Welcome back Brothers and Sisters to another PixelEight! As I’m posting this article, on my side of the globe it’s Thursday 3:50AM, and that means in around twenty short hours, I will have the Nintendo Switch in my hands, so I thought I would get out one more “before Switch” article while I had the chance.
In the last PixelEight, I talked about the accessories that you’re going to want to look at after you’ve got your Switch in hand, of course that was a PixelEight in name only, as while there were eight entries on the list, I talked about far more than just those eight. However, there’s something a little more important than accessories that you’re going to need for your Switch, except maybe the hard case (Get a HARD case!), and those, brothers and sisters, are the games. People seem to be complaining a lot about the Nintendo Switches lack games for the coming year, but there are nearly enough confirmed to cover one per week for the next six months, and we haven’t even hit E3 yet.
So in this PixelEight, I’m counting down the eight games that I am the most excited for!
Please note: This list only contains physical copy games. I am writing a second list for digital only Nindie titles following that excellent showcase we got a couple of days ago. It’s also important to remember, this is my list, and these are my choices for the games I’m looking forward to playing the most. Chances are your list looks very different to mine, and that’s good. Differences mean we have more to talk about in the comments below!
Lego City Undercover is basically what you get if you crossed Grand theft Auto with Police Squad (Too young? Watch this.) and then made a Lego parody of it. You play cop Chase McCain, who returns to Lego City after two years away, at the behest of the Mayor, to deal with the current crime wave believed to be related to criminal Rex Fury, who Chase had caught with the help of Natalia Kowalski two years ago. This open sandbox game brings together some of the best elements of the Lego games and open world sandbox games like the Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row series’, in a neat, and very fun, family friendly package.
When Lego Star Wars came out in 2005, and later Lord of the Rings, I actually really enjoyed the games, and was excited for further follow-ups. However, as more and more were released the games lack of innovation or imagination, became ever apparent, every new game was just the same thing with a different skin. Though if you only focus on one franchise, it’s less noticeable.
Lego City Undercover was a much needed breath of fresh air from TT Games, with an original story, new mechanics and a sense of humour straight from the classic comedy greats, like the aforementioned Police Squad, as well as Hot Shots and Spaceballs. It hit all the right buttons for me… except, funny story; I bought this game on the Wii U, and I’ve never actually played it.
My plan is simple. I’m trading in my Wii U copy, as credit against the Switch version, and I’m finally going to play it from beginning to end in glorious HD!
Woah! That’s a little bit low on the list don’tchya think!? I mean, I guess it is, but I have my reasons.
I remember the hype surrounding Super Mario 64; the game was a huge deal. Everyone I knew who were into games, knew that Super Mario 64 was going to change the way we think about platformers, for better or worse. While the game looked good, I wasn’t convinced. Call me contrarian or a hipster, but the fact is I never thought that Super Mario 64 or the follow up, Super Mario Sunshine felt right. Original Mario games had a certain feel and aesthetic about them, which were absent in these two games. It made the Mushroom Kingdom more realistic, and relatable in a lot of ways, but at the same time it lost the industrial-fairy tale feel they had going on, and you could easily replace Mario and some of the enemies and people would be praising Diggy the Dog as the game that changed the industry. The games just weren’t very “Mario”.
Though people are likely to disagree, but I felt that Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS and Super Mario 3D World on Wii U, restored the soul of the Mario franchise, bringing back the excess of pipes, bolts and blocks, and other brightly coloured giant versions of things you might find in a hardware store. However, Odyssey seems to be going back to the likes of Super Mario 64, putting Mario in a realistic city, and the distinct lack of blocks that we’ve seen in trailers thus far.
So if that’s how I feel, why is it even on the list? Because whether or not it feels like a Mario game, it looks like it’s going to be a spectacular action platformer. In the end I bought Super Mario 64, and loved it. I even bought it a second time on Nintendo DS, and I’ll probably buy it again when the Virtual Console launches on Switch, and I dare say I’ll probably love Super Mario Odyssey just as much, regardless of whether or not the setting feels Mario-y. However, I’m going to maintain my skepticism and not be rushed off in the hype…
If you don’t know what Street Fighter is by now, then it’s possible you are reading the wrong website. Street Fighter is one of the highest grossing, most award winning fighting game franchise of all time, and if you listen to what Capcom have to say, we’re only now hitting number five, but if I may cast your minds back a bit…
Christmas 1992; a young Andy Frogman wakes up to find a large box left for him by Saint Nick, tearing away the tacky festive paper, he sat in awe at a gold and black box, featuring a sinisterly grinning Blanca charging headlong into Chun Li, with an unconscious Ryu in his wake. This was the cover art of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System bundle including Street Fighter II: The World Warriors. This was my first Nintendo console, and my first taste of fighting games, and while Street Fighter drifts in and out of my personal interest, I’ll always have fond nostalgic memories of Street Fighter II.
