The Switch has amassed a rather impressive RPG catalog over the past few years, and it shows no signs of stopping. While we’re in a bit of a lull as far as major releases go, smaller and lesser known releases continue to drop on the eShop each day. Still, there are plenty of titles coming soon and even more just over the horizon – many of which I await with bated breath. Today, I’d like to share a few of my most anticipated Switch RPG releases that have yet to receive a firm release date.
Baldo: The Guardian Owls
Baldo undoubtedly slid into many “most wanted” lists for its stunning visuals influenced by the legendary Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. While the animations give off serious Ni No Kuni vibes, the actual gameplay appears to fall more along the lines of a Zelda game because of its emphasis on puzzles and exploration. The actual depth of its RPG mechanics remains a mystery, but I’m excited to see how this one pans out even if it ends up being more Zelda-like in nature.
The golf RPG hybrid from 2017, Golf Story, was one of the earliest indie Switch RPG success stories. This success would inevitably pave way for a sequel, which was announced in 2019 and slated for a 2020 release. Although Sports Story has since been pushed back to an undetermined date, it remains one of my most anticipated games on Switch. There’s something about the sports RPG subgenre that really speaks to me and I expect to be satisfied even if it turns out to be more of the same. Sidebar Games have broadened the scope of activities in Sports Story, so I’ll be curious to see how well it turns out.
Atelier Ryza 2
I haven’t been shy about my love for this franchise. Starting with Rorona last year, I went on to play just about every game on the Switch and have enjoyed each one, including the most recent entry, Ryza. The injection of modernization provided by Ryza was generally well received, and I expect nothing different from its upcoming sequel. The crafting-heavy Atelier series may be niche, but it has been impressively consistent across its multitude of titles. Ryza 2 is set to release in Japan by the end of the year, and we can only hope that its worldwide release follows shortly thereafter.
Rune Factory 5
Rune Factory 4 was my first experience with the franchise, and it instantly made me a fan. Its frequent, bite-sized progression that would slightly improve your character, regardless of activity, was right up my (SaGa fanboy) alley. The announcement of Rune Factory 5 a few weeks back had me hyped, naturally, and I welcome the new, full on 3D perspective. My only hope is that they reduce the amount of RNG involved with the relationship side of things – getting many of the required random events in 4 was a complete pain – but I’m still extremely excited for this to arrive next year.
Bonus: Breath of the Wild 2
I know, I know. The mere mention of “Zelda” and “RPG” in the same sentence (save for II) is enough to make most people spontaneously combust. While I’m not looking to stir up that hornet’s nest completely — I can already sense people scrawling away angrily in the comments below — I do feel that Breath of the Wild specifically falls into the extremely large and diverse category of “games with light RPG mechanics.” Whether we can agree on that or not, it is safe to say that Breath of the Wild is equally one of the most beloved and polarizing Zelda entries of all time. Some say it is the best Zelda game, while others feel it is the worst. I’m not a big fan of the series, but I was completely smitten by Breath of the Wild and it undoubtedly catapulted the console into early stardom.
While many details surrounding the sequel are unknown, tweaks to the existing BOTW formula wouldn’t be surprising and are pretty much a given. The real question is whether such changes would be enough to captivate the world a second time, or if the increase in experience (via BOTW and having a much larger Switch library in 2020) would make it more difficult to swallow now. Who knows, but I’m pumped for whatever it may become…even if it doesn’t fall completely into the RPG genre.
There are plenty more titles we could discuss – but what do you think? What are some of your most anticipated Switch RPG titles on the horizon? Let me know!