SwitchRPG Nintendo Direct E3 2021 Predictions
In this collaborative piece, the SwitchRPG team assembled to share hopes, dreams, and a bit of reality regarding the impending Nintendo Direct!
My Nintendo Direct E3 predictions this year are going to be a little bit “out there.” While I’m extremely hyped and certain that we’ll hear more about releases, such as Rune Factory 5 and SMT V, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some theoretical announcements, no matter how unlikely they are, that would blow me away.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the earliest “big” releases on the Nintendo Switch, dropping way back in November of 2017. To some, this was the begging of a healthy developing relationship between Bethesda Game Studios and Nintendo, while others only saw it as an excuse for Skyrim port #2,156,280. Neither example is incorrect. While Microsoft’s recent acquisition of the game studio will certainly muddy the waters in terms of brand-new releases (at least until Game Pass becomes a thing on Switch), it still baffles me that the beloved predecessor of Skyrim, Oblivion, remains missing from the console’s library.
Not only that, Fallout is also missing! To me, it seems like easy money for a studio that went out of their way to make Skyrim available on virtually everything. Moreover, Oblivion has been available on the Playstation store for some time now – why on earth is it not on Switch? I remain hopeful for an announcement…but I won’t be holding my breath.
Speaking of not holding my breath, here’s another obligatory Mother 3 request! I, like many others, have been predicting an E3 announcement of Mother 3 ever since people have been talking about the “Switch Pro,” which has been going on since, well, forever. Recent years have proven that it’s never too late to
do the right thing give a second life to games that have never officially received a translation (Romancing SaGa 2, 3, and OG Trials of Mana, to name a few).
That being said, Mother 3 would arguably have a few more hurdles and hoops to navigate compared to other games in the same vein. Either way, wishing for a localized version of Mother 3 has been a meme for well over a decade now, but with the game turning 15 this year and Reggie trolling us some more, there’s always hope that something will eventually happen. Maybe? Please, Nintendo.
If we’re really never getting Mother 3 – let’s face it, things aren’t looking that great – then why not the first entry in the series, Earthbound Beginnings? It’s on the freaking Wii U, for crying out loud! I’d love a chance to play this one on the Switch! Throw us the SNES Earthbound while you’re at it!
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
I was embarrassingly late to the Mass Effect hype train. Despite my brother’s pleas for me to play it, I wouldn’t experience the iconic sci-fi series until many years after the release of the controversial third entry. When I finally did play it, however, I loved them all. Naturally, I was disappointed upon discovering that BioWare would not be releasing the remastered version of the original trilogy on Switch.
While Mass Effect Legendary Edition has only been a thing on other consoles for about a month now, I’m hopeful that it will still be coming to Switch in the coming months, similar to how Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning originated on other consoles before coming to Switch a bit later. I don’t need it now, but a confirmation that it’s “coming soon” would be absolutely amazing. While we’re at it, how about some Dragon Age talk, too!
More Retro Final Fantasy
In 2019, Square Enix came out swinging by releasing five (technically six when counting X and X-2 separately) vintage Final Fantasy titles. Although they’ve been busy fleshing out other franchises (SaGa and Mana, for example), as well as spinoffs (WoFF, Crystal Chronicles, etc.), they’ve been extremely quiet on the retro mainline entry front.
Make no mistake, Square Enix LOVES re-releasing older Final Fantasies, as they’ve done since the beginning of time. Something is brewing, no doubt, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a handful of Final Fantasies were announced to be coming (or one even dropped) at this year’s E3. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered was the last mainline release on Switch, and that was back in September of 2019. We’re past due for something else – now all we need to do is hope, wait, and pray that they don’t botch it by porting the worst versions.
