There's no doubt that 2017 has been a fantastic year for Nintendo. With the new year just around the corner, it's time to look back and go over some of the best Switch games released this month.
There’s no point in dodging the fact that Brawlout bears a striking resemblance to the Super Smash Bros. series. It plays very similarly to Nintendo’s already massively popular fighting game franchise, but trust me, that’s a good thing. With a colorful mix of original and franchised characters from other indie games, Brawlout doesn’t hold back on fast-paced action. In fact, It removes the incentive for using defensive strategies by entirely ditching the ability to block and emphasizes on all-out attack.
With up to four players on the screen, matches can definitely start to feel frantic pretty quickly - especially while playing against opponents, or CPU matched to your skill level. Brawlout does offer a single player mode, but I guess that most players will likely spend the majority of their time in the games online and local multiplayer modes.
4. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Blossom Tales is a retro-inspired action/adventure game that takes many of its cues from one of the worlds most highly praised and critically acclaimed SNES games of all time: The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past. Its unabashed resemblance to the highly praised 1991 retro gem shines through not only in its pixel-perfect graphics but also in its elegant yet straightforward gameplay mechanics.
You play as Lily, a Knight of the Rose in the Kingdom of Blossom. Throughout your adventure, you’ll find plenty of mini-games and puzzles in which you’ll be able to take part in to earn rewards to upgrade your character. Not to mention, the game rewards players who enjoy stumbling off the beaten path with plenty of heart pieces and magic upgrades hidden all around the world.
Blossom Tales is a refreshing new take on a classic formula and stands out as a charming love letter to one of Nintendo’s most beloved and cherished franchises. So if you’re looking for a highly polished 2D Zelda experience with a modern twist to it, then you’re definitely going to want to check this one out.
3. Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is a procedurally generated, roguelike, twin-stick shooter that does an outstanding job of keeping your trigger-finger warm while providing a challenging yet highly addictive adventure along the way. Each of the four playable Gungeoneers offers a different set of skills and load outs that allow for different play experiences and cater to your preferred style of Gungeon Crawling.
While traveling through the Gungeon, you’ll stumble upon many multiple times and weapon types that are sure to keep things interesting. Everything ranging from standard pistols and shotguns to AK-47’s and Rocket Launchers. However, the deeper you go down the Gungeon, the crazier the weapons get. It probably won’t take too long before you find yourself using a literal shotgun shell that fires actual shotguns as your primary weapon. If you are in the market for an excellent roguelike, then Enter The Gungeon is a must buy on Switch.
2. Yooka Laylee
Just like many of the iconic 3D platformers from the 64-bit era, Yooka-Laylee follows a familiar and much-appreciated formula. You have your hub world, which acts as a sprawling maze that teaches you the basic mechanics before allowing you to really stretch your legs in a handful of vast and colorful stages.
Each of the game's stages are packed with numerous quests that you’ll need to complete before advancing through the story. From minecart challenges that harken back to Donkey Kong Country to some fun and clever boss fights against giant enemies brimming with personality, each one challenges you to master a handful of Yooka’s abilities.
Yooka Laylee plays like a game that came straight out of the late 90’s, but with all the quality improvements of modern gaming, which ultimately makes it a refreshing blend of new and old. If you haven’t played it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out on Switch.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the latest release in Monolith’s loosely associated series of role-playing games. Similarly to the Final Fantasy franchise, many of Xenoblades gameplay mechanics carry over to each release in the series. However, each game holds its own original story.
Battles have an engaging rhythm to accompany the many layers of complexity they hold, and the game has more than enough variety to encourage exploration. Not to mention, the storyline itself is pretty compelling. There's a considerable amount of game to be played here, and plenty of Switch owners will probably be busy spending time with this massive JRPG well into 2018. It’s the kind of game that really lets you play at your own pace.
You can jump straight into the main story quest and blaze straight through it, or you can take your time acquiring news blades and completing the plethora of side quests I the game. If you’ve been waiting for a meaty JRPG to dig your teeth into on Switch - look no further than Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
So those are my top 5 Nintendo Switch games for the month of December, But I want to hear what games you’ve been playing this month. Did I miss any good ones on my list? Let me know in the comments down below!
For more on Nintendo, check out our Nintendo Voice Chat 2017 Year in Review.
Filip is IGN's Nintendo Editor.Find him on Twitter @filipmiucin