Nintendo is back (Video Games Weekly Recap #3)

The one with Nintendo Direct, BlizzCon, Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, Splatoon 3, Super Mario Golf, Project Triangle Strategy, Diablo II and IV, Baldur’s Gate 3 update, and much, much more 

Surprise! Nintendo has announced and published a Direct, after 529 days of absence. Then we had even two more already known presentations, the BlizzCon and a panel update about Baldur’s Gate 3. Not a busy week except these conferences, but I don’t dislike this announcing air.


Cover - Nintendo is back (more or less)

Given that the comeback of a complete Nintendo Direct is the news itself, after Nintendo had revealed a 50 minutes Direct, players hoped for a shocking one more thing, like Breath of the Wild 2, new Pokemon, Bayonetta 3  or something else. None of these were effectively possible (just to say, Pokemon has always been revealed in its own Directs and next week will be the 25th Anniversary), but hype has eaten most players' enthusiasm since a true big news missed. However we have a Zelda remastered, new Mario, Splatoon 3 and a lot of new games coming this year to talk about!

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

No news about BOTW2 (Eiji Aonuma, Director of the series, said that we will have an update later this year), but Nintendo has revealed Skyward Sword HD, the remastered version of the last Zelda until Breath of The Wild. Published in 2011 on Wii, it was featured by a large use of wiimote to reproduce Link’s sword and shield movements. It will still be possible to perform actions with Joycon motion tracking, but actions has been adapted to play it with button controls through the use of the right stick to control the sword.
It will be launched on July 16.

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Mario Golf: Super Rush

A new Mario sport game hits on Switch this year. Mario Golf: Super Rush features everything we used to love in Mario sport games: arcade imprinting, powerups, breaking-friendships competitive mode. Gameplay itself is exactly what you are thinking about.

It will also include a Story mode where you can improve your Mii character skills - to beat the evil king of golf?.
It will be available from June 25.

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Splatoon 3

It has been the “one more thing” - disappointing everyone doesn’t have a huge interest in the series. Although we know almost anything of the game: the announcement trailer is more a teaser than a real trailer. We may assume that will be a focus on story mode, but we have no certainty about. Also, gameplay seems identical to Splatoon 2, but again: we have seen just 20 second of generic pvp battle. 
Out in 2022.

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Project Triangle Strategy (working title)

Maybe the best surprise of the Direct. It’s a tactical RPG inheriting the art style of Octopath Traveler, named HD-2D by Square Enix. The peculiarity of the game is a strong focus on your ideal, your choice and consequences. The game will be launched in 2022, but the working progress demo is out now - if you are lazy you can read this enthusiastic impression by Kotaku.
Finally we are gonna have a successor of Final Fantasy Tactics, and it might be damning good.

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And all the rest

There are many less significant announcements, so I just list them below:

  • Pyra and Mythra (Xenoblade) are new characters of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

  • Fall Guys on Switch, this summer - and also on Xbox.

  • The Outer Wilds is coming this summer.

  • Famicom Tantei Club, a Famicom mystery series, will be released on May 14 in a 2in1 pack.

  • Samurai Warriors 5is coming this summer, on Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.

  • The remaster of Legend of Mana hits Switch on June 24.

  • A new Monster Hunter Risegameplay trailer.

  • Tales from the Borderlands, coming March 24.

  • Capcom Arcade Stadium is out now, featuring 1943 (free to play), Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Street Fighter 2 and more.

  • Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse, a “new” game launched in 2005 and available on Switch from March 16.

  • No More Heroes 3 has a release date: August 27.

  • Neon White, new whatever-genre-this-is game by Annapurna, out this year on Switch and PC.

  • A game on DC Supergirls that I guess you don’t care about.

  • Plants vs Zombie: Battle for Neighborville is coming March 19.

  • The 3DS rpg Miitopia is coming also on Switch, May 21.

  • Animal Crossing update featuring Super Mario, February 25.

  • Star Wars Hunters, a new pvp free to play, coming in 2021.

  • Knockout City, a dodgeball arcade brand-new IP published by EA. Crazy? Yes. Funny? Meh.

  • World’s End Club, I have no idea what this is but style is shining. Out now on Apple Arcade and it’s coming on Switch May 28.

  • Ninja Gaiden Master Collection, featuring the complete trilogy and DLC, arriving June 10.

  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass, two waves of new content coming in June and November.