Triangular Zodiac Tactics
The announcement and subsequent demo drop of Project Triangle Strategy was an extremely welcome surprise, at least for most of the SwitchRPG staff. While it has already been revealed to be coming in 2022, and I know that this Direct is supposed to be more focused on this year’s releases, I’m curious whether they’ll provide some additional information on the game at E3. It has been four months since the demo dropped, and I’m certain that they’ve collected a large amount of survey data since then. If anything, I hope they have come up with a better name! Regardless, I’m not expecting anything, but would be happy if we heard more about this upcoming tactical RPG in the vein of one of my favorite games of all time, Final Fantasy Tactics.
Speaking of Final Fantasy Tactics, and things that will probably not happen, what about a re-release of it? While Triangle Strategy appears to have all the tools necessary to fill that FFT void in my Switch library, I’m still holding out for a modern re-release of this PS1 classic, especially considering it has existed in some form on mobile devices for a decade now. Not only that, but rumors suggest that a new PS5-exclusive Tactics release could be in development. And what better way to hype up the supposed release than to drop the original title on all modern consoles? Please, Square Enix.
Final Fantasy 1-6 and/or Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross
Square Enix has been giving a lot of love to several of their classic franchises over the last 24 months. Trials of Mana, Legend of Mana, and Saga Frontier Remastered are only a few examples, and we recently received confirmation that they are remastering Dragon Quest III using the HD-2D engine that debuted in Octopath Traveler. It’s only fair that some of Square’s most beloved games finally get their fair treatment, specifically Final Fantasy I-VI and Chrono Trigger and/or Chrono Cross.
While I personally want Final Fantasy VI to get the HD-2D treatment as well, I’d settle for a Final Fantasy I-VI collection as long as they didn’t give us the mobile ports. The same goes for Chrono Trigger – while many of us would gladly welcome a HD-2D remaster, a simple Switch port in the form of a double pack with Chrono Cross would suffice.
Golf Story was one of the early indie exclusive hits on Switch, combining golf gameplay with a wonderful RPG tale. In December of 2019, Sidebar Games announced the game’s sequel, Sports Story, was in development and would include additional sports such as tennis, soccer, and baseball, to name and few. With an initial target release originally planned for mid to late 2020, it’s now time to see a re-reveal of this indie and hopefully get a release date.
Aside from the initial logo tease of the Metroid Prime 4 that was in development in 2017, and then its confirmation that development had to be restarted in 2019 after switching developers to Retro Studios, we haven’t heard much of anything. Sure, we have access to the classic games via Nintendo Switch Online, but it’s about time we got something new from the beloved series – Samus needs to make her Switch debut!
Metroid Prime 4 would be nice, but fans have been starving for content either way. How about a collection of the first 3 Prime games or a new 2D side scrolling game while we wait? Considering it’s the series’ 35th anniversary it would be nice for Nintendo to acknowledge it and give us something – Samus’s last outing was on the 3DS with Samus Returns, and why that game didn’t see a simultaneous release on both Switch and 3DS still remains a mystery.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be E3 predictions without mentioning the beloved “is it / is it not an RPG” series, The Legend of Zelda. We already know we are getting at least one Zelda game this year with Skyward Sword. I am looking forward to playing this entry as it’s new to me, as I skipped out on it when it first released on Wii back in 2011. However, it’s Zelda’s 35th anniversary so we want Nintendo to go all out for Zelda this year. Hopefully, that means we also see the Wind Waker & Twilight Prince HD collection come to the Switch, and maybe a remaster of Four Swords Adventures or Oracle of Seasons.
While those would be nice and welcome additions to the Switch library, we all undoubtedly want to see more of Breath of the Wild 2. I personally can’t wait to see it all – the tone/direction of the new story, mechanic changes, and whatever else they add to the sequel. My biggest want for the game is for them to find a way to weave in more traditional dungeons. I know others would like changes to the weapon breaking system and more NPCs, and regardless of what changes they make, hopefully we finally get a gameplay debut AND a release date. Holiday 2021 would be awesome, but spring 2022 would serve to close out the 35th anniversary quite well.
