It's a weird year for video game consoles. With the next generation of hardware, Microsoft and Sony will not be producing so many big games for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 anymore. Nintendo has already published the main entries for its biggest heavy hitter Zelda and Mario earlier this year. And yet the Nintendo Switch dominates even without these big names the year 2019.
Of course, a large part of the popularity of the switch here has to do with multiplatform titles. Titles such as Steamworld Quest and Dragon Quest Builders 2 can be technically enjoyed elsewhere, but the ability to take these meaty role-playing games anywhere makes the Nintendo Switch versions of the harbors of the ports Choice. Exclusive second-hand suppliers such as Cadence of Hyrule and Tetris 99 have now managed to give old franchisees a rare sense of verve and originality.
Even Nintendo itself did not play around. The Japanese developer has continued to support Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with new characters such as Persona 5 ̵
Following the release of Super Mario Maker 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses perhaps the biggest Flex for Nintendo has unfolded this summer. Free from the constraints of the Wii U, the Super Mario level-building game overtook both YouTube and Twitch, and almost every major gaming personality tried the game. The footage of the game is getting more and more viral, especially because Mario is such an easy-to-understand game – and the multiplayer gimmicks are hilarious . Level developers continue to keep the game up-to-date thanks to numerous new mechanisms. There's no other Mario game like this. While I will never reach a Kaizo level, it was fun to watch seasoned players using new things like the catsuit or the car for hardcore stages.
Fire emblem is currently experiencing a total renaissance. As the franchise turns more and more away from hardcore tactics, it has doubled the character-building aspect, turning the role-playing game into a kind of school simulator this time around. I've spent more time meeting my students than I did in combat, and I would not have it any other way. The effect is that while Three Houses is notoriously simple, almost everyone I know loves it anyway. It helps that the memes for the game are out of this world.
If I Do not Play Three Houses I'm probably going down a rabbit hole with jokes on the Internet about the fire emblem. One of my favorite pastimes is simply to look for a random character on Twitter or Tumblr, since each has a dedicated army of fanatics. Even characters that I did not like at first have become favorites thanks to the fandom. I have not seen anything like this since Overwatch except that Fire Emblem is not just mere bits of garbage. The story and the interplay of the different characters is the whole point. Three Houses is doing everything to make sure it hurts if you have to kill former allies later in the game. It is so effective that it is difficult to break from Fire Emblem though the world informs me that there are a number of cool new games to try.
Even older games with zero new content will be alive and well in 2019. After the announcement of Breath of the Wild 2 many people have resumed the first game. Many were undoubtedly not finished yet and now had a good excuse to reenter. Others, meanwhile, were curious to examine existing evidence that might give us an idea of where the franchise will lead next. Breath of the Wild however, reveals the difference of being a game forever, similar to Grand Theft Auto 5 and Skyrim . You can choose any one of these titles immediately after playing them endlessly in the past and still find something exciting to explore. In fact, there is a class of Breath of the Wild players who seem to turn on the game almost every day and somehow still find things that no one has ever seen before, such as Sidon rides everywhere.
The wildest of all is that Nintendo is not finished. Astral Chain PlatinumGames' stylish new action title has not been released for a few days – and we already know it's great. Despite the controversy, Pokémon Sword and Shield continue to delight in every new monster the Game Freak unveils. The Link's Awakening remake looks like the sweetest thing in the world, and I'm curious that Luigis Mansion 3 goes back to the roots of the franchise. I am surprised to admit that even a Mario and Sonic game has upset me thanks to the ridiculous and silly footage that has been released so far.
Without wanting to, 2019 is the year of the Nintendo Switch – and I enjoy seeing Nintendo back at the top of its game.