Welcome to the latest SwitchArcade Roundup, where we’re talking about the latest Nintendo Switch news and covering the latest releases, including a deeper dive into shoot ’em up Danmaku Unlimited 3. There are a few interesting titles that hit the store today, though even if the Switch took a month off of new release there would still be so many games to play. Enjoy these days, folks. You never know if the flood will slow down, or if say, free-to-play comes and takes over everything on the Switch. I’m fine with free-to-play, hopefully the system gets a nice balance of paid games and free-to-play experiences to return to over time…but we’ll see how it all plays out, shall we?
Switch Software Update 5.0
The latest Switch firmware update is out now. You can now find Switch friends through Twitter and Facebook, using Friend Suggestions. The parental controls app get an update, with a new software whitelist, restricting video captures for restricted software, and a new PIN entry using the control stick and buttons instead of just the number pad. 24 new icons are available, featuring ARMS and Kirby characters. If you buy a game from the web, then it’ll download sooner than it previously would have started. New filters for news are also available. Plus, if you have a Pro Controller with a special grip color, that will now show in the controls menu. Thankfully, this doesn’t break the 8Bitdo Wireless Controller Adapter, which I was concerned would happen. It’s not a groundbreaking update, but it does have some nifty new features! And hey, at least Nintendo isn’t updating the system software as often as Sony liked to do. The PS3 was a nightmare with that.
GameMaker titles Super Hydorah and Cursed Castilla will come to Switch
Abylight Studios is bringing the Ghouls and Ghosts-inspired Cursed Castilla and the shoot ’em up Super Hydorah to the Switch, thanks to GameMaker adding Switch compatibility soon. While compatibility won’t arrive until the summer, expect plenty of studios that want to satiate their fans’ desires to have everything on the Switch (a rational desire!) by making these kinds of pre-announcements. Abylight has a particular experience with trying to port a game to a platform without native GameMaker support, so these titles should be a piece of cake in comparison.
— Abylight Studios (@abylight) March 13, 2018
WayForward Announces Switch release date for Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
The third game in the Shantae series of Metroidvania platformers will get a Switch release next Tuesday, March 20th. Half-Genie Hero is the latest, and is on Switch already, so if you missed this title, or only played the first two, then here’s your chance to check out this entry in the series. I’m kind of amazed that this and Toki Tori are still relevant in 2018. They were both Game Boy Color games that released after the Game Boy Advance came out, which should have been death sentences, and yet both series have multiple entries on Nintendo’s latest handheld. Crazy stuff.
"Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse” is coming to Nintendo Switch on March 20! Includes HD Rumble and Super Shantae Nab mini-game! pic.twitter.com/EjFJckoolJ
— WayForward (@WayForward) March 13, 2018
Hazelnut Bastille will release on Switch, with Secret of Mana composer
It can be easy to fall into the trap of hearing about new Switch release, and just focusing on the ports. Which are exciting because they’re on such a convenient new platform, sure. But there’s plenty of originals in the works for the Switch too. Indie RPG Hazelnut Bastille is now confirmed as coming to the Switch, with its action-RPG gameplay inspired by the Super NES. And it’s going to feature a guest composer, Hiroki Kikuta, who worked on Secret of Mana, as he will contribute to the soundtrack and hopefully add to that SNES authenticity.
Danmaku Unlimited 3
Sunny Tam brings his long-running shoot ’em up series to the Switch with Danmaku Unlimited 3. Previous games graced PC and mobile, and now you have a new way to play it on the go with a controller, on Switch. It’s a great addition to the system, and also a great introduction to bullet hell shoot ’em ups.
One of the core elements of Danmaku Unlimited 3 is bullet-grazing, where you come within just close enough proximity to bullets that it fills your trance gauge, but it doesn’t actually touch you. Trance mode makes you incredibly powerful, and lets you destroy enemies more quickly, along with racking up high scores from the gems that enemies generate upon death. You’ll know you grazed a bullet when you hear an audible click, so play this game with headphones or good speakers if you can. Sound really is key, and you have to get good at bullet-grazing to do well.
I recommend playing Danmaku Unlimited 3 with a good controller if possible. The Joy-Con’s analog stick and buttons are fine, but you might want a controller with an actual d-pad for this one. And preferably wired, too: while Sunny Tam knows how to make a responsive shoot ’em up for virtually any control scheme, take any advantage you can get into your hands. Don’t give an inch to the enemy forces! This is the kind of game where “Easy" difficulty is still ridiculously tough, though you do start to unlock features like extra bombs and continues as you do better through the early parts of the game.
Thankfully, Danmaku Unlimited 3 does include the ability to rotate the screen 90, 180, or 270 degrees, so you can play in portrait mode or in upside-down landscape mode if you so desire. Playing in portrait mode on the Switch screen, propped up on a stand, is certainly cool, sure. But what I recommend is playing it on a monitor in portrait mode. It’s surprisingly easy to do, as you can get gas-lift monitor stands for $30 on Amazon that let you raise and rotate a computer monitor to whatever height you want. I coincidentally bought one just before I played Danmaku Unlimited 3, and I’ve had a ton of fun playing the game by rotating my monitor. Give it a shot if you have the means.
You really have to be patient and willing to improve if you play a bullet hell game like Danmaku Unlimited 3, but I find it quite rewarding when I sit down and just keep trying to do better, and learn the patterns and bullet grazing. And especially now that I have the ability to play in portrait mode on my monitor setup, I’m probably going to have to dive into more shoot ’em ups with the functionality. Also, I dig BLANKFIELD’s soundtrack, which sounds like Periphery-style djent with a bit more of a shred flavor to it. If you like shoot ’em ups, and want a good original one for the Switch that isn’t just a HAMSTER port of a classic game, definitely check out Danmaku Unlimited 3. If my impressions don’t convince you, check out our review of the mobile release.
It’s kart racing featuring old people! Make your way through the Sunny Pines Retirement Community, where you try not to finish in low enough position that the Grim Reaper comes and steals your soul. Eventually, in order to try and grind out another miserable day, you have to race against the Grim Reaper themselves. Or, you can race against your friends in split-screen multiplayer. If you’ve already played the heck out of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or want a multiplayer racing game without paying the $60 price for Mario Kart, this is the way to go. Also, the game title has a great spoonerism in Doffin Codgers.
Sometimes You is picking up a lot of Switch releases recently, and mobile port Spiral Splatter is their latest. You try to make your way to the goal as you navigate ever-trickier mazes full of dastardly obstacles. This one was pretty solid on mobile, and if you want to give it a spin with physical controls, this is your chance!
This one released last week after the rest of the Friday releases, which is appropriate, since this is a horror title. You have to survive Northern Canada’s Atamipek Lake, as you try to investigate the mystery of who vandalized a rich industrialist’s property. Things quickly get weird, and you have to try and battle the elements to get to the bottom of the surreal mystery. The developer is hoping to make this the first of four games, and it might help if the Switch version picks up some extra popularity along the way.
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