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New from Nintendo: Tears of the Kingdom success and a tour stop in Salt Lake City

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“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” was released May 12.

“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” was released May 12.


The wait was apparently worth it.

After a yearlong delay, the sequel to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released on May 12 and became the fastest-selling Nintendo game in company history. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sold 10 million copies worldwide in its first three days after release.

Reviewers lavished praise on the new Zelda title as gamers dove in to explore the enormous open-world format.

“It’s hard to overstate how big this game feels,” said IGN’s review, which gave the game score of 10 and a designation of “Masterpiece.”

Tears of the Kingdom has a score of 95 on Metacritic.

Nintendo will ride the momentum of the Zelda release onto the road this summer with its Nintendo Summer of Play tour.

“Nintendo will travel to various cities across the U.S. and invite guests to explore the worlds created by Nintendo Switch games through a variety of summer-themed activities,” according to a press release.

Activities will be based on games such as Mario Kart 8, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the upcoming Pikmin 4 game (launching July 21), Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, in addition to Tears of the Kingdom.

Salt Lake City will be part of the nine-stop national tour. The Summer of Play tour will be at the Gateway from Aug. 10-13.

More information can be found here.

Metroid Prime

During February’s Nintendo Direct online event, it was announced that a remastered version of “Metroid Prime” was immediately available. The game originally debuted on the Game Cube and featured first-person perspective and 3D graphics. The fifth game in the Metroid franchise, “Prime Remastered” takes Samus Aran to the planet of Tallon IV with updated visuals and enhanced sound.

“Metroid Dread” was released for the Switch in October 2021.

Pokemon Violet and Pokemon Scarlet

Nintendo’s big holiday release — two open-world Pokemon games — debuted Nov. 18 and sold more than 10 million copies in three days, making it the fastest-selling launch in company history, according to IGN.

Pokemon Violet and Pokemon Scarlet (sold separately for $59.99 each) offer open-world, at-your-own-pace gameplay set in the Paldea Region, described as “a vast land filled with lakes, towering peaks, wastelands, small towns and sprawling cities.” The difference in the versions has to do with the available characters and the settings — Violet being more futuristic, and Scarlet being more primitive.

Both games are rated E for mild fantasy violence.

Splatoon 3

Released: Sept. 9.

Cost: $59.99.

Quick review: Splatoon 3 features anthropomorphic squid and octopus characters splatting each other with colorful ink via a wide selection of weapons — including a giant paint roller. It’s set in the “Splatlands,” described as “a sun-scorched desert inhabited by battle-hardened Inklings and Octolings.”

Splatoon 3 is very much character and community driven. Each session begins with updates from hosts Shiver, Frye and Big Man. There’s a robust lobby where players team up with online friends. (Parents should note that the game features in-game purchases and user interaction.)

It’s fast, colorful, fairly easy to pick up but difficult to dominate. Splatoon definitely fits the criteria of a “shooter” and is a good, guilt-free way to let your kids experience this genre without worrying about how they will react to varying degrees of violence and blood in games like Call of Duty or Apex Legends.

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Released: June 10.

Cost: $59.99.

Quick review: There’s the usual lineup of Mario characters — starting with Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Rosalina, Wario, Waluigi and Yoshi — who knock each other over and put destructive items like banana peels and turtle shells in each other’s path. At its heart, it’s a pass, shoot and score game. Everything else is just decoration and devastation.

Among the decorations? Arena backgrounds resembling different landscapes from the Mario universe and animated “hyper strikes” unique to each character.

Among the devastation? Electric fences that immobilize a player, the same type of destructive items that are found in Mario Kart and slide tackles (the effectiveness of which depend a lot on whether you’re controlling Bowser or Waluigi).

Players who can successfully avoid collisions, bombs and anything else that can knock characters off their feet will find enough room to share the ball and create scoring opportunities. The real thrill of the game comes through precision passing and shooting.

It’s a simple game in concept, but avoiding all that devastation is quite difficult — especially when playing against more experienced, higher-caliber players.

Nintendo Switch Sports

Released: April 29.

Cost: $39.99.

Quick review: Remember Wii Sports? This is a reboot for the Switch, which features the more compact Joy-Con controllers — a definite upgrade. Switch Sports maintains the simplicity of the original and has a very low barrier to entry. Just about anyone can figure it out. For example, when playing volleyball or tennis, the game will put you in the right position — you just have to execute on the spike or forehand. The number of games is limited to just six (soccer, volleyball, bowling, tennis, badminton and chambara/swordplay). That’s disappointingly low, but is offset a bit by the lower price point. Plus, an update is planned for the fall that will add golf. Volleyball was an unexpected favorite with the groups my family played in, and bowling and badminton seem to have the most replay value. Check out the online bowling mode. It’s one of the game’s better offerings.

Also released in 2022