Nintendo Direct February 2021 Recap

It has been over 530 days (yes…this is an actual statistic that has been bandied about these last couple of days) since there has been a true Nintendo Direct. So when Nintendo announced that it would return on February 17th 2021, gamers everywhere were frenzied in speculation as to what would appear in the showcase. Nintendo would sate some of the inquiries by noting that there would be some Smash news. Otherwise the sky?s the limit right and light most things in life the actual event left some fans elated and others disappointed. So let?s recap what went down in these magical 50 minutes! (click here to see our initial coverage)

Nintendo led off with a trailer featuring the characters and world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it seems the main character Rex lamenting his companion Pyra has disappeared. A montage of Rex?s search shows him visiting familiar figurines from the game. He eventually finds Pyra to which she apologizes for disappearing because received an invitation to Smash Brothers! Yes this whole charade was to announce the newest character from Fighter Pass 3, the Aegis Pyra and Mythra! Smash Brothers gets another fighter who uses a sword and all’s right with the world!


After getting that out of the way, Shinya Takahashi welcomes us to the first Nintendo Direct of 2021. He indicates today?s showcase will be feature titles that will be coming to the Switch in the calendar year and beyond. Some highlights include Fall Guys, Outer Worlds, Samurai Warriors 5 and Legend of Mana. An eyebrow raising entries in this first batch of these announcements would be 2 games from the Famicom Detective Club. Originally released in Japan as the Famicom Tantei Club, these games have not seen a Western release until now.

Monster Hunter makes its return to the Switch with Monster Hunter Rise and now it?s got spiders, Thanks Patrick! Arachnophobia aside, this release also brings new hardware for people to buy as Nintendo will release a special edition console and pro controller for scalpers to speculate on.

The plumber that does everything, but fix clogs returns to the tee as Mario Golf Super Rush gets announced. Motion Controls, a speed golf mode where all the players play at the same time and a story mode seems to indicate this will be a more robust Mario sports title than the somewhat feature weak Mario Tennis Aces.

Another flurry of 3rd party titles is paraded out as ports such as Tales from the Borderlands, Capcom Arcade Stadium, Plants Vs Zombies Battle for the Neighborhood Complete Edition, Miitopia are revealed. The two titles that stand out from this batch are Neon White a shooter which uses cards to trigger actions or enhance movement and No More Heroes 3, the latest mainline adventure of the otaku assassin Travis Touchdown.

A Nintendo Direct can?t occur without a title announced that has an esoteric name and the winner of that award for this direct goes to Project Triangle Strategy. A new 2D-HD strategy RPG from the makers of the Octopath Traveler. Fight in the Saltiron war as you play one of the factions via for resources in the continent of Norzelia! Player decisions will affect how events play out and what characters can be recruited. For those who don?t mind the strange working title, they can get their hands on the title right now as the team has released a debut demo and will be seeking player feedback in a survey down the line, a move that was done for Octopath Traveler.

Players certainly can?t accuse the Switch of a Nintendo games only machine as another montage of 3rd party announcements is played. This one featuring not 1 but 2 multiplayer games from EA (Knockout City, Apex Legends), a compilation of the 3 3D Ninja Gaiden titles, a season pass for Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity and a physical release of Supergiant?s thirst inducing roguelike Hades.

Finally Takahashi ushers in Eiji Aonuma and it seems like we?re finally getting the Legend of Zelda news we?ve all been waiting for. Alas Aonuma pulls the rug from under us and reveals that details regarding the follow up to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Disappointment aside this candor is refreshing and is inline with the famous quote attributed to Shigeru Miyamoto regarding delays. Our consolation is an HD remake of probably one of the least well received titles from the franchise, Skyward Sword. Nintendo put all their eggs into the motion control basket for this game and let?s bet didn?t pan out, also the title featured a game breaking bug that required players a less than easy path to fix their save. All that aside Aonuma noted that the power of the switch console should make the game run better and motion controls optional. Furthermore in what seems like a very awkward plea to give the game a shot, Aonuma reiterated that features found in Breath of the Wild first entered the series in this title. Despite all this skepticism I?m sure I?ll fork over the 60 dollars for the remake as well as the 80 dollars for the special edition pair of Joy-Cons.

The final announcement is Splatoon 3, which Nintendo revealed with a very quiet and tonally different trailer. The only thing that screams new is the weird bug eyed fish thing that is following your squid kid. Otherwise it?s just the paint based shooter that it?s been.

Overall this Direct had titles for everyone from the kids (DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power) to the older gamers (Ghost and Goblins Resurrections). Besides Breath of the Wild 2, other notable no shows include Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4. It?s hard to be ?disappointed? with the presentation. We?ll certainly not be without titles to buy and play on the Switch and that?s perfectly fine.