After a wait of well over 500 days, expectant Nintendo fans were overjoyed to finally participate in a new Nintendo Direct event, where we saw a number a big announcements being made. In this article, we will be giving you a rundown of the biggest Nintendo Direct 2021 announcements, and what fans can expect in the future from the company.
Nintendo Direct 2021 Announcements
Let’s start by digging into what the game and content announcements at Nintendo Direct 2021 actually were.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD and More
Something that has been rumoured for a while now, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD will be making its way onto Nintendo Switch on July 16th 2021 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Zelda franchise. We will also see new Joycons based on the game, and new DLC coming for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity which will be coming in two waves as part of an expansion pack. The first wave is set for release in June, followed by another release in November this year.
At the end of the show, we saw Nintendo announce a new entry in the Splatoon series, which is set for release in 2022. Whilst it is still a while off, we hope that it will be worth the wait.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate New Characters
New characters being added to the growing roster of Smash feels like something to be expected by now, and this Nintendo Direct didn’t disappoint in that area, especially where Xenoblade fans are concerned. We saw the announcement of Pyra and Mythra joining the selection of fighters, based on their appearances in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Mario Golf: Super Rush
It wouldn’t be a Direct without everyone’s favourite plumber, who will be making a return to the fairway in Mario Golf: Super Rush on June 25th. It features a story mode which allows you to play as your Mii character, as well as motion controls for a more authentic experience. Whilst we are on the subject of Mario, we were also treated to another look at the Mario items coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, including pipes inspired by Mushroom Kingdom to aid travel.
Other Announcements at Nintendo Direct 2021
As for the rest of the Direct, we saw a 3DS sim known as Miitopia making its way to Switch on May 21st, and remakes of Famicom Detective Club’s The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind will be bundled together for a May 14th release.
A few great games from other platforms are making their way to Nintendo Switch, with battle royale extravaganza Fall Guys heading to the platform in the summer. Switch owners will also get the opportunity to experience Outer Wilds for the first time in 2021, and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville will be arriving in March.
Meanwhile, Neon White was announced by Annapurna Interactive, which sees players taking on an FPS to take down demons in anime utopia, which will arrive at the end of the year. For Octopath Traveler fans, we saw Protect Triangle Strategy serving as a successor to the series, which will release in 2022.
Other announcements saw Velan Studios announce a multiplayer dodgeball game known as Knockout City to arrive on May 21st, plus World’s End Club coming in the same month a week later on the 28th. Nintendo Switch owners are also in for an exciting summer with the releases of Samurai Warriors 5 and a remake of Legend of Mana, with the latter having a confirmed release date of June 24th. June will also see the release of DC Super Heroes Girls: Teen Power on June 4th, and The Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection will release on June 10th. At the end of the summer we will see No More Heroes 3, which launches on August 27th.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so already, then the highly acclaimed Tales of the Borderlands is coming on March 23rd, with a physical version of Hades coming on March 19th, and Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse coming on March 16th. Finally, a remaster of SaGa Frontier is coming to Switch on April 15th.
Fans Divided at Nintendo Direct 2021 Announcements
In any kind of event like this, there is going to be divided opinions, which is simply the nature of the beast in this instance. This Nintendo Direct was perhaps more divisive than others due to the amount of time that has transpired since the last Direct that we had. After a wait of over 530 days, fans expectations were incredibly high, and of course not all expectations were met.
But what kind of expectations were out there? Given that it’s the 35th anniversary of the Zelda franchise, more news was most certainly expected to be revealed regarding the highly anticipated sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It you happened to scale Twitter during the time, you may have noticed trends such as ‘No Pokemon’ cropping up, which was notably absent from the Direct, though we are anticipating the release of New Pokemon Snap. The likes of Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4, were also not touched upon, which may still be in the very early stages of development.
If you are looking for angry reactions to news or (lack of for some fans) then you will find dedicated subreddits and Twitter feeds on exactly this. It would be fair to say that there were some high profile titles that were missed out, but there were also some exciting announcement that we can look forward to. Celebrating the anniversary of a franchise such as Zelda is going to be a great tie for fans, and we can more than likely expect more news on Breath of the Wild 2 at some point this year.
You can see why there are fans on either side of the fence about this Nintendo Direct. The catalyst for this is simply down to the length of time since the last one, which would have raised expectations tenfold. For those disappointed about games that weren’t announced, we can only hope that Nintendo is cooking up something based on them soon. In the meantime, this Direct showed that we do have some exciting titles to look forward to.