That scream you heard over the internet was Twitter having a collective seizure over the September’s Nintendo Direct. Everyone expected a new “Kirby” game and others were excited for a sneak peek at “Bayonetta 3” but what has everyone in an uproar is that the Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto announced the cast for the upcoming animated “Mario” movie, and it stunned everyone.
Actor Chris Pratt will be playing Mario. Charlie Day will play his brother Luigi. Princess Peach will be voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy. Jack Black will take on the role of Bowser. Keegan-Michael Key will be Toad. In addition, non-members of the Mushroom Kingdom will be showing up in the film as well as Seth Rogen will play Donkey Kong. The cast is rounded out by Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
Charles Martinet, who voices Mario in the video games, will also have a several roles in the film, according to Miyamoto. The “Mario” film is scheduled for release Dec. 21, 2022.
No one other than this one guy on Twitter could have expected this. The choice of Pratt is curious and until we actually hear Star-Lord’s voice coming out of Mario’s face it will be tough to say whether it was the right choice. All the other names for the roles are solid, and I can imagine Day, Black, Rogen and Taylor-Joy will put in solid performances in their roles. I just never imagined Mario as a swashbuckler type.“Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak” will be a massive expansion for “Monster Hunter Rise.” It is scheduled for release summer 2022. (Capcom)
NOW FOR THE VIDEO GAME NEWS
The other big pieces of news coming out of the Nintendo Direct is that a major expansion to “Monster Hunter Rise” is in the works. Unfortunately, fans won’t be able to play it until summer 2022. Titled “Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak,” it will include new locales, new moves and additional monsters such as Fatalis. Unlike previous content drops, this one will cost money.
“Kirby and the Forgotten Land” looked promising. It’s one of the rare times that Nintendo’s pink fluffball appears in an open-world world game. Normally, he stars in 2-D platformers. The intriguing part is how the game blends his trademark power-capturing abilities in a three-dimensional environment. It looks like Nintendo nailed that part right, so it’s up to the level designers to match that creativity. Setting the project in a post-apocalyptic world is surprising but it could also be one of the cooler ways the developers can squeeze out some interesting scenarios from the game. “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” is scheduled for release in spring 2022.“Bayonetta 3” is real and it is coming out in 2022. It’s another promising title to what’s expected to be a great year in video games. (Nintendo)
The other big headliner for the Nintendo Direct was the new footage of “Bayonetta 3.” This title was announced in 2017 and it’s been development for what seems like forever. Judging by the gameplay video, it looks like the project will be worth the wait. The game seems to retain the quick-twitch action gameplay that made the series a hit and it gives the female lead more ways to defeat her foes. This time around, she can control demons. “Bayonetta 3” looks great and it’s looking like it will make an already crowded 2022 lineup even better.
Fans looking forward to “Splatoon 3” had more gameplay footage to whet their appetite. The title now includes mechs and a single-player campaign called the Return of the Mammalians, taking place in Splattsville and the Splatsland. It looks like the project will give fans more of what they love: intense team-based combat coupled with unusual traversal mechanics.“Triangle Strategy” may have a retro look but it’s gameplay is thoroughly modern. (Square Enix)
SQUARE ENIX HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The other third-party publisher that had a strong showing at the Nintendo Direct was Square Enix, which unveiled a little bit of everything. It revealed more of its highly anticipated project “Triangle Strategy.” It’s game that will make fans of “Final Fantasy Tactics” and the “Disgaea” series happy. The title is still on track to launch March 4, 2022. During the announcement, the developers said that they took into account feedback from a demo earlier this year and they’ll incorporate that into the effort. Changes includes several quality-of-life adjustments such as the ability to change difficulty before a battle, the ability to review previous dialogue and a streamlined gameflow.
Square Enix also added a bit of originality with its reveal of “Voice of Cards: The Isle of Dragon Roars.” It’s a card-based role-playing game from some of the team behind “NieR” and “Drakengard.” As the name implies, the project has a heavy card theme with the overland world depicted in cards as well as the combat taking place using dice and decks. It’s an interesting concept, and one that players will see soon. “Voice of Cards” is scheduled for release Oct. 28.“Actraiser Renaissance” is a remaster of the SNES classic and it comes out Sept. 23, 2022. (Nintendo)
The publisher also satisfied plenty of old-school fans with “Actraiser Renaissance.” It’s a remastered HD version of the SNES classic. It features new stages, boss battles and fresh music added to the beloved score. If you haven’t played this title, then it’s a must-play. It’s a combination of a god game along with a side-scrolling beat-’em-up. Yes, it’s an odd combination but strangely it works. The game comes out today on the Nintendo Switch.
The last piece of big news from a packed Nintendo Direct was the announcement of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. It’s a new membership plan coming in late October that gives players access to classic Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games such as “Super Mario 64,” “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” “Mario Kart 64,” “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” “Streets of Rage 2 and “Ecco the Dolphin.” If you’re happy with your regular Nintendo Switch Online, you can keep it, but if you a retro fan looking for some older games for the console, this is your best bet.