Most Wanted Switch RPG Ports: October 2020 Edition
The Nintendo Switch has become a smorgasbord of all things RPG over the past few years, and fortunately it will only grow from here! We have quite a few titles to look forward to going into this holiday season, and even more that are still hidden in the shadows, yet to be revealed. Even still, there are games I think about daily that I’d love to see brought to the Switch. While I think some of these are certain to come eventually, others are nothing more than a pipe dream at this point. Below are my most wanted Switch RPG ports, starting with the ones I think are most likely to come to fruition.
Final Fantasy 1-6 Collection / Standalones
The Nintendo Switch, no doubt, is getting more Final Fantasy. The real question boils down to “when,” “how,” and “what” we will receive. The earliest entries into one of the most famous RPG franchises will likely never be released as part of the Nintendo Switch Online service, as there’s simply too much made to be made through selling them outright. While it would be an obvious boon to the subscription service, most people are already subscribed for the multiplayer and cloud save benefits alone, and not necessarily their game catalog.
So, how will they be released? Although many (including myself) would love to see a I-VI Collection, standalone releases are a far more reasonable assumption and likely to be more feasible on Square Enix’s end, from both a development and financial incentive standpoint. The a la carte approach, while less cost efficient for diehard fans and collectors, may have a broader appeal for those that want to either pick up only specific games, or those that need to spread out their purchases. The best case would be to provide it both ways, but again, I don’t see the collection approach working well without a ton of extra work on Square Enix’s end. Simply put, the wide array of versions available may not flow well together under a single package, depending on what versions they ended up theoretically packaging together.
For example, let’s take a look at Final Fantasy IV. Do we get the original SNES version, the DS/PC 3D version, or the Complete Collection PSP version? How about VI – would they release the inferior phone/Steam version, or would we get the original? Most of these games also have respectable GBA versions, too, and the PS Origin version of I and II are also excellent. I suppose only time will tell which versions we do get, but I’m anticipating that they will go the easy route (ie. mobile / latest versions ) whenever possible. Either way, I’ll be among the first in line to pick them all up, as it will still be more Final Fantasy on my primary console of choice.
More Dragon Quest
This is another request that is very safe and almost guaranteed to happen. We already have I, II, III, and XI in the Nintendo Switch library (in the West), and reports suggest that most of these have done well (particularly XI). It is only a matter of time until we see more entries in this franchise come over to the platform. While my hopes for a Dragon Quest X localization dwindle by the day, I don’t see any reason why Square Enix wouldn’t bring other earlier Dragon Quest releases to the console in the future. There were even rumors a few weeks ago claiming that IV-VI releases were to be announced at an upcoming Direct. While that has yet to happen, I wouldn’t write it off as misinformation just yet.
Trails in the Sky Trilogy
I’ve picked up (and subsequently dropped) the first game in Trails in the Sky trilogy more times than I care to admit. My wishy-washy commitment hasn’t been because of the game itself, mind you, but rather from the Switch ruining me on playing lengthy RPGs outside of the hybrid console. This series has a relatively small but extremely loyal fanbase that I’d love to join at some point. With Trails of Cold Steel III already on Switch, and rumblings of a Sky trilogy remake/remaster for many years, I’d say that it is definitely possible that we will see these in some form in the future. I don’t even care if they end up being straight up ports, I just want to experience the origins of this subseries on the Switch.
Many RPG fans would like to see The Mother series on the Nintendo Switch, if only for Earthbound alone. The quirky series has long captured the hearts of many, garnering a cult following that continues to clamor for an official release of Mother 3 in the West to this day. While I think it’s likely we’ll see the first two games in the series on Switch at some point, I’d be surprised if we ever saw the third entry. There are many reasons for this…but I’ll let you go down that rabbit hole on your own time. Either way, there is a demand for the franchise on the Switch, and I hope that Nintendo will allow for its representation in some way or another.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Oblivion was the first single player, open world RPG that I ever played, and the experience has yet to fade in mind ever since. The middle release between the truly groundbreaking Morrowind and profit magnet that is Skyrim, Oblivion in many ways was a transition between the more hardcore, old school Western RPG and a far more accessible one. Although I love all three of these titles, I’ve really grown to appreciate how much Oblivion caters to both sides of the fence, and it being my first real open world experience doesn’t hurt, either.
