Oh, apparently there was some kind of announcement about some game called Zelda...


KATE: Okay, I’m lukewarm on the title, but otherwise I’m still excited for this (as you might be able to tell). But sustaining my hype for another… eight months?! It’s already been five years and I’m running out of hype juice. They really need to fill up that massive Zelda gap with something, and honestly, I’m not even sure that Wind Waker and Twilight Princess will do it any more. It used to be the case that we’d get a cool DS/3DS Zelda, but since Nintendo put all their eggs in the Switch basket… it’s Tears of the Kingdom or nothin’.

ALANA: I was really surprised this popped up in the Direct, actually! I can’t deny it looks great, and I actually like the title. That release date is very appealing, too, since January - March is already looking packed. This showing felt… very cobbled together, though?

OLLIE: I don’t know if this is just me, but that extra syllable in the title makes it sound a bit weird to me… I’m sure I’ll get used to it though. I’ll have to! Otherwise, yeah, I’m just thrilled we’ve got a date to work towards now. Will it be as revolutionary as Breath of the Wild? Probably not, but with Zelda, more is always better.

KATE: Yeah, it should be “Tears of the Wild”. Or “Tears of Kingdom”. Hire me, Nintendo.

Zelda title card
Rubbish. — Image: Nintendo

JIM: Jeez, with the relative restraint that you all have shown, my genuine unwavering optimism is going to seem sarcastic. But these are the words of a little boy who is 100% on board with this. I loved the trailer. The music? *chef’s kiss* The title intrigues me, which is more than I felt when Breath of the Wild was first named. And the wait feels like the perfect time to get me all excited without having me go too much longer. Nintendo, you once again have me sold.

OLLIE: You’re not allowed to be optimistic on the internet, Jim…

KATE: I’m also optimistic, it’s just very very very tempered with cynicism. Hey, I’m a games critic, that’s what we do!

What was the biggest win?

OLLIE: GoldenEye! Enough said.

KATE: Probably Zelda, but that’s a bit boring to choose, innit? Also, the trailer really wasn’t all that – we wouldn’t let any other game get away with so little! So, I’ll say Pikmin 4 and Fae Farm were my joint favourites.

ALANA: I feel like I’m obliged to say something Nintendo-related, but Square Enix had me in a stranglehold for the presentation. Octopath Traveler II is looking like a marked improvement on a game I already love, and I’m really excited for it next year.

JIM: It’s obviously Zelda! Let’s be real here! Hearing anything from this Direct about the game was a pipedream, let alone a new trailer, title and date?! This is amazing!

OLLIE: What did I say about optimism?!

What was the biggest surprise?

OLLIE: I honestly just wasn’t expecting to see Pikmin 4. I thought that game was dead! I’m very happy to see it, though. Good job, Miyamoto.

JIM: I’m going to have to jump in with Ollie here. I had genuinely forgotten that Pikmin 4 was even coming, so seeing that little trailer is definitely the biggest surprise for me.

KATE: The Danganronpa-meets-Ace Attorney-meets-Persona game, with the title I can never remember. “Master Detective Archives: Rain Code”. Bad title. But this game is exaaaaaactly what I want. It’s utterly silly stuff, with a heavy dose of weeeeird dark stuff. Oh, and the remake of A Wonderful Life! That was really unexpected for me.

ALANA: Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line for sure. I was not expecting a new Theatrhythm at all. And Rain Code, too. I saw the Danganronpa art style and I immediately sat bolt upright.

What was the biggest disappointment?

Zelda: TOTK bird plane
Image: Nintendo

KATE: Honestly… for me… the Zelda trailer (sorry!!!!). It was just really short and barely told us anything – even though I squeezed a lot of theory juice out of that 90 seconds, that’s not what a trailer should be! We don’t even know how similar the game will be to BOTW, since it’s using the same map… I’m getting a bit worried, I guess. They’re being too cagey!

OLLIE: Cloud versions of Resident Evil! Come on, man… I’d rather have the original trilogy from the PS1 days, running natively.

ALANA: I have to agree with Kate. That Zelda trailer did very little for me. I’m also not that into my Zelda lore (I’m sorry!). I’d just like to see the world and how it plays a bit more.

JIM: Two votes for Zelda?? Am I just blinded by the excitement? The biggest disappointment is definitely the absence of word from Square Enix, what are those guys up to? But also the lack of Mario game news left me wanting, only a little though.

KATE: You’re not wrong to be excited, we’re just grumpy, I think!

ALANA: It is about time for a new main Mario game, you know. And the Donkey Kong rumours that keep popping up… when will DK get a new game??

JIM: Upset over the absence of a Donkey Kong game? You could be experiencing… Tears of the Kongdom.

KATE: Oof.

Overall Thoughts

Zelda: TOTK key art
Image: Nintendo

OLLIE: So for me, there were a lot of bangers in this Direct, but not necessarily ones for me specifically. I’m very happy that Tears of the Kingdom is actually, kind of on the horizon, and there were definitely a handful of games I’ll be checking out, but overall it wasn’t one of my favourite showcases.

KATE: Alright, despite my Zelda complaints… I would say that’s the strongest Direct I’ve seen in a loooong time, but that’s because I love farming and detective games, and there were a few of those. Also, Pikmin. And Zelda. Sure, there were some games that didn’t excite me too much, but the majority of them did!

ALANA: It was always going to be hard to match the February 2022 Direct for me, but this was still a pretty great showcase! There was a ton of variety, a lot of PRG or RPG-adjacent stuff, and some genuine surprises. A nice, solid Direct full of stuff. And a big chunk on Pikmin Bloom too, I guess.

OLLIE: It really was ‘Nintendo Direct: The Alana Edition’, wasn’t it?

ALANA: I couldn’t be happier – Zelda fans can have their time next year.

KATE: I agree… I honestly think any Direct that isn’t “here’s the game!!” is going to feel a bit disappointing. Like seeing a picture of cake and not being allowed to have the cake. I want the cake.

JIM: What if I got all the way here just to decide that maybe this wasn’t the Direct for me? No way! Sure, there was some stuff that I wasn’t so interested in filling out the main body, but my reading of these things is that it’s all about how you finish. And this was the strongest finale they could have given.

Over to you — what did you think? Jam-packed, or not that great? Vote in our poll and then give your thoughts in the comments!

What would you rate the September Direct?