I just bought a switch! Help me catch up on games (ports welcome)

  • Hi everyone,

    I just foolishly and impulsively bought a Switch, knowing full well that I can't really afford one and that I'm far too busy to get addicted to Zelda and Mario. I'm kind of hoping this will turn into a Vita situation; I got my Vita mainly to play Persona 4 Golden, FFX, and to catch up on all the PS1 games I had missed growing up. You all were super helpful in helping me pick my library back then, so I'm hoping you'll be willing to do me the same favor here. What games should I get for my Switch? Keep in mind that I've essentially missed out on the last 5-6 years of new releases, and have massive holes in my backlog from even before then. I'm a huge fan of JRPGs, and I typically consider myself very bad at video games (so Dark Souls, Doom, and Wolfenstein might be a bit too far out of my wheelhouse, but I'm open to them). Here's what I have on the list so far:

    Zelda (owned)
    Mario (will for sure get soon)
    Maybe Skyrim (hated the combat in Oblivion, but I'm curious to see what the fuss is about)
    Okami (played the first couple of hours on the wii and got really frustrated with the waggle/input lag, but I'm willing to give it another go)
    Donkey Kong
    Probably Octopath, but I'm worried about it not coming together the way I want it to.

  • Hey man, we as gamers have all been there. I recently got a raise at work and impulse bought a Switch. I can technically afford it but $399 plus tax plus games plus basically mandatory accessories adds waaaaaaay up - raise or not - and I had to keep the pockets tighter in other areas of life for the remainder of that month.

    I've played Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart 8, Shovel Knight, and Pixel Junk Monster 2 for the Switch. I have also played some of the recent ports on other systems that you've seemed to miss. I'm going to try to help you out from a budgetary standpoint.

    • Mario Odyssey

    It's essentially a must-play as a Switch owner. I've never been too impressed by 3D Mario with Sunshine being my controversial favourite of all the 3D Mario games. I have to say, although Mario Odyssey is not as great as the critics led me to believe, this is a really fun and high quality platforming game. It starts easy and if you try to clear most of a level before moving onto the next, you'll get 10-20 hours out of it. After this, you'll face increasingly difficult new challenges on older levels which can add dozens of more hours. The game plays well on both handheld and docked, but I much prefer docked. You'll get a good bang for your buck here.

    • Zelda

    You already own it. Great! I think this game has some of the hardest and most heart breaking falloff I've ever had in gaming where I enjoyed the hell out of it for 5 hours, then I slowly got progressively more bored of it in later hours. Fact of the matter is that I am at 30+ hours and nowhere near done. I enjoyed a lot of it and I can let go without finishing and still feel like I got my moneys worth. If you LOVE IT, then you're in for 40-100h of fun. Amazing bang for you buck.

    • Skyrim

    They had 6 years to improve the combat from Oblivion and they straight up didn't. If you truly cannot stomach bad combat, then I can't recommend Skyrim. What they did change is the level scaling. If you level up, the enemies have a fixed level based on enemy type and location so that means combat isn't as brutal as it became in Oblivion. Regardless, I hate the combat but still like this game. Since 2011, I've put in 100h. It's nothing compared to how much I played Oblivion but this game has just as much content if not more than its predecessors. If you don't like the main storyline there are at least 4 different fully fleshed out side questlines that take hours to complete and are thrilling. Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild are worth the money alone. I played 80h of vanilla Skyrim on PC and my friends have played 100+ hours before modding it. I have no frame of reference for Switch, but I am certain that the Switch version includes the DLC and original game which means you can get anywhere from 60-200+ hours of Skyrim if you want to. Ultimate bang for your buck.

    • Hollow Knight

    Another longer one, maybe 20 hours. This game is tough so it may be too much for you, but don't be afraid to use guides. Lots of atmosphere and player choice to suit your play style. The backtracking and unlocking new abilities is very satisfying and the world has a really great aesthetic. I played this on PC and have no frame of reference of how it plays on Switch.

