Monster Hunter Rise
Nintendo

The Nintendo Direct Mini We’ve Been Waiting For

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Despite the struggles that many game companies have been facing due to the pandemic (we’re looking at you, CD Projekt Red… tell me again when Cyberpunk comes out?), Nintendo has shown little sign of slowing down. This is especially evident today with the release of yet another Nintendo Direct Mini.

So, what did we learn from this bite-sized download from Nintendo, and what can we expect over this holiday and in Q1 next year from them? A lot, believe it or not!

Monster Hunter Rise

The rumor floating around the internet was that we would hear about a new Monster Hunter game before the end of the month. Apparently, someone had the right info, because we got a full announcement for the next installment of the always frustrating but much-loved series, Monster Hunter.

Monster Hunter Rise opened the Nintendo Direct with just over 2 minutes of content. It shows our hunter riding a dog up vines (okay, it’s a Palamute) and around a huge new map.

According to reports, it’s going to feature a huge new map that is pretty much seamless. Unlike past hand held versions of Monster Hunter, like Generations, there won’t be a loading screen when you move from section to section on a map. This is pulling directly from Monster Hunter World, where you dropped into one big map and made your way to different ‘zones’ depending on the monster.

It also includes a sweet new grappling system that seems to build from the one in World, and it looks like you can use the grappling hook to swing around – not just onto monsters, but you can also hop from place to place, jumping big gaps. This is a huge new mechanic, so I’m pretty excited to see how it ends up.

Monsters Aknosom, Great Izuchi, Tetranadon, and Magnamalo were shown. No word on my personal favorite who was also excluded from World, Nerscylla, but we’ll see as it gets closer

Monster Hunter Rise will release on the Nintendo Switch March 26, 2021.

Wait, more Monster Hunter?!

You guys. Monster Hunter Rise isn’t the only MH title Capcom announced. Immediately following the Rise trailer, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin was announced!

Nintendo

I am personally less excited about Stories 2, as I never played the first, but the trailer looked good. It leans heavily to a JRPG art style and is apparently going to be a role-playing game set in the same Monster Hunter world. The first game came out in 2016 for Japan, and 2017 worldwide, both released for the Nintendo DS.

The only things we know from the 2 minute preview is that you’re going to be playing as Red, and something is wrong in the world – the Rathalos are disappearing from their native habitats.

No hard release date has been shared by Capcom, but the trailer promises Summer 2021.

Interestingly enough, Capcom did say that these two games – Rise and Stories 2 – will have some sort of compatibility. I’m interested to see how that plays out, especially considering how weak Nintendo’s online support is for the Switch.

Disgaea, Dood

If you’re a big fan of quirky JRPGs and silly characters, then the big announcement for you wasn’t Monster Hunter, but Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny.

You play as Zed, a zombie with a whole lot of ego and attitude. It’s a real bummer that the trailer is just under a minute and a half, but it does look good, if similar to every other Disgaea game out there. There was a huge run on physical copies of 5 in the last few months, with collector’s editions going online for hundreds, so I’m interested to see how much hype this will generate.

Nintendo

It will arrive exclusively on the Switch sometime next year, but we don’t have a date yet. If you’re not sure if you would like the series, Disgaea 5 will be available to try through a Game Trial event for Nintendo Switch Online members between the 23rd and the 29th of September. It’s a great chance to get into a new series, Dood.

Everything else we learned today

Not going to lie – Monster Hunter was the big announcement. But Nintendo didn’t completely leave us hanging.

Coming out later today is Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Nintendo loves to drop things same day, so this isn’t a surprise. Ori is out on multiple other platforms, but it is a charming game that is worth checking out.

Nintendo

iam8bit is offering a collectors edition that includes both Ori games, a glow-in-the-dark box, a stained glass piece, rare art, and more. The price is steep at $149.99, but it’s a gorgeous collection if you’re a fan of physical editions.

If you’ve made your way through this pandemic by working out at home, you’re not alone – while I wasn’t a gym-goer before they all shut down, I found myself sitting around a lot more. Fitness Boxing, on the Switch, is a fun way to pass the time and get my heart rate up.

Nintendo

Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise was shown during the direct, and will be available for purchase on December 4, 2020. It will include 9 instructors, online multiplayer (we’ll see, Nintendo), and lots more.

A short Balan Wonderland trailer was shared as well, and this quirky platformer boasts over 80 costumes to find, 12 different stages, and a really adorable design, to be honest. In a Tweet shared by Nintendo, it says that it comes from creators Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima. Naka is the former head of the Sonic team, who did the OG Sonic the Hedgehog series on the Sega MegaDrive. Ohshima is the artist who did the Sonic and Eggman characters originally.

While I don’t think this will be like a Sonic game, it does give me a lot of excitement for what it will end up being.

Nintendo

Balan Wonderland will drop March 26, 2021.

We got a full minute (oh boy) on the new Rune Factory. Rune Factory 5 had a brief but notable appearance as a Switch exclusive released sometime next year.

Nintendo

The Rune Factory games are so hit or miss, I’m not holding my breath – but the trailer makes me think it could be worth playing. Rune Factory 5 is our first look at a new Rune Factory game since 2012.

Hades was previously an Epic store exclusive, but is releasing on other platforms today. It will be available on the Switch later today, and is already out on Steam.

We’re almost done, folks, I swear. Empire of Sin will release on the Switch this December, and promises to be a fun strategy game set in prohibition-era Chicago.

Nintendo

While I think that setting is a little overdone, I’m all about good strategy games, and I think this type of game lends itself well to the Switch format – even if the graphics look… dated? Strange? What’s going on with that dude’s face?! We’ll find out how it plays on the Switch in January.

Sniper Elite 4 was announced announced for Switch, but we all know how good FPS’s are on handheld consoles in general. It looks… fine. It’s not my personal choice, but I’ll wait to see more before I pass judgement.

Nintendo

That’s it! Nintendo packed a big punch into such a little direct, and honestly, March of next year can’t come soon enough. With this, Nintendo is continuing to prove that they don’t need the big hardware upgrades that Sony and Microsoft are pushing with their new systems. Instead, they are relying on first party exclusives.