Switch RPG Gems (So Far)
The Nintendo Switch has quickly amassed a large library of RPGs in its relatively short lifespan. From large, AAA games like Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, to indie wonders like Blossom Tales, there’s a little for everyone regardless of your price point (and tastes). With the lack of robust filters and a rating system on the eShop, it is hard to know what RPGs in the eShop are worth playing. That is why I’ll be mentioning a few titles below that may or may not have been on your radar at some point. For obvious reasons, I will not be including widely known games on this list, but all of them are worth playing nonetheless.
Earthlock has a similar history to Final Fantasy XIV. Like the latter, it originally released in what many would think as a sub-par state, only to be re-released in an improved form. While it may have not experienced an overwhelmingly positive re-launch like a Realm Reborn did, the few mainstream reviews of the new Earthlock have generally been much more positive than before, and for good reason.
This is a fantastic turn-based RPG for the Switch that features some more modern mechanics and an interesting art style. I took issue with a few of its design choices (notably some of the overworld stuff), but it’s still an enjoyable experience through and through. It may seem a bit pricey to some, especially considering 15-20 hours would be considered fairly short for an RPG at $30 USD, but I still believe it to be worth the asking price. You can view my full Earthlock review here.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
I don’t want to say too much about this game just yet, as I will be doing a review in the near future. But so far, this game is shaping up to be another essential title in my Switch RPG collection. It does some interesting things with the turn-based system, coupled with some randomized areas and loot that just speak all kinds of volumes to me personally. Much like Earthlock, it has a very unique art style that, along with its exceptional animations, is incredibly pleasing to the eye. More to come on this one soon.
I think it is safe to say that Golf Story took everyone by surprise. It was proven back as early as the Gameboy Color days that Golf and RPG elements can work really well together if the execution is sound. In comes Golf Story, seemingly out of nowhere, and took the world by storm. I think that many people are already aware of this game, and I only mention it because some people may be skeptical to try it simply because it is a sports title. But ultimately, it boasts a hilarious story mode with solid golfing mechanics, backed up by some light RPG elements. In short, Golf Story is not one you should overlook.
Letter Quest Remastered
Another uncommon subgenre, Letter Quest Remastered does the Scrabble-meets-RPG mashup very well (more so than Spellspire, in my opinion). My desire to play word games is limited at best, so I would have never thought that this genre concoction would work, let alone hold my attention for more than a few minutes. This is another example of a title worth picking up even if you’re a little cautious due to its seemingly obscure nature. I don’t know how or why it works so well, but it does and certainly merits a gander. I give a more in depth look of both Letter Quest Remastered and Spellspire in an article here.
Asdivine Hearts will probably be the most controversial pick on this list, but it deserves a spot regardless. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles and reviews, KEMCO/EXE Create RPGs have a tendency to be exceptionally mediocre across the board. Having played every single KEMCO RPG released on the Switch to date, I can say that this one is by far the best of their offerings.
At its core, Asdivine Hearts is very much a traditional JRPG, including but not limited to the anime-like character design, tropey (and sometimes cringy) companions, and more than enough random encounters to keep you occupied for hours on end. Like almost every other KEMCO RPG, it features some modern mechanics, such as crafting, auto/semi-auto battles that help make the experience palpable to a broader audience. Asdivine Hearts is not without flaws, but it is a fairly pure JRPG experience given its cost. You can check out my full review of Asdivine Hearts here.
That does it for now, but with more titles releasing every day, I imagine my personal list will continue to grow. Have any titles to add? Let me know!