Every month or two, Nintendo puts out the Direct, a self-produced video broadcast that details its upcoming releases and projects. The Direct is usually good for a bombshell revelation or two, whether it’s a closer look at an impending blockbuster or the surprise announcement of a new title, and this week’s Direct was no exception.
The highlight was a short CGI film starring characters from Splatoon 2, conducting their paint-throwing business as usual, before they were confronted with the sight of the flaming Smash Bros. logo.
Short version: Super Smash Bros. is definitely coming to the Switch, and Splatoon’s characters are coming with it.
The Super Smash Bros. series is a four-player party game that resembles a fast-paced match of “king of the hill,” where up to four of Nintendo’s beloved characters — such as Mario, Luigi, Link, and Samus Aran — compete to knock one another off of the stage. It’s been a dorm room favorite since its first game came out in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, and each Smash game on a given Nintendo system has arguably been the primary reason to own one.
Previous entries in the series have also found a surprising amount of success as a game played by professionals, with 2001’s Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube) and 2014’s Super Smash Bros. (Wii-U) attracting big audiences on video streams. Both games will appear at this summer’s Evolution Championship Series in Las Vegas, which is considered the single largest and most prestigious stop on the tournament circuit. Smash Bros. is unique in that two entries in the same franchise are allowed to take up tournament spots; a newer game will usually take over for an older one, but Melee still somehow has a thousands-strong fanbase of fanatics despite the game coming up on its 17th birthday.
Since Nintendo announced the Switch, one of the primary questions on every fan’s mind has been when they would get around to releasing a new Smash Bros. for the system. Now that it’s a certainty, Nintendo has stirred up a lot of hype for their future announcements, which means all eyes will be on the company once again as we go into the run-up to this summer’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, the biggest trade show of the year.
Aside from that, this Direct was a bit underwhelming, mostly due to the announcement of a long list of ports and remakes. The newest “South Park” game, The Fractured But Whole, will be coming to the Switch, as will the big-scale brawler Hyrule Warriors, Capcom’s Okami HD, a slightly updated version of the Wii-U’s Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (with a number of new levels based on Super Mario Odyssey), the creepy puzzle-platformer Little Nightmares, Undertale (at some deliberately undefined point in the future), and the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, a compilation of three seminal 1990s hop ‘n’ bop platform games.
A remaster of the infamously difficult dungeon crawler Dark Souls is planned to arrive on the Switch on May 25th, accompanied by an official Amiibo of one of the game’s trademark characters, the sun-worshipping paladin Solaire of Astora. Finally, a number of older Nintendo DS games are receiving remakes for the 3DS, including Luigi’s Mansion, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, and Bowser Jr.’s Story.
Nintendo also declared that 2018 is the “Year of the Octoling,” and teased the upcoming “Octo Expansion” for Splatoon 2. This paid DLC ($20), due this summer, features a single-player campaign where you play as an octoling named Agent 8. In late April, the base Splatoon 2 will receive an update to version 3.0, which comes with a number of new costumes and maps.
[Editor’s Note: Date for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U corrected since original post.]