In a little over two years, the Nintendo’s console has become a haven for role-playing fans given the killer lineup of Switch RPGs. While the recent releases of Final Fantasy 10/10-2 and Final Fantasy 12 on the console make it clear that the genre is thriving there, the following are a few more reasons why the hybrid will continue to the best home for RPGs in the immediate future.
Switch RPGs | The library so far
Great sales numbers are enticing publishers like Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Nintendo itself to launch one RPG after another on the system. Octopath Traveler, a new property that pays homage to the Final Fantasy entries of yesteryear, sold over 1 million copies less than a month after it debuted. The tactical turn-based spin-off Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle sold more than 2 million copies during its first year on the market. The open world sequel Xenoblade Chronicles 2 even exceeded developer Monolith Soft’s sales expectations.
Aside from the aforementioned 10/10-2 and 12, popular Final Fantasy titles like 7, 9, and World of Final Fantasy have made their way onto the system. Definitive and remastered versions of other classics like Tales of Vesperia, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim can be found there alongside critically lauded modern RPGs like Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, Diablo 3, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Even indie RPGs are finding a home on Switch. In fact, Undertale and Stardew Valley are among some of the highest rated games available for the hybrid, according to Metacritic.
The beauty of the Switch’s RPG library lies in the amount of variety it offers. Some titles heavily rely on traditional turn-based mechanics while others have players battle in real-time. Some tell tales of redemption while others allow the protagonist to use fart attacks. Anyone could find an RPG they love on Nintendo’s console, even if their experience with the genre is limited.
Switch RPGs | The system’s portability
It’s no secret that most RPGs take many hours to complete. The Switch was seemingly built with this in mind, as players can enjoy Octopath Traveler or Skyrim on the big screen and quickly transition to the console’s LCD screen in a moment’s notice. The ability to jump back into the game simply by pressing the machine’s power button is also neat, as fans don’t have to waste precious time booting up. This helps alleviate any trouble they have remembering where they left off, too.
It’s obvious that the Switch lacks the raw hardware power of its contemporaries. Luckily, especially in recent times, the RPG genre has garnered a reputation for its breadth of content rather than its impressive visuals or high polygon counts. The system doesn’t force developers to make concessions in that regard, as evidenced in the definitive editions mentioned earlier.
Switch RPGs | Sony’s censorship shift
Within the past two years, Sony has sparked controversy with its shift in censorship policies. Games like Super Neptunia RPG, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet, and even Devil May Cry 5 were or still are censored to comply with an alleged new chain of command at the company. Though a spokesperson has claimed that Sony is working to keep an eye on “global trends in order to keep the PlayStation console system a fun place for the best gamers,” its fanbase is demanding that it revert to its earlier policies.
As Sony attempts to sort out its approach to adult video game content, Switch RPG fans can breathe easy knowing that Nintendo has no intentions of censoring their third-party games anytime soon. This means that Idea Factory’s aforementioned RPG can be enjoyed in its original form on the console.
It remains to be seen whether or not Nintendo will apply its censorship policies to the Fire Emblem or Pokemon franchises as it’s done in the past. Perhaps the wave of success that RPGs have been experiencing on the Switch is enough to convince the company to not mess around with any developer’s vision, no matter how perverted it may be.
Switch RPGs | Games on the horizon
There are plenty more RPGs slated to release for the Switch in the near future. Square Enix will be bringing its Minecraft-inspired sandbox sequel, Dragon Quest Builders 2, to the console on July 12. It’s also promised to remaster the fan favorite spin-off Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, though a release date isn’t known at this time. A port of Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age is also set to debut on the system sometime this year.
Other third-party RPGs that are expected to release for Switch include the long-awaited Shin Megami Tensei 5, the gory Vampyr, remasters of the first two Grandia games, and remasters of the first two Langrisser games.
That’s not to mention all of the first-party RPGs headed to the system in 2019. Fire Emblem: Three Houses may maintain the legacy the franchise established with Awakening in 2012, and Game Freak’s newest IP Town may completely subvert any expectations that Pokemon fans may have of it. Speaking of pocket monsters, Pokemon Sword and Shield is presumably set to launch as the Switch’s holiday title this year. It promises to immerse trainers in a new region inspired by the United Kingdom and offers them a fire-bunny starter. It’s needless to say that it’ll probably sell well.
Though the reasons above prove that the Switch is the perfect place to play RPGs nowadays, there’s no hiding the fact that audiences across platforms have become more receptive to the genre. Final Fantasy 15 broke even with its development costs immediately after it launched. NieR: Automata surpassed 3 million copies shipped late last year. The future looks bright for RPG fans, no matter their console of preference. Despite this, they’ll be wise to invest in a Switch if they haven’t already. Who can resist the cuteness of Sword and Shield‘s starter Pokemon, after all?