Breath of the Wild 2
Everyone and their mom is expecting this, so I’m not sure if I really need to go into much more detail. I think I’ve said my piece about BOTW (the game was fine, it just didn’t capture me that much because I’m not a big fan of open world games). I hope that they take the lessons they learned from the first game and apply them to this one. And honestly, just give us more of a story – give me a reason to want to explore outside of placing a large landmark in the distance.
Shin Megami Tensei V
I would think that they would need/want to show some sort of gameplay/how the game actually runs on Switch at this point, especially if the game is supposed to be releasing this year (not holding my breath, but hey). I enjoyed the time that I spent with SMT IV, so I’m interested to see what they’ll bring to the plate with V.
Something related to Fire Emblem?
SRPGs have been thriving on the Switch, and Three Houses did great, so I see no reason why Intelligent Systems wouldn’t want to bank on that success. Whether it’s a sequel to Three Houses, a brand new title, or an Echoes remake, I’ll take whatever I can get. I know that along with FE4, there are now whispers that a FE9 remake will be shown off soon. And while I don’t like humoring rumors, it would be nice to be able to play either of those games for the first time.
This feels like kind of a no brainer, since Diamond/Pearl remakes are coming out in about five months and Arceus in seven. Maybe they’ll have some more recent footage to go into more detail, or they may just slap the same trailer we’ve seen with one or two new scenes added. But I honestly expect some sort of Pokemon to appear, as just a general reminder that it exists.
Something Else Zelda-related
Along with BOTW, I’d expect to see Skyward Sword, mainly as just a “hey, this game is coming out, please pre-order it now” sort of thing. It would be cool to see them either port/remake one of the older titles. Honestly…if it was anything other than OoT, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, or Twilight Princess, that would be awesome. Not because I have anything against those games, but because it would be nice to see some light shone on some of the other titles in the Zelda franchise.
Intense montage section where only like…one game interests me.
Of course we have to have the montage section, where all the third-party and indie games get shoved in. And of course, I’ll be screaming about that one game that appeared for like 5 seconds. That sweet visual novel? Hype! Interesting looking tactics game? Yes please! Stereotypical anime game? Well, I have to live up to the expectations laid out for me.
Footage of games releasing this month/next month, which will also probably be in the montage section
I’d also expect to see trailers of games coming up in the next few weeks/months – Disgaea 6, Monster Hunter Stories 2, Ni No Kuni 2, etc. Not necessarily anything new, just general promotion to try and get those on the fence to go ahead and commit to a preorder.
An absolute curveball, because I have to cover my bases
FF1-6 collection, why not? Chrono Trigger port? Sure! Dragon Quest X!…even though there was a Dragon Quest livestream weeks ago where they explicitly said it was not coming to the West, but the game was rated in some countries five years ago so they must be lying? Already called it. Honestly, this is truly the thing that I like seeing at E3, the games that no one really expects to see. And even if I’m not excited about it, seeing other people get excited about it is always fun to watch.
There’s been something different in the air lately. You smell that too? Ah yes, the daily deluge of rumors and hype that accompany the latter half of May as gaming enthusiasts prepare themselves for one head rush after another… E3 is nearly upon us! And with that, naturally, comes an abundance of predictions! …Most of which turn out to be wrong and leave us all feeling some degree of hungover over the following weeks because that one game we had hoped for never materialized.
This year, aside from the general buzz about an alleged Zelda 35th anniversary blowout featuring tons of news regarding the highly anticipated ‘Breath of the Wild 2’ and ports and/or remasters of past Zelda games galore, and maybe a new 2D Metroid, my expectations for E3 are basically nil. Still, if I had to predict what I expect we’ll hear about next week, based upon my nonexistent business acumen and that wellspring of optimism otherwise known as my simple hopes and dreams—both of which irrationally infuse me with a conviction that much of what I’m about to predict has a ‘greater than 50%’ chance of seeing the light of day on the Switch eventually—I’d go with the following:
(Note: greater than 50% only means that these have, at worst, a 50.00000001% chance, i.e., I’m not that confident!)
