Player 2 Versus Nintendo Direct Partner Showcase February 2024

Player 2 Versus Nintendo Direct Partner Showcase February 2024

It wasn’t quite the big first party focussed Nintendo Direct that fans had been hoping for but nonetheless, Nintendo had a lot to show with its first Direct of the year in the form of its February 2024 Partner showcase. Player 2 editors Jess and Paul have combed over all of the contents and bring their verdicts on all that was shown in this brand new versus feature!


Paul: I mean we all felt like some Xbox representation was coming during this showcase, but I didn’t expect Grounded would be the one to get the ball rolling… and I didn’t expect it to look this rough on the Switch. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to play the game on Xbox but it’s not my preferred platform. This just ensured that I’ll be playing it on my PS5 because it didn’t look good on the Switch at all.

Jess: I haven’t checked it out on my Xbox because games about big bugs are deeply not for me (though I do appreciate its arachnophobia settings!), but yeah it looks… kinda rough. This isn’t going to be the thing that makes me jump in, and I feel like it’s not going to bring over much of a new audience. I might be wrong though!

Ender Magnolia: Bloom In The Mist

Paul: I absolutely loved Ender Lillies. It was an exceptional, but rarely discussed Metroidvania and I’m stoked that the team can return to the well on this one. Many systems have transferred over to this sequel, and visually the game is looking as great as its predecessor. Count me in

Jess: I didn’t interact at all with Ender Lillies (beyond watching some speedruns), but this has me intrigued. I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I could get into Metroidvanias in a big way, especially ones that look as good as this.

Arranger: A Role-Playing Adventure

Paul: I mean, I get the novelty of a game such as this, but that puzzling aspect to the navigation just doesn’t really grab my interest. Arranger seems cool in premise but the execution just doesn’t speak to me, so hopefully another larger section of the audience does find some appeal in the game.

Jess: It does speak to me – as soon as I hear ‘puzzle’, I’m in. Mix that with an interesting art style and an innovative mechanic, and you’ve got my attention for sure. It’s sort of giving me Braid vibes somehow? I’m definitely intrigued!

Unicorn Overlord

Paul: Consider my excitement building to fever-pitch levels. Unicorn Overlord oozes style and comes from a team very fluent in both stylish looks and addictive gameplay systems. The release is only a couple of weeks away, so the demo comes at a good time as well. Hook it to my veins.

Jess: I just can’t get past the name. I love it. The logo has a horseshoe in it, and even though the game seems to have little to do with actual unicorns, my inner horsegirl is listening whenever this game comes up. Really though, it does look like fun – I’ll definitely check out the demo

Monster Hunter Stories

Paul: There might be no franchise I’ve fallen harder in love with in recent years than Monster Hunter, but I really didn’t want to have to dust off the 3DS to jump into the original Stories, nor did I want to play it on mobile. So this announcement of a remaster, with VO, and a range of previously inaccessible systems for the West is super appealing. I’ll be 100% in on this upon its launch in a few months

Jess: Honestly I love the 3DS and look for any excuse to dust it off – but I get that it isn’t the most convenient thing. So a remaster is welcome! But I also have never touched a Monster Hunter game, and this is unlikely to be the one that changes that. I’m willing to be convinced otherwise – maybe this is exactly my kind of thing.

Epic Mickey: Rebrushed

Paul: I’d thought about going back to Epic Mickey on a couple of occasions but really didn’t want to go back to the Wii – so thanks very much to the team remastering this one because now I can leave that waggle console in its box for an extra few more years.

Jess: Epic Mickey was one of those games that has me genuinely confused about why I never played it. I was always interested, I always wanted to, but I guess it just… didn’t happen? And now here we are, years later. So I’m all in for this remaster, because it’s giving me a second chance to tick this one off the list.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance

Paul: Nahhhh, there’s already so many high quality JRPGs at the moment that I don’t need to add this one to the playing list. I don’t doubt the quality, but the world and tone of SMT’s core entries has never quite jived with me, so it’s an easy pass.

Jess: I need someone to sit me down and explain to me what is and isn’t a Persona game. Is Shin Megami Tensei not Persona? Is that not what it was called? I’m just learning now that these are two different franchises. This is a whole subsection of games that I am clearly completely lost with.

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection

Paul: I never played the original Battlefront games, only having the DICE developed titles to draw upon… and we know how those played out for the longest time. It makes me glad for these remasters because I can finally see what all the hype was about. 

