Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 10th, 2018. The weather is getting colder but Switches everywhere are surely staying warm thanks to all the great releases that have come out recently. But the year isn’t over yet, and there are still plenty of interesting games to come before we pop the champagne open to celebrate 2019. Still, most of the news from now will be for releases next year, and that’s just what we’ve got today. Also, as promised, some impressions of SEGA’s new Genesis Classics collection. Let’s go for it!
SEGA Genesis Classics ($29.99)
While pretty much everyone on my friend list spent the weekend playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I dedicated my time to messing around with the SEGA Genesis Classics collection to see how it came out. Regular readers know I can be a little strict when it comes to classic re-releases, and I certainly do have some nits to pick with this set. On the whole, however, it’s a really solid value for anyone who just wants to play a bunch of Genesis games and isn’t too fussy about emulation quality. It’s good enough. Not much more than that, mind you. But at less than a buck per game, it’s hard to complain too much.
The included 51 games cover most of SEGA’s non-licensed first party releases, with a few notable omissions. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles aren’t here, presumably for the same reason that Sonic 3 isn’t getting new releases anywhere these days. The Ecco games are also missing, which is likely due to the messy rights situation that happened with the character’s creator a while back. Westone’s Monster World games also didn’t make the cut, which is a bit confusing since they were in this collection on other platforms. SEGA acquired the full rights to Technosoft’s library, which includes great games like Thunder Force 3 and Herzog Zwei, but those are also not included.
Still, it’s tough to take too much issue with the selection. You’ve got stone cold classics like the Streets of Rage and Golden Axe trilogies, Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, all three Genesis Phantasy Star games, Shining Force 1 & 2, Ristar, The Revenge of Shinobi, and many, many more. Going through all of these games even once represents dozens of hours of gaming, and while there are a few games whose quality isn’t quite up to par with the cream of the crop, they’re greatly outnumbered by the awesome ones.
Then there are the extra features. Each game offers some challenges and achievements to go for, and you can save your state at any time to one of multiple save files. There are graphical filter options, control layout options, and adjustable meters for the volume level of various audio elements. Quick-saving and quick-loading are handily mapped to the right analog stick, allowing you to access both rather easily. The ZL and ZR buttons allow you to rewind or fast forward gameplay. The former is extremely useful in difficult action games, while the latter is a godsend for the sometimes-plodding battles in the RPGs. You can also mirror any of the games, creating new challenges for those who have mastered the originals. Certain games allow you to pick the region, and online play is available for multiplayer titles.
The UI tries to do something neat by mimicking a bedroom and placing the various submenus on different objects. I like the idea, but I wish we had the option to boot to something a little less resource-intensive. It takes a bit too long to get to the game selection and I’m not keen on a UI that seems to tax the hardware as much as the busiest moments of Breath of the Wild. A little more could have gone a long way here. I would have loved if the virtual cartridges actually reflected the real labels on the games, or if we could pop open those game cases on the shelf to look at digitized versions of the manuals. Sadly, there isn’t any supplemental material here, in stark contrast to the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection that released last month.
The make-or-break naturally comes in how the emulation of the games comes out, though. And, well… it’s okay. The audio isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad. The pixel scaling looks weird at times, especially in undocked mode, but you probably won’t notice it much in most games if you don’t look carefully. The biggest problem comes from the input lag. How much damage it causes varies from game to game, but it’s extremely noticeable in Sonic the Hedgehog and other included platform games. I usually don’t get very annoyed by input lag, because it’s hard to do much about it. But it’s long enough to be obvious here, and that’s definitely too long. You can learn to live with it, even in the Sonic games, but if you own the M2 SEGA AGES release of that game and swap between the two, it’s shocking how much longer it takes for actions to occur in Classics.
The thing is, none of these problems are severe enough for me to say that someone who was interested in this set should pass on it. It’s all just satisfactory enough and cheap enough that you can probably deal with its shortcomings. Even stacked up against the amazing SEGA AGES releases, I can’t tell anyone they’re wrong for wanting 51 games with mediocre emulation for the same price as 3 or 4 games with top-shelf quality. It’s hard to imagine more than a few of these included games getting selected for that special treatment, in any case. Do I wish this was better all-around? Yes, of course. But it’s got the right price tag for what it offers, and I think it’s worth owning for fans of SEGA’s 16-bit output.
‘Gunman Clive HD Collection’ Will Be Coming to Switch Soon
The Gunman Clive games are fantastic action-platformers with a great sense of style. I’m pretty picky when it comes to this sort of game, but I loved both of these games on Nintendo 3DS. Developer Bertil Horburg has confirmed on Twitter that the games will be coming to the Switch somewhat soon in the form of Gunman Clive HD Collection. Now, we’ve known for a while that the games would be coming, but the developer has apparently put the finishing touches on the collection and submitted it to Nintendo. If it’s anything like the 3DS and Wii U releases, you can expect to pick this up for a criminally low price.
NIS America is Bringing ‘Lapis X Labyrinth’ to the West in 2019
There aren’t a whole lot of games that get passed over for localization these days, but I had been wondering for a while now if NIS America was going to pick up Lapis X Labyrinth for a worldwide release or not. Well, it looks like NISA is going for it, as they announced at the Kinda Funny Games Showcase a few days ago that the game will be coming to the West sometime in 2019. There will be a fancy collector’s edition for those who like that sort of thing. As for the game, it’s a sort of side-scrolling action/dungeon crawl thing. Is it good? No idea, but it certainly looks colorful and busy. If you like collecting shiny objects, you may want to keep an eye out for this one.
‘The Walking Dead: The Final Season’ Episode 3 Will Release on January 15th
Telltale is basically dead at this point, but if nothing else, fans of the company’s take on The Walking Dead will be getting some resolution. Skybound picked up the rights and hired on some of the original team to finish off what was always meant to be Clementine’s last outing. After an understandable delay, The Final Season will resume on January 15th with the release of the third episode. While I personally feel like the whole thing has diminished with each new season released, it would have been pretty terrible to have everything end mid-stream. I wonder how many people are still in for this, though?
Guacamelee! 2 ($19.99)
In the world of Switch releases, there are plenty of mysteries, but also some known quantities as well. Guacamelee! 2 is one of those ones that we know all about. It’s a sequel to a terrific game, and doesn’t seem to venture too far from the path of the original. The game reviewed well when it released on other platforms, and although you won’t hear a lot of people singing its praises unprompted, it’s hard to find anyone that played it and didn’t like it. So if you want more luchador Metroidvania fun, this is an easy pick-up. Even easier if you already bought the Switch version of the original, as you’ll get a 30% discount on this one.
Just one new sale today, which is probably a good thing. If you have any money left in your wallet after last week’s new releases and sales, you’ll probably want to hang on to it for this week’s releases. Such is life. But if you wanted Semblance at a discount, today is your day.
New Games On Sale
Semblance ($6.99 from $9.99 until 12/16)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 11th
Everspace: Stellar Edition ($31.99 from $39.99 until 12/11)
Baseball Riot ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/11)
Neon Chrome ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/11)
Sally’s Law ($7.79 from $12.99 until 12/11)
The Sexy Brutale ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/11)
That’s about it for today, but there’s plenty to look forward to this week. But hey, what are you doing looking for more? Have you unlocked all the spirits in Smash yet? Get on it! And for those of you that have… well, uh… we’ll be back tomorrow with more news and info! Thanks for reading.