With 2020 almost over and the potential for a COVID vaccine to allow some semblance of normality to return in 2021, I thought I’d take this opportunity to look ahead to what we might see from Nintendo next year. Fairweather warning. At times, this will be so tongue-in-cheek that it’ll likely be absolute arse!
Breath Of The Wild 2
If you asked a gaggle of Nintendo fans what upcoming game made them moist at the knees, unequivocally they would reply, That’s not a real expression, you damned lunatic. They would then probably follow it up with something along the lines of, but if it gets you to leave our private Zoom call, Breath of the Wild 2.
Before 2020 unfolded in such a horrific manner, many armchair analysts, such as Karen of Nintendad, had predicted that 2020 would be perfect for us to see BOTW2 . Instead, we were treated to an over-the-top amuse-bouche in the guise of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Without going into major spoilers, the ramifications of that title’s event could potentially shape the entire structure of BOTW2. Likewise, the game’s events could (and probably should) simply be ignored.
Either way, any new information regarding BOTW2 feels like something we’re owed. You know, after the living hell that was 2020. Give us a trailer early in the year, with a release date window six weeks later. March would be nice, being the four year anniversary of its predecessor. It will also be the four year anniversary of the Nintendo Switch. Huh!
Switch 2 – Electric Boogaloo
Next-gen you say? Yeah, we’re big fans. But how does Nintendo keep up, considering the Switch is already outpaced technically in comparison to the last-gen (current-gen)? Well, they could release the long-rumoured Switch Pro. Just don’t call it the Switch Pro, please Nintendo. What guise will it take? A slightly more powerful hybrid with a higher-resolution screen, better battery life and dare I say it, the option to connect your Bluetooth headphones? Or will it be a home-only console that offers power, performance and prestige? Knowing Nintendo, it’ll probably be some kind of wristwatch that doubles up as a toaster and tells you when you need to stop writing absolute drivel. Man, I could really use one of those!
Metroid Prime IV
Anything? A teaser trailer? A progress update? A singular tweet from friends of Nintendad, Retro Studios?
You know what? How about that long-rumoured Metroid Prime Trilogy HD collection? (And they’d better be HD remasters at this point, and not just straight to eshop rereleases of the Wii collection.)
New 2D games FTW
Earlier this year, a renowned leaker stated that we would see lots of 3D Mario, a brand-spanking-new Paper Mario, something Mario Kart related and a 2D Metroid title. Three out of four isn’t bad going. However, during the peak of the pandemic, Nintendo stated that they had a lot of unannounced content in the works, but would be holding back making any announcements in case the situation with COVID-19 didn’t improve and they needed content for 2021. Or words to that effect. It wasn’t to be this year (although our collective heads did implode when Nintendo announced that WayForward would be popping up in a Treehouse segment to show off a new game, although hopes were dashed no sooner than they had been raised) but it seems probable that we’ll see a new 2D Metroid early in 2021. Or maybe just Samus Returns HD.
Also, give me a 2D Zelda game made from the ground up where you play as Ganondorf. If they do a better job than they did with Link’s Awakening, let Grezzo make it. Just imagine how amazing it would be. The movesets would be fresh and exciting, the puzzles different and the combat riotous (although, they could make it about his rise to power, to avoid him being OP). Come on!! Do it, you cowards!
Also-also, New Super Mario Bros. 3.
Multiple climatic action, please
Speaking of third entries of titles, whatever happened to Bayonetta 3? I know that Platinum Games embarked on a quest of chicanery that epitomised 2020 so wonderfully with their handling of The Wonderful 101 Remastered, but the radio silence on this project is deafening. Is it in development hell? Has it, understandably so, been affected by the pandemic? Nobody knows. Literally nobody at this point. Least of all Platinum Games. Clowns!
Folders, themes and reams and reams of legacy geams. Wait! What?
To say the Nintendo Switch’s UI is barebones is an understatement, to say the least. It’s so much more than the unsolicited pictures that seemingly attractive females receive on Twitter (Bare bones? Oh, come on!!), it’s almost embarrassing that we’re fast approaching the four-year mark and the only theme options are black and white. It’s day and night really. They could give us a basic palette of primaries at least, maybe turquoise too?
While some people aren’t particularly fussed about the lack of folders, it’s a real point of contention for this humble hack. I like to have my games organised methodically. It gives me tremendous peace of mind. Basically, Nintendo, my poor brain hasn’t had a single moment of respite in almost four years! So, thanks for that.
September arrived this year and we weren’t treated to N64 content on Nintendo Switch Online. We weren’t even offered GameBoy titles. While the first year anniversary of NSO incentivised adopters to renew by dangling an A Link to the Past/Super Metroid/Super Mario World shaped carrot in front of our hoarse mouths, the second year came and went like that Twitter tipster who obtains information through her clientele base. In fairness she’s often on the money. Still, I wouldn’t say the information is straight from the horse mouth…
Anyhoo, I feel that Nintendo could have done us all a solid and released a slew of legacy content to NSO this year, what with us all being stuck at home and with their own output diminished. I hope that this still happens in 2021 and they truly open Pandora’s Box and give us GameCube content.
Yes, I know. I need muzzling!
Fool me once, April
What will April 1st bring? Will we see a massive update that brings an all new approach to Nintendo’s handling of NSO, hence the ambiguity surrounding many things coming to an end on March 31st? A huge ask I know, but imagine if Nintendo just pulled out all the stops, and finally came from behind, not just catching up with the other game’s companies, but actually bettering their subscription offerings by combining two things that have always been at their core; their IPs and value.
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced that they were ceasing trading, and closing down forever, effective immediately.
A new IP?
Honestly, I’ve been a little underwhelmed of late by Nintendo’s first-party releases. Maybe it’s the stay-at-home craziness kicking in, but it almost feels as if they have stopped taking risks. In fairness, why should they? The hardware is on a two-year streak of sales dominance and the software is doing numbers. However, as a long-term Nintendo fan, I feel as though they are well and truly operating from within the confines of an extremely opulent safety net. What I loved about the Wii U was the imaginative software line-up. Nintendo took risks.
They had to. The console was mismanaged from the outset and never had any kind of commercial momentum. But it meant that every new innovative title felt like last chance saloon for Wii U. Because of this, we were introduced to eclectic experiences. From Mario Maker to Splatoon to NES Remix, Nintendo gave us games. great games. Different games. New games.
Nintendo initially set up the Switch to follow suit, with SnipperClips, 1,2, Switch and ARMS all embracing points of difference. But it seems the higher the success of the hybrid, the less risk they’re willing, or more so need, to take. Mo money, mo problems.
In 2021, I would love nothing more than Nintendo to release something so out of the left field that nobody buys it because they don’t understand it. I’d buy it though, dear reader. Oh, I’d buy the absolute pants off of it. They could call such a release – King Ignas’s Excellent Radical Adventures, Narrated. I’d certainly reciprocate and stand for it!
Thus concludes my last ramble of the year. If you made it to the end sincerely, well done. If you grew fatigued and skipped to the end looking for a concise conclusion, apologies, you shall find nothing of the sort here.