Nintendo Direct delivers smashing news about new games and more


The latest Nintendo Direct was presented on Feb. 17, 2021, which featured plenty of game updates and release announcements.

Nintendo announced its new lineup of games for the Nintendo Switch and other updates through their Nintendo Direct presentation given on Feb 17. The 50-minute live stream of trailers and announcements highlighted the addition of Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a new fighter, to their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game character lineup, as well as the release of Splatoon 3, the third edition to this wildly popular third-person shooter game franchise. There were also a few small updates, like Mario Golf: Super Rush and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout getting released later this year. 

For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the two new characters Pyra and Mythra are playable as one fighter in-game as of March 4. To switch between the characters, players can press the Down special. The two characters cost $5.99 to purchase, whereas the entire DLC pack costs $30, including Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII), Min-Min (Arms), Steve (Minecraft), Alex (Minecraft), and two more unreleased brawlers. Pyra and Mythras’ Final Smashes consist of summoning Rex (The main protagonist in Xenoblade Chronicles 2) as he slashes the opponent with the Aegis Sword. If this strike hits the opponent, then either Pyra or Mythra will hold the same sword and uppercut the opponent. The beauty of this move is that if two or three brawlers are in the range of the attack, then all of them will experience the same attack and damage. This shows how this Final Smash needs to be timed right to be effectively used.

Nintendo also released a game trailer for Splatoon 3, slated for a 2022 release, featuring a new city called Splatsville located in the arid and waste-filled Splatlands. Gameplay clips show familiar weapons including the Splattershot, Splat Charger, and Splat Roller as the inklings launch into Turf War. The gameplay appears similar to previous installments, but players can still look forward to a new storyline and a more active player base.

A notable Animal Crossing: New Horizons update includes a collaboration with the Super Mario franchise for Mario’s 35th Anniversary. Items from Mario’s world such as character outfits (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Wario), warp pipes, stars, blocks, and more are available to purchase in the game’s Nook Store.

Additionally, a few days after the Nintendo Direct was released, Animal Crossing announced a New Horizons port of their crossover with Sanrio which includes adding Sanrio-themed villagers and furniture to the game. The villagers include Rilla (Hello Kitty), Marty (Pompompurin), Étoile (Kiki & Lala), Chai (Cinnamoroll), Chelsea (My Melody), and Toby (Kerokerokeroppi), which can all be obtained through special Amiibo cards sold exclusively through Target starting March 26.

Some smaller games were also announced including Mario Golf: Super Rush as the newest addition to the Mario Golf series, slated to release on June 25. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, both initially computer games, will now be available for the Switch.

A full list of updates from this latest Nintendo Direct can be found here.