Nintendo Direct recap: Splatoon 2 and Arms headline a summer of Nintendo Switch games

Whether you've already picked up a Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab) or you're looking to get one soon, you're probably wondering what's on the horizon for the console/handheld hybrid. Today's Nintendo Direct focused mainly on Arms and Splatoon 2, though we also got a rapidfire run-down of some other titles you can look forward to among the upcoming Nintendo Switch games (opens in new tab).

First, the big news: Arms is Nintendo's first big original game after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (opens in new tab), and it's coming June 16. It's a boxing game with a twist: your arms are giant coils, and shoot out from your body like springs with boxing gloves attached. You can unlock a variety of new arms with different speeds, strength, and elemental types with in-game currency earned from training missions and battling against other players. You'll also be able to compete in two-on-two battles against the computer or up to three other humans. Arms will be launching alongside a special set of neon yellow Joy-Cons, as well as a AA-battery charging grip - you know, just in case the reported 20 hours of battery life on those things isn't enough for you.

The other big game for Nintendo this summer is Splatoon 2, which hits Nintendo Switch on July 21. The Nintendo Direct revealed a new mode for the squid/kid shooter called Salmon Run. It's effectively a four-player co-op horde mode, pitting you and three other players against wave after wave of freaky-looking salmon. You take out the salmon with your ink guns, pick up eggs, and return the golden ones to base - and in a changeup from normal multiplayer rules, downed allies can be revived if you can get to them in time.

The Direct also detailed Splatoon 2's amiibo functionality. Amiibo from the first game, along with new ones set to be released alongside the sequel, can be activated to create an in-game buddy you can hang out with and take pictures of. They'll even give you gifts from time to time, including exclusive articles of clothing.

In between these details, Nintendo announced a bunch of games and release dates in rapid-fire succession:

  • Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will include a Super Mario Mash-up pack, and comes to the eShop on May 11. It'll get a physical release later this year.
  • Sonic Forces combines 2D and 3D stages, features a new hero, and will arrive this Holiday.
  • Sonic Mania still looks like an Actual Good Sonic Game (Seriously), and is slated for this summer.
  • Project Mekuru is the working title for a multiplayer panel-flipping game in the vein of Bomberman. It'll be in the eShop this summer.
  • Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star makes the leap from PS4 to Nintendo Switch on July 25.
  • Disgaea 5 Complete's still coming on May 23 (in standard and deluxe editions), but a demo will arrive on the eShop soon.
  • Speaking of demos, a demo for the upcoming Puyo Puyo Tetris hits the eShop later today.
  • Everyone's favorite board game-until-someone's-drunk-uncle-throws-fake-money-in-the-air-and-storms-off Monopoly is coming this fall with a ton of new features, including HD Rumble feedback for properly immersive dice rolls. Wake me when someone brings Settlers of Catan over.
  • Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition is still coming in 2017, along with a fleshed-out version of Kung Foot, the not-so-secretly best part of the original, now with solo and tournament play.
  • An update to Grasshopper Manufacture's steampunk shmup called Sine Mora EX is coming this summer.
  • Darksiders artist and designer Joe Mad's latest game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, has a serious case of Video Game Name Syndrome, but it looks like a solid RPG with a slick, comic book style. It'll be a temporary Switch exclusive, coming late summer.
  • Multiplayer heist shooter Payday 2 is coming to Switch this year, too.
  • Last but not least, Namco Museum compiles a variety of arcade greats into one package, and allows you to choose between horizontal and vertical play, if you want to have that classic touch. Look for it in the summer.
David Roberts
David Roberts lives in Everett, WA with his wife and two kids. He once had to sell his full copy of EarthBound (complete with box and guide) to some dude in Austria for rent money. And no, he doesn't have an amiibo 'problem', thank you very much.