The February 2022 Nintendo Direct was quite the mixed bag, dropping big reveals like Fire Emblem Warriors, a new Mario Strikers, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and even Nintendo Switch Sports. But, we also got snubbed by new paid DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, rather than the much-rumored Mario Kart 9. But, there was plenty to enjoy in Nintendo's first big Direct of the year, so here's everything announced during the showcase:
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Picking up where the original Fire Emblem Warriors left off, we’ve got another Musou-like spin on the Fire Emblem formula launching later this year. Fire Emblem Warriors - Three Hopes comes to Switch on June 24, and it’ll be resurrecting the characters and setting of the beloved Three Houses for a brand new adventure. Just like Hyrule Warriors in 2020, we can expect a brand new twist on the world we’ve come to know, plus hours upon hours of slicing and dicing through hordes of enemies.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
The beloved Game Boy Advance strategy games finally have a fresh release date after being delayed out of December, and you can hit the adorable cartoon battlefield on April 8, with pre-orders open on eShop now. We also got a fresh look at some of the new modes coming to the game, as well as the refreshed looks and all-new voiceovers for the stalwart cast of Commanding Officers.
No Man's Sky
Put an entire universe in your pocket when No Man's Sky drops on Nintendo Switch this summer. Complete with all the major updates that have launched for the game, this is the complete No Man's Sky experience but now for Nintendo Switch.
Mario Strikers: Battle League
There's a brand new Mario Strikers game en route and it's called Mario Strikers: Battle League. This soccer-inspired Super Mario spin-off is heavy on the offense, and for the first time in the series, it will feature gear that you can equip to change your appearance and stats. You'll also be able to utilize a new Hyper Strike ability. Enabled by activating an orb that appears on the field, which you'll need to grab while your opponent's distracted, and will let you score two goals rather than one. In terms of multiplayer options, eight players can compete on one Nintendo Switch system, while there's also an online club mode that supports up to 20 players per club. It's arriving on June 10, and you can pre-order starting today.
Splatoon 3 might not have a final release date just yet, but we know it’ll be launching later this year in Summer. Right now though, we were treated to the debut of Salmon Run: Next Wave, as Mr. Grizz appears to have opened up shop once again after the events of Splatoon 2, and is taking questionable child labor laws into his own hands. We saw a new enemy in the Salmonid for the revival of Salmon Run, and an even bigger version of this new enemy appeared at the end of the trailer. Splatoon 3 might still be a ways off, but it’s good to know that the excellent co-op Salmon Run mode is alive and kicking again in the sequel.
Front Mission 1st: Remake
Square Enix's mecha tactics series returns in this ground-up remake of 1995's Front Mission, letting players control a squadron of armored Wanzer units in demanding turn-based battles. The Direct also confirmed that it will be followed by a remake of Front Mission 2.
Although we think it should be called Kingdom Karts, Disney Speedstorms is a brand new kart racer where you'll be able to play as a characters from quite the legendary roster of Disney and Pixar heroes (and villains). It's launching as a free-to-play title sometime this summer, and will seemingly launch across multiple platforms as it's said to offer cross-platform multiplayer. There's also split-screen support for some local Disney karting action.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Starkiller is making his way to Switch. The sometimes-maligned spin-off launched for PlayStation consoles, including the PSP, in 2008, and saw players take on the role of Darth Vader's secret apprentice. Throughout the game, you'll master your force powers as you fight against both hostile worlds and skilled Jedi assassination targets.
Assassin's Creed Ezio Collection
The most iconic assassin of them all is coming to Switch, as the Assassin's Creed Ezio collection hits Nintendo's console. Follow Ezio Auditore da Firenze through Florence, Rome, and Constantinople as you chart the trilogy that established Assassin's Creed as the jewel in Ubisoft's crown. The entire collection drops on February 17, 2022.
SD Gundam Battle Alliance
This pint-sized, franchise-spanning take on the venerable Gundam series lets you control three mobile suits in action RPG battles; ultimately, your quest is to repair the Breaks that are sowing chaos across the Gundam universe's many different timelines, but until then you can just have fun seeing how Wing Gundam would do in a fight against the Big Zam.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition
An unusual sequel to Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross was underappreciated in its own time but has now secured its own status as a cult classic - and now it's coming to Switch on April 7 in remastered form, with pre-orders open today. This version even includes a port of Radical Dreamers, the unconventional text-based RPG which helps bridge the gap between Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
We're only a month or so out from Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and we're getting teased with several new features that are coming to the game. The main one that has drawn quite a few eyebrow raises is the new Mouthful Mode, which will allow Kirby to take on different forms to his usual copy ability, including turning into a car, traffic cone, crane, and a lightbulb.
We also got a little teaser about how the town in the game will change. Plus, you'll be able to evolve Kirby's classic copy abilities to extend his range of abilities, which will also affect his appearance. Mysterious and seemingly enhanced higher evolution of the copy abilities were also teased too, so we're not done yet.
