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On the 20th of July, when Nintendo announced the release of a new Direct on Twitter, it felt akin to finding an oasis in a barren desert. I, like many others, was ecstatic upon reading the tweet. Would we finally get more news on the sequel to Breath of the Wild? Or would we get more updates on the development of Metroid Prime 4? Maybe even the entirely unlikely- a sequel to Kid Icarus: Uprising, would be announced.

Of course, then I read the fine print which mentioned the words “Mini” and “Partner Showcase” and thus my dreams were quickly shattered. I then tried to keep myself reasonably optimistic. After the last “Pokemon Presents,” which turned out to be a huge disappointment, I learned to not get my hopes up too high. It also seemed that Nintendo would now begin putting out separate Directs for partner developers, distinguishing them from first-party ones.

The Direct released on Nintendo’s YouTube channel on July 20 at 7:30 PM here in India and had a total duration of 8 minutes and 13 seconds. It was mini alright. At the very beginning, there’s a disclaimer on how the release dates would be subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic, which is very much justified, and a message of condolence for those being impacted by it.

A familiar title shows up as the first announcement, Cadence of Hyrule. The roguelike rhythm game is slated for three new DLC packs consisting of new characters, melodies, and story content. Additionally, a physical release of the game is expected on October 23rd, which includes the original game and the DLC packs in one neat little bundle. I haven’t picked up the game yet, but the physical copy definitely caught my interest.

nintendo direct

Next up was the online third-person shooter Rogue Company. Developed by First Watch Games and published by Hi-Rez Studios, the game is currently in beta. The free-to-play multiplayer is said to support cross-platform play and cross-progression and is scheduled for a release sometime this year. While I’m not the biggest fan of shooters, it seems like a neat game for fans of the genre to try out in their spare time.

The announcement that I was personally most unfazed by was WWE 2K Battlegrounds. The trailer featured some of the biggest wrestling stars such as Kofi Kingston and Asuka duking it out in the virtual ring. The game was open to pre-orders with the tagline “Brawl Without Limits.” Point to be noted, I’ve never played a 2K game before and don’t think I’ll be picking one up anytime soon, but this one might be for the wrestling fanatics.

Towards the end of the video, the Atlus logo appears and for a second I think “Is Persona 5 finally making its way to the Switch?” I, like many others, was proven wrong as what followed was footage of the crispy new HD remaster for Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The game was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, so this remaster has clearly been long overdue. The series has a cult following amongst JRPG fans, and is critically acclaimed. I suppose my presumption wasn’t technically wrong as the Persona series is a spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei, but that’s a bit pedantic. The remake is scheduled to release sometime in Spring 2021.

Nintendo Direct

The star of the Direct was what followed; the long-awaited trailer of Shin Megami Tensei V. It’s unfortunate that I’m not too familiar with the franchise, but news of Shin Megami Tensei V was last heard of over 3 years ago, and the teaser trailer was shown way back when the Switch was revealed as a console. That’s an incredibly long wait. The game seems to be set in an apocalyptic, demon-ridden version of Tokyo, and features the description “The time for Creation has come.” With a release expected in 2021, Shin Megami Tensei fans everywhere are now rejoicing. 

Surprisingly, there was one game that was featured in Nintendo of Japan’s Direct and left out in the Direct for the West – Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin. Why they made the decision to do so was a bit perplexing, as the game seems to be teeming with potential. Developed by Edelweiss, a two-man team behind the indie game Astebreed, it’s said to be a side-scrolling action game combined with farm simulation, and a love letter to Japanese mythology. The game is set to release on November 10th.

nintendo direct

There’s clearly a lot to look forward to from the Direct Mini, and hopefully, we’ll get to see even more news from Nintendo in the near future.

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