Skip forward twenty-five years; The Nintendo Switch release is just on the horizon, and soon after comes Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, taking the original Street Fighter 2, adding in some new characters, and bringing the graphics and music into 2017, with stunning new high definition 2D art, as well as some other cool goodies. Goodies, such as a first person Hadoken mode which uses the Switch Joy-Con motion controls.
I don’t know who came up with that idea, but give that person a promotion!!
Without a doubt the nostalgia goggles are real, but I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to playing this new take on a classic.
And straight from one nostalgia fest to another! When I think back to some of my fondest multiplayer experiences, I think playing Tennis on my Atari 2600 with my grand mother. I think about playing Worms with my one of my closest friends on his Amiga. However, when I think about what “multiplayer” means to me, I think Bomberman.
Bomberman has always had a strange hold on my heart. I say strange because despite being fond of the character (I used to draw him a lot as a kid), and in love with the hectic four player gameplay, I’ve only ever owned two Bomberman games; Bomberman 64 and Bomberman Blitz on DSi. However, the aforementioned friend had a few of the Amiga ports of the games, and we would play the crap out of them. I have fond memories of that time in our lives. I ended up a bit of a loner in my teens, and didn’t really buy games for their multiplayer. So when I think multiplayer, I think back to those great games of my youth.
Now however, circumstances are different, I love playing multiplayer with my friends, even if I so suck at a lot of games, so I’m glad that Bomberman is making a comeback! From my perspective, there’s no good reason not to pick up Super Bomberman R. Forgetting the nostalgia factor, Bomberman is a fun and simple game, with competitive and crazy multiplayer action, that’s easy to just pick up and play, and thanks to the Switch, I can “Share the Joy” with a friend anywhere, and just start enjoy Bomberman, for guaranteed hours of multiplayer fun and shenanigans!
When the original Splatoon was released back in 2015, I was really excited for this new Nintendo IP. It had been a long time since a new franchise was released, that wasn’t riding the coattails of established characters. It felt like something big, and for many people it was!
In Splatoon, Nintendo created a family friendly entry into the competitive shooter genre, that maintained the fast paced, and high skill gameplay elements of other shooters like Call of Duty, but that was easy to pick up, with a kid friendly veneer. Nintendo were onto a winner. What let this game down in my eyes, was it’s lack of real on-couch support. There’s no reason why Splatoon couldn’t have had four player local multiplayer, using the Wii-mote+ and nunchucks. As such I’ve not really played a lot of the game. Poor internet here in Aus, didn’t really help either.
However, for what this game was meant to be it was perfect, no doubt about that; Splatoon was magnificent! My personal opinions of on-couch multiplayer aside, it really is an excellent game. That’s why I’m excited for Splatoon 2, really it’s just the same game, just more of it. More levels, more weapons, and more of that ink on ink action, and most importantly (for me anyway) local multiplayer! Two to eight players gathered together split into teams, to go at in an arena where only one team of squids remain!
Bring it on!
I do love me some JRPGs, though I don’t play nearly as many as I used to. Still, when I think about great JRPGs a few names come to mind, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Disgaea (sorry, I couldn’t fit you on this list), and of course the Xeno series. Any Xeno game, they are all pretty incredible, but the game that stand out the most in my opinion is Xenoblade Chronicles, easily one of the best JRPGs of all time, in my opinion.
Xenoblade Chronicles was well known for it’s rich story, and it’s vast, almost seamless world, where for the most part, if you could see it you could go there, and as the world was built vertically, it was entirely possible to be miles above a location below you and leap down to it, without loading screens. Though, don’t expect to survive the fall damage. As for gameplay, while seemingly complex at first, Xenoblade Chronicles struck an excellent balance between turn-based/Active Time and action RPG styles, with fast, high action combat, “Arts” with cool-down times, and simple commands to give the rest of your team. The combat was further improved upon in Xenoblade Chronicles X, with a separation of melee and ranged combat, and your characters having the capability to be equipped with one of each, allowing you to stay in the battle while taking a step back to recover.
At the moment little is known about Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but I knew what I was looking at from the get go, from it’s huge and beautiful other-worldly landscape, lush fields in the clouds, and trademark art style. It’s cues are taken straight from the original Xenoblade Chronicles, rather than it’s sci-fi focused sibling; Xenoblade Chronicles X. That said being a Xenoblade game, we’re likely to see yet another seamless merging of sci-fi and fantasy.
All I know right now is, there are sky whales, and that’s a good start for me!
Enter yet another nostalgia trip! I have a strong adoration for the Mario Kart series, ever since I first played it on the SNES. In the years since, many have tried to replicate it’s gameplay, but none have been able to replicate it’s success. With every new release Mario Kart tops the bill. At first, I admit I was skeptical about the anti-gravity, I didn’t get what it was going to add to the gameplay, but after playing it and seeing the new ways you could interact with tracks, and how space was being used, especially characterized by the figure eight, moebius strip track that has become emblematic of the game as a whole, I came to understand. Even re-watching gameplay, became far more exciting when you realise that you were upside down half the time.
