What We Want From Nintendo in 2018

Nintendo's going into the new year with its Fire Flowers blazing, but there's still a lot it can do to keep up that momentum.

Opinion by Nadia Oxford, .

2018 is all fresh and new and smooth, like a newborn baby. Not a single person alive can tell us if this year will end in prosperity, burn in a nuclear inferno, or wind up somewhere in between the possibilities. I think we can all count on this much, though: We're going to hear from Nintendo a lot across the next 12 months, and most of what it says will have to do with the Nintendo Switch.

What we will hear from Nintendo isn't necessarily the same as what we want to hear from Nintendo, however. So as a personal exercise, I tallied up a few things I'd like Nintendo to address as we slip-slide further into 2018.

News about the Virtual Console for the Switch

We've seemingly done nothing but grouse about the Virtual Console's under-utilized potential since the downloadable retro game service launched with the Wii. Justifiably so: Let's be honest, Nintendo never treated the Virtual Console right, especially in North America. But now that the service is noticeably absent from the Nintendo Switch, well, it's hard to ignore the void. There's a hole in our hearts, and it's shaped like the copy of Super Mario Bros we'll inevitably buy for the 10,000th time.

If I'm not fed constant reassurances that I can go back in time at a moment's notice, I get antsy.

I don't doubt the Virtual Console, or some new variation, is coming to the Switch soon. Nintendo's "Arcade Archives" releases, including the recent Vs Super Mario Bros, indicates the company has something up its sleeve. I hope we'll know more before the year gets much older.

Web browsers, multimedia apps, social networking, etc, for the Switch

Modern game consoles are multimedia machines (the dream started as far back as the '90s, but it took some time to implement). We use game consoles to watch shows and socialize as much as we use them to play games. The Nintendo Switch is currently the major exception, however. The console was bare-bones when it launched, and, uh, it's still kind of bare bones.

The situation is improving, albeit slowly: You can use Hulu on the Switch, though you're SOL if you live outside of the United States (or want to use Netflix instead). But the Switch is sorely lacking in other features, like a web browser or even just a good way to reach out to your pals. Sure, the Wii U didn't set the world on fire, but the Miiverse was a ton of fun.

An in-depth look at Pokémon Switch

I don't expect Pokémon to hit the Nintendo Switch in 2018, but man, I am raring for some news about the series' mainline HD console debut.

Two days later, Pikachu developed a wicked case of pink-eye.

Game Freak took things easy with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, which tells me most of the team is hard at work on their next project—and it's a biggie. Maybe E3 will bring us some news.

More Switch ports of overlooked Wii U games—but plenty of news about new Switch games, too

Even though I owned a Wii U, I couldn't give my full attention to every game in the troubled system's library. I missed out on some unique titles (Tokyo Mirage Sessions, which I feel like I might appreciate now that I finally have a couple of Persona games tucked under my belt), or I never got the chance to go back to games that demand—and deserve—several hours of my time (Xenoblade Chronicles X, which might actually come to the Switch). Oh, and then there's the very tempting prospect of a portable Super Mario Maker game that doesn't have all the good stuff stripped out of it.

Heck, don't be afraid to resurrect a few dormant franchises for the Switch either, Nintendo. I'd be OK with a new Advance Wars game. Lots of people would. Matt, for example.

I'm not suggesting Nintendo should toss a bunch of ports our way and take a nap. Even though ARMS isn't my jam, I'm happy to know Nintendo developed a new IP for its new console, much like how it built up the fascinating Splatoon universe for the Wii U. In other words, Nintendo's been killing it for personable new properties in recent years, and I hope that trend continues into 2018 and beyond.

Finally: Please stop trying to make us fall in love with motion controls

I'm not against motion controls as a concept. Going back to ARMS, it's a good example of a game built competently around the Switch's HD rumble. When the game was introduced, we all immediately imagined ourselves playing the game in front of a TV with a JoyCon in each hand.

But most Switch games are meant to be played on or off the TV at a moment's notice. I personally played Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in handheld mode more often than not, which made each game's motion-based controls / puzzles pretty awkward. Not enough to ruin either game by a long shot, but certainly enough to make things weird. It's particularly disappointing with Super Mario Odyssey, a game with a delightful repertoire of moves locked behind motion controls. I'd love to be able to map Cappy's homing attack to a button, Nintendo. That'd be super-nice.

I know you love the Switch's HD rumble feature, and honestly, it's well-built! Just remember: There's a time and a place for everything, and that goes triple for motion controls.

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Comments 26

  • Avatar for notimportant #1 notimportant 3 months ago
    My hope for Nintendo: a lineup of games that doesn't pale too much in comparison to 2017. Last year was one of the best first years for any console, ever, and a repeat performance is probably too much to ask for. But 2-4 top tier releases from Nintendo, a couple of second tier titles and remasters, and a respectable lineup of third party releases would be plenty.

