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Nintendo Direct Mini: Everything Revealed On March 26th

Nintendo barely gave us any time to scramble together a Direct recap this morning. Surprise uploading the 25-minute video to YouTube, there were a ton of announcements packed in for stuff no one even saw coming. It was obvious that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition was around the corner, but a new Clubhouse Games?!

If you don’t want to sit through the full video, we’ve done the hard work to recap everything that happened during it. Strap in, though, because there’s a lot of stuff.

The first bit of news concerned Xenoblade Chronicles. In addition to showing off more of the game, the new trailer confirmed that the re-release will be launching on May 29, 2020. Not only that, but it will contain a new epilogue and even get a collector’s edition bundle. Pretty nifty.

Right after Xenoblade, 2K confirmed that a trio of compilations will be coming to the Switch. These include BioShock: The Collection, Borderlands: Legendary Collection, and X-Com 2 Collection. For Borderlands, you’ll be getting 1, 2, The Pre-Sequel, and all of its DLC. These will also release on May 29, 2020.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’s “Shadow of Doom” DLC is available today. We were given a short trailer going over the story content. There wasn’t much to reveal, especially since you can just boot up the game and play it.

This one was a bit of a surprise. Shinsekai: Into the Depths is an underwater exploration game that bears a resemblance to Pixeljunk Shooter. There’s a time attack mode and all manner of deep-sea exploration. It is available right now on the eShop.

Nintendo detailed what will be in store for Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ first-holiday event. Not only that, but the second update will be coming in late April to add Earth Day.

A quirky physics-based puzzler called Good Job! was shown off during the Direct. Tasking players with attempting to move stuff in an office environment, it looks like a fun little way to kill some time. If you’re interested, the game is available right now on the eShop.

It seems like Atlus is interested in bringing everything but Persona 5 to the Switch. In another surprise move, Catherine: Full Body Edition will be heading to the console on July 7, 2020. You’ll have to make do with a Japanese trailer, though, as an English one isn’t currently available.

Ring Fit Aventure is getting a content update today. Adding a new rhythm mode with songs from Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, and Splatoon 2, this free DLC seems to focus more on getting you moving instead of working through specific challenges. In fact, an endless jogging mode has been added so you can get some cardio going. Just update your game later today and you’ll be good to go.

King’s Bounty II was given a very brief presentation during the Direct today. It will be heading to the Switch sometime later in 2020 when the game releases. You can watch the above developer diary to learn more about it.

The next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC will be unveiled in June. It will be a fighter from ARMS, likely taking a similar style to Bowser Jr. I’d imagine there will be one generic character with various models, so Spring-Man, Ribbon-Girl, etc.

Right after the Smash news, Nintendo announced that it will be giving Nintendo Switch Online subscribers a free trial of ARMS to play. Similar to past efforts for Japanese gamers, ARMS will be playable in full from March 26 until April 6. You’ll have access to the full game and be able to play online matches. It’s a neato deal if you’ve been interested in this plucky fighter.

Nintendo showed a deep dive into the various new systems and story elements of Square Enix’s Bravely Default II. It was a little much for me to keep up with, but you can watch the trailer if you’re interested. Visually, it looks very nice.

Probably my favorite announcement of the Direct, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics will be heading to the Switch on June 5, 2020. It will include, as the title states, 51 different games from across the globe. Along with solitaire, blackjack, and mahjong is a mixture of stuff that looks like it was ripped from Wii Play. This should be a blast.

GungHo is bringing its free-to-play multiplayer platformer Ninjala to the Switch. It will be releasing on May 27 and feature 4v4 online fights.

The next few announcements went by quickly, so we’ll lump them together. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is available right now on the eShop. Following that news, it was revealed that Star Wars Episode 1: Podracer will be heading to the eShop “soon.” If that wasn’t enough, the Panzer Dragoon remake is also available today on the eShop. It will be a timed-exclusive for Switch before heading to PC.

If three rapid-fire announcements weren’t enough, Nintendo threw in a sizzle reel of a bunch of titles coming throughout 2020. The biggest announcement was that Saints Row IV: Re-Elected will be available tomorrow, though we already knew that. The rest you can find below.

  • Trials of Mana (April 24)
  • FUSER (Fall 2020)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Blades (Spring 2020)
  • Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus (May 2020)
  • Vigor (Closed Beta April 9)
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered (2020)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (June 30, Demo Today)
  • Driller: DrillLand (June 25)
  • Minecraft Dungeons (Spring 2020)

Capping off the Direct, Nintendo revealed some new info about the first part of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s DLC season pass. On the “Isle of Armor,” players will engage with a series of dojos that look inspired by the Bruce Lee film Game of Death. There’s a lot to cover, but the trailer goes over it pretty well. The first expansion will be available in June with the second part to come later in 2020.

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News

New Nintendo Direct reveals ARMS coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The new Nintendo Direct is still not what fans have been waiting for, with no new first party games, just ports like XCOM 2 and Burnout Paradise.

At some point you’ve just got to wonder whether Nintendo are actively trolling their fans. The fourth Nintendo Direct of 2020 has just happened and it’s still not a full-size, general topic one.

It’s the closest we’ve had so far, in that it announced a variety of new full-price games, but it was designated as only a ‘Direct Mini’ and didn’t feature any new titles from Nintendo themselves – which means we still don’t have any idea what they’re going to release for the rest of the year.

What we do know though is that the next DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be someone from ARMS, although Nintendo hasn’t said who yet – perhaps because they’ve already warned that development of the DLC has been set back by the coronavirus pandemic.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=uVHwnp7YA2U%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Despite the ‘Mini’ designation, the video above is almost 30 minutes long and reveals a variety of previously unexpected third party ports, including three 2K compilations that are all coming out on 29 May:

  • The XCOM 2 Collection (XCOM 2, War Of The Chosen, and four DLC packs)
  • The Borderlands Legendary Collection (Borderlands 1, 2, and The Pre-Sequel)
  • BioShock: The Collection (BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition)

Burnout Paradise Remastered is also coming to Switch, at some undisclosed date in the future.

Bizarrely, Panzer Dragoon: Remake and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy are being released today (pre-release hype, who needs it, eh?). And so too is a demo for Square Enix’s Bravely Default 2.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=mX-vU5_WLIs%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

The previously announced remaster Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition was also given some airtime, and will come with a new epilogue story and is also coming out on 29 May, for some reason.

There was also some Animal Crossing: New Horizons news, that we’ll get into separately, a bit more info on the Pokémon Sword and Shield DLC, and a new content update for Ring Fit Adventure.

All this happened without any warning whatsoever (unless you count the numerous rumours) and was just dumped on YouTube before anyone even realised.

Whether that means it was a hastily rescheduled, or re-edited, Direct is hard to say but it’s a peculiar way to carry on even for Nintendo.

It also means that, now Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out, they still don’t have a single major new first party game scheduled for release this year, and now that this Mini Direct has happened it’s even harder to guess when they’ll break their silence.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=yCYAX19NSTo%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

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Nintendo

Nintendo Direct for March goes live, watch it here

Nintendo has a (surprise) new episode of its Nintendo Direct series, and you can watch it right now. The new episode of Nintendo Direct runs about 29 minutes and focuses on games coming to Nintendo Switch.

The new Nintendo Direct Mini episode touches on Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pokémon Sword and Shield.

The latest Nintendo Direct couldn’t come at a better time. Nintendo’s currently announced lineup consists of only a handful of games: Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, Square Enix’s Bravely Default 2, PlatinumGames’ Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4, and the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Only Xenoblade Chronicles and Bravely Default 2 have confirmed release windows in 2020.

Of course, Nintendo just recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Switch, so many console owners are keeping busy. But with two next-gen console releases scheduled for later this year, Nintendo fans may want to know how to budget their 2020.

Nintendo recently streamed a new Indie World presentation, outlining some of the independently developed games coming to Switch this year.

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Reviews

Sony Patents "Direct Gameplay" (Here’s What It Means)

A recently-published patent shows that, back in 2018, Sony patented something called “Direct Gameplay,” which sounds so utterly vague that it could mean anything. Thankfully, there’s more information available than just the title, and if you can wade your way through the patent, you’ll notice that it describes some pretty exciting ideas that Sony has for its brand-new fancy SSD technology.

This means that Sony plans to re-think the way that games are launched on its consoles. Currently, when you launch a game, the console loads up the entire game and requires the player to navigate through in-game menus to edit options, choose modes, load saves, and pretty much choose whatever it is that they want to do in a game. This is all pretty standard fare, and is so ubiquitous that most people probably haven’t even considered that this might be an inefficient way to get gamers playing their game of choice.

Direct Gameplay, however, seems poised to take advantage of the new hardware capabilities to help players, well… get directly into the game.

The intent behind Direct Gameplay is to skip all the developer-designed menu systems and launch straight into the game from the point you last played, no frills attached. You won’t even have to be playing on the same device that you last saved on — the patent seems to imply the ability to load a game, quickly, on any device by getting the required information from Sony’s servers.

It’s the kind of idea that would be completely out-of-question in older consoles, before fast-booting SSDs became the standard storage device.

It’s unclear whether this is a feature that Sony intends to use in the upcoming PS5, one it hopes to introduce onto the SSD-laden PS4, or just something that it has been mulling around without any firm plans.

Either way, the Direct Gameplay patent seems like an attempt to reinvent the wheel — but one that might actually show some significant improvements.

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