Hello gentle readers, and welcome back to another special edition of the SwitchArcade. As this is more or less the last day of the holidays where I’m living, I figured I’d close things out with a look ahead. Much of this year’s line-up is, of course, still under the veil. But we know about a lot of interesting upcoming games, and as such I decided to make a list of the ten games I’m most looking forward to this year based on the current information. Which games are you looking forward to playing on your Switch this year? Feel free to comment below and let me know!
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
Coming January 17th
The first game on my list is one that we won’t have to wait long for. If you happened to miss the Wii U, and statistically speaking a lot of you did, you may have missed out on this unusual collaboration between Nintendo and the folks at Atlus. Originally conceived as a crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem, the end result more closely resembles a Persona game than anything else. There are certainly plenty of winks and nods to the Fire Emblem series, but the real enjoyment here is in playing a Persona-like RPG on Nintendo hardware from Persona‘s own developer.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
Coming March 20th
Friends, it has been several years since the last mainline Animal Crossing release. Like, my son was in junior high school when New Leaf came out, and he’s in his second year of university now. I don’t know about you all, but I am good and ready for a new Animal Crossing. I’m going to chill with weird and cute animals on a deserted island, take out a disastrously large loan from a shifty tanuki, and try to collect one of every object, insect, fish, fruit, and piece of clothing that I can lay my filthy hands on. And I am going to love it.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
The original Hollow Knight made a big impact when it was brought to the Nintendo Switch. A lot of people consider it the best Metroidvania game ever made, and some even think of it as the best game on the Nintendo Switch. While I wouldn’t go quite that far, there’s clearly something special in the water at Team Cherry. I’m excited to see what they’ve learned and how they apply the experience they’ve gained in making this sequel. Hornet’s abilities should make for a very different flow, and I have faith we’re not going to just see the same old locations. No idea what part of the year this will hit, but I know that whenever it does, people are going to be paying a lot more attention than they did to the first game’s launch.
Axiom Verge 2
I absolutely loved the original Axiom Verge. There are a lot of indie Metroidvania-style games out there, but few of them manage to nail the ‘Metroid’ side of that equation outside of its basic progression design. Axiom Verge totally got it, though. It’s weird, horror/sci-fi as heck, and full of neat secrets to uncover. It also managed to avoid using all of the usual types of items we see in games like these, coming up with some rather creative alternatives instead. Anyway, after enjoying the first game as much as I did, I can’t wait to see what this developer has cooked up for the sequel.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
What a strange, winding road this game’s life has been. First released on Wii to modest but not impressive sales in Japan, Xenoblade was almost passed over for localization until an organized group of fans managed to persuade Nintendo that the demand was there. It got its Western release, albeit as a Gamestop exclusive in the US, and sold decently for what it was. Then it was selected as a headliner for the launch of the New Nintendo 3DS, a rare title exclusive to that particular revision of the hardware. Did it sell well? No idea. But through sequels and re-releases, Xenoblade‘s star has only grown in brightness, which brings us to this point, where an enhanced remaster of the game is serving as a headliner on the Switch. Neato.
I’m super-excited for this release. Originally brought out on the PlayStation 1 in Japan only, Moon is a fascinating riff on classic JRPG tropes. Do you ever stop and think how disruptive the average JRPG hero is for the people of the world? Barging in their houses, taking stuff from their drawers, slaughtering all the local wild life, and just generally acting like they own the place? Play as not-the-hero in a JRPG world and do what you have to in order to set things right again. This game has never been released in English before, but it’s coming courtesy of Onion Games. While they haven’t said exactly when, and indeed walked back on the “Coming Soon" they once announced, my gut tells me we’ll be seeing it in 2020 sometime.
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise
Frankly, I never expected Deadly Premonition to ever get a sequel. It’s a cult favorite, but everything from the way it was designed to its initial performance in the market seemed to mark it as a done-in-one. But you can’t keep a good idea down, so we’re going to be seeing another adventure featuring Agent York visiting small town America to solve a serial murder case. Will it have the same flavor of awkwardness and earnestness that made the original game so beloved? I sure hope so. At the very least, it’ll be something for the Twin Peaks fans out there, I’m certain.
Bravely Default 2
I know some people ended up a bit mixed on Bravely Default thanks to its back half, and may well have skipped out on Bravely Second, but I thought both games were brilliant. For those who like Final Fantasy 5, the job systems in the Bravely games are like dreams come true, and the surprising turns the stories took were quite interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Octopath Traveler a lot, but I’m definitely happy to see that Bravely Default hasn’t died with the Nintendo 3DS. I suspect this one is coming later in the year, but hey, I’m patient.
Streets of Rage 4
I wish we had a firmer release date for this one, but it is certainly coming this year. So far, the game looks utterly fantastic. This series has been home to some of the finest beat-em-ups in the history of the genre. And after the fine job many of the same folks did with Wonder Boy: Dragon’s Trap, I have faith that the people behind this game will get all of the necessary things right. Which means I can sit back, hunker down, and wait for a sequel that I’ve been waiting more than two decades for. They’ve even got Yuzo Koshiro doing music! Heck yeah. Sign me up. Sign me up twice.
This is another one with a vague release date. It was intended to hit late last year, so I’d imagine even after the delay it’s going to be in the first half of this year, but who knows? I can wait patiently, though. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this game, which brings Zelda-like dungeon puzzles and tools to an otherwise traditional 16-bit style RPG. You know what that kind of description reminds me of? Golden Sun. And I rather do like Golden Sun. Sure, I could play this right now on my computer or something, but I’m waiting for that Switch experience since I know I’ll be more likely to stick with it if I can take it on the go.
That’s the lot, friends. I probably could have doubled up this list easily, but I want to leave some space for you all to give your ideas. Which 2020 Nintendo Switch games are you looking forward to the most? I’ll be back on Monday with a normal SwitchArcade Round-Up as we get back to the usual business around here. I hope you all have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!