The Prediction Train Never Stops
Another week, another Nintendo Direct it feels like. Hot off the heels of Nintendo’s 3.8.2018 Direct (check out our predictions and post-impressions), the Big N has announced a new Direct for Tuesday highlighting upcoming Nintendo Switch indies (aka “Nindies”). This marks the third “Nindies Showcase” for the Switch, the first having broadcasted in February 2017 and the second in August 2017.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 16, 2018
With the previous two Nindies Showcases clocking in at 18 and 22 minutes, respectively, Tuesday’s Showcase is bound to be short but sweet. With this in mind, here are five short but sweet predictions about what we can expect on Tuesday.
Hollow Knight Finally, Finally Gets a Release Date
The last two times I predicted (here and here) we’d get a release date for Hollow Knight, I was sorely mistaken. As it turns out, development on the Switch port had been taking longer than expected, and in November 2017 the game was officially pushed to 2018.
Well… it’s 2018. The way I see it, there’s really only two possibilities for Australian developer Team Cherry: 1) They announce a release date for Spring 2018 on Tuesday, or 2) They wait until E3 or the Nindies Showcase this summer to give a Fall 2018 window.
While I hope Hollow Knight is coming sooner rather than later, at this point I don’t want to rush it out. The game looks great, and the fact that we’re getting two DLC packs, Hidden Dreams and The Grimm Troupe, bundled in at launch assures me that the Switch port will be worth the wait. Throw in several performance tweaks and an impressive 60 fps framerate, and it’s hard to be bitter about all the delays.
Still, my fingers are crossed we finally get a date during Tuesday’s Nindies Showcase. I need Christopher Larkin’s brilliant soundtrack on my Switch asap.
Travis Strikes Again Gets Extended Trailer, No More Heroes 1 & 2 Remaster Announced
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes was already shown off during the 3.8.2018 Direct a week and a half ago. During the game’s trailer, we saw a sampling of the seven different games Travis Touchdown will play through, including an action brawler, a tile-based puzzler, and an arcade racer.
While the trailer satisfied my appetite at the time, I’m dying to see more. Although I suspect Suda51 and developer Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. want to refrain from sharing all seven of the game modes leading up to the game’s launch, that isn’t to say they couldn’t share more on the game’s structure or story. The game’s top-down nature and eclectic boss designs immediately call to mind 2016’s phenomenal brawler Furi, and I’d love to hear more about the game’s world, characters, and controls.
A release date would also be nice, and although it’s far-fetched that Nintendo would save an announcement like that for the Nindies Showcase (they had a perfect opportunity to share the date back on March 8), it wouldn’t be totally out of left-field, especially if Travis Strikes Again gets a meaty segment all to its own on Tuesday.
That leads me to my second point. If, like me, you’re going into Travis Strikes Back blind because you never played No More Heroes 1 or 2 on the Wii, it would be incredible to have the chance to do so with a Switch remastered collection. If Bayonetta 1 and 2 could get the treatment under extremely similar circumstances, I don’t see why Nintendo and Suda couldn’t do the same for Travis Touchdown.
This is more wishful thinking than a prediction I’m confident in. However, that doesn’t diminish how awesome it’d be to have this happen. At the very least, it makes a lot more sense than most of the games getting remastered and rebooted these days (I’m looking at you, Bubsy).
Chucklefish Provides Updates on Pocket Rumble and WarGroove, Hints at Witchbrook on Switch
While most of the games from Nintendo’s original Nindies Showcase have since released for the Switch, two notable games without clear release dates come from British publisher and developer Chucklefish. The first, Pocket Rumble, is a Chucklefish-published 2D fighting game that first released on Steam in 2016. The second, WarGroove, is an original turn-based strategy game developed and published by Chucklefish that screams Advance Wars. While neither title is a huge shaker in the world of Switch games, it seems about time for Chucklefish to slap dates on both and ship ’em out in time for the summer.
More interesting, perhaps, is Chucklefish’s newest title, a wizard sim and role-playing game titled Witchbrook (originally “Project Spellbound”). While details are scarce on this Harry Potter-inspired, Stardew Valley-esque title, we know the game is in development for Windows PC with no release date. Perhaps we could get a nod at the game coming to Nintendo Switch?
It’s a complete longshot to think Witchbrook would be mentioned at Tuesday’s Nindies Showcase. However, it’s clear that Chucklefish has a good working relationship with Nintendo, with founder Finn Brice telling Red Bull, “We’re all massive fans of the Switch at Chucklefish, and would ideally see all of our major projects hitting the platform in the future.” A subtle reaffirmation that Witchbrook could come to Switch in the near future would be a great way to cap off a Chucklefish portion of the video presentation.
Super Meat Boy Forever and Shovel Knight: King of Cards Get Dated for the Summer
If Pocket Rumble and WarGroove are two titles that have been neglected by Nintendo since the initial Nindies Showcase, then Super Meat Boy Forever and Shovel Knight: King of Cards are two that have been neglected since the Summer 2018 one.
Super Meat Boy Forever is the sequel to the legendary (and brutally difficult) platformer Super Meat Boy. I had the chance to play Forever at Paris Games Week 2017 and walked away very impressed. With any luck, we should get more information on the title at Tuesday’s Direct. Even better, hopefully we’ll get a release date for this summer.
King of Cards is the third and final expansion for Shovel Knight. It’s a little crazy to think that Shovel Knight released back in 2014 (2014!), and yet the people at Yacht Club Games are still working to fulfill their lofty Kickstarter promises. While I admire the team’s commitment to delivering on what they set out to do, I’m also sure they’re looking forward to finally being done with Shovel Knight for the time being.
Who knows? Perhaps we’ll get a hint of the team’s next project after Shovel Knight at this Direct. Perhaps it’ll even be a collaboration with Nintendo! I know, I’m jumping the gun here. Still, it’s exciting to think about the prospect of Yacht Club working on something brand new. At the very least, I think there’s a good chance we get release details for King of Cards on Tuesday. As with Super Meat Boy Forever, I’m hoping for a summer release.
And while King of Cards may be the final expansion for Shovel Knight, that’s not to say that the franchise is gone for good. I have a good feeling about the blue knight’s chances of making it into the new Super Smash Bros. game for Switch—that Amiibo was stylish, after all. If “Shovel Knight in Smash” isn’t announced during Tuesday’s Nindies Showcase (it won’t be), then at E3 2018 for sure. I’m calling it now.
Well-Received Indies Into the Breach and Iconoclasts Coming to Switch
It’s probably too early to be thinking of Switch ports of recent indies released in 2018, but you know what? Let’s dream.
Into the Breach and Iconoclasts are both excellent candidates for the Switch port treatment. Into the Breach, released last month, is the follow-up to the hugely successful roguelike FTL: Faster Than Light. With the game currently out only on Windows PC (with Mac and Linux versions on the way), the Switch would be the perfect next home for this isometric turn-based strategy game.
Iconoclasts, meanwhile, released back in January on PlayStation 4 and Vita. While reviews were solid (I had a great time with it back at PAX East 2017), the game hasn’t seemed to have reached the large audience it deserves. If ported to Switch, however, that could change dramatically in the coming months.
There are other great games that are worthy of coming to Switch, of course; these are just the tip of the iceberg. By the time Tuesday’s Nindies Showcase rolls around, we should have a lot more clarity as to what’s coming and what’s not for the rest of 2018.
How’d I do? Agree with my predictions? Disagree? Share your own predictions for the Nindies Showcase below in the comments.
The Nindies Showcase airs at 12pm EST on Nintendo’s YouTube channel. You can watch it here.