    • Pixel Junk Monster II

    A tough puzzle game that is a BLAST with a friend or roommate playing couch co-op. It is tough but generally fair, and the cheery vibe helps mediate the possible anguish you'll face when you keep botching the perfect score you need to progress to later levels. Just have a laugh and put it down when it gets too tough. I think this is the best tower defence series ever made and I highly recommend anybody to try it. A great road trip or away from home game. There is no story to focus on, which I find hard to do away from home, but it is very engaging and demands your attention.

    As per the mandatory accessories... Well, they can mostly wait. I'd say the only one you NEED is a screen protector. I bought a tempered glass screen protector and I'm pretty happy about it but they can be a bit tricky to apply and avoid the damn air bubbles. The Switch dock is a POS and I'm surprised they released it the way it is but you can easily damage your screen not to mention how easy it is to hurt your screen when bringing it places.

    I also bought a carrying case, a console protective case with paddle grips to make it easier to hold, and a 64GB memory card. These can wait for when you build that wallet back up.

    Enjoy man!

  • Top tier picks:
    Earthlock is a pretty solid PS1-style RPG. If that's your comfort zone, absolutely pick it up.

    Everyone with a Switch should own Blossom Tales. It's an indie (VERY indie) Zelda-like adventure game, and an utter joy from start to finish.

    Mid tier:
    Little Dragon's Cafe just came out and looks right up your alley. Get it if you'd like to play sometging other people are likely to still be playing.

    Mercenary Saga Chronicles is a 7 at best, but it's packed a ton of game into a cheap price point, and has that classic Tactics action. (Into the Breach reviews much better than Mercenaries Saga, for sure, but it's not sword-and-sorcery-changing-jobs Tactics)

    Personal Picks:
    Kamiko is $5, and just the soundtrack alone would easily be worth $20. I recommend this game to everyone, because it's cheaper than a sandwich and has what might be my favorite soundtrack on Switch so far.

    Metroidvanias seem to fit your taste, so there's Cave Story, Kero Blaster, Hollow Knight, and Dust: An Elysian Tale.

    And Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, which is basically the greatest game ever made. Obviously.

  • Doom and Wolfenstein are great picks if you don't mind the 30 FPS performance (i personally don't). Doom is actually not that hard, i play it on gamepad and getting through the enemies at normal difficulty is easier than i expected. Wolfenstein on the other hand, well i'll just say that that game is pretty unfair, lol. I think the difficulty above "Can I Play, Daddy?" will be good for you, not too easy but still engaging enough.

  • @dipset I feel like you understand me on a deep, spiritual level. Also, I hadn't thought of accessories yet, but now I'm moving them higher up on the list (especially screen protector and carrying case). Thanks!

    @Inflorescence I saw Kyle stream Earthlock and I really dug it. Didn't realize it was on switch. Thanks! Also, Blossom Tales seems delightful, and I'm surprised it hasn't garnered a bigger following (yet).

    And @bam541 this is super weird, but my brain/eyes can't really take 60 FPS (I think it's like information overload and I get motion sickness really easily), so 30 FPS is not an issue with me :)
    Also beyond fine with playing games on easy when given the option. It's a tricky line to walk, but generally speaking I'd rather feel like a god than get super frustrated when I play a game.

  • @naltmank lol that's a bizarre trait to have, i don't know whether to envy you or not.

  • @naltmank said:

    I just foolishly and impulsively bought a Switch, knowing full well that I can't really afford one

    This is going to influence the games I suggest you pickup, because I don't believe people should have to put themselves in financial trouble to enjoy video games. So keeping that in mind, the first thing I'm going to say is hold off on Mario Odyssey for now. My own grudges against the structure of that game aside, it isn't very long so you'll blow through it in no time, and it doesn't have the best replay value. If you want a platformer, instead I'll say you have two options. Hollow Knight, which is an extremely affordable, lengthy Metroidvania with an emphasis on combat, or Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, which is a full priced, more straight shot experience you could blow through, but if you go for 100% on it, you'll get a good chunk of playtime out of it before you're through. You should play both eventually, but I'd say besides the pricepoints, it should come down mostly to whether you prefer combat focus like Hollow Knight or platforming focus like Tropical Freeze.

