Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 13th, 2019. The second day of E3 has come and gone, and most of the big announcements have already been made. That said, it is still a Thursday. That means we have plenty of new releases to check out, along with a handful of new sales. I’ve also put together reviews of a couple more games from the old pile-of-shame that I hope you’ll enjoy. Let’s get down to business!
‘Torchlight 2’ Comes to Switch September 3rd
Hey, that Switch port of Diablo 3 is great, but wouldn’t it be nice to have another game along those lines? I mean, besides the ultra-buggy port of Titan Quest. Well, following up on its fine work of porting Hob to the Switch, Panic Button is going to be bringing the classic hack-and-slash loot game Torchlight 2 to a number of consoles including Switch. The game will arrive on September 3rd, and we already have a price: a nifty $19.99! Given who is in charge of the port, we probably don’t have to worry too much about the transition to Switch, so feel free to commence getting excited.
Check Out ‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ Footage and More via Nintendo on YouTube
So far, there isn’t a whole lot of new news today to report. Most of the action from E3 is going in deeper on already-announced games, such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Nintendo’s Treehouse streams in particular have been spending some time with many of the games they showed during the Nintendo Direct. Now, I could pad out my article by posting a bunch of videos from Nintendo’s YouTube channel, but I feel like it’s more efficient and honest to just send you on over there, where you can pick out and watch the videos for the games you’re interested in. The Day 2 videos include such games as the aforementioned Fire Emblem, Trials of Mana‘s 3D remake, Dragon Quest XI, Super Mario Maker 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, and the awesome-looking Astral Chain.
Battle Worlds: Kronos ($29.99)
There was a time where many lamented the lack of games in the vein of Nintendo’s Advance Wars. Heck, I’m sure there are still plenty of people who miss that specific series. But at the very least, there are some decent alternatives out there these days for those who are looking. From very direct homages like Mecho Wars: Desert Ashes to clever spins like Wargroove, if your aim is to build tiny armies, occupy buildings, and try to take your opponent’s headquarters in all the thrills that can only be delivered turn-by-turn, you’ve got choices. Enter Battle Worlds: Kronos, which offers up this elevator pitch: what if it’s Advance Wars, but it looks like a more modern Western strategy game?
Thankfully, it makes a few changes to the formula, but nothing that isn’t drawn from another obvious source. So instead of square grids for the battlefields, you’ve got hexagons. Instead of a top-down view, you’re looking at a sort-of isometric view that calls to mind the RTS genre. But the nuts and bolts are very much Advance Wars even if the specifics differ in places. Build an army, obtain resources, capture your enemy’s resources, build more units, and try to overwhelm your foe and wipe them out. Each unit has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each has its own place in any winning plan. One of the most critical points of the game is to learn everything about your units and when or where you should make use of them.
If you get into what Battle Worlds is serving, you’re going to find a bounty of enjoyment here. The maps are very challenging, but never unfair. The campaign mode is lengthy, and there are lots of multiplayer and skirmish options once you’ve finished with it. This is a full-fat turn-based strategy game absolutely packed with content, and you can see just how much thought went into each and every stage. On the flip side, if you’re not already well-versed in the genre, the tutorial alone may bring you to your knees. This game is proud of its difficulty, and it’s not lying when it says anyone can overcome its challenges with practice and experience. But will they want to, I wonder? There’s a reason most games lead with soft punches, and almost always have. There’s a lot to learn here if you’re coming in cold, and it’s hard to get the fundamentals down when the game won’t give you the chance to do that.
Well, I can’t truthfully speak from the viewpoint of someone who has little genre experience, and I suppose it’s unlikely such a person would pick up Battle Worlds anyway, so I’ll tie that little ribbon there. Instead, let’s talk about the things that kept this game from sweeping me off my feet the way it might have. The biggest problem is that this game feels like it has no personality whatsoever. There’s a story it’s trying to earnestly tell, but I just couldn’t care at all about it. It’s building a world and setting I feel like I’ve seen a million times before. Its units are all familiar to a fault. The gameplay is as meat-and-potatoes as it comes. I feel like if I don’t write this review today, the entire game will have slipped out of my mind by lunchtime tomorrow.
