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In the Limelight

Nintendo was the last to present their upcoming titles at this year’s E3, but they certainly made the best use of their time when they hosted their Nintendo Direct on June 11, 2019.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 saw plenty of time, with particular emphasis placed on the cooperative mode, in which a second player will get to control “Gooigi” – a Luigi-shaped entity made of goo. A larger online co-op mode was also introduced, called the “ScareScraper,” in which up to eight players can control Luigis and Gooigis as they search for Toads. Luigi’s Mansion 3 arrives later in 2019.

The remake of Link’s Awakening saw some extensive gameplay preview, with a new mode that appears to give players the ability to design and then explore their own dungeons. This reimagining of the classic Game Boy title sports a cutesy art style that hides some of the darker elements of the story. It arrives on Switch on September 20, 2019.

Elsewhere on the Zelda front, Cadence of Hyrule, a crossover between the Nintendo franchise and Crypt of the NecroDancer, was announced to be releasing on June 13.

Many games received somewhat rapid-fire coverage: No More Heroes 3 was announced, having been teased at the end of Travis Strikes Again, and will arrive in 2020; Daemon X Machina saw more gameplay footage, and will arrive on September 13; Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition will arrive on September 27 (having been previously announced for “fall”); the highly-acclaimed Witcher 3 will get a Switch port, as the Complete Edition, later in 2019; Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 will both come to the Switch this fall; Netflix’s Dark Crystal series will get a tactical RPG tie-in later this year; Panzer Dragoon is getting a remake for Switch later this year; Doom creator John Romero has a new game, Empire of Sin, focused on the mafia, arriving in Spring 2020; Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo Olympics will arrive in November 2019; and Contra: Rogue Corps is a new game in the Contra series that’s arriving on September 24, but the Contra Anniversary Collection is available for Switch right away.

RPG fans will finally get their hands on one of the classics thanks to the Collection of Mana, which includes Final Fantasy Adventure (also known as Sword of Mana), Secret of Mana, and the previously-untranslated Seiken Densetsu 3, now called Trials of Mana. All three games are included in the collection, which is available now to download on Switch. Trials of Mana is also getting a full remake in 2020.

The long-awaited Animal Crossing for Switch got a big spotlight, as well as a subtitle: New Horizon. The game features the player character working with Tom Nook to build an entire village on a deserted island. By creating homes and other places of interest, the player will be able to build a bustling town full of animals (and potentially other players) over time. According to the focus on the game via the Treehouse Live presentation that followed the Direct, this will also be the first time that an Animal Crossing title will allow players to pick their hemisphere; previous games have all been in the northern hemisphere. As the game takes place in real world time, it means that folks who live in the southern hemisphere can now have the weather in-game more accurately represent the season that they actually live in. The game was originally slated for a 2019 release, but has seen a slight delay to March 20, 2020.

Big news was announced for Super Smash Bros. fans: two new DLC characters were announced for Smash Ultimate. The first was from the Dragon Quest franchise, called “The Hero” – the player can have this character represent the main protagonist from one of several different Dragon Quest games, such as the classic hero Erdrick or the Luminary from XI. The second, saved for towards the end of the presentation, was for the much-demanded Banjo and Kazooie, from Banjo-Kazooie fame. The bear and bird duo had starred on a pair of games for the Nintendo 64 back in the day, but haven’t appeared on any Nintendo console ever since the game’s original developer, Rare, was bought by Nintendo. Thanks to a collaboration between these companies, Banjo and Kazooie will be playable in Smash this fall.

The biggest news of the day, though, was saved for the very end. With a quick teaser trailer that featured Link and Zelda (with the latter now sporting a new short bob haircut) exploring a dungeon and uncovering what appeared to be the corpse of a certain Gerudo king, Nintendo properly announced that a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in development. Given that Breath of the Wild is one of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time, this reveal was a welcome surprise for fans. No further details were given.

The entire Nintendo Direct presentation can be seen below.