Hello and welcome to this week's Nintendo recap. We got to see several exciting new game announcements for Switch revealed via the Nintendo Direct on Tuesday. The most notable announcement was the release date for Breath of the Wild 2, which we now know is officially called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Arguably the most exciting news after that revolves around nine classic N64 games coming to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, including GoldenEye 007. There's even more to discuss, so let's get this show on the road and then end with this week's Switch game recommendations!
Nintendo Direct finally reveals official name and release date for BotW 2
Wednesday morning, Nintendo released a 40-minute Nintendo Direct that showcased 53 games and updates headed to the Switch in the next few months. By far, the most exciting news revealed during the September 2022 Nintendo Direct is the official name for Breath of the Wild 2 as well as its release date. The game is called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and is set to release on May 12, 2023.
The trailer was short but gave us several new things to look at, including some new gear attached to Link's belt. It's unclear what these glowing green canisters are at present, but they could afford some new powers or could be an item that Link is out to collect.
We also see Link dive seamlessly from the floating islands above and into the vast world below without any loading time. There in the air Link alights on some bird-shaped floating device, though whether Link commands it or it moves in its own path we don't know.
Breath of the Wild players will recall that there were plenty of ruins in the Faron region of the game. Through some text that players can discover, we know that the beings that made them were magical wielders known as the Zonai. It seems the sequel will require Link to examine their creations and culture.
The UK Nintendo Channel did not stream the Direct in respect for the 12-day national mourning period that marks the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Considering the name for the Breath of the Wild sequel, this was a good call.
Nine N64 games including GoldenEye coming to NSO
Another exciting reveal from the Direct included nine N64 classics that are headed to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. Arguably the most-anticipated title is GoldenEye 007
1080° Snowboarding: Take to the mountains and speed your way to the finish line while performing tricks and outracing your opponents.
Excitebike 64: A Nintendo classic racing series that depicts real-world bike brands and empowers players with the ability to pull land tricky stunts.
Mario Party: The original Mushroom Kingdom party game that launched a franchise. Up to four players participate in a digital board game with minigames between each round.
Mario Party 2: If you ask long-time fans what the best Mario Party game of all time is, they'll likely tell you 2 or 3. This game builds upon the foundation of the original and provides even more minigames and boards to interact with.
Mario Party 3: As with the previous entry, this one worked to refine the Mario Party formula while providing new minigames. Perhaps most importantly, it's the first game that allowed players to play as Waluigi.
Pilotwings 64: This is a classic flight simulator where each flying vehicle handles a bit differently. Try to take on several tasks like flying through hoops, collecting points, and more.
Pokémon Stadium: This was one of the very first games that allowed Pokémon fans to see their beloved characters in 3D. You can battle from a list of available Pokémon. The original version allowed players to import their own Pokémon from Red, Blue, or Yellow if they had the right device, but it's unclear if anything like this is in the Switch version.
Pokémon Stadium 2: This entry is built upon the foundation of the original while providing even more Pokémon for players to command. There are also a few minigames that players can compete in.
GoldenEye 007: A Bond-themed shooter created by Rare that was released two years after a movie of the same name. The mechanics employed in the solo and multiplayer modes defined the genre in the late 90s. The NSO version will have local and online multiplayer.
As was the case with previous N64 games announced for the Expansion Pack, these ones will slowly trickle in one at a time. All of them are expected to join the collection by sometime in 2023.
New Fire Emblem game announced
Fire Emblem Engage was also announced during the Direct and showed off the new protagonist with split red and blue hair. If this character looks familiar, it's because images for this game leaked a few months back, but some people had a hard time swallowing it as a fact with the hero's hair being so unique.
In Engage, players take on the role of a young person known as a Divine Dragon. The world is at risk, so they must partner with familiar Fire Emblem heroes from the past to obtain their skills and weapons.
It certainly feels wildly different for the series compared to the muted and calm look of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Considering that the last entry managed to be the best-selling Fire Emblem game of all time, it will be interesting to see if this one can pull in the same kind of numbers.
Notable games missing from the Direct: Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Advance Wars
Last week, I reported that Jeff Grubb had claimed on his podcast that two Zelda games, Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, were coming to Switch and would be in the Direct. However, this turned out not to be true. While we would love to see these remastered classics ported to Switch, it's unclear if Nintendo will do so as no official reports for these plans have come to light.
Another game that many people expected to see at the Direct was Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp, which had been delayed earlier this year due to the invasion of Ukraine. However, the strategic battle game was also a no-show. Despite this, fans shouldn't give up hope for its release.
I asked Nintendo if Advance Wars 1 + 2 has been cancelled, given the lack of news about it since it was delayed due to the invasion of Ukraine.Nintendo rep's reply: "The release has been delayed. We will announce the new date once it has been determined."September 13, 2022
Axios reporter, Stephen Totilo, reached out to Nintendo asking if the game had been canceled. Nintendo's representative responded by saying, "The release has been delayed. We will announce the new date once it has been determined." While we do not know when this highly-anticipated title will release, we know that the Japanese gaming company hasn't completely dropped it. We'll just have to wait to see when the new launch date is revealed.
Splatoon 3 sales have already passed 3.45 million copies
Splatoon 3 was released last weekend to an excellent start by smashing sales records in Japan. As reported by Nintendo, Splatoon 3 had already sold over 3.45 million copies in Japan within just three days of the game's launch. To put this in perspective, the original Splatoon on Wii U reached a total of 4.95 million sales worldwide in its lifetime, so Splatoon 3 is doing really well. The third entry will certainly surpass that number as we don't even know what sales are like in the US at present. We'll have to wait for Nintendo's next financial report to learn just how well this title has done.
It's no surprise that players are taking to Splatoon 3 so strongly. The game offers several improvements over the previous two entries and offers both a fun solo mode and a polished multiplayer experience that isn't cheapened by microtransactions.
Rayman in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
During last weekend's Ubisoft Forward event, we got a new trailer explaining DLC for the upcoming Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. In a quick teaser, we saw that Rayman would have some kind of "starring" role in this extra content.
Rayman's involvement in the game isn't too surprising, considering that Rabbids were originally from Rayman and served as the protagonist's opponents.
Switch games to play this weekend
Bear and Breakfast was already released on Steam earlier this year, but now it has finally been released on Nintendo Switch. In this chill simulator, you play as the titular bear who works to run a B&B in the forest. Have fun decorating your rooms and taking care of your tourists.
Splatoon 3 may have been released last weekend, but it's still a game I highly encourage everyone to check out. With the upcoming post-launch Splatfest fast approaching, you'll want to get plenty of practice in and get used to those weapons before things get really competitive.
Various Daylife was one of the games shown off during the Nintendo Direct. It was released Tuesday and was put together by the creatives behind Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default. If you like that style of JRPG then you really ought to check it out.
Enjoy your weekend!
This week's Nintendo Direct has certainly given us a lot to chew on. The Breath of the Wild sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, is shaping up to be an enthralling new adventure filled with new mechanics and lore to uncover. Then of course, when that newly announced N64 release I'll be spending quite a lot of time diving into classic titles from my childhood.
We didn't see some of the rumored titles that were expected at the Direct, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Nintendo will never release them. We just have to wait and see what the gaming company does.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.