Recently, we looked at how the 3DS still has plenty of great games to play in 2018. The same can’t be said of the Wii U, a console Nintendo cut their losses on some time ago. Yet, the Wii U is still giving Nintendo Switch players plenty of joy, as Nintendo brings over the software highlights that would otherwise be trapped on the quirky system. We’ve seen it done with much success already – look at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which has sold over 7 million copies – and more is on the way, as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is scheduled for a Switch release in May. Despite these fantastic choices, there are plenty more Wii U games that would be easy wins and buy Nintendo development time on new entries in their beloved series. Let’s take a look at 6 of them, or rather, Captain Toad and 5 other games to bring over afterwards. Let’s just get Captain Toad on Switch, OK?
I regularly get urges to play Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, but I just know that the moment I play through it, a Switch edition will be confirmed. Sod’s law, y’know? This isn’t just my personal fanaticism talking, as Captain Toad would be a brilliant fit for the Switch. It was unexpectedly revealed at E3 2014 as a title that expanded upon the Captain Toad side puzzles in Super Mario 3D World, giving us a complete adventure starring the loveable Captain. He has no specific weapons and can’t even jump, but will find a way through hostile environments because he is just that great a guy. The bite-size nature of the levels makes them ideal for the handheld play Nintendo’s new hybrid allows; you could just imagine yourself loading up your Switch, playing a level, and then jumping out again. Come on Nintendo, get this game on Switch – and give Captain Toad a slot on the Smash Bros. roster, yeah?
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
An obscure game on an obscure console, but if what my Tanuki Bridge co-writer Demelza Ward had to say is to be believed, also a very good game. I am one of the large crowd that hasn’t played this game, but I believe a new audience would be interested in picking it up on Switch – an audience that has bought into a massive JRPG in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (which has sold over 1 million copies since launching in December). Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a crossover between two much-loved franchises, Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem, creating a JRPG with many Persona-like elements. You can summon unique magical elements through each character, and the focus on relationships is very Persona-like, even if it comes from the Fire Emblem side of this crossover. We see a lot of talk of Persona 5 being a great fit for the Switch, but that is so heavily tied to PlayStation – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE could be the game to fill that slot. I know I’d jump in.
Super Mario 3D World
I try to be understanding, I really do, but when 3D World is glossed over in the discussion of greatest 3D Mario games it is hard to keep quiet. The 3D Mario of the Wii U is an utterly phenomenal continuation of the series, full of creativity and inspiration around every corner. It deserves a 2nd chance for appreciation – the huge fanbase of Super Mario Odyssey could snap this up and revel in how exceptional it is; while Odyssey exploited Cappy for numerous clever puzzles, 3D World just constantly throws amazing ideas at you. Take the Double Cherry power-up, which creates copies of Mario for eccentric results, or the signature Cat Mario, which gives the plumber a level of traversal ability unlike we’ve seen before (it’s almost like how Breath of the Wild gave Link climbing, but to a slightly lesser degree). A Switch version needs to happen, to educate gamers to this masterpiece.
What a joyfully-realised game Pikmin 3 is. Growing on everything the first two titles did, and subtly using the Wii U GamePad to enhance the real-time strategy gameplay, Pikmin 3 was a dependably excellent game all the way through. The problem it had was how much rode on it at the time; Wii U struggled with a massive draught of major software releases in the first year, so when Pikmin 3 came along in July (more than half a year after the launch of the console) Nintendo fans were looking to it to be something special. It was certainly a fantastic game, but wasn’t ever going to save the Wii U; Pikmin 3 is the kind of game that would excel as a pleasant surprise hit between behemoth releases – which is exactly what it can be on Switch. Bundle all of the well-executed DLC in, and you’ve got a really worthwhile package for newcomers. Also, this has the best-looking fruit you’ll ever see in a video game. That is reason enough to play.
Super Smash Bros.
Of all of the games on this list, surely this is the easiest win for Nintendo? Take Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, merge the exclusive modes and stages of each into one package, include all of the DLC characters and stages, add Captain Toad too, and sell a gazillion units. There isn’t much else to say here! Nintendo is also launching their paid online service in September, so a major online-focused game such as Smash Bros. would be ideal to persuade audiences to sign up. Perhaps the only thing that could stop this happening is if Nintendo would prefer to commit to a fully new Smash Bros. game, but going by previous entries that would take years of development. Switch owners are already getting restless, you know…
Super Mario Maker
Super Mario Maker, like Super Smash Bros., seems a straightforward sell on Switch. However, the Wii U has a rare trump card over Switch for a game like this in the form of the GamePad. The ease of constructing levels using the stylus and touch functionality of the second screen is part of what rose Super Mario Maker to the top of the level-construction genre; the game was released on 3DS as well, which is again a dual-screen system. Nintendo would likely find a way to make it work on Switch, whether it is just flipping between menus on one screen or some other UI wizardry – either way, after the success of the Wii U and 3DS versions, we’re inevitably going to see Super Mario Maker appear again in some form. With more consoles sold than the Wii U already, an even bigger community could be created on Switch, and with it another feather in the online cap of Nintendo. They need reasons for people to pay for online, and this could be another one.
The Wii U didn’t light the world on fire, but it did get plenty of top-tier software releases, and it would be a great shame if the effort that went into them couldn’t reach the enormous audience that the Switch is tapping into. For the sake of gamers everywhere, let’s show them that the Wii U had a lot of highs amongst the lows, and give us even more great games to play on the Switch. We all win out of this scenario.
(Look, just work on getting Captain Toad over first Nintendo. The other 5 choices here are supplementary, and to make it look like I think of games other than Captain Toad.)