Nintendo recap: Rumored Not-E3 Direct date looks likely, Sonic Frontiers hands-on fails to impress

Sonic Frontiers Rails
Sonic Frontiers Rails (Image credit: Sega)

Welcome everyone, to this mid-June Nintendo recap. Everyone is getting anxious as we get further and further into the summer without hearing anything official regarding a Nintendo Direct. However, multiple people within the industry claim that the show will air at the end of the month. In other news, our own Carli Velocci got to go hands-on with Sonic Frontiers, but the game isn't looking that great. Regardless, Sega has no intention of delaying it. There have also been claims that a new Fire Emblem game has leaked. There's even more to discuss so let's get this show on the road!

Rumor: Nintendo Direct at the end of the month?

Nintendo Direct (Image credit: Nintendo)

During a Twitch stream following the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase last Sunday, Alanah Pearce (game journalist who used to work for publications like IGN and Rooster Teeth but has since become a gaming writer for Sony Santa Monica) stated that a Nintendo Direct is coming on June 29, 2022. She specifically stated that Nintendo didn't tell her this information, so it's assumed she heard it from one of her many contacts within the industry.

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There's no confirmation from Nintendo that this is the correct date for the Not-E3 2022 Nintendo Direct, however, several other people within the industry have stated that this aligns with the information they've been told as well. Direct-Feed Games stated in a Twitter post that "the window of airing is either June 28 or June 29" based on your timezone.

Now, Nintendo already has an investor briefing planned for that same day, so it's interesting that this rumored Nintendo Direct would happen then. Some are speculating that Nintendo might have a big announcement during the Direct that they want to be able to discuss with shareholders afterward, but this is all conjecture at this point.

Rumor: New Fire Emblem has been finished for over a year

Dimitri Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Image credit: iMore)

It's been three years since Fire Emblem: Three Houses released and became the best-selling game of the franchise. We're getting a spin-off next week in the form of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, but Nintendo has undoubtedly been working on the next entry in the main series as well. Rumors for this next title have been swirling for a while now, but this week there's been an extra amount of attention due to some supposed leaks.

According to Emily Rogers of Nintendo World Report who posted on Famiboards, the next Fire Emblem game has been completed for over a year now and allows players to summon characters from past Fire Emblem games while playing as a red-and-blue-haired protagonist who also happens to be the child of a dragon. This is reportedly a collaboration between Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo, and a division of Koei Tecmo called Gust. According to Rogers, Gust has worked to improve the visuals significantly compared to Three Houses.

Images of the rumored red-and-blue-haired protagonist have supposedly leaked online via Twitter, Reddit, and Imgur. But there's no telling if these are actual images or not. We are not sharing those images here to avoid copyright violations. Given how long it's been since the last Fire Emblem, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that Nintendo has already completed the next one, but for now, we'll just take all of this information with a grain of salt and wait for an official announcement. Perhaps we'll hear about it at the Not-E3 2022 Nintendo Direct.

Sonic Frontiers hands-on fails to impress, but Sega won't delay it

Sonic Frontiers Overlook (Image credit: Sega)

Our own Carli Velocci attended Summer Game Fest Play Day and was able to go hands-on with Sonic Frontiers last week. An important thing to note was that the demo build she interacted with was an older one and doesn't reflect what the finished product will be entirely. However, it does give a good idea of what to expect.

Her biggest takeaway was that Sonic Frontiers feels unfinished and that while Sega is definitely trying to do something new with the blue blur, this approach doesn't feel quite right. Sonic apparently walks instead of runs and can level up to make him go faster, but he feels sluggish overall for a Sonic game. Additionally, while the world is pocketed with columns that featured familiar elements like springs, gliding rails, and platforming, the overall experience just felt vastly empty. Defeating bosses is crucial to progressing, but we can't explain the details of what this does just yet.

As I reported last week, Sonic fans have been very vocal about their dislike of the game, but it doesn't look like Frontiers is going to get the Ugly Sonic facelift many want. VGC interviewed Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Team studio head, and talked about the negative reaction from fans. However, Iizuka insisted that upset fans don't understand the new gameplay that the studio is going for and stated they will not delay the game. Sonic Frontiers is slated to launch Holiday 2022 on various platforms including Nintendo Switch.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge came to Switch

Tmnt Shredders Revenge Mall Battle (Image credit: DotEmu)

After months of waiting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge finally dropped on multiple platformers including Nintendo Switch. This retro arcade-style beat-'em-up game has been scoring well, with critics stating that it captures the feel of classic games like Turtles in Time. The Switch version specifically holds an 86 Metascore at the time of writing.

