The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake for the Switch improves most of the flaws from the original game while maintaining (or enhancing) everything that makes Link's Game Boy adventure a classic. Its shiny new coat of paint suits it well, even if slowdown issues pop up from time to time. A few hours of play is all it takes to remind you why Zelda fans love Link's Awakening so very much.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a quintessential example of a great sequel. It takes everything that's fun about the first game and adds more of the good stuff while removing the mechanics that didn't work the first time around. It's slow to really get started, but once it starts rolling, you never want to stop digging, building, and fighting. If you're curious about the Dragon Quest Builders series on any level, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a good jumping-on point.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has been a long time coming, but now that it's here, fans of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night have everything to gain. Playing through Bloodstained feels great if you're already a fan of Koji Igarashi's work—and if you're a fan of action-adventure games in general. There are some unfortunate bugs, hitches, and glitches, but once you download the 1.02 patch, you should be through the worst of them.
Cadence of Hyrule is the Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the NecroDancer crossover we never knew we needed, but now that it's here, we want the song to go on forever. Brace Yourself Games' expert handling of the Zelda property is commendable. Here's hoping we get an encore with some DLC.
SteamWorld Quest is a diet RPG, but it still contains plentiful portions of Image & Form's unique charm and humor. Its card-based battle system is engaging, and you might find yourself enjoying it a lot even if you're not a big fan of digital card games. Expect a straightforward journey that ends much sooner than most RPGs, but maybe a 15-hour quest isn't such a bad thing in a genre that keeps piling on 100-hour epics.
The visuals in Yoshi's Crafted World speak for themselves. Every corner you turn presents something new to wonder at. The game's a bit on the easy side, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if you accept Yoshi titles are more about exploration and collecting than serious platforming. It's a great little "spring game" that should fill out your Switch library nicely.
Pokemon Let's Go is engineered to let youngsters play along with their parents, but there's a lot here for veterans to enjoy, too. It's relentlessly cute and colorful, and while the challenge level won't blister your skin, the new Coach Trainers will keep you hopping. We're still not sure about the Go-style method of catching wild Pokemon, but Pokemon Let's Go's ability to link-up to Niantic's app offers a quick and easy way to fill out your PokeDex. Game Freak is clearly getting the hang of the Switch, so bring on Gen VIII!
Mega Man is back from exile, and he brought a nice gift for us to show there's no hard feelings. Mega Man 11 brings back the same high-quality platforming that made the Blue Bomber a household name in the '80s and '90s, and the new Double Gear system shakes up the classic gameplay without feeling like an intrusion.
If you're a fan of Dragon Quest VIII, you'll find a lot to love about Dragon Quest XI. Its character-driven plot and skill system recall the series' breakout PlayStation 2 installment, though Dragon Quest XI's lively world and expressive monsters lend it a unique feeling and flavor. Some fans might feel let-down about Dragon Quest XI's lack of job system or other options that let you fine-tune every aspect of your party (what I wouldn't give to see Dragon Quest V's monster-friending system make a return), but if you're in the market for a turn-based RPG that feels nostalgic but doesn't force you to deal with old genre mechanics, you won't find a better quest.
Octopath Traveler's attempt to balance new and old JRPG mechanics is impressive, and mostly successful. There's a charming one-of-a-kind title here that opts to talk about eight characters instead of focusing on one team, one world, and one story. Does this unusual method of storytelling work? I think so, but personal preferences will vary. Some over-long boss fights and questionable dedication to certain retro mechanics mar Octopath a bit, but if you own a Switch and love JRPGs, adopt this fluffy, lovely snow leopard of a game for your own.