Nintendo Directs are like fun mini-Christmas presents for fans and are always worth looking forward to, even if they don’t always deliver. Although I wouldn’t describe today’s Direct as anything groundbreaking, Nintendo provided substantial looks at previously announced projects such as Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Project Octopath Traveler (what is with that title?). The 3DS-related news generally did nothing for me while most of the Switch trailers seized my interest. Here are the announcements that caused me to nod approvingly and say “Huh, well that’s pretty swell.”

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey Shows Off New Kingdoms, Still Looks Awesome

Mario’s non-Rabbid Switch debut looks better and weirder (in a good way) every time Nintendo trots it out. Today, we were treated to a look at two new areas: Shiveria in the Snow Kingdom and Bubblaine in the Seaside Kingdom. The former is a frigid and likely challenging zone due its slippery platforms. The latter features vibrant island resort with an emphasis on underwater gameplay that, hopefully, doesn’t suck. Mario Odyssey even has a photo mode; a cool touch I will likely never use. Since I played it at E3 this year, Super Mario Odyssey has become my most anticipated game of the fall and it needs to get here, like, yesterday.

Dragon Quest Builders

Dragon Quest Builders Is Heading To Switch Next Spring

Yes! I’ve played Dragon Quest Builders a few times but never got around to purchasing it on PlayStation 4. Thank goodness I dragged my behind, as it seems like a fantastic game to play on the go or just chill out with in bed. Dragon Quest Builders’ quirky charm and humorous premise combined purposeful gameplay got me on board with Minecraft-style gameplay in a way Minecraft itself never did. I look forward to reeducating Alefgard’s dopey residents on how stacking blocks creates the miracle known as a wall.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Gets Lengthy Rundown And December 1 Release Date

Cheesy dragon/landmass narrator aside, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looked impressive during its big spotlight today. The Drivers and Blades system, in which the former characters attack and the latter heal and support, seems like a cool battle setup ripe with strategic potential. I’m a fan of the first Xenoblade Chronicles so I’m glad to see this has a similar presentation and as opposed to Xenoblade Chronicles X’s more sci-fi vibe. The typically barren month of December should provides enough free time to sink my teeth in what should be a meaty role-playing experience.

Snipperclips Plus

Snipperclips Gets New Plus Expansion On November 10

Snipperclips pleasantly surprised me when I played it at PAX South this year ahead of the Switch’s launch. The inventive co-op game made wonderful use of the two-player Joy-Con set up and the bite-sized puzzles were ingenious and enjoyable. I’ve been waiting for a good time to pick it up since it launched, so I’m glad to see I’ll be getting a beefed up version of the game when I do. 30 new stages (including remixed versions of original stages) slice their way into the game alongside new challenges. Plus can be bought standalone at $29.99 or, if you already own Snipperclips, purchased as DLC for $9.99. The expanded content does not, unfortunately, include a buddy to actually play the game with.

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