On October 20th, Nintendo finally showed off its ambitious new console for the first time. Since then, the Nintendo Switch has been building hype online with rumors detailing a dream launch lineup and an even better first year. With new games in the Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon franchises alongside ports of some of Wii U’s biggest titles and Virtual Console surprises like Mother 3 all rumored, the stage was set for Nintendo’s full reveal of the Switch in Tokyo last week.
While some of these rumors came true (and others still could), last week’s presentation only left us with more questions about the Switch’s 2017 game lineup. It was great to see The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild planned for launch and the reveal of Super Mario Odyssey planned for the 2017 holiday season, but a sparse release schedule in between the two – headlined by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (a Wii U port with new content) and Splatoon 2 (a sequel that hasn’t shown much to differentiate itself so far) – leaves plenty of room for concern about what we’ll be playing between the console’s March launch and the end of the year.
On a console packed with third party support, the Switch’s first party lineup would be the perfect gravy on top. Unfortunately, the Switch is not that console. While some third party developers have promised support, the highlights include 2011’s Skyrim, and an almost certainly underwhelming version of EA’s FIFA, neither of which are available at launch, I can’t help but wonder if their time courting third parties could’ve been better spent on some of the following smaller titles…
Overcooked‘s fantastic local multiplayer became an instant Let’s Play hit when it launched last fall. On the Switch, Nintendo pushing local multiplayer heavily with its Joy-Con controllers, allowing a traditional single-player controller to break into two controllers for multi-player games. Although Overcooked on the Switch was nowhere to be seen at the reveal presentation, its unique brand of local multiplayer is a perfect fit for the hybrid console.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Much like Nintendo’s own Splatoon series, the PvZ: Garden Warfare games are all about taking on the traditional online shooter genre in a more kid-friendly fashion. While I’m sure Nintendo is happy to have FIFA on their platform to represent the sports genre, I can’t help but feel like EA’s Plants vs. Zombies games are a better fit for Nintendo’s target audience and would sell better on the platform than FIFA will.
Few games have taken the world by storm quite like Rocket League. After launching exclusively on PS4/PC and as a free title on PlayStation Plus, Rocket League has since launched on XBOX One and cultivated a base of 20 million players. The game’s competitive and streaming scenes have been largely popular as well, helping to make “Rocket League” a household name. It would have been great to see Nintendo work with developer Psyonix to bring a port of the game to Switch in the launch window.
Jackbox Party Pack
Jackbox Party Pack isn’t quite in the same vein as the other titles on this list, but I still feel like it’s a perfect candidate for a Switch port. With Nintendo positioning the Switch as somewhat of a party console (1 2 Switch, Mario Kart 8, etc), the ubiquitous Jackbox series would be the perfect addition to Nintendo’s platform.
Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2
While the original Pac-Man Championship Edition appeared on the Nintendo 3DS, none of its successors have appeared on any of Nintendo’s platforms. With Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 launching late last year, this seems like the perfect time to change that! Pac-Man Championship Edition‘s quick matches and addictive gameplay would be the perfect fit for the Switch’s promise of gaming at home and on the go.
What do you think about the Switch’s launch lineup? Would any of these games have made it more appealing for you? What titles would you have liked to see in the launch lineup? Let us know in the comments below!