Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 12th, 2019. Today we’re looking at some news from NISA’s streaming event that was held yesterday, then zooming straight into a review of the sublime twin-stick shooter Assault Android Cactus+. After that, it’s time for summaries of today’s new releases, and then a grand finale of the daily sales information. Settle on in, because this one is beefy. Let’s jump in!
‘The Alliance Alive HD Remastered’ is Coming West This Fall from NISA
That localization announcement sure didn’t take long. It was just last week that we found out about The Alliance Alive HD Remastered, a souped-up version of the 2017 Nintendo 3DS RPG. Well, NISA announced on its stream last night that the game will be coming West in Fall 2019, and it’s even being sold with a fancy limited edition that includes an art book, a soundtrack, and a big ol’ box to hold it all in. Naturally, you’ll also be able to get it without all that stuff if you just want the game.
Check Out the Latest Trailer for ‘RPG Maker MV’, Coming Later This Year
I know some of you out there play the latest Kemco RPG and think to yourself that you could probably do better. And hey, there’s a good chance you can. Why not give it a try yourself when RPG Maker MV comes out in the West later in 2019? Yes, the game-making software that gave lazy critics a perfect way to dismiss 2D RPGs forevermore is going to hit the Switch in style pretty soon, and publisher NISA has put out a new trailer to help hype it up. Here’s a little secret, though: if you have a way to get Japanese eShop money, you can buy RPG Maker MV right now from the Japanese eShop and it has full support for English. Well, I’ll just leave that there.
Assault Android Cactus+ ($19.99)
I can’t decide which android I like best in this game, and that’s a bit of a boggle. The weapons are balanced so well and offer so many different playstyles that you could make a good case for just about any of them, depending on how you like to play. When I really sit and have a think about it, this gets at what I believe makes Assault Android Cactus+ stand out from a relatively crowded pack of twin-stick shooters on the Switch. There are a bunch of unlockable characters, and none of them can do it all. It encourages experimentation, and through that experimentation, learning new ways to approach the very normal problem of trying to shoot a whole bunch of bad robots.
You’ll start off with just four androids to choose from, however. They’re all somewhat conventional compared to the later ones, but they’re still quite distinct. I took most to Lemon, who has a spread shot as her standard gun and a rocket launcher as her secondary. Each character has access to two weapons. Their main weapon will obviously be your bread and butter, but it’s that second weapon that will get you out of some nasty pinches. You can’t use them as often as the normal gun, though, so you need to really consider what constitutes a pinch from moment to moment. Your default weapons are supplemented by temporary power-ups that are dropped occasionally by enemies.
As you clear worlds, you’ll unlock more androids, eventually rounding out the roster at nine characters. Some of their weapons are really out there. Aubergine, for example, has a main weapon that swings around the room and needs to be guided at all times with the right stick. Peanut’s secondary weapon lets her do a deadly drill attack that can devastate enemies if used carefully. Each character has a unique storyline that plays out through dialogue with the bosses, though you probably shouldn’t expect too much on that end. Bad robots. Shoot them. Why are they bad? There’s a reason. But shoot them anyway.
The original game’s 25 stages are backed up in this version by an extra set of challenges when you finish the main game. Basically, each stage gets a more difficult, remixed form for you to try to beat. It’s a nice extra that adds a bit of meat to the bones, but even without that, Assault Android Cactus isn’t really lacking. After you’ve cleared the story mode with however many characters you want, there are a couple of extra modes that will keep you busy for a while. Infinity Drive sets you up against a seemingly endless number of enemy waves to see how long you can last. Apparently it does actually have an end, but I doubt I’ll ever be seeing it. The Daily Drive is similar to the Infinity Drive, but has only 10 layers that change up each day.
Besides the fun selection of characters, another thing Assault Android Cactus really nails is in offering something for players of different skill levels. It’s not that hard to just scrape your way through each stage. You run on a battery, which is effectively a timer. If it runs out, you’ll fail the stage. You can replenish that battery by picking up a power-up that is dropped after you take out a certain number of enemies. Take too many hits and you’ll simply be knocked down, which takes up some of your time while you stand up and resets your combo counter. Those aren’t good things, especially if you’re aiming at a high score or a good rank, but you can get smacked around quite a bit and still clear the level. If things get really tough, there are some unlockables that can help you out at the cost of disqualifying you from the leaderboards.
