Nintendo held a press event on January 12th, 2017 at 11pm EST. The event was livestreamed from Tokyo and provided all the of the details players would need about the upcoming console including the consoles hardware specs and the launch lineup.
It is well known that software is what sells systems so many gamers, myself included, have been waiting patiently to know what Nintendo was going to be bringing to the console at launch. The last year has been VERY light for Nintendo as only a few games came to the WiiU in 2016.
Take a look below for a list of the games that Nintendo has announced for the Switch.
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild is the real headliner here. We have known about the game for several years and to find out that the game will be releasing at launch for the Switch is a relief. I have to be honest when I say that I thought the game was going to be delayed again. I am very happy to have been wrong.
The Nintendo Switch is launching with arguably the most ambitious Zelda game in franchise history. This definitely bodes well for the console. Very few Nintendo consoles have launched alongside a game that has the potential to be a killer app.
Breath of the Wild is gorgeous to behold, grand in scale, and full of secrets to discover. The only question we have now is whether it will be fun to play. Fortunately, we’ll find all of that out on March 3rd, 2017 when the console launches.
1 2 Switch
1 2 Switch is a launch title that is intended to help show off all of the unique features of the Switch hardware and controllers. It feels like it is intended to help facilitate board game like experiences.
I have my doubts about this one even though it looks like it could be fun. First, why isn’t this game themed after Wario Ware? That is a known commodity with a certain cache with Nintendo fans. That would have added value to the game all on its own. Second, why isn’t this game bundled with the hardware? I don’t think we’ll ever get an answer to that question, but it feels to me like this would have been a perfect game to include with the console as opposed to releasing it at $60.
Just Dance 2017
As the world flies through space circumnavigating the sun, so to does a Just Dance game get released by Ubisoft. This was announced prior to the Switch reveal event, but even if it hadn’t been this would have been a safe bet. This series has always sold well on Nintendo platforms and I see no reason why it would stop now.
I actually think the Switch might be in a position to make this game better because players can take it with them and are no longer confined to your living room. The screen might be small, but that is, unquestionably, added value to the game.
Imaginators is another game that I am not surprised to hear is releasing for the Nintendo Switch on day one. I have said it before, but it is worth repeating. This is in my opinion, the best Skylanders game in the history of the franchise, so seeing it on more consoles is great. This version of the game includes a neat twist though. You only need to scan your Skylanders toys into the system once and then they will be loaded onto your copy of the game permanently. That is definitely a useful feature. I’m sure my kids would love not having to lug their figures all over the place if they wanted to play a quick game.
Super Bomberman Z
Bomberman is a franchise that has lain dormant for a number of years. The last entry in the series came out in 2010 for the Xbox Live arcade. I’m glad to see it come back and I am especially happy to see it launch on day one for the Switch. This is a franchise that is built around multiplayer action and it is simple enough for just about anyone to pick up and have fun.
Snipperclips: Cut it Out Together
(Video from Gamersprey YouTube channel).)
This might be, quietly, one of the best games to launch for the Switch in its first year. This is a cooperative puzzle game with a very interesting art style. The puzzle aspect of the game is what makes the game cool though. Each player controls a different shape on the screen. When the two shapes overlap each other a player can choose to cut out a shape from their own piece. Players then have to complete different objectives with their newfound shapes. These objectives will include things like moving objects, popping balloons (after creating a sharp point, filling in a shape template, etc.
I can’t wait for this one!
(Video from IGN YouTube channel)
Fast Racer Neo came to the Wii U last year and was a welcome addition to that consoles library. In a way, it was the F-Zero game that fans have always wanted, but never would have gotten otherwise.
This is another edition of the game that will be brought to the Switch. It will feature thirty new tracks and fifteen new ships while letting you and up to eight of your friends play in local or online races.
Just be careful, this game is absurdly fast.
(Video from GameSpot YouTube channel)
This is a new game from Frozenbyte Studios that feels right at home on the Switch’s tablet based platform. It is a strategy RPG where players control a team of heroes who are past their prime while going on an epic quest to bring their King’s twin daughters to school.
The premise is silly, but the gameplay looks like it will be remarkably deep. We can’t wait to give it a whirl.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Switch trailer released in December of 2016 showed footage of a game that looked like Mario Kart 8, but on a track that wasn’t in the original game and featuring King Boo. This made a strong implication that a new version of the wildly successful kart racing game would be ported over to the Switch.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will include all of the characters and tracks from Mario Kart 8, including the two DLC packs. It will also include a number of new racers as well as an upgraded battle mode.
ARMS is a casual fighting game that plays like Wii Boxing, but with more elements from other fighting games. This was playable at an event at the Nintendo World Store over the weekend and it was compared, favorably, to Splatoon in that it simplifies the fighting game genre enough to make it accessible, while still having a lot of depth and interesting gameplay.
I know it is early, but I am keeping my eyes on this game. It looks like it could be really good.
Disgaia 5 is already available for the PS4 so this doesn’t really count as a new game. With that said, Disgaia is a strategy RPG that, I think, will fit in very well on a handheld device. The Fire Emblem series has done very well on the 3DS and I think this has a similar appeal as a game to take on the go.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
I never thought this game would ever see the light of day here in North America. Puyo Puyo Tetris is, essentially, two arcade puzzle games stacked into one. The highlight of this game is the head to head multiplayer where players can choose to play either Tetris OR Puyo Puyo against each other. Both of these games feature similar themes. Shapes (either Tetrominoes in Tetris or piles of jellies in Puyo Puyo) fall from the top of the screen and players manipulate those shapes to compete rows or match colors.
They play differently enough that it will be fun to be able to pick the game you play when competing without the games being so different that it is distracting.
