now that the February 2022 Nintendo Direct has been transmitted into our brains, it’s almost frightening to look back and think about how many huge ads were packed into this 40-minute storefront. mainly focusing on Nintendo Switch releases for the first half of 2022, Direct showed that there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months.
From major updates to games we know are coming Splatoon 3 and Kirby and the Forgotten Landfor unexpected debuts in the form of Mario Strikers Battle League and Nintendo Switch Sports, it really felt like there was something for everyone in this Nintendo Direct. Oh, and we’re finally getting new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tracks. What a time to be alive.
Nintendo has certainly set the stage for next year, but if you missed the Direct as it did live, we’ve provided a roundup of all the biggest and best announcement trailers you can watch below.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
After the success of both Hyrule Warriors titles, as well as the first Fire Emblem Warriors game, it was almost certain that developer Omega Force would be on board to add a fourth Musou to the Switch based on Nintendo’s IP. And just as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity specifically focused on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes does this for Três Casas 2019.
Three Hopes will take players back to the war-torn land of Fodlan, where a trio of nations dance between uneasy truces and all-out war. While some new faces appear in the trailer, we also see returning characters like Byleth, Edelgard and Claude.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes will be released on June 24, 2022.
Mario Strikers Battle League
Considering the last Mario Strikers game released in 2007, seeing Mario Strikers Battle League announced for the Switch a decade and a half later is as bizarre as it is welcome. The original Mario Strikers titles were fun and stylish football spin-offs, and we couldn’t be happier to see the series find a home once again on Switch.
The stunning art style (ha) of the originals appears to be intact, this time with flashy cuts before the characters submit their special moves. Other notable additions include alternate outfits that grant stat boosts and an Online Clubs mode where up to 20 players can form a party to challenge the leaderboards online.
Mario Strikers Battle League will be released on June 10, 2022.
Splatoon 3 Salmon Run
One of Splatoon 2’s best modes, Salmon Run, is back in the trilogy. Salmon Run: Next Wave brings horde mode to Splatoon 3 with some major updates. New Boss Salmonids will appear to spice up the gameplay, and it looks like players can now throw in the golden eggs they need to collect to progress through each wave.
Splatoon 3 received an updated “Summer 2022” release window, meaning it is likely to release between June and August of this year.
Square Enix Ads
Along with an upcoming Triangle Strategy update, Square Enix’s presence in this Nintendo Direct was monumental. We’re getting a remaster of the classic PS1 Chrono Cross, remakes of mechanical strategy games Front Mission 1st and Front Mission 2, and a remake of the previously Japan-exclusive Super Famicom Live A Live RPG being made on Octopath Traveler’s HD-2D engine. .
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition will be released on April 7, 2022, while Front Mission 1st will be released later in the year. Meanwhile, the Live A Live remake is heading to Switch on July 22nd.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series
Another big surprise came in the form of the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series, which is offering remakes of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil. Bandai Namco’s early PlayStation-era mascot was never a big hit, but he’s developed a devoted cult following over the years, who are no doubt delighted to see him return.
The remakes appear to be of fairly high quality, and by the sounds of it, the iconic soundtracks from both games will also be intact. Though we wonder if the song will be remastered or rearranged.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series will be released on July 8, 2022.
Nintendo Switch Sports
Mario Strikers Battle League isn’t the only sports title being prepped for the portable marvel this year, as Nintendo Switch Sports will soon have us fiddling with our Joy-Con controllers like we did back in 2006 on the Wii.
Nintendo Switch Sports includes tennis, badminton, football, chambara, bowling and volleyball in one sports package, with golf arriving later this year as part of a free update. Plus, all sports support online gaming, meaning this iteration of Nintendo’s Sports series could be the most competitive yet.
Nintendo Switch Sports will be released on April 29, 2022. Additionally, a technical test is being conducted for the game’s online play between February 18 and 20, where various sports will be playable.
No, we’re still not getting an official western release of Mother 3, so we’ll have to make do with the cult classic RPGs Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings released on the Nintendo Switch Online SNES and NES libraries, respectively.
Both phenomenal RPGs are still worth playing to this day. Mixing eccentric visuals and often shockingly dark themes, the Earthbound (or Mother) series continues to be hugely influential to this day, inspiring even modern classics like Undertale.
Both Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings are available to play now as part of Nintendo Switch Online’s retro game libraries.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC
Pinch us, because we still think we’re dreaming. We thought we’d have to wait until mario kart 9 to get some new racing action with Mario and friends, but Nintendo went and announced the Reinforcement course pass for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which will add six waves of eight courses by the end of 2023, for a total of 48 (48!) new tracks.
Well, we say “new” as the Booster Course Pass will essentially be a collection of Mario Kart tracks that span the entire series from Super Mario Kart to Mario Kart Tour. The first wave includes classic tracks like Coconut Mall on the Wii and Choco Mountain on the N64.
The first wave of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass arrives March 18, 2022. The pass can be purchased for $24.99 / £22.49 and is included in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack tier at no extra cost .
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Nintendo Directs often go out with a bang, and the February 2022 presentation was certainly no exception. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 it’s been rumored to have been in development for some time, but Monolith Soft’s next big JRPG is now official and it looks absolutely gorgeous.
The two-minute announcement trailer is mostly made up of in-engine cutscenes (with some gameplay segments showing Xenoblade’s trademark sense of scale) and left fans with a lot of questions, particularly relating to the identities of certain characters, which may be returning. from previous games in the series.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will be released in September 2022.
What We Didn’t See in the Nintendo Direct
As impressively packed with new announcements as this Nintendo Direct was, the gaming giant obviously can’t pack it all into a 40-minute presentation.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 was – perhaps understandably – absent. Maybe because Nintendo isn’t ready to show more of the game, or didn’t want to steal the thunder from Xenoblade Chronicles 3. bayonet 3 was also missing, although we’ve seen this game close the previous Nintendo Direct before this one.
Metroid Prime 4 remains undefinable. Although, after three years since the game restarted development, we hope to finally see at least one teaser trailer at E3 2022. On the bright side, we know that Metroid Prime 4 is still very much in active development given recent job vacancies from developer Retro Studios.