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Friday, June 7, 2019

The Friday Ten: The best fan service on the Nintendo Switch


List by Matt S.

Who doesn't like a bit of fan service? The Nintendo Switch has built up quite the library of games that make the... sexier side of games a focue. Whether it's for laughs, or to make a more serious point, fan service has become a significant part of video games - particularly those that are from Japan - and with the Switch, we've finally got a handheld console that can display fan service at a high enough graphical fidelity to be worthwhile.

Here's a list of ten of the finest fan service-filled games on the Nintendo Switch so far. Be sure to let us know your favourites in the comments!

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Scarlet (Read our review)

Surely, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 must be the epitome of fan service. Beautiful women, swimsuits in endless variations, and very little gameplay that isn't tuned specifically towards showing those women and swimwear off, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is, in its specific way, a masterpiece. It really shows how effective the Nintendo Switch can be at showing off character bodies, too, because though the Switch isn't as powerful as its TV console competition, with this particular game there is that level of detail, and that smooth skin, to really make the game work as well on the handheld as it does on the big TV.



Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa (Read our review)

The newest game on the list, this one was just released last week. It's a delightful little game though. Part visual novel, and part puzzle game, in Kotodama, the gameplay bit tasks you with playing a match-3 game to "compete" against a wide assortment of boys and girls, with the characters losing layers of clothing, the better you perform. Get them down to their underthings and you'll discover that these characters have a spectacular taste in lingerie. It's entertaining, it's engaging, it's bright and colourful. It might not be strictly necessary, but hey, that's what fan service is for, right?



Gal*Gun 2 (Read our review)

Gal*Gun's a little different to some of the others on the list here, because it's not trying to be sexy. Rather, it comes across more as a game that uses fan service as a parody of fan service. It's all very meta. In Gal*Gun 2 you're a male student at a school, who is being swamped by girls that are completely infatuated with him. The only way out of the predicament is to shoot those girls full of pheromones, which causes them to "melt away" (if you know what I mean) and leave you alone. As an added bonus your fun can see through their clothes, for some reason. And for some other reason apparently all the girls decided to wear unnecessarily colourful underwear this day. So there you go.



SNK Heroines (Read our review)

SNK Heroines didn't go down so well with a lot of people, but it is nonetheless undeniably fanservicey. Fans service is the only reason the game exists, really, presenting players with a chance to dress their favourite SNK girl (Athena... always Athena) in a range of swimwear and fetish wear, and then engage in nonsense battles against other SNK girls. It really is a nonsense game, but it's an accessible fighter and the characters are certainly pretty, so it checks all the boxes for fan service, that's for sure.



The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya (Read our review)

Let's flip things around a little. The Men of Yoshiwara is fan service, but it's fan service featuring spectacularly handsome men, trying to vie for the affections of a woman. Yes, this one is an otome game, and it's a particularly good example of the genre. Stunning art work, and beautifully decadent story about an infamous pleasure quarter of the real Japan (only the real version was the other way around, with women the workers), The Men of Yoshiwara is what you expect from an otome - less focused on the body parts, more on the smouldering presence and personality.



Fairy Fencer F (Read our review)

Oooooooh Tiara. Fairy Fencer F's port to the Nintendo Switch isn't the greatest that we've ever seen, but the core game is great, and the all-important character art and models are preserved. This is one of Compile Heart/Idea Factory's best efforts in this regard too. It's not just Tiara, though she's certainly one of the best things that Idea Factory's resident artist, Tsunako, has ever created. All the characters are gorgeous, with lovely short skirts and shorts, and it's all really nicely brought to life by some of the most talented artists and music composers in the industry. This one is less out-and-out fanservicey, but it's certainly amazing for what's there.



Final Fantasy X-2 (Read our review)

Final Fantasy very rarely flirts with fan service (at least, this kind of pFire articular fan service that we're talking about in this piece), but Final Fantasy X-2 marks one occasion where the publisher did. All three of the all-female protagonist crew - Rikku, Yuna, and Paine, get decked out in all kinds of revealing costumes, from swimwear to hot pants, and on to contraptions that should not be able to stay on the body. This is paired up with a generally light tone, some rather amusing minigames, and a J-Pop/ idol theme that's infectiously charming. A delightful example of how to do fan service in the most tasteful way.



Fire Emblem Warriors (Read our review)

Fire Emblem Warriors works as fan service on multiple levels. On the one hand it's got plenty of lovely ladies in their Fire Emblem costumes - which translates to "not a whole lot of material" in many cases. It's also fan service because it brings everyone's favourite characters together for a mighty battle royale, and lets all those dream scenarios, where XXXX fights against YYYY, play out. Also it has Lyn. Anything with Lyn deserves props.



Nights of Azure 2 (Read our review)

Koei Tecmo's Nights of Azure is not its most well-known franchise, but it's a good one, particularly as far as fan service goes. It's positively filled with big busted women wearing gothic gear and getting very close to one another. Underneath that fan service sits a narrative and characterisation that is surprisingly subtle, nuanced, and sweet, but hey, if fan service be bait to a game that ends up being surprisingly more than that, it's fan service well used.



Nekopara (Read our review)

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention charming little Nekopara. Nekopara is a pure visual novel about cat girls. Over in PC world it's actually an R18+ rated adult game, where those cat girls get up to some very... stimulating... activities. On the Switch that stuff is just implied, but it's oddly better for that, because it's sweet and charming now, and the visuals therefore match with the narrative. Plus there are plenty of good panty shots in there still, so it's still fan service enough.



- Matt S. 
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld


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The Friday Ten: The best fan service on the Nintendo Switch
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