Nier… Something. Automata? Replicant?
Give me both or give me… Okay, one would be cool!
I’d prefer 2017’s PlatinumGames-developed classic, Nier: Automata, given the incredible reception that it received on the PS4 and the fact that its lead game designer went on to direct the estimable Astral Chain. But I’d also be happy to receive the recently released and critically acclaimed Nier: Replicant remake, which a ‘datamine’ from just the other week apparently revealed information regarding a possible Nintendo Switch version. Make of that what you will but it makes no sense to me that both of these games wouldn’t at some point find their way to the Switch. And if I’m Square Enix, why not announce them at E3?
Persona 5 Royal
Copy and paste my reasoning from the previous paragraph.
Also, I’ve already said all that I wanted about Persona 5 and why I think bringing it over to the Switch is all too sensible, or made a lot more sense around the time that Joker was revealed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I won’t repeat myself here but, needless to say, I wouldn’t be too surprised (though I’d be very elated) if Atlus announced this alongside the plethora of details we’re bound to receive regarding the upcoming Switch-exclusive Shin Megami Tensei V.
Xenoblade Chronicles… 3? X Remastered?
What’s MonolithSoft up to anyway?
I have little doubt that we’ll hear something big from MonolithSoft at E3. Whether it’s a new IP, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, or even a remastered version of X makes little difference to me as I’ve yet to play that Wii U release, though I’d be astonished if the latter doesn’t make it over to the Switch sooner or later given the success of the series, and particularly the Definitive Edition of the original which arrived on the Switch last year (and is inferior to XC2, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).
Golden Sun… Anything?
Exiting the realm of likelihood. I repeat, exiting the realm of likelihood…
Okay, I don’t really expect to hear anything about Camelot Software Planning’s long dormant RPG series, Golden Sun, meaning that I view this prediction as sitting well below the 50% threshold that I set earlier. However, as the developer is readying the release of the latest iteration of Mario Golf in just a few weeks, that presumably means their hands are free to do… anything else? If so, why not do something with a much-beloved original IP like Golden Sun? Maybe merely speaking these words into the ether can increase their probability of becoming reality… Yeah, probably not, but here it goes anyway: Golden Sun… ports… remasters… 4… whatever… E3 2021. Thank you gaming gods. Amen.
Game Boy Advance Online
Nintendo 64 Online, you say? Pass.
I love the Nintendo 64 as much as anyone, despite it utterly lacking RPGs. It’s the console I primarily grew up on and it contains more memories than I can count or… remember. It would seem like the obvious next phase for the Nintendo Switch Online service, barring the fact that should Nintendo add anything of too great of value to it a puppy somewhere in the world dies–how else does one explain their baffling reluctance to add more than a dribble of games every few months, and why we’re stuck with ToeJam and Earl sequels and not playing Earthbound or Super Mario RPG right now? (Nothing against ToeJam and Earl but come on!) But I don’t actually want an N64 Online.
My reasoning is simple: games from that era, when developers were still learning how to make trees that appeared more sophisticated than a bunch of green triangles resting atop a brown rectangle, look… terrible. I fear that I’d go back to any one of the classics in the N64 library that has been immortalized in my mind as a monument of my youth, only to realize that it… kind of sucks now. Sure, the gameplay in many of those titles probably kicks ass even by today’s standards, but… they still involve looking at them. And let’s be honest, they ain’t pretty.
By all means, bring us over our Diddy Kong Racings, our Star Fox 64s, our Ogre Battle 64s, and so on, but for the love of gamers just put in a little work and polish them up a bit, that’s all I ask! I’ll gladly pay $20 (or $30, but don’t press it!) to play those 3-D prototypes all over again, or as in the case of Ogre Battle 64, for the very first time—speaking of which, don’t mess it with that one, the graphics still look great!
