Nintendo just published its earnings release for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2019. That means the last 12 months of sales data is in the books, including updates on hardware totals. Nintendo’s latest numbers show that Switch sold another 2.46 million units last quarter (January – March), which brings its lifetime total to 34.74 million.
If you’re familiar with the sales performance of Nintendo’s past consoles, you know that number marks a major milestone: Nintendo Switch has passed Nintendo 64’s lifetime sales. Nintendo’s flagship console in the late ’90s sold 32.93 million units in its lifetime, and it took Switch just two years to beat that mark. Switch still trails Nintendo 64 when it comes to software units sold, though. The classic console moved 224.97 million units of software, and Switch software sales are at 187.52 million. Switch still has a long life ahead of it, of course, so it will certainly close the gap in due time.
When compared to Nintendo’s most successful home consoles of all time, Switch still has a long way to go. Wii is still the champ with 101.63 million units sold. If we factor in handhelds (Switch is portable), DS dominates with 154.02 million sold. Those are tough numbers to match, but Switch’s pace of 17 million per year is impressive in its own right.
Video games have come a long, long way in the 30 years since the 8-bit days of NES and Game Boy. Gaming hardware evolved rapidly, new genres and styles of play emerged, and video games entered the mainstream like never before. Thousands of incredible adventures have been released in the past three decades, but which ones are the best?
Popular Japanese publication Famitsu recently set out to answer that question by polling their readers. After tallying votes from more than 7,100 Japanese fans, Famitsu narrowed it down to the top three. In first place, SNES classic Chrono Trigger reigns supreme with 230 votes. The runners-up are both much more modern titles. In fact, they both released in 2017. With 209 votes and 205 votes, respectively, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Nier Automata took second and third.
Did Famitsu’s readers make a good call, or are there games more deserving to be called the best in three decades? Let us know your all-time favorites in the comments below!
Several years after Mario came to dominate the NES, Nintendo decided to give players the opportunity to take his adventures on the go. The result was 1989’s Super Mario Land, an immense success that would blossom into a popular franchise. All these years later, Super Mario Land still has dedicated fans, and some of them decided to give the game an update that adds an important element not available on Game Boy: color.
Modder toruzz has released a completed version of the game re-made with color and dubbed Super Mario Land DX. This mod was officially finished and uploaded on April 22nd, one day after Game Boy’s 30th anniversary. Not a bad way to celebrate! You can check out the launch trailer above, and if you like what you see, there’s a link to follow through to play the game for yourself.
Before home consoles became a living room staple, video games were largely found in arcades. Capcom was one of the biggest players in this space with classic hits like Street Fighter and Final Fight. To this day, many dedicated players will shell out for an arcade-style controller to play certain games… but what if that controller came pre-loaded with some of the best arcade games?
Capcom has decided to answer that question. Following a recent teaser, Capcom dropped a reveal trailer for “Capcom Home Arcade” today. This upcoming plug and play device features a full-size Sanwa arcade control setup with 16 blockbuster Capcom games pre-installed. It’s even WiFi enabled, so you can share your high scores on an online leaderboard.
Capcom Home Arcade launches on October 25th, and you can currently pre-order it on Capcom’s European website for 229.99€, or around $260. Other retail options will be announced soon. In the meantime, you can check out the reveal trailer above, and you can peruse the list of available games below.
Nintendo Switch Online launched last September with a digital library of 20 NES games, and Nintendo has been steadily growing that library each month by adding more classic games. Thus far it’s still limited to NES titles (come on, Nintendo, bring on the Super Nintendo games!), but hopefully that’ll change in the future. In the meantime, three more NES games are headed to the service next week.
The April lineup includes Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (the original Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan), Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, and Star Soldier. You can check out a trailer for the new titles above and a breakdown of what you can expect from them below.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels – Originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros.® 2, this game has previously made only brief cameo appearances in the Western Hemisphere. Mario fans will appreciate the familiar look and feel of the game, while finding that its updated gameplay creates an entirely new challenge. In addition to the classic enemies already known to fans worldwide, there are also Poison Mushrooms, backward Warp Zones and the occasional wind gust (which can help or hinder your progress).
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream – As young boxer Little Mac, players have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to battle the big guys of the World Video Boxing Association circuit. Take them on one by one, starting with skinny Glass Joe. Battle up through King Hippo and all the way to the WVBA Champion himself. Players use their best jabs, hooks and power uppercuts to knock out opponents, but must also dodge jaw-breaking blows by paying attention to subtle changes in their foe’s body position.
Star Soldier – The standard for vertically scrolling shooters, Star Soldier is the original game that spawned all of the titles in the long-running Soldier series. Go inside a floating space station inhabited by a giant computer known as Starbrain. Your mission: to stop Starbrain’s galactic invasion by piloting Caesar, a new compact space fighter, through 16 deadly stages.
First revealed at last year’s SEGA Fes, SEGA had announced that they would be releasing a SEGA Mega Drive Mini (or Genesis Mini in North America) by the end of 2018, but the year has come and gone with little fanfare or details on their own retro plug-and-play console. It took another SEGA Fes for word to finally come on the delayed legacy system, as the company finally gave eager fans at Akihabara an inside look at the anticipated platform.
Packaged with 40 classic games, you’d best mark your calendars and start saving up, as the SEGA Genesis Mini will finally launch globally later this year on September 19.
This isn’t SEGA’s first crack at a throwback console, having released the SEGA Mega Drive Classic and Genesis Flashback HD in partnership with AtGames. Those consoles were nigh universally panned, however, with critics citing poor emulation and shoddy hardware. While AtGames was initially meant to collaborate with SEGA again on the Genesis Mini, it appears that partnership has dissolved, with SEGA now working on the system internally alongside developer M2.
M2 is the same studio responsible for a lot of enhanced retro ports of classic games we see on modern platforms nowadays, such as the SEGA 3D Classics for Nintendo 3DS and the SEGA Ages games for Nintendo Switch. As such, the Genesis Mini is already shaping up to stand on par with Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classics when it comes to quality. Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro is also working on the Mini, having composed the menu music for the system.
As for the games lineup, SEGA has announced that Japanese Mega Drive Mini will include the following among the confirmed 40 titles:
Madou Monogatari Ichi (Story of Sorcery 1)
Puyo Puyo 2
Space Harrier II
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Meanwhile, the North American Genesis Mini will include the following, among others:
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Ecco the Dolphin
Sonic The Hedgehog
Space Harrier II
ToeJam & Earl
As an added bonus? On top of save states, some games will come with regional variations that you can choose to play from. It’s certainly a nice touch to those who might appreciate some of the minute differences between certain localizations and outright changes between international versions of the same game.
The console will release in two variations in Japan. One edition will come with a single six-button Mega Drive Mini USB controller, with an MSRP of ¥6,980, while the second version comes with two controllers retailing at ¥8,980. This won’t be the case in North America, as the U.S. version will launch with two three-button Genesis-style controllers, totaling to $80.
Would you consider picking up a SEGA Genesis Mini later this year? What other games would you like to see packaged with the retro system? Personally, just give me Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and I’m good, but share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below!
With a new month comes a new rotation of free games for active Xbox Live subscribers. Microsoft recently revealed their lineup for April’s Games with Gold, featuring a collection of free Xbox One titles and backward compatible extras that some players might want to pick up, available via Xbox Live Gold for a limited time only.
Most of this month’s collection seems to carry an extraterrestrial theme, as these games revolve around space-faring adventurers, featuring an old favorite from Microsoft’s debut system. For Xbox One owners, April’s highlights kick off tomorrow with Focus Home Interactive’s 2016 title The Technomancer, where you play as an on-the-run vagabond mage-warrior, feared and respected by all on Mars. It will be free to download from April 1 to April 30.
On April 16, Bigben Interactive’s Outcast: Second Contact will be available for free up until May 15. This game is a complete remake of the cult classic original Outcast from 1999 on PC, developed once again by Belgian studio Appeal. This will replace Electronic Arts’ Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 from the March Games with Gold rotation.
For Xbox 360 owners, as well as Xbox One via backward compatibility, Star Wars: Battlefront II (no, not EA’s) from the original Xbox is free to own for Xbox Live Gold members starting tomorrow. The game, developed by the since-EA-shuttered Pandemic Games, comes with improved graphics via Xbox One X enhancements. This will be followed by Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, available until April 31.
Are you subscribed to Xbox Live Gold? Which of these games for April’s Games with Gold are you fancying downloading? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Nintendo Switch Online launched last September with a digital library of 20 NES games available to all subscribers. Since then, they’ve been adding more games to that library each week, including Ninja Gaiden, Super Mario Bros. 2, and more. That library is set to expand once again on March 13th.
Nintendo Switch Online users will soon be able to enjoy two additional games: Kid Icarus and StarTropics. This will differ in Japan where StarTropics is replaced by both Fire Emblem:Shadow Dragonand the Blade of Light and Yie Ar Kung-Fu. You can watch a trailer above, and you can peruse descriptions for the latest Nintendo Switch Online games below.
Kid Icarus – The evil goddess Medusa has stolen the Three Sacred Treasures and imprisoned the goddess of light, Palutena, in her evil plot to control all. Play as Pit, a young angel who has been entrusted with a magical bow and arrow. Fight against hordes of enemies that swoop from above and below. Secure the Three Sacred Treasures from their evil guardians, equip them and face Medusa in the final battle.
StarTropics – Step into the shoes of Mike Jones, a teenage star pitcher from Seattle, who has come to the tropics to visit his famous archaeologist uncle, Dr. Jones. After being told that his uncle has been abducted, Mike begins a perilous quest in order to rescue him and figure out the mysterious plot behind his disappearance. Luckily for Mike, he meets helpful villagers and finds more powerful weapons as he explores numerous locations and island hops using his uncle’s submarine.
It’s been two years since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and in that short span of time, a decent chunk of Nintendo’s key titles for the Wii U either have been ported to the hybrid or saw much more refined sequels. We’ve already spoken at length about eleven games from that system that could possibly make the switch to Switch following Super Mario Maker 2 in June, but now it’s time to take a look at the games that will more than likely be left on the cutting room floor.
These honorable mentions are the games that didn’t quite tap into their full potential, wound up as stinkers, or are so dependent on the Wii U’s dual-screen functionality that a port to the Switch would be plain impossible. Let’s take a look at the list together below!
1. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival (2015)
After New Leaf was released onto the 3DS seven years ago, fans have been itching more and more for a new, mainline Animal Crossing, to once again experience a simulated life in a relaxed and happy neighborhood of friendly anthropomorphized animals on their home console. All the Wii U offered during its short lifespan was a poorly received party game in the form of amiibo Festival, which—as the name implies—heavily relied on the use of Animal Crossing amiibo to be played, to the point that it cannot be downloaded on its own off the eShop.
