This year's Nintendo Direct featured a varied and wonderfully large number of games - some already known, some brand-spanking-new. If the excitement of the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC announcement somehow overwhelmed your memory banks (don't worry, we understand), fear not - we've collected here a list of all the titles that featured in the presentation.
All the titles below are listed in order of release date and, as you can see, the first two are available at the time of writing on Switch eShop so fans of Contra and the Mana series can head there immediately!
Now sit back and allow us to jog your memory...
What you've got here are two of the finest examples of the genre, accompanied by a third likeable entry which is also well worth a look. When you consider how many titles Konami is packing into its Anniversary Collection packages – and that their retail price is almost half what Square Enix is demanding for the three games included here – it's impossible to not question the value of Collection of Mana. However, there's no denying the fact that Secret of Mana is one of the finest console RPGs of all time, and even though it's readily available elsewhere, playing it on Switch is like wrapping yourself up in a warm and familiar blanket; it's just right somehow. We could argue that Secret of Mana is merely the appetiser for the real star of this collection: Trials of Mana. It's nothing short of a masterpiece and finally getting the chance to play it officially in English is a landmark moment for SNES and RPG fans alike.
While it’s a shame that there are fewer games here than in other Konami collections – we’d have loved to have seen NES title Contra Force or the now-extinct WiiWare title Contra ReBirth – the ones included in the Contra Anniversary Collection are universally brilliant. The 8-bit and 16-bit Contra games are among the finest examples of the run ‘n gun genre, and to have almost all of them included in a single release and emulated flawlessly is an absolute treat. Whether you’re a fan of the series or a curious onlooker who’s always wanted to see what the fuss was all about, this is essential.
Brace Yourself Games has crafted a unique Zelda game which fits in perfectly with the rest of the family. A transfusion from Crypt of the NecroDancer gives the old top-down template a fresh spin but it still manages to feel like Zelda. By allowing a talented indie developer to play in the universe, Nintendo has gained a fantastic entry in the franchise that feels like a celebration – specifically of its music, a part of the series destined to take a back seat as the majesty of Hyrule is increasingly conveyed through the scale of its world rather than melodies from the days when the 'kingdom' was really a walled garden. Cadence of Hyrule is not just a brilliant game, it's a brilliant Zelda game - one that you won't want to miss.
My Friend Pedro is a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana. The strategic use of split aiming, slow motion, and the ol’ stylish window breach create one sensational action sequence after another in an explosive battle through the violent underworld.
One of the most popular board games ever, Catan, is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2019! In Catan, players are challenged to settle and expand their territory through clever trading and construction as tides quickly turn. The goal of this mythic board game is to become the largest colony and dominate the island. Ultimate victory is achieved by out-strategising you opponents.
Super Mario Maker 2 takes everything you loved about Super Mario Maker and turns it up to eleven. It's got more of everything that made the original so phenomenal: enemies, themes, game styles, gizmos, powerups, the Story Mode having an actual story, multiplayer, and more (and slopes, of course). The list of additional gubbins is truly massive when you take a step back. There are a few small issues here and there — the online is still hilariously obtuse in a way only Nintendo could make it, and the slight awkwardness of button-based building is disappointing after how natural it felt on the Wii U GamePad — but they're overwhelmingly dwarfed by the sheer joy and unbridled freedom that exceeds the original in spades. Realistically this game poses the question as to whether Mario Makers are the future for 2D Mario as a whole.
Developed and published by BonusXP in collaboration with Netflix, Stranger Things 3: The Game is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style with modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Fans will be able to experience their favorite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.
It takes a surprising amount of effort to beat Minecraft at its own game, but we’d argue that Dragon Quest Builders 2 in many ways surpasses its inspiration in fun factor and replayability. The melding of JRPG conventions with the open-ended and creatively focused sentiments of sandbox gameplay proves to go over much smoother than you’d expect, especially now that Square Enix seems to know what it’s doing with this sub-series. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a much more confident game than its predecessor, boldly expanding on its concepts, fixing many of its flaws, and providing an overall more robust adventure experience that fans won’t want to miss out on. Charming characters, a well-tuned gameplay loop, and near endless replayability ensure that you’ll be coming back to this one for quite some time, and though the performance issues are disappointing, we’d still highly recommend you pick up Dragon Quest Builders 2.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order isn’t a groundbreaking, narrative-heavy reinterpretation of the comic characters you know and love, but then again neither were the first two games. In that regard, it’s a very faithful sequel that mines the vast roster of characters from the comics while including plenty of nods to the current state of the more modern Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it doesn’t do anything particularly new or outstanding, it embraces the brainless fun of its brawler combat with gusto, and it’s at its absolute best when played with a team of player-controlled supers. Excelsior!
There was a lot riding on it, but Fire Emblem: Three Houses managed to live up to the hype and will stand as a highlight in the series for years to come. The expanded gameplay styles, retooled combat, lovable characters, and in-depth character customisation hook you fast and are almost guaranteed to keep you engaged for dozens, if not hundreds, of hours as you come to understand this enormous game in its entirety. Fans both new and old won’t want to miss out on what Fire Emblem: Three Houses has to offer; this sets a new standard for what a strategy RPG can be and proved itself to be a must-have release for the Nintendo Switch.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a brand-new co-op adventure from award-winning studio MachineGames, developers of the critically-acclaimed Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, in partnership with Arkane Studios Lyon. Play as one of BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters and undertake a do-or-die mission to find their missing father in 1980s Paris. Wield an arsenal of new weapons, gadgets, and power armor abilities in a fight to kick Nazis out of the city of lights.
With its amazing visuals, fantastic presentation, varied gameplay and deep, rewarding combat, Astral Chain could well be PlatinumGames' most accomplished game yet. It mixes detective work with exhilarating battle sequences that are inventive, challenging and – perhaps most importantly – breathtakingly cool. The complexity of the game's myriad systems may prove intimidating for some players, but the inclusion of a co-op play and the ability to automate many of the mechanics via the 'Unchained' mode means that even complete newcomers can still enjoy the ride. Astral Chain isn't just one of the Switch's stand-out hits – it's one of Platinum's best video games.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a wonderful love letter to a classic series, keeping everything that made the original games what they were, but slapping on a fresh coat of paint for the HD era. There are a few creaking bones showing their age here and there, but only due to the developers’ desire to keep things as accurate as possible. The Switch version looks absolutely stunning and runs surprisingly well, so if you’re looking for a classic 3D platforming experience, you should definitely give this a look-in.
The Sinking City is an action/investigation game set in an open world inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft. In this new type of adventure, you take on the role of Charles W. Reed, an investigator in the 1920s United States. No sooner have you arrived in Oakmont, Massachusetts, than you are led to investigate a mysterious flood inundating the city, in the hopes of shedding light on the darkness that has seized the place and corrupted the minds of the inhabitants - and yours...