Nintendo Direct 4/12/2017 Recap – ARMS, Splatoon2, and…MINECRAFT!?

Nintendo advertised their April 12th Nintendo Direct as a showcase for the upcoming Switch titles ARMS and Splatoon2, and while those games got their moments in the spotlight, they certainly didn’t come alone. The 35-minute Direct allocated much of its time to announcing details and release dates for a variety of games–both retail and download–for the Nintendo Switch, as well as the 3DS.

That’s right, the Nintendo 3DS is far from ready to call it quits. The Direct began with a montage of games coming to Nintendo’s dedicated handheld this year. The RPG/Sim hybrid Ever Oasis launches June 23rd, while Monster Hunter Stories–a turn-based RPG set in the Monster Hunter universe where you recruit monsters as allies–finally makes its way to the West this Fall. Pikmin will see a traditional title release on July 28th with Hey, Pikmin! as Captain Olimar and his band of Pikmin embark on a 2D, sidescrolling adventure that sees you command the Pikmin with the touchscreen.

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To celebrate Kirby’s 25th anniversary, everyone’s favorite little pink hero is getting a few different titles across the 3DS family of systems in 2017. Team Kirby Crash Deluxe–a free-to-start beat ‘em up–became available on the Nintendo eShop during the video presentation, while Kirby’s Blowout Blast will also release on the eShop, albeit sometime this summer. Although not shown, a brand new, multiplayer-based Kirby action game was confirmed to be in development for the 3DS and will launch Holiday 2017.

Other 3DS games shown included Yokai-Watch 2: Psychic Spectres (Fall 2017), Miitopia (TBD 2017), RPG Maker Fes (June 27th), as well as DLC packs for the upcoming Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (May 19th).

The Direct gave us a look at upcoming software for the Nintendo Switch that will primarily launch between now and the summer months. Their new fighter IP, ARMS, got the most time in the limelight, with an extensive look into some of the game’s mechanics. Everything shown seems to suggest that this is hardly some simplistic minigame. A surprising amount of depth appears to exist in this unique fighter, and there are more options than just the different fighters. Shown off in detail were the myriad of ‘gloves’ and other weapon-accessories that you can attach to your fighter to further customize your combat style. Its release date was announced as June 16th.

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Splatoon2 didn’t get quite as enlightening of a presentation, and its July 21st release date is a little further away than we were hoping, but a lengthy video sporting a corporate training, and documentary themes are telling that this sequel will have the same kind of quirky personality that the Wii U original contained. The focus here was on a brand new mode in Splatoon2 called Salmon Run, where you and three partners must fend off waves of mindless enemies and harvest special resources that they drop in defeat. Essentially, Splatoon is set to get its version of Horde Mode from Gears of War.

Huge Selection of Nintendo Tees

A slew of retail and eShop software–most with an arcadey feel– were shown off for the next couple months on the Switch. Perhaps most exciting of all was a new edition of Minecraft, which will include the Super Mario-themed pack. It will initially launch on the eShop for May 11th, with a retail release sometime later.

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Several titles from the past will return as classics from the NEOGEO will begin to release on the Switch eShop, and a special collection of fan favorite Namco games will be bundled together in a retail release called Namco Museum (Summer 2017). Other titles for the Switch included Disgaea 5: Complete (May 23rd), Puyo Puyo Tetris (April 25th), Project Mekuru (Summer 2017), Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition (TBD 2017), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28th), and a pair of Sonic the Hedgehog titles, including a 2D sidescrolling throwback titled Sonic Mania (Summer 2017), and a brand new 3D platformer titled Sonic Forces, which is set for Holiday 2017.

Amiibo collectors were bombarded with a wave of new Amiibo releasing this year, including a new series for Link across multiple Zelda titles, new Splatoon Amiibo, and figures to be used in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS of DLC characters Bayonetta, Corrin, and Cloud Strife. All other upcoming Amiibo can be found on Nintendo’s official website.

What are you most excited about in these new releases? Leave a comment below.

Jeff Pawlak is the Nintendo Expert on the Geekiverse; he’s been exploring dungeons as Link, blasting aliens as Samus, and leaping across obstacles as Mario for the past 23 years. You can find him on Twitter @JeffreyPavs, where he’ll definitely share more thoughts in the near future on all Nintendo news. 

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