    Or just Metroid Prime 4.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #2 donkeyintheforest 3 months ago
    I think some couch co-op/couch competitive games from Nintendo themselves would be welcome. And maybe that "very close to completion" Pikmin 4?
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #3 riderkicker 3 months ago
    More games so there can be more sales. That's all I want.
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #4 Godots17thCup 3 months ago
    I don't need Animal Crossing Switch this year, especially since the people I'd most want to play it with aren't in a position to get a new console yet, but an official reveal would be really nice. I'd also like to know WTF is going on with Pikmin 4, which is starting to replicate Pikmin 3's years-long "This is a totally real game that is totally real!" pre-reveal existence.

    Also, it'd be cool to see the Wario Land series brought back from the grave; I'd even settle for an HD remaster of the sublime Shake It.
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  • Avatar for scottygrayskull #5 scottygrayskull 3 months ago
    I do hope the 3DS still gets some love. It's a REALLY good system and I'm not really able to shell out $400+ for a replacement. :(
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #6 DrCorndog 3 months ago
    We're getting Yoshi, Kirby, and Fire Emblem on Switch this year for sure, right? And maaaybe Pokemon this winter? So I'll cash in only half my chips and request that Switch Mario Party everyone wants, too.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #7 Jonnyboy407 3 months ago
    Luigi's Mansion would be awesome. I'd also love to see a Donkey Kong country
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #8 SuperShinobi 3 months ago
    I'd also like to see 3DS support being continued in 2018. A Switch Mini would be nice too - a true handheld version of the Switch with non-detachable JoyCons and a Vita-esque slick form factor.

    Plus, a gritty and dark Ice Climbers reboot.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #9 donkeyintheforest 3 months ago
    @SuperShinobi "Plus, a gritty and dark Ice Climbers reboot."

    you made me chuckle out loud at work
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #10 WiIIyTheAntelope 3 months ago
    I just want a new Animal Crossing. Pocket Camp is fine for what it is, but I've already had my fill of going around and catching bugs to trade for crafting materials. I need the real deal now. It's been 5 years since the last real AC game. That's plenty long.
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  • Avatar for docexe #11 docexe 3 months ago
    Their lineup last year is going to be difficult to follow, but I have to assume they have at least some big cards that have not been unveiled yet. If just because of the fact that we don’t know what most of their associated external developers (like Retro Studios) are working on right now. That Nintendo Direct can’t come soon enough.

    Also, I hope they don’t screw up too badly with their online subscription service. (It’s Nintendo and online, you just have to assume they are going to screw up in one respect or the other).
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #12 MetManMas 3 months ago
    @Godots17thCup I'd prefer remasters of the earlier Wario Lands, personally. The earlier games could use some hi-res beautifully animated love, and it'd be great to have Virtual Boy Wario Land (i.e. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3-2) available for modern gaming audiences AT ALL.

    Wario Land: Shake It! was a solid platformer with nice animations and all, but it excised a lot of the weirdness that made Wario's handheld outings so great. It just feels kinda bland, especially next to Wario Land 4, the entry whose gameplay it has the most in common with.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #13 MetManMas 3 months ago
    We've gone two entire console generations without a new F-Zero game, the series only living on through Virtual Console and cameos in other games, and I'm really hoping it won't be three. Like, I'd be willing to settle for an HD remaster of F-Zero GX with online play, maybe with less assholish difficulty settings. At least, give us something.

    Also hoping to hear some form of news relating to a Switch Animal Crossing game. You know it's coming, the mobile game may be lacking but it's still offering a taste of the series to potential Switch buyers. Only question is when they'll announce it.

    On the "No Chance in Hell" list, I still hold out hopes for a Pokémon Snap successor. There's so much more that can be done with a Pokémon photography game, especially now that we're seven generations in going onto eight.
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  • Avatar for AxiomVerge #14 AxiomVerge 3 months ago
    I wouldn't mind if Metroid Prime had motion aiming as an option (I'd use it), but yeah, forcing motion controls for things that don't even make sense (Mario's homing hat) is dumb.
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  • Avatar for not_themilkybarkid #15 not_themilkybarkid 3 months ago
    I'd like to see Nintendo publish the next Hitman game.
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  • Avatar for Mr.Spo #16 Mr.Spo 3 months ago
    I'd like to see Virtual Console and improved media support (apps, dammit!), and an improvement to Nintendo Online, where possible. Overhauling eShop is a must - some weeks in December saw 20 games added, making visibility a massive problem for anything other than the latest releases or biggest sellers.

