Nintendo Direct 6.21.2023

Normally, when there’s a Nintendo Direct, I like to write down all my knee-jerk reactions while watching it. You know, give my honest first impressions of all the trailers shown. But I find that lately those reactions have either been “That looks great, I’m going to buy it,” “That looks great but I don’t have time to play it,” or “I have no interest in this.”

So today I’m going to do it differently. While there were plenty of cool-looking games in today’s Direct presentation, only two really made my pants get tighter. So I’ll just post the trailers for those and maybe some words, too.

A remake of Super Mario RPG is on the way! This year! In November!

Now, I’ve played this game at least a dozen times through over the years, so I’m really hoping that it’s going to have a little more than a touched-up paint job. There appear to be fully-animated cutscenes and a redone soundtrack, which are very nice to have. But otherwise, it looks like it’s going to be incredibly faithful to the original. At least, at a glance. I haven’t done a frame-by-frame analysis yet.

So what would I like to see changed? Well, maybe… better mini-games? Yeah, that would be really good. It would be nice if the puzzles were remixed, maybe some new spells would be nice. Definitely some additional text clarifying what some of the existing spells actually do. I don’t think there needs to be any new towns or dungeons or whatnot, but it would be great if some of the maps saw a little bit of change. Just to keep things fresh, you know?

Actually, a great example would be the sunken ship dungeon. When replaying the original game, I can just walk straight to the end, bypassing all the puzzles and monsters, and input the password (PEARLS) to the boss room. I would like for at least the password to be changed so that I’d have to engage with the dungeon as intended on my first playthrough of the remake. Ideally, the password is randomized every time, or the individual puzzles are changed so that learning the password is exciting again. Nothing that would materially change the dungeon itself, just some tweaks to make it feel fresh even for people who have already played the game into the ground.

Super Mario Bros Wonder, the first new Super Mario game since 2017, and the first new 2D Mario game since… 2012? Unless you count Super Mario Run, which I kinda don’t. I’m not really a big fan of the title, but man does the gameplay ever look solid!

Also, I have so many questions. Why does Mario turn into an elephant? Do the other characters turn into elephants, or do they all get their own animal? Are there more, unrevealed playable characters? What’s the deal with all those chatty flower-things? Why is there a goomba wearing a Toad hat? Is this game just one massive drug trip?

Fortunately, I won’t have to wait long to find out, as SMBW is due out in October of this very same year. How nice! While I was expecting something more along the lines of Odyssey 2, this is also very good. You will hear no complaints from me.

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