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Every Switch Port Deserves the Pokken Tournament Deluxe Treatment

first_imgStay on target ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball FormSNES Games Officially Come to Nintendo Switch No matter how great they were, games released on the Wii U weren’t likely to succeed due to how few units the quirky console ended up selling. But Pokken Tournament in particular never stood a chance. After originally releasing in Japanese arcades, Nintendo eventually brought the Pokemon fighting game to their then-current console in early 2016. However, by that point the world had basically moved on from the Wii U and spent the rest of the year anticipating the announcement of Nintendo’s next console the NX.Later that year the NX became the Nintendo Switch, and so far the gaming community has adopted the console/handheld hybrid much faster than its predecessor. Therefore, Nintendo has rightly recognized that some Wii U games deserve a second chance on the new system.Pokken Tournament DX, an enhanced version of the original, just released on the Nintendo Switch. There’s new content for fans of the first release like characters previously exclusive to arcade updates as well as entirely new character Decideuye, a ghost owl who shoots arrows and my new main. There’s a split-screen multiplayer mode, daily challenges, and a new three-on-three battle mode that better replicates the feel of a traditional turn-based Pokemon match but with free-flowing real-time combat.But the biggest new feature of Pokken on Switch is that it’s on the Switch. You can play the accessible, Tekken-inspired 3D monster fighter on your TV or wherever you are, perfect for impromptu matches. Bust out Pikachu’s Heihachi Mishima moveset on a bus. You can also play the game on a console that doesn’t have the spectre of death hovering over it. And this isn’t even the first quality port the Switch has seen since its launch in March.Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the arguably biggest Nintendo Switch Game That Isn’t Zelda so far, came out a few months ago. I played it religiously against our comrades-in-arms at IGN as well as other industry folks (I see you Greg Miller!), and I love it.Along with being arguably the best looking game Nintendo has ever made, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is loaded with characters and karts and race tracks from across the entire Nintendo (and Mercedes) spectrum. The new battle mode options have a really great and topical anti-police vibe. Being on Switch, the game also brings a console-level experience to a portable. The Deluxe subtitle reminded of the similarly acclaimed console-to-handheld enhancement Super Mario Bros. DX. In my opinion, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best Mario Kart, especially if you’ve never played it before.Donkey King in a Mercedes, dabbing his way to the top of the Metacritic Conspiracy pic.twitter.com/SbAjubbdFh— Jordan Minor (@JordanWMinor) April 20, 2017However, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also a new, significantly improved version of an old game, the original Mario Kart 8 a.k.a. the game still managed to sell pretty well on the Wii U. Obviously quality original games are crucial for the long-term health of the Switch or any other system. You can’t win with just raw numbers alone. However, consoles bolster their early libraries with new versions of old games more often than ever these days. There are so many games people may have missed the first time around that could find new life on a new machine. I’ve already listed which overlooked Wii U games should make the jump to Switch. However, after playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I now implore other Switch ports to be this good.Mario Kart 8 might be the best example of an enhanced Switch port so far (unless you also count Zelda which is more of a multiplatform game) but it’s not the only one. After witnessing the future of Lego games a few weeks ago, I began playing the Switch remaster of Lego City Undercover. The Lego take on Grand Theft Auto remains as simple but charming as ever with its humorous buddy cop tone and care-free toy car explosions. But as Zelda players already know, expansive open-world games lend themselves surprisingly well to portable play, and Lego City Undercover is no exception. The added co-op is also appreciated, even when it hurts the framerate.As a former Wii U exclusive like Mario Kart 8, Lego City Undercover makes sense as a port. Other upcoming Switch ports range from expected and straightforward (Rayman Legends, Minecraft) to nice surprises (Skyrim, I Am Setsuna) to completely random (Payday 2, Steep). But I’ve always felt that consoles should be treated less like curated television channels and more like open televisions themselves. So port whatever! Zombi, Scribblenauts, Prompto. Just take the effort to make the old game better. Street Fighter II is a great game, but it remains to be seen if the Ultra version on Switch makes meaningful improvements besides swapped colors and weird first-person fighting modes.This applies to indie games as well, which we already know are coming to Switch in droves. Fast Racing Neo on the Wii U was an intriguing F-Zero homage. But Fast RMX on Switch takes everything great about that futuristic racer and improves it with new tracks, visuals, handheld play, and post-launch updates like new time attack and multiplayer modes. As a side note, how great is it to see Switch patches that add more than framerate fixes that should have been in place at launch? Looking at you Zelda and Super Bomberman R.Indie games getting a second life can be even more beneficial for the developers than in AAA. I still don’t like roguelikes but the fervor around the physical release for The Binding of Isaac on Switch seriously got me to consider giving it a shot. So keep it coming. Bring Runbow and Freedom Planet and Guacamelee and Swords & Soldiers to Switch but better. And for the love of Grodd, please don’t make their physical versions cost more than the competition. Frankly, Nintendo should be subsidizing developers for those costs.Even Nintendo 3DS games should be on the table when it comes to enhanced Switch ports. After all, Wii and Wii U games like Xenoblade and Yoshi’s Woolly World came to the handheld, but imagine playing them on the go without visual compromises. We already suspect an enhanced version of Pokemon Sun and Moon will take over the world on Switch this holiday as Pokemon Stars. But during the most recent Nintendo Direct all I could think about was how I’d rather play new games like BoxBoy! and Hey! Pikmin and Ever Oasis on the new handheld instead of the old one.A huge part of the Switch’s appeal to me is the idea of all of Nintendo’s development talent focused on one platform and software library, with some mobile games on the side. That can’t happen as long as games like Fire Emblem Warriors keep getting released on the admittedly popular and profitable but aging 3DS.Of course, enhanced ports aren’t the only way to bring old games to new platforms. You can straight-up re-release classic games Virtual Console-style like the Neo Geo games of the Arcade Archives series. You can also bundle old games in themed, preservationist collections like Rare Replay, the Disney Afternoon Collection, and the upcoming Namco Museum for Switch.Conversely, you can take the time to fully remake a classic game. The odd hitboxes and difficulty curve of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap betray its status as an old Master System game. However, on Switch (and other platforms) the stunning illustrated visuals and orchestrated music make the nonlinear proto-Metroidvania adventure almost new, much more enjoyable, and absolutely worth playing. You can even swap between old and new graphics on the fly to see the difference between Mouse-Man and “vague 8-bit suggestion of Mouse-Man.”Again, greatly enhanced versions of old games are a supplement, not a replacement, for great new games. The Nintendo Switch needs great new games. But if more people get to experience Mario Kart 8, Lego City Undercover, Fast RMX, Wonder Boy and more because a better version is available on Switch or any other platform, that’s a great thing.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WindNintendo SwitchEssential Nintendo Switch Accessorieslast_img read more

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