The Nintendo Switch’s 2017 Line Up
Nintendo’s promising line-up of games will certainly stand out this year against Sony and Microsoft. One definite weakness that held the Wii U back was the lack of good games on a consistent basis. To find out more about what happened to the Wii U, you can read my previous article The Rise of Switch. Nintendo is in it to win it this year and early adopters are eager to play more great games on the Switch this year. It’s ingenuous what Nintendo has at play here, early adopters are buying the Nintendo Switch faster than they can make em and those same customers are spreading the word to mainstream consumers. The Nintendo Switch is already being rumored to be the hottest selling item for holiday season over the newly announced Xbox One X. Let’s take a look at the released and upcoming that will drive that moment forward for this year.
Nintendo’s 2017 – The Released Titles
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (March)
Link is back again after years of not seeing a console exclusive game since Skyward Sword. Breath of Wild is a massively successful game and that turned the idea of an open world game on its head. Many Wii U fans may had to wait longer for their Wii U version, but it’s almost unanimous that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s stellar reviews and previews made it a must own on new hardware. I can’t remember the last time that people bought a killer title at launch other than Super Mario 64. This is a stellar title and a strong contender for Game of the Year considering how much freedom and creativity is given to the player. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild started the Switch’s line up to a strong start and helped the console hybrid to sell faster than any other Nintendo system to date.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April)
Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U was a masterpiece of fun kart racing and great stage designs. It introduced zero gravity courses that were fun and visually impressive; the game also had a myriad of characters and vehicles to choose from. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes with all the previous released DLC, a couple of new characters and an enhanced Battle Mode. Mario Kart is a game that people will have a hard time putting down and its one the best multiplayer gaming experiences on the market. Smart Steering makes this a perfect game for new players and with multiple JoyCons anyone can join in on the action. This is the Switch’s first Wii U port but let’s be honest. The Wii U had a great assortment of games that didn’t sell well because of a low player base. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold more on the Switch since no one wanted to buy a Wii U, thus making it a perfect time to buy this port for both new players and vets.
Minecraft is a huge and popular game with its own communities and constant updates. The Switch version is by far one of the best portable versions of Minecraft when comparing it to the tablet, phone, and the PlayStation Vita versions. It has all the trimmings that Minecraft players love, plus new Nintendo-themed items and costumes. Minecraft for Switch announced that it will get cross-play functionality across all platforms (except PlayStation). Playing Minecraft on the go, online connectivity, and cross-platform play makes this version a must own for fans.
ARMS is a brand IP that is exclusively tailored for JoyCon motion controls and makes for a great fighting game. Splatoon’s success and popularity helped Nintendo to take more chances on new IP. ARMS is a competitive boxing game with several colorful fighters and awesome gameplay mechanics. You can read my review of ARMS here. The only fault with ARMS is a lack of content but Nintendo promises to support the game through balancing and content updates. The game offers great multiplayer game modes and its online functionality should be commended. There is a lot of potential in ARMS and its a great game to play with friends both on the TV or on the go.
Splatoon 2 (July):
Splatoon became a stellar hit on the Wii U with a fun premise of ink boys and girls fighting for territory by covering the map with their teams’ ink color. Splatoon 2 enhances the fun by offering better matchmaking, brand new maps, a multitude of weapons and brand new game modes. Splatoon 2 will feature an extensive single player story with fun challenges, crazy platforming, and boss battles. New fans will certainly enjoy the craziness they had heard about Splatoon but weren’t willing to buy a Wii U to play it. This game also offers a brand new Co-op mode called Salmon Run, a mode that has players defeating waves of zombie salmons! With Splatoon 2 coming out in July, it will be a perfect game to enjoy during the summer break or on a family vacation.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (August)
The impossible happened! Ubisoft and Nintendo are working together to bring a new game that combines Mario’s world with Ubisoft’s raging Rabbids! Many people had doubts about Mario interacting with Rabbids from the Rayman series but gameplay footage from E3 helped put those fears to rest. Ubisoft is the main entity making the game but they are taking incredible care of the license they’re using and adding their own version of X-COM’s battle system. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle looks like a great August release, with hilarious comedy, and a great battle system. I can’t wait to see how Super Mario characters react when they meet their Rabbids counter parts!
