Nintendo Direct February 2021: Skyward Sword, New Smash Fighter, and Splatoon 3

Nintendo Direct February 2021: Skyward Sword, New Smash Fighter, and Splatoon 3 2
Nintendo held its first full-length Nintendo Direct presentation since September 2019, and revealed a slew of new content coming this year and beyond. Here’s everything they showed.

The presentation began with the anticipated reveal of the new DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros Ultimate—Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The twin personalities of the Aegis will work in tandem when they arrive in the game next month, with Rex assisting in their Final Smash. Smash director Masahiro Sakurai will have more details on their mechanics closer to their launch, when they will join the Fighters Pass 2 alongside Min-Min, Steve, and Sephiroth.

Nintendo announced a new installment in the Mario sports franchise, Mario Golf Super Rush, due June 25. Motion controls will be available, with a Mii-focused Story Mode and a Speed Golf multiplayer mode that looks to add a lot of frantic fun to the otherwise traditonal game.

The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma appeared to share that Breath of the Wild 2 is progressing well, with more information to follow later this year. Instead, he announced The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, a Switch port of the 2011 Wii title due out July 16. The Wii’s motion controls have been adapted to suit the Joycons, while handheld and Switch Lite users can use the control sticks to swing Link’s sword. A special edition pair of Joycons will be available—Hylian Shield blue for the left, and Master Sword purple for the right.

As Announced At Today'S Nintendo Direct, The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword Is Headed To Switch, With A Pair Of Matching Joycons.
As announced at today’s Nintendo Direct, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is headed to Switch, with a pair of matching Joycons. (Nintendo)

In other Zelda news, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will receive an Expansion Pass, available for purchase in May. The first wave, in June, will expand the roster and add new weapon types and challenges. The second wave, due in November, will include even more characters, new character vignettes, new stages, and new skills for existing characters. The pass will cost $19.99 USD.

The other bombshell announcement was Splatoon 3, the final game highlighted, which is scheduled for release in 2022. A highlight reel showed off what looks like an apocolyptic wasteland, suggesting the events of the 2019 Final Fest will be the cornerstone of the game’s plot—much like how the Splatoon’s final Splatfest set the stage for Splatoon 2’s story. The trailer also showed off the updated engine, new appearance options, weapons, and a Salmon Run companion.

Nintendo Direct February 2021: Skyward Sword, New Smash Fighter, And Splatoon 3
Pre-Release Gameplay footage of Splatoon 3.

In other news, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout will bring its battle royale game show to the Switch this summer. Mediatonic had a big hit last August, and its multiplayer mayhem may experience a renaissance on Nintendo’s hybrid console. In other bright multiplayer game news, Fortnite will get some competition on Switch when dodgeball brawler Knockout City arrives May 21, and Apex Legends on March 9.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will receive its Mario-themed update on February 25, though the new items won’t be available for sale in-game until March 1. Players can dress like Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Wario, or decorate with blocks, mushrooms, and other recognizable items. There will also be fully functional warp pipes which will allow for teleportation around your island. More information will follow for the game’s first anniversary celebrations.

Square Enix showed off four titles: Bravely Default 2, launching next week; SaGa Frontier Remastered, out April 15; the Legend of Mana remaster, due June 24; and a new project currently known as Project Triangle Strategy, a tactics RPG. A demo is available to give a taste of this 2022 title, with a post-play survey to help inform the future of the title.

Nintendo Direct February 2021: Skyward Sword, New Smash Fighter, And Splatoon 3
Pre-release Gameplay footage of Project Triangle.

If you’ve been sleeping on Game of the Year Hades, it will receive its physical release on March 19, packed with extras like a downloadable soundtrack and a character compendium artwork. For older audiences, Ninja Gaiden Master Collection, including Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1-3, will arrive June 10 for Switch owners craving a challenge; while No More Heroes 3 will launch August 27. Monster Hunter Rise will receive a special limited edition Switch console, featuring a unique dock and pair of Joycons, when it launches May 26. An expanded port of Miitopia was also announced for a May 21 release, as well as Star Wars Hunters, a multiplayer shooter from Zynga set between Episodes VI and VII.

Here are the other titles showcased in today’s Nintendo Direct:

  • Capcom Arcade Stadium launches today, with 1943: The Battle of Midway available for free, and a myriad of others available for purchase down the line, including Strider, Ghosts n’ Goblins, and Bionic Commando
  • Ghosts & Goblins Resurrection – February 25
  • Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse – March 16
  • Tales From the Borderlands – March 24
  • Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind – May 14
  • World’s End Club – May 28
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power – June 4
  • Outer Wilds – summer
  • Samurai Warriors 5 – summer
  • Neon White – Winter 2021
  • Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition

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