    Next up, you mentioned Skyrim, and that truly is a game you could spend tons and tons of time on, but seeing that it is still full price this long after originally coming out, I implore you to just keep an eye on that and wait for a sale. It'll happen eventually, and you might be able to slash that price in half even if you're patient. It isn't a new game, so no harm in waiting a bit longer. Okami on the other hand is reasonably priced for it's age, but the problem with Okami HD on Switch is it takes up 9.4 GB of space, something the Switch is already very limited on. Getting the physical edition would solve this, but they only released the physical edition in Japan. It does have full English on it, but you'd have to find a way to import it, which could drive the cost of the game up. Just keep all that in mind. Careful managing that space until you're able to afford a card to expand the internal storage.

    I'm a huge fan of JRPGs

    Octopath Traveler has multiple lengthy demos on the Switch eShop, so before you purchase the game you should play through those. The most recent demo even allows you to carry progress from it to the main game. This is also a lengthy, full price game, so I'd say go ahead and bite as long as what you experience in the demos is what you want from the title. If you love JRPG battle mechanics, I think this is worth the pickup for you.

    Now, the big boy JRPG on the Switch, something surprisingly missing from your list, Xenoblade Chronicles 2! Full disclosure, this is probably my second favorite game on the Switch behind Breath of the Wild, but this is largely for reasons that in my opinion make it the perfect purchase for yourself. First off, this is an extremely meaty JRPG, and by that I mean I'm over 250 hours in this game and not done. Before you get overwhelmed, credits took me maybe half of that, dragging my feet through and really admiring the sights, and I think the story has a perfect pace, but just playing through the main scenario leaves a ton on the table to seek out in this game. There are entire huge areas of the game the main story doesn't even take you to. There's loads of sidequests, many Rare Blades with their own stories you won't pull during the main story, a whole slew of optional bosses to seek out, and the game has pretty extensive NG+ features so if you loop around a second time you're able to squeeze even more value out of it.

    As far as difficulty goes, there's an Inn system in this game that lets you keep your party at exactly whatever level you want them to be, meaning you can "grind" to overcome any encounter if you want to, mostly through completing sidequests for bonus exp you can cash in if you aren't feeling up for challenging encounters, or you can set your party to the on par levels or below them for more challenge and trade the bonus exp for some extra stuff. On top of this, the game does have an easy mode, and on top of that it also has more recently added highly extensive difficulty tweaking options, so you can set every aspect of combat to precisely whatever you enjoy. This game is accessible to anyone.

    JRPGwise, this game starts off a little goofy, but then gets more serious a couple chapters in. The interesting main cast of characters manage to stay important and relevant throughout the entire game. There's many more side characters you can obtain and dig into their own side stories. There's loads of sidequests to discover. There's diverse, huge open areas to explore and find secret areas within. There's a good economy, as money remains useful throughout most of the game. There's a little retro style minigame you play to obtain items to upgrade a character that's pretty fun for a bit. You also have salvaging mechanics for extra loot if you want to grind money ever, which involves finding an area to salvage from, doing some little quick time events, then possibly fighting monsters depending on your luck. There's alot here in the base game, and if you want even more, including the soon to be released massive prequel expansion, down the line you can buy into that as well, but for now the base game will last you a long, long time. I genuinely recommend you pick this up before anything else mentioned in this post.

    Moving on finally, let's get to some third parties. This post is already really long, so I'm going to rattle through afew as quick as possible. Sonic Mania, pretty cheap outstanding game with fun and creative bosses as well as amazing music that's not super long, but if you're as bad as I am at Sonic it'll take you awhile to git gud enough to get the true ending and unlock all the bonuses. Stardew Valley, great value Harvest Moon-like extremely long game that's pretty chill and has the best fishing system in any game I've ever played. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, midpriced beautiful retro platformer that basically comes with three campaigns, two of them good, with yet another on the way, as well as a local coop fighting game attached. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, super cheap but short Castlevania-like with many endings and many unlockable modes depending on the choices you make while playing, including a boss rush. Into the Breach, pretty cheap concentrated down strategy game with multiple difficulty settings and many player preference team options to delve into as you unlock more.

    All that said, you started by saying you foolishly and impulsively bought a Switch you can't really afford, so don't buy anything until you finish Breath of the Wild. That's also a lengthy game with tons to uncover, so it should last you a good while. The only thing I would suggest you might want to pickup now is a Pro Controller, preferably the Xenoblade 2 Special Edition or later as those models have the fixed D-Pad, as you might want to hold a more traditional controller while playing these lengthy games for long play sessions. You could also wait for the coming Smash themed one if you're more into the white grips. There's also rumors on the wind that maybe Nintendo will finally be releasing controllers with microphones built in for proper voice chat through the system, so maybe wait on those?

    Last little piece of advice, go to your eShop and hit search, then smack that "games with demos" button and try lots of stuff out! It is all free, and you might discover stuff none of us have mentioned that could be up your alley like the pinball platformer Yoku's Island Express or Valkyria Chronicles 4, which is basically a JRPG meets a strategy game. Hopefully some of this was helpful. Enjoy your Switch.

  • Banned

    I'm planning on getting a Switch before the year is out but will most likely be using it exclusively to play, well, exclusives.
    I'm not a huge fan of playing games on the go (prefer reading/listening to podcasts and music) but dem Ninty games just too good to pass up.
    Getting Smash because it is objectively the best series in all of gaming. Fight me.
    Getting Kart 8 Deluxe because I poured so many hours into 8 on the WiiU and feel like I could do it all over again, especially with a proper battle mode this time.
    Getting Mario Odyssey because I've been waiting for a new core 3D Mario for years and it looks amazing.
    Getting Super Mario Party because the wifey n I love MP.
    Considering getting Breath of the Wild. Haven't liked Zelda in years and have little to no desire to play this one, but everybody I know who has played it says it's the bee's knees so I might suck it up and give it a whirl.
    Ports are a no go for me as I have a PS4 Pro and decent PC, and playing barely servicable ports of games I can get on those other platforms is not enticing to me, portability or not.

  • Can you really claim you're a Switch owner without owning Smash?

  • @yoshi Yes.

    @El-Shmiablo said:

    playing barely servicable ports of games I can get on those other platforms is not enticing to me, portability or not.

    Depends on the thing being ported. Some are barely serviceable like Rime and Doom, but less technical stuff runs almost the same as elsewhere on top of being portable, which fair enough if you don't care about that and have a PC for lots of that stuff, but that's not the case for everyone.

  • @el-shmiablo i think portable isnt just for gaming on the go, its just really comfortable on the couch not looking at the tv

  • Banned

    @bigdude1 The only situation I can see myself undocking the thing is if wifey wants to use the big TV for something and I must absolutely play something on Switch at that time.
    Like I said, I am in this purely for those sweet, sweet Ninty games.

  • @el-shmiablo I actually play exclusively undocked because I don't own a TV haha. It works great for me but I get why people prefer to play docked if they can.

    @Yoshi You bet your ass I'm getting Smash when it comes out. The most recent direct is what amped my hype up enough to impulse buy a switch in the first place. That and it's my birthday and I just felt like getting myself something nice for a change.

