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Nintendo Direct September 2021: The biggest announcements

The top 10 announcements from Thursday’s 40-minute stream

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - all the characters Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Nintendo’s September 2021 Direct offered a big hit of nostalgia for longtime Nintendo fans. The 40-minute presentation revived titles announced long ago and even revealed a few surprise projects coming later this year through the summer of 2022. One of the biggest announcements wasn’t even a game, as Shigeru Miyamoto himself revealed the cast for the upcoming Mario movie.

Polygon’s StoryStream for the event has everything you’d want to know. But if you just want the highlights, here the top 10 trailers and reveals from Thursday’s Nintendo Direct.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is Kirby’s post-apocalyptic adventure

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of the only new games announced at the Nintendo Direct, and it’s taking Kirby into a new genre. Traditionally a 2D hero, Kirby will be able to explore a post-apocalyptic world in 3D. He’ll still devour enemies and possess their powers, just in a more three-dimensional space.

Kirby’s latest adventure will launch on the Nintendo Switch in Spring 2022.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass adds new content, including Nintendo 64 games

Nintendo revealed that it’s expanding its Nintendo Switch Online bonuses with another premium service. The company didn’t reveal how much this add-on will cost, but it did show what players will get in return: a digital Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis game collection. This new feature will launch by the end of October.

The service will launch with Nintendo 64 classics like Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The initial Genesis offering includes Sonic 2, Ecco the Dolphin, and Golden Axe. Nintendo will also sell new Nintendo 64 and Genesis controllers that are Switch compatible, and those will cost $49.99 each.

Additional N64 titles — like Majora’s Mask, F-Zero, and even Banjo-Kazooie — will come to the service at a later date.

Mario movie coming out Holiday 2022

Shigeru Miyamoto reminded players that he’s working alongside Illumination — the studio behind Despicable Meto make a Mario movie. The movie will launch in North America on Dec. 21 and it includes a stacked voice cast. Chris Pratt will play Mario, with Anya-Taylor Joy as Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, and Jack Black as Bowser. Keegan-Michael Key will play Toad, and Seth Rogan will even appear as Donkey Kong. Mario’s longtime voice actor, Charles Martinet, will also appear in the movie in various cameo roles.

Bayonetta 3 got a re-reveal trailer

After years of waiting, Bayonetta 3 fans got a new glimpse of their favorite witch. Nintendo and PlatinumGames’ new trailer started with a cinematic fakeout, but eventually evolved into Bayonetta kicking some gigantic demon ass through the streets.

Splatoon 3 sees the Return of the Mammalians

Nintendo showed off a good deal of Splatoon 3 gameplay, including new multiplayer powers like the ability to turn into a kind of squid Spider-Man. But the company also revealed that Splatoon 3’s campaign will be called “Return of the Mammalians,” and features a new world for players to explore.

Monster Hunter Rise is getting an expansion

Monster Hunter Rise is getting a new expansion in Summer of 2022: Sunbreak. Nintendo called the expansion “massive,” and it’ll include new monsters, locales, hunting actions, and quest ranks. It’s a paid DLC, similar to the Iceborne expansion that World got in 2019.

Chocobo GP is Final Fantasy’s new kart racer

Final Fantasy is getting a 2000’s-era kart racer with Chocobo GP. Players can skate around as a chocobo on roller skates or customize their own kart to race against opponents. Racers can even upgrade spells they find on the battlefield, such as from Fire to Fira, by collecting multiple versions of the same element. Chocobo GP will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and it launches in 2022.

Castlevania Advance Collection is out today

Castlevania fans will be able to replay some of the series’ classic handheld games with the Castlevania Advance Collection — which launched Thursday night. Players will be able to rewind, quick save and map their own buttons for Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Castlevania, Aria of Sorrow, and the SNES title Castlevania: Dracula X.

Actraiser Renaissance is a remake of a classic — also out today

The beloved classic Actraiser is coming to the Nintendo Switch with a new remake on Thursday afternoon. Actraiser Renaissance will allow players to battle through 2D levels and cultivate the land. It’ll also include new and old music.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Smash Bros. Ultimate are getting their own Directs

The final big announcement from the September Nintendo Direct is more of an anti-announcement. Nintendo teased players with upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate announcements. But instead of revealing the final DLC character for Smash or what players will be able to add to their Animal Crossing villages, Nintendo announced two mini-Directs instead. The final Direct for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will air on Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. EDT. The Animal Crossing Direct will air later in October, but Nintendo didn’t offer a specific date.