Earlier today, Nintendo held its first full Nintendo Direct in a long time. Nintendo’s coverage more recently has been focused on in-depth coverage of specific games (like last September’s Monster Hunter Direct) or “Nintendo Direct Minis” focusing on third-party games, Nintendo Direct February 2021 was a big one: almost an hour of announcements for games coming to Switch, including plenty of unannounced first-party games.
I’ll get to the full list in a moment, but first, some highlights. The team behind Octopath Traveler is working on a strategy RPG with the working title Project Triangle Strategy, and while it’s not due out till next year, there’s a demo out on Switch right now. Koei Tecmo announced Samurai Warriors 5, with a gorgeous new art style and a focus on Nobunaga Oda and Akechi Mitsuhide (it’s coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC, too). The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is getting an HD remaster that will also add optional button controls, though the original’s motion controls will be retained, too.
Two classic Famicom-era adventure games are making their English debuts with Famicom Detective Club, “fully modernised for Nintendo Switch”. A remaster of Legend of Mana will also mean that game’s first official release in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand—the PlayStation original never came to PAL territories. Mario Golf: Super Rush may not be the Mario Hoops 3-on-3 reboot that the world deserves, but it looks great all the same (and also comes packing an RPG story mode).
World’s End Club, from the creators of Danganronpa and Zero Escape, looks like a neat subversion of the “killing game” premise, but still with the rich story and characters that those previous works are known for. DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power looks like a lot of fun, and has the added bonus of making a bunch of old men who think Snyder-verse the only valid way to approach DC characters extremely mad. Splatoon 3 is making its way to Switch next year, and now involves our favourite squid-kids launching themselves out of espresso machines when they respawn.
Here’s the full rundown of announcements from the February 2021 Nintendo Direct:
- Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY (working title) (2022): A tactical RPG from the folks behind Octopath Traveler, with a focus on a branching storyline and environmental effects in combat. There’s a demo available on Switch right now.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (July 16): A remaster of the earliest game in the Legend of Zelda timeline, which originally came out in 2011 for Wii. The original’s motion controls are still available with the Switch Joy-Con, but there’s now a button control scheme as well.
- Samurai Warriors 5 (northern summer / southern winter 2021): A brand new Samurai Warriors, this time focusing on Nobunaga Oda and Akechi Mitsuhide.
- Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir & Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind (May 14): Two detective-themed adventure games originally released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan make their worldwide debut, modernised for Nintendo Switch.
- Legend of Mana (June 24): A classic PlayStation RPG gets the remastering treatment, with HD graphics, a rearranged soundtrack, and additional features.
- World’s End Club (June 11): A new game from the creators of Danganronpa and Zero Escape, blending side-scrolling action with a suspenseful story. Guide the “Go-Getters Club” through a post-apocalyptic Japan as they try to make their way back home.
- Mario Golf: Super Rush (June 25): A new Mario Golf, complete with a Story Mode, various different game modes (like Speed Golf), and optional motion controls.
- Splatoon 3 (2022): A full-fledged sequel to Splatoon 2, introducing new weapons, new customisation options, new movement abilities, and more.
- DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power (June 4): A mix of colourful superhero action game and teen life sim, based on the hit Cartoon Network show. Beat up bad guys then go hang out in town taking selfies!
- Neon White (northern winter / southern summer 2021): A first-person action game from the creator of Donut Country that sees you working as an assassin in Heaven.
- Miitopia (May 21): One of the weirder games from the end of the 3DS’ life makes its way to Switch—an RPG with life simulation elements, all built around Mii characters.
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is getting two waves of DLC as part of its Expansion Pass, adding new characters, stages, and more. The first wave comes out in June, and the second in November.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Pyra/Mythra DLC (release date TBA): Xenoblade 2‘s Pyra/Mythra are the newest DLC characters to join the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, acting as a two-in-one fighter like they did in the original game.
- No More Heroes 3 (August 27): Travis Touchdown’s latest eccentric adventure finally gets a release date, along with a chaotic new trailer.
- Tales from the Borderlands (March 24): The best Telltale game that nobody played is coming to Switch.
- Outer Wilds (northern summer / southern winter 2021): A Switch port of the award-winning space adventure that sees you trying to piece together the mystery of an ancient civilisation during the solar system’s dying moments. Not to confused with The Outer Worlds.
- Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (March 17): A comedy-horror action game in which you build a zombie horde to take revenge on a city of unwitting humans.
- Hades is getting a physical release on March 19, including a downloadable soundtrack and a 32-page character compendium.
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (northern summer / southern winter 2021): That runaway hit game about weird little jellybean people trying to be the last person standing as they fight their way through various obstacle courses inspired by old Japanese game shows is coming to Switch.
- Star Wars: Hunters (2021): Not a Star Wars Monster Hunter, sadly. Rather, it’s a free-to-play multiplayer arena shooter taking place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
- A new trailer for Monster Hunter Rise (March 26), introducing the new Rampage story event that sees players teaming up to defend Kamura Village from an onslaught of monsters.
- Knockout City (21 May): Hero shooter meets dodgeball but played on busy city streets?
- Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition (March 19): I didn’t know Plants vs Zombies was still a thing, but apparently so! A Plants vs Zombies third-person shooter that supports both solo and multiplayer modes.
- Apex Legends (March 10): EA’s hit free-to-play last-team-standing shooter comes to Switch.
- New trailers for Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection (February 25) and Capcom Arcade Stadium (available now).
- A new trailer for Bravely Default II (February 26), which comes out next week and is shaping up wonderfully.
- Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection (June 10): The Ninja Gaiden reboot trilogy comes to Switch (and also PS4, Xbox One, PC). Ninja Gaiden Yaiba Z is nowhere to be seen—probably for the best.
- SaGa Frontier Remastered (April 15): The previously-announced remaster of SaGa Frontier, originally released for PlayStation in 1997, has a release date, and it’s not too far away.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons will get Super Mario-themed items from March 1, as part of a Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary event.
Phew! That’s a busy year ahead for Switch, with a lot to look forward to. And to think, some people were concerned that that Nintendo didn’t have enough new stuff coming to Switch this year.