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There is a lot to look forward to leading up to 2018 as Nintendo has quite a few releases coming for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch. Already we’ve seen some awesome releases including Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Metroid: Samus Returns and more recently Mario & Luigi Super Star Saga + Bowser’s Minions.

At a recent Holiday preview event, I had a chance to get some hands-on time with a few upcoming titles including Super Mario Odyssey (I needed my fix even after playing it at E3 and the recent Mario Odyssey Tour), Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario Party the Top 100, Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition, Doom, Skyrim, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Rocket League. Honestly, If I wasn’t already excited for what’s coming in the next few weeks I am now with just how much use my Switch will be getting in the next few months.

I’ve been pretty fortunate to play Super Mario Odyssey a few times now, honestly the game looks and plays amazing. It feels like Nintendo decided to take Mario in such a great direction while expanding the success of titles like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. It’s not over the top and the addition of Cappy is pretty awesome. While the build I played was the exact one they had at E3, I can never get enough of enjoying New Donk City and the Desert Oasis the build shown at the Mario Odyssey Tour has my ready to really explore the world and setting of the game.

Best of all Super Mario Odyssey comes out this Friday complete with new Mario, Peach and Bowser Amiibo in wedding attire!

Another game I’ve been extremely excited for is Fire Emblem Warriors. There isn’t much to say other than while I love the Fire Emblem series at a Tactical Role-Playing Game I’ve been enjoying how Tecmo Koei Games has been not only incorporating their Dynasty Warriors Engine to various series including Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes II, more importantly they’ve done it in a ways that really highlights and brings out the strengths of the IP. While I did play the game just a few days before it was released, you can read my full review of the game here.

What can I say about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch and Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition. Both are games I’ve played multiple times across different systems, both are solid and fun games that are great to play on the go. I didn’t spend too much time on Minecraft but I imagine my little cousins will enjoy playing the game all over again since they love their 2DS systems but Skyrim is a game I may revisit once again just to travel the continent of Tamriel decked out in Link’s Breath of the Wild costume and see what else my amiibo’s will unlock for me.

Me and my friends always joke that Mario Party is one of those games that destroy friendships. We love the mini games but man when we get into it, we become pretty ruthless to destroy each other and win! Luckily, Mario Party Top 100 looks like the perfect game where we can get pretty competitive and win thanks to just playing mini games and seeing who is better. With three different modes: Decathalon, Minigame Match, and Championship Battles you face off in various mini-games from past Mario Party games.

While I was only able to play against three different CPU opponents in a couple of different minigames, I look forward to facing off against my friends. Better yet only one of us needs the cart to face off against each other since the game supports download play so that up to four players can play with only one cart.

Mario Party: The Top 100 launches on the Nintendo 3Ds on November 10th.

I was only able to spend a short amount of time playing Doom and Rocket League since I really wanted to spend as much time on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as I could. Doom is a game that is still to this day on my need to play list, I haven’t had much time to really enjoy the game on my home console so I was quite impressing seeing Doom run so well on the Nintendo Switch. The game looks very impressive and runs smooth, so I feel pretty happy know I can enjoy the full game experience on the go when it releases in November. It’s perfect with all the Holiday traveling I’ll be doing if I’m still not hooked on Super Mario Odyssey.

As for Rocket League, it’s a game I play randomly with my friends. It’s something fun to do on occasions and being able to face-off or partner up with a friend locally is a nice change of pace. You can still play online and take on other players even if they own the Xbox or PC version of the game which is nice especially if I can face off against them in my Nintendo themed Car. More importantly the game looks great and runs smooth so you won’t have any problems.

Rocket League will launch later this Holiday.

Finally, I got to spend a fair amount of time with one of my most anticipated games of Winter 2017…Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I’ve been a big fan of developer Monolith Soft since before it was formed in 2002 when founder Tetsuya Takahashi and his wife Kaori Tanaka (also known as Soraya Saga) worked on Xenogears back at Square Enix. After leaving the two would later form Monolith Soft with other ex Square employees and develop the Xenosaga trilogy, Namco X Capcom (as well as Project X Zone I & II) and the Baten Kaitos series to name a few.

For fans who enjoyed the previous Xenoblade Chronicles games, there is a lot to look forward to in this title with a refined battle system. While I was only able to scratch the surface of the game and was only to play through a very small section of the game filled with dangerous beasts. Learning to pick your battles is important because at any moment and nearby create may decide to jump into your current battle and attack you, as you find yourself surrounded. Being able to learn how to set-up combos is important as you switch between your various “Blades” and inputting the right commands to activate devastating increase the damage multiplier and powerful attacks with some pretty awesome animations is key to surviving. It’s not easy but once you get the hang of it it’s fun.

Visually the game looks very impressive on the Nintendo Switch, which isn’t a surprise seeing as how Xenoblade Chronicles X looked great on the Nintendo Wii U. With the previous games in the series featuring more than 100+ hours of gameplay that lets you fully explore vast locations, this is easily one game that will leave my spending all of December on my Nintendo Switch.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 releases on December 1st.

On a really cool note, is that it was Satoru Iwata who gave Xenoblade Chronicles its name in honor of Takahashi’s previous works of both Xenogears and Xenosaga with the game’s original name being Monado: Beginning of the World.

The only game I was surprised that wasn’t available to preview was the upcoming Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon which releases on November 17th.  Overall, Nintendo has such a strong line up from both 1st party and 3rd party developers on the Nintendo Switch this holiday season that it’s impossible not to have a game your looking forward to playing.