Player2 Vs Nintendo Direct September 2023
It has been long anticipated and now Nintendo has hosted their latest Nintendo Direct, featuring a range of games slated for release over the next 6-9 months. Keen to see what they have in store and render a verdict, Player2 editors Jess Zammit and Paul James have convened to discuss all that Nintendo had to show in this latest showcase
Jess: Splatoon 3 feels like it’s becoming more of a fundamentally different game with each new bit of DLC. I wasn’t drawn to the arena-battler that it seemed to be before, but now it seems to have a really healthy slew of single-player content, I’m more and more inclined to check it out.
Paul: I think I’ve missed the boat too much on Splatoon 3 now. Unfortunately I just couldn’t be there when it first kicked off and so now I’m way too far behind. Every DLC offering looks great, but it feels like a mountain too great to climb at this point
Mario Vs Donkey Kong
Jess: This one was a cool surprise. I never played the Game Boy Advance game – it somehow never even really made it onto my radar – but I’m definitely keen for it now. It feels like it’s going to scratch some of the puzzle-platforming itch that Captain Toad created, somehow? I’m definitely going to be playing this one, most likely in co-op – that’s the most exciting part for me!
Paul: I’d never tried past entries, but I was always interested, so why not make this new Mario Vs Donkey Kong the entry point?
Prince Of Persia The Lost Crown
Jess: I really like the art style of this game. I’ve never really been a Prince of Persia fan, but this might convert me!
Paul: Look I’m just excited to finally be getting a decent Prince Of Persia game again considering the current failed state that is the remake of Sands Of Time. I’m all about what Ubisoft is looking to do with this, we can only hope that it works out well this coming January
Horizon Chase 2
Jess: I mean sure, yeah, it’s a racing game. A bright and colourful racing game, which is always more appealing to me – and I do always appreciate a game with couch co-op!
Paul: This one was a stealth drop which is definitely cool, but I’m not much of a racing game guy, and so this one didn’t do a lot for me. One less thing on the Q3/Q4 plate!
Super Crazy Rhythm Castle
Jess: I’ve never really seen a game like this before, and I’m intrigued. I haven’t played rhythm games with friends since the peak Guitar Hero/Rock Band days, and honestly I kinda miss it. I fear it would get old quickly for a group, but I’m actually keen to see how much fun I could have with the solo modes too – I’d love to get good at a rhythm game again!
Paul: It’s an interesting rhythm game for sure, but it wasn’t an overly compelling one for me either. With time, maybe that will change, but at this current juncture, i’ll happily give this one a miss
Spy x Anya: Operation Memories
Jess: Knowing nothing about Spy x Family generally, I’ll probably give this one a miss, but it does look like a fun photography mechanic.
Paul: A bit like you Jess, my exposure to Spy x Family is non-existent, and I don’t think I’m going to be embarking on any exploratory venture into the franchise any time soon. This one did nothing for me
Super Mario RPG
Jess: This is one I’m really excited for. I never had a SNES, so I never had the chance to play the original, and I’m always ready for more Mario. I feel like it’s secretly going to be super difficult, and will probably ruin me when I’m terrible at it, but I can’t wait to try.
Paul: Super Mario RPG on the other hand, does a hell of a lot for me. I tried the original game but with all that had transpired since it’s launch I found it hard to go back to. In 2023 with a makeover, I’m curious to see if my experiences with Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, and even more recently Sea Of Stars, come to dampen the impact of Super Mario RPG once again for me. It’s looking so damn good though
Another Code: Recollection
Jess: Another one I’m super excited for. I always wanted to get my hands on a copy of Trace Memory on the DS, but could never find one. And now here it is! And with its’ Wii sequel. There are mysteries to be investigated, a female protagonist, and what look like some beautiful environments. What’s not to be excited for?
Paul: Funny you say that Jess, because while I appreciate much of what it was doing, Another Code: Recollection did nothing to excite me. I think in part that is a product of the fact that it came at the tail end of a block of games which had largely (PoP and Mario RPG excluded) failed to inspire interest, and so I’d already checked out, but who knows, a different context down the road make get me interested
Princess Peach: Showtime!
Jess: The hits just don’t stop coming. This was the star of the show for me. It’s like Peach is getting her own Kirby style game? But it’s set in and around a theatre? Also, I love Stella already, and I only just met her. Plus Detective Peach. I absolutely can’t wait.
Paul: Princess Peach: Showtime! Absolutely was the momentum shifter in this Direct that I was looking for. I love the costume idea paired with the detective work. This game might be a bit experimental for Nintendo in some ways, but it’s an experiment that I feel is on track to pay dividends as things stand.
SAGA: Emerald Beyond
Jess: Another series I never got into, but that I probably would love if I had all the time in the world to try it. It’s heavily story-based, and involves a strong cast of characters, each with their own choice-driven narratives. All the ingredients are there – and this game is standalone, so technically I could jump right in with no previous knowledge. I’m tempted.
Paul: I’ve consumed a lot of classic JRPGs, but not SAGA, and sadly, I don’t think I have the bandwidth to commit to this one right at this point in time. Square-Enix are hoisting too many classic revivals at us right now… and I’m just one man, I can’t handle them all!
