SwitchArcade Roundup: Nintendo Direct Announcement, ‘Aegis Defenders’, GameStop Sale and More

Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade roundup, where we’re covering the latest Nintendo Switch news, sales, and releases! Wednesdays are shaping up to be a quiet day for Switch releases, but Thursday and Friday of this week are going to be quite busy with a lot of intriguing titles hitting the eShop. Today is a lull, so let’s catch up with some news, some sales including some deals at GameStop, and a rundown of Aegis Defenders.


Nintendo Direct on March 8th

A new Nintendo Direct is happening tomorrow, March 8th, at 5:00 PM EST. Nintendo is promising new details on Mario Tennis Aces, their upcoming tennis RPG. 3DS titles will also play a part of the broadcast, which will run about 30 minutes. Rumors going around suggest that some new Mario DLC is in the works, but we’ll see when the second Direct of 2018 hits. You can watch and get notified of the start time via the embedded player below:

ARMS Update 5.2 Out Now

While Nintendo is done adding fighters to ARMS, the content updates and balance changes keep coming. Update 5.2.0 adds in Party Crash’s Big Time ARMS mode in regular, offline battles. This gives your fighter massive arms that also do a lot of damage. This can be a helpful assist for players trying to get into a fair fight against each other offline. If everyone had access to it online, nobody would not pick it, so you’ll have to just enjoy it among friends. A whole bunch of balance tweaks are in the game now as well, be sure to check out the full patch notes for more.

Hori announces new Switch stand

HORI revealed an interesting new stand that serves as a USB-C hub with four USB ports, along with a USB-C port for charging. Because of the Switch’s USB-C port’s positioning, you kind of need a stand to charge while having the system propped up, and also to get angles that won’t cause neck pain. However, this stand goes a step further by making it easy to use USB accessories in tabletop mode, so if you have some multiplayer going on, you can use your preferred wired controllers or wireless USB adapter for your friend’s controllers without worrying about hooking up to the TV. HORI makes good, affordable products…now we just need a lower-priced TV mode dock from them. This is about one step away from that.

Game Impressions: Aegis Defenders

I feel like the idea of combining tower defense with other genres goes severely under-utilized, and I’m glad to see Aegis Defenders bringing this hybrid to fruition. Levels in Aegis Defenders involve you making it through a platforming section, which often introduces new elements and building blocks. Then, you get to the tower defense portion, where you command up to four characters against enemy hordes coming in from different entry spots. The game isn’t about endless action, but surviving the waves you’re tested with.

The build phase presents a few challenges, as you often have relics to pick up, and some valuable resource caches are in out-of-the-way places. Then, the game awards you with more currency for starting a wave early. There’s all sorts of risk-reward propositions in play here. Also, each character does best against enemies of the same color as them, so you have to be careful where you use each character and their abilities. Each character can build different defenses and traps, and some require combining resources from each character.

The challenge in Aegis Defenders often comes from how difficult it is to multitask with different characters. You have four different characters with a whole variety of abilities at their disposal to mix and match. You need some time to get acclimated to which shoulder button does which action. Thankfully, you can play with a friend in a co-op mode, which goes a long, long way toward making the experience better when you can collaborate your actions and communicate with them, rather than managing everything yourself. The game is perfectly playable in singleplayer, it’s just so much better when you involve a friend. The dynamic screen-splitting is a nifty effect too.

The pixel art is fantastic in Aegis Defenders. While a lot of games go with the chunky, low-resolution pixel art look, Aegis Defenders shows how high-res pixel art can be absolutely stunning. There’s all sorts of gorgeous details, and a vibrant use of color to populate the world. The player sprites are a bit small, but this is because the game has to fit as much on the screen at it possibly can at once.

Aegis Defenders is a tricky game to play, but if you’re patient and willing to give it some retries (thankfully if you die, you don’t have to replay an entire level, you can restart from a checkpoint), you’ll find that success is rather rewarding once you have a plan and can execute your strategies with multiple characters. Tower defense became a bit cluttered of a genre when it became really popular on the web and mobile, and a game like Aegis Defenders goes a long way toward showing that there are still fresh ideas to be hard from the genre. Definitely consider picking this one up on the eShop.

Games on Sale

Piczle Lines DX

($10.49 from $14.99 until March 15th) Imagine picross, but eliminate the orderly chaos of grids, and instead have two endpoints that you need to connect between numbers. Such is the challenge of Piczle Lines DX, which delivers a clever spin on the classic puzzle concept. There are a couple of more traditional picross games on the eShop in Picross S and Pic-a-Pix Deluxe, but this one has a free demo if you want to see what a twist on picross is like.

GameStop deals, including a refurbished Nintendo Switch for $279.99

Want to save $20 on a Switch? You can pick up a refurb model for $279.99. A bunch of accessories are 20% off, as are some Nintendo collectibles. GameStop has a few games on sale, too, until March 10th:

  • FIFA 18 $39.99 from $59.99
  • Has-Been Heroes $9.99 from $19.99
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 $39.99 from $49.99

Has-Been Heroes is a game I’ve been waiting to go back on sale for $10 after forgetting to get it during a post-holiday sale, so I’ll be heading out tonight to pick that one up.

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