  • New Bravely Default 2 trailer.

  • New trailer for Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, coming February 25 and featuring co-op mode.

  • SaGa Frontier Remastered will land April 15.


BlizzCon

The Blizzard conference is still being broadcast during this weekend, however the headline panel has revealed everything we need to know about future Blizzard’s projects - or better, everything Blizzard thinks we need to know. I warn you, you probably won’t find what you would hope.

Blizzard Arcade Collection
The Lost Vikings, Rock n’ Roll Racing, and Blackthorne, all bundled in a $20 collection. If you are a true nostalgic you can buy it now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, and PC.

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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

The first major update of Shadowlands is gonna be Chains of Domination. It will include:

  • A new zone: Korithia, City of Secrets

  • A new raid added to Torghast: the Sanctum of Domination

  • A New Broker-themed “mega-dungeon” (whatever that means) Tazavesh, the Veiled Market

  • Flying

  • A fateful face-to-face confrontation with the Banshee Queen herself

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WoW Classic

Burning Crusade, the WoW’s first expansion, is coming to Wow Classic. Still, upgrade isn’t mandatory and players can migrate to Classic-only servers, to preserve the old-school experience.

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Hearthstone

The next expansion, Forged in the Barrens, will introduce a new free core set of cards made up of classics and over 20 new cards. Later this year it will make its appearance also a new roguelike mode.

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Diablo IV

The fourth chapter awakens the class Rogue from the first Diablo. She is a highly-customizable class that can fight with a bow and arrow, combining range and melee attacks.
Still no release date, likely it won’t hit the market until 2022 (at best).

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Diablo II: Resurrected

Leaked months ago, Blizzard has finally confirmed the remake of Diablo II. The gameplay is apparently the same as the original, but with upgraded graphics using the new engine. Anyway style graphics can be swapped out for classic visuals.
It’s planned for 2021 release, on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch and PC, featuring cross progression.

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Overwatch 2

The news is that there is no news. No update here, I’m sorry.


Announcements

Baldur’s Gate 3: Patch 4

Through Panel from Hell, Larian Studios has revealed the largest patch for Baldur’s Gate 3 from launch: Patch 4 update is called Nature's Power, since it adds the Druid as a new class, whose skills will give you ability to harness nature under your will. Druids can shift their form to turn into animals: Deep Rothe, Cat, Raven, Dire Wolf, Badger, Spider, Polar Bear, and Aberrant. New class means also new dialogue, new voice-over, new contextual story moments, and 30 new spells. Players can choose between two Druid's backgrounds: the Circle of the Land and Circle of the Moon.

More, along with Druid, Patch 4 will add several quality of life changes, like optional loaded dice, better animations and lighting, improvements on multiplayer.

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Marvel’s Avengers: Hawkeye and next gen

Avengers hasn’t been as successful as hoped by Square Enix, however Crystal Dynamics hasn’t stopped updating it. On March 18 will be released a new character, the archer Hawkey, and at the same time will be free upgraded for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Moreover, the update will include the mission Future Imperfect Operation, set in the Future Wasteland region.

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Overcooked: All You Can Eat

The compilation of Overcooked and Overcooked 2 is coming to Switch, PS4, and PC via Steam on March 23 for $40. This version will include both games, all DLC, seven new levels, and a new assist mode.


Released this week

Xbox Game Pass

Code Vein and Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition are now playable on Game Pass. DiRT 5 and Superhot: Mind Control Delete are coming on February 25.


Delays

New World

Amazon’s MMO has been delayed, again. Now it’s set to land August 31, with a closed beta starting July 20. Will it make it? 

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All is gonna be delayed

In an unusually short article, Jason Schreier reminded gamers to not be surprised if many games has been delayed in the last months. Pandemics and remote jobs are slowing down all developers' projects and “it’s safe to say there will be many more games delayed this year. Even when vaccines become broadly available and normal life begins to resume, the effects of the pandemic on video game production will last for months, if not years to come.”


Games Bits

Xbox FPS Boost

Microsoft is rolling out a new feature for Xbox Series X|S that improve fps on older games without developers work. FPS boost will double (or even quadruple for some games) frame rate on a short list of titles. The first games to support FPS Boost are Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky’s Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2. Microsoft says they “will announce and release more titles featuring FPS Boost soon, as we roll out new menu icons and system settings in an upcoming system update.”


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