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Ranking The Switch’s Greatest Shadowdrops (Aside From Metroid Prime Remastered)

#10 - #6: A Tale Of Sus Gods, Dances, And Classic RPGs

by Donald Theriault - March 1, 2023, 9:00 am EST

Including the one game with the largest wake.

#10: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD

Launch: September 2018 Nintendo Direct

On the merits of the game itself, this is a questionable inclusion; although it’s the best version of Final Fantasy XV, it’s still a fundamentally middle-of-the-road game. It’s more a game that is notable for what it led to.

FFXV was announced as the first of a series of numbered Final Fantasy games that came to the Switch. It was followed by 9, 7, 10(+10-2), and 12, with 8 being “remastered” later in 2019, Now with the Pixel Remasters finally confirmed for Switch launch, we have every numbered Final Fantasy game on the platform bar the MMOs, Devil May Cry 5 at home, and the game that spawned the “Square Enix just shot themselves in the foot” meme. Considering the high-water mark on Nintendo consoles previously was three on the Wii via Virtual Console, having two-thirds of the series on a Nintendo console is amazing.

As well, it serves as an interesting “what if” scenario for the Switch; imagine a world where we got ports of Square Enix mobile games instead of console / PC releases. That would… not go well, to put it mildly. (The only worse scenario is them running a popular action-focused RPG series as nothing but cloud releas… oh, crap, that happened too didn’t it?)

#9: Divinity: Original Sin II

Launch: September 2019 Nintendo Direct

The modern-classic computer RPG brings us from the ridiculous to the sublime with the September 2019 shadowdrop from Larian Studios (soon to be dropping Baldur's Gate 3). One of the most beloved RPGs of the last ten years, it expertly weaves a complex narrative through some good old-fashioned tabletop logic and battles that wouldn’t be out of place in a real-time strategy game.

A couple of months prior to Divinity, another complex PC-originating RPG came out with major issues that the publisher ended up giving up on patching (Pillars of Eternity). Divinity had no such technical issues, running well even when four players have met at an inn from across the entire country. If only I had the time to sit down and devote 70 hours to another role-playing game.

#8: Fortnite

Launch: June 2018 Nintendo Direct

It’s hard to call this a shadowdrop when we had multiple signs pre-launch of the game coming out, and some might say it wasn’t the best drop in its own show (including our panel). But Fortnite has meant a lot to the Switch since it brought, most notably, voice chat with a *gasp* headset and - as of a recent update - Unreal Engine 5 made it run almost as well as it did at launch?

Epic has also done a surprisingly good job of adapting to the Switch, introducing gyro control options in past updates. Of course, it’s become better known for the giant slapfight that it caused between Epic and mobile device makers or for crossing over with every nonTendo franchise on the planet. (Pretty sure it’s the best representation of Goku on Switch after Dragon Ball FighterZ, for instance.)

Fun fact: the last two slots were essentially decided by a coin toss as they finished in an exact tie during the vote.

#7: Among Us

Launch: December 2020 Indie World

Before you shove me out the airlock, hear me out. Among Us took over the world in 2020 to the point that even members of that noted bastion of cool, the United States Congress, were playing it on stream, and it has single-handedly added “sus” to the English language as a description of shadiness. The Switch is the first console platform to get the social deduction game, and it’s still getting updates to this day.

Sure, it might have come to Switch on the gradual downslope of its popularity, but it’s still a major coup and perhaps the best “one last thing” any Indie World presentation has ever had. And if I’m the imposter and someone’s wearing the Doritos Pope mask, they get vented. NO EXCEPTIONS.

#6: Actraiser Renaissance

Launch: September 2021 Nintendo Direct

Sadly, this did not signify the start of a series of Renaissance versions of Quintet’s great Super Nintendo games and Actraiser 2, but after a few aborted or unsuccessful attempts to create a proper fusion of side-scrolling action game and life sim it was nice to have the OG show us all how it’s done.

But it wasn’t just a straight port of the 30-year-old SNES launch title; the team introduced a bit more exploration to the side-scrolling stages and at the same time combined city builder and tower defense in a fashion that I had one hell of a long weekend with. Plus they actually got Yuzo Koshiro to remix one of his most iconic soundtracks and the absolute madman might have improved it.


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