Nintendo held another of their "Nintendo Direct" media events yesterday afternoon and had a quite a bit to show off/tease for the next 6 months (Spoiler: Nintendo is calling "dibs" on your summer gaming). Here's a breakdown of all the co-op news.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2:18) - Aside from the reveal of some of the characters you'll be able to play (Avengers, X-Men, Defenders, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain Marvel), the big co-op news here is that there will be some combined attacks you can do when playing with friends. They're called "Synergy Attacks" and "Ultimate Alliance Extreme" attacks. The former appear to be a combo of some special moves while the latter happens when everyone uses their ultimate ability at the same time. No release date given, expected Summer 2019.
- BOX BOY! + BOX GIRL! (3:42) - The fourth entry in the BOX BOY! series, and the first one to feature co-op (2 player couch co-op). You and your co-op partner will play at the titular Box Boy and Girl as you extend boxes from yourselves in order to solve puzzles and traverse platforms across 270 levels. Arrives April 26, 2019.
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (5:31) - A free update dropped yesterday that improved the co-op experience. In addition to the "Assist Mode," where the second player was relegated to a floating cursor with limited functionality, there's a new "Partner Adventure" that allows a second player to play alongside Captain Toad. The game is still limited to 2 player couch co-op, but it's nice to be able to play alongside your co-op buddy instead of being stuck in "helper" mode. All existing courses support the new "Partner Adventure" mode, and there are new courses coming on March 19 in the "Special Episode" paid DLC ($5.99).
- Dragon Quest Builders 2 (8:02) - The sequel to 2016's action-RPG meets sandbox/crafting game was initially released in Japan at the end of 2018. It will now see a release worldwide on July 12, 2019. While the original Dragon Quest Builders was a single-player only affair, the sequel will support four player co-op (online only for PS4, online or via local wireless for Switch) outside of the main campaign. Progress far enough in the campaign and you'll eventually unlock the "Vacant Island," your only little piece of paradise where you can build whatever you and your friends can build whatever you want.
- Starlink: Battle for Atlas (13:50) - If you picked up Ubisoft's "toys-to-life but you don't actually need the toys" game up on the Switch, then you no doubt have been enjoying flying around the Atlas universe with an Arwing. However, if you were a bit disappointed in the handful of missions that you could do as Fox McCloud, then rejoice! There's a big update coming sometime in April that will add new Switch exclusive missions where you'll be able to take on the Star Wolf crew. Plus, Falco, Slippy, and Peppy will all be added to the game as new pilots to put into your ships. Given enough time, maybe Ubisoft will make the Star Fox game everyone's been wanting inside of Starlink? You can read our take on this title in Marc's Co-Op Review.
- Yoshi's Crafted World (17:08) - The game will have different outfits to collect that Yoshi can wear and doing so is not only fashionable, but practical. If you get hit, the outfit will get removed first before Yoshi gets hurt. There's a demo available, as well, that lets you play through the first level of the game cooperatively. Yoshi's Crafted World arrives on March 29, 2019 and supports two player couch co-op throughout the campaign.
- Unravel two (30:18) - Coldwood Interactive's puzzle platformer is headed to the Switch on March 22. 2 player couch co-op is supported throughout the campaign.
- Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! (31:14) - This enhanced version of the 2007 Wii-only roguelike is headed to the Switch and PlayStation 4, this time with 2 player couch co-op. This game is part of the Mystery Dungeon series of roguelikes that's included titles like Shiren the Wanderer and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. As a roguelike, enemies only move whenever you take a step or other action (think Crypt of the Necrodancer minus the catchy tunes). The new feature with this version is the "Buddy System" where the player can befriend monsters in the dungeons and have them fight alongside them. These buddies can alternatively be controlled by a second player. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy will be available on the Switch and PlayStation 4 on March 20, 2019.
- Astral Chain (maybe?) (31:47) - This is Platinum's newest action title set in a cyberpunk future. It has some interesting talent behind it, including Hideki Kamiya (director for Okami and Bayonetta) taking on a supervisory role while Takahisa Taura (lead game designer for NieR: Automata) is directing and Masakazu Katsura (artist known for several manga, notably Wing-Man, Video Girl Ai, and Zetman) is doing all the character design. The combat in the two minute clip shows one human and one robotic-looking character (called "The Legion") fighting side-by-side (something Yoshiaki Koizumi calls out at the end of the clip). In the blog post for the game, the developers talk about this being a "Synergetic Action" game, and the official listing of the game on the Nintendo website lists the number of players as "TBD," so we're not entirely sure whether this will be a single-player only title or not. I guess we'll have to wait until the next Nintendo Direct to find out!
There are, of course, a number of other game announcements in that Direct that are exciting - Super Mario Maker 2 coming this June, more details about Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and a remake of Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - but that's all the pertinent co-op details we could put together for you. Should be a pretty good 2019 for Nintendo!