Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade Roundup! We have a bunch of news pieces on the Framed Collection, some changes to the Nintendo points system, and a resolution to the play time bug. We’re also gonna run down why you should consider Subsurface Circular, and rundown the new releases, including Fear Effect Sedna, an unlikely revival of a 2000 PlayStation game that you probably forgot about until now. I know I hadn’t thought about Fear Effect in years, vaguely remembering it from video game magazines of the time. Remember those?
Loveshack is bringing both Framed games to the Switch this spring as the Framed Collection. You rearrange comic book panels in order to help advance the narrative, and utilizing time loops in order to solve the puzzles presented. It’s a unique concept, and I think the Collection will be the ideal way to experience Framed. The first game came off to me as the first half of a larger whole, and the second Framed really made these ideas into a fully-formed experience. Switch owners should be excited for this one when it hits later this spring.
Diablo 3 actually coming to the Switch?
After Blizzard denied that Diablo 3 was coming to the Switch, the reliable Eurogamer’s sources say that no, it’s totally in development. Be optimistic, or who knows, maybe we’ll actually get a port of the PlayStation 1 version of Diablo. Blizzard’s out here keeping us on our toes.
Nintendo Points Update
Nintendo updated their My Nintendo Points scheme to make it so that you can earn points on digital purchases and then spend them on digital games. Game purchases earn points a 5% value of the purchase price, so a $13 game earns 65 coins, and each coin is worth about a penny. So you’d need to spend about $1200 in purchases to earn one free game. Also, points expire 12 months after you earn them, so this isn’t like Starbucks where points expire, but you at least have the ability to quickly earn a free drink. Instead, you can maybe pick up a lower-priced title for free every now and then. Nintendo might have special deals for gold coins: for example, there are some 3DS games available for a smaller number of coins than their retail value, and this could come to the Switch as well. You do have the ability to spend the coins on anything you want.
While there is some outrage over the perceived value of the program, the glass half-full interpretation is that other stores aren’t exactly giving you 5% back on all of your purchases and letting you then spend those on free games. If Nintendo is generous about giving players the opportunity to get gold coins outside of purchases, then this system might work out really well as a way to min-max game purchases on the Switch for those who don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money.
Nintendo play activity bug
With the Switch’s first anniversary, some players noticed that the Switch stopped tracking their play time after one year of play. Nintendo recently clarified that this is just a display glitch, and the system is still accurately recording play data. A future system update will resolve this issue. So, if you lost your Breath of the Wild playtime, don’t worry…you can soon be reminded of just how many hours you’ve sunk into the game. Then you might beg to have the play time erased once more!
Some Nintendo Switch owners’ play activity info is displaying incorrectly, but play activity is still being recorded accurately in the background. A future system update will resolve this issue & ensure play time data is correctly displayed. We apologize for the inconvenience.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 5, 2018
Game Spotlight: Subsurface Circular
If you’re looking for an interesting interactive fiction experience to play, check out Subsurface Circular. Developed by Mike Bithell, you play as a detective “Tek" robot, who has to investigate the disappearance of another Tek, all from their subway seat. See, this Tek is a detective whose purpose is to only ride the eponymous subway, and get to the bottom of anything strange going on with the subway. So as passengers come and go, you investigate their inquiries and find out just what is going on.
Subsurface Circular is a conversation-driven interactive fiction game that could’ve also been made in Twine, but it uses its visuals for the purpose of creating atmosphere. Characters that just play music loudly through their headphones wind up providing a very subtle soundtrack to the game. Plus, they accurately represent the experience of hearing people blasting music through their headphones. Use in-ear monitors, people – they’re smaller, isolate better, and don’t disturb your fellow subway riders. But the text and characterization goes a long way toward telling a story and creating a larger world despite your character never leaving their seat.
The best way to experience Subsurface Circular is like a movie, where you sit down to play through the entire thing in one go. It takes about an hour and a half or so, maybe longer if you struggle with some of the puzzles, though the game includes helpful hint options. It’s the kind of experience that felt like it was a lot lengthier than it actually was, and in a good way! It’s an incredibly engrossing experience. It’s well worth checking out.
Fear Effect Sedna
The 2000 PlayStation horror-styled stealth-action series is back with a third game in the series. This is kind of a reboot as the series shifts from Chinese mythology to Inuit mythology, though it serves a sequel to an unreleased third title in the franchise. While the game’s new isometric perspective means that it’s quite different from the survival-horror perspective of the original titles, it’s not hard to believe that most people checking this out are new to the series, and are just looking for an interesting new title.
Scribblenauts keeps progressing from what was once a clever idea for a Nintendo DS game, to a full-fledged hit franchise. You’re still trying to create objects based on dictionary words to humorous results, but head-to-head play in dozens of minigames is the style here. Up to four players can face off with custom Scribblenauts, and while the party mode is the star of the show, there’s cooperative play in the Sandbox levels to enjoy as well.
We wrap up the week’s first set of new releases with this cyberpunk adventure game. You are a refugee applying for asylum in a futuristic mega-city, that also has monster-like creatures populating the landscape. The description says this is a straightforward game, full of “simple puzzles" and exploration, so this is more about getting engrossed in the world and its storyline rather than any kind of sizable open-world experience. It’s only $3, so give it a shot if you’re intrigued.
Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!