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Nintendo Direct February 2022: Fire Emblem, Bayonetta, Zelda – What VG247 would like to see

The first big Nintendo showcase of 2022 is coming up, and the Japanese platform holder certainly has a lot of loose ends to tie up as we head into a whole new year.

Yes, you've read correctly: this afternoon, Nintendo revealed the time and date of the next Nintendo Direct livestream, which will air on February 9. The first show of the year finally has an official date, some 132 days after the last proper Direct took to the air (no, the Animal Crossing one from October 2021 does not count).

Nintendo has a lot to prove with this debut show of 2022; there are a fair few loose ends for all of us expecting to get our hands on some delicious Nintendo Switch exlcusives over the next year – the status of Breath of the Wild 2 (or whatever it's going to be called), Bayonetta 3, and even Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope remains uncertain. What's more, we've yet to learn what games are on the docket for 2022 proper – these early Directs tend to outline Nintendo's plan for the rest of the year and, yes, that means new announcements.

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Look at the Direct that took place on February 17, 2021 – that's the most recent and likely most similar show to the one we're going to get today. That Direct was packed with information; whether it was the headline announcemnet of Pyra / Mythra DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the arrival of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout on the Switch, the announcement of Mario Golf: Super Rush, the reveal of the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass, the unveiling of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, the announcement of Splatoon 3, or the reveal for Apex Legends on Switch, it was a packed 50 minutes of content.

Can we expect the same here? It stands to reason that, yes, we can: you can't fill a presentation of this size without some pretty hefty first- and third-party announcements, right?

With that in mind, here's what the VG247 team wants to see from the first Nintendo Direct of 2022.

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Breath of the Wild 2

Connor Makar – Staff Writer

Aside from a few morsels of information at E3 2021, there's been no word about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom since - wow - 2019. The game has been a noticeable absence from the past two years of Nintendo Directs, and while the team working on it has surely been powering through the devastating impacts of COVID, it would be fantastic to see a glimpse of the game yet again in the upcoming Nintendo Direct.

Breath of the Wild 2 does have some mighty large shoes to fill – thanks in large part to the incredible quality of its predecessor. How this new game will rework and refine the features present in the previous instalment in the series is what I'm personally keen to see. The story, too, which we caught a tiny glimpse of back with that initial teaser trailer, left far more questions than answers in the minds of fans, so a few more crumbs of info to help us piece together the state of the world would be brilliant to see too. After all, how on earth is it actually going to take inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2?!

Nintendo will have to hurry though - each day that passes means an innocent Breath of the Wild fan gets tempted over into the clutches of Genshin Impact. Think of the children Nintendo! At least, in theory, we don't have too much longer to wait... that is if Breath of the Wild 2 is still clinging to that supposed 2022 release date.

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Fire Emblem

Alex Donaldson – Assistant Editor

Did you know that Nintendo hasn't gone more than three years between Fire Emblem games in the series' thirty-year history? Well, you do now. Sure, a lot of them never made their way West, but the point is that Intelligent Systems has had a pretty solid and reliable treadmill of Fire Emblem development for three decades now.

Fire Emblem games were a bi-yearly affair between '90 and '96. The same was true between '02 and '12 - in fact, for many of those years, there was a Fire Emblem every single year. Since that first game in 1990, there have only been a handful of periods where Fire Emblem has been away for more than a year - '97 and '98 were both barren, as was 2000 and '20'01, then '13 and '14.

Now, we're rapidly approaching the largest gap between Fire Emblem releases in series history. Fire Emblem: Three Houses will be three years old this summer. It's also worth noting that game was a smash hit, a slam dunk. A critical and commercial success. A sequel is, y'know, inevitable. And the timing is right.

So, what do I expect? Well, this could go one of two ways: a remake or a new game. Fire Emblem has done both; Awakening & Fates on 3DS were followed by Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a remake. If we look to the 3DS pattern of new-new-old for guidance, we should expect a new game, then a remake after that.

So, that's my prediction. We'll get a new Fire Emblem game that builds on the new concepts introduced to the series in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I'd love to see the game bring back some series features that skipped that game, like a customizable protagonist. But then, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the next game after that is a remake – two new, one remake for Switch, just as on 3DS. I totally believe Fire Emblem Echoes: Genealogy of the Holy War will be a thing, given how much that SNES title inspired Three Houses, but for now, I'm bracing myself and crossing my fingers for an all-new Fire Emblem that's hopefully as good as Three Houses.

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Bayonetta 3

Dom Peppiatt – Features Editor

As our own Tom Orry pointed out in September last year, it took a frankly ludicrous 3 Years, 9 Months, 2 Weeks, and 3 Days for us to – finally – see some Bayonetta 3 content after the game was initially announced back on December 7, 2017.

But, surprise surprise, since then we've heard absolutely nothing about the game. The title apparently has a 2022 release date, but given that we've seen and heard very little about the game – even despite it's September 2021 blowout – I'm willing to bet the jury is still out on that one. Platinum Games is not a developer known for rushing things out for the sake of it, and the upshot of that is a pretty tight catalogue of games (if you ignore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan and its appalling Legend of Korra game, anyway).

Rumours currently abound that the studio is looking into more live service products (boo), but I'm holding out hope that Bayonetta 3 could be one last hurrah of the traditional action game that will – once again – serve to elevate the genre and have a knock-on effect on Dante, Nero and Vergil whenever they decide to emerge from the roiling fires of hell once again, too.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Dorrani Williams, Video Producer

The final character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed back in October 2021 – and it was Sora, from the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Not Shrek, not Master Chief, not Doom Guy. Game director Masahiro Sakurai has said that Sora would be the last character added to the game (and why not? The Nintendo team has been working on Super Smash Bros. Ultimarte for a very, very long time).

We've seen Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima, as well as characters from Arms, Final Fantasy, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Minecraft in the game since it launched on Nintendo Switch... but I want more!

It's probably a long shot, but just one more Fighters Pass filled with all those cameo characters that were rumoured but never made it into the final game – that's what I'd most want to see from this latest Nintendo Direct.

The next Nintendo Direct takes place tomorrow at 2pm PT, 5pm ET and 10pm UK.

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