Nintendo Direct: Skyward Sword, new Smash fighters and more

Brian BencomoNews & Events

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

If you were looking for an earth-shattering development from Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct, you might be disappointed — sorry, no update on Breath of the Wild 2 (yet). The 50-minute program was not without its share of major announcements though, including another Legend of Zelda game coming to the Switch this year.

Skyward Sword HD and limited edition Joy-Cons set for July 16 release

Nintendo pulled a bit of a fast one on fans, trotting out Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma to have him share there’s nothing to report on BotW2, nor is any news expected until “later this year.”

But Aonuma didn’t show up empty-handed, revealing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for the Switch. Originally released in 2011 for the Wii, Skyward Sword made use of the system’s Remote and Nunchuk to wield Link’s sword and shield respectively. On the Switch, the game will be playable through either motion control or buttons on the Joy-Cons.

Special edition Skyward Sword Joy-Cons themed after the Master Sword and Highland Shield will go one sale alongside the game.

In other Legend of Zelda-related news, Nintendo announced an expansion pass for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, with Wave 1 available in June and Wave 2 due out in November.

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Unexpected newcomer joining Smash Ultimate lineup

While there was no shortage of anticipation over potential additions to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the reveal still managed to come as a surprise.

Pyra aka Mythra from Nintendo’s 2017 action RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Smash’s newest competitor. Debuting in a four-minute cutscene to open the Direct, the sword-wielding legendary Blade has split personalities, each one with her own abilities — which is sure to throw a wrench in opponents’ battle plans.

Pyra and Mythra join the fray in March.

Fall Guys landing on Switch

One of the most popular downloadable titles of 2020 is headed to the Switch sometime this summer.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout combines the platforming and battle royal genres to create a hilarious multiplayer experience. The game has been a cult favorite since its release for PlayStation 4 and PCs in August, and its zany, family-friendly action feels like a perfect addition to Nintendo’s lineup.

Mario Golf to make its return

It has been almost 20 years since we’ve seen Mario hitting the links on a console. That finally changes June 25 when Mario Golf: Super Rush arrives for the Switch.

The whole Mario cast shoots for the lowest score as Nintendo mixes sports sim with the Mushroom Kingdom. New game modes include Speed Golf, which adds a racing element, and Story Mode, where you guide your own Mii character through the ranks.

Mario Golf last appeared on 3DS in 2014, and for the GameCube and Game Boy Advance before that. For the uninitiated, gameplay looks similar to Sony’s Everybody’s Golf.

Mario also headed to an island near you in Animal Crossing

In a continuing celebration of Super Mario’s 35th anniversary, Animal Crossing’s next update available February 25 pays homage to everybody’s favorite plumber.

New items coming to the life simulator include Mario-inspired furniture such as mushrooms and question blocks, as well as warp pipes that can transport you to previously unreachable parts of your island.

New Star Wars game announced, but details sparse

In perhaps the cruelest tease of all, a new free-to-play third-person shooter, Star Wars Hunters, is coming to Switch. However, the roughly 10-second trailer featured zero gameplay footage, rendering it impossible to get a sense of what this is all about.

All we know for now is it’s a Zynga release, the story is set between Star Wars Episodes VI and VII and the game is due out later in 2021. You’re off the hook, Aonuma!

Early look at Splatoon 3

One of the Switch’s surprise breakout hits with over 15 million copies of Splatoon 1 and 2 sold worldwide as of May 2020, Splatoon 3 is coming back for more … but not until 2022.  The trailer included early gameplay footage of the frenetic third-person shooter. With the game still a year away, there doesn’t appear to be much more to tell than that for the time being.

Other titles announced

There’s no way to touch on everything from what was a fairly substantial dump, but among the more notable titles featured at Direct were The Outer Wilds, Samurai Warriors 5, two Famicom Detective Club stories, a Legend of Mana remake, Miitopia and a Ninja Gaiden Trilogy compilation.

Direct also gave us an extended look at a new tactical RPG from Square Enix, currently under the working title Project Triangle Strategy, as well as an updated trailer for Monster Hunter Rise, available March 26 for the Switch.

Lead image credit: Nintendo