Welcome to the SwitchArcade Roundup for May 4th, where we’re talking Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and a bunch of sales! DKC is the only new release on Friday, and technically not even a new release if you’ve played it on the Wii U! I’m shocked that nobody decided to release anything else today, even though devs were willing to go up against Nintendo Labo (and God of War on PS4!) And even if you did play it on the Wii U, there’s theoretically nothing new here for you. The new Funky Mode mostly is just designed to make the game easier.
This should feel familiar to fans of Donkey Kong Country, but even if you haven’t played in a while, or missed Donkey Kong Country Returns, DK and friends have some new abilities. DK can pound the floor, stunning nearby enemies and knocking things loose. Dixie Kong, Diddy Kong, and Cranky Kong all appear in separate barrels, and provide extra health and different ways to navigate the world of the game. Cranky in particular lets you go full DuckTales and pogo around the world.
Of course, the big addition to the game is Funky Kong, who gets a double jump, hover ability, and unlimited oxygen underwater. I don’t think you should feel guilty about playing as Funky Kong instead of Donkey Kong. I mean, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it in general, but I get it. Look at it this way: Funky technically has less health than DK along with a partner, doesn’t get the Kong power, and you’re going to need the partner and their acrobatic abilities to do much of anything in the game anyway, so why not always have them? The advantage is that it makes Funky Kong feel like a somewhat balanced character, rather than a cheating option.
If you’re a fan of collectathons, kind of like Donkey Kong 64, where you have all sorts of trinkets to find and collect, you’re going to love this game. Even from the beginning, the game makes it clear that you can’t just go on autopilot throughout levels and expect to find everything. No, you’re going to have to go off of the beaten path to find everything. Sometimes, you’ll just be finding extra coins, which let you buy items to help yourself out, but many of the puzzle pieces are way out of the way. You will run into times when you try to complete some of the “collect all the bananas to get a puzzle piece" levels and fail, and the only way to re-do them is to die and respawn from a checkpoint, which resets that level status. That’s a little old-school oddity for this game.
The one thing that’s worth noting about Tropical Freeze is that it’s way more expensive than the Wii U version for the same game. Like, you can pick up the Wii U version for $20, and Nintendo’s charging $60 for a five-year-old game at this point. I mean, nobody actually owns a Wii U, so does it really matter? Also, it’s a Nintendo game, you’re going to get your money’s worth out of it. Plus, if you’re a savvy shopper who doesn’t mind physical releases, you could have saved 20% by preordering on Amazon. Which is what I did, and while I think it’s ridiculous that games don’t come with manuals any more, at least I get some sweet Funky Kong cover art. Though, the game should have come with a bunch of “New Funky Mode!" stickers for making everything have a new Funky Mode.
Regardless of all that, if you really like combing the depths of your games for every single thing to be had in them, you’ll have a good time with Tropical Freeze.
Games on Sale
Morphite ($11.99 from $14.99 until May 14th)
I gotta say, I think this is the best Metroid Prime game ever made. It’s a really good first-person shooter where you explore a bunch of alien planets, finding new abilities and collecting more of the Morphite substance that’s at the heart of the game’s story. There’s plenty of scanning, and strange alien buildings to explore in across diverse alien landscapes. Check this out if you haven’t already!
Neon Chrome ($8.99 from $14.99 until May 9th)
10tons makes great roguelike-inspired dual-stick shooters. This one kicked off a series of games continued most recently with Tesla vs. Lovecraft, as you try to destroy the Overseer. You pick from different assets with different abilities, and upgrade yourself as you go through the game, racking up permanent upgrades to help you out in your quest to bring down the Neon Chrome corporation. This is another great game, if you haven’t picked it up on some platform, do so on Switch!
Axiom Verge ($17.99 from $19.99 until May 9th)
I am full of effusive praise for the games on sale today. This is the best Metroidvania made in years. It has obvious Metroid inspiration, but it definitely does its own thing with some of the abilities you unlock. Plus, the atmosphere is just incredible. I own this on PC, and have been meaning to pick this up on the Switch at some point, though I kind of want the special physical edition on Amazon. I’m really tempted. You definitely pick this up here, or on some platform, please.
Heart and Slash ($11.24 from $14.99 until May 15th)
This game has been on sale before, but this is a bigger discount than before. You are the robot Heart, trying to escape the evil sentiment QuAsSy, in this hack and slash roguelike. It’s also a love story, I guess? You’ll have to play to make more sense of that yourself! Early versions of the game were reportedly quite buggy (console certification is great, ain’t it?) but things are supposedly much better now. I’m curious, this might be what I play next after I spend more time with Tropical Freeze.
Gekido: Kintaro’s Revenge ($11.99 from $14.99 until May 10th)
I feel like there are three categories of games on Switch: those that go on sale frequently and often shortly after launch, games that go on sale rarely (and perhaps at a small discount), and games that never go on sale. This might fall into the first category, as this game released quite recently and yet here we are, with it getting its first sale. I’m intrigued, particularly as this was a GBA game reborn on the Switch, and the GBA is my favorite system of all time.
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