Home / News / 2/8 Nintendo Direct Delivers Retro Goods

2/8 Nintendo Direct Delivers Retro Goods

The 2/8 Nintendo Direct was a whole forty minutes of ports, DLC, and previously-announced titles. But when the ports are so good, it’s hard to complain.

That’s a little reductive. There were a couple of surprises in addition to more Advance Wars, more Rain Code, and more The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Pikmin 4’s original unveiling almost doesn’t count. But for my money, it’s the return of some long-MIA greats that made this direct soar.

If you’re looking for the press-release version of the news without color commentary, then you can take a look at Jason’s earlier coverage. Or just watch the 45-minute show for yourself!

Otherwise, let’s dig in, shall we?

Pikmin 4

The 2/8 Nintendo Direct wasted no time getting started, opening with a deep look into Pikmin 4. The new Ice Pikmin look like a fun way to interact with the world, but the bizarre dog creature is sure to have a greater impact on gameplay. The real question is how much harder the new low camera angle will make combat. It’ll be worth it either way: the greater view of the surrounding environments cements a sense of place.

The actual real question is whether or not Pikmin 4 will have cooperative modes of play. Pikmin 3 introduced an addictive selection of stages to master in a challenge mode, and its Wii U port brought full campaign co-op. One can only hope we’ll see both return to this new title!

And let’s not forget how horrifying the idea of a night-time planet excursion is…

If you haven’t played a Pikmin game before, uh, hop to it, because you’re missing out on one of the most charming franchises around.

Pikmin 4 will come out on July 21 this year, and might just be the perfect place to start.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass

The highlight of the announced DLC is definitely the new story chapter, which if it’s anything like Xenoblade 2’s Torna: The Golden Country will be a must-play new adventure in the series. The teaser features a major glow-up for both prior Xeno-protags, Shulk and Rex. 

But before that comes out later this year, a new character, Masha the Lapidarist, will release on February 15, as well as a roguelike challenge mode.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central 

The classic rhythm game returns to Nintendo Switch this summer! 1-2 players local and 1-8 players online will get to play “40 hit songs from the world’s most popular genres,” with more coming as DLC. The trailer has plenty of charm, so here’s hoping things shake out for a phenomenal return to form!

Fashion Dreamers

syn Sophia and Nintendo’s Style Savvy series is a perhaps surprisingly rich set of fashion games, featuring delightful characters, goofy scenarios, and heartwarming character growth. More than you might expect at first glance.

If you’re at all familiar with the games, then Fashion Dreamers surely felt instantly recognizable. syn Sophia is developing this title, which eschews the boutique setting of their Nintendo-published IP in favor of social elements and influencer aspirations. It’s at once exciting to see them jump onto the Switch and a little disappointing that their first game isn’t a new Style Savvy. Marvelous is taking publishing duties on this one. Launching 2023.

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania

Preorders are open for March 6 for Dead Cells’ Castlevania homage, which features locales, weapons, music, and characters from the legendary series. 

Tron: Identity

A narrative puzzle adventure/visual novel set in the universe of Tron is being developed by the team behind Thomas Was Alone and will be releasing in April 2023.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

First released during the sunset of the DS’s lifespan, the cult classic Ghost Trick is coming to Nintendo Switch! Possess and control objects to solve puzzles, save lives, and solve mysteries this summer when we’re all given a second chance not to miss Ghost Trick!

DecaPolice

The trailer for Level-5’s new DecaPolice is a stylish introduction to a brand new open-world RPG that pairs the virtual world with police detective work. It’s a delicious-looking game slated for 2023 that should be an excellent title for those who are just wrapping up Persona 5 Royal.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon

The fairy-tale aesthetic and tone of the new game (announced a few months ago) may be at odds with Bayonetta’s first three titles, but Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon looks to follow those fine footsteps with plenty of style. Available March 17.

Splatoon 3 Expansion Pass

If you’ve been missing Inkopolis from Splatoon 1, then you’re in luck! The hub of the original game is coming to Splatoon 3 as part of the Expansion Pass’s first wave. New shopkeepers may sell the same gear in Splatsville, but they’ll give you a chance to enjoy a different vibe between matches. Splatsfests will even let you enjoy performances by the original Squid Sisters. Spring 2023 is close, which means we’ll find out if old maps, weapons, or supers make a return alongside this blast from the (not-too-distant) past.

I’m really hoping for the OG Killer Wail!

Even more exciting is Wave 2, brand-new story DLC taking place in Splatoon 2’s hub, which appears completely bleached and underwater. Called Side Order, no doubt in reference to the losing side of Splatoon 2’s final Splatfest (Chaos vs. Order), Wave 2 launches at an undetermined date.

The Expansion Pass is available for purchase now for $24.99.

Disney Illusion Island

Disney Illusion Island brings cooperative platforming for four to the Switch on July 28. Launching at $39.99, the title features Mickey Mouse and friends in a striking art style to match its recent cartoons. The trailer showed running, jumping, double-jumping, and swinging, in addition to co-op exclusive actions like hugs, leap-frog jumps, and ropes. All around it looks like quite the good time.

Fire Emblem Engage: Expansion Pass

Fire Emblem Engage’s second wave of Emblems includes Fire Emblem’s Hector, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn’s Soren, Fire Emblem Fates’ Camilla. Wave 3 stars Chrom and Robin from Fire Emblem Awakening, and Veronica from Fire Emblem Heroes.

Wave 4 is the real fun, with a new story, Fell Xenologue. New characters, new enemies, and new missions await.

Wave 2 is out now, but the wait shouldn’t be too long for the rest.

Harmony: The Fall of Reverie

Don’t Nod showed off this new science-fiction narrative adventure chock-full of choices and diverging story paths. With an OST by Celeste’s Lena Raine, it’s sure to be a moody experience this June, 2023.

Octopath Traveler II

Demo out now! Data transfers to the game when it launches on February 24.

We Love Katamari ReRolled+Royal Reverie

We Love Katamari is being rerolled with new challenges. The Switch predecessor will be available as a Game Trial on NSO on February 20th, which should make the wait for the vague 2023 release date here easier to take.

Sea of Stars

Demo out now! The game comes out on August 29. Should be perfect for playing after I wrap up Chained Echoes.

Omega Strikers

A free-to-play soccer-like game originally out on PC is coming to Switch. It’s worth a look if you want a new online game to play with friends. Easy to learn, harder to master, it’s definitely the sort of game that rewards patience, especially since as a free-to-play game, you have to be patient to unlock anything.

Etrian Odyssey 1-3 HD

There are no better first-person dungeon-diving RPGs. Those might be fighting words, but I’m simply so enamored with this series. The DS titles are being packaged together (and sold separately) on the Switch, complete with difficulty settings and 24 new character art options. Worth noting: the first two titles won’t be their Untold versions (the 3DS remakes with new features), but their original DS forms. This is the first time 3 has ever been rereleased though, and as one of the best in the series, it’s worth checking out. Each game will be available on June 1st, sold individually for $39.99 and bundled together for $79.99.

I am seriously hoping that their transition to Switch is indicative of the franchise’s return (it may just be), and that we’ll see an Etrian Odyssey 6 before long.

Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp

April 21, 2023 replaces the old April 2022 release date. The trailer showed no gameplay, which was weird, but it’s a fantastic strategy series that ALSO better get a new game before long.

Kirby’s Return to DreamLand Deluxe

Magalor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveler might be this game’s Bowser’s Fury, a brand new story mode available as part of the complete package. This one is only playable after beating the main game, unfortunately, but it looks like a fairly interesting take on the classic Kirby platforming. Learn abilities in any order as you defeat foes and collect Magic Points. Still co-op. Looks like a nice addition to the Kirby port. Demo available today, which includes some sub-games. Full game launches Feb 24.

Nintendo Switch Online: Game Boy (Color) and Game Boy Advance

NSO expands at last! Thank you, 2/8 Nintendo Direct, for bringing us Tetris, Super Mario Land 2 – 6 Golden Coins, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Gargoyle’s Quest, Game and Watch Gallery 3, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, Metroid II – Return of Samus, Wario Land 3, and Kirby’s Dream Land, all available today. Play local and online play and enjoy three visual filters. To come, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Ages, Pokemon Trading Card Game, and Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble

For NSO+, six Game Boy Advance titles are also available now: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (eReader stages included), WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, Kuru Kuru Kururin, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

To come: Metroid Fusion, Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, Fire Emblem, and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. 