Rime was announced as a PS4 exclusive back in 2014. Since then Sony dropped their support for the game and Tequila Works, the developer, had to seek a new source of funding. Fortunately, they were able to find it from Gametrust (then games publishing arm of GameStop) and are going to be able to bring the game multiplatform.
The game itself is stunning. Its art style evokes some of the same feelings I get when I look at video of The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (which is one of my favorite games of all time). We don’t know many details about the game from a gameplay perspective, but it definitely includes extensive platforming, and puzzle solving.
I am sure we will hear more about this game as we get close to its launch.
We knew that a Splatoon game was going to be coming to the Switch thanks to the footage included in the reveal trailer in December. We did not, however, know that it was going to be a sequel. I would have bet that it was going to be a port of the original game (and, honestly, would have been happy with that.
Splatoon 2 includes a number of new features like new weapons, new specials, new battle modes and new maps. It also solves the problem of requiring a second screen to see the game map by allowing players to simply tap the x button to bring up the game map at any time. The animation for the map coming up is slick and fast so skilled players should be able to use it without having to slow down too much.
My favorite addition to the game is a set of dual pistols that players can use. These pistols have a reasonable range and can cover a lot of area fast, but what is most interesting is that they change the way players can move. Instead of jumping, they give players the ability to use a dodge roll. Weapon changing the way a player moves around the map opens up a lot of interesting design space for new weapons specials, and gear. Here’s hoping that Nintendo takes advantage of it.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
Part of me feels like this might be a bit late for the game’s release to make a splash. However, this will be the first time that players will have been able to take an Elder Scrolls game and play them on the go on a handheld platform. That could be just the hook that some players have needed to dive back into Skyrim again.
I will be very interested to see how this game continues its development over the course of the year.
Super Mario Odyssey
One of the chief complaints about the Wii U was the lack of what some people would consider a “proper” 3D Super Mario Bros. game. Super Mario 3D World was most definitely a thing that existed, but I suppose that wasn’t good enough for them.
Fortunately for those folks, Super Mario Odyssey looks like the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64 that fans have been clamoring for since it came out. It features large, gorgeously rendered, and very diverse environments to explore. It definitely includes secrets buried behind platforming challenges. And it looks gorgeous to boot thanks to the Switch’s improved hardware power.
Unfortunately, we have to wait until Holiday 2017 to enjoy it, but this one looks like it will be worth the wait.
2017 (No specific window announced)
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles was a Wii exclusive that earned a lot of positive praise for its story and its action oriented gameplay. Unfortunately it was buried on the Wii so it was held back graphically. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks like it is attempting to follow up on the original title while fixing some of the graphical shortcomings that tied the first game down.
You simply cannot release a console in the post Minecraft world without including it on your console. It is too big of a force in the gaming world to ignore. Minecraft won’t be launching on day one with the Switch, but it will be out within the 2017 calendar year. Here’s hoping they can get it on their sooner rather than later as this is another game that works incredibly well on a handheld device and I am sure that a lot of kids would love to have a Minecraft game that they can play both at home and on the road.
FIFA is the biggest sports franchise in the world. It comes as no surprise that EA will be bringing it to the Switch. I don’t really know how well hardcore fans of the franchise will take to playing the game on a handheld device, but I can imaging that casual fans will love the idea of being able to plug away at the games in their franchise modes while traveling.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
This is an interesting one. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers was released for the SNES many, many years ago. This is a sequel to that title that includes an option for an updated aesthetic (a beautifully hand drawn one at that) and two new characters (Evil Ryu and Violent Ken).
I am a huge Street Fighter fan, so this is easily one of my most anticipated games for the console even if it is only so that I can show my kids how Street Fighter games used to look.
Syberia 3 is an adventure game that takes place in a Steam Punk setting. Players take control of Kate Walker, the hero from the first two games, as she embarks on a new adventure. The last Syberia game came out ten years ago and I am sure there are fans who have wanted to continue her adventures. This will be their chance.
My love for NBA 2K18 is well documented. I think it is a remarkable basketball game, but it is also a great RPG as well. I, personally, cannot wait to play this game on my Switch. The NBA season is quite long and having the ability to play while on the road will be a great way to sneak a few more games in.
I Am Setsuna
I am Setsuna released for the PS4 in 2016. It didn’t set the world on fire, but it was generally well received. I am excited to see it come to the Switch because I strongly feel that RPGs will have a great home there.
I am Setsuna was developed by the Tokyo RPG Factory (a subsidiary of Square Enix specifically built to make old school RPGs) and was intended to remind players of the fun they had playing Chrono Trigger in the late 90s. It did successfully evoke those feelings, but in a way that was to the game’s detriment as it didn’t live up to those expectations.
Dragonball Xenoverse 2
Dragonball is a franchise that refuses to go away. Xenoverse is an action based role playing game that heavily features fighting game mechanics.
The split screen multiplayer feels like it would be a great fit for the Switch in tabletop mode. I am just hoping that someone creates some sort of headrest mount so my boys can play it. This feels like a game they would appreciate, especially as the oldest starts to get into the show.
Sonic the Hedgehog has been around a long time and has evolved a lot over that time. Unfortunately, a lot of those evolutions have been for the worse. Sonic Mania is an attempt to bring Sonic the Hedgehog back to his 2D roots
Ubisoft released this game quietly on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC towards the end of last year. It was announced at E3, and received almost no marketing between then and its release. This surprised me because people who played Steep were enjoying it quite a bit.
Steep is billed as an open world extreme sports game that includes snowboarding, skiing, and wing-suit flight. The game’s big “thing” is that instead of being a linear set of courses like in SSX players are encouraged to explore a wide open world searching for new courses to run and zones to to be dropped in.