Oblivion marks the tipping point of this discussion, as I’m not really holding my breath for a Switch port, let alone a full-on remake or remaster. On the latter, Pete Hines has gone on the record before to say how gargantuan of a task it would be to overhaul Oblivion, and I think that isn’t necessarily just “PR speak.” Most Bethesda games give off the “held together with fishing wire and duct tape” vibe, and Oblivion is certainly no exception. Again, I’m all for a vanilla port of this game if it meant I could play it on-the-go.
Final Fantasy Tactics / War of the Lions
You all have made it loud and clear that there is a demand for Final Fantasy Tactics on Switch. One of our most popular articles week over week is on this very subject. The 1997 tactical RPG took the world by storm with its dark, gripping narrative, engaging tactical gameplay, and robust, iconic job system.
That said, unlike most games mentioned thus far, I DO think that some changes would be necessary for this game to thrive on the Switch. A speedup function, at the very least, would do wonders for the rather antiquated grind that encourages you to attack your companions (a la Final Fantasy II). Some additional tweaks to the underlying mechanics wouldn’t hurt either, but I’d settle for just the speed toggle. Even though I’m hopeful for a Switch port sometime, I don’t see that happening with their latest release in the series, Tactics S, going over like a lead balloon, on top of the understandable lack of interest to do much of anything with the franchise ever since. It would be easy money, though. Just saying.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Or GBA/DS Games)
I’m a big fan of Metroidvanias that are heavily infused with RPG systems, and I have Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to thank for this. One of the most beloved RPGs from the PS1 era, SOTN has long been on my wishlist of games to be ported to Switch. Sadly, though, I don’t think we will ever get it. When the Castlevania Anniversary Collection was announced for Switch, I held on to the shred of hope that SOTN would be included in it – obviously, it wasn’t.
I’m thankful that Bloodstained is on the Switch, but for me it doesn’t replace Symphony of the Night, or even some of the later GBA/DS entries. With how weird Konami have become over the years, I just don’t see any of these ever happening, especially now that the Anniversary Collection has come and gone without them. I’d love for Konami to prove me wrong on this, though. Please, prove me wrong.
River City Ransom: Underground
Those that know me are well aware of my love for the Kunio-kun series, specifically River City Ransom. I’ve also gone on the record in defense of its official, polarizing sequel developed by Conatus Creative in 2017. To me, River City Ransom: Underground is the perfect blend of beat ‘em up and RPG, even though it features some downright mind boggling, frustrating design decisions. Flawed, yes, but an incredibly fun game to play just running around and beating people up, all while improving your character’s strength via the traditional River City Ransom pastime – eating.
Unfortunately, there is a 0% chance of this being ported to Switch. Between extreme backlash from critics (over aforementioned design decisions) and some legal issues surrounding the original soundtrack, the team was left in a rather poor position when the dust settled, making the likelihood of a Switch debut pretty much impossible. But hey, that doesn’t stop me from hoping it will be ported one day, anyway. We do have both River City Ransom and River City Girls on the Switch, but Underground offers some things – good and bad – that neither of them do. Underground’s absence is why I’m pretty excited to play Scott Pilgrim for the first time later this year, though I have no idea whether or not it features enough RPG goodness to keep me interested for hours on end.
There have already been some very surprising ports of RPGs to the Switch, so I wouldn’t really count any of these games out for good (except for maybe RCR: Underground). Regardless of the likelihood, I would still like to see as many of these come to Switch as possible…even if it takes some time.
What do you think? What are some of your most wanted Switch RPG ports? Let me know!