The initial reveal of the Nintendo Switch’s first year of games felt underwhelming for most, however, Nintendo later tweeted out that there are now over 100 games currently in development for the hybrid console. We decided to shout out some of our favorites, most of which are slated to arrive on Switch this year.
Update: You can watch our video version of Switch Picks below.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Well this one should be obvious. I mean, we’ve been anticipating this title back when it was revealed at E3 2013 for Wii U with a release date of 2015. Fast forward to 2015 and Nintendo announced NX (the code name for Switch) and Zelda got delayed months later, leaving many to speculate that it would be a dual release similar to Skyward Sword on GameCube and Wii. We now know the game is releasing as a launch title for Switch on March 3, and everyone here at Pixelrater is dying to get lost in Nintendo’s newest adventure with Link. We’ve been salvating at the mouth since the open world escapade was revealed back in 2013, so yeah, this is a big deal. Our dear friends over at The Nintendo Power Couple got to play it. You should check out their thoughts. We fully expect to be huddled around our Switches as we each embark on our own grand aventure. We also expect to shout and scream at eachother in sheer excitement as we unearth new relics and make new discoveries.
Snipperclips – Cut it out Together!
Yes, this game is as fun and charming as it looks. I can vouch for it after some hands-on time at the NYC Switch event. While this may not have a single player experience, it’s a fantastic example of a multiplayer game that proudly shows off the console’s tabletop mode. And, I mean, local co-op games are harder and harder to come by. This one is a definite purchase that my wife I can’t wait to play. It should arrive some time in March and will be a downloadable title priced at $20.
If you owned a Wii U, chances are you owned Splatoon. It’s one of the best new IP’s to come out of the house of Mario in years. In traditional Nintendo fashion, the company took the competitive shooting experience and made it accessible for newcomers while also making it require skill for diehards. All you have to do is look at the art to see how bright, colorful, and refreshing this game is. So when Splatoon 2 was announced, it’s no surprise everyone here got very excited. The sequel is said to have all new weapons with the Splat Dualies already a fan favorite, which you can see in action here. Also expect new areas and maybe even game modes including the ability to link up to eight Switch consoles together wirelessly or over a LAN, enabling competitive play between eight people with two spectators. Even if the sequel ends up being more of the same, it’ll be more of the same you can play anywhere—and we definitely have no qualms about that.
Super Mario Odyssey
Finally! A new sandbox 3D Mario adventure! Don’t get me wrong—Tristan and I love us some 2D side scrolling Mario as well as the 3D Land/World games, but it’s the freedom to explore without a ticking timer that we missed from the days of 64 and Sunshine. Now I’ll agree, seeing Mario running around the streets of New York inspired Donk City felt weird at first, especially when he was interacting with semi realistic humans that were modeled to scale. I’d say don’t worry if you’re turned off by the idea, because the rest of the trailer shows off beautiful Mario-esque worlds you’ll explore full of Koopas, Goombas, and other familiar Mario foes. We’re guessing the city may be some kind of over world of sorts and not a main world itself, but who knows. While we’ll no doubt have our hands full with Zelda, we really wanted this game before Holliday. But alas, we’ll have to hold off until then.
Yes, we know we know. “Skyrim is from 2011!”, you say, “It’s playable on a myriad of other consoles as well as PC at a cheaper price!”, you say. Well we say, that’s true—but none of them have been truly portable. Even those with a decent laptop can’t hold a candle to running Skyrim on a device like the Switch. I mean, this is a game people have literally spent hundreds of hours getting lost in. Now imagine one game and save to rule them all. You can literally play anywhere. This is why Skyrim on Switch is exciting for that premise alone, but perhaps more so because it signals Bethesda may be considering Nintendo’s platform for future releases if the install base is there. So go ahead, become a Dragonborn again.
I eagerly backed this game on Kickstarter in it’s early days. Looking at screenshots and videos makes it clear Yooka-Laylee is a love letter to the 3D platformers of the N64 days. It also has some of the best talent of that era behind it, as the newly formed Playtonic Games is comprised of former Rare developers whose work includes Banjo-Kazooie among other titles. So needless to say, this team has experience making family friendly 3D platformers (with the exception of Conker). That’s great news, because we feel the games industry could use more bright fun family oriented titles. This one releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC in March and on Switch at an undisclosed date after the team hit “unforeseen technical issues on Wii U.” As you can expect, we’ll likely be grabbing it on Switch.
Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers
Nothing says “local multiplayer” quite like fighting games. There’s just something about sitting next to your best friend and putting your relationship at risk by spamming Quarter-Circle fireballs for hours. So it’s strange to think about the sheer number of kids who have never had that sort of experience. Seriously! Fighting Games have become so online focused that couch fighting has become something of a lost art. Ultra Street Fighter 2 looks to bring that feeling back to the masses. Street Fighter 2 has been released, ported, and re-made countless times until now, but finding a home on Switch, with its built in two player controller inclusion, just makes sense. Not only are Switch players getting to remember what classic local multiplayer feels like, they’re also getting one of the shining star examples of such a thing.
