After surprise announcing a new episode of Nintendo Direct, today provided us with 40 minutes of updates coming over the next several months to the Switch.
The obvious reveals included The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a title six years in the making and one of the most anticipated games of 2023. While we all can expect some exciting new trailers, gameplay, and release dates, I’m hoping we see some surprises that’ll really make the Switch’s lineup shine going into the rest of the year.
My big ask is to hear more about Advance Wars: 1+2 Re-Boot Camp, which was delayed last year due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The last Direct featured information on The The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Fire Emblem Engage.
Here are all the reveals, gameplay clips, and release dates revealed today:
Kicking off the hour was a brand-new look at Pikmin 4. The trailer featured the iconic gameplay fans have come to love from the series. In addition, we also got a new character, a new Ice-type Pikmin, a dog named Otachi who helps the Pikmin by breaking walls, pulling objects, and moving across bodies of water.
Nintendo confirmed the release date for Pikmin 4 — July 21, 2023
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
We got a look at Masha, the newest character coming to Xenoblade Chronicles 3. She’s a Lapidarist, using special ores to bestow various effects. Masha’s expansion comes with a rogue-like style of gameplay in the form of Archsage’s Gauntlet. You pick a character and take on waves of progressively harder enemies. Each victory means you’ll unlock new heroes and special abilities and endgame outfits.
We also got a look at Volume 4 of the expansion pass which somehow includes Shulk, Rex, and Alvis.
The third expansion launches on February 15, 2023.
Samba De Amigo Party Central
Previously leaked before the event, Samba De Amigo Party Central is official.
It will be available Summer of 2023
Build your own brand and become the ultimate influencer in Fashion Dreamer, coming to Nintendo Switch later this year! 👗👚🎀 pic.twitter.com/sL34dDUhQA
— XSEED Games (@XSEEDGames) February 8, 2023
XSEED Games revealed Fashion Dreamer at the Direct event. Explore the virtual world of Eve, where fashion fantasies are made real and anyone can become the ultimate trendsetter!
Using your avatar known as a Muse, you’ll be able to create your own haute couture for your Muse, choosing from over a thousand patterns to create a one-of-a-kind look. Once you find your style, you’ll display your fashions in a customizable showroom. Featuring asynchronous multiplayer, the world of Eve is inhabited by the Muses of players from around the world, allowing players to find inspiration or earn Likes for their most iconic fit virtually anywhere.
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania
The Return to Castlevania expansion for Dead Cells arrives on March 6, and pre-orders are live today.
The Beheaded returns with help from Richter Belmont and Alucard. Together, the three Return to Castlevania to stop Dracula. A bundle including Dead Cells and the Return to Castlevania DLC is available for $22.99 US, while another including the base game and all released DLC will be available for $31.99 US.
With two new biomes, a ton of new weapons, and enemies, you’ll face off against some of the toughest enemies yet.
Tron Identity from Bithell Games is coming this April.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
A remastered port is coming to the Switch this summer from Capcom. As Sissel, you’ll chase clues and explore the spirit world. You’ll work towards solving who killed you by using your newfound powers to discover the truth before time runs out.
The resolution is now 1080p and 60 frames per second with an optimized UI for both controller and touch support. There are also Trophies available and newly recorded and arranged music in the Extras menu.
The enhanced port is coming to Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Level 5 is back with Deca Police!
DECASIM, a virtual world created from a perfect copy of reality.
More than just a simulation, it’s a complete copy of a real city, a forbidden place where memories of every past crime lie dormant.
“Clues” found in DECASIM can help unravel the riddles of the real world.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
We got another look at PlatinumGames’ Bayonetta prequel, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon. You’ll strategically control both Cereza and Chesire as the demon seeks to protect the young witch from harm in the dangerous forest.
Nintendo confirmed it will launch on March 17, 2023
Nintendo revealed our first look at the Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass. Wave 1 Inkopolis will be available this spring. Fans of the original Splatoon are going to enjoy returning to the city.
Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass Side Order serves as Wave 2 and will be available at a later date. It will be a single-player campaign.
The Expansion Pass will be available to purchase today, which unlocks access to bonus in-game currency, plus food and drink tickets.
Disney Illusion Island
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy team up to explore the mysterious island of Monoth in Disney Illusion Island. The four-player co-op title is coming on July 28, 2023, and tasks you with finding three magical books.
The gameplay is reminiscent of the Ori series and I would even say I see hints of the incredible Rayman Legends in today’s trailer. The art style is also spectacular as it looks like a storybook coming to life.
Fire Emblem Engage
Announced today, Fire Emblem Engage’s Expansion Pass Wave 2 is available later today. The first wave introduced Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude. Now, Wave 2 is bringing Hector (Emblem of Strength), Soren (Emblem of Acumen), and Camilla (Emblem of Revelation) to the world of Elyos.
Nintendo also detailed Wave 3 — Chrom and Robin (Emblem of Bonds) and Veronica (Emblem of Heroes).
Surprisingly, Wave 4 is a bit different from what we’ve seen so far. In this wave, we’re getting new story content via Fell Xenologue will be a new story expansion.
Harmony: The Fall of Revere
Dontnod‘s new game was revealed today via the Nintendo Direct!
In the very near future… When Polly returns home after a few years abroad to look for her missing mother, she quickly realizes that her hometown has drastically changed. A megacorporation named MK is using its power to control the population, and her community is in danger.
She soon discovers that she has a gift of clairvoyance that connects her to Reverie, the realm of the Aspirations of Humanity: Glory, Bliss, Power, Chaos, Bond, and Truth. In this world, Polly becomes Harmony, a goddess who has the power to choose the Aspiration that will ultimately rule over Reverie and restore the delicate balance between the deities’ world and ours.
Octopath Traveler II
A new Octopath Traveler II demo is live today.
You can play for three hours and carry over your saved game data to the full game. Travel beyond starting areas is restricted, but you can explore those corners of Solistia to your heart’s content.
Octopath Traveler II launches on February 24.
We Love Katamari REROLL +Royal Reverie
Bandai Namco’s We Love Katamari REROLL +Royal Reverie is launching on June 2, 2023 for Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and PC.
The series returns with an updated version of the original Katamari Damacy. The new title added quality-of-life enhancements and new modes including Selfie Mode and Eternal Mode — adding casual play and no time limits. In addition, there are five new challenge levels themed around the story of the King of All Cosmos, with new collectibles to find, too.
Sea of Stars
A new look at Sabotage Studios’ Sea of Stars was on-hand during today’s Nintendo Direct. Inspired by Golden Sun, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy, the prequel to The Messenger is getting a demo today on the Switch, offering us our first chance to demo an early section of the final product.
Sea of Stars launches on August 29, 2023.
Odyssey Interactive, based out of Waterloo, Ontario, is working on Omega Strikers. This 3v3 “Footbrawler” was founded by former Riot Games leads and the free-to-play cross-platformer is launching on April 27, 2023.
Omega Strikers blends the best parts of modern competitive multiplayer games, weaving in goal-focused objectives, physical fun and knockouts, and character depth and mastery into thrillingly fast-paced matches.
Etrain Odyssey Origins Collection
Atlus revealed a new collection coming to the Switch and PC later this year. Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection is fully remastered and adds new features like remastered visuals, remastered soundtrack and quality-of-life improvements like difficulty selection, save slots, and easier access to the in-game monster compendium.
The collection includes Etrian Odyssey 1, Etrian Odyssey 2, and Etrian Odyssey 3 and features 24-brand new character portraits. Those who pre-order will gain access to unique portraits based on Persona, Shin Megami Tensei and Soul Hackers.
Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection launches on June 1, 023
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
We finally have a date! After being delayed due to the events of the Ukraine invasion, it will now launch on April 21, 2023.
Join Andy, Max, Sami, and more in two full-story campaigns, each one filled with colourful turn-based tactical action and go head-to-head in local and online play.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
A new campaign called Magolor Epilogue The Interdimensional Traveler is being added!
Starring Magolor, you’ll defeat enemies and earn points to restore your abilities. You can restore his powers in any order, and explore 20 levels, with up to four players exploring the realm.
You can access this epilogue after clearing the story mode. A demo will be available later today for Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe.
It will launch on February 24, 2023.
Nintendo Switch Online
Game Boy games are finally being added to Nintendo Switch Online! You can use Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket or Game Boy Color screen filters to help customize your play style.
The Launch Lineup of Game Boy – Nintendo Switch Online
- 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
- Kirby’s Dream Land
Launch Lineup of Game Boy Advance – Nintendo Switch Online
- Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
- Kuru Kuru Kururin
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Metroid Prime 1 Remastered
Nintendo dropped one of the biggest reveals in ages! Metroid Prime: Remastered is coming to the Nintendo Switch. It has been fully remastered for the console.
With modernized controls and remastered visuals, you can choose to play with a dual-stick control setup or use the classic control scheme.
It will launch digitally on the Nintendo Switch later today. A physical version will land in stores on February 22, 2023.
Master Detective Archives: Rain Code
During today’s Nintendo Direct, we got another look at Master Detective Archives: Rain Code from Too Kyo Games. Kazutaka Kodaka, the writer behind the Danganronpa series is working on this title.
You play as Yuma, a detective in training who is haunted by a spirit called Shinigami. Set in Kandai Ward, the city of rain currently gripped by unsolved murders, you’ll explore the city to find Solution Keys to solve the murders.
Baten Kaitos I and II Remastered
One of my favourite reveals of the event, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean and Baten Kaitos Origins return with remastered graphics. Bandai Namco is working on improving the graphics with new features meant to aid game progression.
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean tells the story of Kalas, on a revenge-seeking mission to avenge his brother and grandfather. With Xelha, the duo embarks on a journey to fight the Alfard Empire.
Baten Kaitos Origins is a prequel set 20 years before the first game. Playing as Sagi, a spiriter connected to the Guardian Spirits must set out on a journey to clear his name after being framed.
Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time
Level-5 had another game to show today during the Nintendo Direct. Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time is a confirmed sequel to Fantasy Life, the 2014 life-sim on the Nintendo 3DS.
Not much is known right now but the trailer sure looks great! It appears the original classes return including Paladin and Blacksmith.
PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo
Square Enix revealed PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo during today’s Nintendo Direct. Set in the Showa Period in Tokyo’s Suida City, it is described as a multi-layered collection of ghost stories around several protagonists who possess the “power of curses”.
You play as the cursed characters while investigating and exploring Honjo. Throughout the day, you explore areas of the city, solve puzzles, and find clues to unravel the mysteries behind the seven deadly curses.
PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo will be available through Steam on March 8, 2023, and on Nintendo Switch on March 9, 2023,
Professor Layton and the New World of Steam
When I said Level-5 is back, I meant it! Three exciting new games from the developer at one Nintendo Direct. Nothing bigger than a new Professor Layton title, I’d wager, though!
The title is about all we know so far — Professor Layton and the New World of Steam will launch worldwide.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Course Pass Wave 4
Wave 4 will launch this spring with Birdo joining in on the fun! We’re also getting Yoshi’s Island, a new course as part of Wave 4.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
We got a brand new trailer for May’s sequel to Breath of the Wild. The trailer begins with an ominous voice asking his minions to destroy the Kingdom of Hyrule. We get a brand new look at several features coming to the sequel including what looks like some sort of tank-link vehicle, an air balloon, and an air glider.
Did you catch Link’s brand-new arm/gauntlet? It looks like it’ll be doing more than taking on enemies and could very well be a tool to use in puzzles.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches for Nintendo Switch on May 12 and is listed at $89.99 CAD. A Collector’s Edition and Link Amiibo will be available day and date.