It’s been over a month since Nintendo, that lovable Japanese scamp, released the new home console you can take anywhere, the Nintendo Switch. As the company detailed earlier this week, first month sales of the system have been a rocket launch of 906,000 units according to the NPD group who track sales numbers for many products. To put it in comparison, the PlayStation 4 sold a little over a million units within its first month and to date, it stands at over 50 million units. After more than a month with the Switch, I can definitely say this is my new portable console. I loved the PlayStation Vita for the sheer capability and experience some of the games delivered. There is a library of great games for the system, but the majority of them aren’t of the blockbuster experiences I like such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Most were Japanese heavy influenced games like Freedom Wars. Not a bad game mind you, just not for me. The Switch has a greater potential than Vita ever did.
The new Legend of Zelda is an okay home console game, but it’s one hell of a portable game. That’s where the legend of Switch is headed and it’s not a bad place, instead of trying to play up the hardware as a home first console, turn into the portable skid. After this week’s Nintendo Direct presentation here’s five games that are Switch coming soon must plays and one the system really really needs in some form.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers-
Remember playing the original Street Fighter II in donut shops, burger joints, and laundry mats? Yeah, you’re old as dirt. No matter how many times this game gets released it’s still going to be something we pay attention to. The take it anywhere, share it with everyone, nature of the Switch demands the most famous fighting game of all time. Sure it’s a dated game, but no less fun. The new –throw a hadoken in first person mode– is a neat touch, but outside of that the game is sheer novelty. Enjoy being that person among your friends to say “hey you’re boring let’s play Street Fighter instead.”
Release date: May 26, 2017
Super Mario Odyssey-
I’ll admit this is the game that had me remotely interested in Nintendo’s new console. Most of the company’s new ideas come through Mario games. The raccoon suit in Super Mario Bros. 3, the 3D world of Super Mario 64, even the water backpack of Sunshine all revamped and marked their respective hardware. The Switch’s new Mario title looks to do what Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper couldn’t. Bring Mario into the real world in an entertaining way. In the first sandbox-style Mario game since Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine you’ll set sail between expansive worlds aboard an airship, and perform all-new actions, such as throwing Mario’s cap. Saving this one for Holiday 2017 is a smart play by Nintendo that will capture a lot of the attention when it releases. Smart money says look for a special bundle as well that ain’t strictly for Russia.
Release Date: Holiday 2017
Battle Chasers: Nightwar-
Based on the Joe Mad comic series and the explosive style of the artist in general. Battle Chasers features deep dungeon diving, turn-based combat presented in a classic JRPG format, and a rich story driven by exploration of the world. It’s also one of the few JRPG style games I’m looking forward to. A good long form investment and neat way to get Joe Mad to autograph my Nintendo, a win-win. With timed exclusivity for the Nintendo Switch, Battle Chasers could be a sleeper hit that solidifies the Switch game lineup early on.
Release Date: Summer/Autumn 2017
By no means is Payday 2 a new game. In fact, it joins the long lineup of Nintendo Switch ports from other systems. The game itself is solid, not one that’ll earn a perfect score by any scale. So why is it so important? Developer, Starbreeze Studios publishing this game is a step in the right direction of Nintendo balancing its all-ages game nature with titles for mature audiences that grew up with the medium and are looking for those types of games. PAYDAY 2 is an action-packed, four-player co-op shooter where you rob banks and get paid. Nuff said.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe-
Let’s face it, anytime there’s a new Nintendo there’s a Mario Kart and a Smash Bros to go along with it. While it looks like we aren’t getting a brand new Mario Kart game, Nintendo is making a few key additions to this Switch port such as new tracks, characters, and game modes. There’s always been something special about playing Mario Kart at family get togethers or college dorms. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe needed to come out early in the life of the Switch and if this is as close as we’ll get for now, it’s definitely not a bad way to get racing.
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Through all the announcements and teased games, there’s one it NEEDS to bring to the system.
Resident Evil 7-
Yes, it would be merely another port of a game already released. However, Nintendo needs something to prove not only a commitment to balancing its gaming reputation among young and old, but also prove it can get major 3rd party developers interested in devoting resources to scaling and adapting games for hardware simply not as powerful as what’s currently on the market. While there are a lot of consumers obsessed with the most graphically powerful gaming experiences, there’s an even bigger number that are content with something simply running without crashing. If you could buy a game available on Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch; even if the Switch version was downscaled you’d be more likely to buy it on Switch for the simple caveat of being able to take it anywhere. Yes, PS4 remote play exists but most don’t have the internet bandwidth to make it work right. Switch embracing its portable elements will give it a longevity that’ll carry it into being a viable contender in this generation’s console war. Resident Evil would be that statement and it was Capcom who got Nintendo to improve tech specs in the first place. So maybe it’s not as farfetched as some might think.