Top Nintendo Switch Games of December 2017
We’re a few days into 2018 but before we look ahead into the 2nd year of Nintendo’s hybrid console, let’s look back into the last top releases of its first year. December 2017 wasn’t really that jam-packed for the Switch in terms of major releases but it did still see a lot of good minor ones. So without further ado, here are the top Nintendo Switch Games of December 2017.
Author’s Note: Games included were those that received generally good reviews from critics and gamers alike.
Major Game Releases and Ports
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is perhaps the biggest release for the Switch in December. It is a sequel to the much loved and praised Xenoblade Chronicles which was first released on the Nintendo Wii then ported to the New Nintendo 3DS later on. Despite being a sequel though, the game has an entirely different story and background as this time players take control of Rex who travels the world with his friend Pyra in search of Elysium, the ultimate paradise for humanity.
The game takes cues from the original as it is still an ARPG or action role-playing game, where players take control of the main protagonist from a party of three. It still employs an open world design, where players can freely roam the lands and a day and night setting which also affects certain events, quests, and more. One exciting mechanic of the game is its blade system, which are characters that transform into weapons. These blades can be obtained as random drops during exploration and battles, adding a bit of collecting and farming into the game.
It has received fairly good insights, praise, and reviews mainly due to its music, graphics and overall story. Although it still fell short of beating or even catching up to its predecessor. Nevertheless, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still touted as one of the best ARPG’s of its generation. If you are a fan of ARPGs then be sure to check it out physically at DataBlitz or iTech/GameOnePH for Php 2,895 or digitally at Nintendo’s e-shop for $59.99 (~Php 2,990).
Despite being announced way back into the early days of the Nintendo Switch, only recently did Yooka-Laylee got released to the hybrid console. It was made possible due to Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing platform, where the developers got a record-breaking €2 million in funding. The game is a third person platformer, similar to games like the classic Super Mario’s and Rayman, where players can take control of a male chameleon named Yooka and a female bat named Laylee as they travel together solving puzzles and defeating enemies. The game features an open world design and an in-game currency in the form of golden book pages dubbed “Pagies”, this is the currency that players would use to unlock additional stages and more content.
It’s more than your average platformer though, as both Yooka and Layle have special abilities that players could use. These abilities have a power meter that is filled by collecting butterflies, which can also be eaten to restore health and can be purchased using quills from an NPC named Trowzer. Other than that, there are collectibles called Mollycools that allow Yooka and Laylee to attain different transformations with exclusive abilities, Play Tonics which are RPG style ability modifiers, Ghost writers who are collectible characters that provide challenges and Play Tokens which are used to play secret arcade games.
The game features 2-player local co-op and 2-4 player adversarial local multiplayer with eight different mini-games. It received fairly good reviews from critics and gamers alike for its expansive levels and colorful design, although some criticized it for being outdated and unoriginal due to its homage to previous platformers. If you wish to run, jump, and whack as a chameleon or bat with a friend or otherwise, then head on over to Nintendo’s e-shop for a digital copy of the game priced at $39.99 (~Php 1,994).
Minor Game Releases and Ports
SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
First released on the Nintendo 3DS e-shop in 2015 and to other platforms the year after, SteamWorld Heist finally received it’s debut on the Switch last December. This version of the game, however, also includes the “The Outsider” campaign, which was previously only available as a DLC (Downloadable Content). The game itself is a turn-based strategy shooter and is the third installment of the SteamWorld franchise, the last being SteamWorld Dig. The game puts players in command of a team of steam-driven robots as they board enemy ships and destroy rival factions in turn-based shootouts. Players take control of aiming their team’s firearms in order to win battles.
As players progress through the content, they would be given the opportunity to upgrade and customize their robots. After finishing the game players will gain access to the “New Game+” feature, which restarts the game but in a much more difficult setting.
It has received generally good reviews from critics and players. If you’re the kind of person that loves shooters and robots then be sure to check SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition over at Nintendo’s e-shop where you can get a digital copy for $19.99 (~Php 996).
Crawl first saw the light of day in Steam Early Access back in 2014 for Windows, OS X, and Linux and got its official release in April last year for those three platforms as well as for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On December 2017, it has “crawled” its way into the Nintendo Switch. The game features a mix of rogue like, brawler, and bullet hell elements and has both single-player and offline multiplayer modes.
In the game, players are given control of a hero who must traverse randomly generated dungeons while fighting monsters and avoiding traps in order to reach the final level to face off against the Final boss. During single-player the monsters and traps are controlled by bots and AI. The game shines, however, in multiplayer where the main player controls the hero and the others control the monsters and traps as spirits. The spirit player who kills the hero will swap places with the main player. As players progress through the game they’ll earn experience for both the hero and spirit roles. Hero experience allows players to unlock new spells and abilities while spirit experience allows players to employ more powerful monsters. What’s good about this is that hero experience carry over between turns so even if a player gets killed, the next time they control the hero all the spells and abilities they’ve unlocked would still be there.
