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Hand of Fate 2 – Switch Review

Snack-sized Action RPG goodness on the perfect console.

When Hand of Fate 2 came out late last year, I loved it enough to give it my endorsement on PC, despite the awkward mouse/keyboard controls on Steam.  This week marks the launch of the game on the Nintendo Switch, and its mix of quick fights and replay value are ideal for the portable console. This is our Hand of Fate 2 Switch review.

*Pieces of this review are from the original PC-based review, as the content of the game hasn’t changed, just the platform. A code was provided by Stride PR to review the game.*

If you read our sister site, MMORPG.com’s review, you’ll get the idea that controller is the best way to play Hand of Fate 2. Rob is right. With the keyboard, the controls are simply too unwieldy. Not impossible to manage, but it’s clearly better to play with a controller. Ergo, the Switch version works really well by removing this confusion. Battles are kind of like the RockSteady Batman games or Shadow of War, but watered down a bit – attack, parry, dodge, and special. It works, but you’ll likely wish there was a bit more depth.

Hand of Fate 2 review

Hand of Fate 2 picks up where the first game left off – on the road with the dealer who in turn deals you cards that serve as a game board. There’s an overall game map this time, and as you progress you’ll unlock new quests/encounters to work through. In fact, there are far more stories to be told this time, and far more cards to unlock, making for a highly replayable game with loads of content to devour. In a lot of ways, Hand of Fate 2 is “more of the same” but in this case, that’s a good thing. There are even 4 new companion characters you can bring along with you, making the idea of an adventuring party that much closer to reality. Hand of Fate 2 doesn’t have co-op, but it could definitely benefit from it. The Switch version includes the free DLC of getting the dealer as an unlockable companion too, which is a nice little treat.

The Switch works really well with the Hand of Fate core gameplay loop. You pick your adventure, the deal deals the cards (randomly giving you encounters and trials to overcome), and then you play through. I almost always play my Switch in handheld mode, and HoF2 quicksaves after every card/encounter. Plus, you can just put the thing to sleep and come back when you’re ready. The only thing it’s missing is local co-op, which would have been absolutely ideal for the system and the game.

Overall, Hand of Fate 2 is vastly superior to the first game, and a great game in its own right. If you’re looking for a highly replayable Action RPG with beautiful visuals and fun combat, look no further. There really isn’t a game quite like Hand of Fate 2, so help foster innovation. Give this one a play for $24.

Summary
Hand of Fate 2 was an excellent spin on the ARPG when it came out in late 2017. It's even better now that it's on the Switch. The same issues are still present, namely that combat can be too simplistic, and there are just so many games on the console that Hand of Fate 2 could easily be overlooked. I hope that instead, Defiant's sequel sees a lot of new players, as it's a series I hope to see continue to evolve.
Good
  • Excellent replay factor, due to randomized adventures
  • Fun, if simple combat
  • Great presentation
Bad
  • No real character progression
  • Some long load times
8
Great
Written by
The Greatest Excite Bike Player of All Time (GEBPAT for short) and Editor in Chief of GameSpace.com and MMORPG.com.

2 Comments

  1. Never thought about this on the SWITCH, was fun on PC but agree controls were a little wonky and I wish they would have done more story to draw you in..

    • It’s quite perfect for the Switch. I really hope they take the design further, and do more with the combat and story next time too, if there is one.

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