The Friday Inbox discusses the pros and cons of the recent Nintendo Direct, as one reader recommends zombie game Dysmantle.
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That was a really good Nintendo Direct if you ask me, even if the lack of Zelda news was a disappointment. There were much more new games than I expected and even if there were a lot of remasters it was all good stuff (Klonoa!).
The Mario Kart 8 news was obviously the big shocker because 48 tracks is a lot, even if they are remasters. And the price they’re asking for it is actually very reasonable. But as people have begun to speculate does this rule out Mario Kart 9 (or whatever it’d be called) from appearing on Switch?
There were a lot of rumours about it quite recently and it seemed believable, but it is hard to imagine that coming out at the same time as all the DLC. I really don’t know what to think. We know that Nintendo rumours tend to be the least reliable so I’m going to guess this really is it until the Switch 2. Although I’d imagine it’d probably be a launch game to compensate. We’ll see if I’m right in… three years or so?
Star of the show
I thought that was one of the best Nintendo Directs they’ve done. The games we knew about all looked fantastic and Kirby seems to be shaping up to be a lot of fun. There were a lot of unexpected classics getting re-releases, thrilled to be able to play Portal 1+2 again on the go. Then there were the surprises like Nintendo Switch Sports and finally getting DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. They managed to pack so much in during the 40 odd minutes and the next few months are looking great for releases.
I don’t really agree with GC’s coverage leaning so heavily on the absence of any Zelda news. I know everyone wants more news about it, but it seems off to talk more about a game that didn’t show than the ones that did. Assuming Zelda is still out this year it seems much more likely that it’ll be the star of the show of whatever E3-ish event we see in the summer. Directs for the first half of the year are a chance for the less mainstream games like Klonoa or Live A Live to get some attention.
Take your time
There seems to be a lot of disappointment about the latest Nintendo Direct ending with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and not Zelda; not me. Zelda is my favourite gaming franchise and remember the big deal Nintendo made of the original Breath Of The Wild at E3. If it’s not out until the end of the year, or even next year, I want that E3 excitement again and can wait a few more months without a trailer teasing the long wait.
For people that have played the Xenoblade series know they’re some of the best role-playing games ever made and I think of them as top tier Nintendo exclusives. Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 also have the best soundtrack of any games ever (I think they’re the best songs in Smash Bros. and that’s saying something…).
For those disappointed, a brand new announcement of a new game being released this year is a much better proposition than having a trailer of a game we know will be released once perfected in a way only Nintendo can do.
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The Klonoa was not a lie
Interesting Direct from Nintendo. 2022 must be Switch’s most stacked line-up since the console released in 2017. On Zelda… I did expect a short release date trailer sure, but I thought it was always predicted to be the big winter release(?) and with another Direct likely at E3 in June I don’t see there’s a lot for fans to be concerned about right now, same with Bayonetta. If they miss E3… OK time to worry.
Anyway, for me it wasn’t the Nintendo games that got me excited… I don’t play multiplayer so can’t do a lot with Mario Strikers, Mario Kart 8 or Wii Sports. Kirby looks like ‘my first Mario Odyssey’, I never clicked with melodramatic Xenoblade Chronicles and who ordered another Warriors game?
The most pleasing news was the return of Klonoa and Portal. Klonoa 2 was the best platformer on the PlayStation 2 and to see it resurrected like this really gets the nostalgia flowing. As for Portal, they’re still probably the best first person games ever released, certainly the best of that era, so very happy to have them on a handheld. Just hope performance holds up and they get a cartridge release. Sure, they’ll be on PlayStation 4 and Xbox but well… I can’t play Xbox on the train or in the coffee shop can I?
By the way, was Crono Cross actually ever any good? Love a Japanese role-playing game but thought it was seen as a bit of a mixed bag and it looks like another bare bones Square Enix remaster like the other Final Fantasy PS1 games.
GC: It’s so long since we’ve played Crono Cross we hesitate to say, but it was certainly viewed as good at the time. As for Zelda, there’s never been any hint of when it might be released in 2022.
Just reading about Nintendo’s Direct. Mario Kart 8 has been crying out for this, so I’m very excited… Splatoon 3 looks great, I sometimes think my seven-year-old and I are the only people who play it in the West! It’s definitely preferable to Fortnite (which I have to say, as an evil overload, isn’t on any Switch or PlayStation in our house!). We only gave way for our eight-year-old to have Roblox during lockdown and luckily Animal Crossing came quickly back into vogue!
Kirby is a fantastic game for kids, our two play through it regularly, but this does look like a distinct improvement. Mario Strikers was a great game, so let’s see if they can have as engaging game a second time. Mario Golf is good (better than 2K’s version) but have to say Clap Golf is probably the best version of the game I’m playing at the moment.
Finally, Gran Turismo 7 looks great and the AI initiative is really interesting. This is a game that will likely be around for 10 years, so if they can roll out vast improvements, albeit not on release, I think that is no bad thing. A bit like Mario Kart, this version is by far the best I’ve played and whilst I’ll no doubt be incredibly excited for Mario Kart 10 (will they not class World Tour as 9?) at this stage I’d rather have great new tracks and characters.
