Welcome to the SwitchArcade Round up for May 14th! Today, with a bit of a lull before what looks to be a bonkers week for Switch releases, we’re talking about Wizard of Legend. Humble publishes Contingent99’s fast-paced hack ‘n slash roguelike on the Switch tomorrow, and we’ve got impressions today ahead of the game’s release. This is a co-op hack ‘n slash where you play as a wizard in the Chaos Trials, trying to defeat three master wizards on your way to wizarding glory.
Now, a lot of roguelike-type games usually seem to go at a slower pace than many action-RPGs. This makes sense because they’re games for perfectionists, and preserving your health is so important. Not Wizard of Legend: this is one of the fastest roguelikes I’ve ever played. You move at high speeds, have acrobatic dash moves to navigate around, and your attacks all have swift effects.
The combat is particularly fun for a couple of reasons. One, you get to choose your loadout of arcana before going into battle, with your choice of basic, dash, standard, and signature arcana. Your starting basic attack is a quick swipe that lets you rack up combat and fill your combo meter. The dash lets you get out of trouble and get over pits in levels. But the other two arcana not only are different elemental attacks, but they also can manipulate the enemies, like pushing them back, grouping them up, freezing them, or just hitting a bunch of enemies at once. But the other fun thing is that your attacks can utilize the environment to your advantage.
What I love is to use abilities that will move enemies or knock them back. Target an ability with a few enemies that will drop them over a pit, and watch them fall to their demise. You start out with two spells, but can find and purchase more as you play, which not only help as each spell has a cooldown timer, but can create new combo effects that will help you out.
Of course, the speed of the game means that you have to learn to be very careful in a rapid-fire world. Enemies can get you up against a wall and go to town on you, so you have to be careful. You can find healing items and buy potions, but these don’t heal that much and cost a decent amount of coins. So, you have to react quickly and figure out how to minimize the amount of damage you’re liable to take. Boss fights are particularly tough: both the mini-bosses at the end of each level and the big bosses at the end of each world will test you.
Thankfully, Wizard of Legend‘s runs are pretty short, with three worlds with two levels each along with their boss, not to mention how fast everything is. So, when you inevitably die, you can easily get back into the action.. Good luck even getting to the point where you kill one boss, but it just makes survival that much more satisfying.
You can play Wizard of Legend with a friend in co-op mode, with each player utilizing their own choice of artifacts and relics. Particularly adept duos can combine their artifact effects for deadly purposes. You can play the game with two Joy-Cons, and they use literally every single button on the controllers. The four face buttons and two shoulders are all of your abilities, and then bumper and trigger on the side of the controller bring up the menu and map. It actually works pretty well, as these buttons that don’t necessarily require quick access are out of the way, tough to accidentally trigger. I like setting the extra two ability slots to the triggers and not the bumpers, at least when using the Joy-Cons in handheld mode.
While Wizard of Legend might be best in multiplayer mode, especially with all the co-op effects, and the battle mode that has you scrambling to collect artifacts and relics, it is still quite the capable singleplayer game, and it’s easier to come up with strategic uses of arcana when it’s just you, rather than having you and a friend trying to coordinate.
Also, I really dig Wizard of Legend‘s style: I love the pixel art, sure. But I like how whimsical the game is, as the whole thing is set up as tests. Also, you’re assisted by talking spellbooks, treasure chests, and a mirror, like this is Beauty and the Beast. Do note that on the Switch, the game in handheld mode has a bit of slowdown when generating levels and occasionally when things get too complex on screen, at least in the pre-launch build I have. These are minor and infrequent issues, however.
While it’s definitely a tough game, this one has me hooked, particularly because of the speed of the experience, and the ingenuity of the combat. And you do unlock more arcana and abilities over time, so there’s more combinations and strategies to discover. Definitely consider this game. Wizard of Legend releases tomorrow on Switch for $15.99.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Night releases May 24th
No, this isn’t the long-awaited Bloodstained game from Castlevania creator Koji Igarashi. Kind of. When that Kickstarter project was underway for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a stretch goal was for a retro Bloodstained game. This is that game, and it releases before the Symphony of the Night-esque Ritual of the Night. As the name might give away, this is inspired by Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, with a focus on switching between different characters. Here, you have four different characters, all with different abilities, that you can swap between as you play through the game. Dracula’s Curse is IGA’s favorite game that he didn’t produce, so it’s not a surprise that this came to be.
This might seem like an odd decision to make a separate game while a bigger game is in development, but it’s not unprecedented for developer Inti Creates! In fact, they made Mighty Gunvolt for the 3DS before they released Azure Striker Gunvolt, and even produced a sequel for the Switch, Mighty Gunvolt Burst. Hopefully we get Ritual of the Night soon, but this should pass the time quite well. Impressively, this will somehow release on Switch, PC, 3DS, PS4, Vita (?!), and Xbox One, all on May 24th, for $9.99. Wow. But speaking of Azure Striker Gunvolt…
Inti Creates reveals Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX
A new Gunvolt game is coming to the Switch! Inspired by the Mega Man Zero games that Inti Creates worked on, which were fun but also crazy. Expect more acrobatic 2D action with plenty of unique attacks and weapons to use, along with the detailed animations that the series is known for. I’d love for Capcom to make more Mega Man Zero games, or even just to explore how Mega Man X got started, as the world of Mega Man just keeps getting worse and worse. But hey, Inti Creates has a pretty strong track record of 2D action games. Also, Gal-Gun for some reason?
No word on a release date for this new Gunvolt game, but it is in development right now. You can pick up both Azure Striker Gunvolt games on the Switch right now.
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