We won't mince words here, BloodRayne is a joyless and frustrating experience that's a complete waste of both your time and money. The combat is dull, the level designs are uninteresting, the graphics are merely passable, and all of this is dragged down even further by rampant performance problems and crashing issues. The value BloodRayne has in modern video game discourse is largely as an interesting reminder of how far we've progressed in game design over the past couple decades. We'd recommend you give this one a hard pass; if you're looking for a horror-tinged, combat heavy adventure featuring a titillating and badass female lead, we'd recommend you go with Bayonetta instead.
Even if you don't want anything to do with League, we would highly recommend that you give Ruined King a shot; this is a spectacular JRPG that consistently demonstrates mastery of all the ingredients needed to make a great entry in the genre. The core campaign is just long enough to feel satisfying, there are dizzying amounts of character customization, and the combat system is one of the finest we've encountered in a turn-based RPG in a long time. If you're a fan of RPGs, you'd be doing yourself a great disservice to pass on Ruined King. Even if you're a newcomer to the genre we'd still absolutely encourage you to give this a punt; it's an excellent effort.
Though Klang 2 has its issues, we feel that it still offers up a satisfying and unique enough take on the rhythm genre to at least be worth your consideration. This isn’t necessarily a title that we’d recommend to anyone looking to get their feet wet with rhythm games, but fans will likely find enough to love here that it’s at least worth the relatively low price of admission.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic may have lost some of its luster as the years have gone on, but the foundations of a well-written and enjoyable RPG haven't aged a day. If you can get past things like awkward controls, middling presentation, and a complete lack of handholding, the 30-ish hour campaign offers up an engaging romp through the beloved Star Wars universe. We'd give KOTOR on Switch a strong recommendation to any fans of Star Wars or RPGs in general, just with the caveat that you'll get more out of it if you can stomach archaic game design elements.
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a game that certainly won't appeal to everyone; this is one that you have to come into with an open mind. It's pretty short compared to most RPGs and doesn't take many chances with its gameplay, yet the card aesthetic remains consistently interesting, it's supported by extremely strong presentation, and that gameplay ultimately proves to be quite satisfying. For thirty bucks, this card game is one of the best concise RPGs you can buy on the Switch, and if any of its art or concepts pique your interest, we strongly recommend you give it a shot.
Shin Megami Tensei V is a modern masterpiece. It successfully delivers on all the aspects that have made the series thus far so popular with fans-namely through its high difficulty, heavy narrative themes, and expansive team-building options-while polishing up and tightening the weaker aspects. Things like a more easily navigable map and more difficulty options to cater to players of all skill levels comfortably make this the most approachable entry in the series, and it feels like there's more things to do in the world than ever before. If you are at all a fan of RPGs or have been looking for a good entry point into this oft overlooked series, we would strongly encourage you to pick this up as soon as you can. Shin Megami Tensei V was worth the wait, Atlus has successfully stuck the landing with this one.
Dying Light on Switch is quite a remarkable achievement, and we're happy to report that Techland has mostly stuck the landing with this one. Its ambitious open world full of zombies is unlike anything else in the Switch's library and, between the core campaign and six years of constant DLC updates, there's potentially hundreds of hours of enjoyment to be had here. Granted, all of this comes at the cost of performance that can be middling compared to other platforms, but this is neatly balanced out by the convenience of playing in handheld mode. We'd give Dying Light a strong recommendation, though with the caveat that Switch owners who rarely play in portable mode may want to pause and consider buying it elsewhere. Wherever you may fall, we'd strongly encourage you to consider this Switch port; it really is quite good.
If we were to name any complaint, it’s that the core gameplay in Evertried can feel a little stale after extended sessions. Skills and traps mix up the way you play somewhat, but you’re ultimately still confined to pressing one of four directions for the whole game, which gets a little samey given enough time. Still, we’d give this one a recommendation; there’s lots of replayability, the concept of its gameplay is something we haven’t seen before, and (most importantly) it’s fun.
Astria Ascending may not be a flawless release but the solid combat system, spectacular visuals, deep character skill building, and wealth of content make for an experience that JRPG fans will feel right at home with. We'd give this one a recommendation to anybody looking for an original RPG to sink their teeth into; the writing and plot could have done with more development and attention, but there's lots to love about Astria Ascending and we're eagerly anticipating whatever Artisan Studios does next.
Beast Breaker is the epitome of a hidden gem, and we would highly recommend you give it a shot. Like its main character this game may be small, but it proves to be exceedingly effective at what it sets out to do. Creative, engaging gameplay and a surprising amount of depth combine to make for an experience that may surprise at just how much it hooks you.
