Round Table: Hopes for 2019

The staff discusses what they hope to see in our first round table of 2019!

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 01/04/2019 06:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Kirby's Epic Yarn Artwork

With the new year officially in gear, it’s time to look forward. 2018 saw a number of great releases on Switch, but 2019 is already looking like another great year for Nintendo fans. We still don’t know exactly what the year will bring, but with titles like Yoshi’s Crafted World and new entries in the Animal Crossing and Pokémon franchises all confirmed, the future certainly looks bright! In our latest round table, the Nintendojo staff weighed in on their hopes for the year and our most anticipated titles.

Marc Deschamps

I have to say, I’m pretty excited for 2019. I thought 2018 was a really solid year for Nintendo, but there are so many games I’m looking forward to hearing more about coming in the new year. While there are no doubt bigger games on the horizon, I think two of my more anticipated titles for the year are Fitness Boxing and Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn.

I spent a lot of time with Wii Fit and its Wii U follow-up. Nintendo has a tendency to find ways to make just about anything fun, and Wii Fit really helped make exercise more entertaining. While I would prefer it if Switch received a direct follow-up to those games, Fitness Boxing does place one of my favorite routines center stage. With Nintendo handling publishing duties on this one, I’m hopeful this is indicative of some level of quality. Besides that… I ate a lot this holiday season. I need to do something to get back to normalcy!

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is one of my favorite games of all time. That might sound hyperbolic, but it really is unlike any other game I’ve ever played. Too often, platformers focus on causing the player frustration. Kirby’s Epic Yarn eschewed that approach, opting instead for something much more peaceful. With its mellow music and simpler platforming, players could really appreciate the craftsmanship on display, no pun intended. I’m really excited to see what the remake brings to the table, and once again, I’m surprised to see Nintendo keeping my 3DS in regular use.

There are, of course, many other games I’m looking forward to this year, but it’s nice to know that there are two games I’m excited to check out so early in the year.

Robert Marrujo

I’ve been really happy with the trajectory that Nintendo has been on the last couple of years. Wii U was such a monumental flop that, despite the fact that there were a lot of games that I loved and spent time with on the system, there was always this dark cloud hanging over that period of time. Especially with pundits regurgitating the same, tired old talk about Nintendo being at its “end” and that with the failure of Wii U, surely it was time for the company to transition to being a software-maker exclusively. Needless to say, Switch has blown that talk out of the water and things are looking up for Nintendo in a big way.

So with 2019 here in front of us like a big, fresh white sheet of paper just begging to be drawn on, it’s time to start asking what Nintendo is going to be doodling on that blank sheet this year. We know that there are some projects in the pipeline for 2019 already, but it’s a fairly even split in terms of what is actually known about them. Metroid Prime 4 is percolating, for instance, but beyond a logo nothing of it has been shown off yet. I’m hoping that changes very, very quickly; perhaps in the form of a Nintendo Direct in the next week or two. That might be a great opportunity to finally show off the game! A game that I hope clings to the formula of the first three Primes while also moving things forward. No tall order, I know.

Pokémon is also coming this year and has been touted as the true next installment in the franchise (the Let’s Go duo were only ever supposed to be their own spin-off/thing, not a true entry into the long-running series). I’m hoping that this marks a return to the complexities and nuances of Pokémon that have come to define it for years now. I loved what Let’s Go did, but it’s also important to acknowledge that there’s a large congregation of Pocket Monsters fans who want a bit more depth. What that will entail is anyone’s guess, but if nothing else I’m totally down to see more region-specific versions of the ‘mon like we did in Sun and Moon. It’s a great way of expanding the roster without putting in a bunch of filler creatures (I’m looking at you, Seedot!).

Beyond all that, I’m just hoping that Switch continues to flourish. It’s my go-to system these days and has such a robust, rich catalog of games that I’m amazed this is only year three! Word of what’s next for Mario and Link will also be welcome, and I suppose if I could make one pie-in-the-sky request, it would be that we get a new F-Zero! It’s time, dang it! Beyond time!

Jon Stevens

Marc’s 100 percent right in that 2018 was a strong year for Switch, although I do specify Switch because Nintendo 3DS is pretty much long gone at this point (RIP)!

There were a steady stream of quality titles brought to the console, both first and third party. Of course, I never got around to playing a lot of these, including Pokémon: Let’s Go and Octopath Traveler, both of which were high on my list of “games to watch.” That puts me in a strange position then- what do I hope to see from Nintendo and what will actually convince me to engage with that in 2019?

A large-scale “proper” Pokémon game falls within both of those columns, and I cannot wait for the new game on Switch. The 3DS games showed what could be done with more advanced hardware and finally started to deviate from the stale format that the series had adopted since Red and Blue. Nintendo have really started re-examining traditional expectations in their major franchises on Switch, and I really hope this continues with Pokémon. I’m also interested to see more on Fire Emblem Three Houses for exactly the same reason. Separately, as great as it has been seeing so many ports come to Switch, I’d be over the moon to see some more big budget third party games which are made for and take advantage of Switch’s unique capabilities (I’m still waiting for the game that requires you to dock/undock your console to solve a puzzle!).

I suppose my real hope for Switch in 2019 though is that Nintendo dramatically expands and builds on Nintendo Switch Online. As great as the NES games are, they just haven’t been enough to keep my attention for long at all, and the service as a whole feels entirely lacking when compared to the other console’s offerings, something like Netflix, or even Nintendo’s old Virtual Console (although I’m well aware that it is much cheaper than those services).

Joshua Johnston

Am I allowed to think backwards a little as we look forward? Because there are still a few Wii U titles I wouldn’t mind making the port over to Switch: Super Mario 3D Land, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and perhaps Pikmin.

But, looking forward, I’m really intrigued to see what happens with Animal Crossing. We’ve already seen some Nintendo properties make real quantum leaps– Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have taken massive steps forward over their predecessors– and I get this feeling that, maybe, Animal Crossing should be on the precipice of a similar leap.

Beyond that, one can always hope for another Metroid title, a core Pokemon title… and, we can hope, more quality third party titles, which are ever the elusive hope for Nintendo consoles.

Oh, and more Smash. A lot more Smash.

That’s it from our staff! What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Sound off in the comments below!

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