Deputy Editor Harry Turner explains how the latest NetherRealm fighter is not only one of the best games of its genre, but also one of the best games periodWritten by Harry Turner on 20th June 2017
Nintendo Switches The Spotlight To The Indies
With many critics claiming the Indie support for Switch will be the difference between life and death for Nintendo's new console, the company hastily released a promotional video to showcase some of the upcoming games
As February slipped away and we were only a week away from what critics were calling an anemic launch for the highly-anticipated Nintendo Switch, one senior manager, Damon Baker, decided it was time to pull back the curtain on those indies on the production line, broadcasting a live Nindie Showcase. Previewing a range of studios and their games, and showing off their respective trailers, Nintendo were eager to stress that many of the games were coming soon and that the Switch store would be updated weekly to reflect this. While there are over 80 games rumoured to be in development, the 18-minute segment only featured a mere handful of the many games on offer, many of which have been already been publicised by both Nintendo and their excited developers on social media.
Here’s a brief recap of what was featured:
Steamworld Dig 2
The sequel to award winning platformer Steamworld Dig, in this platform, mining, action-adventure game; you’ll play as a lone steam-bot on a quest to find a long-lost friend, deconstructing the world around you as you search, battle and build. Due to release this Summer, it will be initially be a Switch exclusive. While the previous entries to the Steamworld series have been unique, prepare for more of the same, as this one doesn’t fall far from the first.
Yooka Laylee is the first of 3 games that publishers Team 17 are porting over to the Switch. The highly-rated 3D platform video game, inspired by classics like Spyro, has impressed critics on the showfloor with its stunning graphics, playful gameplay and its fun multiplayer modes. Yooka Laylee is due to be released on Switch in 2017, and will be formally released all mainstream platforms on April 11th 2017.
Ranked 8th on our top 10 games of the last year, this fun and comedic couch co-op, is being ported over to Switch for 2017, with all of its original levels and additional DLC. While Nintendo are claiming we’ll be able to feel every chop and every soup slosh through HD rumble, it’s a feature we’ll have to see, or rather feel, to believe, as we share the joy, tag in a friend and play Overcooked on the go.
This long-awaited sequel to the hugely popular Escapist, has had a graphical uplift and will now allow you to escape the clink with three of your closest friends in tow. With more complex prisons and multiple layers, there’ll be no end to the creative ways to escape. Due to be released in 2017, this is one of the many titles which will likely be held back a little longer to ensure all platforms are served simultaneously.
This is one of three games promoted by publisher Raw Fury, and follows Ikk on his quest to find just the trinket to cheer up his friend. As the title implies, in this side-scrolling platformer, the quest could literally be the end of you, which would be ironic as Death happens to be your mentor and source of your otherworldly powers. Featuring console exclusive content, Gonner will release first on Switch sometime in 2017.
An action platformer, Dandara will feature a heroine with a unique take on gravity, as she bounces around the levels in the hopes of returning direction to her directionless world. Due to be released this summer with exclusive content and HD rumble support, we’ll finally be able to defy physics with Dandara and find out for ourselves why it’s been a highly nominated game.
Kingdom: 2 Crowns
In this adventure strategy, you’ll need to attend to your domain, rid it from greed and restore it to its former glory. Rule alone or with a friend, in this co-op game, where your choices can bring either hope or despair to your subjects. Due to release this year, this stylish strategy will debut on the Switch with its all new co-op mode, and will be released as a DLC for the original PC game Kingdom.
This is the third and upcoming addition to Choice Provision’s popular side-scrolling speed running BIT.TRIP RUNNER series and is set to run exclusively on the Switch. With its art style and popularity increasing with every iteration, and RUNNER2 winning awards and featuring in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-rated Wii U title for 2013, RUNNER3 has big shoes to fill this Autumn.
Blaster Master Zero
Antique Zero is back, returning retro games to our modern consoles, this time with a new addition to the Blaster Master series. It’ll feature all the familiar elements that made the original so much fun, from side-scrolling vehicular combat to top down adventuring. A Nintendo exclusive, Blaster Master Zero is one of the few indies with a concrete release date and was released on March 9th.
Due for release in 2017, this unique puzzling adventure game with a hilarious story line and great artwork, is a brand new IP from Zoink Games (Zombie Vikings). As a grim reaper, you’ll have to possess the living to fulfil the last wishes of the dead, in an attempt to right the wrongs and reap the souls when death goes on holiday.
Graceful Explosion Machine
This is a side-scrolling arcade shooter from Vertex Pop (We Are Doomed, Orbit1) where you’ll have to blast your way, ‘gracefully’, through the levels to complete your goals. Designed to harness the power of HD rumble, Nintendo claims you’ll be able to feel every blast when the game comes out next month in April 2017.
A stealth adventure game by Tiny Build, where you’ll be infiltrating the world most secure building floor by floor, with only your wits, fast reflexes and of course your teleportation skills. Coming to first to Switch in April, it’s another game with HD Rumble support, hoping to let you feel every punch, shot and crash.
A rogue like physics based game by Aeiowu, who’s beautiful graphics and intuitive game play have us hooked from the first clip. Play as a small seed teetering through the levels, avoiding dangers and picking up points. Due to be released in the spring, this looks like one game we won’t be able to put down, especially as you’ll supposedly be able to feel the seed tumble through HD rumble.
This retro 16-bit open-world, action adventure game, developed by VBlank Entertainment, is the spiritual successor to their popular Retro City Rampage series. Due to release first on Switch in April, this game looks like it’ll continue to please fans of the genre, as it follows the same style of mayhem, carnage and chaos.
Finally we can get into an pixelated throw down any place, and at any time, as Pocket Rumble comes exclusively to the Switch this March. This 2D fighter is both easy to pick up and deep enough to master over time. With HD rumble we’ll hopefully be able to feel the difference between every attack we sustain, leading to more fun as we try harder to KO our opponent.
This game is unlike any other showcased in the video previously, as one of the last two to be promoted, it highlights the diversity of games coming to Switch. WarGroove is a medieval style 2D strategy game, where through a turn based system, players will battle their enemies and build their kingdoms. Due for release in 2017, this will likely be another Switch first release.
Another indie to make our games of 2016 list, Stardew Valley is the latest in a long line of popular 2016 indies to be ported over to the Switch. This fun open ended indie farming RPG has swept the gaming community by storm over its first year and is now set to be upgraded to finally support multiplayer mode. Soon you won’t have to tend to your vast farming empire alone, as Stardew Valley land on Switch this Summer.
Wrapping up at the 17 minute mark, Damon Baker, head of Partner Management for the Publisher and Developer Relations department at Nintendo America, ran through some more of the titles that weren’t featured and left many more logos for us to look at on screen, before coming to a close. All of the indies featured and mentioned looked quite good, and with many unspecific, but soon release dates revealed, it looks like the Switch game library is set to grow exponentially. But is it enough to keep the sales steadily increasing after it’s explosive launch last week, which saw twice as many console shift on release as the Wii U? We’ll just have to keep you updated as time goes on, as only time will tell whether Nintendo Switch can recover from a rocky start and grow stronger than its predecessor consoles.