Switch Turns Four – Part Five
Over the course of March, the SwitchRPG team will be creating and sharing a variety of Switch RPG content in honor of the console turning four this month! Next up, Elias’s picks!
Part One – Part Two – Part Three – Part Four
The Switch has garnered a reputation for being an RPG powerhouse. With adventures both new and old, there’s never been a better time to be a Nintendo owner since the SNES days of old. That said, one sore spot for any physical collector is the lack of a tangible release of a favorite game. While digital collecting has its own merits (not needing to change cartridges can be super nice) there’s nothing quite like having a library of games you love in cartridge form.
Luckily, the Switch happens to be region free, so those of us willing to make a little bit more effort can fill some of those missing library slots — but is region-free enough? Worry not, collector! For you today, we have a list of four Switch RPGs that support English text, meaning if you’re missing one of these in your collection, you may well be able to procure it fairly easily. Let’s check them out:
World of Final Fantasy MAXIMA
This first entry did not receive a physical edition in North America. That being said, the Asia release not only supports English text, but also English audio as well. This results in a fully functional import, with the only downside being that you can’t claim the bonus coins on the Switch eShop using your usual account. Oh nooooo. That being said, World of Final Fantasy MAXIMA is a charming adventure.
With a wonderful story and unique combat system, you’ll find yourself collecting monsters and characters from across the franchise to build out your teams. Fighting alongside familiar favorite monsters like Bombs, and summons like Ifrit (and its apparent baby form which is hella adorable,) this experience is both rich and rewarding.
SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays
This game is actually getting a second release later this month — a Platinum Edition which includes all DLC, which is notable due to it being a bit difficult to purchase DLC for games not from our region. SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays is a tactical RPG that spans the worlds of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans. Players can fight through the story modes for each series using their favorite characters and Mobile Suits and even customize their own pilot with unique appearances and skills.
There’s a lot of content here, and while the game itself is challenging, it’s also a great way to re-experience some of the best Mobile Suit series’ to date. We can pick up the eShop version easily, but having this one on your shelf may be more up your alley if you happen to be a die-hard fan.
RPG Maker MV Trinity
While this is definitely available stateside, the pricing on the physical edition is still high. For whatever reason, the Japanese copy itself is usually less than $20 USD and is fully functional with English menus available. Price is quite literally the only reason for this recommendation, because as most creative-types know, money is tight when you’re an artist. RPG Maker has been a software enabling fans to make their own games for decades now.
Easily approachable and allowing for large amounts of customization, RPG Maker MV has made the process of putting together a game easier than ever. For those just wanting to PLAY the games others make, the RPG Maker Player software is available for free on the Switch eShop.
I Am Setsuna
Tokyo RPG Factory’s first project, a spiritual successor of sorts to Chrono Trigger, happens to be one of the first RPGs that was available to Switch owners at launch. While the game could be obtained on the Switch eShop in most regions, a physical version was not in the cards. Luckily, the Japanese cartridge does have English language support, allowing players to shelve a playable version along with their other cartridges.
While I Am Setsuna released to middling reviews, the game plays not unlike classic favorite titles. Borrowing the familiar ATB system (Final Fantasy VI, VII, and so forth) for battles and telling a sorrowful tale about a girl hellbent on saving the world, I Am Setsuna is a callback to the older days of gaming, with a little bit of 3D polishing and a soundtrack that will absolutely pull at your heartstrings.
Honorable Mention: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
While there is a physical version of Final Fantasy X/X-2 here in the States, interestingly enough, both games aren’t actually on the cartridge. Each new copy ships with a code that owners can redeem to download Final Fantasy X-2 from the eShop. The game will not launch without the cartridge inserted, so the download itself takes up space while not allowing for proper resale value.
The Asia release of the game does have both games on the cartridge with full English support, and while you may not be able to trade it in to most resellers due to the foreign game rating system, (why would you, anyhow?) the joy of keeping that sweet SD card space free is enough for some of us to pull the trigger on this purchase.
So… where can I find these?
Online retailers like Amazon and eBay can be a great place to look for imports, but other specialty sites, like Play-Asia for worldwide shipping, and Nin Nin Game for our UK readers can also be great places to find rare games. Play-Asia periodically has sales on import games and even allows for pre-orders of newly announced titles. While shipping can take some time from the specialty sites, being able to fill that slot on your game shelf may be worth it.
Are there any imports you think should have made the list? Let me know in the comments!