Bonus Round: Nintendo Links To The Past

Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to Bonus Round, a look at some of the week’s biggest gaming stories. Nintendo held a Direct presentation Wednesday evening; they showed off plenty of upcoming new games, but also new ways to play a whole bunch of classics. Let’s get into it!

Nintendo's Metroid Prime Remastered

Metroid Prime Remastered released

During the Direct, Nintendo finally confirmed that Metroid Prime is coming to the Nintendo Switch with improved graphics and controls. This remaster has been rumoured for years, so it wasn’t a huge shock to see it show up. Slightly more surprising was Metroid‘s release date: the same day! Metroid Prime Remastered hit the eShop mere hours after the Direct finished, with a physical release coming on 22 February.

Metroid is a huge blindspot in my gaming history. While I’ve messed around with some of the more traditional 2D games, I’ve never even touched the Metroid Prime series of first person shooters. I’m very excited to finally try this game out for myself in all its remastered glory.

Game Boy and Game Body Advance for Nintendo Switch Online

GameBoy games come to Switch

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers have been able to enjoy a range of classic NES and SNES games for years. Last year, Nintendo started offering the premium Expansion Pak tier, granting access to a select range of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles. Now, even more value is being added to these subscriptions. NSO subscribers can now play a handful of Game Boy and Game Boy Colour games, while those with the Expansion Pak can also enjoy some Game Boy Advance classics.

The initial batch of Game Boy games includes Tetris, Wario Land 3, and Kirby’s Dream Land. On the Advance side, games include Mario Kart: Super Circuit, WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania, and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. As with the other classic offerings from Nintendo, these catalogues will be added to in the coming months and years. Among the future titles that Nintendo teased were Pokémon Trading Card Game, Metroid Fusion, and Golden Sun.

Maintaining easy access to these classic games is hugely important for the preservation of this medium. I’m not crazy about the inability to purchase and own these games à la carte, but it’s better for them to be available via subscription than not at all.

New trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Of course, Nintendo couldn’t end this Direct without a fresh look at their upcoming blockbuster The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. We got a new trailer that shows off the game’s floating islands, as well as a cool new car for Link to drive.

Tears of the Kingdom is a follow-up to 2017’s Breath of the Wild. That’s one of the most critically lauded games of all time, so this new one has some big shoes to fill. It’s rare for Zelda games to get direct sequels; they usually take place in completely different time periods. There’s a lot of mystery still surrounding Tears of the Kingdom, and while I enjoyed this trailer a lot, I don’t feel like I know a whole lot more about the game.

But there’s not much longer to wait; after significant delays, Tears of the Kingdom will finally release on 12 May.