The Nintendo Direct has come and gone, and like Santa with his sleigh we have been regaled with gifts. We maybe didn’t ask for all of them, but they are gifts nonetheless.
Let’s start off with the big ones: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was announced for September, finally proving months of rumors and job listings correct. You can soon reminisce about your Wii days when Nintendo Switch Sports brings athletic fun to the console on April 29. A network test will be happening from Feb 18-20, so I hope to see some of you there! Rounding out the big reveals is Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, a sequel to 2017’s Fire Emblem Warriors. The game brings the beloved characters of Fire Emblem: Three Houses into musou gameplay while still requiring combat strategy thanks to Fire Emblem’s trademark weapon triangle. Nintendo is also bringing back a dormant sports franchise when Mario Strikers: Battle League brings five-on-five soccer shoots onto the system on June 10.
But we aren’t even close to done yet! Mario Kart 8 Deluxe quashed all sequel rumors by announcing a whopping remastered 48 DLC courses—the first wave of six comes out March 18. The entire package costs $25, or free if you have a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass membership. Speaking of Nintendo Switch Online, both the Super Nintendo classic RPG EarthBound and it’s predecessor EarthBound Beginnings bring their whimsical adventures to the service today! We also saw Salmon Run gameplay from the upcoming Splatoon 3, which promises to bring more co-op mayhem when it launches this summer.
As for the upcoming releases, Nintendo showed off more gameplay for both Triangle Strategy—coming March 4 with a new demo available now—and Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which releases on March 24. The light-hearted tactical RPG Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp finally conquers its earlier delay and comes to the system on April 8. To round things out for Nintendo published content, the smash hit Metroid Dread was updated today to include the hyper-punishing Dread difficulty and the beginner friendly Rookie Mode difficulty.
Third party games are also making a home on the Switch, and many are of the remastered variety. Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection, previously Japanese exclusive RPG LIVE A LIVE, KINGDOM HEARTS INTEGRUM MASTERPIECE for Cloud, and KLONOA Phantasy Reverie Series are all coming to the system within the next few months. Remakes of tactical RPGs FRONT MISSION 1st and FRONT MISSION 2 are also primed to make their Switch debut within the year.
2022 promises to be a big year not only for remasters but for ports as well. MLB The Show 22 brings Sony San Diego’s acclaimed baseball simulator to Nintendo, promising cross-play and cross-platform saving when it launches on April 5. Portal: Companion Collection allows players to experience Valve’s famous puzzle games for the first time in Nintendo history later this year. No Man’s Sky promises unlimited space exploration this summer, while STAR WARS: The Force Unleashed takes us to a galaxy far, far away on April 20. The hotly anticipated DLC Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course was also showcased, providing glimpses of its sumptuous graphics and difficult gameplay before its June 30 release. Rounding out the ports are the upcoming releases of Lego Brawls, Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Hinokami Chronicles, Two Point Campus, and Zombie Army 4.
If you think we are done then boy you are mistaken! We are close though. Rounding out the bunch, we have Disney Speedstorm, a high octane kart racer coming this summer, the stylish roguelite action game GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon which launches today, and the action-RPG SD GUNDAM BATTLE ALLIANCE slated for later this year.
That’s the Direct, folks! Nintendo came out swinging with content to cover the first half of 2022. While we may not have gotten a glimpse at the sequel to Breath of the Wild, the next few months are in pretty capable hands. Nintendo and third parties alike are bringing back nostalgic franchises in shiny new paint, and I for one am going to eat it up.