Well, well, well. We may have been disappointed when our 2020 Direct predictions failed to come true, but what's 530 days of waiting between friends? Besides, we've been really busy in the intervening months, haven't we? We don't need you, Nintendo. We've got, er, a global pandemic.
We're just kidding, Ninty. We love you. Please come back to us.
The time is finally here, and the fabled Nintendo Direct is back, with a full fifty minutes of gaming. Is it too much to hope that those fifty minutes won't be entirely spent on the new Smash Bros. fighter? Here are our predictions for what Nintendo has got to show us, from the likely to the ludicrous.
New First Party Stuff
If Nintendo doesn't show off what they've got cooking over at their HQ, we shall eat our Cappy. Speaking of, there have been a few rumblings about Super Mario Odyssey 2 - although we just got a new Mario game, it wasn't technically a new Mario game, even though the addition of Bowser's Fury was a nice surprise. Surely the powers that be have actually got something planned for the end of Mario's 35th birthday celebrations, instead of disappointment and despair?
Mario Kart 9 would be nice, too, although if it does appear, we'd like to see it alongside something a little more traditionally RPG-esque, too. It'll be interesting to see where Nintendo takes the series after the anti-grav antics of Mario Kart 8, after all.
Of course, it's not just Mario that we want to see on-screen. A few... hundred... thousand people have been asking for more news on Bayonetta 3. We know it's coming, and we don't care that Hideki Kamiya told us to stop bothering him about it. Give us more hair-witch-with-guns-for-shoes! Just a little trailer, or a release date, and we promise we'll leave you alone. We'd love to say it's relatively likely that we'll see some Bayo after three years of no news, but we've been disappointed before, and we're ready to be disappointed again.
A few people have been muttering about a new WarioWare game, and we're inclined to agree. Combine the fast-paced rhythm puzzles with the cool (but quickly forgotten) stuff in 1-2-Switch, and you've got a masterpiece on your hands.
We know the F-Zero fans are probably reading this and hoping to be noticed - we see you! But we're not sure if Nintendo does. It's been almost 20 years since the last one, after all - and the track in Mario Kart 8 doesn't really count. We'll have our fingers crossed for you all the same.
It's also been a while since our last new Donkey Kong game. If you don't count the Mario/Donkey Kong games, the last one was Tropical Freeze in 2014, seven years ago. Seven years!! About time our large ape friend got a new outing, wouldn't you say?
This one's a bit of a pie-in-the-sky, very unlikely one, but ever since we wrote this piece about how the Ring-Con should be used in more games, we can't help but feel like we deserve more ways to use this squishy circle. Seems like Ninty loves to have incredible ideas for peripherals and then ditch them (sorry, Nintendo Labo) so let's not get our hopes up, eh?
And, finally, Metroid. It's about time for some more details on Metroid Prime 4, after all - the running theme of this Direct might just turn out to be "hey, remember that game we mentioned a few years ago? Yeah, it's ready now." We're okay with that.
Zelda Remakes, Or A Zelda Collection
People have been asking for Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess remakes for a while now - and yes, we know that the Wii U had the latter, but we're hoping that Nintendo continues their streak of acknowledging that very few people got to play games on the sadly unpopular Wii U. Some people are also asking for Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask to be added to the other two in a big ol' Zelda compilation, much like Super Mario 3D All-Stars - and given that it's Link's 35th birthday this year, that doesn't seem like it would be out of the question. What a treat that would be!
Of course, Wind Waker seems like such an obvious win for Nintendo that we'll honestly be a little disappointed if we don't see it... Unless they've got plans for a separate Zelda Direct. Ooooh.
New Smash Characters
This one's a given, right? But what's not yet known is exactly who it'll be. We'll just list some of our predictions in order of likelihood, and hopefully one of 'em will come true, and then we can say we totally called it.
- Crash Bandicoot (Crash 4): We know we're getting more Crash on the Switch, but what if we got more Crash in other games, too? We can't believe bloody Steve got an invite before Crash, tbh.
- The Knight (Hollow Knight): Following on from the Silksong announcement, this one seems like an easy way to butter people up for some more Hollow Knight. Plus: so darn cuuuute.
- Zagreus (Hades): He's already got a moveset strong enough to kill gods, and he's easily one of the most beloved characters from last year's games. Would it be too much to ask?
