Switch Turns Four – Part Two
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, Rich’s picks!
Four Indie Must-Play RPGs
The support the Nintendo Switch has seen these past four years from developers both large and small is nothing short of amazing. The Switch has provided an awesome platform for small developers to reach a bigger audience, and here are four of those indie experiences I think you should play!
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Do you like 2D Zelda games? How about The Princess Bride? If “yes” to either one, then Blossom Tales is a game for you. This gem draws storytelling inspiration from The Princess Bride and infuses it with 2D Zelda game design, and the end result is a wonderful action-adventure experience. This game spans five well-crafted dungeons and is filled to the brim with charm and humor. Players will collect various upgrades (weapons, spells, and heart containers) for Lily as she ventures out to save the Kingdom of Blossom.
Many gamers that grew up during the Game Boy era are probably familiar with Mario Golf. It was a Mario sports title with an RPG story, and Golf Story set out to re-capture that same essence. Golf Story takes you to some places that aren’t normally seen in the genre – it’s a top-down adventure about someone trying to recapture their passion for golf that they once had as a child.
Golf Story doesn’t just utilize traditional golf either – unique twists on the age-old game, such as disc golf (can be frustrating at times), miniature golf, and other mini-games are also present. There is a lot to see and do in Golf Story and the developers have a sequel, Sports Story, in the works. Nintendo also just announced a new Mario Golf game that is supposed to have RPG elements, so if you are looking forward to that later this year, give Golf Story a chance now while you wait!
Cosmic Star Heroine
Cosmic Star Heroine (CSH) is a wonderful science fiction RPG developed by Zeboyd Games that has some serious Chrono Trigger vibes. This game has a wonderful sound and art design which is where I think it wears its Chrono Trigger inspiration the most. It also doesn’t feature random battles – all enemies are visible on the field, even bosses. While CSH doesn’t hide where it draws inspiration from, the game itself is still very unique and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Many RPGs require 30 – 100+ hours of commitment to enjoy – this one can be completed in 12-15 hours and is a delight from start to finish.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
When I saw the trailer for this game, I was immediately sold on it! The art direction and colorful world alone crafted by Game Atelier was just a joy to play. This game was comfort food for me – I really like Metroidvanias and this game ticked all the proper boxes. It blended modern quality-of-life improvements with Wonder Boy mechanics I’m already familiar with.
When this game released in 2018 it was a GOTY contender for me that seemingly went under the radar. If you are a fan of Sega’s Wonder Boy series or are just looking for a lighthearted Metoridvania to play, look no further than Monster Boy!
Four RPGs I’m Currently Playing
These are the 4 RPGs I am currently playing through (or will be playing soon).
I know this game was released a while ago, but I only just received my physical copy recently so I am a bit behind. CrossCode is an awesome SNES-inspired RPG that tells the story of a girl named Lea. The story and writing in CrossCode is fascinating as it’s a single player game in an MMO universe. I am going to avoid spoiling the story, but the rollercoaster ride it takes you on is some of the best writing in an RPG I have experienced in a long time.
I am currently 35+ hours in on chapter 8. The game recently received DLC on the PC which will be making its way to consoles later this summer, and I will definitely be checking that out on day one. Not only is the story great, but the combat and platforming are fluid and add a unique twist to the action rpg genre if you’re willing to take some time to master it. I now understand why so many people praised this game and considered it as their indie GOTY last year – it is truly special and is certainly worth a look.
Persona 5 Strikers
This is a unique one for me as I am a complete newcomer to the Persona series. Everyone talks so highly of the series and for one reason or another, I’ve never gotten around to playing any of them. Now, a Persona game has made it to the Switch…sadly, it’s not a mainline entry, but that is a different conversation for another day. So, with all the praise the series gets, having just beaten Age of Calamity and liking the unique perspective it put on the Mosou games, I decided to give this one a try.
My initial hours tell me this game is going to be interesting even if I need to do some catching up on the series and characters to fully understand the lore. The game takes place right after the conclusion of Persona 5 and doesn’t shy away from referencing events that happened there. I want to see more unique games like Persona make it to the Switch platform, and do well, so I look forward to playing more of this in the future.
Immortals Fenyx Rising
Immortals was a surprise hit from Ubisoft last year and easily one of my favorite games of 2020. If you like BOTW and are craving more of it while we wait for BOTW2, this game is heavily inspired by the open-world adventure. It takes the BOTW formula and combines it with God of War-esque combat. Immortals Fenyx Rising tells an interesting story ingrained in Greek Mythology. It has its share of cheesy humor and dad jokes, which may be a turn off for some people, but I enjoyed it.
I have beaten the base game and have 100% the first DLC, A New God (read about that experience here). I now have over 80 hours into it and am still looking forward to the next two DLC expansions as part of the season pass.
I am glad we got this game on Switch because it also released on next-gen consoles and we don’t see very many releases from AAA publishers on the same date. I commend Ubisoft for that and hope that more developers follow suit in the future.
