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Switch Top Ten

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But wait! There’s more. Not only do you find a writing hook that you can use, you also change your original approach. Rather than look for the top ten, look for the bottom ten and work your way from there to see what rises to the top. Let’s see what the result gives me!

Thanks to my Backloggery page, I can see that I currently have logged ownership of 68 games for my Switch. (Without getting into the whole “Do you actually own a digital game?” argument, let’s just accept that number). Of those 68 games, I have finished or played a portion of 27 of those titles. If I can focus myself and get through seven more while wrapping up some of the unfinished games, I could possibly be at 50% completion this year for the Switch which is pretty unusual for me these days and a console. Last time I was close to that would have been GameCube days around 2005 - 2006 before I started buying all the games I wanted with the extra capital I then found myself making. Of course, this could still be a challenge as I will be getting more games added to my collection. I’ve got Kirby and the Forgotten World about to join for instance. Yet, a lot of this doesn’t matter too much. Just mentioning it in case it gives someone reading this some inspiration to post or possibly use for further discussion.

Of those 27 games, I then looked that list over and asked myself, “If there was one title I could never play again from these games, which would I be ok with not seeing again?”. Then I eliminated that title and asked the question again of the remaining titles. From this process, I was able to come up with a list. It still got a bit harder as it went on and produced some interesting results but let’s go through that list now.

Part of me feels like I need to elaborate and give more of an elaboration on how I arrived on this list and I frankly want to but let’s just get it posted for now and then I can come back and add commentary about it later.

27. A Case of Distrust
26. Murder By Numbers
25. Down in Bermuda
24. Yono and the Celestial Elephants
23. Gris
22. Return of the Obra Dinn
21. Technosphere
20. Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise
19. Untitled Goose Game
18. Part Time UFO
17. 1-2-Switch
16. Super Bomberman R
15. Yooka-Laylee
14. Grim Fandango
13. Jenny LeClue Detectivu
12. ARMS
11. Hollow Knight

10. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
9. Super Mario Odyssey
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
7. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
6. Super Mario Party
5. Snipperclips Plus
4. Metroid Dread
3. Lumines Remastered
2. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
1. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This method produced some interesting results. (Particularly number 3!) It should be noted that games I’ve played but haven’t completed are 1-2-Switch, ARMS, Super Bomberman R, Hollow Knight, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, Snipperclips Plus and Lumines Remastered. As such, some of these “unfinished games” benefitted from that status because when asking what games I would be ok with not playing again, I wasn’t ok with losing them with unresolved business and thus wanted to play again.

On the other hand, some games probably suffered a bit from that. Super Mario Odyssey’s placement at 9 was probably the hardest as I asked myself a few times would I really be ok with losing it forever but keeping the 8 games ahead of it? At this moment in time, I kind of am because I felt I had really exhausted or squeezed out how much there was to do in the game, particularly at the end when getting rank 50 with Luigi’s Balloon World. I’d seen so much of that game over and over by that point that I can still picture and recall so much about it which has resulted in my being uninterested in going back to replay it right now particularly compared to the other games listed ahead of it. On the flip side, it was the game I pretty much dove into when getting a Switch and spent more time playing than some of the other games ahead of it like Metroid Dread or MK8 Deluxe. I think it is absolutely worth playing for any Switch owner and when the game was fresh and I wasn’t grinding for coins to buy outfits or the Balloon World ranks then it would likely be top five. In the end, it still ended up in the top ten because I can still remember a lot of the good times and a lot of those highs are better than the highlights some of the games ranked below were able to trigger in my mind.

Ranking BotW at number one was something I was back and forth on since I really played it on Wii U and only have spent a few hours on the Switch copy I’ve got. Despite that, when comparing all these other games against it, I still had to give it the nod. I spent 400 hours on it on the Wii U and yet I’d be ready to dive back in and do it all over again on the Switch. It’s hard to deny a game which is able to cause one to sink so much time into it and still do it again. Moreover, BotW is really more associated as a Switch game then a Wii U game much like Twilight Princess is seen more as a Wii game then GameCube game. It's a weird game able to straddle two console libraries but sales and physical copies of the game alone tip it way more on the Switch scale than Wii U for which console it is more likely to be classified under.

Great Ace Attorney Chronicles at 10 was also a bit of a conflict since I might be about 60% through Case Three and still have seven cases to go making it hard to judge accurately its placement. Most everything else in the Top Ten I feel I’ve seen what they have to offer with SnipperClips Plus the only other game being sort of questionable as to whether I’d still be as positive on it if I could get through the rest of its content to know for sure. If that seems too early to accurately judge a game then allow me to push Ace Attorney Chronicles and the other games below it back one spot and insert a tie of Tetris 99/SNES Online at the 10th spot and give it to Nintendo’s online offerings. It’s hard to figure out where I’d put the SNES Online app in this when asking what to let go if I couldn’t play it again since SNES games aren’t really tied to the system and Tetris is an experience you can get in other forms although the Battle Royale experience is what has helped get me into it. Due to the time spent on these apps, maybe they deserve Top Ten representation. (Or at least a strong honourable mention like this)

Lumines Remastered. I feel I could make an argument that this game is the F-Zero GX of falling block puzzle games. I’ve had an occasional Tetris Effect thanks to Tetris 99 but I seem to have gotten way more of that from Lumines Remastered. I think about this game now and I’m already imagining falling squares and I’m trying to flip and organize them to match up and make other squares. According to my Switch profile, I’ve put 60 hours into it and I’m ready to put in more as I want to finish the Super Hard Missions and Puzzles to unlock the last two skins. Plus, there’s still other tasks I’m willing to keep shooting for just to get pointless avatars. It's more about the pursuit of overcoming the challenges and going for that high score. Sadly, it’s been around three weeks since I’ve last been able to play it and it is a game I find isn’t great for small doses (which is ironic considering it was made for the handheld PSP back in the day). As much as I like Tetris 99 and it has gotten me into playing more Tetris, I find myself giving the edge to Lumines as the better puzzle game and perhaps I’m just cresting on a high still with this game as I “get gud” and improve against its challenge but right now I stand by this ranking and say it should be in every gamer’s library.

Finally, reviewing my Switch library and what I’ve played, I do find the Switch an odd system. I’ve clearly played more third party games than first party games which hasn’t been the case with a Nintendo system for a loooooong time. As well, most third party games are non-exclusives or ports of older games. While the latter may not be remarkable, when thinking about DS, Wii, 3DS, and Wii U, most of the third party games I played or owned were usually kind of exclusive to that system. Nintendo likewise has supplemented the Switch with a lot of ports and many Switch exclusives have felt like they were still stuck in the shadow of previous entries. Or at least, online discussions and word of mouth seems to have created what looks like a consensus opinion on them. Kirby Star Allies not as good as Planet Robobot (and other recent entries.) XC2 not as good as XC1 or XCX. Yoshi’s Crafted World not as good as Yoshi’s Woolly World. Mario Maker 2 not as good as Mario Maker 1. Pokemon Sword/Shield not as good as entries in the DS era or maybe 3DS.

In some cases, it’s taken some games to reach a better critical standing because of accumulating more value / content through additional DLC. Ultimate suffered somewhat from seemingly adding few new characters and sticking with previous stages. It created a weird kind of a port and kind of dichotomy that made it hard for me to get too excited about it. (And I still miss trophies!). Now with all the DLC characters and stages added, it has made it stand out as more unique but it took awhile to get there. New Horizons has also been compared unfavorably to its predecessor New Leaf for how long it took to get most of the content that game had added into this new one.  I feel Splatoon 2 also kind of suffered a bit from this. ARMS also tried going the route of dishing out more content over time in additional fighters. Mario Golf Super Rush has also been adding content. The problem is that it creates an initial impression of being unimpressive which makes it harder to overcome as time goes by.

And then the ports from Wii U which just haven’t interested me. It just helps make the Wii U look better when it comes to Nintendo exclusives. Although there’s also sort of the remastering/reusing past game content like Link’s Awakening and Mario Party Superstars. At this point, I feel if you are a Nintendo fan, the best titles Nintendo has put out exclusive for the Switch so far are: Super Mario Odyssey, Metroid Dread, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Ring Fit Adventure, and sort of Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Breath of the Wild. Maybe Super Mario Party should be included here.

It seems that aside from those titles, most everything else on the Switch by Nintendo has been if you’d liked the previous game or like a franchise then here is more of the same like Smash Ultimate, Splatoon 2, Yoshi’s Crafted World, Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, New Pokemon Snap, Kirby Star Allies, WarioWare: Get it together, Mario Tennis Aces, etc. Perhaps I’m just getting old and have played too much Nintendo but so many games released by Nintendo on the Switch have just given the impression of being an average entry or like a fresh coat of paint to try and enliven something that’s getting a bit stale. Even BotW2 gives me some doubts about what it may ultimately be like with it seemingly reusing much of the map and world of the first game. Other titles like 1-2-Switch, ARMS, Labo, Sushi Striker and Game Builder Garage haven’t really sparked interest like Splatoon or Super Mario Maker were able to when they debuted. Heck, I almost feel BOXBOY and Pushmo were bigger sensations than these attempts at new titles and experiences. Usually, when doing a top ten for a Nintendo console, it is a fight over which Nintendo games make the cut and where they should rank against each other. With the Switch, it seems like a fight to justify why a Nintendo game should even be included in the top ten for the system.

Once more, I’ll just provide the caveat that maybe I’ve played too many Nintendo developed games over the years so it is getting harder to surprise me or refine the experiences in a fresh way but, aside from 2017, my take is that Nintendo just hasn’t brought their A-game to Switch and its succeeded without them. It’s disappointing that the company I expected to give me the best experiences on the Switch hasn’t been able to do so creating a system whose identity is a Frankenstein of other console’s software libraries. I’m curious to see what happens with the next console since I don’t think porting Wii U games again will go over as well as it did with the Switch. What happens when there is less in the port pool to pull from?

I will bump this up and post my current top Ten from the games I have physical and digital versions.

Look forward to it some time this week.


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