The Nintendo Switch’s Initial Library Preaches Quality over Quantity [Preview]
The Nintendo Switch is hoping to offer a vast library of varied titles right from the jump, and if the recent preview event in New York City is any indication that hope is resting on solid ground. The room holding the event housed over a dozen games coming either at launch or soon afterward.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is more than just a port of Mario Kart 8 on Wii U with all DLC included, as it completely revamps Battle Mode into what it should have been to begin with. Instead of incorporating balloons into standard races, this new Battle Mode throws players into an enclosed arena and lets them bash each other into bits. Having played a pair of Battle Mode matches I’m very pleased with the change, as it brings me right back to the SNES Battle Mode and how much fun I had with it. There aren’t any other big changes to the game, but this Battle Mode might be worth the price of admission.
Has-Been Heroes is an unique action RPG, mixing turn-based JRPG battling with a Plants vs Zombies style wave-based enemy horde. Each enemy can take so many hits before being damaged, while each hero can dish out so many hits per turn. Match a hero with an enemy that takes that number of hits (say the two-hit warrior with an enemy with two hits resistance) to cause a stun and render that enemy useless for a turn. I can also have my heroes change lanes on the fly, making sure I have the perfect match-up every time. There’s a lot to take in with Has-Been Heroes, more than my short preview can really describe, but the strategic part of my mind will have a field day with this one.
Splatoon 2’s demo consisted of a standard Turf War multiplayer battle on a brand new map with one brand new weapon: the dual pistol Splat Dualies. Other than that one new weapon these matches felt identical to the first Splatoon, which worries me just slightly. I assume there’s more new features to speak of before the game hits in Summer, but at the moment it’s simply more of the same. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to the player.
Super Bomberman R is a revamping of the classic Bomberman format of old, restoring the classic cartoony style I’ve loved for many years. I took part in a four-player battle mode using one small JoyCon, blasting walls and enemies just as I remember doing in the past. If I was hit I would be transferred to the edge of the stage, throwing bombs in an attempt to come back into the action. The JoyCon was suitable for the game, but I think I may prefer a Pro Controller or other format in the future. There's not a whole lot more to say about the game, other than it's good to see Bomberman move on from that Act Zero malarkey and back to his roots.
Ultra Street Fighter II is essentially Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix with two new characters in Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. Aside from Violent Ken becoming an official part of a Street Fighter roster for the first time there’s not a whole lot of surprises here, just classic SFII action in either full HD drawings or the original sprites. As a die-hard SF fan I can't wait for more, but the more casual crowd may be turned off in a “same stuff, different day” way.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an odd choice to finish this piece on, but the demo at the event was the same as the E3 2016 demo which you can read about here. Granted I did different things this time than before, chopping down trees and fighting enemies instead of exploring the run-down temple, and the game still plays and looks magnificent, but there's not much new to tell. Thankfully Nintendo has announced Breath of the Wild as a launch title, so I don't have much longer to wait until I can explore every inch of the full game.
There you have it, a week’s worth of Nintendo Switch coverage completed. There’s only a few short weeks until the Switch releases to the masses, and I’d imagine there’s more to learn about it and its software between now and then, but right now my interest is piqued. Nintendo might be onto something with this console/portable hybrid, and March 3 will tell whether or not the world agrees.
The Nintendo Switch will be available March 3.