I don’t know if you guys heard, but Nintendo just released some hard sales numbers for the Switch since launch, and the saying the figures are impressive would be an understatement. The company has confirmed that more than 906,000 systems have been sold in the month of March, breaking the Wii’s record for the fastest selling Nintendo console in the brand’s history.
With all those machines in the hands of so many gamers, Nintendo has been given a second chance to capitalize on an install base larger enough to foster some new faith among third-party brands to bring their games to the new machine. What company better to extend that olive branch to then the one publisher that only released a single game onto the Wii U within its entire run in the states—the Japanese powerhouse, Square-Enix.
Square has already had a history of estrangement with the Big N, and the fact that these two have kept their fences mended well enough to for their handheld division of titles is a miracle that we can all breathe a sigh of relief for, but now things are different. The team of developers under Square’s employ is currently preparing a new exclusive for Nintendo’s flagship platform titled Project Octopath Traveler and they’ve already ported over the classic JRPG tribute game, I Am Setsuna, over to the Nintendo eShop, why not release even more onto the console/portable hybrid while the system is still white hot?
Here are some choice-cuts from the publisher’s library of work that deserve a home on the Switch.
The first game to come out of Square-Enix and Nintendo playing nice again after their near decade-long fallout, was a criminally underrated spinoff by the name of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. The multiplayer-focused action RPG found a cult following among fans who’ve played it, but admittedly struggled to catch on with the gaming mainstream because of the limited ease of accessibility from its stringent peripheral connection requirement with the GameBoy Advance.
The series has since spawned a few sequels on the Wii that placed their own spin on the multiplayer formula, but it never really went the placed that it should, and is assumedly on a quiet sabbatical at the moment; The Switch is the perfect platform to host the comeback for the game. Going back to the RPG Spin-off’s roots, the portability of the console makes it a much more intuitive outlet for the second screen multiplayer dynamic. The new Nintendo system can grant the opportunity for players to play on the go, or cooperatively on a couch on the big screen with one unit docked on the TV, while the other players hold their Nintendo Switch in hand.
The formula of Crystal Chronicles has always been a bit more ambitious than the tech that supported it could honestly handle, but the Switch is an entirely different beast that could finally do its novel gameplay justice.
One series in the Square library that’s had a bit of an identity crisis as of late is another candidate that can find a fresh start on the Switch, and that’s Front Mission, the publisher’s iconic tactical Mech-suit drama.
The series has been stagnating ever since it transitioned into a lackluster shooter in Square’s efforts to dubiously capitalize off of the shooting trend that commanded the market the last generation, and the publisher’s shallow efforts with the entry led to it getting critically panned. The only recourse the series may still have is for it to return back to the strategic RPG foundation that made Front Mission the property it once was, and what better chance than to host that reboot on the Switch.
Keep in mind that Square wouldn’t even have to give us a new Front Mission title either, they could go the Seiken Densetsu Collection route, and just release the first three titles of the series in a bundle. Remastering the old games with some updated audio and upscaled visuals to put a nice cherry on top of an already attractive deal—and much like Seiken Densetsu Collection, it would give the west its first look at Front Mission 2.
Continuing the theme of second chances, there’s one franchise that never got the exposure it deserved, and was recently taken off of one of the biggest marketplaces it was once available on; I’m talking about the big-budget mobile experiment that was Chaos Rings.
Square’s first premier smartphone RPG and its direct sequel were underrated experiences that didn’t get the exposure that they deserved due to its ludicrous price of admission, and to make matters worse, the release of iOS 9 and Nougat caused current copies of the games to malfunction into unplayable state, rendering them into digital garbage.
Instead of fixing these issues, the publisher decided to unceremoniously take them down from the storefronts instead, pulling the plug on one of Square’s ventures that are more memorable than some of their other affairs. Gameplay focused on Turn based gameplay that involved pair-based tactics between a duo of heroes that you control, allowing for tactics that assign various roles of offense and defense between them, or doubling down on the same strategy with both of them to maximize the effect.
The third entry to the series is still currently available, but it’s also still a bit overpriced, packaging it with Chaos Rings Omega, and Chaos Rings II with updated graphics and additional scenarios to round out the deal, and a much friendlier price would be one of the coolest exclusive that could set the Switch apart from the competition.
There are so many gems that come to mind whenever Square’s archive of RPGs come to mind, but there’s only that’s made enough of an impact to inspire a big-budget doujin developed sequel, and that’s the quirky PlayStation action-RPG, Threads of Fate.
Starring two different stories with two very different tones, the charming gem delivered an engaging battle system with a pair of playable characters to choose from, each offering their own distinctive twist to the sharp active combat at its core, much like that of Brave Fencer Musashi and Kingdom Hearts. The somber amnesiac boy named Rue is a more melee-focused warrior that’s able to get access to close-combat weaponry and special monster transformations, while his privileged, and obnoxiously bratty counterpart Mint is a sorceress-in-training that focuses on magic warfare, specializing in a large number of spells with different effects and utilities.
Many gamers cherish the venture still to this day, with an ageless sense of charisma to its experience that deserves another play-through on a platform that could benefit from its presence.
As we approach nearly 30 years of the Square-Enix’s most iconic franchise, the studio collaborated with Tose to bring a celebration of the series in a whimsical monster-catching affair aptly named World of Final Fantasy.
Borrowing some of its dynamics from another famous creature collecting series that you may have heard of, World of Final Fantasy will plant you in the role of fraternal twins Lann and Reynn, as they set off to recover their memories of their past lives as Mirage Keepers. The title grants individuals the ability to control a variety of Final Fantasy’s iconic bestiary, and command them in unique ‘stacking’ system that can create different combinations that offer a variety of different strategies to combat the surprising difficulty curve of the campaign.
Nintendo and GameFreak have dropped the ball on getting us a console Pokémon games for years now, World of Final Fantasy is an excellent alternative to those with a Nintendo machine that’re just sick of waiting on the powers that be to bring Pokémon over to the big screen.
Project Octopath Traveler, Seiken Densetsu Collection, Dragon Quest Hero Collection are just the first wave of titles from Square-Enix that’re slated to land on the Switch. We can only hope that the Publisher commits to the hardware the way they have with Nintendo’s handheld division of hardware in the past, to bring us yet another golden age of RPGs on a Nintendo home console.