Nintendo Direct: Nostalgic Classics, Animal Crossing Updates, and…a Mario Movie?

(Photo: Enrique Vidal Flores/Unsplash)This fall’s Nintendo Direct has brought a number of exciting updates to the table…er, Switch. Yesterday the company announced an almost overwhelming number of new releases, remastered favorites, game updates, and even new hardware.

On top of Nintendo Switch Online, the company is adding a new membership plan that includes a collection of Nintendo64 titles, like Mario Tennis, Mario Kart 64, and Starfox 64, as well as a number of Sega Genesis games, like Gunstar Heroes, Contra: Hard Corps, and Ecco the Dolphin. The expanded plan will become available in October, after which Nintendo says it will continue adding games such as Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and the original Pokemon Snap. The company will also begin selling wireless Nintendo 64- and Genesis-style Switch controllers compatible with each throwback title. 

But Nintendo isn’t done reminiscing. Yesterday it launched Castlevania Advanced Collection, a trio of classic Gameboy Advance games, on Switch. (The collection went up for sale on Xbox, PC, and Playstation 4 the same day.) Switch gamers will soon be able to enjoy arcade favorites Pac-Man and Xevious from the comfort of their console. The company is also bringing on Actraiser Renaissance, a surprise remaster of the SNES classic ActRasier, and tabletop RPG-inspired Shadowrun Trilogy, which was released to PC earlier this year. A handful of other games were announced, such as Hot Wheels Unleashed, Surviving the Aftermath, Shin Megami Tensei V, Wreckfest, and Rune Factory 5, with availability starting as early as yesterday. At this time, it’s unclear whether the controllers inspired by those from the Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis will be compatible with these games.

Though Nintendo focused on remakes with this Direct, a couple of new games are coming to Switch. Splatoon 3, the latest in a colorful third-person shooter saga, appears to focus on Turf War mode and the reappearance of mammals. The long-awaited Bayonetta 3 will come out in 2022, featuring the same sultry witch as before but with improved 3D graphics and bigger battles. Perhaps most exciting of the new releases, however, are the new Mario Party Superstars and Kirby and the Forgotten Land, both of which expand on widely adored Nintendo universes. Mario Party Superstars will become available at the end of next month, while Kirby fans will have to wait until spring 2022 to play the lovable character’s new game.

Kirby explores a mysterious world in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. (Image: Nintendo)

Yesterday’s Direct also touched on new content for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, including the apparent addition of Brewster’s cafe (an addition fans like myself have been asking for since the game’s release last year). Based on the announcement’s use of the words “new content,” it sounds like there could be other additions as well. Nintendo will be hosting an Animal Crossing-specific Direct sometime next month to provide further details.

Finally, Shigeru Miyamoto himself announced further details on the suspected (but previously unconfirmed) Mario movie, including a North America release date of December 21, 2022. Among the cast of the extremely star-studded English version of the movie will be Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Jack Black as Bowser, much to the amusement and chagrin of many users on Twitter.

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