By itself, sure, the Board Festival might not be worth bringing back, but that might have only been the case because it was by itself. A party game for the series can still be fun if done right, but it alone as a spin-off will probably not appease its fans. After all, said fans have resorted to satanic summoning circles to bring about the next core Animal Crossing game.
Not to say correlation implies causation, but we are just so happening to get a core Animal Crossing title for the Nintendo Switch later this year. While some Wii U games like Smash Bros. got bigger and better sequels, I can easily see an inverse of this scenario for amiibo Festival where it could be integrated into the upcoming Animal Crossing as a bonus couch multiplayer mode to the actual game fans have waited years for. It would get all those lingering Animal Crossing amiibo off the shelves all the faster, that’s for sure!
2. Devil’s Third (2015)
“Honorable mention” is a very generous way of putting this next one.
Devil’s Third, spearheaded by former Tecmo developer and creator of Dead or Alive Tomonobu Itagaki, had a tumultuous production period under Valhalla Game Studio. Development began with the studio’s founding in 2008. A game of hot potato in securing a publishing deal saw the title change hands between Microsoft Game Studios, THQ right before it capsized, South Korean studio Doobic before it also went bankrupt, and then finally Nintendo, when the latter had been in desperate need of new games for the stagnating Wii U.
The game was critically panned once it came westward and was considered to be one of the worst games of 2015. Its release was poorly supported by Nintendo of America, and saw little promotion and few copies printed. Hell, the American branch even considered withdrawing publishing support altogether before launch, unlike its Japanese and European bodies. Its poor reception was pegged to its campaign, inconsistent framerate, graphical presentation, and microtransaction-heavy online multiplayer, though some critics did give Devil’s Third credit for its presentation and gameplay. The online multiplayer was later available as a free-to-play PC title in Japan as Devil’s Third Online under a different publisher in 2016, but it shuttered less than a year later.
With the Switch hosting as ample a library as it has now, I doubt that Nintendo would reach out to secure a port for one of the Wii U’s biggest flops. Itagaki did say he envisioned a trilogy for the franchise, though. Maybe with a bit of extra elbow grease in development and an olive branch extended by another publisher, he could find some life left in Devil’s Third yet.
3. Nintendo Land (2012) + Game & Wario (2013)
I’m grouping these two together as they share one same problem I touched upon earlier, so my thoughts will be very brief.
Nintendo Land (a cute little launch title revolving around a topically Nintendo-themed amusement park) and Game & Wario (the Wii U’s own WarioWare minigame collection) are essentially glorified tech demos. With both games revolving nigh entirely around simultaneous GamePad and TV screen interaction, a Switch port for either is an outright impossibility due to their strict dual-screen gameplay mechanics and asymmetrical multiplayer appeal. The same can also be said of smaller party games on the Wii U, like Wii Sports Club, Wii Party U, and Sing Party, though I doubt many tears would be shed for these losses.
While we can certainly count on a possible new WarioWare for the Switch (with more than 16 microgames, please), I do hope some of the ideas and minigames in Nintendo Land can be salvaged for a future title, or—better yet—as their own bite-sized games available off of the Switch’s eShop.
4. Paper Mario: Color Splash (2016)
The Wii U’s swan song before the launch of Breath of the Wild, Paper Mario: Color Splash was effectively the last major Nintendo game released exclusively for the platform. It was, in many ways, a step up from the dismal Sticker Star for 3DS, featuring better presentation, writing, and music, but it was also more of the same with a half-baked, tedious, and ultimately unrewarding battle system.
Like the 3DS prequel, the battle system was meant to take advantage of the dual-screen nature of the system, revolving around single-use cards to execute attacks. Players would have to sift through their assortment of cards on the GamePad, color them in, and then flick them back to the main screen. The way the battling gameplay works would be too cluttered and drawn out if shunted into a single screen system like the Switch.
Unfortunately, the future of Paper Mario looks bleak. Despite the better critical reception compared to its predecessor, Color Splash sold poorly. All eyes were already on the recently unveiled Switch, and fans who were burned by Sticker Star steered well clear of its immediate sequel. The absolute last thing we would want Nintendo to glean from this is to assume fans don’t want Paper Mario anymore, especially as they strayed further and further away from the RPG formula we grew up with and loved with more “experimental” games. As excellent as the Mario & Luigi games are, there can be room for more than one role-playing Mario series in their wheelhouse.
We just want Mario Story again, damn it.
5. Star Fox Zero + Star Fox Guard (2016)
I deliberated hard on which Wii U list I would put the PlatinumGames-co-developed Star Fox Zero and its companion title Star Fox Guard. After thinking on it for a long while, I’ve concluded that Zero and Guard have probably been written off by Nintendo as possible Switch ports, and I have three reasons as to why that might be the case.
First reason comes down to the game’s… unique control scheme. While most of the stages are traversed from start to finish in traditional Star Fox fashion, the tedious dependency on the GamePad for aiming and shooting enemies might make retooling the entire experience for the single-screen Switch be a bit more trouble than its worth. As for Guard, the constant switching between displays for invading robots would probably be too clunky on a single screen.
Second reason revolves around the very identity of the game, let alone an identity crisis for the Star Fox series as of late. A hypothetical Star Fox Zero on Switch would essentially make it a Switch re-release of a Wii U reboot, following a 3DS remake of a Nintendo 64 re-imagining based on the SNES original. That’s about half the games in the franchise revolving around the same premise. At this point, Star Fox fans—myself included—want something new for a change.