You know how sometimes you’re playing one of Arcade Distillery’s games like Desert Ashes and you almost want to shout at the game to just use a normal damned tank instead of a weird elephant/bug hybrid in a plague mask and a diaper? This game is the opposite of that feeling. I found myself wishing in vain that it would try something, anything, surprising. It never did. Is that really so awful? I’m not sure. I don’t think I want the game to force that sort of spontaneity, but at the same time I’m having a hard time remembering another game that was so mechanically competent and yet still came off so utterly forgettable.
If you’re a big fan of turn-based strategy games like Advance Wars or Panzer General and you are on the hunt for your next meal, this will probably fill your belly. It even looks nice on the plate. Just in its single-player content alone, you’ve got more than forty hours of content ahead of you. If you get into the multiplayer (which unfortunately is local only), there’s a lot more entertainment to be had on top of that. Lots to do here, no question. But the end result is kind of similar to that of eating a few loaves of plain bread. Sure, you’re not hungry anymore. You got a lot of calories for your money. On paper, that was a heck of a good decision. So why do you still want a cookie so badly?
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Selma and the Wisp ($9.99)
This is another one of those moody puzzle-mild action-adventure game things where the main character is practically a silhouette. It has an interesting story that has a lot of dark themes, though it doesn’t nail any of that quite as well as the games it’s likely inspired by. The main gimmick here is that you also have control of a wisp character that can be dragged around the screen to collect items and lead the main character, Selma, around. It’s an idea that a game could potentially do some interesting things with, but you won’t find much of that in Selma and the Wisp, I’m afraid.
No, what you get here is a rather short and unfriendly game where much of the challenge comes down to trying to get Selma to make her way through timing-based traps and hazards when you don’t have direct control over her. It’s more frustrating than it is fun, and although the story is engaging enough that you’ll probably want to see it through once it has its hooks in you, I’m not sure the juice is really worth the squeeze. It’s just a little too clunky and awkward in its movements to ask of the player what it does. It’s not that it’s hard so much as it is tiresome. Oh, Selma walked into the obstacle again. If only she had moved when I wanted her to. But she didn’t, so back we go to try it again.
I don’t want to give the game too much of a kicking because it does have its heart in the right place and I can definitely see what the developer was going for. But it doesn’t feel like it comes even close to reaching its gameplay ambitions, and that unfortunately hurts the game on the whole. You may want to stick around to see where the plot goes, but if you’re tolerating the gameplay to get to the story, you know something went wrong along the way. Worth ten bucks? Probably not, no. But I suppose if you have a fondness for janky little games whose reach exceeds their grasp, it might be something worth picking up on sale.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Cadence of Hyrule ($24.99)
No, I’m not doing the ridiculously long subtitle. It’s a Crypt of the NecroDancer spin-off that crosses over with The Legend of Zelda. If you’ve played the former, you’ll have a general idea of how things go here. Wander through procedurally-generated dungeons battling enemies and scoring loot, all the rhythm of the music. But in this one, you can play as Link and Zelda in addition to Cadence. Also, the areas you wander through, the enemies you fight, and loot you collect are all drawn from The Legend of Zelda. It has two-player co-op and 25 remixes of classic Zelda tunes. It’s basically as awesome as it sounds. Really, these two concepts fit together more snugly than they have any right to.
Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Don’t Dry ($39.99)
Lovable loser at all things love Larry Laffer makes a proper jump into the modern age with an actual new point-and-click adventure game. This one came out late last year on other platforms and the general consensus was that if you were looking for a new Leisure Suit Larry game to wash away the memories of those terrible PS2-era titles, you wouldn’t be disappointed with this game. Yes, the humor is almost laughably lame this far removed from its original era, but Larry was always meant to be an anachronistic weirdo. That he’s more of one now doesn’t really change things that much. Don’t look to this to flip the genre on its head or anything, but Wet Dreams Don’t Dry does exactly what it needs to do, and for Larry fans that’s probably enough.
Enchanted in the Moonlight ($19.99)
With the visual novel genre flourishing on the Switch, it was only a matter of time before Voltage made its way to the platform. Best known for its extremely successful mobile dating sims, Voltage is bringing its particular brand of hunky dudes to the system in two different flavors. Kiryu, Chikage, & Yukinojo are included in one version of the game, while Miyabi, Kyoga, & Samon are in the other. Yes, if you want all six of the romantic options available to you, you’ll have to buy two separate games. But the pricing for the combo is about in line with other otome games on Switch, so it’s not egregious by any means. Anyway, you play as a young woman whose everyday life is turned upside down when the demon world decides it wants her blood. Your saviors are spirits themselves but also good-looking men because that’s the genre, friends.
