This week, Nintendo hosted its most recent Nintendo Direct presentation and announced some unbelievably exciting games and gave us information about known projects. The company even announced an expanded version of its Switch Online service, bringing games from additional consoles to the platform. Nintendo is definitely looking to increase gamers' time on the console.
The Nintendo Switch has always had the potential to be the go-to platform for retro gaming but has somehow come up short. Possibly because its focus has been only on the really old consoles. But that is about to change, as Nintendo 64 titles, as well as Sega Genesis, will be coming to Switch Online. Unfortunately, there's a big catch.
You'll need to sign up for a new tier of Switch Online called Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. While Nintendo did not announce any pricing for what this new bundle will cost, you can be sure that it will be above the $20 per year that Switch Online costs today. However, there will be a great collection of high-profile N64 games available at launch.
- Dr. Mario 64
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario Kart 64
- Mario Tennis 64
- Sin and Punishment
- Star Fox 64
- Super Mario 64
- Yoshi's Story
Following the initial launch, other titles, including Banjo-Kazooie, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and Paper Mario will be made available. On the Sega Genesis side of the house, there will also be some great titles available at launch.
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Contra: Hard Corps
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Phantasy Star IV
- Shining Force
- Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage 2
To make this even better, Nintendo announced new Switch controllers that are modeled after the original N64 and Genesis controllers. In Japan, they will be getting the 6-button Genesis controller, while those of us here in the States will be getting the lesser 3-button variant. Why? Who knows? As with everything related to this new offering, pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.
We've been waiting a long time to hear new information about Bayonetta 3. In fact, it was starting to feel like a fever dream that the game was supposed to exist at all. The premiere trailer debuted December 7, 2017, so it definitely feels like a different lifetime after the last 18 months. The good news is that the fever dream has become real, and we have new information.
Bayonetta is back and sporting a brand new look, different colored guns, and a new... voice? It sounds like it's time for a refresh for our friends at the 3000 Brigade, too. If you've played the second game, you'll likely be wondering how all of this is possible. The theory is that this game takes place in a different timeline, fast forwarded. But, most importantly, she still has all of her hair magic and torture moves that we've come to know and love.
In addition to the timeline, the game seems to take place in a new setting. We're all hoping and wondering if we will see some returning characters, like Jeanne, our favorite weapons dealer Rodin, or even the estranged troublemaker, Enzo. Unfortunately, we've got some time to wait before we can get answers to these questions.
While it may not be a new title announcement, we did learn a lot of new information about Splatoon 3. First, the theme of the story for the game is Return of the Mammalians. For those who are unfamiliar with the franchise's lore, all mammals disappeared before the events of the first game. What does this title mean for the game, and how will it affect the gameplay? We'll learn that closer to the game's release.
We also got a look at some of the stages that will be available. Two were new, while one, Museum d'Alfonsino, is returning from the first Splatoon title. Eeltail Alley, which is all new in this presentation, is described as "An old neighborhood in the center of Splatsville, it's become a popular hangout for the town's young folk. With a walkway spanning up and over the area, this is surely a dynamic location for Turf War battles!"
The other new stage, which was seen in a previous video, had its name revealed - Scorch Gorge - and it is described as "We hear the strange rocks that rise up like chimneys were once undersea hydrothermal vents that now appear on land due to changes in the planet's surface. This area is also designated as a national park and quite popular."
Finally, we've got new special weapons.
- Crab Tank, which is exactly what it sounds like
- Big Bubbler, a larger and fixed version of the original Bubbler from the first game
- Zipcaster, which is similar to the Ink Jet special, in that you return to your starting spot, but you work a bit like Spider-Man
- Trizooka, a modified version of the special from the first game, which allows you to fire three blasts at once three times
- Killer Wail 5.1, a modified version of the special from the first game, creates six autonomous megaphones that chase enemies
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
After spending too much time as a crocheted goofball, our favorite pink demon has returned to the 3D realm, and he's looking good. In fact, the gameplay looks to be inspired heavily by Mario Odyssey, and that is not a bad thing. In the trailer, we get to see several known versions of Kirby, as well as something akin to the Katamari franchise. We even see him fight what we're calling Punk Rock Donkey Kong.
While we may not know a ton about why the world seems abandoned or what his quest is in this land, we do know that the game will release in Spring 2022.
Mario Party Superstars
It looks like Nintendo finally remembered that Mario Party exists, and that people really like it. Or at least they used to. This game seems to be taking us back in time to the Nintendo 64 days, including bringing back some of the old boards and mini games. They have also added online play to these old boards, bringing them new life. You can also play the mini games online, without the need to play the full boardgame.
The game offers some boards that are affected by day and night, meaning that they can change their behavior as you play. Boo, for example, is dormant during the day, but can steal stars at night. This is a really unique addition to the game, and one I look forward to playing with our team.
This game has you playing Samus (no shock there) investigating Planet ZDR, an uncharted planet, where you must find out whether the X Parasite, also known as Unidentified Parasite Creature-X, still exists. In addition, the E.M.M.I. robots (that appear to have been designed by Boston Dynamics) that were sent to investigate previously have gone dark, and you must try to figure that out as well.
You'll get to explore several different environments (better known as levels), which will each have different ecosystems, creatures, and objectives. Throughout the planet, you'll also encounter ruins of the Chozo, who might have once lived on the planet (which would make it not quite uncharted - oops).
The game feels a lot like previous Metroid titles, with a strong emphasis on fear. It adds an interesting dynamic to the gameplay, and we look forward to seeing how it unfolds when the game releases in just a few weeks.