Nintendo Direct Mini 2018 Recap: Kirby, Donkey Kong, and Mario Tennis All Coming To Switch

Oh, and Dark Souls: Remastered if you missed that.

News by Mike Williams, .

Earlier this morning after a ton of teasing, Nintendo released the long-rumored Nintendo Direct. The short video highlighted nearly a dozen titles that are coming to the platform from now until this Summer. There were a few ports in the lineup, but also a few surprises on hand.

The World Ends with You: Final Remix

The Direct kicked off one of the surprises. It's not a sequel, but The World Ends With You is coming to Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018. The Final Remix version of the game will have improved HD visuals and a brand-new epilogue.

Dark Souls: Remastered

The Direct Mini ended with this rumored port. Dark Souls is coming to Nintendo Switch on May 25, 2018. Dark Souls: Remastered updates the original with technology from Dark Souls 3, and it includes the Artorias of the Abyss DLC. There's also multiplayer with up to 6 players on dedicated servers. It's finally time to praise the sun on-the-go.

Kirby Star Allies

Kirby's Nintendo Switch debut has a final name and release date. Kirby Star Allies is all about playing with friends: yours and Kirby's. Kirby can use some brand-new friends abilities, and the entire game has four-player cooperative play. Kirby Star Allies is coming to Nintendo Switch on March 16.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

Hyrule Warriors is getting one last release. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition brings together all the characters from both Wii U and 3DS releases, alongside the downloadable content (DLC) characters for a total roster of 29. Players can also enjoy two-player cooperative play with separate Joy-Cons. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is coming to Switch this Spring.

Mario Tennis Aces

Mario Tennis returns with an all-new entry on Nintendo Switch. It's all the great Mario Tennis action you've come to expect, with the first Story Mode for the franchise since Mario Tennis: Power Tour on Game Boy Advance. Yeah, that's right, a full Story Mode with boss battles and unique missions. Mario Tennis Aces is coming to Switch this Spring.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Following the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC releases, NIS America is bringing Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana to Nintendo Switch. There's no additional content here, but it's Ys VIII on a portable platform a bit better than the Vita, so that's good news! Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana will be available on Switch this Summer.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

Another day, another Wii U port. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is making its way to Nintendo Switch, with a new member of the Kong family in tow. Funky Kong can double jump and hover his way to victory, with a surfboard to protect him from spikes, or infinite rolls and corkscrews. Funky Kong is meant for more casual players. You can also enjoy two-player coop with separate Joy-Cons. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is coming on May 4, 2018.

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy

This is a very odd game. This woman-only SNK fighter looks to use the models and animation from The King of Fighters XIV, but the game looks to be a much lighter, easier experience. You can also customize the fighters with new outfits and accessories. Athena, Mai, Kula, and Leona are confirmed for the roster already. SNK Heroines is coming to Switch this Summer.

PayDay 2

PayDay 2 is finally getting a release date following its original pre-launch announcement. Japanese hacker Joy will be debuting on this version as a timed exclusive. PayDay 2 will launch on Switch on February 27, 2018.


Matt Makes Games' indie action platformer finally has a release date! Celeste can climb anything on this dangerous mountain, and she'll have to to find her way to the top. Jump, climb, and dash your way across interesting environments. And if you're having trouble, the assist mode lets you turn down the game speed or make yourself invincible. Celeste comes to Switch on January 25.


This mystical adventure published by EA is coming to Switch real soon. Explore a forest and use your song to interact with the creatures within. The indie title from developer Zoink is releasing on the Nintendo eShop on February 16.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: New Character and World

Donkey Kong is joining the fun in Mario + Rabbids. There was a Donkey Kong-themed Rabbids in the original release, but this time, DK himself takes center stage. This is a new paid DLC pack coming to the game this Spring.

Super Mario Odyssey: Free Update

Once you've beaten the game and picked up this free update, you'll be able to play a new mode called Luigi's Balloon World. It's a competitive mode for the game. In Hide It, you get 30 seconds to hide a balloon somewhere in a level. In Find It, you get to try and find the balloons other players have hid within the time limit. By hiding and finding balloons, you'll gain ranks on a leaderboard. The update will also include new outfits for Mario, like a Knight costume. The free update will release for Super Mario Odyssey this February.

