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Nintendo Direct February 2022: the biggest announcements

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All the news, new games, and announcements from Wednesday’s 40-minute showcase

key art for Kirby and the Forgotten Land showing the adorable pink blob searching for humanity in a post-apocalyptic hellscape Image: Nintendo

The first Nintendo Direct of 2022 dished up 40 minutes of new game announcements, though fans will have to wait a little while longer if they were hoping to hear from Metroid Prime 4 or learn about the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Fans of Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Fire Emblem didn’t go home empty-handed, however, and sports fans even have two things to cheer for later this spring.

Polygon’s StoryStream has all of our breakout coverage in one place. But if you’re just looking for the trailers and the highlights, here are the top 11 reveals from Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 coming in September

Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the sequel to 2017’s open-world RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2, launches this fall, Monolith Soft announced. This story will show what’s become of the worlds of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It’s a sprawling, war-torn world filled with giant war machines.

Splatoon 3 arrives this summer

Announced one year ago during the February 2021 Nintendo Direct, Splatoon 3 got a launch window and a two-minute trailer on Wednesday. It’s arriving this summer; sorry, no date more specific than that. The fan-favorite Salmon Run mode from Splatoon 2 is back, though, under the name Salmon Run Next Wave.

A Wii Sports sequel is coming to Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Sports, a follow-on to the immensely popular Wii Sports series, launches April 29, and will have a beta test later this month. Sports appearing in the anthology include tennis, soccer, badminton, volleyball, and bowling — the latter of which is getting a variant called Survival Bowling. Sounds like Lord of the Flies meets your Tuesday league.

Mario Strikers: Battle League laces up June 10

Summertime has been a great window for Nintendo’s Mario sports subgenre, and it’s back again in June with Mario Strikers: Battle League on Nintendo Switch. The five-on-five soccer variant emphasizes goal-scoring and heavy action with its assortment of special moves and power-up items. It’s been 15 years since the last Mario Strikers title — 2007’s Mario Strikers Charged for the Wii.

No Man’s Sky is coming to Nintendo Switch

Hello Games’ space-exploration/survival epic celebrates its sixth birthday with a launch this summer on Nintendo Switch. The No Man’s Sky Nintendo Switch Edition will include the past five years of updates for the PlayStation, PC, and Xbox versions of the game. In 2021 alone, Hello published four major updates — Frontiers, Prisms, Expeditions, and Companions — bringing new gameplay and visuals to the game.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes arrives in June

A follow-up to 2019’s tactical RPG Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Houses, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a different story set in the same universe, starring some familiar faces as well. It’s a musou game, starring Byleth, Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude from Houses.

Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp launches in April

This remaster of the first two games in the Game Boy Advance’s Advance War series will launch on April 8. New features include voiceover lines for all of the game’s commanding officers, plus a custom map generator, and the ability to re-do turns that have gone disastrously wrong. Local and online multiplayer are also supported.

‘Mouthful Mode’ highlights the latest trailer for Kirby

Kirby’s newest 3D platforming adventure is the Switch’s next major release, launching March 25. Nintendo highlighted the game with one more trailer, showing Kirby’s even more voracious appetite — he’s able to swallow a car and a vending machine.

Portal and Portal 2 ported to Switch

Portal launched 15 years ago, and it’s been nearly 11 since Portal 2. Both make their debut on Nintendo Switch in the Portal: Companion Collection launching later this year. Portal 2 will support local, online, and split-screen multilayer. Exact timing and price were not announced.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is getting DLC through 2023

A total of 48 new courses for Mario Kart 8 are included in the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass, which will launch in six batches of eight maps each from March 18 until the end of 2023. The first wave will include Wii Coconut Mall, N64 Choco Mountain, Tour Tokyo Blur, and five others. The rest of the Booster Course Pass includes tracks from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart 7, and Mario Kart Tour.

Metroid Dread free update takes it easy, and dishes it out

Every Cataria upgrade – Metroid Dread guide Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Welp, we didn’t get one piece of news — zip, zilch, nothing — about Metroid Prime 4. Instead, Nintendo offered a free update, arriving later Wednesday, for Metroid Dread, the 2D side-scroller that launched in October. Metroid Dread will get a Rookie Mode to help folks who have found the notoriously difficult game too tough to tame; for masochists, there’s a one-hit-kill Dread Mode.

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