Mario Kart 8 with it’s tight controls, huge character roster, and more tracks than you can shake a Bob-om at, is the perfect game to get the port/remake treatment. In fact the only thing that the game failed on, was it’s battle mode, which is one of a plethora of new additions in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Classic Battle mode is back, with some retakes of retro battle mode maps. Some classic items make a return in the form of Boo which allows you to steal the items of the racer ahead of you, as well as rendering you temporarily invisible, and the Super Feather which allows you to leap over obstacles, pits and even other players. Speaking of items, holding a second item, and Double Item Boxes have returned from Double Dash, igniting my hope once again, for a Double Dash mode. A bunch of characters have also been pulled from the sidelines, like Dry Bones, King Boo and Bowser Jr., as well as the introduction of new characters in the form of Splatoon’s Inklings!
Who knows what else has been added to the game. I’m looking forward to learning more in the coming month, and exploring the full extent of this game, when it’s released. Just…
…isn’t it about time we just start calling this series Super Kart Bros. or Nintendo All-Stars Racing?
Hands up, who didn’t see this coming. Seriously, go home, you’re drunk! Of course Legend of Zelda is my number one game that I want to play on the Nintendo Switch!
At this point, I really don’t know what else there is to say. I’ve been waiting for this game, along with millions of others, since the Zelda Tech demo of E3 2012, and have been patiently vibrating on the spot since Eiji Aonuma revealed the first look of the game at E3 2014, and every day I have watched and waited for new news. Actually, at the moment I could do with a little less news because peoples thumbnails on YouTube are becoming spoilerific. Now Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild is less than twenty-four hours away, it’s still beyond my grasp but moving ever closer. just thinking about it makes my chest flutter.
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a huge Zelda fan. Did you notice? And Breath of the Wild is looking to be the absolute pinnacle of everything a Zelda game should be, and hopefully, a foundation on which to build much bigger and better Zelda titles into the future.
Unlike the complaints I had about Mario up above, as Zelda games become bigger and more fleshed out, they start to look more and more like that Hyrule I had in my head all those years ago, when I first played the original on the Nintendo Entertainment System. With limited graphics you used your imagination to fill in the gaps of what Hyrule might look like in real life. Sure, magi-tech was unexpected, and I think I would have preferred multiple items, rather than just the Shiekah Slate, but the games have come full circle, from exploration, to deep story and lore, and back around to a huge world to explore!
Not to mention the game simply looks gorgeous. It’s not the hyper detailed worlds of The Witcher, or Skyrim, and I’m glad of that. Nintendo have struck the right balance of detail and cell-shading to give this new Hyrule a beautiful and fantastical, Miyazaki-like finish.
I can’t wait. You may not see me for a while….
So that’s my Top Eight games I’m looking forward to playing, and it was hard to narrow it down to just eight. In fact, I had to removed three entries from this list, and start a second list just to be sure I was happy with the coverage of games., and I’m still missing Fire Emblem Warriors, Dragon Quest XI, and the two new Sonic The Hedgehog games coming this year. This talk of there being very few games for the Switch, and comparing it unfavorably to the PS Vita, before the console has even launched is nothing more that ridiculous doomsaying; partly because it’s still the in thing to rag on Nintendo, and secondly because it gets those all important clicks. Nintendo have always been tight lipped about their games, and after leaking became something to be seriously concerned about (think about it from an industrial espionage level) they’ve managed to fill in all those cracks. Making it harder for people to get the news when THEY want it, instead the process of distributing the news is back in Nintendo’s hands. It’s where I prefer it really, less false information, but it does mean having to wait.
And therein lies the problem. Once again comes down to the demand for everything to be revealed yesterday. This instant gratification complex that seems to be gripping a lot of people these days, and much like a proverbial heroine addict, they are jonesing so hard for their next hit, they unable to see the bigger picture. To put a finer point on it though, if Nintendo released every big name title they have on Launch day, what will they have to release later in the year? What will they have to push the console come Christmas, if all their best selling games are already out? I’m a pretty laid back kinda guy, and I preach patience. Just because there isn’t a Wave Race, Metroid or Smash Brothers on March 3rd, doesn’t mean the system is dead on arrival.
What I can say with certainty is in twenty hours I will have my Switch, Qeeko will have hers, and so will a lot of our friends; I’m more excited than I can put into words.
So what games are you looking forward to playing on the Switch? Let me know in the comments below, I do love to hear other peoples thoughts on games that they want to play. if you want to play Super Bomberman R, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or Street Fighter with me in the future, you find me on Facebook and Twitter, and of course the Badly.Play Discord!
Thanks for reading and I’ll post something after I get my hands on the Switch itself!
Peace and High Scores!