This brings us to reason number three.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas, for many, is scratching that itch of a new Star Fox experience in an unlikely toys-to-life crossover none had seen coming. While a multiplatform title, the Switch version outsold its other iterations by leaps and bounds. It lucks out all the more with special content including Fox McCloud himself as a playable character, complete with his own customizable Arwing and unique missions. And if that’s not enough, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy will join the fun in a free update coming in April.
At least for now, we know Star Fox is in good hands at Ubisoft in the short term, but if Platinum and Nintendo do somehow make a Star Fox Zero + Guard port work for the Switch in spite of my skepticism, I know I’ll certainly be picking it up.
While the sun may set forever on these Wii U entries, we can always cross our fingers for sequels to shine in their place on the Switch.
We finally have the new console Animal Crossing we had dreamed for years coming later this year, and while we have some Star Fox content on the system, I hope the stars will align for a bonafide game to drop sooner rather than later. It’s been a long time since Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door launched on the GameCube, and the games that followed still fail to capture that same magic it refined following Paper Mario 64. With Wario, we know it’s only a matter of time before he shows up with another moneymaking microgame scheme, and hopefully Nintendo Land doesn’t spell the last we see of Monita and her theme park attractions based on our favorite franchises.
The ill-fated Wii U had a number of issues that held it back from achieving the unreal commercial success of its revolutionary predecessor, the Wii. Right out of the gate, consumers were confused over the branding and questioned whether the “Wii U” was only a GamePad peripheral for the Wii; the system itself was heavily marketed toward young children and their parents, which didn’t help in furthering the old stigma “Nintendo makes kiddie games”; its unique hardware made it difficult for third parties to develop or port their own games onto the console. So on and so forth.
For all its quirks and woes, however, there was one thing that couldn’t be taken away from the Wii U. That is its own little library of quality, must-have video games that helped the little system that couldn’t stand out as long as it did. Nowadays, rather than sinking into obscurity forever, more and more of the Wii U’s greatest hits are seeing either a renewed shelf life or their legacy refined on Nintendo’s landmark hybrid system: the Switch.
Since the Switch’s launch, Nintendo has kept a steady stream of big name titles releasing on a near-monthly basis, and to further pad out this nigh consistent stream of heavy hitters, the gaming giant has since been porting some of their best work over from the Wii U. Games such as Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors came roaring back with a vengeance, packed with all the downloadable content from their last go-around under one deluxe, definitive package. Some, like the over-the-top Bayonetta 2 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (with extra Funky Kong action!), finally got the opportunity to shine on a brighter stage compared to their previous shot under a dimmer limelight.
Then there are those—like Splatoon, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Mario Maker—that weren’t ported, but were instead followed by amazing sequels that completely blow the Wii U originals out of the water in almost every conceivable regard. Enter Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the recently revealed Super Mario Maker 2.
The Nintendo Switch launched in early 2017, and we’ve only just broken into 2019 with a good chunk of the Wii U must-haves already brought over. But we’re still missing a few key titles. That’s why I took the liberty of looking at all of Nintendo’s major releases on the Wii U that hadn’t yet gotten the port treatment and determined which titles I feel are more likely to make the switch to the Switch in the future.
For simplicity’s sake, we won’t go over Wii U eShop releases like Dr. Luigi and Pushmo World, nor will we discuss third-party games.
Let’s check out our possible ports-to-be!
1. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (2015)
The Switch has a niche little library of horror games, including Bandai Namco’s Little Nightmares, Red Barrels’ Outlast, and the growing presence of Capcom’s Resident Evil series. Few recall, however, that Nintendo has a little horror franchise of its own, and no, I’m not talking about Luigi’s Mansion.
Fatal Frame is a mature series of survival horror games co-owned by Koei Tecmo and Nintendo, with the crux of the gameplay revolving around using the Camera Obscura to fend off evil marauding spirits. Naturally, the Camera Obscura as a concept was a perfect fit for the Wii U GamePad, as demonstrated in the fifth installment of the series: Maiden of Black Water. This allowed the player to explore the haunted Mt. Hikami with the Camera in their own hands, using the GamePad’s gyroscope function to aim the lens around and take exorcizing snapshots.
While Fatal Frame 5 did utilize dual screen gameplay as its main draw, players are granted the option to play somewhat traditionally just as in past games via a single screen, with the camera viewpoint front and center when drawn out. With some minor adjustments to the UI, the game could function on Switch with a single screen just fine. Ubisoft had done the same when porting ZombiU to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, under the more appropriately titled “Zombi.”
With that said, while Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water could be ported to the Switch without a technical hitch, the original Wii U game did not launch under the most favorable circumstances internationally. Mixed critical reception aside, the game was doomed to a smaller audience in North America with an eShop-only release (further putting off potential players with nearly 14GB of data), so overseas demand for Fatal Frame Switch might be pretty minimal as is.
Will we ever see Black Water get ported, or will a new Fatal Frame entry take its place? Only time will tell.
2. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015)
Will it be tricky to pull off? Maybe. Is it outright impossible? I certainly don’t think so.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was the super tuff pink puff’s only outing on the Wii U. For the GamePad-powered system, it was a perfect fit for the adorably claymation-stylized sequel to the Nintendo DS title Kirby: Canvas Curse, which saw the player use the console’s stylus to draw paths for the ball form-locked Kirby to follow.
