Following their lacklustre display in 2021, which mainly consisted of remakes and ports, this year, Nintendo is coming in hot. The Switch celebrates its fifth anniversary, there is a new Super Mario Bros movie coming out, and we have tons of games to look forward to. The handheld gaming segment has seen a surge in popularity, with even Steam building their own device, set to ship out in February, as a result of a delay. Hopefully, Nintendo does not suffer a similar fate and manages to ship out these exclusive titles on time.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
The sequel to the 2017 Game of the Year winner has been shrouded in mystery since its initial announcement. Nintendo still has not decided on an official title yet, but thanks to the 2019 E3 trailer, we know that it picks up right after the prequel and follows a darker theme. The music is eerie and plays backwards, while we see a mummified corpse emanating black magic that looks identical to the infectious blight, Malice.
Link also receives some new powers this time, allowing him to phase through walls and a time rewind ability, as evidenced by the 2021 trailer, where we see him stop a rolling spike-ball midway and send it back to damage enemies. Rumours suggest that Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 should be out in November 2022.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
We all know what to expect from a Pokémon game – run around the map and catch monsters, fight other trainers in turn-based combat, and progress your character and Pokémon via badges and evolution. Set in the bygone era of the Sinnoh region, Arceus features a truly immersive environment, where players can explore the lands and capture the monsters immediately in the real world.
Meaning, the game won’t take you into a separate battle screen, and sometimes the timid ones might get scared and run off into the wild, forcing you to track them using your senses. The plot follows the creation of Sinnoh’s first Pokédex and is aimed at shedding some light on the history surrounding major events in the franchise. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set to release on February 28, 2022.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
In a returning collaboration between Nintendo and Ubisoft, Mario, Luigi, and others embark on an intergalactic journey to save the Spark companions from an energy-absorbing entity named Cursa. Players must team up with their Rabbid counterparts and use their respective special powers to fight enemies, solve puzzles, and get past levels.
You get nine familiar characters to pick from your roster as you explore new locations and fight bosses. The game also features a damage counter which pops up upon attacking an enemy, highlighting critical hits and stuff. But, it does not feature any health bar(s), making the element feel redundant. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is set to release sometime in 2022.
Initially revealed in 2019, the third iteration of the Bayonetta series is set in a devastated Tokyo, and brings back its iconic hack and slash gameplay. The new teaser does not showcase much, besides a combat sequence between the titular witch and a kaiju monster, where she uses a new purple coloured spell that emulates spacial magic, allowing you to create portals of sorts.
The final shot gave a glimpse of a mysterious character, which some are speculating to be Virgil from the Devil May Cry franchise. It is also worth noting that Bayonetta is donning braids this time, similar to when she was a child. As for whether this game is a prequel, only time will tell.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
The new Kirby game seems to be taking heavy inspiration from Super Mario Odyssey, tossing the iconic pink puffball into a desolate city overgrown with wines and vivid monsters. A lot of the gameplay is exploration-based with coins and stars to collect aplenty. As usual, his powers allow him to suck up enemies or copy their abilities to use against them or solve puzzles. The open-world looks rich as well, full of interactive items and cute allies that follow you around. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is set to release in Spring 2022.
Splatoon 3 transports us to Spatsville – a grey, deserted metropolis hub city where players engage in 4v4 Turf Wars, painting the town in coloured ink. Unlike previous games, where you were supposed to ink your opponents, this time, the objective is to see who colours the town the most. Players can customise their characters down to the eye colour and use unique equipment such as an umbrella to shield the ink, and rollers to cover large areas in their colours.
Playing as an Octoling, which is a new addition, lets you use their tentacles as a grappling hook and cover long distances. The game also features a story mode, where you face off against the Octavian army. Splatoon 3 arrives sometime in 2022.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
The classic Advance Wars games are back with a new, reimagined style for the Switch. With the help of Andy, Max, Sami, and other commanding officers, players must defend their land in a military-style turn-based battle system. Think of it like ‘Totally Accurate Battle Simulator,’ where you align your troops and assign them actions to complete, while the whole ordeal plays out in a cutscene.
Each of the characters has different abilities ranging from repair to ability boosting. Besides the campaign, it also features a Versus Mode, where you can play against four friends in dozens of maps. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp was initially supposed to release early last month, but was later delayed to April 8, 2022.