Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade Roundup, where we’re gonna talk about the Nintendo Direct, Flinthook, and other new Nintendo Switch releases here on March 9th! While there was a ton of cool stuff in the Nintendo Direct, including some Undertale for Switch, new Mario Tennis Aces details, some cool new Splatoon 2 DLC, and more Wii U to Switch ports, the biggest reveal was obviously Super Smash Bros. coming to Switch. But Nintendo kinda left us hanging as to just what this new Smash game will be.
The obvious move would be for Nintendo to release Smash 4 (aka the version that released on Wii U and 3DS) for the Switch, and then do a new version later, there’s something curious about the announcement. Namely, if it was Smash 4, wouldn’t Nintendo just say that? Additionally, the Bandai Namco logos didn’t appear, and they worked on Smash 4. But one user points out that the other ports had different copyright dates corresponding to their original releases, and Smash did not. Hmm!
Masahiro Sakurai, the long-time director and creator of Super Smash Bros., has confirmed that he’s working on the game:
— 桜井 政博 (@Sora_Sakurai) March 8, 2018
For my money, I’d suggest that an enhanced Smash 4 with the Inklings from Splatoon is bound to hit the Switch this year, with Smash 5 due in the future. However, Nintendo does need a massive title for year 2 of the Switch, and it’s certainly possible that a new Super Smash Bros. game could fulfill that.
Right now, fans are running wild with speculation about the character list, with some of the characters making an appearance in silhouette form at the end of the teaser. We know Mario and Link in his Breath of the Wild outfit are there, and some familiar shapes are detectable (Bowser, Samus, and Donkey Kong are there) but we likely won’t know more about the roster until Nintendo reveals more in the future, likely in a future Direct.
Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion DLC
While I mostly play Splatoon 2 for the multiplayer and have barely touched the singleplayer, the Octo Expansion DLC looks fantastic. This will introduce a new Octoling story to the game, and some of the levels from the trailer look wild. Plus, it’ll make Octolings playable in multiplayer (just a cosmetic thing, but a cool new look!), and add in a ton of new customizations. But whatever the story adding to the Splatoon narrative should be, there look to be some interesting new mechanics introduced here. You can preorder the DLC now and pick up two new cosmetic items, including a new set of headphones. Anyone that knows me as an audiophile knows why I’m usually using headphones as my headgear in Splatoon 2.
Another World coming to Switch
DotEmu is releasing its second title onto the Switch, and it’s the classic adventure game Another World, also known as Out of This World. Original creator Eric Chahi is known for bringing this game to as many platforms as possible, and in recent years he’s partnered with DotEmu to release the game pretty much everywhere, and on modern platforms with the option for enhanced visuals. If you haven’t played the game, the Switch is yet another way to check out this unique classic, when it hits in the spring.
Tribute Games brings its roguelike-inspired platformer to the Switch. The game isn’t purely a Metroidvania, or purely a roguelike. It has a lot of the roguelike flavor, particularly in the way that you have to start a bounty over if you die, and health is a precious resource that’s not always easy to refill, so you have to play carefully. The levels have a Metroid flavor with the way with the maps and doors are laid out. It’s not quite “Metroidvania" because the game uses individual levels, though you can unlock permanent upgrades by playing. Bounties serve effectively as worlds, before you choose a level for yourself. Different levels have different skull rankings, and to unlock the boss fight, you have to achieve a certain number of ghost gems. Harder levels award more ghost gems, but are more difficult and present a greater risk of failing outright.
The quickhoook the game has is a core part of the platforming, as you can quickly launch yourself from one anchor point to another by using the quickhook. Hooking also becomes important to open doors, and to use on some enemies. While the hookshot here is not entirely analogous to my favorite video game item, the grappling hook, you still can pull of a wonderful fluidity of movement by quickly launching from point to point in a way that few other movement systems really offer players. The way Flinthook handles all of this is really quite unique, though I’m holding out hope for a pure grappling hook game on Switch!
The underrated element of Flinthook, though, is the ability to slow down time. Much like the quickhook, this plays a role in specific in-game actions, but it otherwise lets you handle a lot of the chaotic actions the game tasks you with performing with greater ease. Trying to dodge a bunch of bullets? Slow down time for a bit and position yourself perfectly. Want to make sure you hit that hook point? Time slowdown! You have to get used to slowing down time and remember that it’s there, but it is so crucial for doing well in later parts of the game.
The game’s perk loadout system let you unlock and purchase treasure, and then add abilities to your loadout before you take on a bounty. However, each perk takes up a certain number of slots, so you have to choose wisely. Once you unlock the Black Market, you can start to buy more slots for yourself. If you feel like you need a lot of health, then you can go for that, but if you want more experience for further unlocks, you have that option as well.
I recommend giving the Pro controls a shot from the options. These map the four important commands: jumping, quickhooking, time slowdown, and subweapon, to the four shoulder buttons. Firing is then available with the right joystick, and actions are available by pressing B. I wish jumping was still on B just for convenience’s sake, but otherwise these controls allow you to move and fire like an expert. I actually used to use a control scheme like this for the PC version using the Steam Controller, and it works incredibly well here, as you can move and fire like an expert.
The one thing I don’t like about Flinthook is the fact that it’s a roguelike, randomized game. While the individual rooms often have cool moments and little challenges, there’s something that makes the whole experience not as special when the levels are always new, and they’re always procedurally generated. It takes away some of the memorability, though it also makes doing well at the game more dependent on the player improving their skill level.
Because of the Switch’s portability and the levels not taking too long to beat, Flinthook really is an ideal game for the Switch. Plus, the pixel art looks gorgeous whether you’re playing it on the Switch itself or in TV mode. Give the Pro controls a shot, and definitely check this one out.
Turtle Pop: Journey to Freedom
Here’s a game from DigiPen Game Studios, a studio connected to the Singapore branch of the long-running game development and computer science school. It’s centered around its 2D platforming sections, though you have 3D world maps to explore as well. It’s not quite a puzzle-platformer, though puzzle elements do come into play. There’s co-op play for up to four players, along with some battle modes to check out.
There aren’t a lot of run ‘n gun action games starring chameleons, because if you had the ability to change colors and adapt to the environment, you’d pretty much have to be stealthy by default. Such is the case with Spy Chameleon, where you play as a sneaky chameleon trying to pick up all the flies in levels without being detected by guards. This one got decent reviews on other platforms before becoming yet another Switch port here in 2018.
One Eyed Kutkh
Wrapping up this week’s releases is a unique space adventure from Russian studio Sometimes You. It’s based on fairy tales from Russia’s Far North, where the harsh climate has led to a strong and resilient people, albeit ones isolated from the rest of Russia, since few people come to live and work in the region. AS such, the area has its own culture, and Sometimes You has created an adventure game that blends fictional elements with the fairy tales of the Far North, for a title that looks incredibly unique. It’s premiering on a number of platforms at once, including the Switch.
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!