While the Switch should have no trouble running the game, the stylus-dependent controls for Rainbow Curse risk being lost in translation, as there is no stylus marketed for or packaged with the Switch. That said, any old capacitive stylus that can be used for smartphones should be able to interact with the Switch’s touchscreen just fine, should a player not want to use their own fingers to smudge up the screen at least.
This, at least immediately, solves the problem from a portable perspective, but that still leaves some questions for Docked mode. There is no second screen in your hands to draw lines onto while Kirby rolls along on the main display, but that doesn’t mean there are no alternatives available. Motion control with the Joy-Con could simulate the same experience of drawing lines to make paths for Kirby if calibrated properly. Failing that, a traditional control scheme would simply allow players to draw lines by holding down a button and guiding an on-screen stylus with the circle pad.
And should that fail, the game could simply be re-released as a Handheld/Tabletop-exclusive via the eShop. It wouldn’t be the first digital-only Kirby title!
3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (2016)
2017 saw the simultaneous launch of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In 2018, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition followed. This year marks a full-blown remake of 1993’s Link’s Awakening, leaving the confines of the Game Boy. At this rate, annual Zelda releases for the system are likely to be expected, with two games on the sidelines ready to fill such a role.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess first launched for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii in 2006, with developer Tantalus assisting in porting the game to Wii U ten years later. The proof is already there that the game can function just fine without the GamePad, while a possible Switch re-release could keep some of the quality of life adjustments that were made before, such as the Ghost Lantern, Wolf Link transformation being tied to a single button, and the reduced number of Tears of Light to collect.
If there is one thing that I would change, it would surely be the glaring accessibility issue surrounding the Cave of Shadows. The Wolf Link-exclusive gauntlet came with the Wii U version of the game, but it was tied exclusively to the Wolf Link amiibo, thus barring off players who hadn’t been so lucky in procuring one of their own. Perhaps this bonus dungeon could be made available to non-Wolf Link amiibo owners as a late game reward—thus allowing them to obtain the Colossal Wallet—and the amiibo would simply give players immediate access like in the original re-release.
Plus, a Wolf Link reprint would give players another chance at having the lupine hero accompany Link in Breath of the Wild and boost its health via the Cave of Shadows subsequently—a Switch re-release would save players the trouble of procuring a Wii U for it.
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (2013)
As for the other mainline Zelda to hit the Wii U, it’s another remaster. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD brought a few improvements to the GameCube original that should definitely stick around for a hypothetical Switch re-release. Personally, I can’t imagine a Wind Waker anymore without the Swift Sail, a reduced reliance on Triforce Chart decryption, and a toggleable Hero Mode.
There are also certain features a Wind Waker HD re-release could take advantage of that weren’t present in the original Wii U launch. As the game preceded the rise of amiibo, a Switch version could easily make use of the litany of Zelda amiibo already available on the market, at the very least replicating their functionality from Twilight Princess HD: Link amiibo refilling arrows, Zelda amiibo refilling hearts or magic, Ganondorf amiibo doubling damage (which could stack on Hero Mode), and so on. Perhaps there could be a special use for the Wind Waker-themed amiibo as well!
Plus, with the Nintendo Switch embracing social media interaction through direct Facebook and Twitter posting, it gives players all the more reason to take dumb selfies with the enhanced Picto Box, just as they have recently done with the Sheikah Slate in Breath of the Wild. The only real casualty to a Wind Waker HD Switch version would be the Tingle Bottle item, as it relied on Miiverse for players to exchange bottled messages through the now defunct service. I wonder what Tingle would hand you as a reward for breaking him out of jail at that point… Perhaps something involving functionality with a brand new golden Tingle amiibo?
It would be cool if Nintendo threw together a Zelda compilation for the Switch at some point down the road, or at least packaged these two together to make the wait for the rumored Skyward Sword HD that much shorter. But that’s a whole other topic for another day.
5. NES Remix Pack (2014)
Well, why not?
Not quite an alternative to the old Virtual Console at the time, NES Remix & NES Remix 2 were great tributes to the vintage titles from the dawn of home video game consoles. With challenges pulled from a combined 28 NES titles, the compilation saw players complete missions based on spliced moments of gameplay, or “remixes,” that changed up a given title or mashed it up with another. An example of the latter saw Kirby face off against Whispy Woods à la Kirby’s Adventure with a ton of Boos closing in every time he looks away, or Link climbing the steel beams of Donkey Kong without being able to jump over the barrels.
A Switch re-release would be pretty novel, and trying to beat other players’ records on the online leaderboard would be fun. That said, the inclusion of multiplayer-centric remixes would certainly go a long way what with the Switch’s multiplayer appeal.
All that’s left to tie the package up would, of course, be the inclusion of both Super Luigi Bros. from the Wii U version, as well as Speed Mario Bros. and the Famicom remixes from Ultimate NES Remix on 3DS, and then we are golden.
The ever elusive fourth installment in the Pikmin series continues to sit in this weird limbo of being “almost complete” and “not a priority.” Should the day Pikmin 4 finally touches down on our planet still elude us further into the unknown future, the next best thing would be to port Alph’s foray on the Wii U over in the meantime.
Pikmin 3 put three new Koppaite astronauts center stage—the aforementioned Alph, joined by Brittany and Charlie—on their desperate quest to save their home planet from famine. The game launched fairly early in the Wii U’s lifespan in July 2013, but it did benefit from extra downloadable content in the form of extra map packs up towards the end of the year. Naturally, a Nintendo Switch version would package the game with all the old DLC included, just as existing Wii U to Switch ports have done before it, so newcomers wouldn’t have to miss out on the definitive edition of Pikmin 3.
