Following the success of the Nintendo Switch, which was first released in October of last year, a number of exclusives are set to be released for the system over the course of this year. Initially, not many blockbuster exclusives were released for its platform—among those few were included Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and the ever-popular The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the first open-sandbox game in the Zelda series—but its range has since widened. New exclusives to be released for the system this year include Project Octopath Traveler (a turn-based RPG by Square Enix in which the player controls eight characters on a journey; final title yet to be determined), Runner3 (a platformer rhythm game that’s part of the Bit. Trip series), and Light Fingers (a board game in which competitors are constantly fighting against each other in a manipulative free-for-all).
No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again will add to the hack-and-slash franchise, this time telling the tale of a would-be assassin and the victim’s father, who get pulled together into a universe based on video games. Another planned exclusive is Bayonetta 3, which seems (if its teaser trailer is any indication) that it might be a prequel to the second game. A release date has yet to be announced, as is the case for No More Heroes.
Among these games are new entries into various Nintendo franchises, including Yoshi, the sixteenth Fire Emblem game (both untitled as yet), Mario Tennis Aces, Metroid Prime 4, and Kirby Star Allies, in which the titular pink hero gains the uses the power of stars to turn enemies into his allies. Not many details are known about the Fire Emblem game; the Yoshi game, however, seems to feature an art style based on construction paper or foam. It will also allow users to flip the stages of the platformer environment forwards or backwards, as though it were a diorama, in their attempts to solve the puzzles and challenges presented by the levels. Adding to the roster of pre-established franchises is SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, a fighting game in which the heroines from SNK franchises like King of Fighters will compete against each other, in the vein of Super Smash Bros. or PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Another update to an established franchise is The World Ends With You – Final Remix. This hi-res version of the original title—which was created by Tetsuya Nomura, creator of Kingdom Hearts, and developed by Square Enix—features a new story scenario, which is said to be “sizable” in nature. Also of note is Dragon Marked for Death, which is being developed by Inti Creates, the company known for adding Mega Man 9, 10, and Zero to the franchise, as well as creating Azure Striker Gunvolt. A 2D side-scrolling platformer in the vein of its predecessors, Dragon features a progress system that lets characters level up. Players will also be able to use local co-op to play with their friends, which is a bit of a rarity in our MMO-driven gaming world nowadays.
This info comes to us in part from Nintendo Direct Mini on January 11th, a virtual presentation in which Nintendo explained what’s coming up on its platform. The company noted that several new games are set to be released, including Fe, with a February release planned, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA. It also revealed that an update for Super Mario Odyssey is in the works—which includes a new minigame, Balloon World, and outfits for Mario that are based on 2002’s Super Mario Sunshine—and that Mario Tennis Aces is set to have a story mode, the first to do so since 2005’s Mario Tennis: Power Tour.
Regarding the new outfits, some fans are speculating that Nintendo is using the clothing to hint that it’s planning on re-releasing Sunshine for the Switch. Similarly, the company added support for the Gamecube’s controller to the system, and allegedly has been testing the most popular Gamecube titles—Sunshine, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Luigi’s Mansion—on the console. We might even have a Virtual Console release on the Switch later this year, so that players could purchase their favourite retro games directly on the system.
But perhaps the most surprising news of all is a that a new Pokémon RPG—which presumably would be a new entry into the series, rather than an update like Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon—is being planned for release in 2018. It seems that, as with prior Pokémon games, two versions have been planned. Unlike the other news mentioned earlier, this doesn’t come to us from official channels. Rather, it seems that the info was leaked without the express consent of Nintendo, and it has game journalists everywhere buzzing. Trademarks taken out for the RPG seem to indicate that the entries will be called Pokémon 0 and 1, and Gamefreak has referred to it specifically as the next Pocket Monster Adventure.
As with the other main Pokémon games, the game—if it’s released—will most likely be a Nintendo exclusive, although it may be released on the 3DS in addition to the Switch. The games would constitute Generation VIII of the franchise, following up Moon and Sun, which were released in November of 2016, and would, we can assume, include dozens of new critters. Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara did mention this game back at E3 this past June; however, the leak seems to be the first piece of information we have about the game since then.
New games aside, remasters and ports are also set to be released on the Nintendo Switch. These include Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors, and From Software’s Dark Souls. Bayonetta 1 and 2 are planned for re-release on the system, as are Payday 2, Outlast, and Outlast 2. In the case of Hyrule Warriors, it seems that not only will the game contain all the content that was initially available on the Wii U and 3DS versions, but it will also add new outfits based on Breath of the Wild.
Also to be released for the Switch over the course of 2018 are several non-exclusive titles. These include the crowdfunded Indivisible by Lab Zero, a fantasy RPG in which heroine Anja seeks out on a journey to discover the nature of her magical powers; Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, set for a May release; and Celeste, a challenging platformer in the style of Super Meat Boy, in which the protagonist attempts to climb a haunted mountain