The Nintendo Direct is always something to look forward to.
It’s the culmination of anticipation and excitement that we all have for what’s coming our way in the next era of Nintendo games. Not only that, but it’s the confirmation of games and the rejection of others in one long live stream.
So let’s recap the highlights of this month’s Nintendo Direct.
Starting off the stream was the reveal of Fire Emblem: Three Hopes, this game will take place in the same universe as Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It will focus on the time jump between academy to war. Replacing the JRPG battle system of the past comes the new musou (or “warriors”) system, a fast-paced, one-vs-many battle system that’ll add another layer of fun to the game.
Fire Emblem: Three Hopes is projected to release on June 24th, along with the limited edition version of the game.
Next was the reveal of Mario Strikers Battle League, a game that marks the revival of the Mario Strikers series. This is a spin-off of Nintendo’s star-studded franchise that sets the Mario cast in an all-out game of soccer, bringing back old mechanics and new features including online compatibility.
The game is set to release a week or so before Fire Emblem: Three Hopes on June 10th. You can pre-order the game now on the Nintendo eShop.
Following this announcement, we got yet another teaser trailer for Splatoon 3. This trailer showed gameplay for Splatoon 3’s version of Salmon Run: Next Wave, a popular game-mode from Splatoon 2. It showed us new mechanics, bosses and story elements that Splatoon fans will be able to enjoy upon Splatoon 3’s release
Splatoon 3’s exact date of release has yet to be shown, but it’s expected to come this summer.
Disney would make an unexpected appearance during the showcase to drop Disney Speedstorm. This is a racing game that puts Disney characters against each other in the race of a lifetime. With stunning graphics, special in-game abilities and co-op mode, Disney Speedstorm is an unanticipated yet welcome addition to the racing game genre.
Disney Speedstorm, like Splatoon 3, is expected to be released around the summertime.
Assassins Creed: The Ezio Collection and Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition both are making their way to the switch. Originally released for the PS4, Assassins Creed: The Ezio Collection includes games one through three of the series as well as DLC, enhanced controls and a touchscreen mode.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is a remaster of the acclaimed RPG Chrono Cross. Some adjustments have been made to the game including the ability to turn off enemy encounters as well as an enhanced soundtrack. The game Radical Dreamers is also included with the remaster, a text-based RPG that explores the origins of Chrono Cross.
Assassins Creed: The Ezio Collection launches February 17th, while Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition comes April 2nd, both collections having available pre-orders.
Not to be outdone, Kirby and the Forgotten Land comes in with another teaser trailer. This trailer includes the introduction of “Mouthful Mode”, copy ability upgrades, and new details on the story. The trailer also shows more of the gameplay, alluding to a new level of emphasis on exploration that hasn’t been seen before in Kirby games.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is set to release on March 15th with pre-orders available.
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for cloud is another port coming to the Nintendo Switch this year. This package includes all of the main games in the Kingdom Hearts franchise that can be played when connected to the internet.
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for cloud has already been released and is available to purchase on Nintendo eShop.
Bandai Namco’s forgotten sidescroller, Klonoa, is making its grand return on Nintendo Switch in Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series. With optimized graphics, increased saturation and the inclusion of Klonoa 2, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is the perfect reintroduction to the series for old and new fans alike.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series releases on July 8th.
Also making a grand return, Portal joins the roster of returning games in Portal: Companion Collection. This collection includes Portal 1 and 2, with Portal 2 adding online and local play as well as split screen multiplayer mode.
The release date is still yet to be determined, but it’s projected to release this year.
Out of the blue, Nintendo announces the third installment in its beloved Wii Sports franchise, only this time it’s not just on the Wii, it’s on the Switch too. Nintendo Switch Sports is a welcome twist on an old classic with online, local and friend play, along with a variety of new sports. The game also features the return of controller attachments and, yes, even Miis.
The game is not ready to release yet, however, it was announced that online play testing would be available for those who have a Nintendo Online membership.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is making its way to Nintendo Switch. New footage of this DLC to the popular platformer was released during the Nintendo Direct, showing a sneak peek at the bosses expected to come in this new content. The trailer also shows gameplay footage of Ms. Chalice, the new player character joining Cuphead and Mugman.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course comes on June 30.
Speaking of new content, Metroid Dread is getting a free update for those who already own it. This update includes two new modes, Dread mode and Rookie mode. Dread mode is the ultimate challenge for players; all it takes is one hit for a game over. And, on the other end, Rookie mode is the lowest the game’s difficulty can go. For beginners and people who suck, Rookie mode is perfect for those looking to take it easy.
In addition, Metroid Dread is going to be getting a second update in April that includes a Boss Rush mode.
It’s happened. Finally after months of demanding and waiting, Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings are coming to Nintendo Switch! The beloved and quirky RPGs by Shigesato Itoi have always been a must for porting, and now, we finally have them! However, for fans of Mother 3, they’ll be disappointed to know that the game won’t be joining Earthbound 1 and 2.
Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings are now available for those with Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Nintendo dropped the showstopper. It was revealed that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe would be getting new DLC. This is the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass!
The pass will include six waves of new tracks, 48 stages in total, remastered from older Mario Kart games. Beloved tracks like Coconut Mall and Choco Mountain will be a part of this DLC. Not only that, but tracks from Mario Kart Tour will also be coming in the pass!
The first wave will come on March 18th and will continue through 2023. Pre-orders have already begun and the whole package costs 24.99 on the eShop. And if you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership + Expansion pack, you’ll be getting this DLC for free!
Nothing could trump this, right? Well, Nintendo would drop another showstopper with the reveal of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The game is set to release in September of this year.
This last announcement would conclude the stream.
Obviously, an impressive line-up for the console. Nintendo has shown us once again why they’re the king of the video game industry; they know how to give the community what they want.
Let it be said, if you’re a Nintendo fan, this is going to be an amazing year for games.