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Nintendo Direct shows off packed release schedule for 2018

Super Smash Bros. takes focus, but publisher offers up host of exclusive, third-party, and downloadable content

Nintendo managed to pack a lot into what was comparatively a brief broadcast, but the whole event was short on surprises and heavy on detail; Super Smash Bros. detail in particular.

Although the majority of the stream was given over to an an incredibly deep dive into what players can expect from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo also stepped out of its comfort zone a little with the announcement of an M-rated Switch exclusive.

Offering up major releases slated for August, October, November, and December -- with DLC, indie games, and major third-party releases filling the gaps -- Nintendo is once again promising a packed few months for the last half of the year.

Nintendo's first-party parade

  • Kicking off the show was an uncharacteristically high-octane trailer by Nitendno's standards -- complete with wailing guitars and angst ridden screams -- was the publisher's first reveal of the day: Deamon X Machina coming sometime in 2019.
  • Although its rating is currently pending, the trailer was preceded with a mature rating; along with third-party releases like Doom and Wolfenstein II, it's further evidence of Nintendo trying to push its console to traditionally "hardcore" players.
  • Regarding Pokémon Lets Go, Nintendo didn't offer up any new significant details other than its release date of November 16.
  • Joining Ubisoft as one of the few publishers not afraid of releasing the same month as Red Dead Redemption 2, Nintendo confirmed Super Mario Party for October 5, 2018.
  • A much needed addition to the Switch catalogue, Super Mario Party should satisfy the need for casual local party games that 1-2-Switch wasn't quite able to with the console's release. An interesting detail is that Switch consoles can be locally linked to expand the puzzles and games.
  • Another tentpole release confirmed by Nintendo was Fire Emblem Three Houses, scheduled for Spring 2019. It's been over a year since the publisher first announced a fully-fledged Fire Emblem game for the Switch, but hasn't offered up any details until now.
  • The new entry to the series comes with all the flying horses fans have come to expect, plus a vast visual and cinematic overhaul compared to its 3DS predecessors.
  • Looking surprisingly at-home among the Nintendo family, Fortnite has been confirmed for the Switch after rumors began circulating a few days ago. The game was made available to download minutes after the stream ended.

Ninty embraces the indie

  • Extending his thanks to indie developers, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé said "the support has been inspiring".
  • Nintendo served up the premier of Overcooked 2, revealing the game will be arriving on Switch on August 7, 2018. Ghost Town Games' sequel to the highly successful co-op cook 'em up promises a host of new features including kitchens, themes, recipes, and characters.
  • Bumblebear Studios' arcade strategy Killer Queen Black will be arriving on Switch later this year. Promising four-on-four local multiplayer, Fils-Aimé said the game has been "redesigned from the ground-up" for the console, and will be people will be able to "play it first on Nintendo Switch".
  • Both announced and released today, metroidvania side scroller Hollow Knight, from -- Australian developer Team Cherry -- has arrived on the Switch.
  • In a montage of over 20 games -- including DLC packs -- Nintendo showed off its schedule of new releases lined-up. Most notably among them was Arena of Valor, the Western version of Tencent Games' staggeringly successful Honor of Kings, set for an Autumn 2018 release.
  • Among the raft of other game announcements from the Nintendo was the exclusive Octopath Traveller from Square Enix, set to release on July 13, with a playable demo on June 14.
  • Other notable additions to the Switch roster include Minecraft for June 21, the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy for June 29, and Paladins which was made available today with cross-platform play.

"The biggest crossover in video game history"

  • Closing out the stream, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed with a December 7, 2018 release date; the latest addition to the franchise now supports up to eight players and promises to be the "biggest crossover in video game history".
  • Declared as "the most Smash for your buck", Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to please fans; the game will feature every single fighter in the series' history, including DLC and one-off characters.
  • Diving deep into what's new with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo detailed countless balance changes and minor fixes for its expanded character line-up. As a series with a thriving and highly competitive esports community, the extensive detail indicates a commitment from Nintendo to fostering it further
  • Demonstrating the extent of Nintendo's effort developing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, series creator Masahiro Sakurai showed off some of the changes "that could number in the tens of thousands", including alternate characters and map, plus a new version of Kirby for every fighter in the game.
  • Long considered the de facto controller for Super Smash Bros. old GameCube controllers will also work with the game -- providing you have a Wii U adapter -- as will all existing Amiibos.
  • Three new fighters were also revealed for the series including Princess Daisy, the Inkling from Splatoon, and fan-favourite Ridley, a long-time Metroid villain.

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