Batter up: ‘Nintendo Direct’ debuts new sports games and more

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Screenshot courtesy of 'Nintendo Direct' livestream

MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani promotes the upcoming game “MLB The Show 22.”

by Eugènie Budnik , Staff Writer

On Feb. 9, Nintendo held a 40-minute long ‘Nintendo Direct’ livestream giving a glimpse into highly anticipated games releasing in the first half of 2022.

A classic game making its way onto the Nintendo Switch platform this summer is “No Man’s Sky,” an action-based adventure game originally released for Playstation 4 and Microsoft Windows in 2016. In this game, players can explore an open universe of innumerable planets with an unimaginable variety of flora and fauna. This announcement of the game’s release parallels the game’s “Sentinel” update, which improved in-game combat and was released earlier this month. 

"Kirby and the Forgotten Land" allows players to swallow objects in the game, including cars.
“Kirby and the Forgotten Land” allows players to swallow objects in the game, and ‘Nintendo Direct’ debuted Kirby car (Carby) gameplay. (Screenshot courtesy of ‘Nintendo Direct’ livestream)

Fans were also treated with a peek of the upcoming installment in the Kirby video game series. The adorable, round, and food-loving pink puffball will be returning in “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” on Mar. 25. The ‘Direct’ also talked about a new “mouthful mode” which will allow players to swallow and take the shape of whole objects in-game. The game also has couch co-op, as a partner can play as Kirby’s partner Bandana Waddle Dee. 

“Splatoon” fans have been patiently waiting for the release of the third game in the series ever since its initial announcement at the Feb. 2021 Nintendo Direct event. A year later, fans finally got a look at the co-op mode for the third installment of the third-person shooter series. “Splatoon 3” sees the return of the 4v4 turf war with new stages and new weapons, while also introducing a new single-player story mode. “Splatoon” fans will have to keep waiting for this one, though, as it does not release until this summer.

Sport-themed video game connoisseurs rejoice, as Nintendo also announced the release of three sports video games.

“Mario Strikers,” the rowdy soccer-inspired game series, will be returning to the consoles of gamers this June. Players can join clubs of up to 20 teammates and play against rival clubs with Nintendo Switch Online. Players will also have the option to play with up to eight other teammates on one switch using local wireless or Nintendo Switch Online.

Major League Baseball may have delayed spring training due to a lockout, but baseball fans fear not. “MLB The Show 22” was announced for release on April 5, and Nintendo has scheduled exclusive playtests in order to build up anticipation for the new game. “MLB The Show 22” gives fans an immersive ballpark experience as well as the ability to create their own fantasy baseball team with cross-platform multiplying abilities. The deluxe version of the game features anime cover art of rising Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani. 

Long time Nintendo fans have been awaiting the announcement of “Nintendo Switch Sports.” “Nintendo Switch Sports” will feature tennis, bowling, and sword fighting much like its Wii and WiiU predecessors. However, this updated version of the game will also include soccer, volleyball, and badminton. The physical version of the game comes with a leg strap to place your Joy-Con in for a more immersive soccer experience. The game releases on Apr. 29, but Nintendo has already announced that more sports will be added to the game in the fall of 2022. 

Nintendo fans new and old have a plethora of games to keep occupied with until Nintendo holds the next Nintendo Direct event! Fans wanting to watch the Feb. 9 Nintendo Direct event in full can do so here.