I bet you’re looking for some takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct, and I have sure got some takeaways for you. Other websites may have some obvious analysis and some might even give you their “hot takes” or whatever word journalists use as shorthand now, but not here. Here on B. A. Baker’s website, you’re getting the esoteric takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct. You’re getting the ones that nobody else is gonna talk about. Get ready.
If you’re a longtime blog reader, you may know that I’m a Nintendo shill and it makes up too big a percent of my body makeup. But you also know that I love nothing more than complaining about Nintendo constantly, as well.
However, unlike my previous Nintendo Direct article, I actually really enjoyed this most recent one. It still followed the annoying formula to an extent, but it was weirdly jam-packed with releases. To be fair, very few of them were brand-new games from Nintendo itself, but it’s such a far cry from the Wii U era that it makes me very happy.
Best Takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct
But, you didn’t come here to listen to me talk about how I felt about the presentation overall. You came here for my takeaways, and take away I will.
Without any further ado, my 5 Hidden Takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct!
#5 – Pikmin’s Gonna Go In the House
I’m really glad Pikmin is being positioned as one of Nintendo’s core franchises now. I guess Pikmin 3 Deluxe sold really well, because this new one got first billing in the entire presentation. It looks like it’s going to be a blast, and I can’t wait to play it.
But there’s something mind-blowing waiting for us.
A house. There’s gonna be a fricking house. Up to this point, the games have always taken place out in nature, with human structures around and buried treasure to uncover. Pikmin 2’s dungeon levels occasionally had floors that looked like living rooms which makes no sense but whatever. But Pikmin 4 is, right off the bat, showing an actual literal house, that humans built and may be actively living in.
And by golly, we’re going to go in that house, I already know it. What the heck’s gonna happen?
I’m excited for the return of dungeons, and I hope that this means we’ll be getting a lot of co-op special missions to play with friends after release. Games as a service, but with that Nintendo twist of actually being fun and not just skinner boxes. Pikmin has weirdly been a very good franchise for local multiplayer. As far as I know, online multiplayer hasn’t been announced, but I have a feeling it’s gonna be a big deal here.
But beyond the dungeons… There’s a fricking house out there and I know my Pikmin are gonna have to climb on a sofa at some point.
Nintendo must be feeling the heat after Tinykin blew everyone’s socks off. I’m excited to see them try to top it.
#4 – They Are Wasting NO Time With Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass
It’s crazy. The game’s been out less than 3 weeks, and I’m not even done with the dang game yet. But they’re already releasing WAVE TWO of Fire Emblem Engage’s Expansion Pass.
By the way, it’s a really good game. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m satisfied. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a new Fire Emblem game since Awakening, and it’s honestly probably a better game. The story’s not that interesting, but the characters are top-notch, extremely well-written for the most part. I might write a longer piece about it after I’m done. Also the art style and graphics are the best Fire Emblem’s ever looked, no contest.
Anyway, between Wave 1 and 2, there’s already SEVEN new Emblem characters, and plenty of new story content. Yes, I question the practice of secretly making a $90 video game split into two parts. But that ship’s long since sailed, and I’ll just enjoy all the shiny new stuff I’ll get to experience later on when I buy the Expansion pack.
But gosh, these waves are releasing extremely quickly. I’m used to the Nintendo drip-feed of updates, so this took me by complete surprise.
#3 – Baten Kaitos Remaster Cements Monolith Soft’s Dominance
Nintendo purchased Monolith Soft about 15 years ago to help beef up their B-tier Wii releases. They wanted to turn Monolith Soft into another Nintendo support studio. Instead, it feels like Monolith Soft has taken over Nintendo from the inside out and transformed the company into a Monolith Soft engine.
As far as takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct go, this might be the most important one.
This mildly obscure card battler RPG from the Gamecube is getting a real-deal release as one of Nintendo’s big summer games, and that’s crazy to me. This is the kind of game that tends to get dumped on Steam with a shoddy PC port and exists just to be a catalog title and sell for $2.99 during summer sales. Instead, thanks to its Monolith Soft pedigree, it’s getting a full remaster and re-release!
Ten years ago, Xenoblade was a well-selling, but extremely hard to find Wii title, and now Xenoblade is such a big franchise that it has multiple characters in Smash Bros. and the new game’s DLC was a major feature of this very same Direct. Monolith Soft is also a major developer for many of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, including Splatoon and Breath of the Wild. And this Baten Kaitos re-release is just another jewel in that studio’s crown.
I guess it’s only a matter of time before Xenosaga Trilogy comes to Switch as well? Should we be expecting even a Xenogears 2D HD remake?
#2 – Fire Emblem Multiplayer, By Way of Gameboy Advance
The world has demanded for years and years to have a robust, active, and fun Fire Emblem multiplayer experience. Other than apparently Fates which I never played and didn’t even know had multiplayer, Intelligent Systems never relents. We always get the passive “ships in the night” type multiplayer experiences. Minimal, but still pretty fun I guess.
We’re still not getting that with the Gameboy Switch Online release. But soon we will have a mild alternative. Fire Emblem 7: The Blazing Blade (and presumably Sacred Stones later on) is coming to the service sometime! And that means we’ll have the Link Arena. You can play with your friend and duke it out with all your most powerful characters in fun hotseat multiplayer. The Link Arena should be very well-known to any lonely middle schooler who inevitably played it by themself over and over on the bus.
If we assume the internet capabilities are limited to weird streaming like the console multiplayer, and not full-on link cable stuff, then you can only battle with your own dudes on two to four sides and not your friend’s team. But it’ll work online OR offline, which is kinda neat.
Listen, I’m starved for Fire Emblem multiplayer, and I will accept whatever we can get.
#1 – Fashion Dreamer Looks Trippy
This isn’t the game we asked for, but it’s the one we need right now. In an era where Splatoon has become the hip cool Nintendo property, a new fashion game successor to Style Savvy’s gotta be bold. And bold this thing clearly is.
The visuals pop like crazy. Just wandering around town is going to be a treat, just seeing all the weird and stylish environments. I’m not sure I’m actually interested in playing this game ever, but I’m for sure interested in seeing the Thorhighheels video that will inevitably come from it.
It’s bizarrely one of the more exciting announcements of the presentation for me, especially if it can teach me how to actually dress like the butch icon I yearn to become and/or yearn to date.
Final Takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct
All in all, I’m loving the nostalgia bait for Nintendo Gamecube re-releases, and I hope we get a giant deluge of them over the next couple years before the Switch successor console is ready for release. Star Fox Assault with online multiplayer, please… Metroid Prime 2 with online multiplayer, please… Super Smash Bros. Melee with online m–hahaha just kidding.
There’s also a ton of RPGs coming out. They know that’s what the kids like, and they are delivering a bunch of it.
But those are very obvious takeaways. Not hidden ones, so mentioning them at all may ruin my street cred.
Are there any more hidden takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct you’re thinking about? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Start an argument with your peers about why Nintendo almost never features traditional fighters or 3D platformers. I want site engagement!