Gaming News: A New Nintendo Direct

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‘Super Mario Maker 2’ was unveiled during the Nintendo Direct presentation.

Every week the gaming industry is abuzz with new announcements and controversy. Last week was no different.

There seems to be a lot of news coming out of last week, and it is hard to keep track of it all. So, for your convenience, here are all the important happenings in a quick rundown.

Nintendo Direct

Nintendo hosted their first Nintendo Direct presentation of this year Feb. 13, and it was filled with announcements. A 35-minute pre-recorded video was released, and it had some pretty nice news for fans.

For starters, “Super Mario Maker 2” was announced for the Nintendo Switch. Players will finally be able to make all sorts of unique Mario levels on the Switch. Many new features are coming to the sequel, but they currently remain a mystery. The game will be releasing in June, so the mystery will be unveiled sooner rather than later.

Another announcement comes in the form of “Dragon Quest XI.” Originally released on the PlayStation 4 and PC, it is now finally coming to the Switch with the ability to opt for the classic 16-bit visuals. Players will have to wait until later this fall to play it.

“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is also getting a big update in the spring with “Version 3.0.” Not much is known about what will be in the update except that Joker from “Persona” will be made a fighter sometime around then.

Tetris fans got a battle royale game. Yes, Tetris. Titled “Tetris 99,” it pits 99 players against each other to see who can get the top score. While it is currently available, it is exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

A new “Legend of Zelda” remaster was announced. “Link’s Awakening” is a 3D remake of the classic and will be out sometime this year.

There were other games talked about and revealed, including more information on “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” and Platinum’s development of a new action game.

Activision Blizzard layoffs

During an earnings call, Activision Blizzard revealed they made a record $7.62 billion in profits last year. After making the announcement, they told employees they are cutting 8 percent of the staff, or roughly 800 people.

The company revealed they are restructuring because they did not meet expectations for 2018 and have low expectations for 2019. All non-game development teams were hit hard, with many people laid off from the publishing and esports departments.

‘Apex Legends’

Two weeks ago, Respawn Entertainment announced and released their own battle royale game titled “Apex Legends.” After its release, it passed 10 million players in three days, 25 million in one week and achieved 2 million concurrent players.

The thing that sets this game apart from its competitors is its team focus. Each legend (the characters you can select) have abilities that can be utilized to win the game.

The character Lifeline, for example, has a heal drone that can heal allies, revive people faster and call down a drop pod after a little while.

Bloodhound can track people via their footprints and after a little while can boost their senses and see through walls.

Utilizing legends’ abilities effectively can help you win the game, and it makes for some very engaging gameplay. It’s completely free and worth a shot, even if you do not like the battle royale game type.

‘Anthem’ short film

Neill Blomkamp, the director of “District 9,” is releasing a short film based on the Bioware game “Anthem.” It is being released on his YouTube channel, Oats Studios, and will be free to watch.

Every week is different, and some are more interesting than the last, so keep on the lookout for next week’s rundown.

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