There seems to be little doubt that Nintendo is on to a real winner with the Switch. There’s been a raft of sales-statistic quoting articles at the start of 2018 highlighting just what a runaway success to hybrid portable has been in its first year. Two of 2017’s most critically acclaimed titles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey are Nintendo exclusives. With a steady stream of other quality new games and ports keeping Switch owners busy and their bank accounts low throughout 2017 Nintendo could have been forgiven for a slow start to the year. Instead, they decided to have Direct Mini and announce a bunch of stuff. Here are the highlights:
The Ports Continue
Given two of the more surprising titles to grace the Switch so far have been high-quality ports of Skyrim and Doom, perhaps the best news to come out of the Direct is the knowledge that we’re going to see more ports of great titles in the future. The game that’s grabbed the most attention is the announcement of Dark Souls: Remastered. Its a franchise that has grown more popular with each installment, so its easy to see why so many people are excited to have it on-the-go.
The popular JRPG is The World Ends With You: Final Remix is making the Switch this year. Like Dark Souls its a revered title with a critical reputation, but as a standalone title that already came out on a Nintendo handheld it is much more unexpected. With the news that Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is also Switch-bound the console is becoming quite the JRPG machine.
More Wii U Titles are Making the Leap
On a less surprising note, two more of the Wii U’s quality exclusives are jumping ship and getting enhanced releases on the Switch: Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. They’ll be joining the likes of Mario Kart 8, Lego City Undercover, Pokken and Bayonetta 2 as former Wii U titles getting a second chance.
Its great to see these titles getting a second chance on a more popular platform, but it is a little bittersweet to see the reasons to ever own a Wii U diminish so quickly. Its a feeling that’s likely going to continue as games like The Wonderful 101, Xenoblade Chronicles X and Super Mario 3D World are too good to leave behind.
While there was no update on Nintendo’s online service or the much missed virtual console, its great to see worthwhile DLC continue to be added to older titles. The big news is a free update coming Super Mario Odyssey (the best kind of update). The DLC will include new outfits for Mario, as well as a new mode called ‘Balloon Hunt’ where players online have 30 seconds to either find a balloon, or hide one for somebody else.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is getting new levels with their own story starring Donkey Kong, while Pokken Tournament DX is getting two new character packs. The two new playable characters are going to be Gen-1 favourite Blastoise and the big sword with a face, Aegislash.