Nintendo has made it a goal of theirs to release one big, AAA game on Switch per month. So far, with only a few gaps within release dates, the plan has worked marvelously. We all played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for hours upon hours, only to slide Mario Kart 8 Deluxe into our gaming rotation. A month or so after, ARMS made its presence on the scene known, piquing the interest of fighting game fans, hardcore and novice. Now, Splatoon 2 has been released to great sales, a solid online infrastructure, and many hours clocked in already.
With all this said, I’ve noticed a pattern that Nintendo will surely benefit from. Not only is the company releasing a big game every month, what they’re doing is releasing a game that is unlike anything recently released. I mean, think about it. Breath of the Wild provided a fleshed out, single player experience. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS give players online matches, with racing and brawling respectively. Splatoon 2 is the system’s first shooter, with not only online matches, but also a vastly improved single player. So, what’s Nintendo got in the pipeline to differentiate from these games?
August brings us Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, an XCOM-esque co-op title with charm, unique gameplay, and some of our favorite characters. Although Rabbids don’t often grab the attention of mainstream gamers, Nintendo and Ubisoft have seemingly created something special here.
Pokken Tournament DX launches in late September, and takes the slot of the Big N’s tentpole title for that month. Although we’ve already had a fighting game in ARMS, Pokken is vastly different and provides players with different gameplay experiences with characters we’re already familiar with. The original sold well on Wii U, and I have a feeling its deluxe version will sell even better.
October is the Switch’s biggest upcoming month, and that’s thanks to one game: Super Mario Odyssey. Giving players 3D platforming akin to Super Mario Sunshine, I doubt I have to explain how this title differentiates from everything else on the system. However, it should be noted that, in relation to Nintendo’s first party games, Odyssey is the first true single player experience since Breath of the Wild.
The last large scale, tentpole 2017 Switch title is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Although a niche title to some, this game looks to provide players with visually stunning graphics, a deep story, and tricky combat that takes time to master. Along with Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, Xenoblade is a reason for fans of solo games to pick up the Switch.
With Nintendo and the Switch, diversity is the biggest strength. Wii U was comprised mostly of platformers, and while there’s a charm 2D platforming games can bring, only so many can be appreciated within a short amount of time. When Shigeru Miyamoto said the company planned to use their IP more aggressively, he sure wasn’t lying.