Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Nintendo recap. Kirby and the Forgotten Land finally launched this last Friday, but not before it leaked all over the internet. We also learned that Hogwarts Legacy is coming to Nintendo Switch, and that has us wondering about what the graphics will actually look like. Similarly, we learned that the developers behind Life is Strange: True Colors used AMD FSR to upscale the Switch port's graphics when in docked mode, which opens up some interesting possibilities for future Switch games. There's plenty more to discuss so let's dive in.
Update on the Wii and DSi Shop Channels outage
This last week, some people noticed that the Wii and DSi channels were down, which didn't allow players to redownload games for either gaming system. The Wii Shop hasn't allowed purchases since 2019 while the DSi channel hasn't allowed purchases since 2017, but players could still redownload games if they had already purchased them before. With the recent news that the Wii U and 3DS are closing in the near future with rumored server closures to follow, this news for the Wii and DSi channels alarmed a few people, thinking the same thing was happening with these other consoles. Some people even wondered if Nintendo wasn't aware of the problem since these are older gaming systems.
However, Nintendo finally responded to questions about the Wii and DSi channels not working properly, thanks to Kotaku. According to an official spokesperson's email, "The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop are currently undergoing maintenance. We will provide an update at a later date." With Nintendo's focus on the Switch, fixing the Wii and DSi channels might not be a high priority. It's unknown when the Wii and DSi channels will be back up, but we'll keep our ears to the ground and will update when we learn more.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land launches to mostly positive reviews
After months of waiting, Kirby and the Forgotten Land finally released on Nintendo Switch this last Friday, however, the full game also leaked before the official launch. The reviews so far have been very positive. Now Kirby is one of those franchises that has had far more misses than hits in the last 30 years, but this latest game really mixes things up and brings iconic Kirby moves into 3D platforming, much like Super Mario 3D World. As of my last check, Kirby and the Forgotten Land was resting at an 85 Metacritic score. I'll be working on iMore's own review and should get it up sometime next week, so check back for that.
I can say that Kirby isn't exactly for everyone. In some ways, these games can feel like baby's first platformer, but that's also what makes them so charming. Kirby is a light puffball that can float by repeatedly pressing the jump button. This makes it easier to maneuver through tricking platforming areas. He can also swallow most enemies he comes across and can steal some of their attacks using Copy Abilities.
Forgotten Land takes this silliness even further by allowing Kirby to wrap his mouth around certain objects in Mouthful Mode (horrible name, I know) and then use those objects to attack. For instance, being able to shoot sodas from a vending machine. If that sounds fun to you or you're looking for a game that can handle two-player co-op throughout the main campaign, then you should check it out.
Folders finally come to Switch UI
On Monday, the 14.0.0 update for Nintendo Switch went live and brought with it the ability to create Groups. These Groups basically act like files and allow you to group like games together so they're easier to find. For instance, you can group all of your Pokémon games together instead of needing to locate them individually from your library. You can create up to 100 groups with a max of up to 200 titles per group, which is likely far more than you'll ever need.
Now, this is a quality of life improvement that really should have been on the Switch before now. But unfortunately, you cannot view groups on the home screen. But as we've learned time and time again, Nintendo doesn't always do things in a manner that makes sense. Regardless, it's a welcome feature that I've already gotten a lot of use out of. Now we just need to be able to customize our Switch backgrounds and have better search options within the eShop.
AMD FSR upscales Life is Strange graphics on Switch
You might recall that a few weeks ago, the Switch Sports beta was datamined and people discovered that it was using AMD FSR, which can upscale graphics and improve performance on various devices. Well, now we know that Life is Strange: True Colors also used AMD FSR for when the Switch is docked, thanks to an article published on Square Enix. It's a great read that talks about the many challenges and tricks developers use in order to port games like this one to the hybrid console, so I suggest you read it if you have time.
"Within Life is Strange: True Colors, we have integrated the AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technique for when the game is docked, which increases performance at 1080p without a hit to visual quality." While the Nintendo Switch version of True Colors doesn't look quite as good as its PC, Xbox, or, PlayStation counterparts, it does look incredible overall and brings that docked experience to a higher level.
I'm excited to see what developers are able to do with this technology going forward, especially given that Nintendo has said that we're only halfway through the Switch's life cycle. Perhaps this is how Avalanche Software plans to make Hogwarts Legacy on Switch.
Yes, Hogwarts Legacy is coming to Nintendo Switch
Last week, Sony held a State of Play that centered on the upcoming game Hogwarts Legacy. The video shows just how ambitious of a project it actually is with players being able to befriend animals, ride brooms, mix potions, use the Room of Requirement, battle others, and much more. The graphics shown in this showcase were truly stunning and looked like they'd be at home on the PS5. However, as is common with presentations of this nature, we didn't learn about what other consoles would be getting the game.
A few hours later, a listing for Hogwarts Legacy on Nintendo Switch popped up on Amazon and surprised just about everyone. As of yet, there has been no confirmation about whether this will be a Cloud Streaming Switch game or if it will be natively run on the hybrid console. If it is the former, we can expect the imagery to be very upscale still, however it might not run super smoothly for everyone, like we saw with Kingdom Hearts Cloud Version. On the flip side, if we do get a localized Switch version, the graphics will undoubtedly be heavily downgraded and look nothing like what we saw in the trailer.
Now, we have seen some companies pull off seemingly impossible ports, like the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for Nintendo Switch, which didn't look as good as the PS4 version, but looked decent and ran well too. So it's possible that Hogwarts Legacy could look and run decently if not perfect on Switch. But we'll have to wait and see what WB Games is actually offering.
Have a great weekend!
That's all we've got this week for Nintendo news. I'm playing Kirby and the Forgotten Land this weekend and can't wait to see what silly things Kirby is able to do with his new Mouthful Mode. So far swallowing cars and vending machines has been incredibly fun. Whatever games you're playing this week, I hope you find them fun and relaxing.
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.