Welcome to Press Start, a new daily video game column exclusive to OdetoGames.com! I'm Logan Plant, one of the hosts of the Ode to Games podcast, and I'm very excited to start bringing this column to you every weekday. Press Start will include my raw reactions to the news of the last 24 hours, big games out now, or whatever random video game-related thoughts I happen to be having on any given day. I've always wanted my own column of sorts in a newspaper, so I finally decided to start my own right here with Ode to Games. So, let's dive right in!
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Looks Like an Amazing Stopgap
Wow, what an exciting piece of news to wake up to today! Nintendo announced on Twitter the big November game for Nintendo Switch is a new Hyrule Warriors title in the Breath of the Wild timeline. Titled Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, it will tell the story of the collapse of Hyrule 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild. We'll get to play as Link, Zelda, and the four Champions from the original. It's launching November 20th, filling out Nintendo's fall lineup.
Whew! There's a lot to unpack here. First, I thought the 6-minute presentation was fantastic. Starting with Zelda series lead Eiji Aonuma giving a brief update on Breath of the Wild 2 was the right move. If they hadn't addressed it, I think the online conversation surrounding this game would've been about how it isn't Breath of the Wild 2, rather than talking about what it actually is. According to Aonuma, Breath of the Wild 2 still needs some time in the oven before Nintendo is ready to show it off, and personally, I'm okay with that.
As for the game itself, I'm super excited. One of my favorite parts of Breath of the Wild was the flashbacks explaining what happened 100 years ago in Hyrule. An entire Warriors-style spinoff that serves to fill in those story gaps, and give us more time with Daruk, Mipha, Urbosa, and Revali is a big win in my book. Some may be put off by the Muso gameplay from the Dynasty Warriors series and its many spinoffs, but as someone who was pleasantly surprised with Hyrule Warriors on Wii U, I'm optimistic about returning to this gameplay style.
It's certainly not as exciting as a mainline Zelda title, but Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will make the wait for Breath of the Wild 2 a lot more bearable.
Hyrule Warriors had a pleasing amount of Zelda influence in its combat, with bosses, items, and character movesets all taking inspiration from the main Zelda series. From our first look, it seems like the Zelda team was even more hands-on with this new Hyrule Warriors title, leading me to believe it will retain -- and even possibly expand on -- the Zelda DNA in its combat and puzzle-solving.
It's certainly not as exciting as a mainline Zelda title, but Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will make the wait for Breath of the Wild 2 a lot more bearable. The plot seems to tie in directly with Nintendo's canon Breath of the Wild universe, which is a big departure from the standalone story told in the original Hyrule Warriors. I'm excited to revisit the world of Breath of the Wild, even if it is in a very different capacity.
Nintendo's Fall Lineup Is Filled Out
Now we know what's filling the November-shaped hole in Nintendo's release calendar, which means we have first-party titles lined up for the next three months.
September: Super Mario 3D All Stars
October: Pikmin 3 Deluxe
November: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
In addition, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and Super Mario Bros. 35 are also on the way. When Super Mario 3D All Stars was announced for September, I knew there was more to come from Nintendo this year. They always have something lined up for November, even in their down years. With this announcement, I think we can stop speculating about 2020 and look forward to the concrete release dates on the calendar.
Nintendo's E3 Could Have Been Killer
Finally, I want to piece together all of the announcements Nintendo has made this summer to get a semblance of what E3 could have looked like for Nintendo.
Here is what the presentation could have included:
Paper Mario: The Origami King
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
New Pokemon Snap
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Shin Megami Tensei III + V
Super Mario 3D All Stars
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Other Mario 35 stuff
All of these games would have made for a pretty amazing Nintendo Direct. I'm still glad we got all of these announcements during such an uncertain time, but it's hard to not wonder the level of hype this presentation would have generated in a year with a normal E3.
That's it for the very first edition of Press Start! We'll see you again tomorrow for another morning column. Plus, be on the lookout for another exciting Ode to Games project I have in the works. We'll see you back here tomorrow!