**Update: Metroidvania Hollow Knight and shmup Sine Mora Ex make their way to Switch sometime this year.** The Nintendo Switch is exploding in popularity, selling nearly 3 million systems worldwide in its first month on store shelves - which is probably why it's so hard to find one right now. Nintendo's got first-party titles locked down with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but what about everything coming later this year? This list will help you keep track of upcoming games, their confirmed release date (if one exists), and why you should be paying attention.
Disgaea 5 Complete
Release date: May 23, 2017
What is it? The complete edition of the latest entry in the anime-flavored strategy RPG franchise.
Why it's so interesting? The Disgaea series is a time vampire. If you're into turn-based strategy RPGs, there's nothing out there more willing to inhale however many hours you care to devote to it, and Disgaea 5 Complete offers even more over the original PS4 version. With additional characters and scenarios, along with all the previously released DLC, Disgaea 5 Complete is practically begging for you to undock the Switch and take it with you wherever you go. Also, the penguins blow up when you throw them. What's not to like?
Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers
Release date: May 26, 2017
What is it? A revamped version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, with additional graphics options (thank God) and two new characters.
Why it's so interesting? The ultimate version of Street Fighter 2 just got even more ultimate-er, and thanks to the twin Joy-Cons on your Switch, you can bust that bad boy out for head-to-head fighting anywhere, anytime (provided you don't mind attempting Shoryukens on a teeny-tiny joystick). The biggest omission of HD Remix has been fixed here: you can now switch the character AND background visuals back to their original sprites. Plus, Evil Ryu and Violent Ken - effectively the dark versions of both SF poster boys - join the classic roster for even more Shotokan shenanigans.
Release date: Spring 2017
What is it? This gorgeous, puzzle-driven adventure echoes Link's Awakening, where a young boy awakens on a breathtakingly beautiful island after a storm, and finds a mysterious tower surrounded by ancient ruins.
Why it's so interesting? Once thought to be lost to the game development aether, , and looks like it'll blend elements from some pretty exceptional games. Besides the world's reminiscence of Zelda, it could also incorporate the wistful exploration of Ico, the animal companionship of The Last Guardian (thanks to a mystical fox buddy), and the vibrantly colored serenity (and cryptic nature) of the island from The Witness. It's likely that the less you know going in, the better - but Rime is already looking like it could make for a pretty darn magical journey.
Release date: Spring 2017
What is it? F-Zero but not
Why is it so interesting? Nintendo may not be interested in making F-Zero games any more, but between Fast RMX and now Redout, Nintendo may not even need it anymore. Redout's got all the trappings you'd expect from a futuristic racer - cool hover cars, impossible tracks, and blistering speed - but all of it is taken into overdrive thanks to the use of Unreal 4 and the Nintendo Switch's hardware. F-Zero may be forgotten by Nintendo, but for fans looking for the next best thing, Redout will more than take care of you.
Release date: June 16, 2017
What is it? A cartoony, colorful, one-on-one fighting game, where you brawl as springy-armed boxers using Joy-Con motion controls.
Why it's so interesting? Imagine Wii Boxing with far prettier visuals and ten times the depth. Arms is an intriguing take on fisticuffs, with its behind-the-back camera and motion-controlled punching that lets you twist the curve of your hyper-extending haymakers. By throwing out your fists in a flurry of different configurations, you can pull off familiar fighting game maneuvers like throws, perfectly timed blocks, and dashes to dodge out of the way of incoming arms. The vibrant roster of extraordinarily limbed fighters, mixed with a variety of arenas with their own unique obstacles, should make Arms an intriguing single-player or multiplayer prospect.
Release date: June 20, 2017
What is it? A port of a beautiful and challenging platformer originally made by one guy over the course of five years.
Why is it so interesting? Yes, Cave Story was originally free when it was first released, and yes, Cave Story has been ported to various platforms over the years for real money. None of that diminishes how good Cave Story still is, even years after its original release. It's a gorgeous, pixelated delight, drawing inspiration from classics like Metroid and Castlevania, while simultaneously taking those concepts and making them its own. And if you haven't played it before, now's the perfect time to jump in.
Release date: July 21, 2017
What is it? The follow-up to the Wii U's best multiplayer shooter, with new weapons that makes use of the Joy-Con's dual-wield feel.
Why it's so interesting? Those adorable Inklings are back, and the territorial mayhem of this 4v4 shooter sequel is looking even better than the inventive Wii U original. Splatoon 2 is expanding Turf War battles with a bevy of upgrades; additions include tons of new weapons and items (the highlight being the twin Splat Dualies), maps designed with streams of airborne Ink that you can use to 'grind' across the level, and the ability to Dodge Roll towards your prey or away from incoming ink splatters. We can't wait to see what Callie and Marie have been up to these past two years.
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
Release date: July 25, 2017
What is it? An over-the-top hack-and-slasher starring characters from the Fate universe of RPGs and visual novels
Why is it so interesting? If you're a fan of the Fate series, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star combines a bunch of your favorite characters in an all-new story, utilizing the visual novel approach to narrative that the series is known for with hack-and-slash action that pits you against hundreds upon hundreds of foes. If you've never played the previous titles before but you're looking for an anime fix on your Switch, Extella's a great place to hop in, especially if you enjoy games like Dynasty Warriors.
Release date: Summer 2017
What is it? (Hopefully) the first good Sonic game in years.
Why it's so interesting? We go through this song and dance every time. New Sonic game gets announced, it looks great, we get our hopes up, we play it, it sucks, we despair, and the cycle begins anew. That optimism may actually be warranted this time around, as the team behind the new game - including Christian Whitehead, the programmer who got Sonic CD to feel right with mobile touch controls - has clearly spent their entire lives obsessing over how to recapture the 16-bit side-scrolling era of Sonic on modern platforms. Based on the demos I've played, they might actually pull it off, too.
Ultimate Chicken Horse
Release date: Party
Genre: Summer 2017
What is it? A raucous four-player platformer that lets you build levels while you play
Why is it so interesting? Ultimate Chicken Horse is as silly as its name suggests. Gather up to four people and run through a series of platforming gauntlets filled with a deadly array of sawblades, spikes, enemies, and other obstacles. The catch: you actually get to design the levels. Each player takes turns placing these obstacles in such a way that they'll catch your opponents while letting you sail past them, then all four players simultaneously attempt to complete the level. It's simple, it's stupid, and the multiplayer fun of this once PC-exclusive feels right at home on Nintendo's console.
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