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July 25, 2021
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Nintendo's E3 Direct breathes new life into fan-favorite franchises

June 15, 2021 | By Alissa McAloon




Nintendo brought a healthy mix of new announcements and updates on existing projects to its E3-flavored Nintendo Direct this year, though an official reveal of rumored hardware update for the now-five-year-old Nintendo Switch was unsurprisingly nowhere to be seen.

That hardware update, known unofficially as the Switch Pro, has been rumored for a while now, but recent whispers suggested the device could finally see the light of day during this year's summer announcement season. Nintendo hasn't really commented on that rumor, but was sure to describe today's Direct as "40 minutes of info focused exclusively on Nintendo Switch software" whenever sharing details on the stream.

Even without an update on new Switch hardware, Nintendo's E3 showcase didn't disappoint. As expected, the company's presentation was filled with familiar faces, including remasters of classic and semi-recent games, updates on third-party titles, and short teases for much-anticipated projects already in the works. Here's a rundown of those top titles:

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania

Developer/Publisher: Sega

Release date: November 5, 2021

The first of many announcements centered around classic franchises is Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, a remastered collection featuring the first three Super Money Ball games. The SEGA-developed series has a long history with Nintendo platforms, with the first game in the series notably launching alongside the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. This latest collection includes that first game, Super Monkey Ball, alongside Super Monkey Ball 2 and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. While detailed here for Switch, earlier leaks show the game headed for other consoles as well.

Mario Party Superstars

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo

Release date: October 29, 2021

Mario Party Superstars isn't quite a straight remaster of any one Mario Party game, and instead brings the game boards from the Nintendo 64 Mario Party games to the Nintendo Switch alongside a collection of 100 plus minigames from the series' entire history. It makes for an interesting take on the ongoing remaster trend. Nintendo likewise notes in its presentation that some platform-specific minigame controls (like those from the Wii era) will be updated to include non-motion controls as well, similar in spirit to how Nintendo has adapted the Wii game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for its upcoming launch on Switch.

Metroid Dread

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo

Release date: October 8, 2021

Metroid Dread marks the first new 2D Metroid game to see the light of day in close to two decades, and continues on where the 2002 Game Boy Advance game Metroid Fusion left off. Interestingly, the Metroid Dread moniker has been rumored for well over a decade at this point, with the first mention of Dread as a potential Fusion followup for the Nintendo DS appearing in a leaked Nintendo document back in 2005. Today's Metroid Dread announcement also noted that development continues on Metroid Prime 4, which itself was announced via a title card at E3 a few years back.

WarioWare: Get It Together

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo

Release date: September 10, 2021

WarioWare: Get it Together brings the often handheld-bound microgame series to the Nintendo Switch for the first time, and follows only three years after its predecessor WarioWare Gold collected series-favorite microgames on 3DS. As with past entries, Get It Together looks packed to the brim with strange, rapid-fire microgames. This new game also takes advantage of the series' colorful cast of characters throughout cooperative play that introduces character-specific abilities into those standard microgames.

Shin Megami Tensei V

Developer/Publisher: Atlus / Sega

Release date: November 11, 2021

The traditionally dismal world of the Shin Megami Tensei series makes for a sharp change of pace during this particular Nintendo Direct, but the reveal itself has been long-awaited by fans of the series. Originally revealed alongside the Switch in 2017, the grimdark RPG finally has a release date and will launch exclusively on the Switch before the end of the year.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo

Release date: December 3, 2021

Keeping with that nostalgic theme, Nintendo introduced a remake of the first two Advance Wars games that brings the original two tactical Game Boy Advance games to the Switch with a more modern 3D look and feel. Nintendo notes the new take has been "reimagined and rebuilt from the ground up" as well. It, like many other Nintendo announcements, marks the first new entry in this series in some time as it's been around 13 years since Advance Wars: Days of Ruin launched for the Nintendo DS.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo

Release date: 2022

Nintendo has been quite quiet about its Breath of the Wild sequel since teasing the title at E3 2019, but that silence ended in the final leg of this year's E3 Direct. Today's broadcast brought a first look at gameplay for Breath of the Wild 2, including peeks at how the world of Hyrule differs this time around and quick looks at new abilities that seem to keep with Breath of the Wild's original theme of fostering interesting interactions with its sizable open world.



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