February means different things to different people. Some think pancakes, others think romance. For the Mario-minded, it’s the month in which we usually get our first Nintendo Direct of the year.
And Nintendo didn’t disappoint. We’ve now got an extended look at Nintendo’s plans for the first half of 2023 on Switch. The plumber didn’t make an appearance, and it would appear that the Pokemon are having a well-earned year off. Regardless, Nintendo did have a few biggies to get us excited.
Retro gamers were very well catered for, and as expected, we got our meatiest trailer yet for the sequel to what many consider to be the best video game ever made. We’re talking about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, of course.
Read on for the biggest game announcements and trailers from February’s Nintendo Direct, and when we can expect to get our hands on them.
Metroid Prime Remastered
Intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran’s legendary first 3D outing has been high on the need-for-Switch list for years. While Metroid Prime 4 is still nowhere to be seen, we finally have an HD remaster of the original to tide us over.
With remastered visuals, audio and controls, this will surely be the best way to visit the dangerous planet of Tallon IV, whether it’s your first time or fifth. We were blown away by the Switch’s first 2D Metroid outing, Metroid Dread, but it’s about time this GameCube classic turned, or rolled, up.
Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games
It’s been a long time coming, but Nintendo Switch Online is finally getting Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles. And the best bit? The first wave of titles are available to download right now. Standard Nintendo Switch Online subscribers can access the Game Boy library, with launch games including Tetris, Super Mario Land 2-6 Golden Coins and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX.
In a slightly cheeky move from Nintendo, Game Boy Advance titles are exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members, and you can already get your thumbs on the likes of Zelda: The Minish Cap and Mario Kart: Super Circuit. More titles for both platforms will be added in the future.
Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp
Originally scheduled to launch last year but delayed for sensitivity reasons due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this double pack remake of the Game Boy Advance’s Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising sees one of Nintendo’s most iconic handheld series’ resurrected for a new generation.
You command an army in turn-based tactical battles that take place on land, in the air, and on sea, and when you’re done with the campaigns, up to four players can battle each other.
Due: April 21
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The best bit about Tears of the Kingdom’s presence in the February Direct was that there was no much-feared news of a delay to the release date. At the time of writing, the long-awaited sequel to one of the best games of all time is still coming on May 12. After watching the best trailer for the game yet at least 10 times, we can’t wait any longer than that.
While packed with gameplay footage, Nintendo is still keeping the game’s finer details shrouded in secrecy. Is the evil voice we hear in the trailer that of Ganondorf, or someone else? And does it tease once again the possibility of playing as Zelda in the game? All of that remains guesswork, and we’re fine with that for now.
Due: May 12
Believe it or not, it has somehow been almost 10 years since the last brand new Pikmin game, so the latest entry in Nintendo’s adorable but rather stressful real-time strategy series was met with a big old “fiiiinally” when it was properly unveiled for the first time last year.
In the latest trailer we were introduced to some new Pikmin types, like the Ice Pikmin. More importantly, we met the space dog Oatchi (petting potential unconfirmed at this stage), who will help players overcome puzzles.
Due: July 21
Splatoon 3 will build on its current offering in 2023 with its Expansion Pass DLC. Coming in two waves, the first arriving in Spring, players will get to revisit the original game’s Inkopolis hub, complete with some familiar shopkeepers. Everything in Inkopolis will function in the same way as it does in Splatoon 3’s Splatsville, with Nintendo leaning into the nostalgia element for longtime fans.
Wave 2 will add a new single-player campaign, which was revealed in a mysterious teaser. Splatoon 3’s single-player portion was good fun, but we were hoping something a bit meatier would arrive down the line and ‘Side Order’ looks like it could fill that void.
Due: First wave Spring 2023, second wave TBC
We’ve rounded up the biggest announcements above, but there was plenty more in the first Nintendo Direct of the year. This included a look at the next wave of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass tracks, a new trailer for the multiplayer platformer, Disney Illusion Island, and a very brief teaser for a brand new Professor Layton game.