Switchaboo 2022 Game of the Year Awards

Switchaboo 2022 Game of the Year Awards
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It's that time of year again where we come together to celebrate the best and most notable game releases for the year. Our team has worked together to vote and come up with their favourite games of the year over 11 categories. We wanted the Switchaboo 2022 game of the year to be an event, therefore we'll be announcing the winners one day at a time, so be sure to check back or follow us on our socials. And here we go:

Best Graphics / Art Direction

And the winner is... Persona 5 Royal!

The style of Persona 5 Royal has become synonymous with gamers who have both played the game and not. It's such a sharp anime approach that is wonderful to look at for its whopping 100 hour runtime. Regarding its performance on Nintendo Switch, our writer Bruno César Monteiro Cordeiro Silva had this to say:

"...the graphics hold up just as well as they do on the bigger consoles, with barely any noticeable drops in quality and a butter-smooth experience."

Best Hidden Gem

And the winner is... Rise of the Third Power!

Stegosoft Games clearly have a lot of affinity for the classic 16 bit JRPG era and it shows in Rise of the Third Power. It is absolutely one of the sleeper hits for 2022 and is a must play for any RPG fan. Our writer Nathan had this to say:

"I can't help but sing praises for Rise of the Third Power. It really captures the classic RPG feeling while adding some modern quality of life improvements that bring ease of playability... Stegosoft have cemented themselves as a strong player in the RPG genre and have earned themselves a player of their future titles within me from now on."

Best Soundtrack

And the winner is... Pokémon Scarlet/Violet!

I think I still have this soundtrack stuck in my head a month later! Pokémon Scarlet/Violet may not have had the smoothest launch, but its music is stellar, arguably better than it has been in recent memory.

Most Innovative Game

And the winner is... TUNIC!

TUNIC's use of finding page's of the in-game manual in order to uncover secrets (some of which are available before you find them) is ingenious and creates a gameplay experience that is both new and nostalgic. This is what our writer Bruno said in his review:

"The graphics are cute and colourful, but the main kicker is how each area is designed with an amazing amount of hidden paths, nooks, and crannies that can lead to other areas, items, or secret passages as a way to quickly travel to an earlier point. The game unfolds like well-crafted origami, giving way to the player’s exploration as if it always expected to be poked and prodded in every way. There are many little secrets stashed away in every corner that are never truly locked from the player, but simply just out of sight, ready to reward the eager explorer or make the more linear-minded players smack their own foreheads hours later when they finally come across one. Playing TUNIC for the first time is a treat, and subsequent playthroughs are absolutely ripe for things such as speedruns and experimental attempts to traverse the land with previously-discovered pathways."

Best Single-Player Experience

And the winner is... Persona 5 Royal!

Most Anticipated Future First-/Third-Party Game

  • Fire Emblem: Engage
  • Hollow Knight: Silksong
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Octopath Traveller II
  • Pikmin 4

And the winner is... The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom!

... Surprise!

Most Anticipated Future Nindie

  • Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
  • Broken Roads
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
  • Hollow Knight: Silksong
  • Wrestlequest

And the winner is... Broken Roads!

If you've kept track of our GOTY awards these past few years, you'd know that it's been an ongoing game of tug of war between Broken Roads and Hollow Knight: Silksong. However with a lack of updates on the latter, our hype has admittedly waned a little; but more importantly, we were given the chance to go hands-on with the demo for Broken Roads at PAX Aus just two months ago. And boy, let me tell you, we like what we played!

With the pedigree behind them, Drop Bear Bytes is delivering on what will be an absolutely outstanding CRPG. Now being published by Versus Evil (known for publishing hits within the same vein like Pillars of Eternity 2, The Banner Saga Trilogy & The Hand of Merlin), Broken Roads is a post-apocalyptic RPG set in Australia with a wonderful attention to detail. Being from Australia ourselves, what impressed us the most was the game's authenticity, especially when it came to the voice acting (we can tell when non-Australians try to imitate our accent).

We could keep going but we need to move onto the other awards. But for fans of classic RPGs and rich plot variety, don't sleep on Broken Roads; you can thank us later.

Best Multiplayer Game

And the winner is... Splatoon 3!

What impressed us most about this third entry in Nintendo's newest breakout hit was not necessarily in its ingenuity, but more in its polish. Splatoon 2 felt a little rushed out of the gate in order to release on Nintendo Switch within its first year on store shelves, but the third instalment feels more carefully crafted, and we thank Nintendo for that. Here's what Nathan had to say in his review:

"Splatoon 3 splashed onto the Switch with a top tier release that has enamoured its audience by providing an improved experience, which can be thanks to the new Hero Mode and more accessibility options to game modes, such as Salmon Run available at all times. While the connection issues are a concern, this doesn’t detract from the overall experience of Splatoon 3, just a minor frustration every now and then. It’s an incredible addition to the franchise that explores more of the lore, improves the player experience, and oozes through and through with style with the music and design."

Best Third-Party Game

And the winner is... Persona 5 Royal!

It's a good time to be a Persona fan!

Best Nindie

And the winner is... Rise of the Third Power!

What a wonderful year for Nindies 2022 was, especially with the House of Indies happening right now. But above all else, an early entry stood out amongst the rest for us. Rise of the Third Power is everything we want from the future of indie RPGs. While we may not have had enough time with Chained Echoes in order to make a more rounded decision, that does not take away from how incredible DANGEN Entertainment's newest RPG hit is.

Game of the Year

And the winner is... Xenoblade Chronicles 3!

What. A. Game! The Xenoblade Chronicles series has seen a new lease on life on the Nintendo Switch, and the third entry arguably trumps the second in almost every aspect. Our writer Alex had this to say:

"Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a phenomenal entry in the series and it further cements the theory that Monolith Soft are masters of the gigantic open world JRPG genre."

And that's a wrap on Switchaboo's 2023 game of the year awards! Happy holidays, Happy New Year and here's to looking ahead to what is expected to be a stellar year in 2023.