Update: Well, GameCube fans, the Baten Kaitos remaster is real, confirmed during today's Nintendo Direct.
We reported on the leaked remaster earlier, but now a trailer has been shown (opens in new tab) alongside a Summer 2023 release window. It's also clear from the trailer that this is very much a remaster and not a remake, as the footage shown looks identical to the original game - just with a nice HD polish.
Baten Kaitos 1+2 HD Remaster is exactly what it sounds like: touched-up versions of the 2003 GameCube RPG Baten Kaitos and its sequel, Baton Kaitos 2, originally released in 2006.
We're all gearing up for today's Nintendo Direct live coverage, and leaks are still trickling in. The latest rumor claims that GameCube cult classic Baten Kaitos is getting the remaster treatment on Switch, revitalizing the two-part card RPG series after roughly 17 years.
This rumor has been swirling for a few weeks now, and it came to a head today with the reveal of alleged promotional artwork (opens in new tab) for a double pack apparently called Baten Kaitos 1&2 HD Remaster. Assuming it's real, this remastered bundle would feature Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean as well as the prequel Baten Kaitos Origins, which is also technically a sequel. Perhaps I was too harsh on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's naming scheme.
Fans of the series reckon the art looks legit enough, and a reasonably reliable moderator on the forum ResetEra has vouched (opens in new tab) for the leak's authenticity. If this does turn out to be an elaborate fake inexplicably designed to torture the few Baten Kaitos fans still hoping the series makes a return, it's certainly a well-drawn fake.
There's no word on exactly when Baten Kaitos would make this triumphant return, but this remaster is said to be a Switch exclusive. That said, today's Nintendo Direct will focus on games launching in the first half of 2023, so there's a reasonable chance we won't have to wait all that long to play it if it's real.
Baten Kaitos reviewed pretty well back in the mid-2000s and found a devoted fan base, though it never built a large following. If you missed the series in its heyday, think of it as an oddball precursor to some of the card battlers we know today. It's a turn-based JRPG where moves are represented by cards; you draft and draw through a deck of abilities, stack and combo cards together, and work to out-maneuver enemies in each round. Outside this odd but endearing combat, you'll find exploration and questing not entirely dissimilar to the Xenoblade series that co-developer Monolith Soft would go on to make.
Here's another Nintendo Direct leak we didn't expect: a new Samba de Amigo game.