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What's next for Nintendo: Bayonetta, Kirby, Splatoon, and classic N64 & Genesis Switch games
The fall has barely begun, but that didn't stop Nintendo from streaming a Nintendo Direct to chart a course for what's to come in the remainder of the year and into 2022.
Though the stream was short on news about first party games in the coming future, there were certainly some hotly awaited reveals as well as some surprise announcements... other than the fact that Chris Pratt will voice Mario in Illumination's Super Mario Bros. animated movie, obviously.
Kirby goes post apocalyptic
Revealed ahead of schedule earlier in the day, Nintendo's sentient pink ball is headlining another game in Kirby & the Forgotten Land. In this case, the titular land looks kind of familiar -- it's post apocalyptic and looks very similar to our world, just with a stylized Nintendo bent to fit its goofy lead. Though Kirby's had a handful of games on the Switch in the system's short lifespan, this new game marks the first major entry since 2018's Star Allies.
It also looks pretty different from those earlier games; instead of a side scroller or platformer like so many Nintendo franchises, Forgotten Land seems to have caught the open world bug that hit Super Mario Odyssey in 2017 and charmed the hearts of millions. Will Land do for Kirby what that game did for Mario? Answers will have to wait until Kirby & the Forgotten Land hits the Switch in Spring 2022.
Monster Hunter Rise breaks the sun
When Monster Hunter World released in 2018, it saw massive critical and commercial success for Capcom's cult classic franchise. Bringing it to Switch with Monster Hunter Rise felt like a no-brainer, and that game has seen similar acclaim since it released earlier this year. The only logical thing to do now is to just give Rise players something new to fight, and that's where Sunbreak comes in.
Billed as a "major" expansion, Hunters will explore new worlds and experience new stories; fans can easily liken it to the Iceborne expansion for World. While light on providing info such as where you're going or what new monsters you'll be hunting, just seeing that massive dragon show up to casually eat a considerably smaller dragon and roar in triumph is enough to get the adrenaline pumping. Look for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak when it arrives as paid DLC next summer.
Love Mario Kart? Do that with Chocobos
Chocobos are a constant among the many games in the Final Fantasy franchise, and now those cute yellow birds are getting a chance to show everyone what they're made of with Chocobo GP. The racing game more or less looks like Mario Kart, but Final Fantasy-themed in its characters and tracks. Sometimes that's all you need.
This is actually the second time the Chocobos are in a racing game; the first being a 1999 racing game on the original PlayStation. A sequel was announced for the Nintendo 3DS in 2010 but later canceled. Chocobo GP is another chance to make this potential racing series hit big, and it just might thanks to one important game changer: the Chocobos can wear rocket skates and do tricks while airborne. Expect it to race onto the Switch in 2022.
At long last, Bayonetta makes her grand return
Bayonetta 3 was announced all the way back in late 2017, and for fans, that wait has been torture. With each previous Direct where Platinum Games' spectacular heroine didn't show, hope began to dwindle. So of course, Nintendo goes ahead and finally reveals the thing just as folks seemed to have resigned themselves to another Direct without a trailer.
"It seems I'm unfashionably late," croons Bayonetta. "But I'm ready to give you everything you want." With a new look, she springs into action with a gameplay montage that shows how she hasn't lost her edge since the last game back in 2014. With a spring in her step, she's more than happy to slay some demons and create monsters out of her hair to have a big kaiju fight. Fortunately, there won't be too much of a wait between now and Bayonetta 3's actual release, as it's coming to the Switch in 2022.
Splatoon 3 gets a little hairy
Nintendo's paint-happy shooter series has always been kind of weird, how could it not be when it lets you alternate between being a kid or a squid? But Splatoon 3's second trailer takes a swerve from the goofy paint-throwing fun to focus on the larger world of the franchise. And that includes mammals?
The first two games in the series have been strictly about the Inklings, but the story mode is dubbed "Return of the Mammalians," and the furry critters are peppered throughout the trailer in a way that feels very ominous. Amidst all the footage of Inklings hanging out or exploring the Splatlands, there's an undertone that something sinister is afoot, and the return of the Mammalians may end up being a danger for the Inklings. We'll find out for certain when the game arrives on the Switch in 2022.
You can play more classic games on your Switch
Nintendo Switch Online is making its library a little bigger by bringing in N64 and Genesis games. As part of a new tier to the subscription service, you'll be able to play classics likes like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Phantasy Star IV when it launches later this year. Future additions include Majora's Mask, Banjo-Kazooie, and Mario Golf. If that weren't enticing enough, Switch versions of the N64 and Genesis controllers are being released for $50 in the near future.