Switch City, Vol. 6: The September Direct

There are lots of ports coming, but Isabelle is making sure Mario Maker ISN'T one of them!
There are lots of ports coming, but Isabelle is making sure Mario Maker ISN'T one of them!

Hello once again readers! I've been spending time with many others in Spider-Man's New York, catching pigeons and assisting the police state, or whatever you do in that game. But Nintendo's latest direct presentation has finally rolled around, so I thought I'd do what I do best - picking it apart like the fun-hating vulture I am.

I kid, I kid. This direct gave me video game whiplash with the quality of announcements. There were some really great moments and surprises out of left field contrasted with stretches of video I skipped past out of disinterest. How about we run down some highlights and lowlights?

Luigi's Mansion 3

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Talk about a surprise! With the first Luigi's Mansion being dumped on the 3DS, I think most people assumed that would be it. But they are making a proper third game, and it looks pretty good based on the 30 seconds they showed. This time, it looks like a haunted hotel is giving Luigi the spooks. Assuming it's just one mansion again, this could be a nice change of pace from the type of marquee Switch releases out so far.

3DS

I give the Switch crap for being a porting destination, but even more so that's what the 3DS has been reduced to. People always talk about how many systems are out there, but how many are actually being played? Surely any Nintendo fan with that much brand loyalty would have invested in a Switch by now. Those ports are all good games, sure - but is it really worth the effort to keep the 3DS alive? It's practically in hospice care by this point.

Katamari Reroll

AH MAN, I TAKE IT ALL BACK

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PORTS ARE AMAZING AND I LOVE THEM

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LONELY ROLLING STAR IN MY FACE UNTIL I DIE

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Yoshi's Crafted World

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It's pretty funny that I've reviewed both Yoshi's Island, a game that could be fun with better level design, and Tearaway, a game that's rough around the edges but has a seriously impressive papercraft style. Now we have Yoshi's Crafted World, which is merging those two things. Unfortunately, Tearaway did such a great job with its visual style (and how that affected the rest of the game) that Yoshi seems bound to unimpress me. Not that it looks bad, but it just seems more limited.

They also look like they're doubling down on what I don't like about Yoshi's Island? Flipping the level around and all that stuff just seems like an expansion of the exploration-based design that didn't work so well for me. I know people swear up and down by this stuff, but I think I have to see more before I'm convinced. Nice that this game came out of the ether, though.

The Final Fantasy Gambit

Many moons ago I said that people like the Final Fantasy franchise for no reason. Do I regret it? Yes. Have I changed my mind? Not really? A certain community spotlight host's suffering has only served to reinforce that notion.

Anyway, like a hundred of those games are coming to Switch now? Congratulations?

Splatoon 2 Update

The update looks cool and all, but I haven't followed this game at all. I was a big fan of the first Splatoon on the Wii U, and I played it pretty often. But when the Switch came out, I really had no interest in Splatoon 2. The reasons? First, there's absolutely no way I can get good enough to play online and not cry inky tears. The second? Well, I knew I'd eventually have to shell out for...

The Nintendo Switch Online Boondoggle

All right, I could easily write a whole blog post on how bad this service is, but everyone already knows. No matter how happy Mario and friends look in the ad, the "extras" you get are garbage.

Finally, the Zero Fun Experience of Ice Climber as a Wi-Fi Game!
Finally, the Zero Fun Experience of Ice Climber as a Wi-Fi Game!

First, the eloquently named "Nintendo Entertainment System Nintendo Switch Online." With that name I can only assume no other consoles will be included, at least in the foreseeable future. I would say the number of NES games I will voluntarily play is in the single digits at this point, and I can easily play them elsewhere. It's pretty laughable that Nintendo would consider this an improvement over the virtual console, which still had its own set of problems. Even the interface they showed looks ugly as sin.

How about cloud saves? Don't worry if you break your Switch - as a premium customer, your data is automatically uploaded to the cloud and protected! (The unspoken implication being "after you fork over another 300 big ones")

There's also the awkward voice chat solution, total ambiguity with "special deals," and more, but I think the most pressing issue can be summed up in one sentence:

The online isn't going to get better.

Right now, Mario Kart players teleport around the track. Smash Bros. games lag out. Many Splatoon matches are determined based on whose team has the fewest dropped players.

Nintendo charging for online isn't going to change that. Your online experience won't improve, you'll just be paying for it now. I would love to be wrong, but I really see no reason for any of you to subscribe to this service.

Smash Bros. and Animal Crossing

Boy, I've been a downer, eh? Let's end on a positive note. That Animal Crossing game is FINALLY happening! Plus, Isabelle is in Smash Bros. Now? Why not, I guess.

After so many spinoffs, it's awesome that we're finally getting a real-deal Animal Crossing again, this time in HD! What they showed looks very similar to New Leaf, but it's been so long that I have to imagine there will be some substantial additions. Part of me is still nostalgic for the simplicity of the older games, though. All I know is, everyone and their grandma is going to play this religiously. Like, they'll all be playing it together at church instead of singing hymns or whatever.

As for Smash, I dunno. I don't like Isabelle so much that I was clamoring to play as her, but I also don't want to beat up a cute dog. It's also interesting that she's a new fighter and not an echo, but it's pretty clear that label means nothing anyway.

Stop! You must pay $20 to proceed!
Stop! You must pay $20 to proceed!

So, that's the direct for you. Some cool stuff, some bummers, but overall I think it was a good watch. There's enough to get excited about even if you're angry about everything like I am. If you read everything, I hope you had a laugh or two. What were your highlights from the presentation? Do you hate my opinions? I look forward to finding out, and I'll see you in the next blog!

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