Game development

Nintendo Direct 2022 highlights: Switch Sports, Mario Strikers and more games announced

In a 40-minute presentation, Nintendo held its first Direct event of 2022, showcasing a number of new titles and remakes. Unfortunately, longtime fans will have to wait a while longer to hear Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2Metroid Prime 4, or the new Mario Kart 9, which has been rumored to be in development for a while. That said, there are some cool ports this time around, although the recent leaked Batman: Arkham Collection was not part of the range. Nevertheless, here are the main titles revealed during the February 2022 Nintendo Direct event.

Mario Strikers: Battle League

This highly anticipated Mario sports game brings some heat to your average 5v5 soccer matches. Players take control of iconic characters and use their special abilities and items to change the tides in the game. One could even equip customizable gear that grants better stats such as speed, strength, and accuracy. Up to 8 players (4 each time) can join a match and compete on a Switch system. It’s been 15 years since the last Strikers game, and this new edition brings online play, power strikes and more.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC

Fans expecting a new Mario Kart title were left very disappointed when Nintendo announced paid DLCs for the existing version through 2023. A total of 48 new courses are expected for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, in bundles of six from March 18 through late 2023. All maps are remastered and imported from previous titles in the franchise, including N64 Choco Mountain, Tokyo Blur Tower, and Wii Coconut Mall. That means we could be well into 2024 before we can play Mario Kart 9 – and until then, settle for $25 DLC.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

As Kirby prepares for his new 3D adventure on March 25, Nintendo has decided to introduce a “mouth mode” to showcase our pink puffball’s powers and appetite. Players can swallow a whole car and zoom around the map or transform into a vending machine to shoot juice cans at incoming enemies. There’s plenty to choose from depending on the puzzles you face, and as you complete missions the town of Waddle Dee continues to grow, providing more resources and fun mini-games. There is also a couch co-op mode when you have a friend over.

Nintendo Switch Sports

Mimicking classic Wii Sports games, Nintendo’s latest announcement brings bowling, tennis, soccer, chambara, badminton and volleyball to take advantage of the Switch’s intuitive motion controls. Players can use Joy-Cons to perform IRL actions that reflect in-game, enabling an active gaming experience. The title is set to release on April 29 and supports online play across all sports. You can also opt in for a beta test later this month by visiting sports.nintendo.com.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

The sequel to the sci-fi RPG series will have a sequel on June 24. The trailer doesn’t provide much information other than the fact that it’s set in the same timeline as 2019’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses. As before, players can expect a sprawling world with machines of war giants and savage monsters. According to executive director Tetsuya Takahashi, the game will be enjoyable and accessible to everyone, whether or not you’re a fan of previous games.

No Man’s Sky

Sean Murray’s An ambitious space exploration game is heading to the Switch this summer. When it launches, the title will include the last five years of updates that Hello World has rolled out for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC versions. Players will soon be able to embark on interstellar journeys through multiple destinations, scavenge resources and build bases while relaxing on their couch. With crossplay enabled, one could also team up co-op with one of their friends on a different platform.

Portal and Portal 2

An absolute classic in the PC gaming space, both Portal games are set to launch later this year, bringing the inventive puzzle exploration experience to the Nintendo Switch. The company promises local, online and split-screen multiplayer at launch, and is listed at $19.99 (roughly Rs 1500) according to developer Valve.

Metroid Dread Update

In a patch now live, Nintendo has released a difficulty mode update for Metroid Dread, bringing high stakes to the game. The first new difficulty is called Dread Mode, adding a one-hit-kill element that transforms Samus into a crisp in an instant. It’s ideal for veteran gamers who wanted a challenging experience of the beloved franchise. There’s also the boss rush mode, which is slated for release in April.