The 2022 Nintendo Direct livestream hosted by Yoshiaki Koizumi took place earlier today, with a number of big pieces of news announced–more than I could put in here. Arguably the biggest is a launch date for the sequel to Breath of the Wild. No longer name after its predecessor, the game is called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be launching on May 12, 2023, and appears to include many of the features from Breath of the Wild, such as climbing, exploring a massive map, and gliding. The gliding will have a big change over Breath of the Wild, though, because you’ll be flying. As many have suspected, Tears of the Kingdom will take place not only on land, but in the sky as well. With massive floating islands in the air, the map size could be a lot larger than BotW, assuming it has a similar amount of land. You’ll be able to move fairly easily between the land and sky, with large, mechanical poles climbing you up to the top, and jumping to a large, stand-on glider to get you to the bottom.
Beyond Zelda, the Nintendo Direct of 2022 focused primarily on four things: remakes and games from other systems, RPGs, and farming sims that may or may not have RPG elements in them.
In the farming category, the game that interested me most was Story of Season: a Wonderful Life, which will release in the summer of 2023. The main reason for this is that characters age, something not present in most farm games. This doesn’t just mean a greying of hair, your child will actually grow up and choose their own life. Instead of a baby sitting in your house forever, you’ll be able to watch your kid get older and say goodbye to them when they go off to university.
Other farming and farm/RPG games are pretty high in numbers.
- Fae Farm puts you on a damaged island that you must restore using magic and plants. It launches in the spring of 2023
- Rune Factory 3 Special is a remake of the classic game (we’re in Run Factory 5 now), with some updates. In addition to better graphics, you’re also going to be able to spend more time with your spouse in a brand-new mode not included in the original. It will release next year.
- Harvestella is a farming and life-simulation by Square Enix RPG with some Final Fantasy elements to it. It launches November 4.
As for not-farm RPGs, two stood out. Octopath Traveller II, Made by Square Enix, it follows the journey of eight characters that have pixel-style graphics. The backgrounds, though, look wonderful. Even with their significantly higher resolution to the characters, they don’t look out of place at all. The other is Fire Emblem Engage, which took place as the opener to Nintendo Direct this year, with Tears of the Kingdom closing things out. While I’m sure the graphics in Tears will be as good or better than the ones in Breath of the Wild, through the amount of actual game footage we were given, Engage took top spot spot. Especially in the cutscenes, Fire Emblem‘s graphics went above what I thought the Switch could do. The game will contain Marth, who helped the west gain interest in the previously unknown series through his existence in Super Smash Brothers: Melee along with his partner, Roy. Taking place 1,000 years after the character Alear fell asleep, the game will launch on January 20, and will have a hard-copy Devine Edition with real-world collectables that–thankfully–doesn’t appear to need a pre-order to get. Other RPGs include Eltelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key, and a number of games that are either remakes or ports from other systems.
Getting into full Nintendo, other sequels to some of their big series were announced. Bayonetta 3 will release on October 28, and will recurring previous characters from the first two games, as well as new people to meet. Bayonetta and her allies will have to protect the people around them from massive bio-weapons known as homunculi gone rogue. A bit less violently, we’ll also be getting a new Pikimin game in the coming year. Pikmin 4 will release in 2023 play like the previous games in the series, but with the ability to see from the pikmins’ perspective. The control of the pikmin will also be a lot easier than in previous games, although we have no gameplay to know what that actually means. We’ll also be getting Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope on October 20, and the first Splatfest for Splatoon 3 will be taking place from September 23 PST to September 25 PST.
Going even more into Nintendo, we’ll be getting some games from the the Nintendo 64. These aren’t remakes (but do have things like online multiplayer added), but direct ports from the original console. These will be release throughout 2022 and 2023, and include:
- Mario Party 1-3
- Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2
- Pilot Wings 64
- Excitebike 64
That’s right, the most beloved FPS of the Nintendo 64 is coming to the Switch, with both local and online multiplayer.
We’ve also got a number or remakes, ports, and DLCs on the way
- The isometric action-adventure game Tunic will launch on September 27
- The Wave 2 expansion pass for Xenoblade Chronicals 3 will include new gameplay and a new character, Ino, and will launch October 13
- The pollution-making game, Factorio, will release for the Switch October 28
- It Takes Two will let you solve puzzles with a friend, and launches November 24
- Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, a Japan exclusive for the Wii, will launch in early 2023
- The Wave 3 expansion for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will launch this holiday season
- Remakes of the tactical strategy games Front Mission 1-3 will launch, with the later games not appearing outside of Japan. 1 will launch in November, 2 in 2023, and 3 with no date other than “the future”
- Tales of Symphonia Remastered will release in early 2023
There are lots of games I didn’t mention that were announced during this September’s Nintendo Direct, and a lot of information I didn’t cover for the games I did mention. For all the games and information included, you can watch the recording of the live stream, which starts about 29:35 into the video.
And still nothing about anything from the Metroid Prime series…my heart aches….
Did you watch this September’s Nintendo Direct? Tell us what you thought in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter!