Nintendo presented a Direct today with news about games coming out during the first half of 2023. There’s a ton of release dates, some vague, some specific, some even coming out today. You can watch the whole thing here or by watching the video above. I’ve listed most of the announcements below, my commentary is inline and boy do I have a lot of comments.
Pikmin 4 comes out July 21, 2023.
Xenoblade Chronicles DLC Volume 3
The DLC introduces a new character and will be released February 15th. Volume 4 will be released later this year.
Samba de Amigo: Party Central
You shake the joy-con controllers like they’re maracas. There’s a “love checker” mode to check compatibility between two players. There’s a “world party mode” that is basically last man standing wins. Samba de Amigo: Party Central will include 40 songs at launch and comes out this summer.
Okay, this has got to be the worst game I’ve ever heard of. In Fashion Dreamer, your goal is to become a stylish influencer and grow your brand. I vomited a little bit in my mouth just saying that. You go around and if you see an NPC with an outfit you like, you can rate it. You can go online and see what your friends or other people around the world dressed up as and rate their outfits. And of course, you can create your own outfits and hope to get likes as well. Essentially, this is gamified social media. I wouldn’t touch this game with a 10-foot pole and would not recommend it to anyone. There should not be a game about getting likes. It normalizes all the bad things that social media is about. It’s the same reason I hated the game play of Pokémon Snap.
Dead Cells: Return to Castelvania
Okay, this has me super excited. Konami… is whole other topic but more or less abandoned making video games in favor pachinko machines. They seem to have revived their video game department with the announcement of all the Silent Hill projects. Castlevania kinda recently got a little bit of love with the Castlevania Advance Collection released a year and a half ago (a collection which is totally worth getting and an absolute steal at just $19.99). But this, a DLC pack of what looks like a full blown Castlevania game? Count me in. I’ve never played Dead Cells but I may have to now. Pre-orders start today.
This is a timed exclusive for Switch and will be released in April.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
This looks like a fun anime-inspired RPG. Game date is set for 2023.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the last Demon
Bayonetta is an interesting set of games. Despite owning them, I’ve never played them. This prequel is a radical departure from its hack’n’slash formula. You play as Cereza before she became known as Bayonetta, and partner up with a demon known as Cheshire. As Cereza you can’t attack and instead provide support for Cheshire by locking down enemies. You use the left joy-con to control her and the right one to control Cheshire. Not only does the gameplay offer up something different in the series, but the art style is pretty nice too in my opinion. The game comes out on March 17th with pre-orders open right now.
Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass
Okay this is a biggie. An Expansion Pass was announced for Splatoon 3 consisting of two waves. Wave 1 is bringing Inkopolis back from Splatoon 1 as a destination in the game. New shopkeepers, the return of Spike, and Squid Sisters performances during Splatfests are the main draw here.
Wave 2, called “Side Order”, is a single-player campaign. Apparently, something has happened to Inkopolis Square from Splatoon 2. Perhaps the completion of the campaign will unlock Inkopolis Square and bring it into the fold of Splatoon 3 in the same way that Wave 1 brought in Inkopolis from Splatoon 1.
Purchasing the Expansion Pass will net you some bonus items in the game: currency, and food and drink tickets. There is no shortage of food and drink tickets let me tell you so this bonus doesn’t really feel like a bonus.
Wave 1 releases in Spring of 2023. Wave 2 launches sometime later than that. You can purchase the Expansion Pass today. I cannot wait!
Disney Illusion Island
This one caught me by suprised. The art style is utterly charming. Each character has its own personality. A 2D plaformer that features 4-player local co-op, Disney Illusion Island will be available July 28th with pre-orders starting today.
Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass
An update on the upcoming waves. If I’m understanding it correctly, wave 2 and 3 will feature new Emblems / characters and wave 4 will have a new Xenologue story. Wave 2 is available today.
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie
The biggest draw for Harmony seems to be the branching story paths. It’s a timed exclusive and will come out in June.
Octopath Traveler II
Another game to add to my backlog! There is a demo available on eShop right now. The demo for the first game allowed you to carry your save data over to the full game. Not sure if that’s the case with II. The full game comes out February 24th.
We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie
Play as King of the Cosmos. There’s a selfie mode. I think there’s a demo available for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers but I haven’t had a chance to verify that. Meh. Comes out sometime this year.
Sea of Stars
Sea of Stars look like an old-school SNES-era pixelated RPG. The game launches on August 29th with a demo available on the eShop today!
Yet another free-to-play battle royale game. This one comes out on April 27th.
Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection
This collection collects Etrian Odysseys I, II, and III remastered in HD. You can also buy each individual game by itself. There’s a new automapping function which sounds like a huge quality of life upgrade from the original releases. The games launch June 1 with pre-orders open today.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
This game was delayed from last year due to the conflict happening in Europe but I guess Nintendo has feels like it’s okay to relesae now. The release date is April 21 with pre-orders open today.
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe
This is a remake of the Wii game with with a new Magolor epilogue. The epilogue is locked behind the story mode, so clear that and you’ll be able to play this new chapter. The game features 4 player local co-op. The demo even features a special 4-player vs. mode with select stages and games. Launch is set for February 24th.
Game Boy and Game Boy Advance Games for Nintendo Switch Online
Hot off the “it’s about freakin’ time!” desk comes this small tidbit. Nintendo will be releasing Game Boy games on Nintendo Switch Online. Games available at launch will be Tetris, Super Mario Land 2: Six 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, Kirby’s Dream Land. You can choose Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket color filters. You can play 2 player games either locally or online. More games will be drip-fed in the future.
Game Boy Advance games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass. Launch ames include Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (will include 38 extra levels that were available from the e-reader accessory), Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Microgame$, Kuru Kuru Kururin, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. Local and onlnie play for up to 4 players is available for supported games. More games will be added in the future like Metroid Fusion (!) and Golden Sun (!!).
The Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games are available to play today assuming you have the appropriate subscription level. I’m not on the “Expansion Pass” level subscription. Up until now it didn’t seem worth it. But that all changed with the addition of the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games library. That, and since it includes DLC content for games at no extra cost, the value is definitely there now.
Metroid Prime Remastered
I nearly hyperventilated when this came up. It is only the first game which is slightly disappointing but I am holding out hope that the other two games will be remastered and released in the second half of the year and/or next year. The game’s controls have been updated to include dual stick controls or you can opt for the original control mode. It’s available digitally in the eShop right now with a physical version releasing on February 22nd. Hype!
After Metroid, there were bunch of games that were announced that I kind of wasn’t really paying attention to due to the fact that I was in the Metroid Prime Remastered afterglow, up until this next one came up:
Professor Layton and The New World of Steam
No date or anything but it’s gotta be soon right? Why else would it be included in the Direct?
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass – Wave 4
Wave 4 will include a ew course, Yoshi’s Island, and a new selectable character, Birdo. Comes out this spring.
More titles I kind of was half paying attention to like Minecraft Legends, Blanc (February 14), Mega Man Battle Network, Have A Nice Death (March 22nd), some kind of baseball game, Disney Dreamlight Valley (April), and Tales of Symphonia Remastered (February 23).
The final segment of the Direct was this:
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The release date is May 12. Pre-orders are open today for the regular edition, a Collector’s Edition featuring the game, a SteelBook, a poster, a pin set, and an art book:
and a new Link amiibo:
Pre-orders start today. Good luck getting the Collector’s Edition. You can check out the official site for more information.
Man, what a doozy of a Direct. Lots of good stuff. Straight 🔥