It turns out there can be such a thing as too much Christmas cheer, especially during the week before the big day when we’re sick of the sight of the cute snowmen shops have been hawking since October and rag-tag bands of singers are prowling the streets, vocally murdering every carol you thought you liked and having the gall to ask for money for doing so. It’s enough to make anyone turn to Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister for festive inspiration, rigging up red-hot irons and blowtorches to fend off anyone who dares to get too close.
Unfortunately in the real world his style of destructive improvisation is not seen as the ingenious work of a mischievous scamp trying to protect themselves from harm, so we’ll have to settle for the next best thing instead: Switch games that either allow us to be more than a little bit mean ourselves or give us the chance to escape for a short while into a world that’s more All Hallows’ Eve than Christmas Eve.
Let’s take a look at nine great Switch games for exploring your dark side…
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Phobia Game Studio
It’s quite easy to be evil when you’re playing as a questionably sentient mass of teeth and fury, squeezing through small gaps and violently tearing barriers apart all in a bid to devour your latest victim in a blood-spraying frenzy — always accompanied by a selection of gruesome sound effects we can only describe as ‘sticky’.
By design you are not a character but an unrelenting predator in Carrion, every act causing more destruction and inching you ever closer to inevitable, terrifying, humanity-destroying, freedom.
Publisher: Innersloth / Developer: Innersloth
Does your seasonal humbug need a more personal touch? What could be better than secretly offing someone in Electrical and then lying through your teeth about it so you can do the same again to your next victim(s), until you’ve quite literally stabbed everyone in the back and gotten away with murdering the entire crew, some of which may have been friends and family?
“It was cyan! It was cyan! I saw them!” you type in the chat box, a wicked grin silently splitting your face in two.
Publisher: Rockstar / Developer: Rockstar Games
A trio of games so naughty that the series has caused public outcry and much pearl-clutching on various continents multiple times.
With three games to choose from, each more detailed than the last, there’s a veritable smorgasbord of criminal activity available here that makes it almost impossible to behave even if you wanted to — and you don’t want to, do you? Look at all those boring cars, just driving around and obeying the law. It’d be a shame if someone stole one and gave the fuzz some exercise, wouldn’t it?
We can even heap some bonus meta-naughtiness on top, seeing as these are bad ports of great games. Yes, this collection is certainly on our naughty list this year.
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Seeing as the series’ baseline behaviour involves fighting every deity you’ve ever heard of and dozens more besides, Shin Megami Tensei V’s an easy pick for this naughty list… er, list. Better still, you also get the chance to revel in the fascinating philosophical contradiction of being good and bad all at once, as depending on your whims all of humanity could be “saved” at the expense of blindly worshipping and obeying the divine forevermore, or could be given true freedom, every mortal and immortal alike left to choose and fend for themselves in a lawless world.
Or you can take one of a number of other equally morally obtuse paths, perfectly aware that, for some, order is just another word for tyranny, and the freedom of chaos invites the physically strong to crush whoever they like without redress. Deep.
Sure, you could be an intergalactic goody two-shoes in Bioware’s classic RPG if you really wanted to, always being the most predictably good and boring Jedi a galaxy far, far, away has ever seen. But we know how that usually ends for Star Wars characters already — something about a noble sacrifice and a brief appearance later surrounded by a blue glow.
Why not indulge your inner HK-47 for once and go find something to kill to cheer yourself up? You know you want to, meatbag.
If there’s one thing this holiday season’s lacking, it’s got to be dominion over the dead.
Pick Necromancer. Call upon an army of the departed to do your bidding. Use your own blood to summon golems to smite your enemies. Love the fact that one of your skills is named ‘Corpse Explosion’, and does exactly what it says on the tin. Embrace throwing your head back and cackling loudly as you carve a path through your foes, much to the alarm of everyone else in the room.
SPOILERS! On top of oodles of sometimes quite disgusting monsters, Aria of Sorrow, the final game in this M2-blessed collection, has a surprise dark twist should you fall at the final hurdle.
The unnaturally beautiful Soma Cruz with the fabulous coat — a young man who’s already spent much of the game struggling under the influence of Dracula’s powers — won’t die but will instead finally succumb to the vampiric will of his former self, and is last seen casually sitting on a throne, sipping a conspicuously red liquid from a glass.
Campari and ice, apparently. The fiend.
Publisher: Koei Tecmo / Developer: Koei Tecmo
Definitely don’t get her wet, and feeding her after midnight is probably ill-advised, too. The soggy star of Tecmo’s spook ‘em up may not be evil herself — unless you consider denying the vicious hangers-on of the afterlife the chance to kill her ‘evil’ — but the game’s dark plot is still more than sinister enough on its own to drown out another round of cheery mulled wine driven sing-song.
Corpse Party‘s unusual title promises dead bodies as well as group fun; and as strange as that sounds it turns out to be enthusiastically accurate on both counts.
If you’re lucky — and you won’t be — you’ll “only” encounter deadly ghost-children whose heads have been removed and a whole host of other scenes that don’t belong even in your strongest cheese-fuelled nightmares. Find yourself caught up in one of the game’s many ‘Wrong Ends’ and you’ll encounter scenarios so gruesome you’ll be ecstatic to see your gran draped in tinsel, sleeping off her twentieth mince pie.
These are our ‘bah humbug’ picks, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments below!