Friday, 17 July 2020

TOP 10 Nintendo Switch Hidden Gems

10. Shaq Fu - A Legend Reborn

Chalk this up in the ‘I can’t believe those maniacs actually made this’ category. The spiritual successor to the SNES’s Shaq Fu, A Legend Reborn takes the basketball icon from the fighting game arena to the realm of Double Dragon-esque side-scrolling beat 'em up. Sure it may be shallow, sure it may be crass and toeing the line of bad taste, but damn is it a lot of fun.

9. ION Fury

ION Fury is like a long lost 2.5D shooter that’s been hidden away on a floppy disc since the 90s. Only, it’s less than a year old! Yes, ION Fury is a love letter to a bygone, Duke Nukem-Esque era of gaming, where level design and ‘over the top’ violence were more important than character development and nuanced storytelling. Fortunately, it also includes a few quality of life improvements for the modern player, including auto-saving and HD support, making it the perfect balance between new and old.

8. Valkyria Chronicles 4

Chances are you haven’t played all (if any) Valkyria Chronicles games before, given the series’ sporadic availability, both by region and console. Fortunately, the fourth main entry is a great entry point and is arguably the best game to date. You control a group of elite soldiers in a major world war, engaging in turned-based combat against a beautiful, painterly world. It’s a gripping narrative that offers plenty of replayability.

7. Aragami: Shadow Edition

In this true sleeper hit, you play as Aragmi, a warrior with supernatural abilities. Summoned into existence by Yamiko, a prisoner of an evil army, you’re tasked with collecting up Talismans to help secure her freedom. The cell-shaded art style is gorgeous, the stealth mechanics are spot on and most of the levels can be completed pretty quickly, making it perfect for gaming on the go. A must-play for any fan of ninja hack and slashers.

6. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions

Based on the classic manga series, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions looks to blend football with roleplaying and quintessential anime madness. It combines a solid sporting experience with enough charm and heart to really set itself apart from it’s more simulation-based counterparts. Whether you’re a fan of the source material, or just discovering it for the first time, you’re sure to have a blast lacing up your vibrant, anime boots.

5. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is one of the most charming JRPGs to release in recent years. It’s got fundamentally simple yet enjoyably deep RPG mechanics, an uplifting story alongside great voice acting, adorable characters that you genuinely care for and a graphical style that is lifted straight from the cutest Studio Ghibli movie. What’s not to adore?

4. Owlboy

Inspired by NES classics such as Super Mario 3 and Kid Icarus, this “Hi-Bit” title is an absolute joy from start to finish. You play as Otus, a mute boy from a species of owl people, on an adventure that’s not only a blast to play through, but challenges you with deep, well-crafted themes that really give you pause for thought. More mainstream publishers such as EA and Ubisoft would do well to learn from the nuance found in Owlboy.

3. Mutant Year Zero: The Road To Eden

Adapted from a tabletop RPG, MYZ:RTE employs grid-based tactics ala XCOM against a unique, post-apocalyptic backdrop. Gameplay-wise, what makes the game so interesting is the way it blends turn-based mechanics with real-time stealth. It opens up so many possibilities and variations of ways you can play the game, and this decision making really makes you think about the best ways to approach each situation, making for a very rewarding experience.

2. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

Criminally overlooked compared to Breath of the Wild, this Zelda-meets-Dynasty Warriors title brings a new experience to a well-explored world. Your character feels more powerful than ever before as you sweep hordes of enemies aside with a swipe of your blade. It fixes many of the performance issues from the previous iteration, making for a much more enjoyable experience. A must-have for any Zelda fans.

1. Syberia

One of the true PC cult classics, Syberia finally has the second life it deserves on the Switch after multiple failed attempts to port it to consoles. Inspired by the works of Georges Méliès, this point and click adventure combines soft fantasy, science fiction and a rich narrative to create an intriguing experience that’s stood the test of time, and will hopefully be discovered by a new generation of curious gamers.

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