2017 has been a fantastic year for Nintendo. Although the Switch released at the beginning of the year with a very limited launch library, the company has provided top-quality first party content on a monthly basis. It turned out to be a smart strategy; fans like me have been able to enjoy each great game as it came out, ready for something new a few weeks later.
Although the Nintendo Switch already hosts games considered among the best ever made for any console, there is still plenty of scope for them to exploit to continue their winning streak through 2018 and beyond. Some sure-fire hits have already been announced, such as Metroid Prime 4 and Kirby: Star Allies which should both arrive next year, there are still franchises we are waiting to be represented on the console. Here are my top 10 wishes.
10. Mario Party Online
Mario Party has always appealed to me as a series, and it will be no surprise to see a version for the Switch somewhere down the line. Sadly, though, I just don’t have access to a regular group of people to play with, never really having more than one other person around at a time. This is why Mario Party would benefit so strongly from an Online mode. I could play with friends around the world, rather than waiting for a small-town group of Nintendophiles to show up at my door. So far, Nintendo has concentrated on quick-fire multiplayer with games like Splatoon, Mario Kart and Arms, but there’s no reason longer connections couldn’t be established between friends.
9. Advance Wars
Another series that has gone too long without a new entry. Advance wars contrasts to the intense, character driven tactics of Fire Emblem with fleets of more expendable units. The games are a blast, and their control style would be perfect for a portable, touchscreen system like the Switch. At the very least give us re-releases for the virtual console.
8. Tomodachi Life
I wanted to include a game series here with massive untapped potential for the use of Amiibo. These plastic e-toys are fantastically well made and I’m sure most Nintendo fans have at least a few adorning their shelves. The sad thing is, they are rarely used except to unlock small pieces of content in particular games. They deserve a game (besides Smash Bros) which will use them to their full potential. Tomodachi Life, and other Mii focused games have the most potential for this in my opinion. They could not only unlock outfits, but special characters, mini games and more. Add to this that the Switch is the perfect console for life-sim games, and you’ve got a real hit on your hands. Please, though, Nintendo, allow same-sex marriage this time.
Starfox Zero disappointed many fans with its awkward control scheme that proved so unintuitive that it made the game unplayable for some. Star Fox has a long history of odd decisions and almost-but-not-quite follow-ups to its Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 iterations. The Switch, though, has huge potential for a space combat game of this kind. The joycons seperated from the main system could simulate flight controls gloriously, and the high-precision motion controls and HD rumble could make a StarFox game truly immersive. Nintendo rarely likes to do the obvious, but their credo for the Switch seems to be “Just do the franchise justice and make it the best it’s ever been”, and with this in mind we could be in for the best StarFox game we’ve ever seen.
6. WarioWare Switched!
Warioware was a series that consistently provided inventive, quick-fire entertainment. The series petered out in 2013 with the underwhelming Game & Wario for the Wii U, a game which abandoned the series’ premise of quick-fire microgames for fewer, longer experiences designed to show off the capabilities of the WiiU itself. After such a hiatus, Warioware fans are more than ready for a new edition, and since the Switch has all the capabilities of previous systems combined, it could even take the form of a massive compilation of the previous games.
5. Luigi’s Mansion 3
The first Luigi’s Mansion game was a launch title for the Gamecube back in 2001, and one of the first games to give some character and uniqueness to Mario’s timid younger brother. I loved it at the time; its gameplay was totally new and having the whole thing set inside a single large building framed the action very neatly. The follow-up was a massive success 12 years later on the 3DS, but was set over multiple smaller mansions.
My vision for a Nintendo Switch iteration of the series would be to return to a single mansion, but make it MASSIVE. A sprawling, palatial estate belonging to the emperor of ghosts, or something along those lines. Fill it with hidden treasures, secret rooms and creative bosses, and it could become Luigi’s answer to Super Mario Odyssey!
4. Pikmin 4
It’s difficult to know what direction Pikmin could take next, but it goes without saying that the Switch could provide the smoothest control scheme yet for the strange little series. The Pikmin games are tightly designed, deceptively linear and somehow combine cutesy charm with a constantly sobering memento mori. It would be interesting to see how the game would work if it were opened up a little to be less linear, using newly discovered Pikmin in the traditional Metroidvania style to open up new paths from previously explored areas. Done right, this could produce an exploratory experience with the wonder, if not the scope, of Breath of the Wild.
3. A New Main Series Animal Crossing Game
Animal Crossing is a series oozing with charm and appeal. Maintaining my little town and keeping the residents happy whilst collecting and decorating my home is just a lovely drop-in, drop-out experience. However, even New Leaf has its limitations, and although some players have stuck loyally to their mayoral duties for years now, I personally need something more than the slow trickle of now predictable content the existing games provide.
Enter the Nintendo Switch. As a portable system it is perfect for the Animal Crossing experience. It also provides the storage space for a dizzying amount of new content and ideas, as well as a much-needed graphics update. My heart flutters at the thought of MORE. More species of bugs and fish, more customisation, more events, more minigames, more Amiibo support… more everything. I want an Animal Crossing game that will keep me hooked with surprise after surprise, and I think the world is ready for such a game now that Nintendo has the ideal hardware to host it.
2. A New Main Series Pokemon Game
This might be considered cheating, since it has already been vaguely announced that this is coming to the Switch, but we don’t know when or how. I’ve been a Pokemon fan for almost as long as the games have existed, and still hotly anticipate each new installment in the series. This month sees the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon, sequels to last year’s seventh generation of Pokemon RPGs. The series could comfortably stay on the 3DS, but the scope of what could be produced with the Switch hardware is mind-blowing. If Game Freak and Nintendo can do with Pokemon what they have done with Zelda and Mario, generation 8 could be a total game-changer.
1. Super Smash Bros. DX
The chaotic multiplayer fighting series Super Smash Bros. is a hugely popular franchise, and it seems inevitible that the Switch should get a version superior to even that on the WiiU. Smash Bros. games are notoriously big projects though, taking years to develop and perfect. Personally, I think they would be better off releasing a deluxe version of Smash 4 in the same vein as Mario Kart 8 DX and Pokken Tournament DX. It would include all the previously released DLC as standard, and hopefully some new material as well. Nintendo has managed to produce new and successful series of games in the last few years, and it would be a shame not to celebrate this by including new fighters from Splatoon and Arms (both of which have great potential for new fighting styles).
And… breathe! So those are my top ten games I would snap up immediately if Nintendo released them in 2018. Have I left anything out? Comment below and let me know!
Featured image source: Mario Party 8 for Wii Nintendo