Nintendo Direct February 2022: New games, trailers, and everything else announced
Nintendo dropped a ton of news during its most recent Nintendo Direct.
Nintendo Directs are Nintendo’s reminder that they exist and you’ll probably be buying games from them soon. Unless specifically noted (i.e. the Smash Bros. Direct) these serve as a grab bag of game announcements and updates.
This time, Nintendo did not disappoint with its list of announcements. Announcements ranged from new DLC to rereleases of iconic games, and even some new game announcements.
I sat down with my 8 and 14-year-old sons (Drake and Aiden) and watched the direct. Here’s what was important and also what we thought of the Nintendo Direct.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
What you need to know is that the Fire Emblem: Three Houses game is being reimagined as a “Warriors” or “Musou” game. That means this game will pit you against hundreds of enemies on a battlefield that you more or less fight singlehandedly. It’s hack-and-slash mayhem, but the preview was not really that exciting. It releases on June 24th.
Aiden: “This looks kind of mid. I bet this is one of those games that is nothing like the trailer.”
Drake: “Wow! This looks cool. Will it be hard?”
No Man’s Sky
Ah, the game that is beloved by just about everyone here at KnowTechie. I really should give it another chance since my launch day review. This was a surprise for me, of all the games that will make it to the Switch, No Man’s Sky wasn’t on the list for me. The space adventure game will hit the console this summer.
Aiden: “Yo! Is that No Man’s Sky? That’s a day one pick up for me!”
Drake: “This looks like my type of game. Actually, it reminds me of that game with water, where everything tried to kill you!” (No idea?)
Mario Strikers: Battle League
Mario Strikers is a soccer game that features Mario characters, while the new Battle League version for the Switch takes a more American Gladiators approach with armor, full contact, and super strikes. With the eight-person local multiplayer and customizable characters, this may be a game-winning goal on June 10.
Aiden: “That’s pretty cool. I’d probably play it once.”
Drake: “I’m going to play this with my friends!”
Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition
I remember downloading the trailer to Chrono Cross on my old 56k internet. I also remember being slightly upset that a game initially billed as the sequel to Chrono Trigger was mostly a sequel in name only.
I’m actually hyped that this RPG is getting a remaster and they are also adding the Japan-only sequel bits back in! This one is out on April 7th.
Aiden: “This reminds me of Trials of Mana. I’ll play it for two hours and forget it exists.”
Drake: “When it showed all the characters you can play as, I’m pretty sure I saw someone’s mom.”
Splatoon 3: Salmon Run Next Wave
We finally get a solid look at PVE content from Splatoon 3. The Nintendo Direct trailer is certainly quirky but also showed off a bunch of co-op skills that you and your teammates can use. It also showcased some enemy types and all sorts of oddities that you may encounter, like the “Fish Stick”. Sadly, there is no release date yet.
Aiden: “Where’s the PVP, has Splatoon ever even had PVE?”
Drake: “This trailer kind of scared me. Why did they choose this music?”
Nintendo Switch Sports
We knew it was coming at some point! Nintendo Switch Sports is the successor to Wii Sports. As the current sports for this game were shown off, I did notice there are more sports being added in content updates.
No baseball or boxing, yet, but with future support, it’s probably just a matter of time. There is an online stress test in a little over a week. starting on February 18.
Aiden: “WHAT? NO! WHAT? NO! I loved this game when I was little. Is Matt going to be in this too?!”
Drake: “I don’t think I can play this since I only have the Switch Lite.” (This is a good point, there was no mention of the Switch Lite having compatibility.)
Live A Live
Yes, another JRPG. What’s interesting here is Live A Live is a former Square Enix game that never saw any localization outside of Japan. Completely remastered and given the 2D HD treatment, we are finally getting this one across the world.
This was a regular on “Best JRPG games you’ll never play” lists. That changes on July 22.
Aiden: “So, I’m digging that 2D on 3D look. No cap.”
Drake: “You get to be heroes from all over time? The cowboy and the psychic kid look really cool.”
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
We got a good look at Nintendo’s open-world Kirby game. Most of the trailer was devoted to showing off “Mouthfull Mode”. This mechanic allows Kirby to reach places or go places that aren’t normally accessible. This open-world adventure is looking good and is coming out on March 25th.
Aiden: “Open world Kirby? You’d better believe I’m getting this one.”
Drake: “Dad, can I have this? Please? I need this game. How far is March 25th from now? Please?”
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC?
Bad news: no Mario Kart 9 until at least 2023. Good news: there will be 48 remastered tracks from every other Mario Kart release coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I guess it’s better than nothing? Sorry, Mario Kart fans.
Aiden: “We just got Coconut Mall’d!”
Drake: “You would have to pay for this? Why?”
MLB The Show 22
I’m going to be honest. This wasn’t really something worthy of the Nintendo Direct. MLB The Show 22 looks really rough and I can only assume this is some contractual obligation. Apparently, you can play this on one Joy-Con, however.
Aiden: (walked away during the trailer) “Is that a puppet?”
Drake: “Hey, Dad. That Kirby game? Can I pre-order it?”
The tactical RPG game made by the Final Fantasy Tactics team that seems like a sequel to that in all but name comes out March 4th. There is also a new demo for Triangle Strategy that allows players to play all the way to chapter 3 and will carry over the save to the full game.
Aiden: “Hey Dad, there’s a game for you here.”
Drake: “Triangle…Strategy? I don’t see any triangles though.”
Nintendo Direct started with a surprise and ended with another surprise. Xenoblade Chronicle games are pretty great and this looks like a nice blend of the best elements of both the first and second games. The characters in this one look far more memorable, so that’s a win in my book. It’s coming out this September, as well!
Aiden: “Oh hey, I played a little of the first one. It was really good. I’ll play your copy.”
Drake: “Did you see that person sliding on that cable in the air and when they were swimming? This is on Switch?”
Remakes and rereleases
The Nintendo Direct this week also brought with it a whole bunch of remakes and rereleases that are coming to the Switch. For this section, we’re going to take a rapid-fire approach:
Portal: Companion Edition is launching later this year. This includes both Portal games
Klonoa 1 and 2 are coming to Switch July 7th
Front Mission 1st and Front Mission 2nd are coming to Switch, completely remade
Advance Wars 1+2 is coming out April 8th and will include 4-player custom maps
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection takes a leap of faith onto Switch on February 17
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is coming to Switch, sadly, it looks rough
Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings are now in the Virtual Console
There is also an update for Metroid Dread that is adding two modes. A one-hit kill mode and an easy mode. Aiden calls them the “Pro-gamer mode” and “Loser mode.” Do with that information what you will.
There were a few other titles that flashed up on the screen briefly at some point but it was anime and Gundam stuff that has already been released elsewhere.
Overall, RPG fans will have their year full with Switch releases. I know I will be buying a ton of games that I simply don’t have enough time to play. Live A Live excites me though because I once considered learning Japanese to try to play it.
My kids were most excited about the new Kirby game and the Nintendo Switch Sports games presented during this Nintendo Direct. Aiden was also incredibly hyped for Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival, which I didn’t mention but is a rhythm game that features popular anime music.
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