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Nintendo Select: 5 Switch Games That Deserve A Second Chance

Nintendo Select: 5 Switch Games That Deserve A Second Chance - Article

by Mark Nielsen , posted on 06 March 2024 / 3,128 Views

The Nintendo Switch has been one Nintendo’s most successful systems ever, both measured by the number of units sold and the quality of its titles, but if there’s one thing this generation has been missing it would have to be the Nintendo Selects line, bringing existing titles that had paid their dues back at bargain prices. With the Switch now entering its twilight years, and there being few new titles in store for the foreseeable future, what better time could there be to bring back this tried-and-true tradition? While the actual realization of it may be doubtful given how rigid both hardware and software prices have become in recent years, that only gives us all the more reason to dream up a hypothetical lineup of our own.

For this article the specific focus will not be on those massive multi-million evergreens that the lineup would no doubt contain a few of to cement its value, but instead on games that for one reason or another fell short of their full potential the first time around and deserve a second chance to reach more players at an affordable price. Let’s get started.

   

Astral Chain

Arguably having achieved contemporary cult-classic status, Astral Chain was always going to be the easiest choice for this list. Despite meagre sales it’s not rare to find this title mentioned whenever the topic of greatest Switch exclusives comes up, and it’s not hard to see why. With talent from both Nier: Automata and the Bayonetta series at the wheel, PlatinumGames managed to create another hack and slash gem in this title, but with a wholly different spin on it. It lets you control two characters with the two control sticks, and features an action-adventure structure that's equal parts cop work and fast-paced battles with otherworldly beings.

First announced near the tail end of a Nintendo Direct, it seemed at first like Nintendo was serious about pushing this new title that the company owned the IP to, but beyond that initial high-profile reveal it never got much marketing or media attention and only seemed to reach the more dedicated Nintendo and Platinum fans. Reports that the game was originally envisioned as a trilogy made its modest performance all the more frustrating for those who couldn’t get enough of it. At this point it’s hard to say if another Astral Chain is still a possibility somewhere down the line, but at the very least giving the original a little extra push could be just what this IP needs to break the chains of semi-obscurity.

  

ARMS

Rarely does Nintendo grace us with a new IP complete with an original world and characters, but that’s exactly what it did with ARMS back in the Switch’s very first year on the market. During that early time, when the library was still small, ARMS did alright for itself, but nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody still talking about it. To some, ARMS is perhaps best remembered for swooping in and stealing a fighter’s slot in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after the game had already faded into obscurity, but now that that event itself has faded into obscurity as well, what better time is there for a glorious comeback?

In all seriousness, while ARMS might not have had quite the same level of depth or franchise appeal as the Wii U’s breakout hit Splatoon, it was still a game that had a good deal of effort behind it and there was much more to it than the titular gameplay gimmick might suggest. And with the massive success of later motion-controlled titles like Ring Fit Adventure and Nintendo Switch Sports, there could very well exist an audience for the game among later Switch adopters who quite simply don’t know it exists. This writer at the very least thinks it’s high time for Nintendo to once again put ARMS into the hands of customers.

   

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

After the grand Mario extravaganza that Nintendo held for its main mascot’s 35th anniversary back in 2020, the stage was set for Link to get similar treatment in 2021. But, alas, that didn't happen. While the Mario anniversary brought three classics to the Switch in one neat package, among a slew of other titles and announcements, Zelda fans had to instead settle for a HD version of one game: Skyward Sword. This, combined with sharing the same price as Mario’s three game collection, put a damper on people’s excitement. Sales were by no means bad, they also weren’t great - falling a few million short of Link’s Awakening (2019) (another game that could very well have been featured on this list).

And that was, quite frankly, a shame. While Skyward Sword has its flaws and is considered by some to be the weakest of the 3D entries, it still offers a compelling, unique take on the series and, as always, a grand adventure. Particularly the colorful city of Skyloft and the opening hours make this incarnation special. Link and Zelda’s shared beginnings here make them feel more human and (ironically) more grounded. If the long-speculated Switch ports of Twilight Princess HD and The Wind Waker HD never end up happening it would at least be very welcome if the Zelda classic we did get could reach a few more people.

 

New Pokémon Snap

On a system with arguably too many Pokémon releases, New Pokémon Snap is unique for not only being the follow up to a beloved classic many thought would never happen, but also for being a modern Pokémon title with sprawling environments, visual polish, and (hold on to your hats) actual voice-acting. Despite all this and a generally positive reception from critics, the release of New Pokémon Snap came and went in a flash, and before you knew it people’s attention was fixated elsewhere, owing perhaps to the not one but two Pokémon RPGs already announced and slated for the following winter.