Tomb Raider I-III Remastered
Jess: Okay but the most important thing here is that even though her boobs are no longer triangles, they kept her ridiculous looking inhumanly-long jump very true to the original, so at least we know it’s still Lara Croft. Being able to finally play these on the go and with slightly sharper visuals might be what pushes me to finally play this trilogy all the way through.
Paul: I played these when I was young, but they were so hard to get back into as my expectations of game handling grew. Surely Aspyr are going to update the controls as well as the visuals. Tank controls must go! Also… we now know what Aspyr has been working on given their struggles with the KOTOR remake.
Detective Pikachu Returns
Jess: Detective Pikachu has such a ridiculous premise and I’m very much here for it. Solving mysteries with your best bud Pikachu, with the help of assorted Pokemon? Yes please. And that part where Pikachu rode a Growlithe like a horse? Also yes please. Perfection. Bring on more of this series.
Paul: I didn’t play the original, but the incredibly impressive movie has ensured that I give the follow game a crack. Whether or not the game can stick with me remains to be seen, but Detective Pikachu Returns is certainly scratching some itches that I only recently learned that I had!
Jess: I think I’d be driven mad after about twenty seconds of trying to play Trombone Champ, but I know it’s got a huge following on other platforms, so it definitely has an audience. The addition of motion controls is only going to amplify the chaos, and I’m sure people will love it.
Paul: Just the lamest thing in the world, but I’m right here for it. Trombone Champ is the dumbest fun around, so sure, maybe I’ll actually give it a go for myself
Jess: I’m just not a battle royale fan. It looks nice though, and the idea of using mythology-inspired characters is a nice touch!
Paul: Yeah-nah, no thanks. This was a pretty throwaway announcement for me, but hopefully an audience can latch onto Battle Crush.
Jess: So this is going to be a timed console exclusive, but it’s already been out for a few months on PC, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes on the Switch. It might be exactly the sort of tactical RPG that could work on the Switch – not too graphically intensive, but with enough meat to satisfy genre fans who aren’t into Nintendo’s usual fare.
Paul: Wartales didn’t do a lot to inspire me. It’s out now which is cool, but there are so many games of it’s ilk, and many have tickled my fancy more than this one, so I’ll give it a miss.
Contra: Operation Galuga
Jess: Contra is one of those series that has just really never appealed to me, as influential as it was on the general gaming landscape. But hooray for those who are excited for this.
Paul: I don’t have any long established love of Contra. I’m certainly interested as a student of the industry to see what happens with this one, but I’m not sure that I’ll be jumping on the sticks myself to take it for a spin though. It’s not that Contra: Operation Galuga isn’t a game for me, but we’re at a point in time where I just need to be selective about where I commit my time, and Contra isn’t demanding to be played
Jess: I am about 200% more interested in playing this game simply because it’s called Unicorn Overlord. I would absolutely bow down before our new unicorn rulers. Realistically, this is likely to be a little too much of an in-depth tactical RPG to grab me, but… the unicorn is really working its magic, so I’m not promising anything.
Paul: So the next Vanillaware job is in a genre that my love for has exploded over in recent years. Vanillaware are also a superb studio so the pairing couldn’t be much better, and let’s be real, Unicorn Overlord is equal parts and weird and incredibly awesome name.
Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD
Jess: This is great, but it makes me wish I hadn’t put off picking up a coffee of the remake of the original on 3DS while I had the chance. Maybe I’ll go and investigate that now, in preparation for this one, because I’m keen to get into Luigi’s Mansion 2 when it arrives.
Paul: Luigi’s Mansion is one of those low-key, A-grade Nintendo franchises and I still stand firm that this game was the best title on the 3DS! I’m excited to see Dark Moon make its way to the Switch and get a new glow-up.
Jess: I just know that I won’t be able to go there until far into the future, no matter how cool it looks. So I have to try not to think about it too hard, so that I can’t be disappointed by how long it’s going to take me to see it.
Paul: Yeah I’ll cool my excitement for this given that I won’t be able to witness it for myself for quite some time. Very cool though!
Jess: I’ve decided to show restraint in exactly one area of my life and not get into Amiibos, because I know that if I started I wouldn’t be able to stop. But that Zelda one is cool… no, I have to be strong.
Paul: Give me all the Amiibo!!!!
Jess: This is going to be utter chaos. My eyes are going to hurt. How are you supposed to avoid colliding with other pilots when there are NINETY-EIGHT of them on the course? I mean, the skyway, I guess, as it shows in the trailer, but… as cool as F-Zero is, I think this one’s gonna be a bit much for me.
Paul: I cannot comprehend how this is going to work… but it’s Nintendo, so it will, and it will be awesome. I believe it’s out now, so I’m excited to try it out, and see if I can come anywhere near top spot (hint, I won’t)
Bandle Tale: A League Of Legends Story
Jess: This does not seem like a LoL story. It took me until the name reappeared at the end of the trailer to be confident that I hadn’t read it wrong. (Yes, to be fair, all of my knowledge from the series does come from Arcane). Despite having no interest in LoL, I adore the aesthetic of this – it’s the cutest thing I’ve seen in ages. The little ears! I will absolutely be jumping into this one.
