It’s beginning to look a lot like Switchmas

By Brian Abbate, Staff Writer

       The Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s new hybrid console, launched on March 3rd earlier this year with just a handful of games. Those launch titles were The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders: Imaginators, Super Bomberman R, Snipplerclips (digital), Shovel Knight (digital) and Fast RMX (digital). With not much variety from the get-go, the library has vastly expanded over the past nine months and Switch owners are having a blast.

      First, we have the first-party heavy hitters from Nintendo, like Zelda, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a new IP called ARMS and the recently released Xenoblade Chronicles 2. For the first year of a console’s life cycle, that’s a pretty stacked amount of first party exclusives.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is being generally regarded as one of the best video games of all time. You can climb anything, explore anywhere, cook whatever you want, equip hundreds of weapons, shields and bows and take on ancient beasts, dragons, pig people and rock men. While it did see a dual launch with the Nintendo Wii U, the Switch version is a must have as the portability is an absolute game changer.

      Super Mario Odyssey, the first main line Mario game since Super Mario Galaxy 2 in 2010, already earned the title as the fastest selling Mario game of all time. With the introduction of Cappy, a ghost who becomes any hat, animal or object you can find, Mario must repeat history as he attempts to save Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser. This game is beautiful, controls like a dream and has 999 moons to collect. Happy hunting!

     Splatoon 2, the sequel to the Wii U’s Splatoon, which debuted in 2015, is a bright and colorful explosion of fun. Teams of four compete in endless turf wars, trying to outdo their rival squad by covering any given map in more paint than the other team. There are comically oversized paint rollers, squirt guns, rocket launchers and dozens of other weapons used in battle, along with hundreds of customizable outfits and gear to collect. This game also has a massive online community and is slowly gaining momentum in the eSports community.

      Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an enhanced and polished version of the bestselling game on the Wii U, Mario Kart 8. With the addition of both DLC packs from the original game (which feature six new characters and 16 new maps), Deluxe also added a battle mode, a la Mario Kart 64. With balloon battles and plenty of other games and modes, this couch co-op (and local and online multiplayer, but let’s be real, Mario Kart is at its best when you and a bunch of your sweaty friends are crammed onto the same couch, crushing Mountain Dew Code Red and screaming obscenities in each other’s faces) game is a must have for any Switch owner.

     ARMs, much like Splatoon 2, is a new Nintendo IP that is bright and colorful. This boxing game, which can be played with motion controls or the more traditional pro controller, has taken over fighting game communities all across the globe. With multiple free DLCs already being released, it looks like Nintendo will be supporting ARMS for quite a while. Who doesn’t like beating their opponents to a pulp?
Fire Emblem Warriors is like Dynasty Warriors but with characters from the Fire Emblem universe.

      Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the sequel to the Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles, is an RPG with hundreds of hours of exploration, crafting, fighting and pure bliss. This game is breath taking and will be a hot commodity this holiday season. Fans of JRPGs or anyone who wants to try something new should definitely pick this up.

          In terms of third party support, the Switch has been absolutely killing it, which is an entirely new concept to Nintendo with the exception of the GameCube era. Studios like Bethesda have given support to games like DOOM, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Wolfenstein 2, which are far more adult than Nintendo fans are used to. While the graphics are definitely not on par with PS4 or the Xbox One X, the portability is a more than fair trade off.
Capcom breathed life into Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2 for the Switch, while adding an enhanced port of Ultra Street Fighter II and announcing earlier this week the reveal of Mega Man 11, which will be coming to Switch alongside a Mega Man X collection and both Mega Man Legacy collections, too. Monster Hunter also saw a new game released on the Switch, though it was not localized in North America, *sigh*.

     In August, Sega gave us Sonic Mania, an all-new, fast paced love letter to the original Sonics, like Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles. Last month saw the release of Sonic Forces, a platformer with elements from both old Sonic games and the newer ones like Sonic Heroes, Sonic Origins and Sonic Colors. It wasn’t very well received but dang it, they’re trying!

       Rockstar’s L.A Noire, a detective action-adventure game, saw an enhanced port for the Switch as well, which has been well received amongst gamers, giving them hope that the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto 5 may work its way over to the console at some point down the road.

       Three sports games, the beloved Fifa 18, from the hated Electronic Arts, the popular NBA 2K18, published by 2k Sports and one of the most popular games of 2015, Rocket League, a game where you play soccer with cars, all have ports on the Nintendo Switch as well. Playing 2k with a friend in the library? Sure! What about on an airplane? Duh. How about in the bathroom? That’s uh…that’s up to you.

       Plus, we got a brand-new game from Activision titled Mario + Rabbids: Kingdome Battle, which is a crossover between the Mario and Rayman universes. A game that plays like XCOM, this turn based strategy game has beautiful graphics, tons of humorous dialogue and a genuine challenge at times. This game is definitely a new experience, even for the biggest Nintendo fans.

       A few other games with polished ports that made their way onto the Switch are Rayman Legends Definitive Edition, Pokken Tournament DX and Minecraft. Not to mention the many indie games which feel right at home on Switch, as many people refer to them as Nindies, like Stardew Valley, Shovel Knight, World of Goo and countless others.

       With an ever-growing library of quality games, plus the announcements of Metroid Prime 4, new Kirby and Yoshi games plus a main line Pokémon game all scheduled to drop in 2018, there is no better time to pick up a Switch than this upcoming holiday season. Plus, we’d be foolish not to expect a Smash Bros., Animal Crossing and Pikmin in some capacity.
Nintendo is back, baby!