Welcome to our SwitchArcade roundup of Nintendo Switch news, new release, and games on sale. We’re going to regularly post about important happenings in the Switch world, since we know a lot of you own the Switch to go along with your mobile devices. We’ll be compiling new game and content announcements, new releases you need to know about, and the sales you need to keep track of. Without further ado:
Nintendo Switch news
Subsurface Circular releases on Switch on March 1st
Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell’s third noteworthy game, Subsurface Circular, is going to hit the Switch on March 1st. It’s described as a single-session story, the first in a series of “Bithell Shorts." It’ll only cost you $5.99 to play it, and you could theoretically save a dollar by buying it on iPad for $4.99 right now, but then you can’t play it on your Switch. I do wonder if Volume will ever hit the Switch…
New Shaq Fu coming to the Switch in spring with physical release
I don’t know if the world really needed Shaq Fu to come back. Shaquille O’Neal’s reputation somehow survived. Heck, it being so bad is why we remember it more than Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, I suppose. Regardless, we’re getting Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, which appears to be more of a side-scrolling beat ’em up starring the Big Diesel rather than a head-to-head fighting game. This hits the Switch and other platforms this spring. Saber Interactive, developer of NBA Playground, also says that anybody who bought that game on the Switch prior to June 10, 2017 will get Shaq Fu for free.
New Switch releases
Bayonetta 1 & 2
Several of the Switch’s titles in the first year are simply ports or adaptations of great Wii U games that need a new audience. Bayonetta 2, the Wii U exclusive sequel to Platinum Games’ action game Bayonetta, sees a second life with a Switch release. The sequel in particular was really well-received. The games are $60 together, and the retail version comes with both games. but are available separately for $30 for the original Bayonetta, and $50 for the sequel, with discounts working out to where you can get both games for a combined $60 regardless of which game you buy first.
While it looks like an indie game, this title got a publishing deal from EA, of all companies, as part of their EA Originals series. The game is a beautiful 3D adventure, where you splay as the eponymous fox creature, trying to sing to creatures to help save the forest they reside in from evil robotic creatures. While early reviews are not fully positive, the game looks like an amazing visual experience.
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf
The gamebook and action-RPG series makes its way to Switch after originally releasing on iOS and Android. It’s not perfect, but it’s got some good ideas going for it to make for an interesting experience, though the game is best experience in bite-sized chunks according to our reviewer, Shaun Musgrave.
Atooi brings its Steam and 3DS Metroidvania to the Switch. This is a solid few hours of chunky pixel art action, where you do the requisite ability collection as you explore four different planets. The Metroidvania genre is rapidly expanding on the Switch with titles like this and Dandara. It’s a solid platformer, especially if you like some of Atooi’s other titles like Mutant Mudds, and I do like that high-speed running from Super Metroid is involved here. It’s a solid little Metroidvania, and well apt for speedrunning.
Dragon Quest Builders
Do you really need another Minecraft clone in your life? Well, the difference here is that there’s a major singleplayer campaign to go along with all the creative stuff. That’s the thing about Minecraft, it requires a lot of self-direction, or at least the inspiration to go and do something, perhaps in one of the game’s many mods. But here, you can enjoy a singleplayer title in the blocky aesthetic, and then play through the Terra Incognita creative mode if your heart desires. There is a demo if you’re curious, and a sequel is set to release later this year.
Want to know why this title was so hyped to the point of getting the ultimate tribute: an Arby’s tweet? Just look at that pixel art. Have mercy. If you played Savant: Ascent and wanted more of that kind of art, you’ll love what Owlboy has going on. The game was in development for well over a decade, and saw a full release in 2016, with the Switch now getting the game. It’s only appropriate for a platformer that draws from the golden age of pixel art to be on a Nintendo system.
Noteworthy games on sale
(Base edition on sale for $38.99 from $59.99 until the 20th) This has become the premier basketball series by far, and is definitely challenging Madden’s long-running sports game dominance, thanks in part to the game’s custom player mode. That has expanded to such a degree that people are now playing 5-on-5 matches online with their custom characters, and there’s even an esports league, the NBA 2K League, in the works. Qualification is underway for that, and the Switch version isn’t being played professionally right now, but maybe next year it will? Maybe your esports career starts here. First step: get a microSD card so you can install the game.
Retro City Rampage DX
($9.99 from $14.99, sale ends on the 22nd) Never played this one on any platform, ever? It’s on pretty much every platform in existence, and now the Switch too! If you love 1980s references, you’ll love this, and there’s plenty of gratuitous pixel violence to enjoy as well.
Battle Chef Brigade
($17.99 from $19.99, sale ends on the 19th) – It’s not a huge discount, but if you’re curious to try this fantasy take on competitive cooking from the makers of Color Sheep, well, this is a good chance! The artwork by Eric Huang is absurdly good, and the entire game looks like a hand-drawn painting.
($13.99 from $19.99, sale ends on the 22nd) This is the Metroidvania that you need to play if you haven’t done so. The game definitely skews more Metroid than Castlevania in its art and gameplay. It’s more than just a Metroid homage, though: the game definitely makes its own mark on the genre with its design choices, and the soundtrack is quite the unique piece of work. Game developers should play this to know how to perfectly straddle the line between homage and creating a new work that stands on its own merits.
Jackbox Party Pack 4
($19.99 from $34.99, sale ends on the 22nd) I love that the makers of the You Don’t Know Jack trivia game series from a couple decades ago are not only surviving, but thriving as we get dangerously close to 2020. The Jackbox Party Pack games include a bunch of ridiculous party titles that involve trivia, creatively changing what your opponents say, and more. Everyone gets to play with their phones, so nobody has to touch your Switch. And, you don’t have to be near TV now to play these games! This pack on sale is a great starting point for the series. Friends not included.
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