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Nintendo Direct Mini January 2018: The 5 biggest announcements

From release dates to real surprises

the original dark souls Bandai Namco

Nintendo made good on weeks of fan speculation by dropping a surprise mini-Direct presentation today. And while it might not have had all the announcements people keep begging for — new Super Smash Bros.! Our first look at Pokémon on Switch! — the company showed off plenty of exciting, surprising games.

If you don’t have the time to catch up with all of them, these are the announcements to get excited about.

Dark Souls meets Nintendo for the first time ever

From Software/Bandai Namco

Rumors have circulated for weeks that Bandai Namco would bring its brutal RPG to Switch. Turns out fans were right: A remastered version of the original Dark Souls will launch on the console May 25. Not only will you get to enjoy (is that the right word?) the brutal game on the go for the first time, but you’ll also get to play its Artorias of the Abyss DLC. While Dark Souls Remastered is also coming to PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, this is a surprising get for Nintendo as well.

The World Ends With You is coming to console

the world ends with you final remix Square Enix

Square Enix fans have clamored for more of The World Ends With You since the Nintendo DS launched in 2008. The developer has rarely delivered; while its protagonist, the ultra-hip Neku, has made tiny cameos in other games, The World Ends With You remains one of those rare classics to never receive a follow-up. The upcoming Switch release The World Ends With You Final Remix isn’t quite a new game, but it shows that Square Enix hasn’t forgotten about the stylish, urban action-RPG. There’s new content to come — and, most importantly, a chance for new players to discover it, this time on a console.

Wii U ports a-plenty

Nintendo/Koei Tecmo

We’ve got Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (with fun Breath of the Wild content, no less). We’ve got an upgrade of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. We’ve got new content for Pokkén Tournament DX. As Nintendo brings back great games we may have missed out on because they were on the beleaguered Wii U, Switch owners both are getting the chance to discover them for the first time — and have hope that other great, little-played Wii U games could soon join their ranks.

Mario Tennis — with a story mode

mario tennis aces -- mario Nintendo

I know two things to be true: Mario Tennis on Nintendo 64 is the best Mario Sports game of all time, and the majority of other Mario Sports games are made better when mixed with role-playing elements. Maybe these two facts seem at odds with each other, being that the N64 game doesn’t have a story mode; but its beloved Game Boy Color companion does, and it’s best remembered for it. So while I have reservations about Mario Tennis Aces, the series’ first Switch entry, that Nintendo is bringing back an actual story mode to the series is definitely encouraging.

Luigi makes it into Mario Odyssey, with a catch

Super Mario Odyssey - Mario talks to Luigi in Metro Kingdom Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Super Mario Odyssey is getting a bunch of free downloadable content, three of our favorite words. There are new photo filters for Snapshot Mode, always good news for the Instagram obsessives among us. There are new costumes for Mario (including one that kind of looks like Dark Souls armor). But best of all is a mini-game called Balloon World, which will add some light-hearted post-campaign content for ranking-obsessed players. The star of Balloon World isn’t Mario, though; it’s his brother Luigi, who gets to hang out in Super Mario Odyssey after being left out of the main game. We still can’t take him around the kingdoms, but this is definitely an upgrade for the poor guy.

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