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Nintendo Direct February recap: Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 3 and all the big news

The first Nintendo Direct of 2022 revealed some remastered Mario Kart courses, Splatoon 3 details and a port of No Man's Sky

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(Image: © Tom's Guide)

The Nintendo Direct livestream is now over. We didn't get any updates on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 or Metroid Prime 4. But we did get a trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Overall, it was an OK Direct that featured a lot of fan-favorite titles, including new courses for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. But for those wanting something new, the direct was jam-packed with ports, including some less-than-anticipated titles, like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. But it was good to see a new trailer for Splatoon 3, while the impending arrival of Nintendo Switch Sports also looks interesting.

Granted, this direct was focused on games launching in the first half of 2022. So, we should have known Breath of the Wild 2 would be a no-show. That game is still set for a 2022 release, but likely closer to the holiday season. We suspect it'll be shown off at a later direct.

If you want to watch the Nintendo Direct livestream, you can find it at Nintendo’s official YouTube channel. We've also linked it below. Go through out live blog to see all the major announcements. 

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breath of the wild 2

(Image credit: Nintendo)

With about two hours to go before the Nintendo Direct begins, there’s not much we can say definitively about the livestream yet. However, Nintendo fans are excited to learn more about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2.

We don’t know whether this game will be coming or in the first second half of 2022, so we may not actually see it this afternoon. However, the first Breath of the Wild came out in March, so it’s entirely possible that the sequel will follow suit. If nothing else, we’re about ready for the game to get a definitive title.

Earthbound

(Image credit: Nintendo)

We still have a little over an hour before Nintendo's stream goes live. Either way, little tidbits have started to slip. For example, Nintendo Life reports that the creator of the Mother series, known as Earthbound in the U.S., Shigesato Itoi, retweeted the direct this morning. His tweet, in Japanese, translates to "7am is amazing. It may be snowing."

It's an odd statement to put on a retweet for a Nintendo Direct. But there could be a cryptic message hidden inside. Or he may just be looking forward to waking up in the morning on a cool snowy day to watch it.

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1-2-Switch

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Okay, we're less than 30 minutes away from the Direct livestream. Apart from a rare $20 discount on Woot (Amazon Prime membership required), there isn't much. 

There have been rumors that Nintendo has been working on a sequel to 1-2-Switch, a launch title that featured many casual games.

We personally would love some sort of HD remaster of the Metroid Prime trilogy or enhancements to Nintendo's online subscription service, mainly in the realm of latency and added features. I guess we'll have to wait and see. 

Okay, the Direct is starting! Watch it on YouTube here

Screengrab of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

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Nintendo is leading the presentation with a new Fire Emblem Warriors game. Subtitled Three Hopes, it's much like the Dynasty Warriors of Hyrule Warriors series, with tons of satisfying, if repetitive, hacking and slashing. The game will take place in the Three Houses universe. It's set to release on June 24, 2022.

Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp

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Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp has been announced for an April 8 release date. This full remake of the original Game Boy Advance classics will feature modern graphics and a fully voiced cast. 

No Man's Sky on Nintendo Switch

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No Man's Sky, the procedurally generated universe with literally an trillions of planets, is coming to Nintendo Switch. Graphically, the game is a step down from its PS4, Xbox One and PC counterparts, but that's to be expected. It's set for a summer release. 

Mario Strikers Battle League

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Mario Strikers Battle League brings back the Mario and soccer remix game first released on the GameCube. This new game will feature more of the wackiness of the original. This offense-heavy 5-on-5 soccer game will add more customization options for players and has some interesting goal mechanics. Eight players can compete on one system, and there will be online play as well. Players can create clubs, with 20 players per club. Clubs can compete to be the best int he world. 

Splatoon 3

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Nintendo has finally given us an update on its mysterious Splatoon 3. This is Nintendo's paintball shooter that will feature a new single-player mode. Per the direct, we now know that there will also be a hoard-like co-op wave mode. Splatoon 3 is set for a Summer 2022 launch. 

Front Mission 1st: Remake

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A full remake of the first Front Mission game is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Titled Front Mission 1st: Remake, it's a remake of the 1995 original. It'll launch this summer. And in the future, a Front Mission 2 remake will also be coming. 

Star Wars: The Force Unleased

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The creators of the Asphalt series, Gameloft SE, are bringing a new kart racing game featuring Disney and Pixar characters. There will be kart customization as well as online gameplay. 

Other Disney-owned properties coming to Nintendo Switch include a port of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. If the graphics look a little stale, that's because it looks to be a port of the Wii version, and not the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. 

The Ezio Assassin's Creed trilogy is also being ported to the Nintendo Switch. Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection is coming on Feb. 17. 

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition

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SD Gundam Battle Alliance is coming to Nintendo Switch. The Chibi Gundam fighter is coming this year. 

Chrono Cross is getting a remaster for the Nintendo Switch. The game was originally released in 1999 on PlayStation. The game definitely still looks like a PlayStation game, just with better textures and models. Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is coming out on April 7. 

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

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Nintendo has finally given us details on Kirby and the Forgotten Land. It's not quite the open-world game that many were predicting, but it is more open in nature. Levels are much larger in this 3D adventure. 

Kirby has a new expand mode, allowing him to inhale a car or a vending machine. Of course, Kirby can also use his copy ability to take on special powers. 

Kirby and the Forgotten Land will launch on March 25. 

Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series

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Baseball superstar Shuhei Ohtani helped introduce MLB The Show 22 on Switch. It will feature cross-play support with gamers on other consoles. 

Other ports include a new Kingdom Hearts collection. This collection will include Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 and 2.5 Remix, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts 3 + Re-Mind. These will be cloud-streaming games and can only be played over the internet. This collection will be available tomorrow, Feb. 10.

Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is also coming to Switch. This collection will feature the first two Klonoa games. 

Valve will be bringing Portal to Switch. Titled Portal: Companion Collection. This collection will bring both Portal and Portal 2. 

Live A Live

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A 2D-HD version of Live A Live, a Japan-only RPG, is being remade for Nintendo Switch. It'll launch on July 22. 

Nintendo Switch Sports

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Wii Sports is back! This time it's titled Nintendo Switch Sports. The collection will feature tennis, bowling, chanbara (sword fighting), soccer, badminton and volleyball. 

Those who buy the physical version will also get a leg strap to play a soccer mini game that involves kicking. 

There's local and online play for all sports. 

Mii characters will not return unfortunately. Hopefully, it'll still have the catchy tunes found in the original. It'll release on April 29. Nintendo will update the soccer mini game to expand to a full game. And golf will be coming in the summer as well. 

There will be an online play test on Feb. 18-20 for Nintendo Online members. Those interested can sign up on Nintendo's website. 

Metroid Dread

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Taiko no Tatsujun: Rhythm Festival is coming to Switch. This drum rhythm game will include some Legend of Zelda tunes as well. The game will come out later this year. It will also have a subscription service for more songs, up to 500. 

Nintendo has also given us an update on Triangle Strategy. The 2D-HD game will have a demo, playable today. Demo save date is transferrable.

Cuphead will also see its DLC come to Nintendo Switch on June 30.

Metroid Dread is getting a free update later today. This will add a new dread mode, which will feature one-hit-kill gameplay. There's also a new rookie mode for those having trouble. A boss rush update will launch in April 2022. 

Earthbound

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Nintendo Switch Online members will get an excellent new game. Earthbound, known as Mother in Japan, is coming to Nintendo Switch Online later today. Also included will be Earthbound Beginnings. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will get some paid DLC. Featuring some classic courses from previous entries, expect a good mix. Called the Booster Course Pass, Nintendo will release eight new courses over six waves. That's 48 courses in total by the end of 2023. 

The pass costs $24.99, with the first wave coming on March 18. This DLC is available at no additional cost for those that subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, a higher tier of Nintendo's online service. A one-year membership sells for $50. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

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The final announcement from Nintendo was Xenoblade Chronicles 3, set for a September 2022 release. It ties the worlds of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2. There's little we know about the game. There's also no news on if the Wii U game, Xenoblade Chronicles X, would get a port to Nintendo Switch.