Monster Crown is a decent game that falls short of greatness in a few areas. Legitimately cool ideas with breeding and an overall solid combat system are let down by lackluster monster designs and performance issues. Then there's the elephant in the room, which is that Monster Crown ultimately feels like a jankier and less addictive version of the oldest Pokémon games. We'd still give this one a recommendation, as the bones of the experience are good enough that its worth a punt for big Pokémon fans pining for the 8-bit days, but you might want to wait for a sale with this one.
Steel Assault is like a bite of an extremely delicious, well-seasoned steak. Just one bite. It lingers in your mind and makes you wish for more, yet in some respects, that's much better than if you were given the whole thing and took it for granted. If you liked the snappy action and ridiculous difficulty of may old arcade classics, then Steel Assault is absolutely something you should look into. It's absurd, it's fun, it's hard. And it's short. It doesn't offer up much more once you've reached the end, but what's here is intensely well-executed, and we'd definitely recommend you give it a go.
Eastward proves itself to be a memorable and enjoyable mashup of many beloved classic titles, combining each of their elements together to forge something that feels distinct and engaging. Creative gameplay sequences, a heartwarming and emotional story, and a killer art style all combine to make this one easy to recommend. That being said, we'd also offer a word of caution that this is a slow burn kind of game; if you're not a patient player, Eastward's sometimes lethargic pace may take a lot of enjoyment out of the experience. Wherever you may fall, Eastward is indisputably a game worth checking out, and we'd encourage you to give it a shot.
Monster Harvest is a good example of why great ideas also need to be followed up with great execution. There's nothing wrong with the idea of a farm sim with monster-catching elements, but Monster Harvest does a rough job of convincing you of that. The monster RPG content is so poorly done that it might as well have not been implemented at all, as it clearly took focus away from the decent farm sim portion of the gameplay. Amazingly, the farm sim gameplay still redeems this enough that it's not a complete dumpster fire, but we'd only give this the barest of recommendations to anybody looking for another entry in the genre. Take our word for it, you're much better off just starting over with a new farm in Stardew Valley, or picking up Rune Factory 4.
Sonic Colors Ultimate is well-executed revisit of a high point in Sonic's long career. Most of the quality here stems from the content of the original, rather than the new additions and tweaks for this re-release. Things like the Jade Ghost and extra customization options are welcome, but not game changing, and the musical and graphical improvements are minimal. At the end of the day, though, this is still a well-performing, portable version of a classic and that's arguably all that it needs to be. We'd give this one a recommendation, then, to anyone who has yet to experience Sonic Colors, as this is certainly the best and easiest way to try it out. If you're a fan of the original, we'd still say it's worth a punt - you'll still love the game on Switch. Just be aware that this isn't a massive overhaul of what came before.
Spelunky 2 is a masterclass in great roguelite game design, expertly combining crushing difficulty with a steady drip of new secrets and lessons to keep you coming back for more. Some may be put off by the steep challenge-this is certainly a game you have to work for a bit-but putting in the effort is sure to reward you with plenty of thrilling memories. We'd give this game a high recommendation to any fans of roguelites or challenging platformers, and even if that doesn't describe you, this is still certainly worth a look.
Nearly a decade on, Spelunky still has all the fundamentals in place and remains a great entry in the roguelike genre. Solid gameplay, plenty of secrets, and an addictive gameplay loop make for an easy game to recommend, though we’d say you should come into this one prepared to die a lot before you really ‘get it’. Whatever your tolerance for difficulty may be, Spelunky proves to be a nice fit for the Switch; it’s certainly worth your time if you never tried it before.
Boyfriend Dungeon is an excellent example of a flawed gem, with an original premise and an engaging gameplay loop marred by a lack of development of ideas and mechanics. Combat is really fun, until you realize it's kind of shallow. The characters are interesting, until they become unbelievable or downright unlikeable. It's the kind of game that seems pretty great until you really get to know it, after which it can start to feel like work. We'd give Boyfriend Dungeon a very light recommendation, as there's enough here to justify a purchase and you'll likely be glad that you gave it a shot. That said, there are some legitimate issues in its execution, so maybe wait for a deep sale before picking it up.
Shadowverse: Champion's Battle is without a doubt the greatest card battling RPG on the Switch yet; an addictive and incredibly deep card game wrapped up in a heartwarming and enjoyable RPG that supplements and supports the potent core gameplay in all the right ways. Dozens of hours of content in single player alone, combined with a full-fledged online multiplayer, ensures that you're getting plenty of bang for your buck, while the anime presentation and detailed card art and animations keep everything looking and sounding nice all the way through. If you're at all into card games, don't waste your time deliberating: go buy this game immediately. Shadowverse: Champion's Battle is an extremely easy game to recommend, and absolutely worth your time.