Nintendo’s E3 press conference: New Smash character, Metroid game — but no Switch Pro news


Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma shows off the 35th anniversary Zelda Game’n’Watch during the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct. (YouTube screenshot)

One of the oldest characters in Tekken is joining the cast of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there’s a new game coming for the core Metroid franchise for the first time in 19 years, and Breath of the Wild 2 is expanding its gameplay to the skies above Hyrule.

Nintendo announced those games and more in its pre-recorded Nintendo Direct livestream on Tuesday morning, which was its official contribution to the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show.

While the Direct opened with an announcement that all the dates specified in the stream were subject to change, specifically due to production issues related to COVID-19, it did set up a surprisingly packed schedule for the Switch for the next year and a half.

However, Nintendo specified up front that this presentation was specifically about software coming for the Switch. Multiple sources at this point have reported plans by Nintendo to release a new, more powerful “Switch Pro,” with some going so far as to claim the new edition of the hardware could release later this year, but Nintendo said nothing about it here.

Tekken developers Bandai Namco were also involved in the production of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which may explain why Kazuya’s here. (YouTube screenshot)

Its first big reveal was, as expected, the next character to join the lineup for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This time, the fighter is Kazuya Mishima, one of the primary antagonists from the Tekken series of fighting games.

Kazuya is a hard-hitting practitioner of karate who can also, for reasons, transform into a partially demonic form. He comes complete with both his traditional costume and his slick business suit and overcoat from more recent Tekken games, as well as a background stage based upon the Mishima dojo.

As is typical for Smash, series producer Masahiro Sakurai will record and present a full video to break down the character’s moves and lore. The Kazuya video will premiere June 28.

In another surprise, Nintendo announced Metroid: Dread, a new adventure for its signature character Samus Aran. Metroid has traditionally been the red-headed stepchild of core Nintendo franchises, so it’s always a little bit of a shock when Nintendo remembers it exists, let alone produces a new game in the core franchise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afUI8nIrGgI?feature=oembed

Dread is a “2.5D” game of action and exploration, similar to the classic Metroid games from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Samus is once again jumping between platforms in side-scrolling style, and is pursued on occasion by an indestructible robotic enemy.

Dread is scheduled for release on Oct. 8, alongside two new Amiibo toys for Samus and the robot pursuing her.

Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma took the stage at the end of the presentation to discuss the current plans for the Legend of Zelda franchise, where he serves as producer. An HD remaster of Skyward Sword is still scheduled for release next month, after its announcement earlier this year, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is getting a new “wave” of DLC, Pulse of the Ancients, on June 18.

As a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the original Zelda, Aonuma showed off a new edition of Nintendo’s Game ‘n’ Watch playable desktop clocks. This version includes The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the Game Boy edition of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and a special edition of the Vermin minigame that happens to star Link.

Most importantly, and for the first time in a while, Aonuma premiered new footage of Breath of the Wild 2, the long-awaited follow-up to Nintendo’s 2018 hit. The new game will apparently include a lot more action in the skies above Hyrule, and showed Link skydiving, fighting new enemies, and using new abilities. BotW2 is currently planned for a 2022 release date.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi-MRZBP91I?feature=oembed

Other Switch games announced at today’s Direct include:

  • Mario Party Superstars is a sort of “greatest hits” collection for Nintendo’s long-running board game franchise. It comes with full online play, including a matchmaking system, which is unusual for Nintendo, and 100 minigames from across the history of the series. It’s coming out Oct. 29.
  • Mario Golf: Super Rush is still on track to come out June 25. Nintendo announced at the Direct that it will receive unspecified free updates after release, which will include more golf courses and playable characters.
  • WarioWare is back for the Switch. The series, which is traditionally a compilation of addictive and cartoony minigames with Mario’s greedy counterpart Wario as a sort of MC, returns Sept. 10 with Get It Together.
  • Shin Megami Tensei V, the latest entry in the popular series of Japanese RPGs (the title roughly translates as “Resurrection of the True Goddess”), is now officially scheduled to drop on the Switch Nov. 12. You play as a Tokyo high school student who’s suddenly transported to another dimension, where the city is an abandoned ruin inhabited by angels and demons. You can recruit those angels and demons as members of your party, as you explore and try to survive.
  • A new Mario+Rabbids game, Sparks of Hope, is a collaboration between Nintendo and the Montreal-based third-party studio Ubisoft. It follows up Kingdom Battle, the hit 2018 strategy game, by sending Mario, his friends (now including Rosalina), and their Rabbid imitators on a mission against a “mysterious new evil.”
  • Capcom’s Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is coming out July 9. It’s the latest entry in the adventure/RPG spin-off from the insanely popular Monster Hunter
  • Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, a survival-horror game that was previously a Wii-U exclusive, is receiving a Switch port later this year.
  • Nintendo is revisiting its Advance Wars series with a new compilation. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, which went on sale shortly after the Direct, rebuilds both Game Boy Advance strategy games from the ground up.
  • The popular adventure series Life is Strange is coming to the Switch. The newest entry, True Colors, will release Sept. 10, while the Remastered Collection of the original game is planned for an unspecified date later this year.
  • Square Enix’s Guardians of the Galaxy will arrive on the Switch Sept. 10. This action game, which is vaguely based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, lets you play as Peter Quill in a tongue-in-cheek adventure alongside the other Guardians.
  • Sega’s Super Monkey Ball is celebrating its 20th anniversary with Banana Mania, an upscaled collection of the previous games in the series.
  • The Danganronpa (lit. “bullet refutation”) series of surreal murder mysteries was a cult hit on the 3DS. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, it’s being rereleased on the Switch later this year in a compilation, Decadence, that collects all three games, alongside a revamped and expanded edition of the board game from Killing Harmony.
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Remastered will be ported to the Switch June 25.
  • The debut project of the Japanese developer Artisan Studio, Astria Ascending, is coming to the Switch Sept. 30. It’s a fully voice-acted, 2D JRPG featuring developers who’ve worked on the Final Fantasy, Nier, and Bravely Default series, with impressively colorful hand-drawn art.





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