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OPINION- On Feb. 17, Nintendo hosted their first Direct since Dec. 18 of 2020, and honestly, it kind of sucked.

For those unfamiliar with the event, the Nintendo Directs are presentations compiled of videos about Nintendo’s upcoming titles, as well as updates for existing games. My friends and I were excited to see the announcement for this one, which came just a day before the Direct itself. One friend was hoping to see Splatoon 3 — or even just some DLC for Splatoon 2 — although she admitted she knew it was unlikely. I’m happy to report that Splatoon 3 was actually announced, and I’m glad it was, because seeing her excited tweets about it was the only thing I actually enjoyed about the Direct.

The first part of the Direct involved the Xenoblade Chronicles, and as soon as Rex began speaking, I knew I was in for a ride. He’s only 15, but he sounds like a grown man. That, combined with the other characters’ overly exaggerated movements (such as when they use their entire bodies to shrug), made it impossible to enjoy the actual video meant to announce and showcase Pyra and Mythra, the newest additions to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster. 

Another disappointment was the news regarding the second Breath of the Wild game; or rather, lack thereof. Production is going smoothly, but that’s all they were able to give us on that front. 

A new Plants vs. Zombies game caught my attention, but only because I was a little horrified by it. Now, I live in fear that Nintendo will ruin Plants vs. Zombies the same way the CW is planning on ruining the Powerpuff Girls. 

The Direct was littered with announcements that I don’t particularly care about. Fall Guys is going to come to the Switch, which is neat, but I was never interested in playing it. Mario Golf Super Rush was also announced, which appears to be an unhinged version of golf, giving you the ability to use typical Mario items such as shells to hinder your opponents’ progress. 

Not every announcement was bad, however. 

Outer Wilds, a game about exploring the solar system in a Groundhog Day loop, has a genuinely interesting concept with nice graphics to boot. Two Famicom Detective games are going to be released in English for the first time as well: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind. I’ve never played these games, but I do enjoy mystery games. 

I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is going to get an HD version on the Switch. I’ve been meaning to play it, so the fact that it’s going to be on a console I have easier access to than a Wii is great for me.

Animal Crossing New Horizons also got some love with the announcement of Super Mario themed items. Classic items such as working warp pipes and a flagpole are going to be available to order as furniture items for your island as part of a free update, along with outfits of beloved Mario characters. This is admittedly cool, but I won’t be completely satisfied until they announce the return of Brewster, a barista character from Animal Crossing New Leaf.

My favorite part of the Direct was the announcement of Neon White, a game about shooting demons in Heaven. This is because it was immediately followed by an announcement for DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power, a game made for kids. The sudden jump between genres, themes and ratings between these two games almost gave me whiplash.

I’ve already mentioned it, but Splatoon 3 was announced. Aside from being a win for my friend, many people in the LGBT community have been celebrating it as well. It appears as though there’s no gender options in the game, meaning the playable characters are all nonbinary. This is supported by the fact that the logo for the game is quite literally comprised of the nonbinary flag colors. It might just be a coincidence, but even if it is, I’m glad to see it.

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