Fellow gamer Ashley Harrison and I experimented with a discussion format a while back, when we talked for way too long about The Last of Us Part II. Now, this format is coming back as a regular feature; starting here, the newly-named Tanuki Talk will discuss a big topic of the past week, every week. There wasn’t much competition for the topic this time, as Nintendo blew us all away with a whole load of announcements in a Direct last Thursday. Right, then – let’s get into it!
William Robinson: Hey Ash, how you doing? Recovering from the bombshells dropped by Nintendo? That Nintendo Direct last Thursday showed off the confident Nintendo we have at the moment, with a load of third-party support backing up massive announcements like Super Smash Bros., and, of course, Captain Toad! What was your initial reaction to the Direct?
Ashley Harrison: I think my initial reaction to the Direct was “I think Nintendo is finally going to be recognised as an actual console again!” because let’s face it, during both the Wii and Wii U days, the majority of “major” AAA developers skipped out on the console since it didn’t stand up to the rivals. However, with the ports of South Park and whatnot, I think it’s finally going to change.
WR: I’ve gotta be honest, I think that realisation happened a while back. Nintendo has been riding the Switch wave for a while now, breaking sales records and releasing incredible games. We did see a bit more of the third-parties this time, but more on that in a bit; how about that Smash trailer, huh?
AH: Now, you’re gonna hate me for this, but I honestly couldn’t have cared less about it. I dislike Smash as a game, and I dislike its fanbase even more, so it did nothing for me personally. Although, I guess having the Smash logo show up in the Inkiling’s eye was a pretty cool way to start.
WR: Hey, there’s no problem with that opinion. Some games aren’t for everyone – though what if they put Spyro in? Also, that’s how good the trailer was; even someone who isn’t a fan, like you, can see that it was awesome! What was your favourite reveal of the Direct, then?
AH: Nah, not even Spyro could save it for me, sans the ability to set everyone else on fire and win the game instantly. My favourite reveal was definitely Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS! It’s one of my favourite time killers, and knowing that the game was originally built with 3D functionality even back on the Gamecube makes it cool that it’s finally being realised on the 3DS.
WR: Luigi’s Mansion? Wow, that’s not what I expected. Do you not think it’s an odd announcement though – not only that it isn’t on Switch, but that it’s a game less feature-packed than the successor Dark Moon? What’re your general feelings on Nintendo continuining to make 3DS-only games like that and WarioWare Gold?
AH: Nope, I don’t think it’s an odd announcement at all. Let’s face it – Nintendo pretty much has 100% of the handheld market share; why not continue to produce games for the 3DS?
WR: Because, well, people want their Switch games. The 3DS has to be near the end of its lifespan, right? You’re seriously telling me you wouldnt prefer Luigi’s Mansion on Switch?
AH: It’s not that I wouldn’t prefer it on Switch, it’s just I don’t mind it’s only coming to 3DS either. Not everything has to be put on Switch.
WR: Right, we’ve gotta keep going, as there is a lot to cover here. Let’s talk ports – there’s a lot of quality titles coming to Switch, but are you worried about how many are releases of old games?
AH: Nope, not at all. I’ve never understood people who are upset about re-releases, why not just enjoy the games you’re getting? Just because you’ve already played something on another system, doesn’t mean everyone has. It makes no sense to me.
WR: I agree with that, but the ratio of ports to new games was very lopsided in that Direct – I’m not worried at the moment, but I hope we see some new games released alongside other consoles, which I think will happen with series like Call of Duty later this year.
Ashley Harrison: I’ve never understood people who are upset about re-releases, why not just enjoy the games you’re getting?
AH: I’m thinking the majority of new games are going to be saved for E3, this Direct just seemed like “here’s some old games that are coming to fill spots in our release schedule this year.”
WR: Yeah, and, “oh here’s Smash Bros. too” However, the main focus of the Direct, at least according to Nintendo (they’re trying) was Mario Tennis Aces. That do anything for you?