Sonic Mania (August)
Sonic Mania is a game that has gained traction because of its old school aesthetics and brand new level designs. This game is bringing the best elements of the 2D Sonic games as both developers and fans have worked together to make Sonic Mania fun and fluid. This game features several remixed Zones from all the 2D Sonic games, but with a variety of new updates and changes. Some Zones are completely remade with brand new branching paths and new bosses. Sonic on the Switch makes sense as a portable and will feature two player co-op as Knuckles or Tails! Sonic Mania will be a great addition to the Switch’s library and looks like its being made for a generation of players who want to relive that great series of games but with a new fresh take on it.
Fire Emblem Warriors (Fall 2017)
There is currently no release date for Fire Emblem Warriors but I thought to mention it on the list of potential games coming to the Switch this year. Hyrule Warriors was one of the best selling games for Koei Tecmo, which combined the elements of The Legend of Zelda with Dynasty Warriors game design. Fire Emblem Warrior will most likely be a mash up of fan favorite fire emblem characters with unique gameplay elements that would make sense for Fire Emblem. This game will have a unique single player story, co-op, and will be supported by post-release content. Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes are solid games with plenty of fan service that pays great homage to its source material; one can expect the same for Fire Emblem Warriors. Look forward to this game sometime in the fall or spring if it gets pushed out into 2018.
Super Mario Odyssey (October)
Oh, Mario is back with a brand new game that invokes 3D platforming like Super Mario 64? We might as well give Nintendo all our money! Super Mario Odyssey looks amazing and has won several E3 Game of the Show awards. This game will include brand new worlds! new game mechanics, and a great amount of exploration. Super Mario Odyssey will most likely be the Switch’s best game heading into the 2017 holiday season. Which is crazy notion to say when considering how amazing Breath of the Wild turned out to be. This will be the game most people will pick up when buying a brand new Nintendo Switch for themselves or a loved one for the holidays.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (December)
Finally, to wrap up 2017, the Switch will get an exclusive and meaty JRPG known as Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Not much is known about this title but expect a lengthy story and plenty of JRPG content. Xenoblade Chronicles X was a massive game with tons to do on the Wii U and I expect no less from a numbered sequel of the franchise. As we get closer to its release date, we will find out more about this game and what new features it will be bringing to the Nintendo Switch. The art style and color pallet certainly stands out more than Chronicles X; which went for a muted Sci-Fi Mecha look. This game could easily cross 100+ hours of game time with great combat and a sizable story campaign. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks promising and I enjoyed my time with the previous game (even if I didn’t finish it).
Wow! 2017 is stacked with great releases almost every month of the year. The Switch may not have launched with 10+ games but its current lineup looks promising and exciting. We are getting good first party titles and a couple of good third party games from Sega and Ubisoft. Also, let’s not forget that there is a constant flux of indie games coming out on the Switch on a weekly basis. Early Switch adopters have a nice steady flow of great games coming out on the Switch each month and holiday shoppers will have plenty of games to choose from. The Switch’s 2017 line up of games may be sparse but filled with quality games that everyone is consuming at a rapid rate. Many skeptics believe that Nintendo’s success is tied to their third party line up which the Nintendo Switch is lacking. However, there have been more third party announcements like WWE 2K18 and Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse 2 that are also coming to the Switch. It’s only a matter of time before the Switch has a good year of sales to the point that third parties publishers will want to port or make unique games on the platform. 2017’s game line up looks promising and a good variety that will appeal to many Switch owners. What are some of the games you’re excited to see on the Switch? Are there any games you would like to see on this list? Leave a comment and let us know.