The Switch version runs amazingly well, even in handheld mode. On top of that, you get some extra content in the form of the previously-mentioned Campaign+ stages. The game supports local multiplayer, and you can use the controllers in whatever configuration you like. How do you do twin stick controls with a single JoyCon, you ask? Well, the game has a handy auto-aim feature that will usually point your gun in the direction it ought to be pointed in. Veterans will want to head immediately to the options to shut that off, since it’s on by default. Up to four people can play at once, and it’s quite a thrill when you’ve got that many players and the number of enemies that spawn as a result.
This is an incredible version of an excellent game, and if you’re in the market for a twin-stick shooter on your Switch, I feel confident in saying that Assault Android Cactus+ is the new gold standard. It’s enjoyable for players of all skill levels, and the variety of androids really help to keep things interesting in the long run. It’s a game that grows right along with your developing ability to play it, so if you get into it, you’ll likely find yourself playing this for a very, very long time.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
The Caligula Effect: Overdose ($49.99)
Yeah, this is a tough one. Honestly speaking, most people I know who have played the original Vita version of The Caligula Effect bounced off of it pretty hard. It had technical issues, and its mechanics went over pretty poorly with a lot of players. But I know at least a couple of people who were able to look past all that and found a really great story behind it all. So now we have this expanded version, and by virtually all accounts, it’s a clear improvement over the original. That’s enough to bring some people over the line that weren’t there before, but it still very much appears to be a love it or leave it type of thing. I will say that there aren’t a lot of RPGs like this on the Switch yet, so you may want to take a swing at it.
Little Shopping ($1.49)
Well, as you can tell from the screenshot with the text on it, this is a port of a pretty bland mobile game. The store description talks about it being a great counting game for very young kids, which means this is definitely not for me and probably not for you, either. Unless you are a super-smart very young kid, in which case I apologize for my insensitive assumption. Anyway, you run a store. That involves putting products on the shelf and counting change, and I’m not sure there’s much more to it than that. I mean, it’s cheap as chips, but I feel like any kid old enough to handle counting coins is probably too old to enjoy something this banal.
Points for creativity, at least. You’re basically playing with clay, but in that destructive little brother way more than anything. There are 20 levels and you need to accomplish a variety of goals in each of them to earn stars. You interact with the world by using a lump of clay that can be reshaped as needed to complete tasks. It’s really easy to whip through all of those levels in a couple of hours, but there’s also a sandbox mode and a level editor to try to extend things. Again, I love the concept here, but it just doesn’t quite take off the way it should. Maybe worth picking up in a good sale, but I’m hesitant to recommend it at full price.
In this game you control a bomb that is falling from far above the Earth. You have to guide your bomb safely to its target. Don’t think too hard about the premise, it’s just a silly cartoon-style game. Anyway, you pass through three stages of the Earth’s atmosphere, dodging things like birds and kites. There are tons of random elements, all the way down to your bomb’s capabilities when you start, so it’s never the same game twice. In theory, anyway. In practice, yeah, you’ve probably played games similar to this one. If you’re into score attacks, the price isn’t too shabby on BombFall and it certainly seems like it could be enjoyable for a little while. I suspect not much longer than that, but hey, such is life.
Ha ha, not a whole lot happening there in the new sales section, is there? At the very least, Mad Age & This Guy is a pretty good pick-up for a buck and change, particularly if you like Sokoban or Bomberman. Or both, preferably. The nice LEGO sales are over tomorrow, and probably won’t return for a couple of months, so you might want to grab those if you had your eye on any of them.
New Games on Sale
Mad Age & This Guy ($1.14 from $4.99 until 3/31)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 13th
Chasm ($17.99 from $19.99 until 3/13)
Dexteritrip ($2.99 from $6.99 until 3/13)
Football Manager 2019 Touch ($26.79 from $39.99 until 3/13)
Football Manager Touch 2018 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/13)
LEGO City Undercover ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/13)
LEGO DC Super-Villains ($29.99 from $59.99 until 3/13)
LEGO Harry Potter Collection ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/13)
LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/13)
LEGO The Incredibles ($29.99 from $59.99 until 3/13)
Smoke and Sacrifice ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/13)
That’s all we’ve got for today, but we’ll be back tomorrow with all the latest news, new releases, sales, and more. I don’t have anything new to review for tomorrow, so at best I might do a throwback review. In any case, there will definitely be some stuff to read, so make sure you come on back here to see what I can fix up. And as always, thanks for reading!