Players engage in the Arcade or Story modes and can control Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Donatello, April O'Neil, or Casey Jones (once unlocked). Each playable character has different stats and attacks, making them handle differently. Plus, any long-time TMNT fans will appreciate that the original turtle voice actors from the 1987 TV show have recorded lines for this game. If you're a TMNT fan, you really ought to check this one out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge is currently available for digital purchase for 10% off on the eShop at just $22.49. However, Limited Run Games physical versions will release on August 31, 2022, and are currently available for pre-order. As a fun touch, all physical versions, including the base one, will come with a coupon for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge — Limited Classic Edition ($64.99)

Tmnt Shredder Revenge Classic Edition (Image credit: Limited Run Games)
  • Physical game with reversible cover
  • SteelBook
  • Art Booklet
  • Retro VHS sleeve with VHS tape box
  • Sprite stickers

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge — Limited Radical Edition ($199.99)

Tmnt Shredder Revenge Radical Edition (Image credit: Limited Run Games)
  • Physical game with reversible cover and action figure blister box
  • SteelBook
  • Deluxe playset style box with slipcover
  • Mini arcade cabinet replica
  • Soundtrack CD
  • Art Booklet
  • Retro VHS sleeve with VHS tape box
  • Full-length strategy guide
  • 18" x 24" poster
  • 3D shadow box
  • Exclusive reissue of the original retro Shredder action figure
  • Sprite stickers

Capcom Showcase shows off more Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak monsters, demo, and update roadmap

On Monday, the Capcom Showcase took place, taking a look at several upcoming titles for various platforms. To start things off, we got a look at some additional monsters from previous games that are in the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak DLC, such as Espinas and Gore Magala. We also learned that players get to explore the Jungle locale using the Sunbreak Expansion. If you're planning on buying this DLC, you'll want to make sure you have enough room on your microSD card as this expansion requires 13GB of space.

A free Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Demo is now available on the Nintendo eShop. Anyone who plays it will be able to check out the Jungle, new Silkbind Attacks, and even take on an extra hard battle against the flagship monster, Malzeno. You can even enjoy the demo with friends, which supports multiplayer for up to four players.

The Sunbreak section of the showcase ended with Capcom explaining its roadmap for three free DLC updates, which will bring additional monsters and locations over time. Capcom also plans to introduce additional updates to the expansion in 2023.

Stardew Valley Trial available to NSO members

Stardew Valley Screenshot (Image credit: iMore)

Trying to find something to fill in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons void? Well, anyone who currently has an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription can play a game trial for Stardew Valley, which is considered to be one of the best life sims ever made. This game trial started June 14 at 10 a.m. PT and will end June 20 at 11:59 p.m. PT., so you really only have this weekend to experience it.

Nintendo has further said that the full Stardew Valley game will be 20% off during the trial period and anyone who purchases it during this time will keep their save data. The 20% off sale ends June 27 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Nintendo Switch is once again the best-selling console of the month

Nintendo Switch Oled Model Metroid Dread (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Nintendo has continued to stay on top of hardware sales within the U.S. for a long time now and that streak continues with the latest May 2022 NPD report. While the Xbox Series generated the highest dollar sales within this period, the Switch has sold the most units, not only in May but in all of 2022 so far.

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Interestingly enough, Mat Piscatella of NPD Group reported that United States game spending has fallen 10% year-to-date compared to 2021. With pandemic protocols loosening and people not being as confined to their homes, it seems fewer people are spending money on gaming than in the last two years. But it's also worth remembering that there weren't very many releases in May, which could also be contributing to this dip.

What to play this week

There are plenty of things to check out this week such as the previously mentioned Stardew Valley game trial, the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak demo, or TMNT: Shredder's Revenge. Additionally, we've got one more week before Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes releases and I cannot wait to dive in. Until then, you can check out the demo which plays through the first four chapters of the game and allows you to choose which of the three houses you'd like to join. If you're crazy like me, you can even play through all three paths within the demo.

I am taking the next week off of work, so there will not be a Nintendo recap next weekend. However, I'll be here to cover any exciting news when I get back.

Until next time.

- Rebecca Spear

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

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.