On the heels of a spectacular 2020, Nintendo has rolled out its timeline for the year ahead — and, well, it's fine.
Just to save you some time: There was no news on Breath of the Wild 2, Metroid, or a "Switch Pro." Despite barely any recent updates from the legendary gaming house, Nintendo continued to play its hand close to the chest regarding any major news about its most anticipated franchise releases. Perhaps the company thinks it can continue to coast out the pandemic without any jaw-dropping releases and, if sales figures are any indication, it's absolutely correct.
The biggest announcement came last: We're getting Splatoon 3 in 2022. Though the Inklings have saturated every corner of Nintendo's brand (with diminishing results), the game looks like it'll be equally as fun as the previous two entries. Who can complain? Hope we make it to 2022!
1 up — In lieu of any mainline Mario game announcements, Nintendo has brought Mushroom Kingdom inspired items over to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There's also Mario Golf Super Rush dropping on June 25, the newest title in Mario's various sports franchises. For a golf game, it seems like a total blast, including a Story Mode starring Mii characters and a "Speed Golf" mode that transforms the sport into a high-speed free-for-all.
Smash — Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting another sword fighting DLC character this March in the form of Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. They'll also bring with them a new Xenoblade-themed stage. At some point, Nintendo will face open revolt if they don't pursue some DLC characters more dynamic than Anime Character #56. May we suggest Waluigi, yet again?
Legendary — While Zelda fans grow impatient waiting for Breath of the Wild 2, Nintendo is attempting to hold them over with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, a remastered version of the game that finally, blessedly, lets you control Link with something other than a WiiMote. The original game continues to be under-appreciated and underrated because of its irritating motion controls and hopefully this can help rewrite its legacy. Should arrive later this year.
Seal of quality — Nintendo also blessed various other first and third party titles coming to Switch, including:
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (hell yes!!!!)
- Tales from the Borderlands (yawn)
- Capcom Arcade Stadium (okay)
- Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (we're bringing back Stubbs? Sure)
- No More Heroes 3 (I don't play these but it's nice and cool for those who do)
- Neon White (interesting but not debuting till fall)
- DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power (I am not its intended audience and neither are you)
- Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (we're still doing this?)
- Miitopia (remember when LGBTQIA characters were banned from Tomodachi Life? Me too!)
- Project Triangle Strategy (this is the working title for a Square Enix game that looks similar to Octopath Traveler. I'll take anything to feed my hunger for more Final Fantasy Tactics)
- Star Wars Hunters (free-to-play garbage)
- Knockout City (dodgeball meets Overwatch)
- Danganronpa pseudo-spinoff World's End Club (NOW WE'RE TALKING)
- Ninja Gaiden Master Collection (yeah, these old games are cool)
- Bravely Default 2 (we knew it was coming but still chill)
- Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection (these games are very hard)
- SaGa Frontier Remaster (I don't know the original but it looks great!)
- Apex Legends (k)
- Legend of Mana Remastered (about time)
- Monster Hunter Rise (you've either pre-ordered it already or you don't care)
- Outer Wilds (a great game)
- Samurai Warriors 5 (I've been tricked into stanning this series by its Zelda spin-offs)
- Two Famicom Detective Club games: The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind modernized for the Switch (strange choice to bring back games from the Famicom Disc System but I like this energy!)
Phew. That was a lot of games — none of which seem like huge, mainstream, breakout cultural moments like Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, or Pokémon. While it's great to see a deluge of releases, would it kill Nintendo to throw Metroid fans a bone? They've got to have a port of the Prime trilogy just sitting around somewhere.
The company also took some time to show off its upcoming console and Pro Controller variants themed around Monster Hunter Rise, and two JoyCon with a coat of Skyward Sword paint. All in all, while we can't wait to get our hands on most of these games... the Switch's graphics are starting to show their age and it's hard to not cringe at the chunky visuals a few titles are relying on.
Please Nintendo, we're begging you, don't make us wait another five hundred and thirty days for a Direct again.