Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 6th, 2019. Today we’ve got a look at some of the details from the Pokemon Direct, some news about a couple of upcoming games, summaries of all the hot new releases like Slay the Spire, and of course, sales information. It’s an action-packed thriller filled with suspense and drama in the Mighty… sorry, that’s not my script. Ah, here we go. There’s plenty to look through today, friends, so let’s get going!
The ‘Pokemon Direct’ Revealed Many New Things About ‘Pokemon Sword/Shield’
Yesterday’s Pokemon Direct may have been short, but it certainly brought a lot of tantalizing details with it. In addition to showing us a few more of the Galar region’s Pokemon (Wooloo seems to be going over well), we also got to see one of the big new features of the game: the Wild Area. It’s a large, open area where you can hunt wild Pokemon, meet up with other trainers, participate in raid battles, and more. With free camera control, this almost comes off like the overworld areas from other JRPGs like Dragon Quest 11 or Final Fantasy 12. It’s just, you know, more limited. But baby steps, friends. Another new feature is Dynamaxing, which allows a Pokemon to grow to gigantic proportions for a short time in battle. Those aforementioned raid battles? Yeah, you’ll be battling these big fellows. Anyway, it all looks pretty great. You can see that stuff and more by watching the Nintendo Direct.
Who Comes to the Switch in 2019? Sponge! Bob! Square! Pants!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the games that publishers are choosing to re-release on the Switch are very odd selections. I mean, not bad games for the most part. Just not the ones you’d expect. You can add one more to that list as SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is getting remastered for the Switch and other consoles. I remember this one being pretty fun, but it’s definitely a PS2-era 3D platformer. There isn’t any other information about it yet, but it’s apparently coming this year. So yeah, get ready to party like it’s 2003, everyone!
The ‘Grandia HD Collection’ is Coming Soon, More Info at E3
We’ve known for quite a while that the Grandia HD Collection would be coming to the Switch. It contains the first two Grandia games remastered, though to what extent still remains to be seen. Publisher GungHo Online Entertainment has been keeping relatively quiet on it, but the company announced yesterday that the release will be coming soon. More information will be coming at E3, so presumably that “coming soon" doesn’t mean tomorrow or anything. Both games are excellent JRPGs, so if you haven’t played them before, you’ll want to keep an eye on this collection.
Slay the Spire ($24.99)
Mega Crit’s Slay the Spire is a much-loved game all on its own, and this Switch version is a great way to play it. A deck-builder crossed with elements from roguelikes, this game sees you trying to build the perfect deck to take on an ever-changing spire filled with monsters, traps, and treasure. The port is excellent and the gameplay is a wonderful match for the Switch’s pick up-and-go design. If you enjoy roguelites in their various forms, you’re almost certainly going to like this one. Easily the must-have of today’s releases. Full review coming? You know it, friends.
Phantom Doctrine ($17.99)
Phantom Doctrine is one of those games that is a lot cooler on paper than it is in practice. In theory, a 40-hour XCOM-style strategy game about spies in the late Cold War era sounds like one of the best things ever. Well, it’s not. But it’s not bad, either. I don’t think it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but what is? The biggest problems with the game are in its difficulty balancing (it’s really easy to break if you put even a little thought into your agent builds) and its pacing. Frankly, the game runs out of interesting new ideas well before its story draws to a close. But friends, it’s still pretty cool anyway. If anything in that pitch speaks to you, I think you’ll probably like this even if it doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
Fat City ($9.99)
This game has been out on a bunch of platforms already, and it’s still suffering from the same issues it always has. Namely, it has a great set-up and the basic mechanics are sound, but it never really goes where it needs to with all of that. You need to plan perfect heists in a fashion not entirely dissimilar to Hitman GO and its ilk. It adopts a cool-looking visual style that in the long run only serves to make every location feel the same. The level designs themselves don’t help that, as the way of going about them never really changes or evolves. With each heist taking less than a minute, you can have this whole game wrapped up in one rather dull hour. Ehn.
