GameCentral readers try to work out why Nintendo are being so secretive at the moment and what their next big games might be.
The question for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what do you think, and hope, Nintendo’s next games will be for the Switch – considering nothing is currently scheduled.
Most people were understandably baffled, but the most popular guesses were simply that they had nothing new ready yet or that they were planning to reveal some secret new project. But many also pointed out how odd it was that they hadn’t announced any smaller titles either, especially a new Mario Golf or similar.
My big hope is that Nintendo is preparing a new franchise for later this year, perhaps more than one. They had such a big success with Splatoon, and to a lesser degree ARMS, that I hoped this would mean a new era of lots of new games from them, but that’s never happened.
Not that I can complain about the quality of their current output, but I hope they follow up all these ‘best ever’ sequels with some new stuff too.
Ironically, the best guess is probably Splatoon 3 and ARMS 2 (considering it’s in Smash Bros.) which I’m totally fine with, but I’d prefer new. Always new.
Year of nothing
If there’s one thing that GC has always taught us it’s to never try and predict Nintendo, but just understanding them is difficult enough and I really have no idea what they’re playing at at the moment. I’m not sure if some people are going to assume that this is all to do with the coronavirus but this all dates back to well before then.
I would assume that the original idea was that Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 would come out this Christmas and now that’s in doubt and they’re not sure what to do so don’t want to promise something that won’t happen.
Although that doesn’t explain why they’ve had absolutely nothing else. I think the only other two releases are that Pokémon roguelike remake and a remake of Xenoblade Chronicles, whatever that is. On the Nintendo scale of big releases those are absolutely microscopic. 2020 truly is the year that nothing happened.
Unlock the power
I’m still holding out that there will be a Switch Pro announced for this year. It makes sense to me and I’m really not sure what Nintendo would have against the idea. But then I’ve said that about a lot of things they’ve done!
I would do it in the form of a new console, that’s a slight redesign of the current original model, but also offer just a dock that would unlock the new power. To me that makes sense, although I guess selling a stand isn’t exactly aspirational.
If not that I don’t see why they shouldn’t release a Switch 2. Make it backwards compatible, as is hopefully the new norm and I think current owners would be fine with it. At the very least I hope we see a new machine next year, or at least officially hinted at, and no more of this 10-year lifespan nonsense.
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Hoping for better
New 3D Mario (3D World successor), new Mario Party, 2D Metroid made by MercurySteam (yuck), new 2D Mario in New Super Mario Bros. style, all those Mario remasters that were rumoured, new Pikmin game.
New 2D Mario in Wario Land: The Shake Dimension style, new Wave Race, new 2D Zelda (A Link Between Worlds style with some progression items in dungeons rather than all available from start), new 2D Metroid (made by Nintendo, not MercurySteam), new 1080° Snowboarding, new IP, finding out Retro’s secret project wasn’t cancelled, Super Mario Maker paid DLC with a lot of new content for the existing styles (there are still a lot of elements/enemies missing).
I have no idea why Nintendo are being even more secretive then normal, I’ve long given up trying to anticipate them.
Because of the failure of the Wii U, Nintendo are now in a weird place where they’re off the usual generational rhythm. Given they’re the only handheld and most people buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games anyway, I think they’d be best to just ignore the PlayStation 5/Xbox 4 and act like business as usual and release their Switch follow-up in three years, with no ‘Switch Pro as was rumoured or other overt counter to the next gen consoles.
Well, if all the rumours are correct, then Nintendo is about to announce precisely what was at the top of my wish list, namely high definition remasters of the Super Mario Galaxy games (I’m assuming both) for the Nintendo Switch.
The problem with having an OLED TV with a fancy surround sound system is that even if I had kept my Wii console there’s no compatible socket on either device I can plug it into. Besides, I want to enjoy them again in all their glory, in full HD, not diminished as they would be on such technology. To experience them as originally intended, I’m hoping they’ll also sell a Switch compatible optional Wii-mote.
Given how good Splatoon turned out to be, it’d obviously be nice to see some new IP, but I can’t get excited about something I have no knowledge of. However, if they were to revive any of the dormant gems from their back catalogue, I’d love to see new entries in the F-Zero, Wave Race, and Advance Wars series. Not half-hearted updates that pay lip service to fans to be downloaded and forgotten but fully fleshed out AAA titles that both surprise and delight those who love the originals.
And to add one more that I think is even less likely, it would be Super Mario Galaxy 3. The Galaxy games are the perfect template for a 3D platformer that, rather than play it safe, I’m sure Nintendo could still innovate on and, like the second entry in the series, exceed what many of us thought couldn’t have been improved on.
More than one
What I’d love for this years big games to be are F-Zero, Advance Wars, and Wave Race but I think we can all guess that’s not very likely. My assumption is that it’s supposed to be Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 but maybe work is falling behind or there’s some kind of secret behind it that Nintendo don’t want to reveal?
I’ll be honest I don’t actually care. They’ve been on such a roll with the Switch I’m just happy to see any new game from them. Although, you know, maybe more than just one a year.
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Writing off the year
As many people have suggested already, I think Nintendo are a bit lost for the end of the year with the majority of their new titles getting bumped into 2021. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 was clearly supposed to be their big Christmas game but it was already looking unlikely before the Covid-19 pandemic and Metroid Prime 4 was restarted from scratch, so that is unlikely to be ready either.
I think Bayonetta 3 is the only other, new, game previously announced that has any chance of making a Christmas release and I do not think it has the mass market appeal to carry the Nintendo brand. So it cannot be the only game.
I fully expect Nintendo to have a large number of games in various stages of development: Super Mario Odyssey 2, Mario Kart 9, and Pikmin 4 seem like obvious candidates. Splatoon 3, another Let’s Go Pokémon remake and Zelda: A Link To The Past remake in the style of Link’s Awakening all seem plausible too. Most of those were probably targeting next year already though.
This year I think we will see all the Wii U ports that Nintendo have clearly been holding onto for an emergency: Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, and the Metroid Prime Trilogy; one big game they can fast track, which will most likely be Mario Kart 9; a remake, probably A Link to the Past and one or two B-tier games, which will most likely be ARMS 2 and a Mario Party as they should be fairly quick to produce. Plus, possibly the third party exclusive Bayonetta 3.
As for games I would like Nintendo to make (but obviously will not). These would be: a new Advance Wars, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 2, a new F-Zero, a new Mario Golf, and a good Paper Mario game. So announcing any of these would be great.
PS: Based on the Monday Inbox I seem to be the only person that liked the Direct Mini. Sure, it was essentially just ports of older games, but they are good older games. Xenoblade Chronicles and XCOM 2 were the highlights for me. No idea how XCOM 2 could possibly run on the Switch though.
GC: A new Paper Mario has already been rumoured and we’d say there’s a better than average chance of Mario Golf and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 2 at some point.
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