    @bard91 No worries about me being too financially irresponsible, I'm actually notoriously "frugal," if you know what I mean. As @DIPSET surmised, I just happened to fall into a slightly more financially stable situation where I could reasonably carve out some room in my budget for a Switch if I make a couple other sacrifices in my budget til my next paycheck. I'm perfectly happy with my decision so far! Didn't realize Okami HD was physical only in Japan, which is a bummer, but also kind of a boon, since it'll 1) make me hold off for even longer, and 2) theoretically work as a Switch "study" game once I finish DQV (study games are games that I play in Japanese to learn new vocab and stuff that don't necessarily pop up in textbooks and stuff like that. Both DQV and I suspect Okami are somewhat difficult because of accents in peoples' speech, but DQV at least is still perfectly understandable once you get used to it). I hadn't thought of Xenoblade, partially because I tend not to click with non-turn based RPGs as much (it's the reason I never finished FFXII back in the day), but also partially because I just forgot about it. The original Xenoblade Chronicles is my friend's favorite game, though, so I've been meaning to check the series out for some time now, and you make an excellent case for why I'd probably really enjoy it. I'll add it to the list! Also great call with the Octopath demo. I totally forgot about that. Think it will ever get de-listed ever? In any case, I plan on playing Zelda for a good long while before my next purchase, so my wallet will surely rebound by the time I'm ready for my next purchase. Thanks!

  • @naltmank I don't understand why or how I was referenced in this thread since I hadn't posted here, but I guess I may as well provide my perspective ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Sadly from the 3 physical games I've bought for the Switch only Mario + Rabbids I think is good, Odyssey is not a good Mario game in my eyes and Xenoblade is one of the worse RPGs I've ever played a decent amount of.

    That leaves Shovel Knight which I think is fantastic, Oxenfree which is well worth its price and Hollow Knight which I think is very good but I'm frankly reaching a point of where it is getting tiring.

    One particular recommendation I would make would be for Ys 8 which I played on PS4, and I liked it more than anything I've played on the Switch, and soon we have The World Ends With You which I'm giving a second chance after not finishing the game on the DS.

  • @bard91 Haha my bad I meant to tag @Mbun. My wires must have gotten crossed between threads. Kind of funny considering your antithetical opinions on Xenoblade. In my defense I typically spend 10ish hours out in the hot sun for my work, so my brain is a little fried. I should also really consider sleeping more.

  • @naltmank said:

    1. theoretically work as a Switch "study" game

    Xenoblade Chronicles 2 actally also has a Japanese audio track free DLC, but the text in the English version will be all English. There's also a cutscene theatre on the main menu where you could rewatch them in each of the languages.

    I tend not to click with non-turn based RPGs as much (it's the reason I never finished FFXII back in the day)

    Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a very unique battle system that is kind of about learning when to time attacks and maintaining momentum, and honestly the biggest hurdle to the game is wrapping your head around it at first, especially for those who skip through the not even long tutorial text, but once it clicks you're good. There's a pretty lengthy breakdown of most of it in this topic. I don't remember too many spoilers in there either, and you can ask for personal help in that topic if you need it. Strangely, they've added tons of great features to the game since launch, but there's still not tutorial refresher menu anywhere, which is one of the game's biggest flaws.

    Kind of funny considering your (bard91's) antithetical opinions on Xenoblade.

    I definitely get how people could have a bad experience with the game, since combat is rougher before you get your whole party, and the story doesn't really take off until a couple Chapters in when the tone finally settles in more. If you're really on the fence about it, I can't vouch for this entirely, because it isn't out yet, but Nintendo keeps saying the Torna: The Golden Country prequel expansion to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can be played before or after the main game, and it only costs half the price of the main game and has a physical edition with a cart inside that also comes with a download code for the Expansion Pass if you want to get the main game later and get all the other DLC content the Expansion Pass entitles you to . The combat for it is slightly different, but I'm not sure if that will make it easier or more challenging. It seems to have a simplified system for special attacks at the very least, and the cast for it is completely set in stone, unlike the main game where you can find new characters to join your party. So it is basically a more condensed slice of the game taking place in new sections of the same world a long time before the story of the main game with some different characters if that sounds more appealing or less risky of a try to you.

  • The Switch only has a few games that aren't ports or rereleases

  • @darthammii This meme needs to die already.


    And this is from 5 months ago, so there's even more now.

  • Bayonetta 1 & 2
    Hyrule Warriors
    Gunvolt 1 & 2
    Pupuyo Tetris

  • @mbun Meme? I don't give to shits about all that, I'm just saying my opinion that the console doesn't have many good games that can't be played somewhere else. And they're usually the poorer ports.