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GoNintendo Thought: Happy 9th anniversary to Nintendo Directs

9 years of fun

I can't let this day go by without a bit of celebration. Let's take a look at what makes Nintendo Directs so great on their 9th anniversary. As always, thanks for reading!

On this day in Nintendo history, nine long years ago, Nintendo gave us the very first Nintendo Direct. As fans, we didn't know what to expect from the event. We certainly had no idea it was going to become Nintendo's de-facto way to disseminate info, and would even replace Nintendo's traditional shows at E3. Now Nintendo fans can't imagine a world where Nintendo doesn't keep everyone up-to-date on their next big thing via Nintendo Directs.

Nintendo is known for doing things their own way. Sometimes that works for them, and sometimes it doesn't. Either way, that fiercely independent streak is part of what makes Nintendo who they are. They like to think outside of the box and do things that no one could ever expect. While we usually see that in terms of software and hardware, the kickoff of Nintendo Directs showed us yet another way that Nintendo would forge their own path.

Truth be told, it's kind of hard to remember how Nintendo spread their information before the days of Nintendo Directs. We had E3 presentations to look forward to, but outside of that, you'd just get random drops of information. You'd never know when something was coming, which would certainly make it hard to keep up on official information. Nintendo Directs gave fans a particular moment to not just look forward to, but also hype up. That online chatter about Nintendo revealing things in their pipeline would spread to gamers in general, generating massive interest before the big event took place.

Nintendo Directs are now an integral part of how Nintendo spreads the word on their projects, as well as Nintendo culture in general. Sure, we all look forward to see what games Nintendo has in the works, but Nintendo Directs in and of themselves are fun. You get to see some of Nintendo's wacky personality, which often leads to a number of Nintendo inside jokes and memes. The first Nintendo Direct alone spawned at least one meme-worthy Reggie moment, and many more would come as the years rolled on. Nintendo even embraced this aspect of Nintendo Directs by playing up memes in their own presentations, and making tongue-in-cheek references to fan-favorite moments as well.

Nintendo Directs are a wonderful part of what Nintendo offers because they are Nintendo through and through. The presentations have a certain vibe to them that only Nintendo can pull off. Numerous other companies have adopted the Nintendo Direct approach, but they don't seem to have the same breakthrough moments that Nintendo Directs do. Other events come off as trying too hard, or not doing enough to differentiate themselves from what Nintendo has put together. While other Direct-like events from companies in the gaming space come off as loud, bombastic, and in-your-face, Nintendo Directs are somewhat humble, even-keeled, wholesome, and even a bit embarrassing in an endearing way. There's just something so fresh and enjoyable about seeing Nintendo figureheads trying to pull off one-liners or quick quips. Some Direct segments lead to watch-through-your-fingers moments, but you have to love Nintendo for trying.

Nintendo Directs in the past year haven't exactly been what fans expect, which is completely understandable. The pandemic has shifted how Nintendo operates on a basic level, and everything has been impacted, including traditional Directs. While there's no doubt Nintendo will get back to the Directs we love sometime in the near future, it's nice to see them working to put something together. We get mini presentations that whet our appetites not only for bigger game presentations, but also Directs in their true form. While Nintendo works to get things back on track, these pitstops will hold us over until the return to form. Each day that passes will only make the eventual standard Nintendo Direct's return that much sweeter.

Nintendo Directs originally seemed like Nintendo just experimenting with some ideas, but they quickly grew into a staple for the company. It's yet another idea from the Big N that fans have latched onto and can't get enough of. To think that we've been enjoying them for 9 years now is almost unbelievable. The ride has been a wonderful one so far, and I think it's all safe to say we can't wait to see what's next.

GoNintendo Thought: Which Nintendo franchise have you neglected or never played?

What's your Nintendo blind spot?

There's a lot with GoNintendo keeping me busy right now, but I'd like to get at least 3 written features a week on the site. Let's see how this week goes with our first feature! As always, thanks for reading.

Nintendo offers a wide variety of characters and franchises. From household names like Mario and Pokemon to fan-favorites like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, there's all sorts of experiences to have. Those brands also include a number of different genres among them, especially when you consider spin-offs. If you take a step back and look at the vast library of titles under Nintendo's umbrella, you can find pretty much anything you'd like to experience.

While that wide range of genres is certainly great when it comes to choice, it also means that not every IP is going to be the one for you. Nintendo has platformers, action games, puzzlers, first person adventures, racing, and so much more to choose. While many are willing to give any game a try, there's still some IP that might be too far outside of your comfort zone. This leads to a series or two that might have escaped your attention.

