What We Learned From A Wild February Nintendo Direct

Nintendo had a Direct on Wednesday primarily to focus on releases for the first half of 2022. While there was a definite hope for some heavy hitters, nobody was expecting too much for this Direct, especially since most of us thought that Nintendo had pretty much wrapped up some big releases over the holiday season. Oh, how wrong all of us were, because this Direct featured the return of a once dormant franchise, a handful of fantastic ports, an update to a multiplayer classic, and a sequel to one of the best JRPG franchises on the console. Here’s what we learned from a wild February Nintendo Direct.

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Arguably the biggest announcement of the entire direct was the return of the Mario Strikers franchise. No other game announced during the Direct has a wider appeal among both hardcore Nintendo fans and casual ones than a game like Strikers. Mario Strikers: Battle League is going to release this summer and it’s expected to come to us with a boatload of online features. While all of us were expecting that same chaotic gameplay we’ve come to know and love, none of us were expecting the plethora of online modes coming to this new game. The club mode in particular sounds incredibly fun and the perfect game for college dorms across the world. Let’s hope this game is as good as it looks.

Nintendo Switch Sports

Let’s stick with the sports theme and talk about Nintendo Switch Sports! Remember how fun Wii Sports was? Well what if that but new and on the Switch. That is basically what Nintendo Switch Sports is and that is all it really needed to be. The only downside is unlike Wii Sports this game likely isn’t going to be packed into every Switch sold from this point on the way Wii Sports was. Even so, with the return of old favorites like Bowling and Tennis alongside new additions like Volleyball and Soccer, this could still be a game worth spending the extra dollars on.

Splatoon 3 – Salmon Run Next Wave

The biggest complaint about Splatoon 2 at launch was how the new multiplayer mode, Salmon Run, was not available at all times. Hopefully, Splatoon 3 is going to fix that error and allow players free access to the upcoming mode and any changes made to it in Splatoon 3. We got a fun little tease of it during the Direct and we’re excited to try it out more when the game comes out this summer. Splatoon has always been a really fun alternative shooter for players that are tired of the Call of Duty type shooters of the world and a new game is exactly what we need.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might just be a port of Mario Kart 8 on the Switch, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo from giving it updates. While many of us were anticipating news about a rumored new Mario Kart game in development, Nintendo made it clear that its not quite done with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe yet. During the Direct, it announced paid DLC that is going to bring updated versions of 48 courses across the entire Mario Kart series. These courses will be released across six waves, but players can gain access to all of them by paying for the Booster Course Pass. If that sounds a lot like the way it handled Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC then that’s because, well it is. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles is, in a literal sense, one of the biggest JRPG franchises out there. It isn’t as culturally relevant as a Final Fantasy or as popular as a Persona, but the worlds in these games are massive and a delight to explore. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is another one of these and the idea of falling in love with a new world yet again is incredibly exciting. Every JRPG has a niche that makes it fun and Xenoblade Chronicles more than anything else is fun to explore. Those words are so incredibly well crafted with little details spread out throughout all of them. Playtime for a regular playthrough of these games can easily exceed 100 hours and at least 30 of those hours will have been spent just exploring. Not checking off a checklist of quests. Not following the plot. Just exploring and seeing what the world has to offer. These games are fantastic and September can’t come soon enough.