In my view, it makes more sense for Nintendo to bring over a Game Boy Online service. Perhaps the Game Boy Advance catalogue is too similar in aesthetic to what’s currently available in the SNES Online selection but it has countless games, and specifically RPGs, that I’d love to take up: Advance Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the first two of the aforementioned Golden Sun games, and a never-before-localized Mother 3 (!).
I could go on and on with the games that I wish to see but you’ve heard enough from me, and besides, my predictions merit as little attention as your next Joe Schmoe. I’m not a betting man but I’d be willing to wager that at least one of my forecasts will get announced. And if I do get two or more correct here, then dammit, I think someone owes me a beer!
Shin Megami Tensei V Takes The Stage
Perhaps it is because we’ve recently seen some details leaked regarding the release and some plot details for this title, but let’s face it: we’ve known about Shin Megami Tensei V for a long time, and with its release iminent, it’s high-time we saw some gameplay. The footage for this title- and any sort of gameplay preview- will likely be pretty family friendly (that means Mara won’t be making his appearance), but that classic sense of SMT dread will most definitely be on display, and hopefully we’ll get to see what aesthetic and mechanical improvements have been made to the Press Turn Battle System since SMTIV: Apocalypse.
Pokemon Leaves Mixed Impressions
With the remakes of Generation 4 titles fast approaching and Legends: Arceus not far behind, there’s still plenty to unveil regarding these titles, and the hope is that Game Freak is willing to share a bit more about how some of Sinnoh’s most beloved features will be represented at E3. I anticipate the underground mechanic- a hidden base and fossil-digging system from Diamond and Pearl- will feature as a key element of online play, and as with the remakes of Ruby and Sapphire, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a tease at some sort of Giratina-based postgame content (though it may be a bit early to reveal that, the Distortion World is often hailed as one of the generation’s high points).
On the flip side, if we do see more of Legends Arceus, I expect that more of the gameplay loop will be explained, as it has already left many questions lingering since its initial reveal. If sneaking and capturing Pokemon is so essential to this gameplay experience, what is the point of battle? How will the action elements place a sense of danger and engagement in the world when one can simply initiate a Pokemon battle? What sort of obstacles will stand in the way of exploration, and how will a gym-free Pokemon gate progression? We can only hope that these concepts- and the game’s spotty visual presentation- will be ironed out at this point.
Rune Factory 5 Comes To The West
With a somewhat rocky start in Japan, Rune Factory 5 looks to be a flashier and more brisk entry than any previous 3D title (save the fourth entry, which technically counts because it was on the Nintendo 3DS). Although these games are known for oodles of text, this seems like a strong contender for yet another title that can buff out the Switch’s library in the latter half of 2021.
Grezzo Gives Us Something Nice
Having finished working on the Link’s Adventure remake, Grezzo likely has a bit more of a free schedule and has hopefully been hard at work on something new. While the studio has been stuck making ports and remakes of action-adventure titles, they also created the delightfully charming, yet sadly overlooked 3DS title Ever Oasis. While many bemoaned the lack of multiplayer options in that very party-centric RPG, perhaps an HD port or a new project altogether could scratch that itch? This one is highly unlikely, but I would like Grezzo to get the chance to flex their skill at making original content.
Monolith Soft Doesn’t Give Us Xenoblade X- But Maybe Something Else
This JRPG powerhouse has stated time and time again that a Switch port of Xenoblade Chronicles X- the best game in the Xenoblade series (which no one can argue because barely anyone has played)- is unlikely to come to the Nintendo Switch due to technical limitations. While a Switch Pro could solve this issue, I will never allow myself the opportunity to feel hope, and instead think that the studio has likely been hard at work on something new- whether it’s Xenoblade 3 or something based on the very impressive concept art they’ve posted on their site- this might be the time for a reveal.
Breath of the Wild 2 Is Still Not An RPG
Nintendo may very well show us a peek at this title, which definitely won’t come out this year, but they will once again never reference Zelda as a role-playing series, further discrediting the pathetic attempts of those who continue to argue this case.
That’s it for our predictions! What would YOU like to see at the Direct?