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Nintendo Direct Recap: Zelda, Metroid, and More!

Nintendo fans starving for new video games were in for a treat this Wednesday as the Japanese game giant live-streamed its twice-annual Nintendo Direct presentation. 


February 8th’s Nintendo Direct focuses on games released on the Nintendo Switch console in the first half of 2023.


The presentation started with the first look at gameplay for Pikmin 4. The last major entry in the series, Pikmin 3, came out in 2013, and this new title looks to retain the colorful whimsy of its predecessors.


Nintendo revealed the third wave of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass, the third of four downloadable content (DLC) packs for the role-playing game released in July 2022. This third wave of DLC promises to add challenge battles and a new hero, Masha. It will be released on February 15th.


Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania revealed the first look at its gameplay. Return to Castlevania is the second expansion to platformer Dead Cells, released in 2018. It is a crossover with the mega-popular Konami franchise Castlevania, from which Dead Cells takes much inspiration.


Beloved game developer Level-5, creators of Professor Layton, Ni no Kuni, Inazuma Eleven, and more announced their newest title, Deca Police. A sci-fi thriller role-playing game, players will take control of a rookie detective named Harvard to solve crimes in an open-world city. Deca Police will release on the Switch later this year.


The first expansion for Splatoon 3 was revealed and will take players to the Inkopolis city from the original game. This first expansion will release in Spring 2023. A mysterious second expansion entitled Side Order was also revealed with a cryptic teaser, with no current release date set.


The latest entry in the Fire Emblem franchise, Fire Emblem Engage, is getting a second wave of DLC. Heroes from previous games will be added to the game, such as Hector, Soren and Camilla. The third wave of DLC was also announced, adding heroes Chrom, Robin, and Veronica. Nintendo also teased the fourth wave of DLC to contain an entirely new story, Fell Xenologue.


The developers of the acclaimed Life is Strange series revealed their new game, Harmony: The Fall of Reverie. In Harmony, you play Polly, a woman who learns that she can see into the future world of Reverie. The game features music from award-winning composer Lena Raine, who created the music for the indie hit Celeste. Harmony: The Fall of Reverie will launch in June 2023.


A free downloadable demo for Octopath Traveler 2, the sequel to the 2019 RPG, was announced and released on Wednesday. The demo will take players through the beginning hours of the game, and progress will be transferable to the main game when it releases on February 24th.


We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie, a remaster of the 2005 Playstation 2 title We Love Katamari, was announced. The remaster will bring five new challenges and a selfie camera that can be used anytime. We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie launches on June 2nd.


The first three games in the Etrian Odyssey RPG franchise are being remastered for the Nintendo Switch. Originally released on the Nintendo DS, these dungeon crawlers are updated with HD graphics, quality-of-life updates, and updated touchscreen controls to mimic the playstyle on the original Nintendo DS. Entitled the Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection, these remaster are set to release on June 1st.


Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will finally be released on April 21st, 2023. A remake of the Game Boy Advanced war strategy games Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, Advance Wars 1+2 was delayed from its initial release date of April 8th, 2022, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 


Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe, a remake of the 2011 Nintendo Wii game Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, will be released on February 24th. A demo was also shown and released for download on Wednesday.


Significant upgrades to the offerings in Nintendo’s online subscription Nintendo Switch Online (NSO), were also announced. 


Nintendo revealed that Game Boy games would be added to the free game collection available to NSO subscribers that same day. Subscribers to the higher tier of NSO, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, will also receive access to select Game Boy Advance games.


The first game in the Metroid Prime series is receiving a long-awaited remaster. Originally released on the GameCube in 2002, the sci-fi classic now looks crisp with new high-definition visuals. Surprisingly, Nintendo announced that game would be released immediately on Wednesday in downloadable form, with a physical version launching in stores on February 22nd.

A brief teaser revealed a new game in developer Level-5’s Professor Layton series. This latest entry, Professor Layton and the New World of Steam, is the first new title in the franchise since 2017’s Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy on the Nintendo 3DS.


Details about Wave 4 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Booster Course Pass series of DLCs for Mario Kart 8 were revealed. Classic Mario character Birdo is joining the game as a playable driver, and the first course of this fourth wave of downloadable content was shown to be Yoshi’s Island. Wave 4 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass will be released later this spring.


The final game showcased on Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct was the majorly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. 


A new trailer showcased unique aspects of the gameplay, including ridable vehicles and teases at a darker story for the sequel to the critical and commercial darling The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Tears of the Kingdom will be released on May 12th, 2023. 


A collector’s edition was unveiled, including the game, an artbook, a SteelBook case, a Steel Poster, and four-pin badges. A Link amiibo figure was also showcased, providing players with additional content when tapped into a Nintendo Switch console. The collector’s edition and the Link amiibo will also be released on May 12th, 2023.


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