Nintendo Direct February 2023 Roundup
Nintendo were back this past week with their latest Nintendo Direct. Historically February Nintendo Directs are big, in previous years we’ve seen the announcements of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Splatoon 3, and Nintendo set expectations before by saying they would be detailing games mostly coming in the first half of the year. With Zelda Tears of the Kingdom due in May, the internet starting stirring, and expectations were high. Today I’m going to dive into all the major announcements, so lets get to it.
Nintendo kicked off the show with an indepth look at Pikmin 4, revealing a new dog-like character named Otachi. He can help out with enemies and carry the player and Pikmin across water. We also had the announcement that Ice Pikmin will be included in the game for the first time. Pikmin 4 released on 21st July 2023.
Metroid Prime Remaster
This one has been a long time in the making, Nintendo announced and released on the same day Metroid Prime Remaster. This is following in the foot steps of Xbox shadowing dropping Hi Fi Rush earlier in the year, so expectations have been set high for surprise games early in 2023. Apparently Nintendo have had this one for a while, and they were simply waiting for the right time to reveal this, unfortunately for Jeff Grubb’s hair, this is a couple of months too late (he said it would release before end of 2022).
This is a remaster of a gamecube game, and a much celebrated Metroid game at that. We have a physical copy of the game releasing on 22nd February 2023, but we didn’t have any mention of Metroid Prime 4, so it appears that isn;t any closer. Previously we had though the release of Metroid Prime Remaster might start the ramp up to the marketing for Metroid Prime 4, a game that got scrapped and restarted back in 2018 or 2019.
Gameboy and Gameboy Advance
Next up we had the surprise announcement that selected Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games are coming to Nintendo Switch. A small collection of games have been made available just after the Nintendo Direct, with more coming soon.
The Game Boy games that will be available at launch are Tetris, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening DX, Gargoyle’s Quest, Game & Watch Gallery 3, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, Metroid II – Return of Samus, Wario Land 3, and Kirby’s Dream Land. Kirby’s Dreamland was one of my favourite Game Boy games of all time, and I still have the cart and an old gameboy somewhere. Gameboy games also have the option of a filter to make them look like Gameboy, Gameboy Color or Gameboy Pocket games to increase that nostalgia factor.
The Game Boy Advance games that will be available at launch are The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, Kuru Kuru Kururin, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. These games also support local and online play with friends.
More games will be added in the future including The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Ages, Pokemon Trading Card Game, Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble, Metroid Fusion, Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, Fire Emblem, F-Zero Maximum Velocity, and Golden Sun.
This was a solid announcment for me, and it gives me the chance to catch up on some classic Zelda games. I didn’t have a gameboy past the original Gameboy, I missed out on the Advance completely, so it’ll be great to go back to Zelda handheld games like Oracle and Minish Cap, plus Metroid Fusion.
The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom
Nintendo unveiled more information related to Tears of the Kingdom. Previously we’ve only had 90s teaser trailers, but this one went more in depth, clocking in at approximately 2mins 20secs. We got more information about Ganondorf, it looks like Link can build vehicles, plus we got a better look at Link’s green powers. The overall tone of the trailer was darker, and it was interesting to hear Ganondorf’s voice. I’m going to get into much more detail with the Tears of the Kingdom Trailer Breakdown later on, but this was exciting stuff and what every Nintendo fan wanted. As well as the game we got a nice collectors edition, plus a new Amiibo, and confirmation of Amiibo support that changes Link’s glider design based on previous games. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is still set to be released on May 12, 2023.
Advance Wars 1+2: Boot Camp Release Date
Advanced Wars was put on hold because the war in Ukraine, but it’s finally time for this one to see the light of day. It’s releasing on Nintendo Switch on 21st April 2023.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Pass Wave 4
This is coming in Spring 2023 and included new courses, plus we’re getting a new playable character for the first time in a while, with Birdo! Returning characters from other Mario Kart games are also coming soon.
Splatoon 3 announced a hefty expansion pass and will go back to Splatoon 1’s Inkopolis. The squid sisters are returning for special concerts when the first wave of DLC arrives in the Spring. Side Order is another wave coming later, and this one looks very avante garde, black and white, and very different… personally, love the look of this one.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 announced their next wave of DLC, which is due for release on 15th February and will add new hero’s Masha and the Archsage Gauntlet, which offer rouge-like battles. Volume 4 is set to arrive later this year with a new story scenario for players.
Fire Emblem Engage has DLC coming with new characters called Chrom, Robin, Samilla and new story DLC.
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland got a new trailer ahead of the release on 24th February, plus a demo to play, so if you want to try this one before you buy, then jump into that demo.
Octopath Traveller 2 has a demo too, in which progress carries over to the main game. I was a big fan of the original Octopath Traveller, and this one looks to add 8 new stories into the game.
Sea of Stars also gets a new demo, this is from the creators of The Messenger and is an old school RPG. I went into detail on this one on the last episode of the podcast, so if you want to know more check that out and then dive into the demo. This one is coming 29th August 2023.
Other notable announcements
Disney’s Illusion Island looks fantastic, this one is a co-op platformer with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck. Each player has their own special abilities, and looks like a lot of fun. This one is set to release on 28th July 2023.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon got a gameplay trailer. This is a prequel to Bayonetta with a young apprentice called Cereza. This goes into detail about Bayonetta’s early days alongside her demon Cheshire. Players can use elemental powers of wood, rock, water and fire to solve puzzles.
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is coming on 6th March 2023. This is the perfect crossover and includes music and weapons from the Castlevania series, plus you can fight bosses like Dracula alongside Simon Belmont. If you are a fan of Castlevania, this DLC is a no brainer.
Those are the major headlines from my POV, but head on over to Nintendo’s YouTube channel to catch up on the rest of the direct if you want to see the full details.