Nintendo Direct 17.2.21: Underwhelming But Expected

Daria Paterek

After over 500 days of waiting, the latest Nintendo Direct has finally arrived. At over fifty minutes long, the Direct announced new titles, additions to existing games, and DLC content. However, while many fans hotly anticipated the Direct, it only met 31% of Nintendo Life users’ expectations, whereas 30% were underwhelmed. 


Firstly, the Direct looked at some additions to Switch classics. It started by announcing that Pyra/Mythra, from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, would join Super Smash Bros’ roster. While it wasn’t the strongest way to start the Direct, it was great seeing Xenoblade receive more attention from Nintendo.

Additionally, Animal Crossing: New Horizons got an update that includes Super Mario themed items to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Consisting of pipes, coins, and costumes, the update included some amusing new items for your island. While this is an interesting crossover, I am unsure if I, or many players, am prepared to jeopardise my perfectly organised island to include a few Mario items.

Big Switch Ports (Hades, Fall Guys, Plants vs Zombies)

The Direct also revealed some familiar titles coming to the Switch, including Plants vs Zombies Battle for Neighbourville: Complete Edition, Miitopia, and DLC for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. 

Not only did it announce DLC, but the Direct also announced that Hades, which has sold over 1 million copies, will go retail. Priced at £34.99, pre-ordering a physical copy is essential for fans of the game.

After Among Us’ dramatic rise on the Switch, selling over 3 million copies, it’s no surprise that Nintendo wanted 2020’s other multiplayer sensation ported to the console. While the Switch is the perfect platform for Fall Guys, Nintendo’s timing isn’t great, as the game has violently lost interest over the last few months. August’s daily average of 120,000 Steam players has dropped to an average of 9,000 players per day. Hopefully, Fall Guys’ resurrection on the Switch will bring it back into the spotlight.

Less mainstream announcements also shouldn’t be ignored, including Monster Hunter Rise, Project Triangle Strategy, and Legend of Mana.

Nintendo Classics- Zelda, Mario & Splatoon

Since the sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already available for pre-order at ArgosGame and Amazon, fans were anticipating the slightest new detail about the long-awaited sequel. A release date, gameplay snippet, or even a trailer. But Series Producer, Eiji Aonuma, only assured us the sequel is still in smooth-running production. Despite fans expecting more to mark Zelda’s 35th anniversary, a HD port of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, with optional motion controls, is still enticing. 

Splatoon 3 already seems like a massive improvement on its predecessor in every aspect. 

Unsurprisingly, Nintendo isn’t settling for just one Mario sports game on the Switch (2018’s Mario Tennis Aces). Hence, the announcement of Mario Golf: Super Rush. The game will include a story mode and utilise motion controls. Despite being an interesting concept, seeing a Mario Basketball, Strikers or Baseball game for the Switch would be more riveting.

I’ve left the best until last: Splatoon 3. Splatoon 2 is one of my favourite games on the Switch, and many agree with me, considering it‘s the 9th most successful Switch game at 11.9 million copies sold. Splatoon is a unique, fun, team-based Nintendo classic.

The Splatoon 3’s announcement has thrilled many fans: It’s currently the most-watched trailer from the Direct, its 2 million views (at the time of publication) overtaking the Direct itself. The trailer’s description, which sets the game ‘in the wake of chaos,’ suggests a post-apocalyptic vibe and a more developed story, which Splatoon 2 lacked. Overall, Splatoon 3 already seems like a massive improvement on its predecessor in every aspect. 

Looking to the Future

While the Direct announced many new, exciting titles, some trailers have stirred controversy. The trailer for ‘DC Superhero Girls: Teen Power’ currently has more dislikes than likes, as players are confused about the concept and target audience of the game.

Overall, some exciting games are coming to the Switch. Despite the Direct being slightly underwhelming, it was compelling to see all the new projects that Nintendo has been working on. If you’re uninterested in the titles discussed above, E3 is still happening (albeit digitally) on the 15th of June. Nintendo still have lots of new announcements to make yet.

Daria Paterek

Featured Image courtesy of Erik Mclean on Unsplash. Image use license found here. No changes made to this image.

For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.


Leave a Reply