Jess: I also never played the original Battlefront games, but maybe I should? This could be my time. I do wonder if it’s perhaps too late to go back now, though.

South Park: Snow Day

Paul: I mean, this isn’t going to be as good as The Stick Of Truth or The Fractured Butt Whole right? Right? I mean the South Park IP has a good recent track record in games so I don’t want to doubt the final quality of this game, but I’m not feeling nearly as inspired by what this game is offering. I’ll leave it in a wait and see pile.

Jess: I’m pretty okay giving the South Park games a miss. I’ve heard good things, and bad things, and I think it’s a risk I’m alright with not taking.

Sword Art Online: Fractured Daydream

Paul: Back to the topic of JRPGs that I won’t be playing – hard pass for me.

Jess: Yeah look, it’s pretty! But I can probably comfortably miss this.

Gundam Breaker 4

Paul: Along with SAO this was a part of a block of games that I frankly couldn’t have cared too much about and nearly put me to sleep during the 1AM live stream (seriously check it out on the P2 YouTube, it nearly happened!)

Jess: Ahh Gundam – another part of the pop culture world that I’ve never engaged with. I’m curious, and I think it’s very cool! But I know almost nothing about it, and so this game is absolutely going to pass me by.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble

Paul: I’ve never tried a Super Monkey Ball game before, and while I don’t think that is likely to change anytime soon, I won’t argue the fact that Banana Rumble looked kinda cool. I know there’s a crowd that adores these games so I won’t be arguing that they need to be deprived – this one looked good!

Jess: I enjoyed the last Monkey Ball game. I’m generally pretty bad at it, but the series as a whole is good fun (the last one had a weirdly great pool mini game, shout out to that)! I’m pretty keen to check this one out too. It looks to have some promising multiplayer elements that they’ve hopefully refined from their last venture, so I’m ready to be cautiously optimistic. 

World Of Goo 2

Paul: I’m still a bit shaken by the TGA reveal of this game. In 2024 I’m floored that we’re actually getting a sequel to this WiiWare launch title. I’m hoping that the mechanics hold up but it was nice to see that the team was adding some other systems to the game to hook players in other ways. I’m keen to check World Of Goo 2 out for sure.

Jess: I’m ashamed to say that World of Goo has been in my pile of shame for an extremely long time now. The sequel makes me want to change that. I actually do think the mechanics will hold up – it’s a cool core concept, and I love the visuals.

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time

Paul: I mean naming convention aside, Fantasy Life i looks pretty cool. I think I need to do some further research before rendering a full judgment, but the game was presented well in this trailer. Hopefully it all works out

Jess: Generally, I really enjoy games like this – but I’ve been burned a few times now, and the genre as a whole is getting a little too overcrowded. I’ll need this to do something pretty different, or to have a really compelling story, to really pull me in. Online co-op is fun, but when can we get some local co-op in one of these games?

Another Crab’s Treasure

Paul: I don’t like Soulslikes but it’s hard not to like Another Crab’s Treasure. There’s such an endearing personality here, and I feel compelled to check it out. Difficulty levels when?

Jess: Despite playing so very many of them, I am not good enough at video games in general to engage with most things that call themselves Soulslikes. But this one… this is different. I love this little crab, and I haven’t even really met him yet. If any Soulslike is going to pull me in, its this one. I just want to find the little guy a home!

Penny’s Big Breakaway

Paul: The team responsible for the decades only good Sonic game has gone rogue on their own. I’m interested because it’s not Sonic, so let’s wait and see how this one shapes up in a couple of weeks.

Jess: I was lucky enough to play a preview of this game a few weeks back, and it’s exactly as fun as it looks. If you like this type of arcade-y platforming fun, this will absolutely appeal to you. Also, this game is funny. It’s a strange, absurdist, self-aware kind of humour that hits just right, and I’m glad more people are finally going to get to experience it.

Suika Game

Paul: There’s a pretty huge fanbase around this game, but this trailer was actually the first time that I’ve seen anything about Suika Game… and I don’t get the fuss. This new trailer didn’t win me over, so I’ll remain confused for now.

Jess: Yeah this is news to me. It’s cute, and we love a good multiplayer mode, but I probably won’t be joining the huge base of fans.

Pepper Grinder

Paul: I’m really into Pepper Grinder. I’ve had the chance to play the game a few times already, with another opportunity now being on the way thanks to this demo, and every time I’ve been impressed. Devolver seems to be onto a winner here – here’s hoping!

