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Nintendo Direct Round-up



Nintendo held a Direct presentation today, focusing on upcoming titles for both the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch and providing various pieces of news for RPGamers. The first part of the presentation focused on the 3DS, starting with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Various tidbits were mentioned, including the new story featuring legendary Necrozma, more outfits and locations, new Ultra Beasts, and purchasing bonuses. It was also confirmed that Pokémon Gold and Silver will be released on the eShop on September 22, 2017. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will be released on November 17, 2017.

Two other upcoming Nintendo 3DS releases briefly appeared in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions (due out October 6, 2017) and Yo-kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres (September 29, 2017, in North America and February 2018 in Europe). After this, it was revealed that The Alliance Alive will be released in North America and Europe in 2018 by Atlus USA. In other Atlus news, a demo for Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth will be released later today, with the full game set for October 17, 2017. Finally for Atlus, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux and Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology received mentions ahead of their releases early in 2018.

Moving onto the Nintendo Switch, a significant amount of time was devoted to Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Plenty of details were revealed about the game's setting of Alrest, a world covered by a cloud sea where people survive atop massive Titans. At the centre of the world lies the world tree and Elysium, an idyllic land. Various factions were detailed: the Kingdom of Uraya, the Empire of Mor Ardain, the Imperial Province of Gormott, the Indoline Praetorium, the Argentum Trade Guild, and Torna. A legendary Blade called the Aegis provides impetus for the factions, who try to seek it out for various reasons.

A small Titan called Azurda narrates the second part, and appears to be the home/guardian for main protagonist Rex.  Rex works as a salvager until he meets a girl called Pyra and sets off on a quest to deliver her to Elysium. Combat in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 involves two types of characters: frontline fighters called Drivers, and supporters called Blades who grant the Drivers their weapons. Up to three Drivers and three Blades can be in combat at any time. Like previous titles, arts and positioning are heavily featured in combat. Drivers can awaken new Blades using core crystals, and bond with multiple Blades. Switching Blades can gives players different abilities with three different types of Blades available.

To wrap up the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 section, Nintendo revealed a release date for the game. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be released for Nintendo Switch on December 1, 2017. The game will be available in a special edition containing a soundtrack sample CD, a metal game case, and a 220-page hardcover artbook. A special design Nintendo Switch Pro Controller will also be available separately.

After that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 session, Nintendo revealed that Lyn from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (aka Fire Emblem on Game Boy Advance) will be appearing in Fire Emblem Warriors. She can be seen in a new trailer that shows certain gameplay aspects, such as pairing up, customisation, the weapons triangle, and tactical planning. Fire Emblem Warriors is set to be released for New Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch on October 20, 2017. A release date for the Nintendo Switch version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was also revealed: November 17, 2017.

Another game to receive significant time in the presentation was Project Octopath Traveler (working title). The sprite-graphic game follows eight travelers exploring the realm, players choosing one of these protagonists to follow their story. Each of these characters has his or her own unique action, such as Olberic's ability to challenge people to duels and Primrose's ability to allure others to follow her. Combat is turn-based with some unique mechanics. The Boost system sees characters giving Boost Points each turn, that can be used to power up abilities or chain attacks. Project Octopath Traveler is planned for simultaneous worldwide release in 2018, but a demo version will be released worldwide today on Nintendo Switch.

In the final piece of RPG news from the presentation, it was announced that Dragon Quest Builders will be coming to Nintendo Switch. Originally released for Playstation 4 and PlayStation Vita in 2016, Dragon Quest Builders will be available on Nintendo's console in spring 2018. Golf Story, Nine Parchments, and Lost Sphear also received brief mentions with the three games planned for release on Nintendo Switch.

Specific videos focusing on certain games mentioned above can be viewed below. Those who wish to view the full presentations can do so here for North America and here for Europe.

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