Today’s surprise Nintendo Direct offered 40 packed minutes of forthcoming Switch games, new content for old ones, and, er, teasers for forthcoming Directs about specific games like Smash and Animal Crossing. Below you’ll find all the big stories that came out of the presentation.
You can watch the entire thing right here, but for the streamlined version with color commentary, read on.
Announced during the Game Awards in 2017, you’d be forgiven if you thought you’d dreamt it. But at long last, we’ve seen footage—lots of footage—of the game in action. It’s real, and it’s apparently coming out at some point in Space Year 2022. Also, she’s totally braided her hair.
It had been rumored, but the confirmation was better than expected. N64 games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online, but joining them are Sega Genesis games! (Or Mega Drive games, to the rest of the world.) For N64 it’s launching with Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64 , and Ocarina Of Time, amongst others, with more classics to follow, including Pokémon Snap. For Genesis it’ll have 14 games at launch, including Contra Hard Corps, Sonic 2, Ecco the Dolphin and Streets of Rage 2.
Nintendo will also be selling the controllers to go with them. Proper original-looking N64 and Genesis controllers, but wireless! There was no information on whether the Genesis controller would have that authentic rattle, or if the N64 controller’s stick can now survive Mario Party.
Coming in 2022, Splatoon 3's trailer made me feel like I’d received a coconut to the head midway through, as everything starts to get strange. Mammals are returning, and things are getting hairy.
Yoko Taro of Nier fame is creating a new RPG, and it looks like Square finally noticed how much everyone was into card games three years ago. Still, this looks like a really interesting prospect, and despite only being revealed tonight, not only is it coming out on October 28, but there’s a free demo available right now.
The extraordinary RPG finally has a Switch release date: October 12. Three weeks! The Final Cut is the version with full voice acting and some new content, but you might want to invest in a microscope to read the text on that wee screen.
Square Enix is putting together its own version of Mario Kart, with the twist being that...it has Final Fantasy characters in it instead. And looks like it was made for Wii. But who knows! Maybe Chocobo GP is the game we all truly need. We’ll find out at some point next year.
As we all knew from the leak, Kirby’s back for the 13,954th time. What we didn’t know is this time it’s in a 3D platformer that looks a lot like a 2000s Super Mario game. Which is to say, it looks fantastic! Which is not what I was expecting to say. It’s out in April 2022.
Now officially called Triangle Strategy because I guess they accidentally got stuck with it, we have a release date for this superb-looking Square Enix tactics game: March 4, 2022. They say it has been fine-tuned based on feedback from this year’s sort-of-beta, including difficulty changes, camera controls, the ability to review previous dialogue, and streamlined loading.
Metroid Dread, Metroid Dread, Metroid Dread! This is so close you can taste it. Releasing the same day as the Switch OLED, October 8, this first new 2D platformer in the series for over a decade will be set all on one planet, but spread amongst lots of different biomes. And who cares what else I write, because it’s more Metroid!
It’s real, and it’s coming out today! Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow are three pretty interesting games in the Castlevania franchise—Aria is in fact great. All were released on the Game Boy Advance, and are now available on your Switch.
Now this is unexpected: One of the most beloved early SNES games is getting an HD “remaster” in the form of Actraiser Renaissance. The original Actraiser was a very unusual hybrid of fairly basic platforming and fairly basic town-building, but between the great visuals, solid-enough action, and killer Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack (his first SNES work!) the first Actraiser is very fondly remembered but rarely imitated. The surprise remaster’s out today, for Switch, Steam, PS4, and mobile devices.
Well, we got a release date: December 21, 2022. And then we got a cast list. And that lead role of Mario? It went to...Chris Pratt. Yeaaahhhh. In better decisions, Anya Taylor-Joy is Peach, Charlie Day is Luigi, Jack Black voices Bowser, Seth Rogan does Donkey Kong, and, Keegan-Michael Key is Toad. Toad is Black! It’s canon. Charles Martinet, the long-running voice of Mario, is involved, and will provide “surprise cameos.”
And that covers the biggest news from today’s Direct! What were your favorite reveals and announcements?