Multiple sites have said it before, but I’m still saying this now: the Nintendo Switch just had a successful first year. Day one and early buyers didn’t have to wait three months of game-drought. That’s thanks to titles popping out left and right for the system. And there’s a bunch of good ones, too. But despite all the number, only a few make it to the top of the list.
Super Mario Odyssey
Who could ever say no to Nintendo’s number 1 mascot? This time around, the ex-plumber is out traveling the open world. Mario is accompanied by Cappy, who looks like Casper wearing a Hat. Aside from stomping enemies, the mustachioed hero can now possess them! Oops, sorry, ‘capture’ them, making them obey his every will. Instead of stars and suns, Mario here collects moons. The moons are used to fuel the ship Mario uses to get around.
Oh, and Princess Peach gets kidnapped. Again.
Runner-up: Steamworld Dig 2
Puyo Puyo Tetris
The world’s best-selling video game since the dawn of time, Tetris, is now partnered with Sega’s own puzzle from Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Puyo Puyo. The games play the same as they used to, with added twists for multiplayer goodness. The two game-types are mixed together with a cute Adventure Mode, explaining how the two worlds of Puyo Puyo and Tetris are combining. If you want to know how some of the modes like “Swap” and “Versus” goes, you can head down to the eshop and download the free demo.
Trust me, even the demo is enough to get you and your friends a good time.
Best Open-world RPG
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Winning The Game Awards 2017’s Game of the Year Award, Breath of the Wild took the world by storm when it released. Bigass elemental dragons, scary robotic guardians, and the bokoblins, this game has it all. Physics included. And now with the second batch of the DLC adding more content, one can only wonder what more the Zelda team can offer.
When David Rix reviewed the game for Sirus Gaming, he opened with “There are few games that are able to recapture the sense of wonder and discovery we all had as a child with our first game, or even playing outside.” And even after spending more hours than I should, I’m still discovering something new. Feeling like a kid wanting to know more about the world I’m wandering in.
This is also the first time we ever hear characters in Zelda speak – to some, they’re a bit disappointed, but I’m one of the few who loved the voices in this game.
When the OG Splatoon was introduced, millions have enjoyed it. It was the colorful twist to shooters’ desaturated color scheme back in 2015. You’re an Inkling, that can transform into a kid or a squid at will. Its main focus was to paint as much floor as you can, killing-err-splatting opponents was just a bonus strategy. When Splatoon 2 launched, many were convinced that it was just an upgraded re-skin of the first. They were wrong. Until now, the developers have showed their support with stages, weapons, and modes being added almost every other week. Splatfests are also held every month, transforming the game’s hub world into a lively concert night.
My experience with the game goes two ways: fun and frustrating. Depending on which side of the teams had their teammates drop out mid-match. All because of internet connection issues. Heh.
Best Fighting Game
Nintendo never fails to add their charm in famous game genres. Like the colorful ink-filled twist of Splatoon to shooters, Arms is the spring-y surprise to fighting games. As its title suggests, fighters here mainly use their ‘arms’ to defeat their opponents. Every punch lets your arms stretch to where your enemy is. This forces players to not just button mash (or when using motion controls, flail anywhere), but also to think when and where it’s best to strike.
With a variety of characters and different abilities, Arms makes not just a good party game, but also for serious tournaments as well. Just don’t punch your opponent IRL. That’s a crime.
Runner-up: Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
Best Strategy Game
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
As Roxanne Co wrote in her review, no one really believed the leak that came out months before this game’s reveal. Even until now, I still can’t help but laugh at the idea of Mario meeting up with the Rabbids. And they’ve got guns, too. Even with its simple mechanics, Mario+Rabbids proved to be a deep game. It’s even gone deeper, now that Ubisoft has introduced a new versus mode. A round can get a bit draining when you’re playing against a human opponent. Sometimes you even had to eat meals in-between matches.
Also, Rabbids Peach is bae. Let nobody else tell you otherwise.
Runner-up: Disgaea 5
Best Racing Game
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
What could go wrong with a friendly match of Mario Kart? Oh, right. The ‘friendly’ part. But with the eight sequel’s fast-paced mechanics, you can get back to first place even after you’re hit with the blue shell. What’s even better? You can counter the blue shell with that megaphone-like powerup called the superhorn.
Or you can just, you know, punch your opponent in the face – when you’re sitting side by side. Just kidding. Don’t do that. GIT GUD!
Runner-up: Fast RMX
Nintendo Switch 2017 Game of the Year:
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
What more can I say? This game shows how 2017 is one of the greatest years for innovation. And here’s to hoping for more great games in the upcoming years! Kingdom Hearts 3, anyone? 🙂