I have to admit, I expected Nintendo to showcase a few more Wii U ports for the Switch during E3 last month. It seemed logical; Nintendo had released several new first party titles last year (Breath of the Wild, ARMS, Splatoon 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2) but their slate for this year is quite bare in comparison.
Remastered Wii U titles would have been good fillers to keep the sales momentum going – because game assets are already existing, the task of remastering can easily be farmed to second and third party studios and not take any development time away from Nintendo. And we all know that the Wii U did not sell well, so I’m sure there are Switch owners who did not get the chance to play some Wii U exclusives that were really good.
E3 has come and gone but that doesn’t mean that Nintendo is no longer going to release remastered Wii U games for the Switch – we might even see some of them this year. Here are five Wii U exclusives that I would like to be released on the Switch so that I can play them later on and not have to purchase a Wii U just to do so.
For emphasis – I don’t have a Wii U, so I have not played any of these games. Of course, I did not do thorough research about these games so I can avoid any potential spoilers.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
If Nintendo is planning on re-releasing Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Switch later on, I can understand why they didn’t do this any sooner. Fans of the first Xenoblade Chronicles game wanted a follow up that was closer to a sequel instead of this spiritual successor, so Nintendo ended up releasing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the fans. Even the announcement of an X remaster can take away some of the steam of the upcoming XC2 DLC (Torna ~ The Golden Country).
Even if Xenoblade Chronicles 2 exists (and I’m going to buy and play that eventually), it is different enough from XC X that both deserve to be available. The best RPG available on the Wii U (84 on Metacritic), Xenoblade Chronicles X is less focused on story and emphasizes exploration and sub quests. More than anything, it will allow players to pilot and play as giant mechs (called Skells in the game) – that alone makes me want to play it later on.
Pikmin is Nintendo’s real-time strategy franchise and actually has quite a devoted fanbase – Pikmin 4 is among the oft-requested titles for the Switch. Nintendo has stated that Pikmin 4 is already in development – but I don’t know if we’ll actually see it get released any time soon. The latest game in the franchise is Pikmin 3, and that game was received positively (87 on Metacritic) and it has been quite some time since it was originally released, so a re-release on the Switch within the next two years would be a good idea.
I’m not sure if it will be easily to adapt the title for the Switch though (from what I read, Pikmin 3 required heavy use of the Wii U Gamepad) but if Pikmin worked on the Gamecube then it probably will work on the Switch.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Of all the games on this list, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water may be the title that has the least number of people clamoring for a re-release. Critical reception of the game was mixed/lukewarm (67 on Metacritic) but I am such a sucker for survival horror games that I can’t help but wish that I had the chance to play this. Developed by Koei Tecmo but published by Nintendo, a remaster could offer the developers the chance to rework some of the game’s aspects that resulted in criticism – maybe rewrite some of the dialogue, redo the voice work or even replace some of the voice actors.
One interesting thing about Maiden of Black Water that I still remember today: the game was offered as a free-to-start eShop title, with players able to play the prologue and first two chapters at no cost. We’ve seen some free to play games on the Switch getting lots of attention – Fortnite was downloaded 2 million times within 24 hours of its release while Pokemon Quest was downloaded over 1 million times within a week from release. A remastered Switch version of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water with the same free-to-start release strategy is definitely going to get attention.
Super Mario 3D World
Like Xenoblade Chronicles X, this year is not the right time to release a remastered version or port of Super Mario 3D World – it is simply too early if we factor in the release of Super Mario Odyssey. But that doesn’t mean that this title should not be available on the Switch. Unlike Super Mario Odyssey which is truly an open world, Super Mario 3D World is more similar to how the levels were designed in Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS: stages are small (relative to an open world) 3D areas connected to each other by a world map.
Despite not being an open world title like Super Mario 64 or the recent Odyssey, Super Mario 3D World still received positive critical acclaim (93 on Metacritic) and is one of the Wii U’s best sellers. Hey, this is the game that gave us Cat Mario and if there’s one thing that we need, it’s Mario and the rest of the gang in cat-suits.
Super Mario Maker
Of all the titles on this list, Super Mario Maker is the most deserving of a Switch release. Not only does Super Mario Maker offer so much potential for those who love creating their own games, but Super Mario Maker on the Nintendo Switch means almost limitless 2D Mario gameplay for as long as people are making and sharing their creations. Just to give some perspective: on the less successful Wii U, there were more than a million Mario stages shared online for anyone to play. Just imagine how much more stages will be available on a system that has already sold more units than the Wii U?
A Switch release will also give Nintendo the chance to correct some of their mistakes in the previous versions – a better online system, a better way of unlocking all the tools available for creation, and a bigger available workspace are among the few that can be addressed. I’ve made a lot of incorrect predictions before but I think I’m right when I say that Super Mario Maker on the Nintendo Switch is going to sell like hotcakes.
Are there any Wii U titles that you’d also like to see get released for the Nintendo Switch? Let us know what they are by leaving a comment or two below!