Pokken Tournament DX: New Fighters

AegisSlash and Mimikyu from Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Mega Rayquaza from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be coming to Pokken Tournament DX as part of the Battle Pack. The first character will be a Battle Pokemon, while the other two are support. The Battle Pack is two waves of paid downloadable content for the game. The three characters listed will be in Wave 1 on January 31, while Blastoise (Battle), Celebi (Support), and Mew (Support) will be in Wave 2 on March 23.

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Comments 18

  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #1 Kuni-Nino 9 months ago
    Tropical Freeze is the masterpiece nobody really played. It deserves a second chance.
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #2 Godots17thCup 9 months ago
    I really hope this new release will give DKC: Tropical Freeze a second chance at a spot in the Sun.

    That game is a platforming masterwork and not nearly enough people played it.
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #3 chaoticBeat 9 months ago
    Between Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (with online), Dark Souls Remastered, the Bayonetta series, Shin Megami Tensei V and Metroid Prime 4, I don't really have anything more to ask of Nintendo for the Switch. That is a serious line up.
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #4 BulkSlash 9 months ago
    Damn, I was really hoping for some Odyssey DLC in the form of new kingdoms. New outfits is good, but how many coins will I need to grind to unlock them?
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #5 SIGGYZtar 9 months ago
    Did that Senran Kagura game on the Switch ever come out?
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  • Avatar for docexe #6 docexe 9 months ago
    Did Nintendo just went "Hey! Everyone knows already we're hosting a Direct today so why announce it in advance?" For the sake of (what remains) of the Fandom collective sanity, I'm at least glad it happened.

    Now, I'm a bit disappointed (but not surprised) that the Switch lineup is mostly "ports galore" for the first half of the year (barring exceptions like Kirby and Mario Tennis). But then again, I haven't played several of these games (including Y's and TWEWY), and they coming to Switch ensures that I will... you know, be able to actually finish them.

    In retrospective, I'm also glad that I never bought DK Tropical Freeze, neither the DLC of Hyrule Warriors (due to lack of money at the time rather than lack of interest). My poor Wii U doesn't need more buyer's remorse added to its pile.
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  • Avatar for riot-50 #7 riot-50 9 months ago
    As a huge fan of Tropical Freeze I'm glad a lot more people are gonna give it a shot.

    That said, as a Wii U owner, every port announced for Switch makes me feel like even more of a rube for shilling out the money to be a paid participant in what is quickly revealing itself to be the most elaborate beta testing phase in history.
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #8 TheWildCard 9 months ago
    @Godots17thCup Hear hear!

    Although you know some people just dismiss it because it says Donkey Kong and not Mario on the cover.
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  • Avatar for Megamoppy #9 Megamoppy 9 months ago
    Really enjoyed the direct but I really dislike donkey' s voice seems a bit OTT
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  • Avatar for Malignant #10 Malignant 9 months ago
    I'm sorry Wii U owners (and I include myself on that list) but I'm afraid this is the reason why Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash in 2015 was so thin on features and modes.

    It really wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo told Camelot to release what they had at the time (as Christmas 2015 was so thin on first-party releases) and then continue working with the same building blocks to create Mario Tennis Aces.

