Bayonetta 2 (Feb. 16)
It’s a bit odd to think that Bayonetta of all things has become a key series for Nintendo, but it’s certainly gone that way as of late. After funding the development of Bayonetta 2, Nintendo then included Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. as a DLC character. Now, one of the very best games on Wii U is coming to the Nintendo Switch, with the first game bundled in and some new amiibo features as well.
Bayonetta 2 takes place a few months after the first game, and finds the Umbra Witch trying to track down the Gates of Hell in order to save her friend Jeanne. The game’s intense, over-the-top action is some of the very best you can find in the genre. Bayonetta 2’s impressive 91 on Metacritic, with a 9.0 user score, is a testament to the quality of the Nintendo exclusive.
While Bayonetta 2 was indeed great, the limited reach of the Wii U meant the game could never really live up to its full potential. Now with the Switch’s popularity surging and tons of systems in people’s hands, the game could easily see a second life.
Dark Souls Remastered (May 25)
The Dark Souls series has had a tremendous impact on the gaming industry as a whole, even creating a whole genre of games known as Souls-likes. Its challenging gameplay, enigmatic story told through flavor text and lore, and innovative multiplayer systems, are just a few of the reason fans have flocked to the Dark Souls series.
After months of rumors about Dark Souls coming to Switch, we finally got confirmation when Nintendo announced Dark Souls Remastered. We don’t quite know how much Dark Souls Remastered will change the original experience, but it sounds like FromSoft and QLOC, the developer working on it, are committed to keeping the original level design intact.
The original Dark Souls still holds a special place in fans’ hearts, and is argued by many to be the very best game in the franchise. Moments like taking on Ornstein and Smough and struggling through Blighttown stick out in anyone’s mind that played the game. The appeal of being able to take Dark Souls on the go is phenomenal, and could easily help push sales for the remastered title on the Switch.
Kirby: Star Allies (Mar. 16)
Kirby may take a back seat to the likes of Mario and Zelda at times, but he’s no less important to Nintendo as the puffball has seen multiple releases on nearly every Nintendo system since the Nintendo 64. Kirby finally comes to the Nintendo Switch this year, with the four player co-op game Star Allies.
Of course, a new threat puts Dreamland in danger so Kirby and his friend have to spring to the rescue. Many of the series’ most iconic copy abilities return like Fire, Sword, Bomb, and more. This time, however, you can imbue your copy abilities with different elements to damage enemies or solve puzzles. The game also introduces two new copy abilities, Paintbrush and Spider.
Kirby has enough appeal as a series to warrant playing Star Allies in single-player, but as a four player co-op game on Switch it has even more appeal. Being able to take your little system on the go to parties or when hanging out with friends makes Star Allies the perfect game to bring along with it.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (Spring 2018)
Hyrule Warriors was a surprising idea when it was announced for Wii U as a Dynasty Warriors-style Zelda game, but it somehow worked exceedingly well. The game saw characters from across the Zelda series coming together to do battle, with characters like Darunia and Impa playable for the first time.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition brings a massive bundle to the Switch, including all DLC characters from the Wii U version and all character included in the 3DS version of the game. This creates a massive roster of over 25 playable characters, while of course upgrading the game’s visuals for Switch and throwing in a couple new costumes from Breath of the Wild.
With a decently lengthy story mode and tons of maps for Adventure Mode, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is a game that’ll take up tons of your time on Switch. Plus after the success of Breath of the Wild, getting another Zelda game on the system of any kind is a smart move by Nintendo.
Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze (May 4)
Nintendo has quite a few Wii U gems coming to Switch this year for fans. Good news for anyone that didn’t get to pick them up the first time around, or just wants to jump in again. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze is one of the very best games the Wii U saw over its lifetime, and one of the most challenging as well.
Tropical Freeze sees being known as Snowmads taking control of Kong Island, and turning it into a winter wonderland. Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Konk are all playable in the game, and the Switch version adds a cool new character into the mix. Funky Kong will now be playable, and his surfboarding skills help make the game a tad bit easier for players that don’t want a huge platforming challenge. On top of that, all playable characters and vehicles will receive one extra hit point to help smooth thing out even more.
The original challenge will still be there, of course, and with Donkey Kong also coming to Mario+Rabbids soon, the big ape is certainly getting his Switch spotlight this year.
