Our first Nintendo Direct of 2021 promised nearly an hour of trailers and announcements for games coming in the first half of the year. We’ve got Switch versions of popular online games like Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and Apex Legends, the reveal of the newest DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and new game announcements like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD and Splatoon 3 – the latter of which won’t be here until next year.
Here is our breakdown of the biggest news and announcements from the Nintendo Direct: February 2021 stream.
Splatoon 3 was Nintendo’s final big announcement during the broadcast. Judging by the trailer, the threequel brings more multiplayer arena mayhem as teams work together to fire their paint-spewing weapons to turn more of the level their team’s color. It’s the second Splatoon game on the Switch, after the well-received series debuted on the Wii U.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
The 2011 Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was all about showing off the Wii’s nunchuk motion controls. Skyward Sword is getting an HD upgrade for the Switch. Skyward Sword HD is preserving the motion controls with the Joy-Con, while also allowing a more traditional button-control scheme. Zelda fans will want to check out the upcoming Skyward Sword Joy-Con, modeled after Link’s signature sword and shield.
Release: July 16
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Fighter
Given that Shulk is in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s not shocking when Nintendo announced a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 character as the latest DLC fighter. But instead of protagonist Rex, it’s his companion Pyra. Pyra is a two-in-one fighter who can shift into another Xenoblade character, Mythra. The pair are the fourth DLC fighters to join Fighter Pass Volume 2.
Mario Golf : Super Rush
The Mario Golf series has been relegated to handheld in recent years, but in Mario Golf: Super Rush, Mario and friends are donning their polo shirts and khaki pants on the Switch. Scan terrain and use shot gauges to get the perfect shot using motion or button controls. Race your friends in Speed Mode, or use your own Mii avatar in the single player Story Mode.
Release: June 25
Project Triangle Strategy
The working title “Project Triangle Strategy” is a dumb name, but also a very nice-looking, retro-inspired tactical-RPG that utilizes the same gorgeous 2D-HD style of Octopath Traveler. It looks like a tantalizing blend of Final Fantasy, Tactics Ogre, and Fire Emblem, and the information you gather will affect the choices you make during pivotal story moments.
Mario Items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
It took an entire year, but we’re finally getting Nintendo-themed content in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. To celebrate Mario’s 35th anniversary, you’ll be able to purchase and place warp pipes, question blocks, and other familiar items, as well as Mario outfits.
Release: March 1
Star Wars: Hunters
From what we can tell from this very brief teaser, Star Wars: Hunters is a free-to-play, online multiplayer shooter. Build a squad of characters from across the Star Wars universe, including bounty hunters, rebels, and stormtroopers, and battle against other squads in familiar locations.
Miitopia originally launched in 2017 on the 3DS as an RPG populated entirely by Mii avatars. Miitopia is getting a remaster later this year on the Switch, with even more customization options for Miis. Also, horses.
Release: May 21
One of the more entertaining reveal trailers in the Direct was for Knockout City, a team-based arena game where players throw balls at each other. It’s dodgeball, er, Dodgebrawl! There are a variety of outfits and accessories to personalize each member of your team.
Release: May 21
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power
Get your cape on! Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and the rest are surviving high school while battling supervillains. Explore Metropolis, thwart evil plots, build up destroyed parts of the city, and take selfies to increase your Superstapost account.
Release: June 4