    In terms of games, I'd love to see 3 or 4 major Nintendo blockbusters complemented by some smaller tier titles. We already have middle-tier stuff like Fire Emblem, Yoshi and Kirby confirmed; I'd like to see Pikmin 4 join those at least. Punch Out and F Zero would be my unlikely choices; Luigi's Mansion 3 a slightly likelier choice. For the bigger stuff, I'd hope to see Animal Crossing and Pokemon this year, as well as Smash Bros DX and Mario Maker Switch. Smash could add a new single player mode (story driven), combine the 3DS/Wii U content into a single game, and add a few new characters/stages: Inklings, someone from Arms, Shovel Knight and Odyssey/Breath of the Wild stages would be top of my list.

    We'll be getting new IP this year based on comments from Japan - Kimishima has been talking about expanding the way people play using new IP. I'm concerned we're going to end up with a bunch of Touch Generations style initiatives (Nintendogs, Brain Training, Wii series, 1-2 Switch) at the expense of the more character-driven IP (like Arms/Splatoon). My big hope for 2018 is that doesn't happen, and Nintendo produce more new character-driven franchises like Splatoon and Arms.

    Finally, I'd like to see Dragon Quest XI come West and confirmation of third party support beyond HD remasters and last-gen ports. I wouldn't say no to a few of those, but some Nintendo/third party collaborations and some more multi-format releases would be good, just to keep Switch's library nice and versatile.
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  • Avatar for ericspratling56 #17 ericspratling56 3 months ago
    re - lack of communication/browsing/media-playing apps on Switch:

    I know I'm not the first person to point this out, but aside from stuff custom-designed around games, you can use your phone to do most of that stuff, and usually much better. I just don't see a big overlap between people who have Switches and people who don't have at least decently powered smartphones.
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  • Avatar for daveyc02909 #18 daveyc02909 3 months ago
    Can we get online gameplay/features at least as good as what Microsoft (and to a lesser extent Sony) were offering a decade ago? Is that too much to ask?
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #19 riderkicker 3 months ago
    If Atlus or Sega can port both Devil Summoner games...
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #20 Vonlenska 3 months ago
    More original games. Original games are life. Outside that, more original takes on established franchises - let's see what the Breath of the Wild/Odyssey of Kirby and Pokemon looks like.

    More materials design in art direction. Almost no one else is doing this right now or to the degree Nintendo has in the past few years and I'd love to see more of it. Quality art direction beats graphical fidelity any day; Nintendo are one of the only major developers that seem to really get that.

    Also, it's an impossible dream but: a new Mario RPG that drops the conservative timidness. Recent Mario RPGs are fun and okay - and Color Splash looks super pretty - but I fell in love with the series(es) for their out of control creativity. I would love to see that return.
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #21 Wellman2nd 3 months ago
    @riderkicker This and make HD remaster for the Devil Survivor ( the 3DS remakes) games as well.
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  • Avatar for docexe #22 docexe 3 months ago
    @MetManMas Oh, don’t get me started on F-Zero. I have been pleading for another one for the past 13 years or so. I expected them to finally release a new one during the Wii U era after the references in Nintendo Land and Mario Kart 8, but it just didn’t happen.

    It will be especially ridiculous if they don’t finally resurrect the series for Switch (even if only in the form of a remaster or remake of a prior game), not only considering the relative success of games like Fast RMX, but also that the aesthetic and tone of the F-Zero series fits very well with games like Splatoon and ARMS.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2018 by docexe
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #23 MetManMas 3 months ago
    @docexe I was expecting one on the 3DS. They made stereoscopic versions of Star Fox 64 and Ocarina at launch (and later Majora), and I was hoping they'd follow suit with F-Zero X. They didn't.
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  • Avatar for camchow #24 camchow 3 months ago
    Yes yes yes ADvance Wars! More than anything! Also go back to the cartoony colorful style. Days of Ruin's systems and new units were great but man that game is ugly
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  • Avatar for Cire17 #25 Cire17 3 months ago
    Want: New crossover Mario RPG or Thousand Year Door 2, Pikmin 4 with bigger/better (online??) multiplayer, Prime 4, Animal Crossing Switch, Switch Sports (just to boost casual sales), virtual console subscription, amiibo support in new games, Mother 3 (never give up!) and Retro Studios' new game: Mother 4

    Please Don't: Mario Sports, 3 4 Switch or any other mini game compilations (I'm looking at you Nintendo Land 2), new amiibo, 3DS games. Happy for Radiant Historia and Strange Journey remakes but please, bury the 3DS afterwards. Let it die in peace
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  • Avatar for sudip761 #26 sudip761 A month ago
    nice article. The best Nintendo DS emulator for Android will give you the best gaming experience.
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