Nintendo Direct 4.12.2017 opened with a quick overview of upcoming 3DS titles, including ‘Hey! Pikmin’ and ‘Monster Hunter Stories’, a turn-based, collect the monsters, “chibi” version of the long running series.
The presentation then moved straight to ARMS, using a cartoony sports commentator character to present the entire segment. After a quick intro of some of the features already known, the commentator moved on to reveal how arms have different “types” such as fire, ice and electricity, each with its own adverse effect when using “charged” attacks. For example, hitting an opponent with a charged ice based arm, will freeze them momentarily.
The commentator then proceeded to reveal a brand new playable character: MinMin. They showcased her equipped with a Chakram arm on ramen noodle ribbons and a dragon head arm, that shoots a strong laser beam. Aside from her dragon arm, her unique ability is to kick away opponents arms when dodging, creating openings for counter attacks. They also gave a quick introduction of Spring Man, explaining his ability to repel arms when dodging and unlimited charged attacks when low on health. Then, they pinned MinMin against Spring Man in a fully commentated match, highlighting some of the mechanics and strategy involved. ARMS is looking to be a pretty fun game and it is great that Nintendo is making sure to also advertise the potential depth with which it can be played.
ARMS releases on June 16th. Nintendo’s definition of “Spring” seems a tad off.
The presentation then went over a nice listing of upcoming Switch titles. ‘PuyoPuyo Tetris’, with a playable demo releasing soon, and ‘Monopoly For Nintendo Switch’ (yes, the board game) were highlights for me personally. Several RPGs were previewed such as ‘Disgaea 5 Complete’ and ‘Battle Chasers: Night War’. The arcade collection, ‘Namco Museum’, looks to be pretty comprehensive, with several titles beyond the standard Pac-Man and Driller titles. A big surprise had to be that ‘Pay Day 2’ is coming to the Switch! Successful sales on a title like this could help to continue opening the door for triple A third party support.
Splatoon 2 was next, taking the usual quirky “Squid Research Lab” angle for the reveal; no Japanese dude in a lab coat this time though. They showcased, in detail, a new game mode called “Salmon Run”. Instead of pinning two 4 Inkling teams against each other like Turf War, Salmon Run pins a single 4 Inkling team against waves of “Salmonid” enemies with the purpose of collecting standard and Golden Eggs. It looks like a nice change of pace from the usual player vs player action. It also packs a few interesting mechanics like reviving knocked out team mates by shooting them with ink.
They also revealed Splatoon 2 Amiibo figures. These will allow players to “befriend” the figure within the game and use it to store gear sets. The Amiibo can then be used to load up these gear sets on other Nintendo Switch consoles. Sounds like a nifty way to beef up your Inkling at home and then take it on the road to battle against friends. Then again, with the Switch being portable, would it not be just as easy to take the console to a friend’s house?
The biggest surprise of the presentation was Splatoon 2’s release date. With ARMS releasing in June, my expectation for Splatoon 2 had quickly drifted to late August, even early September. But, Nintendo promised Summer and Summer we are getting. Splatoon 2 is scheduled for release on July 21st! A “beachy” game for the “beach-iest” time of the year.
If all these titles line up correctly, it does seem like the Switch will be enjoying a constant stream of games throughout the year. With E3 right around the corner, things should be getting even better!
Watch the whole presentation here.