The last few days have been full of big game announcements and reveals from all over the industry. D23 (aka Disney’s Comic Con) took place this past weekend, where they held their first ever games showcase — the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase.
Over the weekend Ubisoft held their annual Ubisoft Forward, which featured many of the same reveals we get every year — more Assassin’s Creed, a new Just Dance, and more on a few games we already knew were coming — I still have to watch that one.
This Monday, there were two unexpected announcements, both for two big showcases taking place on Tuesday, 9/13 (that’s yesterday). First, Nintendo tweeted out that their next Nintendo Direct would take place in the morning — a lengthy 40-minute showcase. A little later on in the day, we received word that PlayStation would also be holding their own showcase, a new PlayStation State of Play on Tuesday afternoon.
There were many big announcements to get excited about, but I’m going to focus on my top three from each conference — Disney and Marvel Games Showcase, Nintendo Direct, and PlayStation State of Play. If you missed any, that’s ok, I have also included the full video replay for each showcase below.
Let’s begin with the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase, the first of its kind, since it took place before the others.
DISNEY & MARVEL GAMES SHOWCASE | 9.9.2022
For being the inaugural Disney and Marvel Games Showcase and taking place during D23, I think this went quite well. Overall, there weren’t too many games shown, but I was excited about more than half of the games. It was mainly the mobile games that I don’t care for, but I would try a couple of them.
This showcase was also hosted by Kinda Funny’s own Blessing Adeoye Jr., which was very cool since I get my gaming news from Kinda Funny Games Daily every day — usually from Blessing himself.
In my top three for this showcase I included the three world premieres. Disney Speedstorm and Disney Dreamlight Valley are two games that I will definitely be trying out, but I already knew these were coming. I had the chance to play the early beta for Disney Speedstorm and I can say that I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for it to be available to everyone, on all platforms. Disney Dreamlight Valley is now available in early access for those who purchase a Founder’s Pack.
All that I currently know about this game is that Mike Bithell is behind it.
After finally playing Thomas Was Alone also by Mike Bithell this year (on its ten year anniversary), I will give any Bithell game a chance. Thomas Was Alone could have just been a simple puzzle solving game, but instead he added a beautiful story to it. I’m excited to experience the story of Tron Identity.
The world of Tron is perfect for a video game, because the actual movies take place inside of a video game. I look forward to learning more about Tron Identity in the coming months. Shortly after the game was revealed during the showcase, Bithell was already sharing some artwork on Twitter.
Tron Identity is set to release on PC and console in 2023.
Disney Illusion Island
This was another big surprise. A co-op platformer starring Mickey and friends (Minnie, Donald, and Goofy). The art style of Disney Illusion Island reminds me of the newer Mickey Mouse shorts, but just slightly different. The game looks to play something like a Rayman game. Disney Illusion Island will be the perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch, the best place for some four player couch co-op adventuring.
I wish this game was coming sooner. In many ways it reminds me of the classic Disney games I played as a kid, games like Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom and Disney Mickey Mousecapade. While the gameplay doesn’t look like those games at all, I’m just excited for more Disney games to come to Nintendo Switch and other consoles.
I find it a bit early to pre-order/wishlist on the Nintendo eShop, but hopefully that means it will be released early next year.
Disney Illusion Island is set to release in 2023.
Marvel | Skydance New Media Untitled Project Teaser Trailer
This is another game we know nothing about other than (1) Amy Hennig (former Uncharted game director) is working on it, and (2) this game features both Captain America and Black Panther during WWII.
Another reason why I wanted to include this game in my top three is because this shows that Marvel Games is serious about having different game studios tell different stories. While I love what’s happening with the MCU, I’m happy that they are branching out in the games division. Marvel Midnight Suns is another example of a unique story like this one being told through games.
When it comes to gameplay we know absolutely nothing about this game. In my post about Summer Game Fest I mentioned how a short cinematic teaser can really hype up gamers, even with zero gameplay footage. In the past I have even seen beautifully animated game trailers that got me wanting to play a game, only to realize that the game is nothing like what the trailer sold it as.
I’m hoping this game will come some time next year, or perhaps we’ll learn the name of the game by then and possibly what it is.