    Regardless though, Mario Tennis Aces looks really good and I'm glad they listened to fan feedback regarding the lack of a story mode since the GBA iteration.
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  • Avatar for Vodka-Tonic #11 Vodka-Tonic 9 months ago
    Are they seriously only offering split screen co-op for Hyrule Warriors????? Why?! WHYYYYYY!? We have two Switch consoles, and don't want to share a screen. ;_;
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  • Avatar for One_Vurfed_Gwrx #12 One_Vurfed_Gwrx 9 months ago
    @Vodka-Tonic I was thinking splitscreen was a bit of a downgrade from the WiiU version, but totally forgot about local network play which would seem a sensible option to add to the game.
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #13 SuperShinobi 9 months ago
    Looks like the Switch's 2018 will be mostly ports and remasters. I think ports and remasters are okay as a supplement to a console's release schedule, but without strong new original games, I could see the Switch having some difficulty sustaining its momentum in 2018.
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  • Avatar for shurn #14 shurn 9 months ago
    Checking all the sites saying it was weird that Nintendo didn't announce the direct and it was unusual way for this direct to happen this way. But Nintendo has done this before and put out hints on twitter and no one could figure them out except for gravity ghost, this guy figured out the clues Nintendo put out and knew it was gonna drop unannounced in the morning.
    Guy should be reporting on games if you ask me. January 2018 by shurn
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  • Avatar for docexe #15 docexe 9 months ago
    @SuperShinobi I’m starting to think they will lose some momentum this year, as their next big original games are likely to be Metroid Prime and Pokémon, and neither one seems likely to arrive until 2019. Fire Emblem and Yoshi are likely to come on the second half of 2018, maybe Shin Megami Tensei V and Octopath Traveler as well with some luck, but none of those is exactly a system seller of the caliber of Zelda or Mario (at least, not outside of Japan). Still, provided they keep a continuous release schedule (most of the ports are of excellent games after all), and that they have a good E3, they might be able to coast along until next year without losing that many sales.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #16 Ralek 9 months ago
    Very excited for Mario Tennis Ace to be honest. If it's good enough to replace my copy of Virtua Tennis 4, all I have to do is sit down and finally finish Nier .. then I can go ahead and at last unplug my PS3 and put it in storage.

    Also, thumps up for TWEWY! 5 months ago, I wrote a comment on how Square was failing the Switch - seeing as you could download TWEWY on the playstore, but not the e-shop. I'm glad that took my criticism to heart! :P

    Other than that ... I dunno. I'll probably get Dark Souls on Ps4 at some point in the future, just so as to have all these Souls games, incl. Bloodborne, in one place. Not sure, I'm going to replay it yet again any time soon, but it's definitely one of the finest games ever made and as such, it deserves to be accessible on as many devices and to as many players as possible.

    Having said that, Sony should really make that Demon Souls remaster happen, otherwise my Souls collection will end missing a vital part forever =(

    Anyways, we all knew that this would be the year of the Switch port. Personally, I have no intention on buying either HW nor DK:TF again, but I don't mind them being ported either. I would liked to see online being added to HW, because then at least, there would be a reason for me to splurge again.
    @SuperShinobi Yes and no, first obviously, devs (incl. Nintendo) need time to create fresh and unique content, and seeing as Nintendo is currently pretty much the only supplier of new and certainly exclusive AAA content (a few rare exceptions like M+R and 8path aside), it was clear that the pace of 2017 could not possibly be sustained. Having said that, we are getting a new Kirby game and a new Yoshi games and a new Tennis Game, so it's not like there is nothing new (and exclusive): More to the point though, this direct was clearly aimed at covering the time until E3, or what is also called "spring". All these games will be out around the time E3 is happening (or shortly after aka "summer"), so we can be almost certain, that Nintendo has some stuff left in store for the 3rd and 4th quarter of this year. Some of which we already know about, like FE, some we already expect, like a SSB port, but also some entirely new, we have not even thought of yet.

    Point being, yes, it's going to be a lot of ports in 2018 (though that was clearl from the get-go), but we'll also see quite a few fresh games headed to the Swith in late 2018. I mean, Mario Tennis Aces is going to be out in the next few months., and until now, no one had any idea this game was even being made. It's definitely not going to be the only one.
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  • Avatar for LunarFlame17 #17 LunarFlame17 9 months ago
    Between Mario Tennis Aces this year and Metroid: Samus Returns last year, I think it’s pretty clear that Nintendo is getting real good at keeping secrets. With that said, I think anyone who thinks that this Direct showcases everything Nintendo has planned for this year is crazy. Remember, this was a “mini” Direct. Like someone else said, this is pretty much just what’s coming out between now and E3. I have a feeling Nintendo’s E3 this year will be pretty spectacular. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I’ll be shocked if I am.
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  • Avatar for IPA #18 IPA 9 months ago
    TWEWY is a uniquely excellent RPG. I spent a lot of time with it on the DS, so likely won’t pick it up — but thrilled others will get the chance to try this little gem.
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