For everything I could criticise about the design of Octopath Traveler, I would not hesitate to recommend the experience to any fans of the genre. Between excellent character customisation and one of the best combat systems I’ve had the joy to experience, the faults are easier to accept. However, if you’re hoping for an in-depth story or a cast of eight characters standing side-by-side, you won’t find that here. While it certainly could have been improved on, this is still an absolute must-play for Switch owners out there.
While I’m usually a fan of the monster-catching genre and greatly enjoy anything Lovecraftian, The Lost Child fails to hit a lot of the key points that makes both of these genres fun. Add to this a standard storyline, repetitive combat and a pointless overworld, and you’ve got a game that’s ultimately very hard to recommend spending time on. With many exciting RPGs coming up in the near future, only those in desperate need of some monster catching or dungeon delving should look here.
The Shin Megami Tensei series is exactly where you should be looking if you’re after a real test of your RPG abilities in an unusual setting, and Strange Journey Redux continues to justify this well-earned reputation. Between complex party management, difficult battles and an excellent mapping element, you’ll come through the other end so very satisfied with your accomplishments. The port’s extra features also fit flawlessly, meaning this is the best way to experience this game. Admittedly, it might not be the best entry for newcomers, and it does experience a slump in the mid-game, but it’s still easy to recommend to any established SMT fan.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom was a particular disappointment for me. While beautiful and with a combat system that carries significant potential, the game is undermined by a failure to balance the combat for sufficient threat. While this could have been resolved by the simple inclusion of a difficulty setting, the game also features many weak side features, from the town-building to the side quests. Fans of the original aren’t the only ones who may get some enjoyment from returning to the world of Ni No Kuni, but I suspect there will be others like me who will leave unsatisfied for their time spent.
While Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology offers a battle system unlike any others you’ve likely played, what is really on offer here is a well-told story with memorable characters. If you’re one to skip cutscenes or power through dialogue boxes, you’re going to miss a lot of what is charming about this game and be put off by battles that become less interesting as you progress. On the other hand, curious and patient players will find meaningful character dialogue voiced by a talented cast, succinct storytelling to keep your interest, and a world very different to ours to learn about.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can easily be considered the best available “reason to buy a Switch.” While there are already a lot of great titles available for the system, much of the current library is also shared with the Wii U and other platforms. Xenoblade, on the other hand, is an unforgettable journey you’ll only get to experience on Nintendo’s newest console, and is currently, in my opinion, the best exclusive available for it. A magnificent world, well-written characters, interesting plot and refined combat, all mixed together make for an experience that you’d be hard-pressed to pass on.