Unsurprisingly, I am quite excited to play Kirby and F-Zero in particular, because this will be the easiest it’s ever been to play them in multiplayer. No Link Cables or multiple copies are required!

As it usually goes with NSO additions, the true value remains to be seen. Rate of release and possible included titles are unknown. What’s here is all good, but there’s a whole suite of GBA titles in particular that I hope make the service!

Metroid Prime Remastered

This week’s 2/8 Nintendo Direct shadow-dropped Metroid Prime Remastered (physical release to come on February 22) for $39.99. With expertly upgraded visuals and several control options, there’s no doubt this is the new definitive wave to play the classic adventure. Not a fan of shooter games? Don’t let that turn you away from Metroid Prime, which is more akin to Zelda than it is Call of Duty

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE

Still just as intriguing as it’s first showing, Master Detective Archives looks like it’ll be a smashing Danganropa successor. Use supernatural abilities to solve investigations and enter dungeons. The game launches on June 30.

Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster

February 17’s Tales of Symphonia Remaster is soon to be joined by this summer’s dual pack of Baten Kaitos RPGs! Gamecube classics like these have long deserved a return, and I can’t be more pleased to see them. Pre-dating deck-building roguelikes by generations, Baten Kaitos features its own card system. Here it isn’t only attacks and spells, but everything in the world that can be stored in cards, and real-time clocks have an effect on their degradation. Make sure to use your apple card before it spoils! The two games will be released in a single package this summer.

Now that the Switch will have Tales of Symphonia and Baten Kaitos, we only need Skies of Arcadia: Legends to make the jump and we’ll have the complete suite of Gamecube’s RPG Trinity!

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time

The 3DS’s Fantasy Life is receiving a sequel of its own with time-traveling Fantasy Life i. Take on a wide array of jobs to build up your town, fight against monsters, and make the island your own. 

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam

It’s not much, but a quick tease of Level-5’s Professor Layton is exciting news for puzzle-game fans who’ve been eager to crack their heads against devious riddles.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC

The Booster Pack for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe showed off its next wave, featuring a brand new Yoshi’s Island stage (looks delicious!) and returning character Birdo (yum!). Wave 4 launches Spring 2023. As usual, if you have NSO+, no extra cost.

A final teaser reel snuck in before the final trailer, a reminder of some upcoming games: Minecraft Legends launches April 18; Blanc comes out February 14; Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection comes out April 14; Have a Nice Death, March 22; WBSC eBASEBALL: POWER PROS, now, 99 cents; Disney Dreamlight Valley’s new update comes in April; Tales of Symphonia Remastered launches February 17.

I’m particularly excited for Tales of Symphonia Remastered (which stands as one of the best Tales of games, towering over the likes of Berseria and Xillia with the other monarchs: Abyss and Vesperia) and Blanc, a co-operative adventure starring a dog (fox? wolf?) and a deer.

That leaves us with…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

I dare not learn any more about this game before it launches on May 12, but that final trailer shot of Link reaching out for Zelda sure does make me wonder. “Please, lend him your power.” ???

Oh, and it’s launching for $70. Of course, if you get the Nintendo Switch Vouchers, you can get it for $50, so don’t be a schmuck. Unless you prefer physical. Then I can’t help you, and I’m sorry. Maybe you can pick up the new amiibo to go along with it? You’ll likely have less luck with the Deluxe Edition, seeing how those are probably already out of stock anywhere but on ebay (for $400).

Phew. That’s everything. For me, that was a grade-A direct elevated by the return of treasured memories (GBA, Baten Kaitos, Metroid Prime, and Etrian Odyssey), interesting new titles (DecaPolice), new games in MIA series (Professor Layton, Fantasy Life i, kind-of-Style-Savvy Fashion Dreamers), and delightful trailers for the biggest hitters of the season (Pikmin 4 and Zelda). Oh, and some sweet RPG demos are available now.

It doesn’t get much better than that, even if Nintendo’s near future was light on surprises of their own.


About Michael

Brutal Gamer's Nintendo Editor spends an endless amount of time on his Switch (when he isn't lost in the mountains), dreaming of the return of 1080, F-Zero, and Custom Robo.

Check Also

The Forges of Corruption are open, as Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun’s expansion has arrived

The Ultramarine is back, and ready to purge some xenos and Chaos scum, in The …