A Disappointing Nintendo Direct

For the first time in over a year, Nintendo has released a Nintendo Direct; however, it has received a lot of hate and disappointment.



Despite some fun news, the most recent Nintendo Direct fell flat for several reasons.

Brandon Dosen, Columnist

It’s no lie that with quarantining and coronavirus, gaming has been growing rapidly. With all the people stuck in their house, video games have become a major way to pass the time. Game developers  themselves have not been able to keep up with their patrons’ needs as the pandemic slows down production speed. Games like “Lego Star Wars” and “Cyberpunk2077” were already affected with delays and the final game after release. Nintendo has not been the outlier. Multiple games have gone long without any updates and the hype around their console, the Nintendo Switch, has died down since the release of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” And that’s where the Nintendo Direct came in. It had been over 18 months since the last full Nintendo Direct, and fans were hyped to find out about new releases and games.

The public hyped the Direct nonstop in the days before it premiered. They fed the public huge announcements of the sequel to the “Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild”, a Pokemon Gen 4 remake, and more games people have been waiting for forever. While it’s not bad to hype up the new announcement, it definitely helped to create the disappointment that was felt when watching the Direct. In fact, fans of both titles mentioned previously had good reason to believe in news regarding the games. The Legend of Zelda’s 35th anniversary and Pokemon’s 25th anniversary are this year and Nintendo was thought to have some things in the works. Not only that, but with the Mario celebration being as big as it was, many thought that the two beloved Nintendo properties would also get the same treatment as the Italian plumber himself.

All that doomed the Direct from the start, however even without all of the hype, the Direct was still disappointing. The program started out with the newest member for the hit game “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”, being Pyra and Mythra, two characters from the game Xenoblade Chronicles 2. While it was definitely one of the biggest announcements in the Direct, the characters seem to be just another swordfighter, a group of characters that have been overused and resented for the whole lifecycle of the game. The second big announcement in the direct was Mario Golf, a casual virtual game experience that follows the lines of Mario’s other sports games. While the game is definitely welcomed, the game itself isn’t big enough and as wanted enough to carry out the whole Direct itself. Nonetheless, the game shows how Nintendo is sticking with Mario sports games, which could lead to the long awaited “Mario Strikers” sequel. The third major game shown in the direct was the announcement of “Splatoon 3.” This was definitely the biggest announcement and probably the most hyped game right now, but what some have noticed is a lack of differentiation between Splatoon 2 and 3. While it is still a major announcement some are worried about a copy and pasted experience.

There were some smaller games announced as well, however. The first announcement after the “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” character, we received Fall Guys for the Switch, a game that originally was very popular and yet died out almost immediately. Then, a brand new indie game called “Outer Wilds” which seems interesting but very small and not very noticeable. The game was also released on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2019. Then we have two games that were never released in North America coming to the Switch, “Famicom Detective Club”’s two installments; however it’s two small games from the Famicom no one has really heard of before. Another prime example is the newest game in the “Monster Hunter” series. While this is a hyped game, the game was already announced and nothing new came out of it. And the rest of the games mainly follow these first ones. Hype for the Direct quickly diminished with all of the games usually being just like this. It just didn’t  live up to the expectations and standards fans had for the announcements.

While the Direct would normally stand with the fans, this time its audience was massively disappointed. The public wanted something more to make up for the Direct drought seen in 2020 and the first month of 2021. They set unrealistic standards for a small catalogue of announcements. Not only that, but just how few games there were that were really wanted. Ports, remasters, and Indie games were apparent all throughout the Direct that was being held up as one of the biggest Nintendo events yet. In their first major event in over a year, they gave us not their games, but mostly games from other people. Smaller games that didn’t live up to the hype. Games that Nintendo fans didn’t want to hear about at a Nintendo Direct. In fact, Nintendo has had other “Indie Directs” recently in a different title and yet used Indie games to fill up their catalogue for the Direct. Overall, the Direct was doomed by the quarantine, timing, and expectations, the perfect combination for disappointment.