While the Wii U GamePad provided some added functionality to the game via the conspicuously familiar-looking KopPad, a port to the Nintendo Switch would thankfully be relatively seamless, as the game was perfectly playable to completion via Off-Tv Play in the past. With the Switch’s ability to play games on the go, we would finally get a bonafide portable Pikmin game!
7. Super Mario 3D World (2013)
There is absolutely no way Super Mario 3D World isn’t already destined for the Nintendo Switch. The writing on the wall is as clear as day.
First, the famous plumber’s other big adventures on Wii U have already been ported to Switch. We’ve got New Super Mario Bros. U plus New Super Luigi U, Super Mario Maker getting a sequel this summer that will include 3D World content, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker—itself being a spinoff of 3D World based on the Captain Toad stages. This all leaves 3D World as the only mainline Super Mario game remaining. If Super Mario Odyssey‘s number of units sold is of any indication—it sits quite comfortably as the second bestselling game on the Switch thus far, with nearly 14 million units—we can assume that Switch owners love 3D Mario.
Second, I shouldn’t even have to mention how the game’s four-player co-op already lends itself well to one of the Nintendo Switch’s selling points, being immediate multiplayer access thanks to the Joy-Con. Two players can sit down and enjoy the game together as one of four playable characters, each based off of their portrayals in Super Mario Bros. 2 way back in the day. Mario the all-rounder, Luigi the high jumper, Peach the floater, and Toad the quickster are all here, present and accounted for, with new power-ups like the wall-scaling Cat Suit and the duplicating Double Cherry.
There’s not much I can think of that needs to be added to a Super Mario 3D World Switch port, save for the cut 3D World stages from the Switch release of Captain Toad in favor of Odyssey-themed maps. The vanilla game was perfect already, although some stages that required GamePad functionality (be it via the touchscreen or blowing into the microphone) will definitely need fine-tuning.
8. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE (2016)
Many a developer has hopped onto the Nintendo Switch gravy train, and while Atlus is a big name who remains mysteriously absent thus far, a big splash from the SEGA-owned subsidiary is still to be expected on the horizon. We know Shin Megami Tensei V is on the way as a Switch exclusive, but likely not for a long while yet, given it has only entered full-scale development around this time last year. A Persona 5 port to the system could be a very real possibility in the near future, as Joker will be stealing the show as a new fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate within the two months, and we’re expecting big P5 news in the coming weeks.
With Fire Emblem: Three Houses set to launch in July, we probably won’t be entertaining this idea for a little while, but there is little reason to object against Nintendo and Atlus porting Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE onto the Switch at some point down the line. This interesting experiment of a four-way SMT, Persona, Fire Emblem, and J-Pop idol culture crossover was a must for RPG lovers on the Wii U, though its niche appeal (coupled with the poor sales performance of the Wii U) did no favors in boosting its visibility.
The GamePad was responsible for a few special features, but nothing that can’t be relegated back onto a single screen with the Switch. The map can be displayed on another corner of the UI, and the Topic social app could be accessed via the pause menu. Package in the Costume and Hunter Pack DLCs, and a Switch port of Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE would be ready to go!
…that, and maybe with an English dub this time around.
9. The Wonderful 101 (2013)
With Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 behind us, plus the surprise Astral Chain and the anticipated Bayonetta 3 down the line, PlatinumGames has settled itself quite comfortably as a developer for the Nintendo Switch. While we know of two upcoming titles, there is one other possibility—another possible Wii U port that could make a wonderful addition to the Switch’s expanding library.
The Wonderful 101 brought champions of justice to the Wii U with a mixture of Saturday morning cartoon superheroics and that unmistakable Platinum flair, gaining itself a dedicated cult following that persists to this day. Despite its heavy reliance on the GamePad at the time, we know the game could be played traditionally via the Wii U Pro Controller in co-op mode, so any technical hurdles that might seem impossible for a Wii U-to-Switch transition should be a non-issue.
Xenoblade Chronicles came from humble beginnings on the Wii as a spiritual successor to Monolith Soft’s earlier works, before the developer became a Nintendo subsidiary. Since then, the series had grown and evolved considerably, leading up to the million-seller RPG that capped off the Nintendo Switch’s launch year: Xenoblade Chronicles 2. With its expansion pass promises fulfilled and the prequel Torna ~ The Golden Country released last year, this might be all we’re seeing for Xenoblade for a while, as the next new installment is a long ways away with development on a new RPG only just getting off the ground.
If only there were another entry in the series to tide Switch-owning Xenoblade fans over… Oh wait, there is!
Monolith Soft CEO Tetsuya Takahashi has spoken at length on how he wishes to port the more sci-fi-oriented Xenoblade Chronicles X over from the Wii U. Unlike the other games on this list, however, the challenge in porting XCX to Switch is much more obvious. The game is incredibly massive for a Nintendo title—the Wii U barely broke even to run it on its own in whatever format the game is obtained. Physical copies of X strongly suggested downloadable data packs to lessen the strain in properly rendering everything in-game, while the digital version of the entire game nearly takes up all the room in the deluxe Wii U’s hard drive, weighing over 20GB. In short, the game is very technically demanding.
Not to say the undertaking is outright impossible if we’re only looking at gigs, but it would be a hell of a behemoth to fit in a small Nintendo Switch cartridge. Whatever the case, I would love to once again journey planet Mira as my own custom avatar with Hiroyuki Sawano’s music backing the action, if it means I can do it all again in the comfort of my Skell from the comfort of my own bed.
