The Best Stuff from 2023’s First Nintendo Direct
Feb 14, 2023   •   Matthew Arcilla
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Feb 14, 2023   •   Matthew Arcilla
The first ever Nintendo Direct for 2023 has come and gone and with it a dizzying array of upcoming games. I would argue that it’s probably the most exciting slate of trailers Nintendo’s current console has ever delivered, possibly signaling the final years of the now six-year-old device.
That’s right teenagers who originally bought the hybrid console are now college-age adults and you are old. But that’s not going to stop you from dipping into remastered old favorites like Tales of Symphonia, Baten Kaitos, and Metroid Prime, going deep into expansion passes for Splatoon 3 and Mario Kart 8 and you’re certainly waiting for the return of a champion legend.
There’re 36 trailers all packed into the entire livestream / VOD / pre-recorded marketing blitz but here are eight of the most exciting ones.
It’s been nearly a decade since the last mainline release of this quirky puzzle strategy series from Nintendo. A new trailer is water in the desert for fans of these tiny little aliens, delivering many Pikmin things like swarming around obstacles, breaking stuff, and introducing a new Pikmin that can freeze enemies and bodies of water and Otachi, a dog-like mount. Pikmin 4 launches July 21, 2023.
If you liked Love Nikki or Shining Nikki but could do without the bonkers storyline, Fashion Dreamer might be for you. Become a fashion influencer and use over 1,400 items to create your best looks. The game also encourages players to take their creations online and show them off to the world (and grow your brand, the trailer promises!)
Originally released for iOS and the Nintendo DS way back in the 2010s, Ghost Trick Phantom Detective is a fun, compelling puzzle mystery game that’s receiving a modern release. As a recently deceased spirit named Sissel, who uses various psychokinetic tricks to help a young detective solve a mystery and unlock pieces of the past. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective arrives this summer.
From the developers of Professor Layton comes a futuristic RPG adventure that lets you explore an open world, and solve mysteries. As rookie detective Harvard, you’ll travel back and forth between the physical world and the virtual world (via an advanced simulation known as DECASIM) to take down criminals with your combat and deduction skills.
Bayonetta 3 was released to mixed reception late last year, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo and PlatinumGames from continuing to find ways to expand on the series’ rich lore and characters. This new spin-off will let players learn more about the shapeshifting witch’s younger days and control her infernal demon companion Cheshire. Bayonetta Origins is set to launch on March 17, 2023.
From the makers of Vampyr and Life is Strange, Harmony: Fall of Reverie is their latest character-driven choice-based narrative adventure. It stars an “upbeat young woman” named Polly who can travel between two worlds, one not unlike ours and another where strange deities reside. Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is slated for June 2023.
Indie retro masters WayForward have painstakingly remade 2001’s Advance Wars and its 2003 sequel, Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, bringing a beloved strategy series to a modern platform. Guide commanding officers Andy, Max, and Sami across two separate storylines. Players can even design their own maps to share with friends. Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp drops April 21, 2023.
The long-awaited follow-up to the smash hit Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom will drop May 12, 2023. We got an expansive look at Hyrule torn asunder with a mysterious island floating in the skies and the return of Ganon (who previously appeared in a more calamitous form). The bad news is that the game will be the first Switch exclusive to retail for $70 instead of $60.
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