Nintendo Direct 9/14/23 recap

September 14th 2023 will be a day marked as being the first console war skirmish of Fall 2023. Nintendo announced their latest Direct yesterday via their usual channels and in the afternoon Sony announced a State of Play. Nintendo batted first at 10am EST/7am PST. Will the house of Mario set a high bar for Sony to bound over at 5pm EST/2pm PST?

Starting off the direct with some Splatoon 3 DLC news. Side Order is a single player addon which has you ascending the Spire of Order. How high and how difficult your journey will be decided by your decisions. It’s intended to be replayed frequently, but I’m curious what the incentives will be. The content will be out Spring 2024.

Donkey Kong is stealing Mini Marios again as Mario vs Donkey Kong gets a new entry on the Nintendo Switch. Help Mario reclaim his wares by himself or with a friend as Mario vs Donkey Kong hits shelves February 24th.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is shaping up to be an excellent side-scrolling title from Ubisoft. Me being constantly online definitely chuckled when they revealed the main character’s name as “Sargon”…but that’s just me. Rescue the Prince January 18th 2024.

Aquiris Game Studio’s sequel Horizon Chase 2 originally debuted on Apple’s Apple Arcade platform August of 2022, but today the game revealed it will debut on the Switch (as well as PC) ending its exclusivity to the Apple based subscription service. If you enjoy arcade racers like Top Gear you owe it to yourself to give this title a shot!

Super Rhythm Castle was one of the titles I had an opportunity to play at a Konami Event this summer and while I’m rhythmically challenged, I was still able to have some fun making sure the note highway was clear so my co-op mates were hitting the notes. Will this game hold up when I’m not paired with people to play it with? Perhaps I’ll find out November 14th.

The next title revealed could be quite relaxing is actually based on the hit anime/manga series Spy x Family. Spy x Anya: Operation Memories has the young telepath working on a photo diary. Spend time with friends at school, with her adoptive parents at home and enjoy weekend activities, what activities will make the cut in this assignment, we’ll know when the game comes out next year.

Besides the visual enhancements Nintendo isn’t slouching when bringing back the Super Mario RPG to modern consoles. This remake will feature a new powerful Triple Move which can be unleashed once an onscreen gauge is filled and the ability to take on boss fights after the game is cleared once. Despite owning several copies of the game, SM RPG is a shocking gap in my play history and this remake might finally make me rectify this. Hopefully I’ll have some time on November 17th.

I joked in the byline about how this showcase was mostly repackaged games, but with this one, I’ll allow it. Trace Memory was an early DS title which featured a young woman’s journey to find her missing father. A sequel to this DS game dubbed Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories was released on the Wii, but not in the North American Region. Another Code: Recollection collects both titles and is a nice way to get the full story on one platform. Kudos to you Nintendo for giving somewhat of a W for Games Preservation! Ashley Robbins’ story can be experienced again next year.

Prince Peach ain’t no damsel in this one. On a trip to the Sparkle Theater, she runs afoul of Grape and the Sour Bunch! Teaming up with the Theater’s guardian Stella, Peach will need to transform into various guises to thwart the Sour Bunch and ensure the show must go on! Not gonna lie I look forward to playing as Kung Fu Peach when Princess Peach Showtime! raises the curtains March 22nd 2024.

We get a quickfire of announcements which include a brand new game in the SaGa series, SaGa Emerald Beyond, a remake of the first 3 Lara Croft titles with Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft, a sampling of the Pokémon who can help you solve mysteries in Detective Pikachu Returns. The wacky rhythm game Trombone Champ comes to the Switch with some unique control schemes and makes some noise with 4 player multiplayer. A second Konami title gets featured as the Way Forward brings Contra: Operation Galuga in a reimagining of the iconic Arcade/NES title.