AH: Not really, I’d be more interested in a new Mario Strikers game more than any other kind of sports spin-off. So yeah, Nintendo. Give us a new one of those.
WR: YES ASH. Those games were so good (and brutally tough) – I’d love another one. Right, what else was there… Well, speaking of the ports, let’s run through a few. Crash Bandicoot, South Park, Undertale… you think third-parties are committed to the Switch now?
AH: For sure I do, and I think the amount of third-party games shows that. Hopefully the releases keep up and don’t drop off!
WR: Other than Luigi’s Mansion, what else stood out?
AH: Detective Pikachu! I have not got the slightest clue as to WHY I want it, all I know is that I NEED it!
WR: I like how you’re that one guy excited about all the 3DS stuff. You’re the one keeping it going, haha! Don’t tell other fans, they’ll be after you…
AH: This Direct just wasn’t for me particularly, haha! Looking at the Switch announcements, I’m not interested in Smash Bros. or Splatoon, and I already own the 3rd party games on my PS4, so I don’t particularly want to double dip. Whereas on the 3DS side of things, it’s stuff that either isn’t on a current gen console (Luigi’s Mansion) or just looks bats**t crazy (Detective Pikachu) and that’s the kind of stuff that stands out and grabs my interest.
WR: It’s nice to see that sort of different view though, and justifies Nintendo keeping their approach so scattershot at the moment. Unlike the Wii U days, there is really something for everyone – even just in that Direct. Would you agree with that view?
AH: That I would. And just to prove I’m not trying to be some kind of weird hipster, I’m also super looking forward to Octopath Traveller. The Bravely [Default] games were among my favourites on the 3DS, so I’m excited to see where this spiritual successor is going to go.
William Robinson: Unlike in the Wii U days, there is really something for everyone – even just in that Direct
WR: The biggest shock was that name reveal. Who knew that Project Octopath Traveler would be called, wait for it, Octopath Traveler? In all seriousness, those hoping it would be called Final Fantasy 16 – there is a speculation line, and you crossed it. On a different topic, though: Nintendo has shown their hand with Smash, so do you think that is the focus for E3 (like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have been the last two years)?
AH: I saw a thread on Twitter the other day, and each of the 4 playable characters we’ve seen so far fit when you use OCTOPATH as an acrostic (?) O – Olberic C – ? T – Tressa O – ? P – Primrose A – Alfyn T – ? H – ? But yeah, I’m fairly sure that Smash will be the focus of Nintendo’s E3 conference, especially with the game scheduled to release later on this year.
WR: That’s a cool theory that I actually can see being real. Yeah, and if they deck out their booth as a Nintendo Smash museum, that’s gonna be awesome; in your mind, is E3 the next time Nintendo makes major announcements?
AH: It has to be if you ask me, but knowing Nintendo, I’m sure we’ll hear of a new game before then with the usual “you’ll see more at E3” spiel.
WR: Makes sense. Before we go, I just want you to realise how much I’ve been restraining myself from making the whole conversation about Captain Toad. HE’S BACK, so who needs Smash Bros. (unless they put him in… )?
AH: I was wondering how long it’d take for you to mention him, haha. I never played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Wii U (it came out after I’d lost all interest in the Wii U, to be honest) so it’s definitely on my list of games to pick up on Switch – it just looks so much fun.
WR: Do it. That guy needs more recognition, doing all the hard work collecting power-ups for Mario. Such an ungrateful plumber.
AH: Let’s face it – he was the real star of Mario Odyssey and he deserves respect.
WR: I somehow still haven’t played Odyssey, so I’m going to end this discussion and run away. See ya next time!
AH: You haven’t? God dammit, Will.
WR: Byeeeeee -disappears into the horizon-
Hopefully this format is working for you, but if you have any suggestions on how we can improve this new series, you can let us know in the comments! Until then, you can also go here for the new archive page of Tanuki Talk!