The Sushi Spinnery ($12.00)
It’s another Kairosoft simulation game, and this one falls into the template it tends to use for all its shop-based titles. Develop your product, cater to various customers, try to win prizes, and so on. Victory is inevitable, and if you start to run low on funds the game will always find some reason to give you more. Relaxing, compelling, but really not all that different from any other Kairosoft game. Are you sick of them yet? Does this theme appeal to you? These are the critical questions to ask for any of this developer’s games. You may also want to ask yourself if you wouldn’t rather play this as it was designed on your mobile device for a lower price. But that’s all up to you.
Legend of the Tetrarchs ($14.99)
Geez, what are the odds that a cookie-cutter Kemco JRPG mobile port with a jacked price would come directly after a cookie-cutter Kairosoft sim mobile port with a jacked price in this article? Sometimes, the universe has a sense of humor. Anyway, this one was developed by Hit-Point and likely to no one’s surprise, it’s not very good. With the lack of competition in the genre, reasonable price, and frequent deep discounts, I totally get why mobile gamers sometimes go in for mediocre Kemco efforts like this one. But spending fifteen dollars to play something like this on your Switch is such a plainly bad idea that kindergarten classes should probably have lessons featuring a rapping cartoon dog who teaches kids not to do it. Arf-arf-arf, don’t make me barf-barf-barf. Kids! Say NO, to low-effort Kemco. Woof!
Artifact Adventure Gaiden DX ($9.99)
This is a cute new version of a game that has been out for a while on PC. Originally known for its Game Boy-like graphics, this version sees a Game Boy Color-style upgrade to full, glorious color. The gameplay remains the same overall, with some typical JRPG trappings and a straightforward combat system quite reminiscent of Drancia or its more famous copycat, Slayin’. It’s a lot of fun and really does nail the vintage vibe well in spite of its numerous concessions to more modern concepts. It’s also surprisingly substantial. Definitely worth picking up if you enjoy classic questing.
Hey, check it out. A puzzle-platform game featuring a silhouette person as the protagonist, a vague and sad story, and some moody tunes. Haven’t seen one of these in about a week or so. But this one is pretty fun, as it uses its unusual color-switching mechanic to the fullest to create some truly inspired puzzles. And if you’re color-blind, don’t worry, as the developers have made sure to make everything friendly for all by using symbols in conjunction with the colors. Anyway, it’s a pretty nice example of this kind of thing. Whatever it may lack in thematic innovation, it makes up for with interesting gameplay design.
Super Skelemania ($4.99)
Let me start by saying this game is short. It’s only an hour or two long at even the laziest pace, and given that it’s a Metroidvania, I think a lot of people are going to think that’s unusually brief. But you know what? I like this game. It has a clear, focused design with very little fat on the bones in both the literal and figurative sense. As you gain new abilities, traversal becomes ridiculously fun. And considering the relative prices of things on the Switch, I think the price point for this little slice of joy isn’t too bad at all. In that respect it reminds me a bit of Ikachan. Is it short? Yes. Do I wish it were longer? You bet. Will I replay it? Almost certainly. To me, that’s a game worth buying. As for you? The power is yours.
Word Wheel by POWGI ($7.99)
Lightwood Games continues to provide its valuable service of making a stream of word and puzzle games packed with content and terrible jokes. Word Wheel is something you may or may not be familiar with. The idea is that you have a wheel with a bunch of letters on the spokes and one letter in the hub. You have to make as many words as you can, always at least using that center letter. You get 100 puzzles in total here and they will take you hours upon hours to finish in their entirety. It even supports up to four players locally, so you can all try to solve the puzzles together. I find that helps with games like this one, as there are always some words that don’t come to mind for one person but immediately leap out to another. Anyway, the usual threadbare presentation is in place here, but if you just want some good puzzles for a good price, this will do that job.