Perhaps it is too soon to think about our final port, what with Yoshi’s Crafted World coming out at the end of the month. Still, I would like to end the list on a high note with this utterly adorable game. I think platformer fans will want to sink their teeth into this one after finishing its aforementioned successor in March.
A spiritual successor to Good-Feel’s 2010 tight-knit Wii title Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Woolly World wove together a cutesy world of yarn and cloth, patched with the familiar gameplay stylings of Yoshi’s Island. As players ventured through each world in their quest to stop Kamek and Baby Bowser’s villainous plot, they could swap out their Yoshi’s color pattern outside of the basic green, pink, or blue hue with more thematic patterns. These patterns ranged from themes such as Burt the Bashful and cows to ones based off of previous Nintendo hardware.
Woolly World also had the cutest application of amiibo compatibility I’ve seen yet, allowing players to change up their Yoshi’s color pattern to that of the corresponding character: be it a mustachioed Mario Yoshi, a speedy Sonic the Hedgehog Yoshi (down to the red sneakers), or a fresh-looking Inkling Girl Yoshi. The 2017 3DS port Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World took this concept a step further by allowing players to create and share their own custom patterns.
All we need now is a definitive release for the Switch, bringing in the extra features introduced in the 3DS version into an HD console experience. Yes, I would absolutely triple dip for this game!
Nintendo’s triumphs these days stem from a textbook corporate example of lessons learned, as their many missteps with the Wii U have since been corrected with the runaway success that is a true hybrid console experience provided by the Switch. Ever since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the company has made a strong point in ensuring their games from the last generation were not punished for their shortcomings. This has only served to increase the appeal of the Switch with a meaty line-up of quality games partly made up of yesteryear’s greatest hits.
While I scoped Nintendo’s remaining Wii U offerings on whether they may be ported to the Switch during its projected long lifespan, I would like to know what you think. Do you agree with my analysis on which games might make the cut, or did I miss any in particular? Are there any third-party entries that should also make the jump from the Wii U to Switch? Better yet, what other Switch ports from different systems altogether would you want to see?
During yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, we learned that Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting a remake on Switch. Although the remake features a new art style and updated HD visuals, the game appears to be a fairly faithful recreation of the original. This makes it possible for a pretty direct comparison between the two, and the talented team at GameXplain has quickly recreated the remake’s trailer with footage from the original.
The Mother franchise, known as EarthBound in the West, has had an extremely complicated history when it comes to international releases. The final game in the series, Mother 3, has still never seen an official release outside of Japan since its debut in 2006. Fans have requested this so often and for so long that Nintendo even joked about it in an E3 presentation. Unfortunately, it increasingly seems like the eager fans will never get their wish fulfilled.
The original Mother was planned for release on the NES in the United States decades ago, and Nintendo even made an official localization and printed off a few copies. However, by the time Nintendo had reached that point the SNES was already on store shelves, and it seemed like a poor investment to mass produce and release the quirky RPG. Mother 2 was released in the West as EarthBound, but it sold poorly in its initial run. Mother 3 released on the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2006. Because of this, it found itself in a similar situation as the original game, as the Game Boy Advance had already been replaced by the Nintendo DS. Nintendo opted not to release it the West.
Years later, Nintendo would finally re-release both Mother (renamed EarthBound Beginnings) and EarthBound on the Wii U eShop, and many fans wondered if Mother 3 would soon follow. This seemed like it would be the case in 2016, as numerous tipsters hinted that it was coming, but eventually everything went silent. Years later, Nintendo still hasn’t given any indication that it’s coming.
According to Game Informer’s Imran Khan, the rumors from years back weren’t exactly false. Nintendo was planning on an official localization for Mother 3, and they were “full steam ahead” on the project. However, after spending some time evaluating the game’s content, they determined that a re-release would likely cause controversy. Khan believes the project is now a “dead end” based on what he’s heard.
Nintendo Switch Online launched with a digital library of classic NES games for all of its subscribers to enjoy. This NES library debuted with 20 games, but Nintendo has been steadily adding around three new games per month, and sometimes they include a bonus “SP” version of a game that gives the player some sort of special advantage.
That lineup is about to get a little bigger once again, as February’s games have just been announced. Starting on February 13th, Nintendo Switch Online users will have access to Kirby’s Adventure and Super Mario Bros. 2. The latter is the Americanized version of the Japanese game Doki Doki Panic. It was brought to America as a Mario game in lieu of Japan’s true Super Mario Bros. 2, which we now know as The Lost Levels. You can check out Nintendo’s official description and a pair of trailers below.
Kirby’s Adventure – Using 20 unique tricks and Kirby’s ability to steal enemies’ powers by swallowing them, you’ll have to make your way through a horrific land filled with all kinds of nightmares. Recover the broken pieces of the Star Rod, and everyone in Dream Land will sleep peacefully once again. If you fail, the citizens of Dream Land will be subjected to a lifetime of terrible nightmares.
Super Mario Bros. 2 – Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad embark on a quest together to save the day against the villainous Wart. Pick up items and throw them at your adversaries to clear levels in seven fantastical worlds. Even enemies can be picked up and tossed across the screen. This unique installment in the Super Mario Bros. series will keep you coming back for more.