Yoshi (TBA 2018)
Another one of Nintendo’s mascots makes his appearance on Nintendo Switch with a brand new Yoshi game. Like Woolly World, this title sports a unique aesthetic, but instead of wool it’s cardboard. The vibrant art style makes the game’s world look like one giant diorama. The real catch, however, is that the world has a backside to explore too, changing up the layout and adding in secrets to discover.
Every course in Yoshi will contain a main path and a hidden path to explore, and the entire game is playable in two player co-op. Yoshi’s Woolly World was one of the best family friendly games available on the Wii U, and Yoshi on Switch presents another opportunity for Nintendo to add a strong platforming title to its repertoire, one that appeals to both children and older fans.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 (TBA 2018)
It’s been years since we’ve gotten an entry in the Valkyria Chronicles series,with Valkyria Chronicles 3 never making its way West and last year’s spinoff Valkyria Revolution not quite living up to fan’s expectations. Valkyria Chronicles 4 tells a new story, chronologically set in the time period of the very first game, following Claude Wallace and his friends in Squad E of the Atlantic Federation.
The game uses the Valkyria series’ tried and true gameplay, while introducing a few new elements like the Grenadier class and the ability to fire on enemies without being spotted if you have information on them. Valkyria Chronicles does seem like it’d be the perfect fit for the Switch, letting you play normally when in docked mode, or maybe even using the Joy-Cons for unique rumble and aiming features. At the same time, when you’re in handheld mode it’d be perfect for bringing up a tactical map and using the touchscreen to examine or move units.
JRPG fans should be pleased to see Valkyria Chronicles return, and the Switch will add another to its growing library of the genre.
Project Octopath Traveler (TBA 2018)
The Switch has a number of strong first-party exclusives with even more on the way, but there’s also a few third-party exclusives coming as well. Namely among those is Project Octopath Traveler from Square Enix, a retro-themed JRPG with 16-bit sprites and an HD-2D aesthetic.
Octopath follows the stories of eight different adventurers. Their stories intersect at times but play out through different parts of the world. Everything about the title seems to appeal to fans of classic JRPGs, from its gorgeous classical soundtrack to its turn-based combat system. It’s an important game for the Switch, being a big exclusive for the system from a third-party, and one that doesn’t involve a Nintendo property.
With the recent success and interest in JRPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Persona 5, Project Octopath Traveler has the chance to really succeed on the hybrid system.
Mario Tennis Aces (Spring 2018)
Mario Tennis has long been a staple of Nintendo systems, and the strongest of all of Mario’s forays into the sports genre. The fact that there’s a new Mario Tennis game coming to Switch is exciting enough, let alone that it’s going to have a single-player story mode, the first since the Game Boy Advance Mario Tennis.
Aces gives Mario and friends classic tennis garb to wear, and some new systems to use during matches. You’ll need to develop the ability to read your opponent’s position and stroke in order to decide which kind of shot is going to give you the advantage. We’ve already seen Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi in the first trailer, and we can probably guess other mainstay characters like Peach and Yoshi will come back too.
Mario Tennis has always been a great multiplayer and party game, and a Switch version has more potential than ever to do that. Adding in an exciting new story mode just gives Mario Tennis Aces the potential to be one of the standout Switch games of the year.
Fire Emblem (TBA 2018)
Since the release of Fire Emblem Awakening the series has undergone a transformation, from almost dying to becoming one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises. We’ve seen three stellar handheld entries with Awakening, Fates, and Echoes, as well as a successful mobile game in Fire Emblem Heroes.
We do know that a brand new Fire Emblem game is coming to Nintendo Switch, though we don’t know a whole lot about it at this point, outside of the fact that it’s supposed to release in 2018. The most we’ve heard are very vague ideas from Nintendo. Last year in an interview with the French gaming site JeuxVideo Fire Emblem developer Kenta Nakanishi said, “For this title made for home console, we should be able to breathe life into characters like never before, and show you a completely different Fire Emblem.”
A brand new Fire Emblem game is bound to be a big release, let alone one for the increasingly popular Nintendo Switch. This could easily be one of the big focuses of Nintendo’s Summer or Holiday, but we’ll just have to wait to find out more.