Bullet Battle: Evolution ($14.99)
Bullet Battle is a game with many problems on mobile, and its Switch incarnation doesn’t fare any better. Except here you get to pay upfront for the experience, of course, and they’re not trying to sell you bags of gems either. But you know, we’ve seen lots of so-so mobile games make the hop over the Switch and try to scoop some easy money. What surprises me with this one is just how poorly it runs. I’m not a framerate sensitive person by any means, but this game is so choppy you could toss a carrot into it and come out with a tasty snack for kids. But props where it’s due, I suppose. This is playable online, assuming you find anyone online to play with. And… um… it has lots of things to unlock? Slowly, mind you. I don’t know. This is basically a bad third-person take on Modern Combat, which itself is already a bit of a dubious proposition. Hard pass.
She and the Light Bearer ($9.99)
This is a bright, colorful point-and-click adventure game. You play as a cute little firefly who is searching a forest for someone. You’ll help her out by solving puzzles and completing various challenges along the way. Honestly, it’s a pretty smooth ride. The puzzles err on the easy side, so if you like to have serious head-scratchers in your adventure games, you might find this one a little too sweet on the player. The story is interesting even if the dialogue isn’t always as polished as one would like, and the lush visuals and acoustic soundtrack come together nicely to set a lovely storybook mood. It’s a bit on the short side compared to some games in this genre, running just a few hours or so, and its fluffiness is definitely not going to appeal to everyone. But I think it’s pretty cool, even if I can’t give it a strong recommendation.
Summer Sports Games ($24.99)
Yikes, the faces on the characters in this game’s official art are absolutely terrifying. I’m going to see those things in my nightmares. As for the game, this is a pretty standard track-and-field style affair, with a bunch of events and a local multiplayer mode. Games like these usually aren’t much fun on your own, though you can certainly play this one that way as it offers up CPU opponents. Pull in some friends and suddenly each of those 12 somewhat shallow events becomes a life-and-death struggle for who can best pull off whatever repetitive action the game calls for. If it were me, I’d probably wait for one of SEGA’s Olympics-branded games, but if you’ve got to have something like this right now, this checks off the basic boxes.
Well, it’s another day where the outgoing sales are more important than the incoming ones. I am fully sure that by the time I wake up tomorrow, this will not be the case, but that is the future. For now, the new sales are for the clever puzzle game Swim Out, the interesting-but-flawed Car Quest, the finest hockey release on Switch in recent memory Super Blood Hockey, and Quarantine Circular. On the way out are the discounts on Devolver Digital’s games, and I don’t expect we’ll see sales on them again for at least a few months. Do what you have to. There are a few other notables there as well, so have a good look through the list.
New Games on Sale
Swim Out ($3.99 from $5.99 until 6/19)
Car Quest ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/27)
Quarantine Circular ($4.79 from $5.99 until 6/27)
Super Blood Hockey ($10.04 from $14.99 until 6/21)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, June 7th
Ape Out ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Braveland Trilogy ($9.74 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Broforce ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Crossing Souls ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Downwell ($1.49 from $2.99 until 6/7)
Enter the Gungeon ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Gato Roboto ($6.79 from $7.99 until 6/7)
GRIS ($11.89 from $16.99 until 6/7)
Hyper Sentinel ($0.90 from $12.99 until 6/7)
I Hate Running Backwards ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Katana Zero ($11.99 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Marble It Up! ($16.99 from $19.99 until 6/7)
Minit ($5.99 from $9.99 until 6/7)
Mother Russia Bleeds ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Not A Hero: Super Snazzy Edition ($6.49 from $12.99 until 6/7)
Pikuniku ($6.49 from $12.99 until 6/7)
Reigns: Game of Thrones ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/7)
Reigns: Kings & Queens ($3.99 from $7.99 until 6/7)
Silence ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/7)
The Red Strings Club ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
The Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Warparty ($16.74 from $24.99 until 6/7)
That’s all we’ve got for today, friends. But as regular readers know, Thursday is but part one of the two-part spectacular each week when it comes to Switch releases. Come on back tomorrow and have a gander at the rest of the new releases including Warlocks 2, Neon Junctions, and more. Naturally, you can also look forward to some news and sales information. We’ll see what else there’s time for. As always, thanks for reading!