MLB The Show
Once a PlayStation exclusive franchise, but apparently no longer content with just one platform after its arrival on Xbox last year, MLB The Show is now bringing its 2022 outing to Nintendo Switch as well. Arriving on April 27, it brings well-known modes like Road to the Show and Diamond Dynasty, letting you play with just a single Joy-Con. Cross-progression means you can earn and use content across all platforms, and cross-play means you'll be able to play online against friends on Xbox and PS5.
Klonoa: Phantasy Reverie Series
Klonoa: Phantasy Reverie Series is both an absolute mouthful and a two-part bundle containing Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, two beloved side-scrolling platformers dating back to 1997. Publisher Bandai Namco didn't specify how much fresh paint was applied for the Switch release, but both games certainly look excellent in the combo's reveal trailer. The store page for the Phantasy Reverie Series also notes 2-player co-op, which ought to come in handy given the old-school difficulty that these games are known for. Klonoa will arrive on Switch on July 8.
Portal: Companion Edition
The two main Portal games (as well as the ambitious co-op multiplayer campaign for Portal 2) come to a Nintendo console for the first time in Portal: Companion Edition, which is expected to arrive on Switch sometime this year. It's Portal to go, and you don't even need to put money down on a Steam Deck to do it - what's not to like?
The ambitiously structured story and Japan-exclusive release for Live-A-Live have made it a holy grail for lovers of SNES RPGs, and now it's set to return on July 22 with pre-orders open now. Play as a range of unique characters in a history-spanning tale and savor those fully remastered, Octopath-esque 2.5D visuals.
Nintendo Switch Sports
A successor to Wii Sports is on the way. Nintendo Switch Sports is launching on April 29, 2022, bringing Bowling, Tennis, and Chambara back from previous games. On top of those three, there'll be new additions in the form of Badminton, Volleyball, and a version of soccer played with a giant ball, using the leg strap that you may recognise from Ring Fit Adventure. A free update in fall will add golf to the list, too. As ever, you'll be able to challenge your friends in local multiplayer, but there'll also be online play available through Nintendo Switch Online.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival
Well hot damn, it’s a new Taiko no Tatsujin game on the Nintendo Switch. Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival arrives at some point later this year for Nintendo Switch, offering a generous 76 tracks in total, including a brand new practice mode for those who want to get into the swing of things before heading to the stage. Elsewhere, there’s a new four-player mode in Rhythm Festival, which is sure to generate carnage, and there’s also a brand new 1v1 competitive mode called Great Drum Toy War. Finally, there’s actually an in-game subscription service offering over 500 songs, meaning this is probably the largest Taiko no Tatsujin game to date.
If you thought Square Enix’s new strategy RPG looks a lot like Octopath Traveler, then you’d be correct, because it’s from the chief producer of the beloved RPG. This time though, Triangle Strategy pits a band of heroes against brutal strategic battles, and there’s a Prologue Demo out later today, which covers the first three chapters of the new game, the progress of which will carry over to the final game.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
Originally announced back in December, we got a reminder that new paid-for DLC is dropping for Cuphead on June 30. It will feature a new playable character in the form of Ms Chalice and is the final chapter for the game.
Metroid Dread’s getting new content, sort of. There’s a new update out later today on February 9 for the action-packed return of Samus, featuring two new difficulty modes. Dread mode means a single hit spells death for Samus, while the more generous Rookie mode lets Samus live to fight another day with increased health. Further off on the horizon, a boss rush mode will be available via a free update later this year in April, pitting Samus against all the bosses she faced off against in the main game, one after another.
Earthbound + Earthbound Beginnings
Nintendo is bringing both Earthbound and Earthbound Beginnings, the hard-to-find officially localized version of the NES game that started the strange and wonderful JRPG series, to Nintendo Switch Online today. If you've ever played as Ness in Super Smash Bros. and wanted to learn what his whole deal is, this is your chance - though we'll have to keep dreaming of an official Mother 3 release to do the same for Lucas.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Course Pack
There was no sign of the long-awaited Mario Kart 9, but Nintendo did offer arguably the next best thing. Mario Kart 8 is getting 48 new tracks - doubling the size of its total selection. The catch, however, is that they'll be releasing in six batches between now and the end of 2023, the first of which is coming in March. You'll also have to pay for the new content - the Booster Course pack will be $24.99, or will be available for free for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
The reveal trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is characteristically melancholy and filled with oversized swords, cat girls, and giant Titans. The third main game in the series stars Noah and Mio, two youths who are caught up in the war between the nations of Keves and Agnus, much like the rest of the game's core cast of six.
The main theme of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was simply described as "life," and Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi teased that the sequel will "tie together the futures of the worlds" depicted in the first two games (not Xenoblade Chronicles X, for the record) when it arrives this September, which could explain some of the vaguely familiar and partially obscured characters in the trailer. Developer Monolith Soft is known for dense, story-rich, and dramatic JRPGs, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 certainly looks the part at first blush.