Yesterday, Nintendo shared the last of its Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase presentations for the year—continuing a somewhat annoying new trend of broadcasting them with no warning and at 3am New Zealand time. But that scheduling headache aside, it was a show full of exciting announcements and nice surprises, including—finally!—a release date for Bravely Default II, the surprise release of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2, and the announcement of a new Story of Seasons.
Here’s the full presentation, as well as some highlights below.
Bravely Default II gets a release date
We finally have a release date for Bravely Default II: 26 February 2021. It’s a bit later than the 2020 window that was previously announced, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d pretty much given up any expectation of that happening. February’s not too far away, anyhow.
The presentation also gave us a glimpse of some of the new jobs that will feature in this classic-style JRPG, as well as their Asterisk holders. There’s the knight-like Vanguard, a Bard who supports the party with music, a Beastmaster who can catch and summon monsters into battle, and a Gambler who fights by the luck of a roulette wheel. There’s also a new trailer for the game, and a video outlining some of the changes that have been implemented based on player feedback from the demo that released earlier this year will be published soon.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity gets a playable demo
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is just under a month away, but anyone who wants to take it for a spin before then can do so with a free playable demo now available. The demo lets you play the full first chapter, with save data transferring over to the full game when it launches on November 20.
A new trailer also offered a first look at Age of Calamity‘s Divine Beasts: massive creatures that players can take control of to overwhelm the battlefield.
A new Story of Seasons for Nintendo Switch
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is the latest game in Marvelous’ farming life-sim and the first entirely new entry for Nintendo Switch. All the farm management, small-town socialising, and romance elements the series is known for remain, but Pioneers of Olive Town also looks like a big shake-up in terms of how you go about developing your farm. It’ll see you exploring an untamed wilderness and building your farm seemingly from scratch, with extensive options to customise it.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is coming to Nintendo Switch on 26 March 2021.
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2 are out on Switch right now
Suda51’s humorous, over-the-top action game No More Heroes III was announced some time ago as a Switch exclusive, and it’s still on track for a 2021 release. But now, anyone who missed out on the first two games, or simply wants to revisit them, can do so, with ports of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle getting the surprise release treatment.
The No More Heroes games follow Travis Touchdown, a typical otaku turned unlikely assassin as he fights his way through increasingly bizarre situations. They’re stylish and funny as hell, but games that, judging from poor sales figures, a lot of people missed out on the first time round. There’s nothing like a Switch port to give an old game a new shot at the limelight.
Part Time UFO, a cute new game from Kirby‘s creators
The other surprise release was Part Time UFO, a new game from HAL Laboratory, the studio best known for its work on the Kirby series. Part Time UFO sees you controlling an adorable little UFO and using a UFO catcher-style crane to pick up and move objects in order to complete your part-time jobs and help people. It looks like exactly the sort of adorable, wholesome fun that HAL Laboratory specialises in.
A handful of other games got a brief showing in the Direct:
- Immortals Fenyx Rising, Ubisoft’s previously-announced comical Greek mythology action adventure game formerly known as Gods and Monsters, is coming to Switch on December 3, the same date it launches on other platforms.
- Surviving the Aftermath, a city builder that sees you developing and managing a survivor colony in a post-apocalyptic world. Launches in autumn 2021.
- Tropico 6 Nintendo Switch Edition brings Kalypso’s satirical banana republic simulation game to Switch on November 6. It’s available for pre-order through the Nintendo eShop.
- Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia is also out November 6, exclusively for Switch, letting players “build the best team and duke it out in high-energy battles.”
- Griftlands: Nintendo Switch Edition mixes deck-building with rogue-like elements in a “gritty sci-fi world” next winter.
All up, it was a great presentation with lots of exciting news and footage packed into a 16-minute running time. But please, Nintendo, give us a little bit of a heads-up about these things so that people who want to watch live—especially folks in different time zones that result it taking place at an awkward time—can make plans to do so.