- Someone from Samurai Shodown (Samurai Shodown): A cult favourite, and kinda likely - we saw Nakoruru fail to catch an invite in Terry's reveal, so maybe she'll get another chance?
- Geno (Super Mario RPG): He's already a Mii costume, so all Nintendo needs to do is, you know, build the rest of him. Right?
- Another Link (Legend of Zelda): Happy birthday, Link. Meet Link, Young Link, Toon Link, Ganondorf, Zelda, and some rando called Sheik who definitely isn't Zelda. Skyward Sword Link and Twilight Princess Link are a little too similar to BOTW Link, but maybe Link To The Past Link could be added? Or, even better, Tetra.
- Mario of some kind (Super Mario): For the end of Mario's 35th anniversary, we can imagine maybe adding a Mario character to the roster. It would be a bit disappointing to see Nintendo's favourite child get even more presents, but we wouldn't say no to Ms. Mowz from Thousand Year Door...
- Another Pokémon (Sword & Shield): We can't really find it in our hearts to be particularly excited about this one. Unless it's Bewear. We love Bewear. It'll probably be Rillaboom, but who can honestly say they'd take Rillaboom over Crash?
- Another blue-haired Fire Emblem character (Fire Emblem): Please, no. We love Fire Emblem very much, but we can't keep padding out the roster with more sword-wielding Chosen Ones! Give us something new instead and we promise we won't complain in two years when you add another one, ok?
- Baby Yoda (The Mandalorian): Yeah, sure, why not.
Easy wins would be Cyberpunk 2077, Persona 5, and the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Fall Guys probably wouldn't go amiss, following on the heels of Among Us, but their exclusivity contract might stop them from announcing it any time soon.
Some older games, like Fallout 4, another Elder Scrolls, and maybe even Mass Effect (since we likely aren't getting the Legendary Edition) might be fun, too - as long as they hold up well on the Switch's hardware.
Personally, we'd really love to see some of the Life Is Strange games on Switch - it seems like such an obvious market for them. C'mon, Square Enix!
More Wii U and DS/3DS Ports
This one might be wishful thinking, but it's certainly not out of the question. There are so many games locked away on consoles we don't switch on quite as much as we used to, and since some have already made it over - Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, to name a few - why not more?
Xenoblade Chronicles X would be a nice one, alongside its brethren already on Switch, and how about Dragon Quest VIII from the 3DS? We could do with a few more really long JRPGs to while away the winter days.
Animal Crossing Update
Sure, they've been hard at work with Snow Boy and Festivale, but who's to say there won't be a big Year One update for New Horizons? Just imagine: the pandemic comes to your island, and suddenly it's all about protecting Marshal and Blathers from the deadly disease. Er, probably not. But maybe something Mario- or Zelda-flavoured. Remember when Wolf Link was a villager?
Hollow Knight: Silksong will almost definitely get some screentime, but what about all the new indies we don't even know about yet? The list of great indies on Switch is steadily growing, but we get the feeling that Nintendo won't cover too many, even with 50 minutes to fill. After all, they seem to prefer cramming them all into Indie World.
It would be nice to get some new, purposely-made-for-Switch games, instead of a bunch of ports that come well after the initial launch, and don't work as well on Switch. Just sayin'. We don't like being an afterthought. Sob.
Other Nintendo Stuff
Something something Nintendo Switch Online. Something something new Joy-Con colours. Something something... Nintendo Switch Pro? If it's anything like the PS5 or the, er, Xbox... Series One X... S (???), then they'll likely want a separate event just to show off what the new console is capable of, with a bunch of Pro-only games. We're only speculating, but we can't imagine that Nintendo would be on board with showing off a new console in amongst a bunch of stuff that doesn't make it look cool.
This one's hard to predict, since the nature of surprises would mean something we weren't expecting at all. New Nintendogs? Pullblox? A remake of Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland? Only time will tell, but we're really hoping for at least one big shocker, because those are the fun ones to write about.
Breath of the Wild 2
Ahaaa, you thought we'd forgotten? No chance. It's getting increasingly likely that we'll see more of BOTW2 than just a wrinkly old Ganon, and we're crossing our fingers for a surprise 2021 release date announcement. We're not going to say much more, because we don't want to jinx it.
We know, we know. We've probably missed off something obvious, or that one super-niche game that you're dying to play again. That's ok! Come tell us in the comments what you're really hoping to see today.