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That Nintendo Partner Direct Was Horrendous...

The recent Nintendo Partner Direct, a showcase highlighting games from Nintendo's global partners, was packed with announcements, but it left much to be desired for fans looking for more substantial content.

Among the reveals were two Xbox games going multiplatform—Grounded and Pentiment—alongside a slew of remakes and the announcement of a new Endless Dungeon game. However, the direct felt more like a trickle of minor updates rather than the flood of exciting news we've come to expect.


First, the inclusion of Xbox titles such as Grounded and Pentiment was interesting, representing Microsoft's strategy to extend its gaming ecosystem beyond its own platforms. Phil Spencer's commentary on the Xbox Podcast last week highlighted a shift towards less exclusivity in the gaming industry, aiming to reach as many players as possible. This approach is commendable but also reflects a broader trend in the industry towards cross-platform availability.



However, even these two Xbox games, the direct felt lackluster, with the exception of a couple of titles. Unicorn Overlord, set for release on March 8, stands out as a beacon of hope in a sea of mediocrity. Its new trailer captured the imagination, and the immediate availability of a demo is a welcome surprise.



And even though it was also previously announced, Another Crab's Treasure, a Soulslike with an adorable twist, piqued some interest with its April 25 release date. These games offer a glimmer of excitement in an otherwise uninspiring lineup.



The direct was packed with remakes and sequels, like Disney Epic Mickey: Rebrushed and Monster Hunter Stories from the 3DS coming to Switch in HD. While these titles may appeal to some, they contribute to a sense of recycling content rather than offering fresh, innovative experiences. The announcement of Endless Ocean: Luminous as the big reveal didn't quite make the splash it intended, especially for those hoping for something more ...groundbreaking. It probably didn't help the lack of excitement because it was leaked by Pyoro in the days leading up to it.



The most controversial moment came not from what was announced for a global audience but from what was revealed for Japan. Nintendo's decision to add Mother 3 to the Nintendo Online Service in Japan feels like a direct taunt to international fans who have been clamoring for the game's localization for years. This move appears to underscore a longstanding issue with Nintendo's approach to its fanbase outside Japan, leaving many feeling overlooked and underappreciated.



Adding to the disappointment, Nintendo's handling of the Rare Replay collection was a notable misstep in the Direct. Rather than releasing the full compilation as a standalone title for the Switch, akin to Sega's successful Genesis compilation, Nintendo opted to split up the collection, offering only a handful of games through its Nintendo Switch Online service. This decision significantly dilutes the value and appeal of the Rare Replay collection, stripping away the comprehensive experience of enjoying Rare's iconic titles in one cohesive package. By choosing this path, Nintendo not only missed an opportunity to celebrate Rare's legacy fittingly but also inadvertently communicated a lack of understanding or consideration for what fans truly desire from such a compilation. This move further exemplifies the overall sense of disappointment surrounding the Direct, leaving fans to wonder about the decision-making process behind such a fragmented offering. Nintendo has always been greedy, but this move is a bridge too far, even for them.


What could have been...


This Nintendo Partner Direct was... not good at all, with most of the content failing to generate significant excitement. While Unicorn Overlord and Another Crab's Treasure offer some solace, the overall lineup felt underwhelming. The decision to keep Mother 3 exclusive to Japan only adds salt to the wound, making it clear that Nintendo's strategy remains enigmatic and sometimes frustrating to its global fanbase. The direct was a reminder that while Nintendo still holds a special place in the gaming world, its approach to announcements and releases can sometimes feel disconnected from the desires of its international audience. With no news of big hitting AAA Nintendo titles on teh horizon, and the Switch 2 perhaps slipping into 2025... it leaves a lot of questions for what the hell Nintendo is doing right now. ~Smash

4 Comments


NSO is Nintendo at its scummiest.

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Smash JT
Smash JT
Feb 22
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For real

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Let’s go Nintendo. Give us something to look forward too!

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Smash JT
Smash JT
Feb 21
Replying to

Look forward to the unannounced Nintendo Switch 2! lol

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