Thursday’s Nintendo Direct was a quick, packed showing of games coming to the Switch and 3DS up to, and just beyond, E3 this June. The Direct had just about everything any reasonable fan could expect out of Nintendo outside of an E3 press conference. There were big announcements, like the impending arrival of Super Smash Bros. on the Switch (this year, no less!) and a major piece of paid single-player DLC, Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion. There were also loads of smaller announcements, like ports of Okami HD and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker hitting the Switch (as well as 3DS, in Toad’s case) and Dark Souls Remastered for the Switch getting a Solaire of Astora Amiibo. Nintendo’s recent habit of revealing games within a year of release is clearly holding strong, and for the next half year, it’s obvious that the 3DS is still kicking and the Switch will do just fine in its second year on the market. Let’s break down each month and see what Nintendo has planned.
16 – Later this month, Nintendo’s bringing back the pink fluff ball to warm our hearts and eat our friends. Kirby Star Allies launches on March 16 and will receive additional ally characters one week later. In total, the confirmed ally characters are King Dedede, Meta Knight, Bandana Waddle Dee, Rick, Kine, Coo, Marx and Gooey, spanning various past Kirby titles.
23 – Nintendo refuses to let the 3DS fade away and they’re proving it’s here to linger a bit longer with Detective Pikachu. Those willing to kill just a little bit of their childhood and play through a game where Pikachu is a talking, overweight, middle-aged private eye, will experience a unique adventure game that takes place in the wonderful world of Pokémon.
24 – Although South Park: The Fractured But Whole already hit the PS4, Xbox One and PC last year, this deceptively deep and absolutely hilarious RPG is hitting the Switch. It won’t come with any of the game’s DLC, but the first two pieces of DLC – Danger Deck and From Dusk Til Casa Bonita – will be available separately at launch.
18 – Little Nightmares is an atmospheric puzzle/horror/platformer that was released on PS4, Xbox One and PC last year. Very soon, Little Nightmares: Complete Edition will hit the Switch, which includes the main game, as well as some additional content for the protagonist Six, as well as a couple of side story sections starring The Runaway Kid.
The Switch has seen a lot of ports from the Wii U and for good reason: though the console was a relative failure, it still had a solid library that those who didn’t pick up the system missed out on. That’s where Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition comes in. Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U was essentially a solid Musou game drenched in fan service, and the Switch version includes every map, mission and character from both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game, as well as costumes from the smash Switch hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Ever heard of it?
25 – For everyone out there who’s a glutton for punishment, Dark Souls Remastered is coming to the Switch in just a couple of months. It doesn’t look quite as sharp as its PS4 or Xbox One counterparts, but it appears to run smoothly, and includes all the DLC from the original game. More importantly, the Solaire of Astora Amiibo will allow players to praise the sun to their heart’s content. Praise the sun.
22 – Mario and his friends have played pretty much every sport under the sun, but Mario Tennis Aces looks to bring back the gang back into the tennis court in style. The game boasts a new stamina gauge that uses Zone Shots (offensive hits that slow down time), Zone Speed (defensive returns that slow down time), Trick Shots (hard to execute moves that fill up your gauge), Special Shots for each character, and Racquets Breaks that can occur if shots aren’t blocked properly. Combine that with a meaty single-player campaign and it looks like there may be a new top dog in the Mario Tennis series.
10 – Though it came last year to the PS4, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is set to hit other consoles in July – including the Switch. There’s not much to say about this great set of remakes that hasn’t already been said, so if you want to play as the zany orange fur ball once more, don’t sleep on this release.
13 – It’s been a long time coming, but Octopath Traveler is finally hitting the Switch this summer. It’s an “HD-2D” JRPG with a deep job system, with eight primary characters that the story focuses on. Hopefully it will satisfy more than Square Enix’s other throwback RPG, Lost Sphear, did earlier this year. Luckily, it’s a gorgeous journey that looks to impress.
Another Wii U gem that got lost in Nintendo’s lesser console cycle, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, is coming to both the Switch and 3DS later this year. It’s an addictive, fun and unique puzzle platformer staring the Mushroom Kingdom’s cutest goober and was great fun the first time around. With even more content, including Super Mario Odyssey based levels, get ready to have your mind stimulated this July.
3 – WarioWare used to be one of the greatest mini-game compilation series around, but after more recent lackluster showings, it looks like WarioWare Gold will be a return to form on the 3DS. It’s set to take all the best mini-games from old WarioWare titles, throw in a few fresh ones, and package it nicely for our sunset-sailing 3DS.
Though they don’t have set dates, the Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion DLC and a port of Okami HD are making their way to the Switch sometime this summer. A bit later in 2018, expect the 3DS remake of Luigi’s Mansion to grace those dual screens, anticipate Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes to freak you out a bit and Super Smash Bros. for the Switch to set the world on fire – it’s not currently clear if this is an upgraded port of the Wii U. Smash Bros., but it very well may be a brand new game in the series. Then in 2019, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey is set to hit the 3DS, and at some undetermined point in the future, Undertale is gonna make a splash on the Switch.
All of this boils down to Switch having an awesome next six months. No, none of those games are a Zelda or Mario, but they all have promise. Some are ports, some are remasters, some are brand new titles, but Switch owners will be hard-pressed to claim there’s nothing to play for another half-year. Expect even bigger announcements at E3, including a possible Pokémon Switch reveal, and almost definitely gameplay for Metroid Prime 4 and Super Smash Bros. for the Switch.
It’s a great time to be a gamer.