It’s been 10 years since we’ve had a proper Fire Emblem game for consoles. Sure, we’ve had some (mostly) fantastic handheld versions, and with the recent release of Fire Emblem: Heroes for iOS and Android, we seem to have more Fire Emblem than we can possibly handle. HOWEVER! The home console versions we’ve enjoyed in the United States have not only provided some of the most beautiful gameplay, but also the most challenging. I’ve grown a bit weary of the same similar art styles and over reliance on anime trope relationship focus. It will be nice to see the series return to form on Switch, bringing turn based strategy back to the big screen. And hey, with the Switch being an on the go system, you’re getting the best of both worlds!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 was a stellar release when it hit the WIi U in 2014. It was fast, fluid, colorful, and fun. It was also a bit of a technical showcase for the system because, as you’d imagine, Nintendo games tend to look the best on Nintendo systems. It ushered in worldwide online play with a leaderboard system and the ability to watch and share replays on social media sites like YouTube. The addition of anti-grav vehicles brought a twist to the Mario Kart formula and helped keep the series feeling fresh. So what’s so exciting about a Deluxe version of a three year old game? Again, the fact that it can go anywhere with you. Or the fact that two people can play locally via the Joy-Cons without the need to be tethered to a TV. Not only that, but you can link up to eight systems for some real crazy local co-op multiplayer madness! Perhaps the biggest addition to MK 8 Deluxe and the biggest criticism of the original Mario Kart 8, is Battle Mode. The Wii U version gutted everything that was fun about arena battles by not having any, but Deluxe looks to set things right by adding proper battle mode as well as the ability to carry two items simultaneously. Are we going to double dip? Probably. Should you buy it if you never had the Wii U version? Definitely.
Project: Octopath Traveler
We don’t know a lot about this game other than it’s a turn-based JRPG coming exclusively to Switch. We do know it has a gorgeous art style with sprite-based characters set against gorgeous 3D backdrops. While we may not favor Square Enix’s last few Final Fantasy titles, they have done well recently with the Bravely Default series as well as I Am Setsuna. We’re definitely keeping our eyes out of this one and think you shoudl too. Especially if JRPG’s are your thing. Check out the teaser trailer.
I’m just going to come out and say it—the majority of the Sonic games over the past decade have sucked. Like really sucked. Sega tried to bring the blue blur back to his 2D roots with Sonic The Hedgehog 4, but it didn’t feel quite right. I’d say the hedgehog’s best recent sidescrolling adventure was Sonic Generations which was all the way back in 2011. Sonic Mania, however, looks to end this long lineage of dookie offerings by going back to what made Sonic so beloved in the first place—speed. Sega’s latest entry (not counting the mysterious Project Sonic) will be a retro throwback, mixing all new levels and areas with reimagined classics. Think of it as a greatest hits with unreleased tracks, all remastered. From what we can tell, it sure doesn’t look like it will disappoint. Let’s hope we’re right.
I’ve been a huge Tetris fan for as long as I can remember. I imagine I’m not alone there. If you had a GameBoy at any point in your life, you probably had a copy. So you can imagine my frustration at not being able to reasonably pick up Puyo-Puyo Tetris. It has been available on other consoles for some time now, but only in Japan. Puyo-Puyo Tetris takes game play from both classic puzzle games: Tetris, the classic mega hit block dropping puzzler, and Puyo-Puyo, a classic puzzler from the Genesis era. If you’ve ever played ‘Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine’, you’re basically playing Puyo-Puyo. Combining the two makes for fast paced, frantic multiplayer gameplay that anybody can learn. It’s nice to see that it’s finally hitting our shores and I think it will be a very welcome addition to the Switch Lineup.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
After Zelda, the next Xenoblade is my most anticipated open world adventure for Switch. I missed out on the original Xenoblade on the Wii thanks to a high price because of short supply and high demand. Once the game saw a rerelease on new 3DS, I finally checked it out and every time I fire it up I’m baffled how such a vast game can fit on a 3DS cart without any significant hits to visuals or audio. The combat system in the Xenoblade series is unique compared to other games I’ve played while the bright wide open world looks inviting. All we have to go on is a short teaser, but Tristan and I really liked the original so we’re naturally confident that it’s next true sequel will be just as good, if not better.
Arms is the newest IP to come out of Nintendo, and it reminds me a lot of Splatoon when it first debuted. I know one is a third person competitive shooter and the other is a third person fighter, but they’re similar in that they’re both looking to ‘Nintendofy’ their respecrtive genres. During their reveals, both were doubted by the press until they got hands-on time with them. Afterwords they got it and Splatoon grew to be one of Nintendo’s most successful multiplayer offerings in quite some time. Arms looks bright, quirky, frantic, and fun—just like Splatoon. Not only that, but it’s accessable to anyone starting out while also catering to skilled players at the same time. This is one couch co-op title I think I’ll get my wife to play here and there and one game I hope to battle it out with friends online.
Ni No Kuni II
Last, but certainly not least, is Ni No Kuni II. Just like its predecessor, NNK2 looks like a game taken straight out of a Miyazaki film. NNK2 follows a boy king who has been usurped from his castle and tells the journey of reclaiming what is his. In doing that, you’re able to recruit creatures to fight alongside you as well as learn and cast magic spells in combat. It goes without saying, but the Ni No Kuni games looks absolutely KILLER, with all the videos looking vibrant, explosive, and gorgeous. If they continue with the success of the first game and have a great story to back it up with—game over. After playing through the first one and LOVING it, I can’t wait to get another chance to play again in this world. NNK2 will look gorgeous on switch, and it feels right at home standing alongside Nintendo’s own IP.
What games are YOU excited for and why? Let us know in the comments below! 🙂