Today’s Nintendo Direct has garnered a largely disappointed reaction from viewers, with it failing to live up to fans’ expectations. Given that it had been 531 long days since Nintendo’s last Direct presentation, many were inevitably hoping for some major announcements. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case, with the presentation largely focusing on already revealed games.
Splatoon 3 and Skyward Sword were the two biggest takeaways from today’s Direct, though even they came with caveats. Splatoon 3’s trailer gave the vague release window of 2022, while Skyward Sword — arguably the least appreciated mainline Zelda game — was unveiled after series’ producer Eiji Aonuma revealed there wouldn’t be Breath of the Wild 2 news.
Nintendo Direct reactions are mixed
Aonuma’s appearance excited viewers before their BotW2 dreams were abruptly dashed, with the humor in this whiplash-inducing shift not being lost on Zelda fans.
— Fuffy (@FuffyArt) February 17, 2021
There was rampant speculation ahead of the Nintendo Direct that a Zelda 35th Anniversary Collection would be revealed, similar to Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ release when Mario reached the same milestone. Instead, fans received a remaster of the one 3D Zelda game that was rarely included in the discussions about which titles they wanted in the collection. Again, this was not lost on them.
— Cristian Molina (@DirectedByCJ) February 17, 2021
While the lack of big announcements was criticized — we’re still upset that F-Zero’s existence continues to elude Nintendo altogether — there was a contingent of fans who left happy, namely the Splatoon community.
Splatoon has built up a healthy following since its debut on the Wii U, and Splatoon 3’s announcement was well-received. The trailer featured an Inkling traversing between a desolate wasteland and a familiar, neon-tinted city, showing a small glimpse of multiplayer gameplay and teasing a bigger world to explore this time around.
But as is usually the case with the Splatoon community, its main priority was the increased number of customization options offered to them this time around, including more pants. Lots and lots of pants.
— pancakeser (@pancakeser) February 17, 2021
Splatoon fans were also enamored with… whatever this thing is:
— Merry Kish (@MerryKish) February 17, 2021
But Splatoon 3 ending concluding the Nintendo Direct didn’t quite make everyone happy. As some had optimistically believed Mario Kart 9 would be shown, despite Nintendo having no real reason to release a sequel just yet, the paint-shooting sequel being the big climax to the event rubbed some up the front way.
nintendo: no mario kart 9 but here’s splatoon 3
— anthony (@IceCreamTony) February 17, 2021
Still, as is typically the case with Nintendo Direct presentations, hopes were way too high for exactly how many projects Nintendo can juggle at once. If all the rumors would’ve been true, Nintendo would have to be working on Breath of the Wild 2, a Zelda collection, Mario Kart 9, a new 3D Mario game, a new F-Zero, and more. Hell, we were even back to Mother 3 rumors.
After 531 days of waiting and Nintendo still not coming to bat with every announcement under the sun, perhaps this will be the time when fans learn to not get their hopes up too much. While viewers can’t be blamed for expecting more from today’s Direct given how long it had been since the last one, at least we got a new Mario Golf, right..?