Catch the full Disney and Marvel Games Presentation right here:
Nintendo Direct | 9.13.2022
Of the three showcases, this was by far the longest and most content-heavy. Nintendo Directs always feature a mix of games I can’t wait to play, some I’m happy they exist, and some that I have no idea what they even are. Still, I give every Nintendo showcase (Direct or Indie World) the same amount of energy as I watch.
Fire Emblem is a franchise I have barely touched, other than a short time with Fire Emblem Heroes (iOS) and Fire Emblem Warriors (Nintendo Switch). Seeing all of the Fire Emblem characters available in Super Smash Bros Ultimate makes me want to become more familiar with this franchise. The opening announcement was for the new and upcoming Fire Emblem Engage, coming in January 2023. Perhaps that will be my first true Fire Emblem experience, or maybe I’ll finally give one of the older games a chance.
When I see a game I’ve already played elsewhere coming to the Nintendo Switch, it brings me joy knowing that others will now get to experience it. My girlfriend and I had an amazing time playing It Takes Two on the PlayStation 5 last year. It also happened to come out right before my birthday, so we were even able to start it as part of my birthday weekend festivities. There are also games I may have missed coming to Nintendo Switch (from Xbox or PC), games like Tunic.
We also received an update on some current games. Some upcoming Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tracks from the next pack were shown off, our first Splatoon 3 three-team splatfest is less than two weeks away, and we got another look at Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.
I chose three announcements to focus on from the Nintendo Direct. Three out of almost thirty. Two are high profile games coming to Nintendo Switch next year, while one is sort of a wild card. It’s a game I’m not even that familiar with. We’ll start with that one.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line
I know nothing about this first game, or previous entries in this franchise. What I do know is that I love the music from all Final Fantasy games. Even though I have limited playing experience with the Final Fantasy series, friends have always talked about the music. In fact, Mega Ran even created a whole rap album using the music from Final Fantasy VII (he even later remade it when they decided to remake the game). I have a playlist full of Final Fantasy music, which I listen to when writing, before bed, and doing other work.
When it comes to playing Final Fantasy games I have played a bit of the original Final Fantasy VII on the Nintendo Switch, plus a bit of Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4). I do plan to start the remake over on PlayStation 5 at some point. I also recently gave Final Fantasy XV a try. I want to try out more, both old and new, Final Fantasy games so I can write about the series.
I’ve also always been a fan of rhythm games, without knowing it. I’ve noticed that any time there’s some sort of mini game in a larger game that resembles a rhythm game I have a fun time with it.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 16, 2023.
Finally, we know that the Pikmin 4 rumors are true. Although we only got a short teaser for Pikmin 4, we also got to see this cool t-shirt.
I once watched my friend play Pikmin 3 for a short while and thought that it looked like a relaxing and different kind of game. Last week, I actually downloaded the Pikmin 3 demo, only because I’ve been playing TinyKin to write about it and I had heard there are some similarities.
Prior to this announcement I may have thought that playing some of the Pikmin 3 demo would be enough, however now I may need to purchase the full game to prepare myself for Pikmin 4.
Pikmin 4 is set to release some time in 2023.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Finally, we have a release date for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel. Oh, and we have the official name: Tears of the Kingdom. We also got to see a bit more of Link exploring this beautiful new world, mainly up high in the skies.
I’m not quite ready for this game yet, but having a release date gives me an exact countdown to when I must finish the story of Breath of the Wild by. Maybe I will restart Breath of the Wild? Probably not.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to release on May 12, 2023.
You can watch the full Nintendo Direct Presentation right here:
PlayStation State of Play | 9.13.2022
This was a shorter presentation with about half as many games as the Nintendo Direct from earlier in the day. We still got to see some brand new surprises, some PSVR2 upcoming titles, and more of God of War: Ragnarok (which is only two months away!).
The State of Play kicked off with Tekken 8, and although I’m terrible at fighting games I do like the way this looks. I remember playing Tekken 3 in middle school at my friend’s house most days after school. The battle between Tekken and Street Fighter fans is going to be intense with both of these games getting some true next-gen visuals.
