Review: Nintendo Direct Mini

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MISHAWAKA – Mar. 26 saw Nintendo release one of its miniature game presentations advertising all the news surrounding the company. 

Though it hasn’t been a long time since the last Nintendo Direct, fans have been clamoring for one for quite some time; this is understandable. If everyone is stuck inside for a while, they might as well play a few games. Nintendo, at the beginning of the presentation, announced that several of the following games’ release dates and development times had to be extended for obvious reasons, but many of the major titles are nearly upon us. 

The opener for the Direct Mini was Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition. It’s just as well Nintendo did this; Xenoblade fans are among the most starved for game news among the Nintendo community, going 204 days without any information for the upcoming game. I know this number precisely because there are several Twitter accounts dedicated to counting the days since the last announcement for the game, and I receive alerts from those accounts. 

Everything is peachy because viewers were treated to four minutes of information on the new game; almost all of it heretofore was unseen. The new menus and user-interface of the game were put on full display, new areas of the game were revealed, and extra story content was announced. Finally, Xenoblade fans can have something to look forward to because the release date was revealed: May 29 of this year. 

Following Xenoblade Chronicles, Nintendo presented several games that were coming to the Switch, namely: Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands, and XCOM 2. These games are what Nintendo calls, “2K’s favorite games,” and I’d be hard-pressed to disagree, as those are some of the most widely lauded video games in the community with sizeable fanbases behind each. Though none of these games are being remastered, their presence and that of similar games proves the versatility and success of the Switch. 

An exciting announcement for Animal Crossing fans was the reveal for the first seasonal event. The first event, Bunny Day, the Animal Crossing world’s equivalent of Easter, will begin on Apr. 1 and continue until Apr. 12. This event was patched into the game in the launch date update and introduces a Zipper T. Bunny to players’ islands. The event even consists of an Easter egg hunt for all the eggs Zipper hid, which can be used to craft egg-themed items. One more event is scheduled for April, Earth Day, and it will be included in a free update, accompanied by some new features. 

Later on, several other, unreleased games were demonstrated, like Shinsekai: Into the Depths, Good Job!, and Clubhouse Games. Shinsekai is a 2.5D, underwater platformer, starring the player as the last member of the human race, who explores the depths of the Earth after the planet has been ravaged by disaster.  

Good Job! is a slapstick office simulator where the player must complete a series of tasks, delivering items, maintenance, and janitorial services, using whatever methods they see fit, with caution thrown to the wind, much like their paycheck after the less-than-stellar performance.  

Clubhouse Games is a collection of fifty-one incredibly popular tabletop games ranging from Speed to Mahjong, Chess to Chinese Checkers, and from Air Hockey to Dots and Boxes, even featuring a, and I cannot stress this enough, LEGALLY DISTINCT version of Connect 4, called Four In A Row. 

There were plenty more games revealed in the Direct mini, but this little overview is enough to get fans started. With several new releases announced, as well as a plethora of content for the already released titles, Nintendo is taking full advantage of its almost-literally captive audience. 

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