It goes without saying that 2017 has been a great year for Nintendo so far. The Switch is selling well, Breath of the Wild has “Game of the Year” written all over it and there is just this feeling of excitement surrounding the company as a whole – it’s great to have you back, Nintendo.
As someone who fires up his Switch everyday and is hungry for new games, I was ready for Nintendo’s “Spotlight” to blow me away and, overall, I think they did a fantastic job of doing so. Despite the video being just 25 minutes long, they packed a lot of information in there, so let’s break it down a bit.
Multiplayer montage: An interesting thing to start with but we were first shown a montage of the Switch’s upcoming multiplayer games including ARMS, Pokken Tournament and Splatoon2, plus a few sneaky clips of Rocket League. Personally I thought this trailer was great. Nintendo seems really focused on competitive multiplayer this gen, so this brief montage was a perfect way to remind people what is coming.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: The original Xenoblade Chronicles is one of my favourite JRPGs, so just the idea of being able to play a sequel on the go had me reaching for my wallet. Based on this trailer, it should be another fantastic experience. I’m still not sure if I like the character models, but the actual game looks brilliant and I’m excited to get my hands on it. Confirmation that it is coming this year was the icing on the cake.
Kirby: Next up was the announcement of a new Kirby game, this time for the Nintendo Switch (the 3DS already has a couple of Kirby games in the pipeline). Granted, it doesn’t look particularly revolutionary (side scrolling gameplay, 4 player co-op; you know the drill) but not every game has to. It’s ticking all the boxes for me so far and should be a great game for my kids and I to sit down and play together. It’s due for release sometime in 2018 (I’m guessing Summer).
Pokémon: Tsunekazu Ishihara from The Pokémon Company was next, reminding us of the recent announcement for Pokken Tournament Deluxe, which launches this September. I know the game has its critics but, as someone who never played it on Wii-U, I’m actually pretty excited for this one. My son loves Pokémon and I love the Tekken series so this seems like a perfect game to pick up for our Switch. Ishihara went on to say that a new Pokémon RPG is in development for the Switch, which is huge news considering the series has always been on handhelds. It’s some way off but I really think it might be the Switch’s big Christmas release next year. HYPE!
Metroid Prime 4: Still reeling from the Pokémon Switch announcement, Nintendo hit us with the 1-2 punch by confirming that Metroid Prime 4 is in development! Nothing was shown except a logo but, honestly, that’s fine at this stage. The original Metroid Prime remains one of my favourite games, so this announcement comes as fantastic news and I cannot wait to see and hear more. Realistically, a 2018 release is unlikely, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s e3.
Yoshi: Another new game announcement, this time for Yoshi, which looks to be from a similar vein as Wooley World back on the Wii-U. Cardboard is the theme this time around, resulting in a game which looks like a side-scrolling Tearaway. I’m totally cool with that. Again, this seems like a perfect game to play with my kids so I’ll be shocked if we don’t pick it up when it launches next year.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Next was Koei Tecmo’s latest musou game, this time based on the Fire Emblem series. I’m sorry, but this style of game does nothing for me at all and I just find them incredibly boring. Those who do enjoy this style of game however will probably be pretty happy with what was shown. The visuals are nice, the battles look frantic and, hey, its Fire Emblem. The game launches later this year and is rumoured for late-September.
Zelda DLC: Details of the upcoming DLC packs for BotW were next, including footage from the first pack, which launches later this month. Breath of the Wild is easily my favourite game from the past 10 years but, honestly, there wasn’t too much to get excited about here. We’ve known the details of the first pack for a while now and, despite featuring some cool stuff, it’s the story expansion I want to know more about. Unfortunately, we were told very little here, only that it will focus on Zelda and the four champions (I’m assuming a prequel). I’m sure it will be great but, meh, some more information would have been nice.
Mario+Rabbids: Not a single person alive thought that this game was going to be any good and yet it’s somehow become one of my most anticipated games of 2017. It’s XCOM-like gameplay looks great and I’m just shocked how polished the whole package is. Assuming this ends up being one of those games with a ton of content and replayability, I can see myself playing it A LOT when it releases in August.
Rocket League: It was teased during the opening multiplayer montage but a proper video of Rocket League was shown off next, confirming it’s existence on the Nintendo Switch. There’s not much to say about this game at this stage. It’s a fantastic multiplayer game and a Switch version makes complete sense. Confirmation of cross-network play is also great news. The game is coming out this holiday and I’m expecting it to shift a ton of copies.
Super Mario Odyssey: Finishing off the presentation was another look at Mario Odyssey and, holy crap, does this game look fantastic. Of all things, the game’s core component is Mario’s cap, Cappy, which allows players to take control of nearby enemies and objects, such as trees, rockets, Bullet Bills, taxis and even Dinosaurs. It looks completely off the wall and something we haven’t seen from a Mario game before, which can only be a good thing. The game is also releasing sooner than expected and carries a 27/10 release date, presumably in time for those Black Friday bundles.
And that was the show. Overall, I was really pleased with what was shown and I think Nintendo did a really good job at keeping that Switch hype going.
OK, announcing a new Pokémon and Metroid without having anything to show off might be considered a bit of a “cheap pop”, but I think it’s important for Nintendo to focus on the long-term as well as the coming 12 months.
As for 2017, its ridiculous to think how many games Nintendo has pushed out for the Switch in such a short time period. By the end of the year we will have played a new Zelda, an updated Mario Kart, a new IP (ARMS), a new Splatoon, Mario XCOM (!), a new Fire Emblem, a new Mario and a new Xenoblade Chronicles. Fantastic!