I'm always down to try new gaming experiences, even when they fall into genres that aren't in my wheelhouse. I have nothing against RPGs or strategy games...they just scare me. I know I'm absolutely terrible at them, and I spent an insane amount of time trying to plan out my next move. After all that time I finally commit to an attack, and then watch as everything I laid out goes terribly wrong. My mind just isn't made for those type of games! I'll struggle through them from time to time and I always have fun, but I can clearly see that they're usually beyond my abilities.

In terms of Nintendo, that means my blind spot is the Fire Emblem franchise. I have played numerous installments in the series, and I really do get a lot enjoyment from them. That said, they are the definition of labors of love for me. I miss so much of the nuance poured into these titles it's ridiculous. The stats you can tweak, the approach to battles, the smart planning, and so on. I just end up fumbling my way through from first battle to the climax. It's not pretty, but I eventually get the job done.

Again, while I do enjoy the Fire Emblem series, I just know that I'm not experiencing it to its fullest. I see others talking about the franchise and realize all these amazing bits and pieces I missed along the way. That's not just gameplay mechanics, but story connections as well. I'm so laser-focused on doing my best to survive that I miss just about everything else along the way. I'm so stressed out when I play Fire Emblem games, knowing that the next move could be the one that seals the fate of a whole group of characters. That constant nervousness and fear picks at me the whole time, and I miss everything else!

Is there any Nintendo franchise that gives you the same trouble? Perhaps a whole series that you haven't even bothered to play? What would it take to give it a go, and why have you skipped out on it for all these years?

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GoNintendo Video Review - My Universe: My Baby (with Any Austin!)

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GoNintendo Video - Checking out PGA Tour 2K21 on Switch

Hitting the links

PGA Tour 2K21 is now available on the Switch! I'm a big fan of golf games, so I'm hopping in to see how things turned out. So far, so good!

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GoNintendo Video Review - A Short Hike

Daan's thoughts in video form!

A Short Hike was surprise revealed and released for Switch this week. Is this quick adventure worth your time, or should you let it pass you by?

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GoNintendo Review - A Short Hike (written by NintenDaan)

A short adventure that leaves a long-lasting impression

Is there anything better than the great outdoors? At any given moment, you can stumble on an adventure that you never saw coming. This is the approach for A Short Hike, a game made by indie studio adamgryu. The player steps into the role of Claire, an anthropomorphic bird who goes on a journey to explore Hawk Peak Provincial Park. The result is a relaxing adventure that deserves any and all praise it gets.

A Short Hike's main goal is to reach the top of the Hawk Peak. What you do from the first minute of gameplay to the game's end is completely up to you. Use Claire to explore, hunt down items, interact with strangers, and more. Claire is rather weak at first, but once you obtain a few Golden Feathers, you can climb and double jump while gliding. This provides a sense of progression, that nicely compliment's the game's freedom. It's entirely possible to see the game's ending incredibly fast, but A Short Hike is so enjoyable that you won't want to.

The game really pushes you to take your time and appreciate the world around you. This includes the game's characters, which are fueled by some stellar writing. Between the environment and the cast of characters, there is so much to do within Hawk Peak. There are parkour races, a fishing minigame, hidden treasures and even boat rides. Around every corner, you'll likely be delighted, and eager to see what's next.

While playing through, I was overcome by a feeling of relaxation. There wasn't a moment of frustration, irritation or sadness to be found. There's just no wrong way to experience the game. Even when you're maxed out on Golden Feathers, that just means you have a new way to move around and experience the scenery. There's never a moment when I wanted the game to wrap up, and I found myself doing all I could to avoid the end.

It doesn't hurt that A Short Hike looks absolutely delightful on Switch as well. As you've likely seen, the game's default visuals give the experience a decidedly chunky pixel look, which make for a bit of PlayStation/Nintendo 64 charm. For those who don't like this approach, there are four different visual sliders you can mess with to tweak things in one direction or the other.

Along with the game's visuals, A Short Hike's soundtrack is another element that adds so much to the game. The music changes dynamically as you explore the island, making the world feel more alive. It also helps that the compositions themselves are extremely catchy.

A Short Hike is a wonderful adventure that never overstays its welcome. The world is filled with intrigue, and the ending helps paint a picture of what will happen when you move on. The calming atmosphere ensured that I stayed glued to my screen, and never wanted to step away. There's a lot of beauty in how A Short Hike let's you explore the game as you see fit. No matter what personal goals you give yourself, the final destination is an experience you won't soon forget.

GoNintendo Feature: Don't miss the 6 Switch games that surprise-released today

6 sweet surprises

Nintendo held their Indie World Showcase today, and it brought us 6 different games that saw surprise-releases on the Switch eShop! Check out what 6 games are available, and learn a little bit about each one.

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