Friday, January 20, 2017

#TeamHandheld Report - 01/19/2017

For this #TeamHandheld Report, I opted to do something different again. Instead of what I've been playing, which hasn't been as much as I'd like, I'm going to talk about some of the games coming to the Nintendo Switch. These are simply the top 10 games I am most interested in. They might not all be the best and will likely not be the only games I buy, but these are the ones that appeal most to me right now.

My Top 10 Most Exciting Switch Games

Xenoblade 2 (vague 2017, most likely 2018)

Xenoblade 2 was the part of the Switch presentation that had me cheering at my computer screen and smiling widely with great joy. I have been a huge fan of the original game, and seeing a sequel that appears to be going in a similar direction is exactly what I've been wanting. Xenoblade Chronicles X had a lot of potential and ambition, but it just didn't do it for me. Less of a massive world exploration focus and more of a story-centered adventure is what I want out of this series, so hopefully this veers back toward the original in that aspect. I love the world of Xenoblade, but I also enjoyed having a reason to be there beyond fetch quests. The art style change is a little odd, but I still love what I've seen and pre-ordered this the instant I could. I know it's listed as a 2017 release, but I've been there before and know that both of the prior games got bumped and this likely will as well. If not, I will be happy, but I'm keeping my expectations tempered on seeing it this year.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (3/3/2017)

I have a weird relationship with Zelda games. Some are among my favorites of all-time such as A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds while others I can tell aren't bad games, but just don't strike the right cords for me like Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword. That said, I'm always interested in new Zelda releases, but they are not always a guaranteed hit for me. My interest in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been tepid at best for the longest time, but for some reason, likely it's portability, this one has now sparked my interest more than I'd expected. The massive world is not the selling point for me, but the fact that the story trailer was great and the combat looks to try some new things make me curious to try it out. And man, the music has been outstanding as well. Bring it on.

Dragon Quest XI (TBA)

A new Dragon Quest and it's coming to Switch, how could I not be excited by Dragon Quest XI? While at the time of writing this we still don't know which version this will be, but I can only imagine it will be like the current PS4 one in the works. The combat appears to be a turn-based system where actions take place in the environment instead of on a separate screen, which is something I really think works well here. It maintains the classic style of Dragon Quest, while flowing smoothly like a more real-time RPG. It's the best of both world if you ask me. That said, there is still so little that has been shown that I could be completely wrong about how things play, as screenshots and video clips only show so much. Regardless, I'm ready for a new Dragon Quest, and this will fill that void.

Has-Been Heroes (3/2017)

Just watching the trailer for Has-Been Heroes didn't really do much for me, but I caught the Treehouse Live demo with the team actually playing it and thought it looked delightful. While very much a lane defense game, it adds in some RPG elements like each character having skills and spells to use that unlock as you progress. This one appears to be a challenging title with lots of unique ways to attempt each area's wave of foes. While we might not have been shown much of the story, the gameplay alone was enough to convince me to jump in, and while I try not to dwell on price, for $19.99 it's an easy risk.

Octopath Traveler (TBA)

A new RPG from Square Enix and the Bravely team is alright with me, though Octopath Traveler would likely be higher on the list if we knew more about it and had a solid release window. Ignoring that, this game looked beautiful in action, and not just from the artwork. While Bravely Default had a rocky start with lots of hate for its repetitive second half, most of what Bravely Second did really fixed those issues, so I have faith in this team. I need more details about this soon, because just watching the combat part of the trailer over and over can only do so much.

Super Mario Odyssey (Holiday 2017)

Much like I said about Zelda, my taste in Mario games is similar. They are not all instant hits for me, but I'm always willing to give them a try. The last console Mario game, Super Mario 3D World, remains a personal favorite, so seeing Super Mario Odyssey seeming to head back in the direction of the other 3D releases doesn't thrill me. Watching the trailer with more gameplay was good enough to at least keep me interested, as the real world style hub doesn't seem to be all there is. The curious, cute worlds shown in the trailer really sold me on the game's style, and I'm ready to go against Bowser and his cronies once again.

Puyo Puyo Tetris (Spring 2017)

I've been eyeing Puyo Puyo Tetris since it was first announced for Vita. While that version never hit over here, I'm glad I bailed on my import order because it's now coming to Switch. This seems like a great time waster, so I'm torn between my love of physical releases and my desire to have it always on the system digitally without the game card. I've yet to touch Puyo Puyo before, but it's hard not see the appeal of combining these two into a chaotic puzzling challenge. The importers seemed to love it, so I'm down to check it out.

Super Bomberman R (3/2017)

While I've not been a die hard fan, I really loved Super Bomberman back in the day. The idea of how easy it will be to play this co-op has me ready to dive in. Super Bomberman R looks like a great party game, and I'm not going to let the complaints about the cost of this get me down. Talk like that is what's leading us more and more toward the realm of more games being free to play (or free to start), which is not a direction I want to go in. So give me $50 Bomberman, I'll support it.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Fall 2017)

While I'm not specifically excited about playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim again, though I did enjoy my time with the original, what really has me wanting this game is the fact that such a massive game can be handled on the Switch. If Bethesda is willing to give it a shot, this gives me hope for more powerful AAA releases coming to the system as well. This could easily just be a one-off that never yield any fruit, but showing that such a huge game can work on the system means that other large titles could as well and that would be fine with me. I'll throw my support behind this, even if my hopes end up being for naught.

New SMT & Fire Emblem (TBA)

While I'm super thrilled for both of these games, there is next to nothing known about either. The new SMT game could very likely be SMTV, but who knows? It could be a fun spin off as well like Strange Journey. Regardless, I'm very interested to see what comes from it. And the recently announced Fire Emblem game for Switch is of course something I'm ready for. While FE Warriors isn't really my thing and FE Fates was a bit of a letdown, the announcement for Fire Emblem Echoes was enough to show me that the series is still very much of interest to me. I hope that we get some classic Fire Emblem goodness on Switch to go with Echoes, but we'll have to wait for 2018 to get to try it out.

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