More must-have games for your Switch
My colleague Phil and I have added the first article in this series (in German) here.
I love Trials. I used to be fascinated by the tricks and stunts performed by motorcyclists on Eurosport. To be able to re-enact them myself from the comfort of my own home was a dream come true. And thanks to the Switch, not even the train or bus will be safe from your style. Even though the game is nigh on impossible without bumper buttons – my biggest complaint about the Switch. Accurate throttling is extremely challenging and makes me scream with rage when it doesn’t work. The people I commute to work with can attest to this.
«Owlboy» tells the story of a mute half-owl half-boy called Otus. He’s clumsy and awkward, as can be expected. He also isn’t the most confident of animal-men. A real relatable everyman hero, then. This platformer was in development for about ten years. And you can tell. It’s been thought through to the nth-degree, and pixelated Otus’ animation is sheer genius.
I’ve loved Golf simulators since «Golf» on the NES. It’s just fun to watch balls roll around a virtual green. Games developed and became more complex, which led to the implementation of role-play elements. «Golf Story» perfects this principle and nicely packs it into a story about a nobody becoming a golf legend. The gameplay is simple, as it often is with golf games. You choose your club, aim for the target and press the button at the right time. The goal isn’t always the whole in «Golf Story», however. Quests have you thawing frozen people with a burning golf ball, and of course, Disc Golf makes a return.
Haven’t had enough of indie games? Neither have I. I enjoy «Undertale»’s Pacifist Run the most. What’s that, I hear you ask? You can complete this RPG without ever attacking anyone. Instead of attacking, you can select Act and interact with enemies in a friendly way. Depending on how you behave yourself, your foe will step back and solve the encounter peacefully. You can also slaughter your way through the game or choose a middle ground.
«Baba is you»
Don’t get fooled by the simple graphics. «Baba is you» is more complex than it looks. The game is made up of a series logic puzzles that constantly increase in difficulty. There’s various object on the playing field. Some of them are also the rules of the game, such as «Baba is you». This allows you to control a white sheep-like character. Another power up is called «Rock is Push». Baba can now push aside boulders. What makes this game special is your ability to physically change the order of the words, thereby changing the rules of the game. Remove the word «Rock» and you won’t be able to move them anymore. You can only beat a level with the right combination of words and objects.
«The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim»
Yes, I know, the game is old. Still, the Switch version delivers – be it with those classic bugs that you either love or hate. The ability to play on the move is especially cool. All those main- and sidequests will eat up your free time. It often happened that I could only complete one sidequest, if even that, on my one-hour train journey from Biel to Zurich.
«Doom» isn’t what you’d call a classic Switch title. On one hand due to its graphic nature, on the other due to its performance. The Switch’s abilities limp far behind other consoles and especially PC. You can really tell when comparing these versions side-by-side. But hey, if a sudden bloodlust grabs hold of me on the train, I’ve got something productive to do.
«Xenoblade Chronicles 2»
I’ve stopped counting the hours I’ve spent playing «Xenoblade Chronicles 2». The last game to shackle me to the screen with this intensity was «Final Fantasy X». The blade gameplay is pure unadulterated fun and creates countless tactical possibilities. Add to that the confused JRPG-storytelling I love. And hey «Xenoblades» is like «Pokémon»: instead of cute pocket monsters, however, you pretty much collect only half-nude girls.
«Pokémon Let’s Go»
Speak of the devil. At long last there’s a main series «Pokémon» game on a home console. Admittedly the game is only a reskin of Pokémon Yellow. But that doesn’t take away from the entertaining gameplay. Who doesn’t feel nostalgic towards Pokémon?
This pixel-action game has you fighting through procedurally generated levels, trying not to die for as long as possible. Else you’ll have to start again. That’s not half bad, however, as you continuously collect cells to improve your character. You also unlock new weapons that you find throughout the world. The different weapon combination gives the game a constant interesting dynamic. The precise controls and satisfying crunching effects when slaying enemies will have you coming back for more Switch.
This turn-based strategy game is the perfect Switch-companion for when your on-the-go. You play from a bird’s eye view. At the start you’ve only got a handful of warriors to use. You use them to capture structures and loot gold for your coffers. You invest this money into new troops that fight using a rock-paper-scissors system. Spearmen beat knights, bowmen take down flying vampires and so on. Every unit also has a special ability. For example, the knight only does maximum damage when travelling his full distance. And the warrior does most damage when being surrounded by fellow warriors. You can only be victorious by successfully implementing all these tactics.
«Crypt of the NecroDancer»
«Crypt of the NecroDancer» is a roguelike rhythm game where you lead the main character through dungeons to the beat. This is the first rhythm-based game to grip me since «PaRappa the Rapper». The gameplay always cheers me up.
«Final Fantasy 7»
No game has affected me more than Final Fantasy 7. I discovered it on the first Playstation, played it on PC, then as a PS3-download and finally again on the much-maligned Android port. As the remake is taking its sweet time, I’d rather spend the intervening moments playing the newest Switch port. I’ve got another date at the Golden Saucer with Yuffie.
«New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe»
More characters, more items and more modes. That’s what the new version of this Wii U classic offers. The multiplayer especially is really something special. It’ll no doubt lead to a massive screamfest, as my colleagues Philipp and Simon found out.