Jess: I’m going to have to try out the demo, because this one’s new to me too! It looks like it could be solid fun, and I’m interested to see whether the drilling mechanic has the staying power to sustain a whole game. I think it just might!

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On

Paul: …What?

Jess: No, see, hear me out – I think this game could be quietly amazing, and that I could absolutely lose weeks of my life to it. I want any game that allows me to breed and raise horses. This Nintendo Direct was clearly designed to get me to reveal my (not so) secret horsegirl identity to the world, and it’s happening in a big way. I kinda wanna do it. I want to play solitaire to win horse races. I want to “gain the upper hoof”.

Snufkin: Melody Of Moominvalley

Paul: A part of a sizzle reel, I didn’t get much sense for what’s going on with this game due to the nature of how it was presented. I don’t think I’ll be in any hurry to catch myself up though.

Jess: Generally, the whole world of Moomin is a mystery to me. I do love the visual style, but I know nothing about the franchise, so I probably won’t jump in here.

Tales Of Kenzera: Zau

Paul: I’m loving what Tales Of Kenzera: Zau is showing of itself. The launch is also within a couple of months now too so it won’t be long before I can check the game out in full and that excites me from the gameplay systems as well as the plato and messages the team are aiming to share. I wish the team all the very best wishes.

Jess: I’m also completely on board with this one. Everything we’ve seen of it so far has been so impressive, and I hope it sees a whole lot of success. I’ll definitely be checking it out as soon as possible!

Demon Slayer - Kimetsu no Yaiba - Sweep The Board

Paul: In the words of NSYNC – “Bye Bye Bye”

Jess: I can’t believe you beat me to quoting N*SYNC. But yes, agreed.

Kingdom Come Deliverance: Royal Edition

Paul: I didn’t mind Kingdom Come Deliverance back in the day, but I’m not at all excited by this specific port. It honestly feels like a waste of resources, but congrats to the team for managing to make it all work.

Jess: Am I wrong in remembering this game’s original launch as kind of a technical mess? Was that Kingdom Come Deliverance? Either way, it’s a bit of a ‘meh’ from me.

Contra: Operation Galuga

Paul: My history with Contra is basically non-existent, but the game presents really well, and so I’m quite excited to see what this game can become… hopefully good to begin with.

Jess: My history with Contra is also non-existent. It will likely remain that way. 


Paul: Pentiment comes to Switch and PlayStation now! How cool is that?! Xbox’x trial program is underway and I’m really hopeful that players across both platforms do their bit to support this behaviour. They’re selecting great games and while Pentiment is the most niche, it will no doubt draw a crowd – like this guy for example

Jess: I loved Pentiment. This is a perfect game to kick off this new ‘Xbox games on other platforms’ business, and I’m just stoked that more people are going to get to play it. It would absolutely be a perfect Switch game – I cannot recommend it enough if it in any way seems like your kind of thing!

Rareware Nintendo Switch Online Update

Paul: Many had expected a Rare Replay drop at some point given all that is going on with Xbox and exclusivity. This was a surprise middle-ground drop, but might give some people something fun to chew upon while they wait to see what else Xbox will send back to Nintendo. 

Jess: Despite loving a lot of Rare’s offerings, this particular batch of games doesn’t include any personal favourites. I did play Blast Corps as part of Rare Replay years ago, and I remember it being fun. It definitely sets an interesting precedent though – what other franchises are coming back to Nintendo?

Endless Ocean: Luminous

Paul: What an absolutely awful decision to close the show with. Endless Ocean is cool and all but there were a bunch of games that were earlier in the showcase that were much better options that what was chosen, many of which were simply earlier in the show. Sure, it’s mostly our fault for expecting Hollow Knight, but that aside, this is not how you end a show. The game should be fine though!

Jess: Yeah it was a little underwhelming. I probably would have gone with something a little snazzier to close things off. But sure! It looks like a fun game for those who aren’t constantly terrified when forced to think about how vast and endless the ocean is.

Final Thoughts

Paul: This was a perfectly adequate Direct. It didn’t knock the socks off of anyone, but the games themselves are all pretty appealing in their own right. Independently most would be happy with the trailers show, it’s just the way it was assembled that was the issue… and was this other issue…


*End rant*

Jess: It was solidly fine. I didn’t really have any expectations for it, I was just along for the ride, and there were a few things in here to get me a bit excited, so I’m calling it an overall win. But Paul, I am sorry about Mother 3. I hope they give it to you soon.

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