Paul: The League Of Legends Story titles keep coming, and I’m really into what Riot has been putting together with these spin-offs. The core game will never be my jame but between Arkane and these many spin-off titles, I’m excited to immerse myself in the world a bit.
Song Of Nunu: A League Of Legends Story
Jess: Again with the unexpected LoL content, and I’d happily jump into this one too. Bring on this change of direction for League of Legends, please.
Paul: A bit like Bandle Tale, Song Of Nunu is a great way in, and I’m keen to try it out when the launch date arrives.
WarioWare: Move It
Jess: I can’t wait to act out laying an egg, and accept that my friends will absolutely take many photos of me doing it. I’ve always embraced the chaos of WarioWare games, so I guess I have to do it again with motion controls? It’s the logical next step for the series.
Paul: I don’t know, aren’t we all just over WarioWare by now? The gimmick has long since worn out its welcome with me personally, and I don’t see Move It doing anything to actually engage me. I loved these games back in the day, but it holds no cache with me now.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
Jess: Another series that I’m not familiar with, but might get on board with just to see the entire race of shark people shown in the trailer. Also Marisa – she seems great.
Paul: YESSSSSS! Eiyuden Chronicles was something I backed on Kickstarter a while back as someone who absolutely adored Suikoden back in the day. I’m so excited for the game to finally arrive this April, and I cannot wait to sink super deep into the stories of these hundred heroes, and everyone else on the periphery too!
Jess: Eastward is another one of those games that’s been on my to-play list since it first released. The DLC looks great, so maybe I’ll finally move it up the list!
Paul: I have Eastward installed, and yet, I never jumped in despite how clearly it was a Paul game. Maybe this DLC arrival is what prompts me to actually dive into the experience and then just push on further to enjoy the DLC.
Jess: Wargroove is also not really my thing, but once again this has local co-op – I’m thrilled to see that so many of the games in this direct are launching with it.
Paul: I tried the demo through Steam Next Fest a while ago and really enjoyed what I played, and so the launch of the Wargroove 2 is now something I’m really anticipating. Advance Wars is back, Wargroove 2 is looking good. It’s a good time for fans of that sub-genre
Dave The Diver
Jess: Again, it’s on the list, and I’m probably more likely to find time to play it if I can access it on the Switch – so maybe it’s time to go diving. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this game from friends who have played it, and I’m sick of not knowing what they’re all so excited about.
Paul: There are so many people in love with Dave The Diver, dating back to its initial launch, but as someone who doesn’t dabble in PC gaming, I missed that boat (pun intended). Keen to try it out once it launches on platforms that are more accessible for me.
Mario Kart 8
Jess: The final wave is here. Does this mean the next one is on the way? Should we stop speculating about that and just let it happen? Will it ever happen? Who can say? Either way, there are some fun new characters here – welcome to the Kongs. Even if Diddy Kong does belong back in his own racing game, Diddy Kong Racing, which was absolutely a classic.
Paul: Finally we can start to shift our focus to Mario Kart 9. Ten years of Mario Kart 8… TEN! It’s unreal what Nintendo has done with this game, but now it’s time for the fresh ideas to bubble to the surface, and by now there must be quiet a few of them
Jess: If you had asked me I would have said Among Us must already be out on the Switch. It’s everywhere. But hooray, I guess?
Paul: Couldn’t care less about Among Us. Moving right along!
Jess: Nintendo have a bunch of cool things that are pretty close now – so much Mario in our near future!
Paul: We’re eating well in the coming months. Now let these games start dropping!
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Jess: So this one I DID play on the GameCube when it first came out, and honestly, graphically it kinda still holds up. So sure, it looks brighter and nicer here, but the main thing is being able to play it without having to whip out the old GC again, which is most welcome. Such a great game, and I’m ready to jump back into it with some added modern conveniences.
Paul: The best game on the Gamecube is now on track to become the best game on the Switch. I cannot wait for Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. I’d long hoped for a revival, or at least a return to this mode of Paper Mario game, and now, finally it’s coming. Readers, buy this game to show Nintendo that this is the path that Paper Mario MUST continue down, and to experience a GOAT of the Gamecube.
Jess: Most of these (or, the ones I cared most about, anyway) were games we already knew were coming, but it was cool to see a little more about them. I’m even more excited about Princess Peach: Showtime than I was before, and Detective Pikachu Returns is looking great. Another Code: Recollection was the real surprise for me here – I can’t wait to get my hands on those two games!
Paul: I wasn’t quite as blown away by the showcase as others, with most games washing over me with minimal impact, that said, those that hit, hit in a big way. Paper Mario, Super Mario RPG, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Princess Peach Showtime, Unicorn Overlord, Eiyuden Chronicles and more are certified hits in the making, now if they could all start to launch in nice, respectful windows please. Nobody else is allowed to release near them!