Welcome to the SwitchArcade Roundup for July 2nd, where we’re covering the latest Switch news, releases, and sales! Let’s jump into a few of the interesting news tidbits. Let’s start with Fortnite. As always, Fortnite teases something that leaves more questions than answers ahead of the new season. A missile launch happened mid-day Saturday, June 30th, and it’s leaving rifts on the island, and beyond a few attempted leaks, we don’t know just what is to come from this massive explosion. Here’s perhaps the best video of the explosion yet:
— James Jarvis (@James_Jarvis) June 30, 2018
Also, I don’t know if this guy’s a genius or the worst person on Earth, but a mediocre player set the all-time single-game kills record by taking out a structure holding people watching the missile. On one hand, that’s a real jerk move, ruining something cool where people put down their arms to watch a massive event in the game. On the other hand, my anonymous man apparently has a 0.47 K:D ratio and a 0.60% win rate, which makes him a freaking legend to the mediocre Fortnite players such as myself. He saw his shot, and took it.
A dude with a 0.47 K/D and a 0.60% win ratio now holds the ALL TIME SOLO KILL RECORD.
He broke a ramp that help 48 people during a Rocket Viewing Party.
Absolute legend. pic.twitter.com/fsqYtjMMrV
— NoahJ456 (@NoahJ456) June 30, 2018
Hollow Knight sells over 250,000 copies
As it turns out, you can combine a gorgeous indie game with a big E3 feature, and sell a ton of copies. Team Cherry announced that Hollow Knight on Switch surpassed 250,000 copies sold, which at $15 each is a nice little payday that should help keep the studio running in the future, even if it looks like this took a lot of resources to make! Still, it’s always great to hear when fun indie games in particular are doing well on the market, especially when people have so many choices out there, and great games fall by the wayside.
Namco Museum Arcade Pac physical release announced
While this doesn’t include any new games, necessarily, this is a nice retail release: Namco Museum and Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus will release as one retail game on September 28th. Namco Museum features a bunch of classic Namco games, along with a version of Pac-Man Vs. that you can play with two Switches, though I’d love to see a version that incorporates something like a smartphone in there. And then Pac-Man CE 2+ is the latest in the dramatic reimagining of Pac-Man, with massive trains of ghosts, dynamically shifting mazes, and a new co-op mode for the Switch. You can buy both of these games right now, but if you want them on one cartridge, you’ll have to wait until September 28th. Hey Capcom: take a note from Namco here when it comes to getting two games on one cartridge (unless there is a download code for Pac-Man CE 2+, but I doubt it?) because someday, when the dust-ridden post-apocalypse is our reality, we’ll need cartridges not just for gaming…but for sustenance.
Crash Bandicoot 1 impressions
I spent some time over the weekend decompressing from some recent stress, and started getting into the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy on Switch. I started off with the original game, because I don’t remember enjoying it that much, and I’d rather play that before enjoying the advancements of the next two games. And I have to say, Crash Bandicoot 1 was lot better than I remembered. While the game still feels more refined, and less frustrating, in later incarnations, the game has more of what feels fun about the later games than I remembered. One of the things that makes Crash so fun is the way the game encourages completionism through trying to break all the boxes. While the later games often made you use abilities you earn later on to get items in the earlier stages, the original Crash keeps things tantalizingly out of view until later levels, and encourages you to go replay levels to figure out to uncover all of the game’s secrets.
Crash Bandicoot 1 in particular showcases the best and worst of the game’s use of 3D. It’s possible to miss certain platforms in the side-scrolling levels as they are slightly forward or backward of where you think you are. However, then there are a couple of boxes that you can get by jumping around a stack of boxes. It’s a useful trick, but later games definitely use it less. Still, I’m quite glad to see that Crash Bandicoot 1 is better than I remember it being, because I was kind of dreading playing this one first before I dove into the other games.
New Release: SpiritSphere DX ($10.00)
Disappointed by Mario Tennis Aces, or want something a little more Pong-like? Perhaps this is the game for you. It takes pretty obvious inspiration from The Legend of Zelda, but throws in characters with different abilities. Each character has an attack they can use to hit the ball (which itself can have special properties), a special attack that requires charging, and a dash move. Levels themselves have unique shapes and tricks, like one level where barriers on either side fall down if the opponent is standing on them, making what looks like a block wind up as a goal. Some levels even feature multi-point goals.
The singleplayer campaign is how you earn coins to unlock new features, but you can also lose them with each loss you take. Even the normal difficulty serves as a difficult trial by fire, so don’t be afraid to give Easy mode a shot. Multiplayer is where the game really shines, as it’s a lot more fun to bounce a tricky shot past an opponent when it’s another human being. You can play multiplayer in your standard tabletop or TV modes, but the game also offers “HAND2HAND" mode where you and a friend grab each end of the Switch, and duke it out with your character on their own side, in portrait play. I don’t know if it’s ergonomically viable, but it’s certainly an option that you have. I’d love for the game to support portrait mode if at all possible, especially with so many other games doing it. Let’s see it in a future update!
SpiritSphere DX isn’t really a game of the year contender, but it’s certainly entertaining enough for the time you’ll spend with it.
Football Manager Touch 2018 goes off sale tomorrow, in case you’ve still got World Cup fever.
I finally gave the fun Nine Parchments a shot, and I gotta say, it’s a pretty solid little hack ‘n slash (or a magic ’em up?) that looks gorgeous even in handheld mode, and I love the number of multiplayer options you have. Plus, its format is adaptable for replayability with a ton of character unlocks, or you can go through Hardcore mode if you prefer something more roguelike. And it’s got online co-op, always a welcome addition to a game.
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