The Monday Musing: What Should the Future Hold for the Switch?

**This is the part of the show where I give opinions on something that happened the week before.  Ready…?  Here we go!**

Disclaimer: This post is not in response to any direct news from last week, but since Switch news trickles out daily, I’ve decided to just posit on the system as a whole and the direction I would like to see it go in.

In only 18 days, Nintendo’s newest console, the Switch, will be released globally to the public.

In classic Nintendo fashion, the Switch focuses on game play fun and player experiences, pushing the boundaries of the familiar and introducing new concepts.  The Switch is both a portable system to take with you wherever you go and a dedicated home gaming system.  Naturally, the hype is real and the expectations are high for this.

With a relatively small offering of games to accompany the system on its March 3rd release date, though more promised soon, there is also a lot of speculation on upcoming titles.  Nintendo’s greatest strength has always been in it’s first-party games, it’s in-house IP and characters, most of which make a reappearance with each new system.  Games like The Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart have already been announced as “launch window” titles, with the newly successful Splatoon getting a sequel soon after, a brand new IP in ARMS coming in the next few months, a new entry in the Fire Emblem saga already in-development, and the year ending with Nintendo’s biggest offering in a new Mario Bros title.

Most fans will tell you, that’s a good start, but it’s far from all of Nintendo’s available characters.  Pikmin and Donkey Kong are sure-things and already rumored to be on the way, so we won’t include them below.  Instead, I’d prefer to focus on several that are due for a new release.

animal-crossing-new-leaf

Animal Crossing

Sure, the Wii U had moderate success with Amiibo Festival, but let’s be honest, that game was a gimmick.  There hasn’t been a true Animal Crossing game on console since 2008’s City Folk on Wii.

This game was the original social game, the original MMO (kind of).  With the social focus and online capabilities of the Switch, this would be a great title to bring back.

metroid-3

Metroid

Federation Force came out for the 3DS, but it was far from satisfying for the die-hard fans of Samus and her intergalactic adventures.  While you had Metroid: Other M, that game wasn’t nearly as successful as the Metroid Prime series, which hasn’t seen an installment since the Wii.

First-person shooter fit this series incredibly well and cemented a solid fan-base, not to mention it’s one of the most popular styles of games on the PS4 and Xbox One.  If Nintendo delivered a solid, single-player story and brought back the Federation Force element (albeit with enhanced graphics) do deliver a Halo-esque multiplayer experience, Nintendo is sure to have a hit on their hands.

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Golden Sun

Here’s a system that has never seen a console release.  This series spawned two games, both on the Game Boy Advance (in 2001 & 2003), but it was very well-received.

With the Switch focusing on nostalgia play and classic style games — not to mention games like I Am Setsuna already confirmed for the system — a classic RPG would be most-welcome.  The success of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy Brave Exvius on mobile devices shows that there’s a market for turn-based RPG’s, even in the West.

There is still demand for the series, as a very vocal group of fans clamored, not too recently, to have Isaac included as a playable character in Smash Bros.  For the Switch game, it wouldn’t need to be a graphic powerhouse, and it certainly wouldn’t need any gimmicks to the game play.  Just give it a solid, epic story, maybe some involved CGI cut scenes with voice over, and maybe give it the option for online co-op or vs, and you’ve got a title that will mesh well with the existing line-up.

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Earthbound/Mother

Probably the most unlikely inclusion here is one that fans would no less clamor for.  Nothing has been done with this series outside of Japan since the SNES and Earthbound.  If any game needs a serious reboot for a new generation, this is the one.  There must be a love for the characters, or Ness and Lucas wouldn’t keep getting thrown into the Super Smash Bros games.  The only problem is, kids these days have no idea who those characters are, and their move sets are a little complicated for the casual gamer.

If Nintendo is looking to attract gamers that may have fallen off their radar, this would be the game to do it.  With the SNES, Nintendo was the king of RPG’s, a genre it has sadly under-represented since then, apart from mobile, which the Switch kind of is.  Now is the time for a resurgence!

Pokemon

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This one is a bit of a cheat, simply because it’s already rumored to be on the way in Pokemon Stars.  Still, it’s too good not to mention, as there has never been a legit Pokemon game on a big screen.

So, what is Stars?  It’s allegedly an HD port/remake of the recently released Sun/Moon games.  It isn’t uncharacteristic for Nintendo to put out a slightly-delayed third version of a Poke-game (e.g. Yellow).  To see all of the Pokemon in their HD glory, being able to trade or battle with your friends by connecting Switch devices (or even online), and even amass the largest collection of Pokemon to date would make this a must-own title.

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Mega Man 11

I know, this one’s a bit out there (especially as it isn’t a 1st party title), but hear me out.

Mega Man is in Smash Bros (to much applause).  Ryu is in Smash Bros.  Ryu is getting a newly made retro-style game on the Switch in Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers.  

Given Capcom and Nintendo’s recent friendship and collaborations, is it too much to hope that the Blue Bomber can get one, too?  I don’t know how Mega Man 9 & 10 were received.  I bought them  and played them briefly.  The 8-bit throwback was excellent.  But a new MM game on Switch doesn’t have to be 8-bit.  We can have updated graphics like MM’s 7 & 8.  Or, to give it that truly next-gen feel, give us a game that we can alternate between, visually.  Think Super Mario Maker.  Better yet, give us a brand new, single player campaign, but to bring in the social gaming experience, also give players the ability to create their own Mega Man stages, building custom villains off pre-loaded custom pieces, the way you would a Mii.  Give them the option of every villain and weapon to ever grace the series.

Shining Force

Sega is third-party now, right?  The Switch is focusing on throwback-style games.  This one is a no-brainer, and quite possibly my favorite idea in this list.  Sonic and Mario have made so many games together at this point.  Sega and Nintendo are on good ground.

maxresdefault2Give us an updated Shining Force title.  Give us the classic fighting that we’ve come to love, not that Shining Force Neo crap on the PS.  Make the game more like Fire Emblem, but keep all the elements that made the original games so magical.

I’m talking an epic story.  I’m talking unique, interesting fantasy-style characters.  I’m talking battles so grand, it takes an hour or more to complete them.  But because of new processing power, because of updated play styles, don’t limit the number of soldiers we can have on the field.  And let us battle our friends online.

And of course…

Super Smash Brosnumpithozua6ycwrxotp

I mean, this one’s a given, right?  Rumors are already flying, and I would be 100% okay with a port of the Wii U version with amped up graphics and framerate, all DLC on disc, and a bunch of extra characters, stages, and modes thrown in for good measure — just like they did with Mario Kart.

And then we want new DLC on top of that.

Let’s face it, there are so many great Nintendo characters that there will almost never be a way to satisfy every fan.  But give us a Smash Bros game that is more robust than anything we’ve seen before, give it a solid campaign mode (co-op is welcome) that plays something more like Hyrule Warriors, and just sit back and rake in the cheddar.

Now, I can’t Nintendo actually giving us anything more than a tacked-on campaign.  Let’s face it, Smash Bros isn’t known for that, and it really doesn’t need it.  If they have something like that at their disposal, they’ll do better putting it out as a separate game.

Still, it’s a pretty solid bet that this one will be coming… hopefully next year.

Now, what else can I hope for with the Switch?

Gamecube games on the Virtual Console.

Gamecube controller adapter support for the Switch (especially for but not limited to Smash Bros)

Rocking Third-Party exclusive games that take full advantage over what makes the Switch unique but doesn’t always require motion controls.

Mobile gaming support to play iOS and Android games on the Switch.

If you have any thoughts you’d like to add, I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to comment at the bottom.

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