The next main game in the epic and long-running series has been announced, and it will be a full sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild. A teaser trailer showed link and Zelda exploring ancient dungeons beneath Hyrule Castles, while the music and visuals seemed to imply some sort of time manipulation. It also looks like the pair will be taking on an undead threat. No indication of a release date was given.
There are two games for Zelda fans to be excited about in the much nearer future however. Cadence of Hyrule, the mashup between Nintendo’s franchise and indie favourite Crypt of the Necrodancer, is out this week on June 13. Meanwhile the full remake of Game Boy’s Link’s Awakening will arrive on September 20. A new trailer showed a custom dungeon mode that players can undertake to win special rewards.
Banjo Kazooie comes to Smash
The next two content updates for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate were announced, each containing one fighter, one stage and a bunch of music. The most exciting addition, at least for players in the West, was Banjo Kazooie, the bird and bear duo made famous in the 1998 Nintendo 64 platformer from Rare. The franchise (and Rare itself) is currently owned by Microsoft, so its appearance in Smash Bros. is just another indication of how close a relationship Nintendo and Xbox are forming. Minecraft Dungeons, from Microsoft-owned Mojang, was separately revealed to be coming to Switch.
The other Smash update will feature various incarnations of the hero from the Dragon Quest series. The update, including its stage, is primarily based on Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age, which is on its way to Switch on September 27. No firm date was given for either Smash Bros. update.
A long lost RPG finally comes West, twice
Square Enix’s Seiken Densetsu game series, generally known as the Mana series in the West, is not as popular as its Final Fantasy series, but has its own distinct take on role-playing with a medieval theme, action-focused combat and wonderful music. While the original Game Boy game was brought to the West as Final Fantasy Adventure, and the Super Nintendo’s Seiken Densetsu 2 was localised as Secret of Mana, 1995’s Seiken Densetsu 3 was never officially available in English, until now.
During the Direct, a new remake of the third game, now titled Trials of Mana, was announced. It has full 3D graphics and will be released worldwide next year. In the meantime, Square is also publishing an English language version of the Seiken Densetsu Collection for Nintendo Switch, and it’s out today. This includes the first two games as well as the original Super Nintendo version of Seiken Densetsu 3, officially translated for the first time and also re-titled Trials of Mana.
Big, older third party games continue to flow to Switch
Given the popularity of the Switch, and the novelty of being able to play previously console-only games on the go, it’s become very popular for publishers to port games from their back catalogue over to Nintendo’s machine. The most notable example from the Direct was the Witcher III: Wild Hunt, an epic and grounded high fantasy originally released in 2015. This is the complete edition of the game, with all additional content included, and is coming this year.
Elsewhere Capcom rounded out its collection of old Resident Evil games on Switch, announcing that RE5 and the divisive RE6 are on their way. Activision is bringing over Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Bandai Namco already confirmed Ni No Kuni is coming, and Switch players can also look forward to Alien Isolation, Super Lucky’s Tale and Dauntless among others.
Animal Crossing not coming this year
Though it was originally announced for 2019 and was expected to feature prominently in Nintendo’s E3 showing, Nintendo announced the game was being pushed back to March 20 2020. The game is taking longer than expected to get to a finished and polished state, the company said.
The game was revealed to be called Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and involves sprucing up a deserted island. A trailer showed characters collecting resources, crafting them into items like furniture and decorations, and planting and tending to crops.
The author travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Microsoft.
Tim is the editor of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald technology sections.