Finally, Inbox magic, any chance of a new F-Zero or even a remaster of F-Zero GX? And Wave Race 64 and 1080° Snowboarding… please, bends knee, chants ‘Digitiser never died!’
Matt (team_catcave – PSN ID)
GC: This will actually be the third Mario Strikers game.
Well, I thought that was a decent Nintendo direct to be fair. It wasn’t great but it was good.
Like many I was disappointed not to have had any news on Zelda and Bayonetta 3, but apart from that I was left feeling reasonably happy.
One thing which was a great welcome surprise was the free updates to Metroid Dread. The final few bosses are very tough and demanding and the new rookie mode is spot on.
Granted you have to restart the game and select the rookie mode from the start but it’s a fantastic game. I’ve just started a playthrough on rookie mode and beaten the first boss first time, I feel the game will be a lot more enjoyable now with less frustrating difficulty spikes.
Anyone who gave up on the game after getting stuck should try the rookie mode, it’s still fairly challenging… but much more enjoyable!
All or nothing
Nintendo really are gonna Nintendo, aren’t they? When Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out, I was really surprised they didn’t announce a new bundle of expansion packs, like the ones they did for the Wii U version. Another eight tracks and six characters would have sold like crazy, and this seemed so obvious to everyone that it was surely a forgone conclusion. However…
2017 Nintendo: ‘No’.
2018 Nintendo: ‘No’.
2019 Nintendo: ‘No’.
2020 Nintendo: ‘No’.
2021 Nintendo: ‘No’.
2022 Nintendo: ‘HERE’S ANOTHER 48 TRACKS!’
I genuinely love it. I don’t understand it, but I love it. Never change, Nintendo.
Sparky the Yak
I thought this week’s Nintendo Direct was actually pretty good. I didn’t realise how much I wanted a new Mario Strikers until it was suggested in the Inbox the other day. I think I actually punched the air when I realised it was being revealed in the Direct!
The Mario Kart DLC looks great too and good value for money. I like how it will be released in six parts over two years, as it will keep the game fresh over time and allow me to fully appreciate each set of new tracks as they release.
Splatoon 3 and Advance Wars are shaping up well too, among other games. Overall, it looks like it should be a much better year for the Switch than the last couple in terms of the number of quality releases. I for one am excited for the year ahead.
Pigfish2 (PSN ID and NNID)
All in good fun
That Direct was one of the best in years and strengthened the impression Nintendo insiders have been putting out that 2022 will be their best year since 2017. It’s been great to see Nintendo Switch Sports inspiring a lot of genuine delight; this is particularly pleasing in an era when many long-time gamers wince at the mere mention of motion controls.
Given Switch sales during the pandemic and the enormous userbase the device now has, it may be the perfect time to resurrect this casual play phenomenon. I’m excited to try out the new additions of badminton and volleyball with my partner, but the eventual return of those golf courses – which date all the way back to the NES – is probably what I’m most looking forward to from the package.
I also enjoyed the way the Nintendo Switch Sports segment brought back the goofiness of the Iwata era Directs – such antics have been sorely missed in the presentations from the last few years.
Disseminate the word
Just wanted to spread the word on Dysmantle. It seems to have flown completely under the radar of every publication, which is a shame since it’s actually very good.
Simple but engrossingly addictive gameplay with an intriguing open world. Got it on PlayStation 5 and 50 hours later I’m still hooked.
Not my Nate
So, Tom Holland wants to be in a Jak And Daxter movie? I wish he was instead of Uncharted, as like Trepsils said earlier this week, both he and Mark Wahlberg are both completely wrong as Nate and Sully.
Hopefully the Jak And Daxter movie would be based on The Precursor Legacy and then Jak wouldn’t talk, so we wouldn’t have to put up with Tom Holland’s whiny little voice! After Nolan North’s sultry tones as Nate hearing him just makes me cringe!
The thing I can’t stand is how much they are pushing it including Nolan North. Back in 2015 he was far more against it as stated in this article.
Now he has a cameo in the movie! Then you have Neil Druckmann talking with Tom Holland about the origin story in the movie but we already had a far better one in Uncharted 3 (which Neil didn’t work on, as he was doing The Last Of Us). Apart from the plane stunt it’s like Uncharted 3 has been dismissed, which is awful as how Nate and Sully met in the game was far superior than having Sully come up to Nate at a bar where he’s working.
I guess we won’t know if the film is actually successful, as Sony are giving away free tickets with the Legacy Of Thieves Collection (that’s a big vote of confidence they have in it!) but I for one won’t be going anywhere near it!
Well, the time is almost upon us, I can’t remember a time I was as excited for a game release as Elden Ring. If it’s even half as good as Bloodborne (my favourite game of all time) I’ll be a very happy boy. When can we expect your review GC? Are you allowed to say when the embargo is up?
GC: We are not.
Yes, I was right about Mario Strikers 3! And GC mentioned it in the news story. Inbox magic is real!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Firetrain, who asks who is your least favourite video game character?
Whether it’s the protagonist, the villain, or someone much more minor, which video game character do you dislike the most? What is it that annoys you about them and is it because of their attitude, their actions, their voice-acting, or something else?
Are there any games where you dislike the majority of characters and how does that affect how much you enjoy the experience?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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