Like Persona 5 Strikers, Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE is a game I initially passed on when it released a couple years ago on Switch. Based on our community talk about the game (and it being on a really good sale) I ultimately decided to pick it up and give it a chance. While I haven’t started it just yet, I look forward to playing it later this month after I finish CrossCode.
Four Zelda Games
When it comes to Nintendo and the Switch, it seems like there is no bigger franchise that has fans hungry for more than Zelda. Luckily, the Switch has a good selection of Zelda games already and plenty more on the horizon.
A Link to the Past
This is a timeless classic that has held up quite well since its 1992 release on the Super Nintendo. For many, it is considered one of the greatest games of all time – at the very least, the best Zelda game. On Switch, it’s available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online offering and is simply a must-play title. This entry is the 2D Zelda formula perfected and takes the player on a grand adventure across a parallel version of Hyrule.
After the success of A Link to the Past, many Zelda fans wanted that experience to continue onto their Game Boy. Nintendo delivered on that with Link’s Awakening. While the game isn’t as massive or grand as A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening captured what many of us wanted on the Game Boy. The game design and graphics were similar to what was seen on the Super Nintendo as the initial goal was to port A Link to the Past to the Game Boy.
However, that project turned into a totally different adventure that is beloved by fans because it was the first adventure that Link left the realm of Hyrule. Link’s Awakening might not be as sprawling or massive as A Link to the Past, but it was the perfect adventure for the Game Boy. Luckily, Switch owners can experience the game with updated visuals and some quality-of-life improvements by way of its 2019 remake.
This is an entry I unfortunately didn’t play at launch because it came out at the very end of the Wii’s life cycle and I didn’t have a Wii U. Therefore, I am looking forward to playing this entry when it comes to Switch. I am aware it has some issues but am hopeful that the HD treatment will include other improvements like the HD rework did for Wind Waker (also hopefully coming to Switch). Regardless, Skyward Sword was well received critically and appears to have some great dungeon design based on those reviews. I am looking forward to playing it later this summer.
BOTW / BOTW2
Breath of the Wild was and is a massive, critical success. It launched alongside the Switch, making the hybrid system a must-have because it had that “system-selling” software title at launch. Four years later and Breath of the Wild has crossed the 20 million unit threshold and shows no signs of stopping. Naturally, many are anticipating its sequel (fingers crossed for it releasing in 2021, but I realistically think it will be 2022). This game re-invented the Zelda formula, ditching traditional dungeons and items for a more open-world experience. Along with bringing over the stamina bar and sailcloth introduced in Skyward Sword, this entry has changed what one can expect from a Zelda title.
Upon leaving the “tutorial area,” players had all the major tools they would need to go off and craft their own adventure. It was a drastic change to a formula many players have been accustomed to, and it brought a fresh perspective to the series. Now the sequel is on the horizon and fans are clamoring for news on the game – will it just be more of the same? Will the story be darker, similar to how Majora’s Mask was a darker followup to Ocarina of Time? Will traditional dungeons return? Only time will tell.
Four Most Anticipated Games
Building upon the previously mentioned games, here are four upcoming games that I can’t wait to play in the future.
I enjoyed Golf Story immensely. When Sidebar Games announced its followup title, it instantly jumped to my most anticipated games list. Golf Story combined what I love about RPGs with what I remember from Mario Golf on the Game Boy and created a fantastic experience. I can’t wait to see what they do with everything beyond the golfing mechanics from the first game.
Metroid Prime 4
If there’s any title that can remotely compete with the level of hype surrounding Breath of the Wild 2, it would be Metroid Prime 4. Not much is known about this game besides it being a sequel to the Prime series and that it has had some development issues. It was originally started by one team, then development was stopped before the project was later given to Retro Studios – developers of the first three games in the series.
Not much more is known about this game, but I can’t wait to hear and see more about it. In addition to all the other anniversaries happening this year at Nintendo, Metroid is also turning 35 this year so hopefully we get some form of update. Metroid news in general would be nice, too.
As mentioned earlier, I’ve never played the Persona series but that also extends to the SMT series. There is a lot of love and passion for the SMT / Persona series in general, especially in our discord community, so I am looking forward to experiencing this game and also seeing what our community thinks about it.
Diablo 2 is a classic action role playing game that is making a return in 2021 as Diablo 2: Resurrected. And it’s COMING TO SWITCH. I was happy to see this game announced a couple weeks ago and was even more excited to see it being re-imagined for a new audience. I play the majority of games on Switch – just personal preference – and the original Diablo 2 was a go-to for me in high school. Playing this game with friends in high school was a blast and now, 20 years later, getting to play it on Switch with updated visuals and quality of life updates sounds amazing.
I can’t wait for a new audience of gamers to experience it. Diablo 3 has experienced great success, but I still think Diablo 2 is the better game overall. I am looking forward to seeing what a new generation of fans think of this classic!
That’s it for my lists! What did you think about my picks, and how would you have chosen games differently? Let me know!