What We Want From Nintendo’s Hallmark Franchises On the Switch

Even after Nintendo's eventful Switch presentation, questions remain about the status of some of their most memorable franchises. Will fan favorite series like Animal Crossing, Metroid, and Pikmin show themselves on the switch once again? While we’ve seen hints of these games on the 3DS and Wii U, we can only hope that Nintendo has plans to fully support them with main entry games on their new console.


Pikmin

Pikmin is a franchise that has continued to get better with each installment, from expanding the explorable world, getting more creative with monsters, and expanding Pikmin abilities has made the series incredibly engaging. I can’t pinpoint many obvious ways that Nintendo could improve it, but the one major adjustment that could make Pikmin 4 a big improvement is it’s story.

In Pikmin 1 and 3, your ship crash lands on a planet filled with bountiful resources and dangerous wildlife. A fine story–but it’s not worth retelling with a new spin.

I‘d like to see Pikmin 4 take on some new themes, let’s have other enemies take advantage of the little buggers leading to full on Pikmin on Pikmin war. There is plenty of potential for something different, and I have little doubt that Nintendo will continue to polish this unique strategy game.

So far, Pikmin 4 has been rumored to be ‘nearly complete’ on the Wii U, but outside the new 3DS game coming in 2017 we haven’t heard anything about this franchise lately. Nintendo needs to get more games in the public eye in order for the Switch to be successful. I’m not sure if Pikmin 4 will be a system seller, but it couldn’t hurt to add some more fuel to the fire.

Metroid

Whether it’s a new side scroller or a 3D shooter, Metroid doesn’t need to change from what made it great in games like Metroid Prime and Super Metroid, it just needs to get back to its roots. The more recent entries, like Federation Force and Other M, have abandoned exploration and that cold sci-fi vibe that made Metroid such a memorable experience.

Whatever comes next for Metroid (let’s pray that it’s not a sequel to Federation Force) should put us back in Samus Aran’s shoes. Levels need to have branching paths with freaky alien architecture and run ins with Ridley and space pirate crews.

Now, apparently Metroid Prime 4 may have been teased at the end of Federation Force, whether or not that actually means anything is still up in the air since barely anyone actually bought the game.

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing is a series that I’ve invested more than 500 hours in. And even though I’ve loved this game like it was a part of me, there are plenty of ways it can improve on a new console.

Now this weird life simulator has been far more successful on handhelds, New Leaf and Wild World filled thousands of commutes with fishing, bug hunting, and house designing. Now if we can combine the graphical power, system memory, and online capability of a console with the portability of a handheld, Animal Crossing on the Switch could be the best entry in the series.

From a design standpoint, Animal Crossing could do with a little more substance. So far we’ve seen the same everything from each entry, the same types of furniture, fruit, and interactions with villagers. It’s time to get a lot more mixed in, new furniture sets that have fun interactive components, new items like turnips that add more layers to the game's economy, and more nuances to the games character types so every interaction doesn’t feel like it’s copied and pasted to every word bubble.

Although a new Animal Crossing title has been rumored to be coming out for sometime now, we’ve heard absolutely nothing from the horse's mouth about it. So while we’re are waiting by the phone for a new announcement, nothing is official yet. But new updates to Animal Crossing: New Leaf would hint that Nintendo is ready to add more life to the series.

We know that Super Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Splatoon 2 are the biggest titles headed to the Switch, but that’s pretty much it. While games like ARMS and Snipper Clippers will help win some people over, Nintendo’s other hallmark franchises will need to show up.