We always get tons of new JRPGs during a PlayStation State of Play. In fact, at times there are so many, that I end up forgetting about most of them. These trailers are always so visually stunning, but I also have no idea what’s going on usually.
My PlayStation State of Play top three includes two brand new game announcements along with the biggest trailer, the one they saved for the very end.
In the beginning, this trailer felt close to something like Firewatch but taking place at night, or at least that’s sort of what the world design reminded me of. It then transitioned to more of a post-apocalyptic zombie game.
At the start of the trailer the world looks a bit more realistic with lots of detail in the art. Once the car starts moving and things become more chaotic, that’s when the art style becomes more exaggerated and maybe a bit more cartoony.
I’m not entirely sure what Pacific Drive will entail, other than driving around being chased by some form of robots, zombies or robot zombies, but it will be cool to see this first game form Seattle-based Ironwood Studios.
Pacific Drive is coming to PlayStation 5 in 2023.
Rise of the Ronin
Rise of the Ronin takes place during the 1800s in Japan. The samurai warriors remind me of Ghost of Tsushima, but this seems to be a different world. It may even feature some fantasy elements.
The few fight scenes shown during the trailer look beautiful. There’s still a long way to go before the release of Rise of the Ronin, which means that everything about this game can only improve.
Rise of the Ronin is a PlayStation console exclusive action RPG from Team Ninja, a studio owned by Microsoft. This is also the first game I’ve seen slated to release in 2024.
God of War: Ragnarok
They tricked me with this one. We reached the end of the State of Play and we got the, “Oh wait, we almost forgot. There’s one more thing.” Then came a trailer for a God of War: Ragnarok DualSense controller and I thought that was it. Ending on a controller? Are you for real? They weren’t.
Next came a full God of War: Ragnarok story trailer. I already know I want this game, and so many other people do too. I don’t need any more trailers, but watching it did make me think that this game looks to be more of what God of War (2016) was. Of course, you can never truly know how a game feels until you actually play it.
I did start thinking, “How can they even make this game better than the first one?” Other than the DualSense features and the graphical improvements, I feel like they did so much to make that first game amazing, they can pretty much give us the same experience again.
What I do hope for in this sequel is a compelling story in a different way. The fist game was about a father and young son, but now we can get a different perspective from an older Atreus.
I’m so ready for this game, but we still have some time. I hope to have a chance to jump back into the original game to prepare. Also, to remember how the original feels when I jump into this sequel.
One thing I wish is that this game would be a next-gen (PS5) exclusive. I feel like at this point, over one year since the release of PlayStation 5, putting the game on both consoles (PS4/PS5) may be holding back the technology a bit. I’m no game developer but I would guess that puting the same game on a newer and older console means you may have to downgrade the more powerful console game.
God of War: Ragnarok will release on November 9, 2022.
Watch the full PlayStation State of Play right here:
With all of these showcases and announcements taking place over the past few days it feels like E3 season. I don’t think we’ve ever had more than one presentation on the same day from the big three — Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox — other than during a big gaming event.
In the future I hope to see more of these Disney and Marvel Games Showcases, maybe throw some more Star Wars in there — they did include some Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga extras. Also, we did receive some Star Wars game teasers and trailers over the past year. As more game studios get to work with Disney and Disney-owned properties I’m sure this showcase will grow into something even larger.
Nintendo Directs are great and have always been great. We get a few each year, and Nintendo were the pioneers when it comes to these digital presentations. I’m also a big fan of how Nintendo produces Indie World showcases to give players a look at some upcoming indie games too.
The PlayStation State of Play has always been a bit strange. This is because we never know whether we’re getting a big, small or medium one. Sometimes they choose to focus primarily on a single game or topic, other times they give us a bunch of new titles. PlayStation just has to work on their marketing for these State of Plays. I will say they have done a better job at giving a short summary with State of Play announcements.
So, who won the showcase triple dipper? I would say the Nintendo Direct was the biggest showcase for me this time. They had the most games, the longest amount of time. All three showcases did a good job. Each had some things I’m interested in and others I’m not so interested in. I don’t expect any showcase to show only games for me. They should feature games of all kinds.
What was your favorite showcase? Top announcement? What are you most excited for? Comment below, reply on Twitter, or tell us somehow.