Now that the Switch itself is in its winter years and looking back at a generation that has been plagued by constant controversy surrounding this series, New Pokémon Snap stands out as the one game that wasn’t affected by that; it wasn’t just another scheduled sequel off the assembly line. While perhaps very few people would call it the perfect game, it does have heart, and it deserves another chance in the spotlight.

  

Every Wii U Port Without Mario in the Title

The Wii U had a lot of exclusive games, but not a lot of sales. In the early years it seemed like Nintendo’s goal was to reverse that with the Switch, with every other title being a carry-over from the Wii U. And with one of those carry-overs going on to become the best-selling game on the system, not to mention one of the best-selling games of all-time, one can hardly blame them for that strategy. But that particular game had one important advantage many Wii U ports didn’t: it had Mario in the title.

Far from every Wii U port brought over to the Switch turned into a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or a New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. Whether it was the lack of the iconic Italian plumber or the baffling decision not to put the word Deluxe in the title, most other Wii U ports never achieve the coveted “evergreen” status and had to settle for their (often respectable) initial year of sales before fading from the public eye. But if Nintendo should ever dust off the Selects brand for one more rodeo, what better candidates are there for a steep discount than these titles that have already been released not once, but twice as $60 games.


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11 Comments
xMetroid (on 06 March 2024)

I get why they can keep some prices up, but at some point some games will never expand their audience if you don't reduce the price. Some people might not want to get into pikmin or Metroid for the first time just because their games are full price.

  • +7
CaptainExplosion xMetroid (on 11 March 2024)

Here here!!

  • 0
SanAndreasX (on 06 March 2024)

Skyward Sword HD did fix a few of the obnoxious features of the Wii original, like Fi, and made the controls more accessible. They made it 60 FPS. It actually sold somewhat better on Switch than Wii.

The problem was, the game had a lot of fundamental flaws that were the product of trying to balance out Wii-era design philosophy and appease longtime Zelda fans, and falling short on both counts. It would have taken a full-on remake on the level of RE2/RE4 to address them.

There's a reason why Breath of the Wild was a deliberate 180-degree pivot from SS.

  • +4
Tober SanAndreasX (on 07 March 2024)

a big sticking point of the Wii was there were no dual sticks for full camera control. This is why the world and the dungeon's were designed to 'move forward' reducing needing to Z-target all the time to put the camera behind link. The only open spaces are therefore the sky, swimming and boat that all have slow turning for the camera to catch up. In the HD version you can control the camera, but this obviously does not change the original's game layout.

  • 0
SanAndreasX Tober (on 08 March 2024)

The dungeons were actually the strong point of the game. They forced you to pay attention to your surroundings in a way that earlier games didn't. The world itself was wasted potential, though perhaps inevitable considering the Wii probably couldn't do any better. Tears of the Kingdom more closely resembled what I had hoped SS would be like: A fully realized sky world over a fleshed-out and fully connected surface world where any point could be landed on, which is what the combined maps of Eldin Volcano, Lanaryu Desert, and Faron Woods suggested was the original intent of the designers before the realities of the project got in the way.

There's a lot to like about SS, but it was still a deeply flawed experience.

  • 0
rapsuperstar31 (on 06 March 2024)

I feel like Nintendo did these games a disservice by not having a Nintendo Selects for the first time I believe ever this console generation. Usually after a few years, their games would get re-released as $19.99 or $29.99 Nintendo Selects. I would have picked up a few of these games like Astral Chains and Bayonetta 2 at these prices, but Nintendo has no interest in my or anyone else's money as they just let these games rot and not sell anymore.

  • +4
Leynos (on 06 March 2024)

Love Astral Chain! Yeah Arms is a decent tho watered down version of SEGA's Virtual On.

  • +2
-Adonis- Leynos (on 07 March 2024)

I would have loved to play it on PC.

  • 0
hellobion2 (on 06 March 2024)

I heard so many good things about Pokémon snap

  • +1
CaptainExplosion (on 06 March 2024)

All highly underrated. Except Bayonetta.

  • +1
Mar1217 (on 06 March 2024)

To be frank, I'm expecting Nintendo and Platinum Games to still work on at least a sequel to Astral Chain. It's got its feet anchored in the gaming sphere, making a great iteration on it could probably help this new franchise even more of a public. First game did about 1M which they deemed excellent at the time.

  • 0