Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Nintendo recap. After months of uncertainty and confusion, the ESA has officially canceled E3 2022. We already knew there wasn't going to be an in-person event, but there had been rumors that there would still be a digital one. Don't worry. We'll still be getting announcements from several developers and tech companies this summer thanks to Summer Games Fest. In other news, the Nintendo Switch saw two big games release to positive reviews and also got an interesting update. Additionally, the next N64 game for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack was revealed and some fans are disappointed. Let's dive in.
Nintendo Switch gets firmware update
On Monday, Nintendo released the latest Nintendo Switch update — version 14.1.0. These changes mostly center around Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) and My Nintendo rewards, like making the new NSO rewards available in more countries and allowing the Switch to notify you if you have unclaimed Platinum Points, which can be used to purchase digital and limited physical rewards. Don't worry, the update also includes the ability to turn these reminders off if you don't want them.
It's interesting that Nintendo is focusing so much on this side of Switch services. Perhaps the company is preparing it to take a bigger place in Nintendo's gaming hardware, similar to the rewards and trophies systems found in PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
Official Splatoon 3 website launches in Japan
This week, an official Splatoon 3 website launched on Nintendo of Japan and includes several new screenshots and descriptions for the upcoming game. Considering that Splatoon 3 is set to release sometime in summer of 2022, it makes sense that Nintendo is getting ready to ramp up advertising for the game. With any luck, more information will soon follow and hopefully more websites will pop up on Nintendo of America and Nintendo of UK's websites.
Fans are upset that Mario Golf is the next N64 game on Switch
Over the last several months, subscribers to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack have been receiving a slow drip of new N64 games to play on the retro emulator. Last month we received The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and this week we just learned that the next game to come to the service will be Mario Golf on April 15.
Now some fans have pointed out that this was a wasted opportunity as another N64 game on the docket would have made for a better April release, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. That's because the pink puffball is about to reach his 30th anniversary on April 27, so fans are saying it would have been better to celebrate with one of his retro classics rather than another Mario game. Of course, Nintendo might be a little more wary of releasing a different Kirby game on Nintendo Switch so close to the release of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which only launched at the end of last month. Perhaps they were afraid that doing so might affect the more recent game's sales.
At any rate, with Mario Golf coming to the N64 emulator on the Expansion Pack, this leaves only two previously announced N64 games remaining: Kirby 64 and then Pokémon Snap. There are dozens of other classics from the N64 era, so we'll have to see if Nintendo plans on releasing any more onto the Switch once these last two games are added in.
LEGO Star Wars and Chrono Cross release on Switch to positive reviews
This last week we had two great games release onto Nintendo Switch: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamer Edition.
Those of us who played the older Star Wars LEGO games from the early 2000s will be glad to see these are not remasters but rather completely new takes on the stories with far improved graphics and voice acting. The game offers a very silly take on all nine main Star Wars films, not to mention adaptations of the third trilogy for the first time. Most importantly, it's incredibly funny, so much so that I've had to pause the game regularly because I've been laughing so hard. Reviews have been mostly positive, with the Metacritic score for the Switch version resting at 81 as of this writing.
As for the other game, Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamer Edition is a remaster of a classic JRPG from the original PlayStation era. This was and still is a rather divisive game among fans since it diverted from it's successor, Chrono Trigger, in many ways including combat, the number of characters, and art style. However, our own Miles Dompier played through it on Nintendo Switch and states that it's one of the best ways to revisit this classic:
While I enjoyed Chrono Cross back when it initially launched, I'm definitely enjoying my second experience with the title far more. The complexities of individuals, their motivations, and the often-uncertain human dynamics of these characters is something that admittedly went way over my head as a kid. I'm excited for a new generation of players to dive into this magical world, and hopeful that Chrono Trigger purists will give this divisive sequel another chance to shine.
As of the last time I checked, it was also resting at a score of 81 on Metacritic.
E3 2022 officially cancelled, but Summer Game Fest still on
After months of uncertainty, E3 2022 has officially been canceled by the ESA. As reported by Rebekah Valentine from IGN, we first learned that the in-person event was canceled back in January, but it wasn't clear yet if the digital show would go on. However, we now know that there will not be any digital E3 2022 show either, meaning the tech show is completely canceled. There are plans to resurrect the show in 2023, but nothing concrete yet.
Shortly after this news, we learned that the Summer Game Fest that was already planned for sometime in June 2022 will continue forward as planned and hosted as always by The Game Awards' Geoff Keighley. It's unclear at the moment if Nintendo will be attending the Summer Game Fest, but one way or another we're sure that there will be an E3 scale Nintendo Direct of some kind in the next few months.
After all, there are some really big games on Nintendo's docket this year like Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Bayonetta 3, Splatoon 3, and Mario Strikers: Battle League. Not to mention, there are more than likely even more upcoming games that we don't know of yet. We'll keep our ears to the ground and will report when we learn more about Nintendo's plans.
See you next week
That's all for this week folks! Regardless of what games you're playing this weekend, I hope you find them relaxing or just the right kind of challenging.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear