Hello everyone and welcome to another Nintendo recap. This week's Nintendo Direct gave us so much to chew on, including a new Kirby game, N64 and Sega Genesis games coming to Switch, a huge Monster Hunter Rise expansion, casting reveals for the upcoming Mario movie, and much more. Plus, before the Direct people discovered Luigi lurking in an old Sega Dreamcast prototype and Pokémon Unite underwent a huge update that allowed it to work on iPhone and Android devices. There's a freak-ton of news to cover so let's-a go!
An impressive Nintendo Direct
This was seriously one of the most exciting Nintendo Directs in a long time with several new game announcements and DLC updates. You can watch the full presentation above if you'd like. I'll dive into the significant bits and explain the implications of the biggest news throughout this article.
N64 and Sega Genesis games coming to Nintendo
If you've been reading the last few Nintendo recaps, you'll know that insiders have been claiming that a Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulator, as well as an N64 emulator, could come to Nintendo Switch. The Direct verified the N64 one to be true, but also surprised us with a Sega Genesis emulator. Both will be accessible via one subscription service that is separate from Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) or bundled with the NSO subscription. The official name for this bundle is Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. The good news is that you will be able to roll your current subscription over to this bundle if you'd like.
The specific release date and pricing details have not been given yet, although we do know the emulators will launch in "late October". We've already been told that big N64 classics like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart 64, and StarFox 64 will be on this service, along with Sega Genesis hits like Streets of Rage 2, Castlevania Bloodlines, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. We've also learned that more N64 games will be coming in the future, probably in 2022. Based on the fact that such big titles will be available at launch with more incoming, I conjecture the Expansion Pack will cost $35 a year.
Here are all known N64 games on the emulator. Anything marked with a (*) is coming at a later date and won't be available at launch:
- Super Mario 64
- Mario Kart 64
- StarFox 64
- Yoshi's Story
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- SinBack Covert Operation
- Mario Tennis
- Dr. Mario 64
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask*
- F-Zero X*
- Mario Golf*
- Pokemon Snap*
- Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards*
- Paper Mario*
Here are all known Sega Genesis games on the emulator:
- Castlevania Bloodlines
- Contra Hard Corps
- Dr. Robtnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Phantasy Star IV
- Shining Force
- Shinobi III
- Sonic The Hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage 2
N64 controller and Sega Genesis controllers for NSO members
In conjunction with the emulator service, Nintendo is also making N64 and Sega Genesis controllers available only to NSO members. This is a practice that has been done before with SNES and NES controllers. They will cost $49.99 a pop and are wireless, which is less than you'd pay for the Pro Controller, but still a lot. The problem is if you want to play those sweet four-way split-screen N64 classics the way we first experienced them in the 90s, grabbing four controllers is going to cost you $200 before tax. That's a bit much.
It's worth mentioning that this revelation came after people discovered a Nintendo controller patent on FCC ID that showed a diagram for a rectangular controller and logo placement. It's likely this N64 controller is for that patent and the rectangular image was just a placeholder that allowed Nintendo to file the patent while maintaining their secrecy until the official announcement was made.
Mario movie cast revealed A jumble of brilliant and awful
Remember that horrible live-action Super Mario Bros. movie from the 90s that featured Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi? Well, that so-bad-it's-good movie actually holds the record as being the first movie based on a video game. Now the question is, will it continue to be the worst Mario movie ever made?
We've known for a while that Nintendo and Illumination Entertainment teamed up to create a new animated Mario movie. During the Direct, Shigeru Miyamoto, "Father of Mario", announced that it would release this holiday season and went on to divulge the cast of main characters. This immediately sparked a tsunami of memes and it's not surprising given that the casting is utter chaos.
- Mario: Chris Pratt
- Luigi: Charlie Day
- Princess Peach: Anya Taylor-Joy
- Bowser: Jack Black
- Toad: Keegan-Michael Key
- Various roles/cameos: Charles Martinet
- Donkey Kong: Seth Rogen
- Kamek: Kevin Michael Richardson
- Cranky Kong: Fred Armisen
- Spike: Sebastian Maniscalco
Right out the door, we were smacked across the face with a black and white image of Chris Pratt making a serious face and told he would be jumping into the shoes of the titular plumber. While he has assured fans that he is very excited to play the role and will do his best, many fans are upset with the casting. Everything from the fact that he isn't Italian to his political views, to the fact that he gives off a very different feel from Mario has been called into question. However, some fans in his favor have pointed to his voice acting work on the LEGO movies. Whether or not he does a good job as Mario doesn't erase the fact that he feels out of place with the rest of the cast.
We also have Anya Taylor-Joy of The Queen's Gambit fame who could bring an elegant-yet complicated Princess Peach, the hilarious Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia bringing what we can only assume will be animated (if not somewhat crazed) Luigi, the boisterous Seth Rogen playing Donkey Kong, and even the amazing Jack Black as the Koopa King himself. It's a freaking Mario All-Stars cast!
To top it all off, Charles Martinet, the man many of us know without knowing, will voice several characters and cameos. For those who aren't aware, he has been the voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and other Mushroom Kingdom characters since the N64 era. As an obscure Mario fact, he even holds the Guinness World record for having the most voiceover performances for any video game character. While I'd personally prefer him to have the lead role, we know that's not how Hollywood operates. I'm just happy he was included and fully expect him to pop up as Wario or Waluigi somewhere in the film.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land announced Possible open-world
This brand new Kirby game actually leaked a few hours before the Nintendo Direct when Nintendo Japan accidentally published a Nintendo Switch release schedule. However, we didn't really learn much about it until the Direct aired.
It's currently scheduled to release in Spring 2022 and looks more exploratory than Kirby games of the past. In fact, gameplay looks a lot like Super Mario Odyssey where you had traditional moves and platforming, but in a more open space. Kirby is shown wandering around a run-down amusement park, inhaling enemies, morphing into them, taking on a giant gorilla boss, and even protecting little chicks. It looks like this could be the open-world Kirby game we've waited for all our lives.
Bayonetta 3 shows up fashionably late
Some Bayonetta fans had seriously given up hope of seeing the game. Not surprising considering that earlier this year PlatinumGames even told fans to "forget about Bayonetta 3" because when news finally got revealed, "it will be a nice surprise." Fortunately, faithful fans' patience was rewarded.
At the tale-end of the Direct, our favorite witch finally made an appearance for the first Bayonetta 3 gameplay trailer. The announcement opened by showing a modern city with a monster walking through it. We even had a cameo from Lappy, the police dog mascot from PlatinumGames' Astral Chain. Bayonetta showed up to kick some gigantic monster butt complete with a new hairdo/outfit (her hair actually is her clothing as well). The game will be arriving on Nintendo Switch sometime in 2022. With any luck, it will be during the first half of the year.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Wave 2 DLC
Wave 2 of the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was given an Oct. 29 release date. This content brings new playable characters including Purah, Robbie, and "one more." Additionally, players will discover new storylines, locations, battles, and even added attacks for existing characters. There were a few references to baby Prince Sidon, the fan-favorite Zora himbo from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That alone might make the Wave 2 DLC worth it.
Now, this is not a typical Zelda game, but a hack-and-slash adventure. There aren't any puzzles and exploration is limited to a confined battle stage. However, it does give glimpses into the relationships between the Champions and other characters that existed just before Calamity Ganon destroyed Hyrule. If nothing else, it can be a great way to tide us over before Breath of the Wild 2 releases, which with any luck will be next year.
Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak A massive expansion
With how big Monster Hunter games have grown over the past few years combined with the success of Monster Hunter Rise earlier this year, it's not too surprising to see that additional content is on the way and will release in summer 2022. While no real information was given, we can assume additional monsters and locations will be added to the game. After all, the Direct did say this was a "massive expansion."
Pokémon Unite blasted onto iOS and Android But no voice chat on mobile
Pokémon Unite received a big update this last Wednesday, which brought the game to mobile. Now anyone playing on their iPhone or Android device can participate in rounds with Nintendo Switch players. What's more, the game features cross-saves, so you can connect your Nintendo account to your Pokémon Unite account and jump between your phone and your Switch whenever you want.
A large number of new Pokémon skins, clothes, and other items also appeared in the shops. And while some microtransaction changes were implemented, the game still does have a slight pay-to-win problem. Still, the game continues to go strong and doesn't show any sign of stopping.
The biggest problem right now is that voice chat is not currently available to mobile players. That puts the majority of players at a disadvantage. Even if you're on Switch playing with a friend on mobile, you won't be able to strategize as effectively since you can't communicate vocally.
Luigi discovered in Sega Dreamcast prototype
There's been a lot of talk about video game preservation recently, and fortunately, there are groups like The Hidden Palace making it happen by diving into old systems and development material in order to better document projects that would otherwise be lost to time. Recently, the group has undertaken Project Deluge, with the goal of finding early prototypes and builds for older titles. As part of this project, the group discovered that Luigi is actually in the Dreamcast prototype for Sega GT.
Why is he in there? Obviously, this kind of cross character usage was never expected to be found by the average person. He was probably put in there as a placeholder or maybe even just for fun.
OLED model on display at Nintendo Tokyo
Select fans were able to see the upcoming OLED model in person at Nintendo Tokyo. Picture taking was discouraged, but we did get some official images to give us a better understanding of what this system is like. The thinner bezel around the screen, in particular, looks very appealing and easily makes the original Switch look like an older model.
Sega RPG coming to mobile-only
During the Tokyo Games Show, Sega announced a brand new RPG. Excitement quickly turned to anger when people realized it was a mobile phone game only. Sega fans are concerned since it isn't coming to consoles that it will just be another gacha game. This really wouldn't be a surprising move from Sega considering games like Genshin Impact make millions of dollars each year. However, we really only got to see a teaser so it's hard to say exactly what this game is going to be like for now.
Looking forward to next year
Well, that was a jampacked week, wasn't it? If nothing else, all of these announcements prove to me that the Nintendo Switch is going to have an insanely good year in 2022. By extension, that means all of us Nintendo nerds are in for some awesome games as well. Have a good weekend and dream of your favorite N64 and Sega Genesis games coming to Switch next month.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear