4 Nintendo Switch RPGs You Should Pay Attention To This Summer
With the exception of a few blockbusters like Elden Ring and Pokemon Legends: Arceus, 2022 has been relatively quiet for video game releases. Thankfully, as we move into the second half of the year, things are beginning to pick up. The console is now in the midst of a summertime RPG blitz, with four notable games releasing over a month’s time.
The flood started with a one-two punch of late June drops. First there was Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, a sequel to one of the system’s best RPGs, Fire Emblem: Three Houses (which is still in development). Weaving an intriguing alternate history narrative about the erupting war between Fodlan’s three major nations and the shadowy forces responsible for it, Melding the Dynasty Warriors series’ button-mashing “musou” gameplay with Three Houses’ world and cast creates an fascinating alternative history story about the looming conflict.
Three Hopes distinguishes itself from other Warriors games by incorporating a range of Fire Emblem staples into its gameplay, transforming what would otherwise be another rote musou game into an engaging, lighter action-RPG. Unit management is critical to your success in Three Hopes because you must steer your troops across the map in order to capture strongholds and accomplish objectives successfully. The Fire Emblem trademark weapon triangle and combat arts are also included, adding depth to the often mindless musou fighting. These elements add interest to Three Hopses as a fun companion to Three Houses.
Capcom released Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, a meaty DLC expansion for the popular Switch/PC RPG, less than a week after Three Hopes launched. Similar to Monster Hunter World, Sunbreak adds nearly a full game’s worth of new content to Monster Hunter Rise by introducing new environments to explore, new and returning monsters to hunt (as well as their own armor sets to master).
First and foremost, there are three big releases on the way: SaGa Scarlet Grace, The Silver Case, and Valkyria Chronicles 4. While these two titles alone would keep most gamers occupied throughout the summer, there are still two more brilliant Switch RPGs on the horizon before July is out. Live a Live is an obscure Super Famicom game that has never been officially released outside of Japan. Beautifully remade in the HD-2D visual style pioneered by Octopath Traveler, Live a Live is one of the most innovative RPGs from the ’90s, with seven self-contained stories set across time periods ranging from prehistory to far into space.
This collection of chivalry fiction novels also includes multiple tales with a variety of themes and settings, each with its own unique gameplay hook: as a shinobi, you’ll penetrate a lord’s castle in “Twilight of Edo,” while “Prehistory” follows a young caveman’s journey without speaking. Live A Live’s gimmick is still unique and compelling 28 years after its original release, and to get the opportunity to play an RPG from what is arguably the genre’s golden era is fascinating.
Finally, one week after Live a Live goes live, Nintendo will release Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the most important Switch game of the summer – literally and figuratively. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a self-contained tale about two hostile nations locked in an endless fight: the militaristic Keves and the magical Agnus. The story follows a group of soldiers from both sides as they join forces to discover the truth behind the never-ending war engulfing their country.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 appears to build on the series’ best elements, such as its intricate gameplay and massive, fantastic worlds. The new class and interlink systems provide for a more complex combat experience, while the areas that Nintendo has shown thus far are breathtakingly vast and lovely. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may be a great alternative for Switch users looking for a big, open-world adventure even if they haven’t played the previous games, with Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 now scheduled to release next year.
Between these four games, it’s a good time for RPG fans on Nintendo Switch. It’ll be interesting to see if Live a Live and Xenoblade live up to their early promise, but the arrival of such a large number of RPGs this early in the year is exciting. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to play them all before the holiday rush begins.