The Most Anticipated Switch Titles of 2018
This year was an amazing year for the Switch. The console had a ton of high profile exclusives, from Breath of the Wild to Super Mario Odyssey and plenty in between. Considering 2017 was the Switch’s launch year, it’s no wonder why it’s shaping up to be one of the best-selling consoles of all time.
The question is, can Nintendo keep it up?
Any console lives and dies on its software, as Nintendo fully knows from the lack of third party support on the Wii U and Gamecube. The Switch’s continued success depends on whether it can offer a strong software lineup in 2018, but it looks like Nintendo has it covered this time. Once again we are seeing three major Nintendo releases in the coming year, as well as several fantastic releases by third party companies.
I wish I could have filled this list with nothing but Switch exclusives, but the biggest exclusives don’t have a definite release date. Metroid Prime 4, a new Pokemon, the next Tales game, the next Ace Attorney game, and Shin Megami Tensei V are high profile Switch games, but their release window may extend into 2019 and beyond. It looks like the Switch is only going to have a few exclusives next year, but that doesn’t mean it’s only going to have a few high-profile titles. Many of the games on this list that aren’t Switch exclusive will have special features made specifically for the Swtich. Even though you can get these experiences elsewhere, you still might consider buying the Switch version if you are looking for a unique (and of course, portable) gameplay experience.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Sega’s hit Valkyria Chronicles series took a departure from their standard strategy formula to create the more action oriented Valkyria Revolution this year. The reception was… not great. Hopefully Sega will return to form with Valkyria Chronicles 4, a turn based war strategy game for the Nintendo Switch. Framed as a side-story, Valkyria Chronicles 4 will take place in the same time period as the original Valkyria Chronicles, but will feature new characters fighting an as of yet unknown part of the Second European War. The game will feature new character classes, huge maps, and brand new stealth mechanics never before seen in the Valkyria Chronicles franchise. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is planned to release on March 21st 2018 in Japan and later worldwide. You can get this title on any console, but the Switch version may be the best fit, considering the franchise’s previous two installments were released on portables such as the Vita and the PSP.
Mega Man 11
Another multi-console title, but one that cannot be ignored. Mega Man 11 is the triumphant return of the Blue Bomber, proof that jumping and shooting is still alive even after the failure of Mighty No. 9. It’s pretty clear that this platformer doesn’t need a whole lot of graphical power to run, which makes it a perfect candidate for your next Switch purchase. Seeing a numbered entry on a semi-portable system should excite anyone who likes to take their gaming on the go. It’s nice to see Mega Man making his comeback on a Nintendo console, as that’s where he got his start.
Mega Man 11 should be released in late 2018.
Blazblue Cross Tag Battle
Our final multi-console title on the list, Blazblue Cross-Tag Battle may be the first “hardcore” fighting game title in the Switch’s library. Sure, we got Nintendo’s Arms, and Ultra Street Fighter II as a blast from the past, but we have seen no current gen fighting games hit the console. Why? Well the Switch isn’t very graphically powerful and it can’t quite handle the complex 2.5D engines most fighting games run on, but Blazblue Cross-Tag Battle is sprite based, which is right up the Switch’s alley.
Why is it so important to have a hardcore fighting game on the Switch? Because you can set up a fighting game tournament literally anywhere. You don’t even have to bring a monitor! Just set up the Switch on a kickstand, pair up your arcade sticks, and battle for fighting game glory wherever you like.
Bayonetta 1 and 2 (and maybe 3)
Now we’re getting into exclusives. Bayonetta 3 was announced for the Switch this year at The Game Awards, but it likely won’t be ready for a 2018 release. To hold Bayonetta fans over, Bayonetta 1 and 2 will be coming to the Switch in a bundle in 2018. The Switch version of these action classics will include some new features including local wireless co-op, amiibo support, and video capture support. The bundle will release on February 16, and with any luck we will see the release of Bayonetta 3 within the year as well.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
The absolutely absurd story of Travis Touchdown continues in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. This Switch title is essentially about how No More Heroes hasn’t gotten a new video-game release since the Wii; it’s meta that way. Travis Touchdown and a fellow assassin, Badman, are sucked into a demonic game console called the Death Drive MK II. There they have to battle their way through six different video games, defeating each boss, and winning their Death Ball. Gather all the Death Balls together and the victor will get a wish. Weird? Yes. Goofy? Yes. Absolutely saturated with fanservice? You betcha. This is exactly the game that No More Heroes fans have been waiting for, delivered to us by the always wacky mind of Suda 51.
Travis Strikes Again should release in 2018, but it has no definitive release date yet.
Project Octopath Traveler
If you are looking for a traditional roleplaying experience, look no further than Project Octopath Traveler. This new game has a lot in common with JRPGs such as Bravely Default, Final Fantasy, and the SaGa series, but don’t let its sprite based graphics and turn based gameplay fool you. Beneath the retro aesthetic lies a serious and dark narrative that you can experience from the points of view of eight different main characters. We have seen some pretty innovative titles from the RPG genre these last few years, but sometimes you just want to slay dragons, beat down bandits, and venture into unknown dungeons, and that’s exactly what Project Octopath Traveler will let you do.
Project Octopath Traveler will release in 2018 but does not have a definitive release date.
The top three titles on this list are all produced by Nintendo, which makes sense, as Nintendo has always been the most popular game designer on its own consoles. Yoshi is a pseudo-sequel to Yoshi’s Woolly World, except the theme isn’t wool this time, its paper craft. Yoshi will control as he always has, eating enemies and throwing eggs, but this time he can throw eggs into the foreground and background. Sometimes Yoshi will be able to flip the entire stage around, allowing you to see what lies behind the papercraft backdrop. It’s another solid platformer that’s fun for the whole family, a Nintendo game through and through.
Yoshi will release in 2018 though it does not have a definitive release date.
Now for the biggest mystery on this list.
A new Fire Emblem is coming out for the Switch and it has a confirmed 2018 release date. What’s it about? We don’t know. Who are the characters? We don’t know. What are the mechanics? We don’t know. We literally have absolutely no idea what this game has in store because the only image Nintendo has shared is this plain black title. Why are we excited? Because the Fire Emblem series has been doing fantastic on the 3DS, but we haven’t seen a Fire Emblem come to a mainline console since the Gamecube. We are excited to see what Nintendo will do both with the Switch’s power and portability in this new title.
Kirby Star Allies
The Nintendo Switch game that makes the top of our list is Kirby Star Allies if only because we know the most about it. In this game, Kirby won’t just be able to copy the abilities of enemies, he’ll be able to mind-control a party of up to three enemies to take on challenges with him. These enemies can be controlled by the computer or by your friends, and by teaming up and combining abilities with his allies Kirby can create special fusion abilities. Combine your sword with fire or ice to create elemental swords. Combine your bombs with wind to create exploding hot air balloons. Combine the stone power with ESP to drop on enemies from a distance. We haven’t seen this much creativity in Kirby’s powers since Kirby 64, so we’re really looking forward to this one.
What Nintendo Switch games are you looking forward to in 2018? Let us know in the comments.