8 Upcoming Switch Games I'm Looking Forward To
As a somewhat new Switch owner, I tuned into Nintendo’s E3 2019 live stream with interest, curious as to what surprises they might unveil. There were a few, like the Trials of Mana remake and Collection of Mana, and while I think those are both cool developments, they don’t personally interest me. At least, not compared to some other upcoming Switch games. The Switch’s library is getting a lot of cool new releases in 2019 and early 2020, and it seems like a great time to be a Switch owner! With some of the releases quite close together, this is going to be a rough time on both my backlog and my wallet!
8. Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield
Kicking off the eight generation of Pokémon, Sword and Shield bring all the bells and whistles a new generation offers: a new region, and new Pokémon. Gyms are returning after being absent in the seventh generation’s Alola region. There’s also a new “Dynamax” feature, which sounds pretty gimmicky to me honestly, but I’ll have to give it a try since it will be integrated with the Gyms to some extent. Another thing I’m looking forward to is the return of wild Pokémon roaming the overworld like they did in the Let’s Go games. That should be really cool.
Following an announcement made during a gameplay demo, my excitement for the next generation of Pokémon was dampened though. The news was that not all Pokémon would be transferable into Sword and Shield. Basically, not all Pokémon will be programmed into these games. I’ve enjoyed every prior Pokémon generation, but only transferred Pokémon between generations on one occasion. I’m not a Pokémon Bank user and don’t have plans to use Pokémon Home either, so the cuts won’t affect me in the short-term. In the long-term though, it seems to signal the end of an era, which is pretty disheartening.
7. Astral Chain
Strange gates from another dimension called the Astral Plane have appeared throughout the futuristic metropolis, The Ark. The hostile creatures that emerge from them are a danger to the city, and humanity. The only hope left is the Legion, a special living weapon that can combat the invading creatures. Controlling both a rookie member of the task force formed to combat the new threat, and their Legion weapon simultaneously, Astral Chain promises to be a unique action experience.
I’d heard of Astral Chain prior to E3 2019, but for whatever reason it didn’t interest me much. Then I saw the trailer at E3, and it suddenly looked very interesting to me!
6. Luigi’s Mansion 3
The Mario brothers and friends are invited to a luxurious hotel to relax for a bit, and take a vacation away from their adventures. Peace lasts for all of a few hours until Luigi wakes up from a nap to discover his friends are missing, and the hotel is filled with ghosts! It’s up to the forgotten little brother to gear up with the Poltergust vacuum, and clean things up once again!
I haven’t played the second game in the series as of this writing, but I still have fond memories of the original game on the GameCube. From the sound of it, Luigi’s Mansion 3 will bring back elements from the first game that were absent from the sequel, like portrait ghosts. It also looks like it will have a lot of the charm of the original, although the art direction does seem a bit different, following a similar style as Luigi’s Mansion 2. The hotel setting seems cool, it seems to feature a variety of different kinds of environments due to the supernatural nature of the hotel. Things like a gladiator arena and a movie set both exist within the hotel, so that sort of variety should be pretty interesting!
5. Rune Factory 4 Special
A life of farming, crafting, marriage, and exploring dungeons filled with monsters awaits in Rune Factory 4 Special. Rune Factory 4 originally released on the 3DS in 2013, but after that the series went dormant. Developer Neverland filed for bankruptcy the same year, and things looked bleak. But, seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo announced that the series would return, revealing that an enhanced edition of Rune Factory 4 was in the works for the Switch, titled Rune Factory 4 Special. They also confirmed that Rune Factory 5 was in development, but that release is further out.
I’ve never played through a Rune Factory game before, but I enjoyed the two Harvest Moon games on the GameCube quite a bit. The series is a spin-off of Harvest Moon, so they have a lot of gameplay elements in common. I’ve also loved playing Stardew Valley on PC, so I think Rune Factory definitely falls into a genre I would enjoy. Now that Marvelous Entertainment are remastering Rune Factory 4 in HD to release on the Switch, it seems like a good time to get into the series!
4. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
After washing ashore on the mysterious Koholint Island, Link must find eight magical instruments in order to wake the Wind Fish and escape from the island.
Link’s Awakening originally released in 1993 for the original Game Boy, and saw an updated re-release on the Game Boy Color as Link’s Awakening DX, which brought color and an extra dungeon. Now, Link’s Awakening is getting a complete remake on the Nintendo Switch, with cute 3D graphics while maintaining the 2D Zelda gameplay of the original. This game looks so adorable! Having never played the original, I’m looking forward to this modern, charming remake. Plus, there’s a new dungeon creation feature that also seems like it’ll be worth a try, where you place and connect rooms to build your own dungeon. I’m not exactly sure how that’s going to work, but it should be pretty fun!
3. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
Dragon Quest XI originally released in 2018. It put the player in the shoes of the Luminary, the hero of light who must protect the world. All the classic elements of Dragon Quest returned, turn-based battles, the signature enemy design, the whole Dragon Quest formula. Now, it’s getting an enhanced port to the Switch, bringing a host of new features. Among these, the option to speed up battles, and the orchestral soundtrack are what I’m most excited about.
Part of the new content also allows you to visit past Dragon Quest worlds. This seems like a nice addition for long-time fans. I won’t get the references since I haven’t played any Dragon Quest games, but it’s still cool to see.
There’s a chance I won’t pick this one up on the Switch if it ends up coming to Steam. There’s no announced plans to port the new content to PC though, and it could be nice to play it on the Switch anyway, so for now I’m looking forward to the Switch release!
2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The next entry in the Animal Crossing series is coming to the Switch! Animal Crossing: New Horizons puts you in the shoes of an adorable villager using the Nook Inc. Getaway Package to start a new life on a deserted island.
This is a very exciting twist on the usual formula. Instead of starting in a town with a few villagers already in living there, it seems like this time your village starts from scratch, with just you! Nook is there running a store, of course, and you’ll also use a crafting table in his shop to craft tools and items with materials gathered around the island. The trailer also mentions that you have a NookPhone, which I assume is an in-game smartphone, and that sounds both really cute and potentially really useful. Other nice new features include the ability to dig footpaths around the island, and you can place furniture items outside to decorate your whole island! Personally, I love the evolution of the art style too! It maintains all the charm the series has always had, but looks cleaner than ever.
This was the reveal every Animal Crossing fan was waiting for, and personally it looks like everything I could hope for!
1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
In the land of Fódlan, the Church of Seiros maintains order across the land. Three territories, each with their own ruling house, comprise this land. The story of Three Houses begins after a royal from each house has been sent to the Officers Academy to learn the ways of war. There, they meet their teacher: you. Or, more specifically, one of them meets their teacher. The player gets to choose which of the three houses they want to teach, a decision that will greatly affect the events that follow five years later, when war breaks out between the three territories.
My quest to finish all the Fire Emblem games released in the west before Three Houses comes out has led to me becoming incredibly excited for its release. As the first Fire Emblem on the Switch, and the first I’ll be able to play on my TV since Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, I have high hopes that it brings the series to brand new heights. If it does, I’m hoping we get at least one more Fire Emblem title released on the Switch before the end of its life cycle!