The Nintendo Switch has had a big year, with games like Monster Hunter Rise, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, and New Pokémon Snap being big hits with fans and critics alike. 2021 isn’t over yet, and the Switch still has some major titles left, going into the holiday season. Nintendo might not have a new Super Mario Bros. platformer or the long-awaited sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild this Christmas, but there are plenty of exciting games on the way.
The Nintendo Switch technically faced the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S last holiday season, but ongoing console shortages for both systems meant that a lot of people weren’t able to acquire a new console on launch day. Microsoft and Sony managed to ship a lot of consoles over the past year, even with the shortages, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the Switch this year, especially as the PS5 has no new exclusives, and Microsoft is hedging its bets on the long-awaited Halo Infinite.
The Nintendo Switch recently received one of its biggest games of the year, as Metroid Dread is now available, and is both a critical and commercial success. The Nintendo Switch OLED model is also available for purchase, which adds a new OLED screen that provides better image quality in handheld mode, as well as an improved dock with an Ethernet port, and upgraded Joy-Cons that may finally be able to avoid the dreaded drift. Nintendo isn’t resting on its laurels, however, as there are still some big games coming to the Switch throughout the remainder of 2021.
The N64 & Sega Genesis Games In The Expansion Pack – October 25
That’s a lot of content for a single cost. It will also be possible to use online multiplayer with multiplayer titles, which means that people will be able to play games like Mario Kart 64 and Gunstar Heroes with friends from around the world. The price of the Expansion Pack is $49.99 a year. The Expansion Pack is set to be released on October 25.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy On Switch – October 26
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game is an upcoming action-adventure title, starring the titular interstellar rogues. The player controls Star-Lord, though the other members of the Guardians will appear as A.I.-controlled characters. While Marvel’s Avengers was criticized for its multiplayer/loot-based focus, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be a single-player experience with one story and ending. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy does have branching dialogue trees, with the player’s choices determining their relationship with the team.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has an amazing soundtrack packed with hits from the ’80s, including “Take On Me” by A-Ha, “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, and “The Final Countdown” by Europe. The game has its own story that is separate from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but the freedom of the video game format means that this could be the team’s wildest adventure yet. The caveat to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy coming to the Switch is that it’s the cloud version of the game. This means that the user will need a fast and steady Internet connection to run the game, especially as it’s a fast-paced action title. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on October 26.
Mario Party Superstars On Switch – October 29
The Nintendo Switch already has an original Mario Party game, but a new one is one the way that will use classic elements from the entire Mario Party franchise. Mario Party Superstars uses classic boards from throughout the history of the series. The game will feature over 100 mini-games from the entire Mario Party series, as well as five classic boards. The list of available minigames includes Tug o’ War from Mario Party, Bowser’s Big Blast from Mario Party 2, Snowball Summit from Mario Party 3, and What Goes Up from Mario Party 6.
All of the games can be played using a classic control scheme, so the Joy-Con issues that plagued the Nintendo Switch Lite version of Super Mario Party won’t be a factor here. Mario Party Superstars will also have online play at launch, as well as local play and standard multiplayer, offering fans a number of different ways to play each other, even those who aren’t in the same home. Mario Party Superstars will launch on October 29, 2021.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water On Switch – October 28
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is one of the last Wii U exclusives to come to Nintendo Switch. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is a survival horror game, where the three protagonists travel to the mysterious Hikami Mountain, where the ghosts of Shrine Maidens are said to dwell. The player cannot blast the ghosts with volleys of psychic energy in Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, such as in games like The Medium. Instead, they must use the Camera Obscura to capture images of the ghosts, which puts the spirits to rest.
One of the major gameplay gimmicks involves wetness, as ghosts are drawn to the moisture, but it also powers the Camera Obscura. The Nintendo Switch version of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water lacks the Nintendo-exclusive content from the Wii U version of the game, which included costumes based on Princess Zelda and Samus Aran. Instead, it now features new outfits based on characters from the history of the series, as well as characters from other Koei Tecmo games, such as Ryza from Atelier Ryza. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is also adding a photo mode, along with special 20th anniversary DLC. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water will be released on October 28.
