Everything You Need to Know About the Current & Upcoming Fighting Games on the Switch

Read and learn about what the Nintendo Switch has to offer to one of gaming's most fanatical genres.

We've just been hit with an influx of fighting games released for the Nintendo Switch. While they're definitely not expected to make quite the same impact as Breath of the Wild or Just Dance, I'm eager to get my hands on more of these and see how the sales perform.

Nintendo has classically been about more cartoonish, platformer-like fighters—like Super Smash Bros.—but these games aren't like that at all. Their success (or failure) could mean a lot to the future of a genre that has a cult-like fanbase behind it. So what is this new round of fighters bringing to the Switch? And what can we expect from upcoming fighting games for the console? Let's find out!

Many of them are remastered versions of timeless classics.

Nintendo seemed to make it a major priority to kick off the Switch's arsenal of fighters in a foolproof way: rehashing legendary titles that probably can't fail. Nostalgic fans are going to flock to releases of games from Capcom and SNK just like it's 2001 all over again.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is the Switch's premiere title of this type.

Street Fighter II has been remade, enhanced, remastered, and rehashed more times than I can count. For some reason, it still feels right though. Capcom played it safe with USF2, marketing it as a nostalgic re-release of a game that still gets played competitively today. It's been 25 years, but it's still going strong.

If you've yet to, check out its official trailer:

USF2 comes with beautiful HD graphics, yet still offers the SD style that many of us know and love. It comes with multiplayer features that allow you to fight against or with your friends locally. It blew my mind to hear that this game would also have competitive, ranked online play. It's not just a lazy remake or a cash grab by Capcom. They're really fleshing this out into a true revitalization of the game. I'm happy to see it go down this route.

Another series that stands the test of time is SNK's King of Fighters.

KoF never got the recognition that it truly deserved in comparison to games like Steet Fighter, Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom, etc. King of Fighters was originally a Neo Geo series, but eventually was ported and remade on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. This really brought it out and introduced technical, flavorful fighting characters like Kyo and Terry to the masses.

King of Fighters '98 is arguably the best of the series, and it dropped on March 3rd. About two weeks later, we went even further back in time for the release of King of Fighters '94. These games don't have any sort of online play, so the appeal from these titles will probably come from nostalgia and the retro gameplay.

And a few others...

Additional titles of this same style on the Switch right now are Waku Waku 7, a 2D fighter from 1995, and World Heroes Perfect, an underrated 1995 arcade game that eventually came to the Sega Saturn and PlayStation 2.

All of the inexpensive fighting games have been released already.

Nintendo already unloaded on us with several less-than-$10 fighters from this batch, so you can go out and get many of these games right now:

Title Release Date Price
Arms Q2 2017 $59.99
Untitled BazBlue game TBA TBA
The King of Fighters '94 March 16, 2017 $7.99
The King of Fighters '98 March 9, 2017 $7.99
Pocket Rumble March 2017 $9.99
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers May 26, 2017 $39.99
Waku Waku 7 March 9, 2017 $7.99
World Heroes Perfect March 9, 2017 $7.99

Of the three remaining, only the aforementioned USF2 is a remade title. Arms and the BazBlue game are going to be originals, and are rumored to be exclusive to the Switch. Before you go and snatch these up though, know what you're getting yourself into.

There's going to be a barrier to entry.

The Switch's controllers, the Joy-Cons, only have analog sticks. If you've ever watched a competitive fighting tournament, you'll notice that no one is playing on an analog stick. They're playing on a fighting stick, gamepad, or in some cases directional pads. The analog stick just doesn't offer the level of precision needed in these technical fighting games. That'a an issue.

If you've taken a look at the accessories and controller for the Switch, you know they aren't cheap. Nintendo is offering Pro Controllers (for $70) which do have a directional pad, as well as better grips and shoulder buttons. That's $300 for the Switch, $40 for a game like USF2, and $70 for a controller that actually gives you the proper experience. You're now entering the world of a fighting game player. It's an expensive hobby.

It's a wonder why Nintendo decided to take in some of the most hardcore, technical fighting game titles from the past without peripherals that ship with the console to really support them. It might work out though, and I'm willing to give it a chance.

It's not just the cash investment that's worth considering, though. You're going to have to invest a lot of time into these games to truly appreciate, enjoy, and master them. Be patient. It's worth it.

Give fighting games on the Switch some time to "get it right."

The Switch is rolling out with remade fighting games from the '90s that were designed for entirely different consoles with entirely different controllers. Take this first batch of games as a throwback experience and chance to get acclimated with the Switch.

While you and I are playing these, developers around the world are working hard to come up with brilliant, original fighting games that are going to be native to the Switch. They're going to figure out what works with the audience, peripherals, and other variables, and I think the future will be bright for this genre.

If you want my personal opinion, definitely go out and pick up Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers sometime after its release on the May 26th. If you're tight on money, hold off for a while. Let's see what original titles the Switch can bring to us. Let's be optimistic and hopeful. 

Published Apr. 2nd 2017

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