Nintendo Direct 9.2.2022: Solid But Divisive

Daria Paterek and James Warrell

The first Nintendo Direct of 2022 was one the most anticipated ever. With rumours of sequels to popular games such as Zelda: Breath of The Wild and Mario Odyssey, it is no surprise that over 900,000 people tuned in to watch the live stream. Daria and James discuss their opinions on the new announcements. 

Daria thinks…

The announcement started with games that I was not interested in. This included announcements of a new Fire Emblem game, Advance Wars 1+2 (which resulted in many L’s in the chat), and No Man’s Sky. On a positive note, I was surprised how good No Man’s Sky looked on the Switch. On the other hand, I wasn’t thrilled about a six-year-old port coming to the Switch. Overall, I think that the beginning of the Direct was very anticlimactic. 

Then, I thought I got what I wanted. What we’ve all been waiting for: a new Mario game. My expression immediately changed when I realised that it was a football game, Mario Strikers. A.k.a Mario FIFA. Boo.

The next announcement was one that I was waiting for. Some gameplay and the release date for Splatoon 3– finally! Splatoon 2 was the first Splatoon game that I played, but I fell in love with it. (And I’m not a shooter fan.) I’m so excited for this one. The gameplay footage looks amazing- it retains the unique style of Splatoon while giving it a more eerie look. Yup, I’m pre-ordering.

This direct was dominated by ports and remakes. From ports of PlayStation 1 games to a remake of Assassin’s Creed, this direct was perfect for fans craving nostalgia. While this is great for original fans, it is unlikely it will appeal to a larger audience. Even though most ports look great, some games look awful, such as MLB The Show 22, which looks like it is running on 2 FPS. 

Nintendo will be releasing DLC for Mario Kart.

The next notable announcement was Disney Speedstorm, a Disney-themed Mario Kart. While it will be free to play, it is not necessarily a title that I look forward to. Speaking of Mario Kart, most of us were expecting a Mario Kart 9 announcement, right? To mixed responses from fans, instead of a new Mario Kart title, Nintendo will be releasing DLC for Mario Kart, called the Booster Course that will release throughout 2022 and 2023. Yeah, I’m disappointed. 

The new Kirby game looks… interesting. The graphics are cute, but I don’t know how to feel about ‘mouthful mode’. You can tell that Nintendo was heavily inspired by Super Mario Odyssey when producing this title, but I would have preferred an announcement for Super Mario Odyssey 2 instead.

As someone who never played Wii Sports as a child, I’m intrigued about the sequel, Nintendo Switch Sports. However, I’m feeling apprehensive about the price. Wii Sports was free, and I won’t be buying the sequel for a hefty sum.

The last announcement was meant to be the climax of the direct. Most Nintendo fans expected it to be a Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release date or gameplay footage since the game is already being sold for pre-order. Many fans were disappointed when the final announcement was Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

The Verdict

Daria: I’m feeling very… conflicted. I’m thrilled for titles such as Splatoon 3Two Point Campus, and Earthbound. However, the ‘major’ announcements of the direct were not what I expected… at all. It also felt like there were not enough important announcements. What about the Mario Movie? How is the development of BOTW 2 going? Overall, it was a very average direct. 4/10.

James thinks…

In direct contrast to Daria, I feel more positive about the direct. I thought it was solid, if not missing one key feature, BOTW 2

Starting with Fire Emblem, I was intrigued by the fact it is a sequel to Three Houses, which was absolutely amazing. However, the style of gameplay is an acquired taste, with many people not enjoying it. 

Moving onto the ports and remakes. As mentioned by Daria, it is a little disappointing to see so many coming to the Switch. But, there is a market for each of these games, and I am 100% sure that some people are thrilled with Advanced TanksAssassin’s Creed, and No Mans’ Sky.  

Talking of returning games with cult status, Earthbound is back. Although only the first two installments are available, most people (including myself) never thought we would see these mythical titles again. Littered with mature themes and slightly on-the-nose content, they are games like no other, and I am looking forward to trying them. With them being included in the Expansion Package, it is looking more and more worth it. 

Another title included within the Expansion Package is the Mario Kart DLC which I don’t think is as bad as everyone makes out. Hopefully, the new courses will be enough to tide us over until Mario Kart 9

Another title that should get those looking for nostalgia is Switch Sports. Modelled on Wii Sports, this game looks like the nostalgia trip I would love to have. The price standing at £24.99 is still slightly high for what it offers right now, but with free updates coming, I am sure it will be worth the price tag.

The worst title in the direct has to be the new MLB game which looks like it belongs on the Gameboy Colour. At this point, it is clear that 2K has no clue how to put games on the Switch, with WWE and NBA also being monumental failures. 

It seems the perfect game to add a new spin on football games, that have been stale for too long!

Let’s move on from disastrous sports games to the wonderful. Although Daria is not impressed by ‘Mario FIFA‘ (as she dubs it), I am extremely excited to have a modern Mario Strikers. With FIFA being the same sh*t every year, football fans need a new game to play. Can Mario Strikers do this? I hope so, with many modes taking inspiration from FIFA. It seems the perfect game to add a new spin on football games, that have been stale for too long!

Now on to the big announcements. Kirby’s Forgotten Land looks like a vibrant and beautiful world with lots of twists on the formula making it a breath of fresh air for the franchise. A 3D world, upgradable abilities, and mouthful mode, count me in! 

The other big announcement was Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was a real surprise, and the fact that it is coming so soon is even more of a shock. Although it may not have the following BOTW 2 has, it is a worthy ending title, since Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a wonderful game. With many familiar faces and lots of action, Xenoblade 3 has lots of promise and can hopefully live up to the lofty standards the series has set so far.

The Verdict

I would rate the direct a 7/10; solid, if slightly uninspired in areas. But there is something for everyone, from Splatoon 3 to Earthbound. Once again, the Switch is expanding with an ever-impressive library of games.

Daria Paterek and James Warrell

Featured Image courtesy of Tobiah Ens on Unsplash. Image use license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article videos courtesy of Nintendo via youtube.com. No changes were made to these videos.

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