despite how much I love it, has been pretty stuck in its ways for decades and so I’m interested to see what new ideas can do for the genre
Persona 5: Tactica
Jess: I don’t understand Persona, and it’s too late to try. Every time I think I’ve properly grasped it, I learn about an entirely new mechanic that is apparently core to the gameplay. I get that Tactica is not one of the main Persona games… I… think? Anyway. It looks cool, but I’ll probably skip it.
Paul: We obviously learned about this earlier in the month with the Xbox Games Showcase, however the confirmation of the game coming to other platforms has been a bit slower. The Nintendo Switch box has now been ticked off for Tactica now, but I’m fairly confident that this might be all that Switch owners receive, at least until after the launches of Persona 3 Remake, and that game that both includes ¾ of the alphabet and still fails to make an ounce of sense. Tactica in the meantime is a great get for the platform
Jess: I love this art style. It’s impossible not to be charmed by it. It has big He-Man/She-Ra energy, and if it tends enough towards the latter, I can see myself being deeply into this Mythforce. If nothing else, it looks like a classic adventure romp, and who doesn’t love a classic adventure romp?
Paul: The “Saturday morning TV” look of the game really clicked with me, but of course there’s a lot that we still don’t know about the game’s moment-to-moment action. I, for one, am keen to learn more however!
Jess: Once again, I am not a Splatoon person (because of that ‘not loving the idea of playing online with people’ thing). But I do love the aesthetic.
Paul: Look, the Splatfest subjects are always pretty lame, and I wish Nintendo would stop making them out to be something more than they are, but the action of Splatoon 3 still holds a tonne of appeal for me – I just need to grind out some time to dive into the game properly.
Detective Pikachu Returns
Jess: I did not have this on my bingo card. I’m honestly thrilled, but I never would have seen it coming. Another Detective Pikachu game?? I swear nobody talked about the first one, even after the movie came out. Which, obviously, is a crime of the kind this adorable detective could absolutely solve. I can’t wait. Let’s. Solve. Crime.
Paul: You always felt like there was going to be more Detective Pikachu, especially after the explosive success of the movie, but I had almost forgotten about this as a possibility for release. Now, all of a sudden the game is on our doorstep, and I’m right here ready and waiting for it.
Super Mario RPG Remake
Jess: As someone who never had a SNES, I’m thrilled that they’re remaking this game so that I’ll have a way to experience it properly and legally. It’s Mario’s first RPG, and it should be experienced.
Paul: I loved Super Mario RPG, but I was pretty late to the party on it, having already consumed the likes of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Earthbound, and consequently, Super Mario RPG wasn’t amongst my absolute favourites of the era, but I’m incredibly excited to go back with this remake and hopefully appreciate the game on a level that I never in previously.
Princess Peach Game
Jess: YES. YES YES YES. YES. HELL YES. OH MY GOD. AS A CHILD I WOULD HAVE KILLED FOR THIS GAME. And honestly? As an adult I’m just as pumped. In the wise words of Lizzo, IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME. I don’t care that we know next to nothing about it. Whatever it is, I’m ready to love it.
Paul: It was strange how cagey Nintendo were about this one. They kept it nameless and didn’t indicate too much in terms of moment-to-moment gameplay for this one, but I’m thrilled that Peach is getting another adventure. Super Princess Peach was too long ago.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 Remake
Jess: I was watching a speedrun of Luigi’s Mansion earlier today and thinking about how great it would be if I could replay them all without having to dig out my 3DS. So this is a start! They’re great games, and they deserve a bigger audience – this is awesome news.
Paul: I do love some Luigi’s Mansion, and the second game was my favourite game on the 3DS, so I’m thrilled to see that the game is making the jump off that platform and will be dropping the 3D gimmicks along the way. Now, I’m being greedy, but bring on Luigi’s Mansion 4!
Batman: Arkham Trilogy
Jess: I love the Arkham games. All of them are incredible, and I genuinely believe there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. But remembering the hellscape that was the release of Arkham Knight on… basically everything, I’m pretty concerned about how they’ll perform on the Switch. And also, where’s Arkham Origins? It feels like maybe it should be there too? Ah well. I hope the trilogy runs smoothly on the Switch hardware, and that it allows more people to experience these iconic games.
Paul: Stop treating Batman Arkham Origins like it’s the unwanted step-child! In 2023 there is no excuse for any Batman Arkham bundle to not include that WB Montreal title, that I for one loved and adored. The Rocksteady developed games were absolutely the best titles but those who sleep on Origins are missing out. Dubious about a Switch port but it’s a nice glimmer of hope that we might see another Arkham game.
Jess: Given Gloomhaven is a giant and expensive game, digitally may be the only way I ever get to play it. I’m intrigued.
Paul: This one seems pretty interesting? Like you Jess, I certainly won’t be playing Gloomhaven in any way other than this, so perhaps I should give it a go.
Just Dance 2024
Jess: Well, it’s certainly another Just Dance game. I don’t know most of the songs that they announced because I am so deeply out of touch with all things music, but I do see that they’re including ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ by the queen Whitney Houston, which is the only song that actually encourages me to get up and dance at weddings/dances/parties. So hey – maybe that’s enough to pull me in.
Paul: A recent feature of the Ubisoft Forward, Just Dance did what Just Dance does, and I’m not about it.
Jess: This adorable RPG looks like something I could lose a lot of hours to. For some reason, I couldn’t get past the line in the trailer about the ‘sorrowful princess’ being ‘encased in a crystal of her own tears’, because it sounds like a line out of some bad fanfiction. But otherwise, this game looks genuinely cool.
Paul: There are lots of mechanical aspects to Silent Hope (which, let’s be real, sounds more like a horror game than anything else), but the Chibi look really does nothing for me. It lacks the texture of other similar looking games and consequently looks pretty bland.
Jess: I assume that I will be playing this game in co-op with my partner and housemate every day from the day it launches until the day we die. Witchy farm shit? Sign me up.
Paul: This is the farming sim that I’m looking for. The co-op is lite, the farming is on the money, and it has a look and tone that appeals in ways that many up-and-comers in the scene are not (like Silent Hope for example)
Hotwheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
Jess: I didn’t play the first game, but I’m a little sad that I didn’t, and I might actually pick it up while I wait for the second one to release. It looks like a lot of fun, and I think I’ve been sleeping on this series.
Paul: I hadn’t played the original either, until I jetted up to old mate Hewso’s for the P2 Marathon, and I loved my time with it, so this sequel is absolutely on my radar for the future.
Jess: My household will be taking breaks from our time playing Fae Farm to get in some time with Manic Mechanics, I feel. It seems like some Overcooked-style co-operative chaos.
Paul: I’m a big fan of the Overcooked/Moving Out style co-op experience, but I don’t have a local(ish) crowd to play these games with so online multiplayer is a must for me. I need it before I can buy into this one.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope DLC: The Last Spark Hunter
Jess: I had more fun with Sparks of Hope than I expected, and I’m genuinely excited to jump into this DLC. The added level of exploration compared to the first Mario + Rabbids game means that going to a new area actually means being allowed to poke around in the world.
Paul: Sparks Of Hope was fantastic, and this DLC forces my hand to finish it up and then get into the additional content ASAP.
Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince
Jess: So… Dragon Quest meets Pokemon? Sure, I’m intrigued. The music in the trailer even sounded like the Pokemon Stadium soundtrack, so if nothing else, it looks like the tunes will be inspiring. This might be my gateway back into the Dragon Quest series.
Paul: It’s been a while since our last Dragon Quest Monsters outing, but I’m thrilled to see that a new title is on the way… and soon! Keen to see more as we approach it’s December release, but for now, allow me to bask in the glow of more Dragon Quest!
Jess: Pikmin fills me with genuine existential horror, but I’m still going to play the heck out of Pikmin 4. Oatchi is the cutest thing I have ever seen. It’s going to take a lot to retrain my brain to accept some of the new mechanics in this latest installment of the series, though. Running around and exploring at night? No way. Nighttime is the bad time when Pikmin who aren’t inside die horrible deaths, and you can’t convince me otherwise – not even by including an adorable new glowy alien Pikmin.
Paul: In an already amazing year of video games, Pikmin 4 has long stood as one of those that I anticipated the most. Now we’re on the verge of launch, and my hype meter is approaching overdrive. Every time I see Pikmin 4 I see new elements introduced that fit with what I’d wanted and proposed they do over 12 months ago (see!), so with a month to go, let me savour this a bit.
Pikmin 1 + 2 Remasters
Jess: More ways to play Pikmin! This is a good call on Nintendo’s part. Maybe if I spend some time playing them before the new one comes out, I can get over some of my Pikmin-related fears.
Paul: With the addition of Pikmin 1 + 2 HD on the Switch, we now have every entry of this phenomenal franchise on the platform, and I’m all here for it.
Metal Gear Solid Master Collection: Volume 1
Jess: Is this what inspires me to finally play a Metal Gear Solid game? Probably not. But maybe! I’m honestly intrigued by the NES versions, and the fact that this release comes with strategy guides makes me very pleased. I miss proper strategy guides.
Paul: Much like you Jess, this collection is the greatest chance of me engaging with the Metal Gear franchise, and, providing November doesn’t get any more cluttered with releases, I might finally be able to do it this time. Bring it on
Jess: I can’t do it. If I download Vampire Survivors onto my Switch, I will get deeply addicted and never play anything else. Not downloading Vampire Survivors has been a tactical decision on my part because I know it is a bad health and career decision. But it has co-op now! I love co-op! No. I must stay strong.
Paul: Vampire Survivors holds no appeal for me unforuntately, so I’ll pretty happily pass on this, no matter what new platforms it gets added to.
Headbangers Battle Royale
Jess: I am so ready to be the last bird standing. It’s all the chaos of Fall Guys with more variety in games, and also there are pigeons. All the ingredients are there.
Paul: What a crazy idea! – Consider me sold on it!
Penny’s Big Breakaway
Jess: This has some big Klonoa vibes to me, in a good way. I’m keen to learn more!
Paul: So that aforementioned team of fans who made Sonic Mania? Yeah, they’re working on this, and so I’m actually interested because they’ve already proven their credentials. I liked the feel of this one, and so I’m keen for more
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course DLC Pack 5
Jess: Hooray! More courses! Time to pull out the Switch to play the new courses and then not touch Mario Kart for another few months. Honestly, I’m kind of enjoying the occasional excuse to jump back into some karting. It’s like a warm hug.
Paul: It feels like it has been a while since the last DLC pack, but this fifth one makes some some great additions beyond the new courses. New racers! Of course, like every other DLC pack for Mario Kart it’s free if you’re at the appropriate Nintendo Switch Online tier. I am, and I’m keen to start the engines up again
Star Ocean The Second Story R
Jess: I’m really enjoying this trend of games featuring that 2D/3D fusion art style. This series seems like another one I’ve slept on in the past, but that has so many elements – like a big focus on storytelling and telling narratives from different perspectives – that make me want to jump in and give it a try. Plus, it’s clearly going to have an amazing soundtrack.
Paul: The HD-2D engine is being utilised in awesome new ways, and I’m pretty stoked after playing the original remake a couple of years ago and adoring it that this game is getting even greater levels of TLC. The launch isn’t far away, so let me at it!
WarioWare: Move It
Jess: It was only a matter of time before we got something like this. I can’t wait to look like an absolute tool playing this game in my lounge room, and am even more jazzed by the idea that I can play beside someone else and we can look like fools together. Also – one of those games seems to allow me to pretend I’m Mario going down the Princess’ Secret Slide (not a euphemism), so I’m already in.
Paul: WarioWare has always been fun, but not something that I’ve necessarily been in love with. WarioWare games keep on coming though and there are legions who love them at a level that I can’t, so good luck to those people with this new game that I’ll likely try, but won’t be consumed by.
Nintendo Live 2023
Jess: It looks cool, but there is no world in which I will be able to attend this event, so I will instead try not to think about it so that I can’t be sad about missing out. I kinda like that you can win tickets by winning tournaments though – that somehow feels very old school.
Paul: I’m with you, it’s impossible for me to make it, but the idea of events like this, in the vein of PSX, returning makes my heart very happy. Now if Nintendo wants to go from continent to continent each year going forward then I’ll very excitedly await our turn.
Super Mario Bros Wonder
Jess: Hell yes, I love that this is unexpectedly a big night for Mario announcements, especially given there’s such a variety in genres on offer. I’m not sure whether the talking flowers are going to be inspiring or instantly irritating, but I can’t wait to find out. Also, Daisy as a playable character! The ladies of the Mario franchise are finally getting more of a look-in. As the presenters aptly identified, ‘a lot of things happened’ in this trailer, but all of them were exciting. Bring it on.
Paul: It’s a shame that rumours/leaks spilled the beans on this one in the hours prior to the Direct, but nonetheless, I never expected a 2D Mario quite like this one. Wonder looks wonderful, but there are some interesting aspects from the talking flowers to Elephant Mario that I’ll need to see more on before I’m convinced.
Jess: Honestly, that Direct was more fun than I was expecting. After years of anticipation for Zelda, I wasn’t sure what I actually wanted to see in a post-TotK world. In hindsight, more Mario was obviously the answer. Some fun remakes, some little teasers for far into the future, and a whole bunch of Pikmin. All in all, a great showing!
Paul: You always need to sit up and pay attention when Nintendo hosts a full Direct, and this one delivered. Still a bit disappointed that the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles X, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess haven’t migrated to Switch from the Wii U yet, but it is cool to be getting a collection of remakes and remasters from other golden Nintendo eras. The Switch may be approaching its last gasps in some respects, but until that successor is here, Nintendo continues to do an exceptional job in supporting the platform.