The game ends once the hero reaches the last level and defeats the final boss who is cooperatively controlled by all the spirit players. It has received generally excellent reviews with players and critics branding it as the go-to couch game for the Switch and one of the best co-op games for the hybrid console. If you’d love to have heart-pumping action and adrenaline rush gameplay with your friends then head on over to Nintendo’s e-shop and get a digital copy of the game for $14.99 (~ Php 747).
Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon was first released on Windows, OS X, Linux, and PlayStation 4 on April 2016 with the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions following a year later. It employs bullet hell and rogue-like elements and features single-player and 2-player co-op modes. The game follows four protagonists as they venture deep into the Gungeon in search of a legendary gun that could kill the past. Players will choose one among these four protagonists, each with their own unique sets of abilities, to descend the Gungeon.
Once players proceed to the Gungeon, they would have to go through multiple floors with a set of random rooms. While the rooms are pre-defined, everything else from the monsters to the items, are procedurally generated. At the end of each floor, players must face off with a boss that, upon defeat, grants a gun or an item and currency to spend at shops and unlock subsequent floors. As players complete playthroughs, they may encounter non-playable characters (NPC) that can be rescued. Once rescued, players can use in-game currency obtained from previous boss fights to permanently unlock special item drops that will have a chance of appearing in the Gungeon throughout the next playthroughs.
The game received fairly high reviews from critics and good feedback from players as the game offers good replay value and overall fun gameplay, although it has been criticized for being too difficult at times. If you’re up for a good ol’ fashion bullet hell dungeon crawler then head on over to Nintendo’s e-shop to get a digital copy of the game for $14.99 (~ Php 747).
The Next Penelope
The Next Penelope is a racing arcade game first released in 2015 for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Last December, it zoomed its way into the Nintendo Switch. The game adopts the Greek myth of Penelope and Odysseus, only this time instead of waiting for Odysseus to return Penelope decides to step out into the galaxy on a spaceship to search for her husband.
The gameplay is quite unique in that the players not only do racing but also battle in a free roam map and they are given new powers as they progress through the story, in a tri-part questing style. The first stage in an area introduces the new power of Penelope’s spaceship to the player followed by two stages to test and master this power — a race against suitors and a boss fight. Another unique aspect of the game is that each power costs “shield energy”, which is essentially your hit points, to cast which means players would have to balance between using these powers and conserving their energy. The stages do provide players with recharge points though and also riddles the stages with mines which can be used to the player’s advantage. After finishing the game players are given the chance to go on bonus missions for extended gameplay.
The Next Penelope also offers local multiplayer, where 4 players face off against each other as Penelope’s suitors. It has received generally favorable reviews from critics praising it for its overall gameplay and excellent adaptation of shump (Shoot em up) and racing mechanics, although it was criticized for being a little too short. In any case, if you wish to blast your way through space on a spaceship and relive an ancient Greek mythology in sci-fi style then be sure to give this game a try. The Next Penelope is available digitally at Nintendo’s e-shop for $12.99 (~ Php 647).
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is a 2D ARPG (action role-playing game) that takes its cues from the Zelda games of old. The game follows the story of Lily, a fledging Orchid Knight on a mission to save his king who has been cast into a deep slumber by his evil wizard brother. It pretty much plays like the old school 2D games we’ve seen and grew up with — it features puzzle solving, boss fights, and equipment hunting.
Players don’t get to live through Lily’s adventures outright though, as it is relayed to them by a grandfather telling the story to his two granddaughters. While it doesn’t affect the story directly, this adds a twist in the gameplay where players get to choose the monsters or puzzles they’ll tackle as the two granddaughters bicker over Lily’s encounter. It has a short, since the game only has four full dungeons and relatively quick and easy side quests, yet fun playthrough.
The game doesn’t really offer anything new to the table when compared to the Zelda games of yore but it does offer a chance for players, who have been yearning for that classic 2D Zelda experience on the Switch, to relive their childhood. The game has received high praise from critics and gamers for paying good homage to classic 2D games and providing its own colorful twists to the genre. If you wish to walk down memory lane with Lily then head on over to Nintendo’s e-shop to get a digital copy of the game for $14.99 (~ Php 747).
And that’s about it for the top games that were released during the last month of the previous year. If you think we missed anything, then be sure to hit us up in the comments section below. Join us again at the end of the month as we take a look at the first batch of games that’ll get released on Nintendo’s hybrid console.