This next title caught my eye with it’s gorgeous art and had me saying “man whoever these people are, they nailed it with the Vanillaware-ish art!”. Apparently it seems these people are…Vanillaware! Finally showing off the next title after their critically received 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim comes Unicorn Overlord (I said their art is great, I never said they had a knack for naming things). A Prince bearing the fabled Unicorn Ring must travel and bring peace to a war-torn land. Beautiful art, tactical RPG…it’s a day one title for me when it makes it’s presence felt March 8th 2024.

I like Luigi and all, but somehow his ghostbusting adventures never clicked with me…but if you’re a fan you’re in for a treat as Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD. The one has ol’ Green Mario collecting the shattered pieces of the Dark Moon to bring peace back to Evershade Valley at the behest of his pal Professor E. Gadd. Oh Buddy, what did you get yourself into? See it in High Definition as the game is set for a Summer 2024 release window.

And now for something completely different…a gallery? Yes, Nintendo will be opening a gallery named Nintendo Museum (wait…wouldn’t it just be a museum…) and it will feature the history of the company. The gallery/museum is currently being built at Uji City in Kyoto Prefecture. Construction should be completed by March 2024 with an opening date to be revealed at a later time. I guess I should start looking at what other things there are to do in Uji city…

Someone wake Benny Rose for this, they’re talking amiibo! The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Zelda and Ganondorf amiibos will arrive in stores on November 3rd, Mio and Noah from Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can be snatched up January 19th 2024. The biggest amiibo news is Sora is finally here…in amiibo form. The big shoe’d keyblade wielder will be getting his very own  NFC figurine and his release will mark the fact that the entire Smash Bros Ultimate Roster has representation in amiibo form…which is in all honesty quite an achievement. Didn’t know you had it in you Nintendo, but you pulled it off!

Ah…we reached the Monkey’s Paw announcement of the showcase. F-Zero is back, but it’s a Battle Royale! F-Zero 99 adapts the formula used by Tetris, Pac-Man…and to a lesser extent Mario and has speed demons racing through familiar tracks until only one racer remains. The game will be free to Nintendo Switch Online members and while I kid about this being a Monkey Paw announcement I’ll definitely give this game a shot…although with my skills I’ll be looking at the podium from quite a distance.

I wish I had a better pun, but Nintendo knocked it out of the park with what they used (Let’s get into Form-mation). Wario and friends are going on an island vacation and what will they be doing on this trip? Microgames, of course? Get into the right pose and compete in over 200 microgames as WarioWare Move it! tests your skills November 3rd.

The spiritual successor to Suikoden finally has a release date. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes feels like it’s been in development for so long, even I forgot if I was a part of the crowdfunding campaign. We got a sample of what to expect with Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, but unlike that title which focused on a small area of the game world, we’re going to see a lot more in Hundred Heroes (including Shark-men). Will this adventure deliver when it arrives on April 23 2024?

I was pretty excited when the Booster Course Pass was announced for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but to be honest really haven’t kept up after Wave 2…so it’s not that shocking to see we’ve finally arrived at Wave 6, the final wave. In terms of characters it’s monkeys and ladies with Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, Pauline and Peachette…wait who’s Peachette? Is it the amalgam of Peach and Toadette? Guess I need to hit the Mario Wiki after I submit this recap… I guess the only consolation is I’ll have til this Holiday to figure it out as that’s when this final batch of courses and racers pull up the starting line.

The final video of this direct shows a new title…that actually isn’t new. It’s a remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The 3rd Mario RPG and the 2nd to use the “Paper” aesthetic looks lovely, but with its visual style you don’t really need to do much to make it look presentable. You would think Nintendo would gauge the response to the Super Mario RPG release and then prepare an announcement for a follow up…but Nintendo will Nintendo, right? It definitely felt like an odd way to close out a presentation.

So there you have it a lot of remakes, but honestly some of them were kinda due. Are there any games you’ve already put a pre-order for? There’s a couple that I’m certainly going to keep an eye on. Do you think Sony will need to step it up this afternoon or can they coast given what we saw here? I’m sure plenty of armchair analysts will say what they need to say…but hey more video games is always a good thing, right?