Since Nintendo first pioneered the idea of shifting announcements from the bombast of the E3 stage to small, more…well, direct digital performances; fans eagerly eagerly and anxiously the Big N’s next reveal. And while current events have seen Nintendo unable to present a “proper,” first-party Direct, they’ve been keeping fans satiated with smaller, partner-focused announcements.
The September Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner showcase started strong with a surprise reveal very few saw coming–two new Monster Hunter games heading to the Nintendo Switch: Monster Hunter Rise, and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. Monster Hunter Rise looks to be a vast improvement over Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate–which is a great game in it’s own right, but is still essentially a glow-up of a 3DS game. Not only is MHR visually more impressive than it’s Switch predecessor, it looks to be implimenting the “seamless,” open areas similar to Monster Hunter World.
Not only will transitioning between areas no longer be broken up by loading screens, areas themselves will feature much more verticality; with players able to run up and along walls, and also zip around spaces thanks to the new mobility/combat tool: the “Wirebug.” The other big addition include an new canine partner animal called a “Palimute,” who not only allows you to move through areas at high speeds without spending stamina, but will also help out in combat–but of course, Feline Palicos are still available to assist hunters.
Furthermore, if the trailer is to be believed, Monster Hunter Rise looks pretty technically impressive, with fluid animations similar to those in Monster Hunter World, and no slowdown. How the game will perform in four player co-op–especially now that all four players can bring in one Palico–will need to be seen. The trailer also showed off some new monsters and gave glimpses of potentially new combat manuvers, but was light on details. Hopefully we’ll see more closer to release.
The second Monster Hunter reveal was a sequel to the well recieved–although you almost never hear anyone talk about it–3DS spin-off: Monster Hunter Stories. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin only gave players glimpses of a potential story involving the disapearance of Rathalos and a potential new monster threat, as well as a few shots of in-game environments. While players will have to wait for more details to emerge, Series Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated that the game is scheduled for a Summer 2021 launch.
Futhermore, Marvelous and XSeed finally delivered details about Rune Factory 5, giving players a solid look at the visuals–a vast improvment from the “HD version” of Rune Factory 4 on the Switch–as well as the combat and farming gameplay. However there’s still no confirmed release date, and it’s current set for a 2021 release date.
Other releases from the Direct included Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm and Exercise, slated for a December 4th launch, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny, slated for a Summer 2021 release; a new character for the turn-based strategy game: City of Sin; Sniper Elite 4 for Nintendo Switch launching Holiday 2020, and a plethora of details for Sega’s Balan Wonderworld inlcuding abilities levels and a March 26th, 2021 release date.
Lastly, in traditional Nintendo Direct fashion, Nintendo had a series of “later today,” releases including the top-down, dungeon crawler Hades, the frigid first-person survival game The Long Dark and Ori: and the Will of the Wisps, the sequel to the much beloved Ori: and the Blind Forest; which may have been the biggest surprise of all since it was supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive.