Nintendo announces “Pokemon Sword and Shield” Expansion Pass alongside additional “Smash Brothers” fighter

Jackson Kiino-Terburg, A/V Editor

January 9th, Nintendo held a “Nintendo Direct” with the focus being on GameFreaks’ popular “Pokemon” franchise. 

A Nintendo Direct is a livestream where Nintendo will announce new games or releases. New paid content for the new games “Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield” was announced in the form of two expansions, “The Isle of Armor” coming June 2020 and “The Crown Tundra” coming Fall of 2020 along with over 200 more “Pokemon” from previous games making it into “Sword and Shield.” 

The expansions will also include new in-game locations as well as two new storylines with new characters and things to do.

A few days later, on January 16th, Nintendo held yet another Nintendo Direct featuring the newest “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” fighter to be added to the game: the character “Byleth” from the game “Fire Emblem: Three Houses.” They are the 5th and final character to be added into the game with the “Fighter Pass #1.” “Smash” director Masahiro Sakurai also announced that 6 additional characters would be added in the “Fighter Pass #2,” bringing up the total character number in the game to 81 playable fighters. 

With two major announcements already in the first month of 2020, Nintendo is starting out this year strong.

However, these releases are not without controversy. Many fans of “Super Smash Brothers” are furious with the newest character being Byleth, as the “Fire Emblem” series already has 7 characters represented in “Smash.” Fans believe this is too much representation for the admittedly less popular series when compared to other characters who have been requested for “Smash.” 

Many believe that Byleth’s release was more meant to generate increased sales for the game they’re from, “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” This along with the fact that fans misinterpreted a tweet from the makers of “Devil May Cry,” as well as a supposed hint at it from the maker of “Smash” himself, Masahiro Sakurai that the next character would be Dante from “Devil May Cry.”

On the official “Devil May Cry” Twitter, a tweet came out marking a list of dates to keep an eye on, one being the date of the “Smash” Direct, January 16th. In a teased image prior to the “Smash” announcement, Sakurai was shown holding up three fingers, which some took as another hint at “Devil May Cry 3,” so Dante, a character from the game, would be the one added to “Smash.”

Nintendo of America Via Twitter
Image released on the official Nintendo twitter account teasing the newest “Smash” fighter announcement.

Not all people are upset about Byleth getting into “Smash” though. Fans of the Fire Emblem series are generally pretty excited about it, as well as “Smash” fans who are just happy to have a new and interesting character in the game.

“Byleth is fun, I was one of the people who were expecting them to get into Smash so I wasn’t upset about it. They’re different enough of a character to stand out from the rest of the FE [Fire Emblem] fighters,” said freshman Loden Krueger, avid gamer and member of the Loy Norrix “Smash” Esports team.

Before the “Pokemon Sword and Shield” release, controversy sparked from the announcement that, for the first time ever, the newest “Pokemon” game would not include all previous creatures in addition to the new ones. The future for the game looked unclear. However, with raving reviews at launch, the game defied all expectations and is now hailed by many long time fans as their favorite in the long series. 

The “Pokemon” Nintendo Direct announcement went over much better with the fans than Byleth’s unveil. Excitement is high about “The Isle of Armor” and “The Crown Tundra.” After its successful launch, people are happy that the game is continuing to get support from Nintendo.

“I’m certainly glad Nintendo is adding an expansion instead of just adding another game to stores,” said Krueger.

With over 200 additional “Pokemon” being added as well as two stunning new in-game locations and stories to match, it’s no surprise that the hype is real.