Dark Souls and Mario Tennis lead the early year's offerings
The Nintendo Switch got off to a phenomenal start in 2017, selling 11 million units while shipping truly fantastic titles like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
But what are we going to play on it in 2018? Nintendo had kept that point a bit of a question mark last year, choosing instead to focus on its current crop of games, but the legendary game-maker just unleashed its lineup for the early months of the year. And while it doesn't have a big new Mario or Zelda-caliber release, there's a fair bit to be excited about.
Beyond news that the previously-revealed Kirby Star Allies will arrive in March, here's a look at five of the biggest game announcements from today's Nintendo Direct stream, along with word on some added content coming to a few of last year's top Switch titles.
Dark Souls: Remastered (May 25)
See, the Switch can do hardcore just like the other consoles. Dark Souls: Remastered gives the much-loved (and intensely difficult) 2011 action game a slight facelift, with a better frame rate and higher resolution – plus you can finally play this gauntlet on the go.
Remastered bundles in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC with the complete core game and puts it all on the portable screen of the Switch, providing a tough-as-nails obsession for the masochist in all of us. It's due out in late May, and this upgraded edition will also hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC at the same time.
Mario Tennis Aces (Autumn)
Mario Tennis is one of those reliable mainstays that we always see on Nintendo consoles, and while its appeal has waned at times, Mario Tennis Aces looks like it has just the right stuff to get us excited about this swinging sport again.
It's the new story mode, surprisingly enough, that has us excited. Like the old Game Boy Advance entry, this adventure will send you off on a series of matches including bosses you'll need to defeat with a volley of shots. And Nintendo promises some strategic wrinkles, as well, although we imagine it'll be just as accessible as ever.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (May 4)
Tropical Freeze isn't quite at a Dark Souls level of difficulty, but it'll test your skills and patience as you battle through the platforming challenges either alone with in co-op. And this version adds Funky Kong as an additional playable character, complete with a surfboard that can withstand spikes and other hazards.
The World Ends With You: Final Remix (2018)
Don't know about The World Ends With You? Square Enix's stylish role-player is one of the most-adored Nintendo DS games from back when (it later hit mobile devices too), but it's more a cult classic than a mainstream smash. But maybe this remixed Switch edition will help it find some widespread love.
Set in Shibuya, Tokyo and packed with cool sights and sounds, Final Remix enhances the action-RPG original with sharper graphics – plus an additional scenario that'll hopefully satisfy long-suffering fans who never got a sequel. It's due out sometime this year.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (Autumn)
We probably won't see another Breath of the Wild-caliber Zelda adventure anytime soon, but if you have a craving for more action in that universe, maybe this enhanced edition of 2014's Hyrule Warriors will have enough flavour to keep you playing.
It's essentially a skinned version of the button-mashing Dynasty Warriors series with a Legend of Zelda coat of paint, much like last year's Fire Emblem Warriors, and it'll including all of the earlier DLC along with new Breath of the Wild costumes. Expect this hack-and-slasher sometime later this spring.
Nintendo is finally keen on using downloadable content and updates to keep its games fresh long after launch, and a trio of last year's biggest Switch games will see new bits in the coming months.
Super Mario Odyssey will drop Luigi onto the top of a skyscraper in New Donk City, and if you find him you can play the new Balloon World mode. This free online addition will challenge players to find and hide balloons within the game's worlds, plus the update will add new costumes for Mario and fresh filters for the Snapshot mode.
Meanwhile, the weird-but-wonderful Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will add Donkey Kong as a playable character this spring via a DLC pack, and Pokémon-based fighter Pokkén Tournament DX will see the addition of premium fighters Aegislash and Blastoise in the coming months, alongside new support Pokémon sets.