Just Dance 2022 On Nintendo Switch – November 2
The latest entry in the Just Dance series is coming to Nintendo Switch, with Just Dance 2022 featuring 40 new tracks. Up to six players can use their smartphones to compete, and see who is the best dancer in the group. The songs in Just Dance 2022 include “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, “Buttons” by The Pussycat Dolls (feat. Snoop Dogg), “Chandelier” by Sia, “Freed From Desire” by Gala, “I’m Outta Love” by Anastacia, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” by Katy Perry, “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake, and “Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat. Just Dance 2022 also contains eight songs and routines that are designed for kids. Just Dance 2022 will be released on November 2.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic On Switch – November 11
One of the most surprising announcements made during the September 2021 Nintendo Direct was that the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is coming to the Switch. This RPG uses similar rules to the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and it debuted on the original Xbox all the way back in 2003, but it has been ported to a number of systems since.
Star Wars: KOTOR is set thousands of years before the events of the movies, and it follows a war between the Jedi and the Sith. Darth Malak is engaged in a bloody war with the Republic. The player creates their own Republic soldier, who becomes caught up in the conflict. They soon discover that they have the potential to use the Force and that they might have the strength to overthrow Malak, or even take his place as the leader of the Sith. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will be released on November 11.
Shin Megami Tensei V On Switch – November 12
The game that is now known as Shin Megami Tensei V was originally revealed during the Nintendo Switch’s debut event in 2017, but it’s only hitting store shelves in November. Shin Megami Tensei V is a JRPG that follows a student in Tokyo, who awakens to find that the city has been transformed into a hellish landscape that is crawling with demons and beings from mythology. The protagonist is transformed into a Nabohino, a being that is half-human, half-demon, allowing them to fight the infernal inhabitants of the city. They must use this newfound strength to navigate the various factions vying for power and determine the fate of this new land.
Shin Megami Tensei V is easily the best-looking entry in the series to date, with a combat system that is fast and flashy (like Persona 5), while still being deep and strategic. The protagonist can bind enemy demons to his will and have them join his party, giving the player the opportunity to build their own team of godlike warriors. They’ll need all of the help that they can get, as the Shin Megami Tensei series is notorious for containing some of the most challenging and rewarding RPGs around. Shin Megami Tensei V will be released on November 12 for Nintendo Switch.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl – November 19
The Nintendo Switch might have the two biggest games of the 2021 holiday season on its hands, as Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are coming to the system. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl on the Nintendo DS. The games appear to be close remakes of the DS originals, with the chibi art style retained. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl feature some key QoL improvements, such as not needing to spend move slots on HM moves.
The game has expanded the Underground and Amity Square with new features, including the ability for a player’s Pokémon to follow them on the overworld. It’s unclear if the game will use all the content from Pokémon Platinum, which included a new scenario with Giratina and the Distortion World. The Sinnoh games are some of the best-selling entries in the Pokémon series, and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will give longtime fans a chance to go back and challenge the creators of the Pokémon universe in battle once more. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be released on the Nintendo Switch on November 19.
Big Brain Academy: Brain Vs. Brain On Switch – December 3
It’s not just Mario Party Superstars pitting people against each other this year. The old Brain Training games involved mental exercises that players could do to keep their wits sharp, while Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is about mental contests between friends and family. Players can choose from the Identify, Memorize, Analyze, Compute, and Visualize categories, in order to see who is the best at working out sums, memorizing images, and completing logic puzzles. The game supports local multiplayer, as well as the ability to challenge other players’ online records in the Ghost Clash mode. Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain will be released on December 3.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp On Switch – December 3
Two of the greatest Game Boy Advance titles are being remade for Nintendo Switch and brought together in the same package. Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising are coming to the Nintendo Switch as Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp. The series consists of turn-based military strategy games, where the player builds an army on the map, in order to wipe out the enemy forces or claim all of the resources available. It’s not just soldiers and vehicles that win wars, as the player’s choice of Commanding Officer also holds the key to victory. The COs have special powers that can turn the tide of the battle, such as boosting the strength of certain types of units at a critical juncture. The story of the series follows the four nations of Macro Land, who soon come under threat from the might of the Black Hole army, and must put aside their differences to unite against their common foe. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will launch on Nintendo Switch on December 3.
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