It’s that magical time of year again. The holidays are over, millions of children have gift cards and checks from grandparents burning holes in their pockets, and game developers everywhere are doing random flash sales trying to capitalize off of the influx of holiday cash. It truly is a marvelous time.
With the Nintendo Switch being the number one Christmas gift (according to me) I thought we’d take a look at the 5 E-Shop games you can pick up right now for under $20. (In no particular order).
But first! A quick honorable mention
HM: Hades – $19.99
Why is this an honorable mention? Because it was literally nominated for every award it was eligible for and anyone who pays even a little bit of attention to gaming will either say that they have this and love it, or “ughhh I know I need to play it but it’s stuck in my backlog.” Either way, I didn’t want to eat up a spot on this list with a game that is already on everyone’s radar, but the game is so incredible I had to find a way to mention it. So with that said, let’s get started.
#5: Ori and the Blind Forest – $19.99
This game is a couple years old, and it was an absolute travesty that it didn’t win best art style in the year it came out. One look at the graphics and scenes in this game leaves you with only one word, “wow.”
This game isn’t just beautiful though, it’s classic Metroidvania/Action-Platforming at its finest. Unfortunately this is a style of game that is typically lacking in innovation, or new features and is usually just trying to capitalize off of our nostalgia for games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Super Metroid. Ori and the Blind Forest is not one of those games, it’s totally unique and a breath of fresh air for the genre. This game is available on a number of other consoles as well and is totally worth your while, especially for this price point.
#4 Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light – $4.99
If you’re anything like me, then you probably played Super Smash Bros and wondered who Marth & Roy were. Then, after learning they were from a series called “Fire Emblem” you went and picked up the game for your 3DS and were stunned to find out that neither Marth or Roy were anywhere to be found.
Well, the reason for that is simple. Marth is from the first game in the series and it was only released in Japan, until now.
So full disclosure, this game is a bit dated as it’s literally the original NES version ported directly to the Switch. However, if you can get past that, underneath is a fabulous Strategy-RPG that quite literally defined the genre for years to come.
But, you need to be careful when playing this one, a staple of the Fire Emblem series, Perma-death, is ever prevalent in this game, and a misplayed turn could spell total disaster for you. I say this from experience.
And, hey, if you don’t like it, it was only $5!
#3: Katamari Damacy: ReRoll -$9.89
I got a physical copy of this game as a stocking stuffer for my wife (Also $9.89). She absolutely loves those games where you can just turn your brain off and do something repetitive. Katamari fits that bill and then some. Now you might be asking yourself, what exactly do even you do in this game? Simple, you start out really small, and you have this sticky ball you roll around, and as you roll it around you collect little things and the ball gets bigger, allowing you to roll up bigger things. Rinse and repeat until you’re no longer rolling up pennies and thumbtacks but rather are a monolithic figure rolling up people, cars, houses, and skyscrapers
Heck, you’re rolling up big enough stuff to make Snoop Dogg jealous!
I’ll show myself out.
#2: Mega Man: Legacy Collection – $9.99
This was an easy inclusion for me. Mega Man is one of my all time favorite series, especially the 6 NES titles. This game is literally just all 6 of those rolled into one convenient package on your Switch, and that alone is enough to warrant its inclusion.
To those of you who haven’t played the original Mega Man games, you are totally missing out. These games helped define the Action-Platformer genre in the mid-80’s, their blend of extreme challenge, fast paced gameplay, awesome level design, and badass soundtrack have cemented their place among the all time great series in video game history, and you can pick up all 6 of them in one convenient package for only $10! This is an absolute must have for fans of the series and newcomers alike, I can’t recommend this enough.
#1: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – $14.95
Do you love video games? Do you love Anime? Are you absolutely obsessed with Studio Ghibli? Do you love a classic JRPG? Do you have a pulse?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, Ni No Kuni is that game for you. The game is a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Level-5, and this turned out to be a match made in heaven. Level-5 is one of my all time favorite developers. Between the Dark Cloud series and their work on the all-time classic that is Dragon Quest VIII they’ve earned a place in my heart as one of the top game devs in the world.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge anime fan, however I have seen a handful of Studio Ghibli movies. While the medium is not my favorite there are a couple things I can’t deny.
- Their animation style is absolutely gorgeous.
- They know how to to tell an incredible story.
- They should have been given the task of being involved in game development way earlier.
So to take the brilliance of Studio Ghibli and combine it with the incredible dev team at Level-5 is an absolute no brainer.
This game is everything I wish modern RPGs would do more often. It’s charming, beautiful (without trying to be realistic), light hearted, but it can get serious when it needs to.
This game can take as many as 50 hours to complete but I promise you it won’t feel that way. Think of it like you’re watching a 50 hour Studio Ghibli movie, and who doesn’t want that!
This list is by no means definitive and there are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of phenomenal games on the Switch E-Shop you can pick up for next to nothing, so please don’t limit yourself to this list. Troll around for other lists, peruse the E-Shop for yourself, ask a friend, roll a dice, close your eyes and point at a list, you really can’t go wrong.
At any rate, we at Fanatic Media want to wish you a Happy (AND SAFE) Holiday season, and we’re offering our thoughts and prayers to those whose families feel incomplete this season because of the impact COVID-19.
You’re in our thoughts, and we’re wishing you all a happy new year