Back in the late 1990s, Masahiro Sakurai and the late great Satoru Iwata worked in secret on a radical new project that would pit many of Nintendo’s most popular characters against each other in a brawl. Nintendo eventually greenlit the project, and Super Smash Bros. was born on the Nintendo 64. The crossover fighting game would quickly become a huge hit, and Nintendo realized its long term potential.
Fast forward 20 years and Smash is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises of all time. Each new entry in the series featured a bigger and more diverse roster, culminating in the massive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster we have today. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Smash‘s Japanese debut, Sakurai sent out a thank you message to fans.
“Smash Bros. is 20 years old today! Over these 20 years, I’ve seen so many people enjoy this series in so many ways – at home, at hangouts, at conventions, even in business offices! Development has always been hard on me, but I’m supremely happy. Thank you so much for playing.” — Masahiro Sakurai
Those who subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online have access to a digital library of classic NES games, but thus far Nintendo hasn’t expanded the library beyond that single console. That might be changing soon. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has been hinting at non-NES games coming to Nintendo Switch Online for some time now, and dataminers believe they’ve found evidence of Super Nintendo games on the way.
This scoop comes from data miner KappuchinoHeck. Digging around in Nintendo Switch Online’s data unveiled a list of 22 Super Nintendo games, including entries from fan-favorite franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Super Mario. Along with fellow dataminer SnowmealDome, KappuchinoHeck has also discovered files that they believe could indicate that two more emulators are on the way as well, either as “Classic Edition” consoles or as additions to the eShop. Here’s the full list of games discovered in the dig:
Super Mario Odyssey was one of the top games of 2017, and it was an especially big hit with retro gamers. The Switch exclusive is a brilliant tribute and follow-up to the classic 3D platforming adventures of the late 1990s and early 2000s, reminding its nostalgia-loving fans of games like Banjo-Kazooie.
In that spirit, modder ItzSka decided to take the classic Clanker’s Cavern level from Banjo-Kazooie and insert it into Odyssey. The level is fully playable, with six Jiggies to collect and plenty of fun challenges to tackle. You can check out some footage above, and if you follow through to the video description you can download it for yourself.
The Sonic franchise hasn’t always achieved success and critical acclaim since making the switch from 2D to 3D, but one 3D title that’s near and dear to the hearts of many fans is Sonic Adventure. The Dreamcast classic featured six playable characters, a more detailed story than ever before, voice acting (for better or worse), and the delightful Chao Garden.
Sonic Adventure was more ambitious than any previous title in the franchise, and it was generally well-received at launch. That said, it’s really starting to show its age after 20 years, and the game’s developers have taken notice. In fact, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka is so acutely aware of both its potential and flaws that he’d love a chance to remake it.
“It was the first highspeed 3D action game that also featured a scenario highlighted with six different stories, the A-life Chao, six unique styles of gameplay – it is a unique game offering even 20 years after its release. At the time, it also wasn’t just a solitary software release, it was the title to bring people to the Dreamcast and we were given the budget to make something to showcase the hardware. However, it was the very first 3D game that we worked on and looking at it now I can see the rough edges it has, which really makes me want to remake it again.” — Takashi Iizuka
This is far from a confirmation, of course. But to hear the man at the top express interest in a remake is certainly exciting, and it’s something fans have wanted for a long time. How would you like to see Sonic Adventure revisited? What upgrades or changes should it feature? Sound off in the comments!
YouTuber CryZENx has made quite a name for himself over the past few years with his retro game remakes. He’s got a knack for taking iconic moments and locations from classic games and beautifully recreating them in Unreal Engine 4, and his favorite game to tackle is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
After making considerable progress on remaking the game in its entirety, CryZENx has just released a playable demo. This demo build lets you play through the Kokiri forest, including the Great Deku Tree dungeon. The demo includes combat, cutscenes, and even the Gohma boss fight. You can check out footage of this area above, and the demo will also include the Temple of Time.
CryZENx intends to continue development next year, making more of the story playable. Of course, with a project like this, there’s always the possibility of Nintendo stepping in with a cease and desist, but development on this remake has been going steady for a long time now without interruption. Hopefully Nintendo allows that to continue! You can download the demo yourself by clicking through to the YouTube description.
In recent years, Nintendo has had great success re-selling their old games in the form of the plug-and-play NES Classic and SNES Classic. Sony saw that success and wanted a piece of the pie themselves, so they launched the PlayStation Classic just in time for the lucrative holiday 2018 season. Unfortunately for Sony, it appears their latest piece of hardware was not stuffed in many stockings over the holidays.
The NES and SNES Classic consoles were sold out nearly all the time when they initially launched, but the PlayStation Classic could not achieve similar results. It launched to lackluster reviews and fans were lukewarm on the list of included games, and that all translated into a flop. Exact sales figures haven’t been released (and may never be), but as a result of poor sales, retailers like Amazon, Walmart, GameStop, and Best Buy have all dropped its price for $100 to $60 just one day after Christmas.
Earlier this year, an earlier prototype for Pokémon Gold and Silver leaked in ROM form, and when The Cutting Room Floor got their hands on the file, they discovered dozens of unused Pokémon. These monsters were in development for the second generation games but were either scrapped altogether or heavily redesigned to become the Pokémon we all know and love.
Today a new batch of unused Pokémon surfaced, this time on a Japanese TV show called NHK. There aren’t nearly as many scrapped monster ideas in this batch, and some of them are clearly predecessors of official Pokémon. The most interesting one is probably the early version of Scyther (the third creature on the top row), which almost looks closer to Charizard in appearance.