Gameboy bracket: Switch games put to test in tourney

There are over 2000 games on the Nintendo Switch, some better than others. Nintendo has put its best into making sure that only the highest quality of games get into their consumer’s hands. They’ve also flooded the e-shop with really bad, tiny games that cost way too much. So I’m going to look at 8 of their best and slap them into a randomly-generated tournament!

Before the knockouts, let’s quickly look at the 8 included games. (In 10 words or less!)

  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate – COLORS WEAVE INTO A SPIRE OF FLAME
  • Super Mario Maker 2 – Hooray for softlocks!
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – I’ve always played Yoshi. Nobody else.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Not enough trains 0/10
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Five Nights at Freddy’s is quaking.
  • Super Mario Odyssey – Do the Mario! Swing your arms from side to side…
  • Splatoon 2 – Squid children shoot at each other with military paintball weapons
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – E X P A N D

Round 1: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate VS Super Mario Maker 2

Ack, a toughy already? These are two absolute LEGENDS in the gaming world, even outside of Nintendo. Both games are stuffed to the brim with content and require the player to use their creativity and hand-eye-coordination. Mario Maker gives you a ton of tools, but so does Smash, arguably more. Mario Maker has a ton of modes for you to play, but so does Smash and again, arguably more. What really pushes Smash just far enough ahead is that it’s brought an entire community of casual and professional gamers together. People have screamed, laughed, and cried countless times just from this one game. Mario Maker is astounding, but the winner is…. Smash!

Round 2: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe VS The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Okay, this one is thankfully a little easier. Breath of the Wild is an absolute innovation for The Legend of Zelda franchise and offers HUNDREDS of hours of pure open-world exploration and discovering things players never expected in the game, meanwhile Mario Kart is an iconic multiplayer game that feels great to play and looks fantastic as you scream about how unfair it is that you were in 1st place 30 seconds before finishing in last. Both are must-owns at some point in a Switch-owner’s life, but while Mario Kart is a great candidate and a fantastic game for multiplayer, it just can’t beat the hands-down best Zelda I’ve played.

Round 3: Luigi’s Mansion 3 VS Super Mario Odyssey

This one is easily decided, but not easily confirmed. Just like Breath of the Wild, Odyssey is an amazing innovation for the 3D Mario franchise. It has gorgeous graphics, wonderful new mechanics, and unbelievably fun gameplay, all topped off with Mario’s signature charm and characters. However, the same things can be said about Luigi’s Mansion 3. It’s a massive innovation with fantastic graphics, new mechanics, gameplay, charm and creativity. My first thought was that Odyssey was superior to pretty much every Switch game, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 was actually much better than my already-high expectations. In this match, the little things add up. It would take players the same amount of time to 100% complete Luigi as it would to beat Odyssey’s main story. Odyssey just has an epic feel and tells a huge story. Sorry Luigi, your brother 1-ups you again.

Round 4: Splatoon 2 VS Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Both of these aren’t as popular or praised as the other games in this bracket, but both are powerhouse games. Splatoon 2 is one of the best multiplayer 3rd-person shooters in recent years (Take that Fortnite) because of its great controls, innovative concept, and thrilling single-player campaign. And did I mention that it’s OOZING with charm and humor? Donkey Kong, on the other hand, is a downright beautiful game. Not just in graphics, but in level design, atmosphere, and ESPECIALLY soundtrack. This may be my favorite 2D platformer yet. So which takes it home? For single-player and presentation, Donkey Kong wins by a landslide. In terms of originality, characters, story, and multiplayer, Splatoon beats it out. It’s definitely a difficult choice that could go either way. DK certainly slaps, but I th-ink Splatoon is a drop better.

Semi-Final 1: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate VS The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Now we get to the big boy matchups. All of these games are spectacular in their own right, three of them being absolute masterpieces. Unfortunately, two of those games are in this matchup. Smash is arguably Nintendo’s best multiplayer game, while Breath of the Wild is arguably Nintendo’s best single-player game. Both are dripping with content, look, control, and sound unbelievable. There’s hours upon hours of fun with both of these games. So why does Breath of the Wild win? The word here is innovation. Smash Ultimate is, in essence, every previous Smash game but better. Breath of the Wild is like no other Zelda game, Nintendo game, or really any game in general. There’s never really been such an open, explorable, atmospheric, beautiful world in a game. Sorry Smash, but you have no more continues.

Semi-Final 2: Super Mario Odyssey VS Splatoon 2

Oh come on, this just feels like bullying. Splatoon is Nintendo’s newest IP and it’s been thankfully successful, but Odyssey? As I said, this is the biggest and probably the best Mario game to date. Splatoon 2 isn’t that big of a game. It’s a powerhouse, but it’s a mouse compared to Odyssey. What works in its favor is that it’s not trying to be big. Because of that it was unfortunately doomed in this bracket to begin with, so Mario’s journey continues to the end.

FINAL ROUND: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild VS Super Mario Odyssey

This is not a new debate. People have been arguing over these two games since they came out in 2017. Both of them are completely open worlds and totally new ideas for their franchises. They both look great, sound great, and have big epic stories. Odyssey’s massive worlds and plethora of things to do make it a great game for anybody to play. But Breath of the Wild? Playing through the game for the first time is a purely ethereal, magical experience. The world is so peaceful, the game feels so good, and there’s so much stuff to experience and learn about this world. Games as extraordinary as this really put into question the $60 games like Mario Tennis Aces and Kirby Star Allies that are as mediocre as they are.
So Breath of the Wild wins. Thanks for playing.