With the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has the opportunity to do what it does it best, reimagine its classic, genre-defining franchises for a new generation. The games in a number of franchises have already been announced, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2. Still, there are many more fantastic series with no publicly announced Switch update in the works. We think these franchises have the potential to utilize the Switch’s unique control schemes and increased processing power.
The Star Fox franchise is currently on thin ice. Nintendo has shown an uncanny ability to mismanage the interstellar flying series over the last decade, from the gloomy slog of a game that was Star Fox Command on Nintendo DS, to Star Fox Zero, which used of the Wii U’s GamePad in all the wrong ways.
However, the Switch’s capacity for a more traditional control scheme, particularly if players have the system in its “docked” configuration and use the included Joy-Con Grip, makes it a better fit for Fox and his friends than Nintendo’s last few platforms. If the game releases in the relatively near-future, the developers would also be able to create a true narrative sequel to previous games like Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault instead of simply repeating the story we’ve effectively seen three times in Star Fox, Star Fox 64, and Star Fox Zero. Nintendo wouldn’t have to abandon Zero‘s asymmetric cooperative play, either, as an extra player using a single Joy-Con controller could serve as a second gunner inside the Arwing.
We haven’t seen a new Advance Wars game since Days of Ruin came out on the DS back in 2008, but if there is ever a time to take chances and return to dormant franchises, it’s the launch of a new console. Much like Intelligent System’s better known strategy series, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars’ relatively simple control scheme make it a perfect choice for both portable and “docked” play.
But why limit the game to just turn-based strategy? Given the Switch’s many alternate control schemes, it could very easily factor mechanics from the series’ action-heavy spinoff, Battalion Wars. With one player using a Joy-Con to command troops while another uses the “Pro” controller to engage directly in combat, it could create one of the best asymmetric multiplayer games we’ve ever seen.
Aside from a multiplayer-focused 3DS exclusive released last year, Nintendo hasn’t given the Metroid franchise any love in a very long time. That’s a shame when you consider that the series has delivered excellent installments across multiple genres — from narrative-heavy first-person shooters to open-ended platformers — and they’d be right at home on the Switch.
Should Nintendo and Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios decide to return to the sub-series, the Switch’s touch screen and “HD Rumble” Joy-Con controllers could make for much more complex and intuitive puzzles, and its IR sensor could function much in the same way that the Wii Remote did in Metroid Prime 3. A game more in the vein of Super Metroid could even support cooperative play using two Joy-Cons, and in its portable configuration, the screen would make for easier item management. Even an action-heavy game like Metroid: Other M would work better on the Switch, with the system’s more traditional control scheme lending itself better to combat encounters.
While there have been rumors that Nintendo will release an enhanced version of Pokémon Sun and Moon on the Switch, there has been no official word on a Pokémon game for Nintendo’s new console. With much more processing power than the 3DS, a new Pokémon game for the Switch would be able to feature much more intricate animations, better environments, and more detailed character models, and the system’s portable design makes it a great choice for multiplayer matches when you’re out and about.
If Sun and Moon do come the Switch, we’re hoping it includes some level of interactivity with the 3DS version of the game so that its user-base can remain as large as possible. Being able to transfer any caught Pokémon from a previous version of the game to the Switch through Pokémon Bank would also make the transition far less frustrating.
Donkey Kong Country
Retro Studios knocked it out of the park with both Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, so we’re holding out hope that the developer is planning the next adventure for everyone’s favorite platforming ape. With the series’ signature tough-as-nails difficulty, it would be the perfect game to convince more “hardcore” Nintendo fans that the system is worthy of their time, while its intuitive, simple control scheme make it the perfect choice for local cooperative play.