My Favorite Gaming Surprises of 2017

I’m still writing about all the games I played this year but before I complete that, I thought it would be fun to write about something else. 2017 was full of games. The icing on the cake of this year was the number of gaming related surprises. Here were my favorites.

Super Mario Odyssey’s Little & Big Moments

Super Mario Odyssey was a true return to the adventure style Mario games of yore1. What made me love it was all the little touches, big moments, and set pieces in the game. Namely the New Donk City Festival and the finale after Mario defeats Bowser. If you’ve played the game, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you need to. Jump Up, Super Star! is this year’s break out tune.

Metroid’s Back

Nintendo showed off a fancy JPEG of Metroid Prime 4 at E3 and everyone went bananas2.

What’s even more insane is Nintendo nonchalantly announced a new Metroid game in their livestream that was launching just a few months later. Metroid: Samus Returns is remake of Metroid II: The Return of Samus and I’ll post my thoughts on that game in my 2017 roundup. But the title is even more fitting; Samus has returned after a seven year hiatus.

Mega Man is BACK!

Speaking of another seven year hiatus – when Capcom announced a Mega Man 30th Anniversary livestream, most Mega Man fans didn’t get their hopes up. At most we hoped for a collection of all the Mega Man X games, or maybe the Mega Man Legacy collections on Nintendo Switch. We never imagined a new game would be announced or that it would be a continuation of the classic series with a modern art style. We got all of that. And they debuted it with this awesome history of Mega Man trailer. I am was and am so happy every time I think about this. Mega Man is back!

The SNES Classic featuring Star Fox 2

Star Fox 2 was a nearly complete game that was cancelled due to the then upcoming Nintendo 64. ROMs of this game have been floating around the Internet for years, and many of the ideas of Star Fox 2 eventually made it into future Star Fox games.

Nintendo had barely acknowledged the existence of this game for years. The existence of a SNES Classic wasn’t a surprise, as most were counting on the success of the NES Classic3 to lead to another retro console. But I remember when Nintendo announced the SNES Classic would feature Star Fox 2. I almost cried.

The announcement was accompained by this true to period promotional art.
The announcement was accompained by this true to period promotional art.

The announcement nearly fulfilled a prophecy I made regarding the next Nintendo retro console. I proclaimed for it to be an intriguing collectors item that Nintendo would release with a previously unreleased game, most likely one that was never localized. I was so close.

Bayonetta 3 Announced

I love Platinum Games. I love the Bayonetta series. I was excited to hear there was another game in development, and the other two games were coming to the Nintendo Switch as well. Bayonetta is practically a Nintendo series now.

Nintendo Taking Names

Nintendo killed it this year. A new fantastic console, a masterpiece launch title, a bevy of games, and defying expectations at large. Nintendo had two Game of the Year contenders this year between Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.

On top of this there was a surprising amount of third party support for the Switch. We got Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a strategy game featuring the Rabbids from the Rayman Wii era. It was surprisingly good.

At the Game Awards, Nintendo had several titles nominated, including two games for Game of the Year. Nintendo used their presence to further hype. They debuted the second piece of DLC for Breath of the Wild with an elaborate display featuring Eiji Aonuma behind the screen pulling the Master Sword from its pedestal, which lead into a trailer. At the apparent end of the trailer, the sound of a revving engine could be heard, and then the screen dissolves into a cliff with Link riding a motorcycle4 followed by the words, “Available Tonight”. There was no information about this DLC pack until this moment in time. It was magical.

Nintendo seems to be defying all types of expectations, so it makes me wonder if 2018 can keep this momentum.

2018 Has Hype Expectation

With 2017 being full of games and surprises, it makes me wonder if 2018 will be as exciting. Who knows? Maybe VR will finally take off5.


  1. Yore was the year 1996. 
  2. Donkey Kong was surprisingly composed. 
  3. You know, if you could find one, and actually play it. 
  4. Aptly named the Master Cycle Zero. This is not Link’s first appearance on a motorcycle. He was featured in Mario Kart 8 on a motorcycle called the Master Cycle. In a Miiverse post (RIP) Anouma stated he wanted to see the Master Cycle in a future Zelda game.  
  5. HA! 

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Jared Cherup

I work hard, and I play hard, and I browse Wikipedia the hardest.

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