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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Rondina

Nintendo Direct: Zelda Skyward Sword, Splatoon 3 and more!

My big highlights from Nintendo's first Direct of 2021.

Yesterday Nintendo delivered it’s first Direct since September 4th, 2019. During the virtual event the company pulled back the curtain on its Spring / Summer roadmap and offered some early peaks at titles slated for 2022. Over 30 games were showcased during the event, with many of them arriving this summer. The 50-minute showcase saved the biggest titles for last, giving a first look at The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD and Splatoon 3. The event had announcements that literally went from A-Z, including content for Animal Crossing New Horizons to Zelda. Here are my personal highlights from the event:

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Announced for Nintendo Switch

Release Date: July 16th, 2021 | Announcement Trailer

The Wii-era classic is returning to the Nintendo Switch with a bevy of improvements this summer. The HD edition includes more control options, enhanced graphics and a bump in frame rate up to 60 fps. Players will also get more choice in how they play either using motion controls or “button only” options. For purists you can play with two Joy-Con controllers replicating the original release’s full motion controls.

"The HD edition includes more control options, enhanced graphics and a bump in frame rate up to 60 fps."

The “button-only” options include the Pro Controller, Switch handheld mode or using the Nintendo Switch Lite. I am really looking forward to reliving the adventure with my 6-year-old when the game releases on July 16th

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Themed Joy-Con controllers

Release Date: July 16th, 2021

While we are on the topic of Skyward Sword and controllers, Nintendo also revealed Zelda themed Joy-Cons. The stunning design is modelled after the Master Sword, while the left features the Hylian Shield motif. The new controller will also arrive July 16th alongside the game, no pre-order information has gone live yet, but it looks to be a hotly sought-after collector’s item.

Splatoon 3 Coming in 2022

Release Date: TBD 2022 | Announcement Trailer

We were also treated to a very early first look at Splatoon 3, and a few changes coming to the series. First, you’ll need to pack your bags and bid farewell to Inkopolis the series is heading to a new region called the Splatlands. At its heart is Spatsville, where you’ll now do battle in the “City of Chaos.” The trailer introduced a new bow-weapon along with customization options and new movement abilities. These changes look to add some variety to the returning 4v4 Turf Wars matches.

"The trailer introduced a new bow-weapon along with customization options and new movement abilities."

For now, that’s all the information out there on the next Splatoon, but Nintendo is teasing more information in the near future.

Mario Golf: Super Rush Announced for Switch

Release Date: June 25th, 2021 | Announcement Trailer

Dig out your most ridiculous looking pair of plaid pants and dust off the 9-iron Mario Golf is back! The entire Mushroom Kingdom crew is returning for tee time. In addition to bright, beautiful cartoony golf courses, a new a shot gauge is being added to better navigate the course.

Mario Golf: Super Rush features a new fast paced mode called Speed Golf. This new game type has players teeing off at the same time and racing around the green against other players for their next shot. In this mode you can obstruct opponents with special shots and dashes, Mario can even knock opponent’s balls off the fairway. The new mode sounds like full contact golf and I like it! No word yet on inclusion of Mario Golf Karts but one can only hope!

"The new mode sounds like full contact golf and I like it!"

The game will also have a story mode with RPG-like elements that your Mii character will star in. You’ll be facing off against the likes of Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser and more. If you are looking to work on your swing, the Joy-Con controller also doubles as a golf club.

Get ready to hit the links this summer, Mario Golf: Super Rush arrives on June 25.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons + Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary

Release Date: March 1st, 2021 | Announcement Trailer

I love to spend hours accessorizing my Animal Crossing island "Suaveville" (it’s totally named that BTW, gotta stay on brand). To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Mushroom Kingdom-themed items are coming to Animal Crossing. You’ll be able to order the Super Mushroom and the “?” Block boxes and place them all over your island. The real game changers are the Warp Pipes which will allow you to travel around your island almost instantly. A new update is coming to Animal Crossing on February 25th, and Mario items will start to appear on March 1st. Get saving up those bells!


Release: May 21, 2021 | Announcement Trailer

Think of “The Sims” except with your own custom built Miis and you start to understand the premise of MiiTopia. As you might expect if you’ve experienced the Mii-verse on the Wii you can customize your characters with all new accessories with new additions such as wigs and make up there’s even an option to assign personality traits.

The game also has a story mode where you need team up against the face-stealing Dark Lord (whoa, that escalated quickly!) to protect your happy little utopia. The game looks to have light RPG elements allowing you to assign your Miis to roles like mage, warrior, and pop star.

No word yet on whether dapper tuxes are part of the Mii wardrobe, but I am monitoring the situation carefully. This looks to be a very original title to say the least, the fun kicks off May 21, 2021 when Miitopia releases.

Nintendo's Roadmap

The roadmap for Nintendo's offerings looks exciting into the spring / summer release window. Check out the video below for the entire Nintendo Direct, happy gaming!


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