Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing coming to Switch in 2019
The postponed Nintendo Direct has turned out to be filled with surprises, together with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Katamari Damacy Reroll.
After being delayed a week because of the earthquake in Japan many assumed that there weren’t many secrets left for this month’s Nintendo Switch, after news of Civilization VI and Yoshi’s Crafted World leaked out… but they were wrong!
The 38-minute presentation was bookended by two major new announcements for next year: Luigi’s Mansion 3 and a new Animal Crossing.
Only a few seconds of footage was shown for Luigi’s Mansion 3 but other than some great-looking graphics it doesn’t really give much away.
Nothing was shown of the new Animal Crossing, which Nintendo is describing as a new mainline entry. But there was another classic troll at the end of the Direct, where it seemed at first that all that was being announced was that Isabelle is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Her (perfectly welcome) presence was the only time the game was really mentioned though, so since it was promised that all playable characters would be announced before the game launches that presumably means another Direct, perhaps a Smash-only one, is still to come before December.
This week’s Direct still had plenty of revelations to churn out though, including the surprise annoucement of Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD, and Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age for Switch sometime next year, as well as a bunch of other Final Fantasy spin-offs.
Beyond that there was the rumoured Switch version of Wii U game New Super Mario Bros. U, which features Toadette as a new playable character and allows her to transform into ‘Peachette’. The game also includes the New Super Luigi U DLC, but isn’t out until January 11.
Also getting the remaster treatment is Katamari Damacy, the first game in the series which was never released in the UK (we had to start with the sequel). The cult classic will be released on Switch this winter as Katamari Damacy Rerool and features optional gyro controls, HD rumble support, and split-screen multiplayer.
Both remasters had been rumoured beforehand but a genuine surprise was the Capcom Beat ‘Em-Up Bundle. It features seven of Capcom’s best scrolling beat ‘em-ups, with new coin-op conversions of Final Fight, The King Of Dragons, Captain Commando, Knights Of The Round, Warriors Of Fate, Armored Warriors, and Battle Circuit.
Alas it doesn’t include Alien Vs. Predator though, as that would require getting the movie licences as well. The compilation is out September 18 and features four-player local and online play.
Relatively little was shown of Yoshi’s Crafted World in the end but the 2D platformer looked pretty gorgeous and being able to flip the game world up or down or into and out of the screen looks like a neat trick. Despite some speculation it might be this year it won’t be out until next spring though.
Also of interest was a new role-playing game from Pokémon developer Game Freak, with the working title Town. Game Freak’s non-Pokémon work is usually limited to simple platformers and action games but this seemed much more substantial.
Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu!/Let’s Go Eevee! was also name-checked, with a hardware bundle coming out November 16, the same day as a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate bundle with its own unique branded console.
Another more unexpected annoucement was a range of tabletop card games from Asmodee Digital, starting with Carcassonne, The Lord Of the Rings: The Living Card Game, and Pandemic – with promises of Catan and Munchkin to come.
And in terms of existing game a rather impenetrable trailer announced Splatoon 2 Ver.4 and Mario Tennis Aces is getting a version 2 featuring new characters Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha.
Nintendo also spent some time talking up the Nintendo Switch Online service, their version of Xbox Live and PS Plus that will mean you have to pay for online play from now on.
The prospect of ‘free’ NES games seems small comfort, even if they are playable online, but the new Joy-Con NES controllers that are available exclusively to subscribers certainly looked pretty nifty.
In terms of no-shows there was no great surprise to see that Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3, which may not even be out next year, weren’t mentioned. Although Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which is confirmed for 2019, also wasn’t part of the Direct.
The most surprising omission though was the already delayed Dark Souls Remastered, which wasn’t even name-checked despite being due out on October 19 and having its own amiibo.