Radiation City ($19.99)
Well, it’s 2019 and thanks to a TV show, Pripyat and Chernobyl are suddenly super-popular topics again. Influencers are going to the site of the nuclear disaster and taking artsy half-naked photos and goofy reaction pictures, and the meteor that will one day end this entire planet suddenly seems like it can’t come soon enough. You might think Radiation City is yet another thing trying to cash in on this boom, but if you’re a regular TouchArcade reader you know this game came out on mobile a couple of years back. Anyway, this is a lot like its predecessor Radiation Island, but the whole thing is a lot less novel since we’ve done most of it before. Kind of a so-so game to begin with and an extra two years and a platform shift don’t do much to change that.
PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker ($19.99)
Timing is everything. If you’re putting out an RPG, don’t release it the week before a new Final Fantasy. Got a fighting game? You may not want to go up against Mortal Kombat 11. And if you’re putting out a platform game creation tool, I can’t think of a worse position than coming out a couple of weeks before a new Mario Maker game. I’m sure it couldn’t be helped, but yeesh, what a raw deal for PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker. It’s a neat little level builder, and it has lots of fun options like being able to switch between different themes patterned after historical game machines. But it’s not Super Mario Maker 2. Not even in the same ballpark. Even taking the price difference into account, you’re better off waiting until you can afford Nintendo’s take. Because of course Nintendo’s take is on another level. It’s too bad, because if this had been out a few months ago, I’d probably have given it a solid recommendation.
Please, Don’t Touch Anything: Classic ($4.99)
Okay, I’m a little puzzled at this release. For those who don’t know their Please, Don’t Touch Anything history, the game started off as a Ludum Dare Jam entry before being polished up and released as a proper product on mobile and PC. It later got an expanded 3D remake of sorts that you could play in VR, and that remake got a Switch port a while ago. This Classic version is the one that initially released on mobile and PC. While there’s certainly some charm in its 2D visuals, the amount of content here is a major step back from the 3D version. The one that you can already buy on Switch for $9.99, that is. I’m left wondering who this is for except the most die-hard fans of Please, Don’t Touch Anything. Oh well, it exists. Do with it what you will.
Okay, so yesterday I said that pretty much every good game that could be on sale was, and while that was obviously hyperbole, we do have a few more sales today that include some noteworthy titles. Like Golf Story! That game is almost never on sale, so you should probably grab it if you have any interest at all in a golf RPG. Ever wonder what Santa is up to in the middle of June? Wonder no longer once you spend a dollar on a handy Santa Tracker. As for the outgoing sales, there isn’t anything there that won’t be back on sale before long. Given the number of games that rarely see discounts that are now on sale for E3, your attention really should be on those.
New Games on Sale
Golf Story ($9.89 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Tower of Babel ($1.19 from $5.99 until 7/2)
Final Light, The Prison ($1.39 from $6.99 until 7/2)
Space Ribbon ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/2)
Santa Tracker ($0.99 from $2.99 until 7/2)
Crazy Strike Bowling EX ($8.99 from $9.99 until 6/25)
Xtreme Club Racing ($1.97 from $9.89 until 7/2)
Revenant Saga ($7.79 from $12.99 until 6/27)
Photon Cube ($6.82 from $13.64 until 7/3)
Castlestorm ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/21)
Venture Towns ($9.80 from $12.00 until 7/4)
Overdriven Reloaded ($0.99 from $7.99 until 7/4)
Flowlines VS ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/3)
Alvastia Chronicles ($9.09 from $12.99 until 6/27)
Boxing Champs ($10.15 from $14.50 until 6/20)
Graveyard Keeper ($17.99 from $19.99 until 6/27)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, June 14th
Alien Cruise ($8.70 from $11.30 until 6/14)
Blazing Beaks ($9.99 from $14.99 until 6/14)
Farming Simulator ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/14)
MudRunner – American Wilds ($27.99 from $39.99 until 6/14)
Nine Parchments ($5.99 from $19.99 until 6/14)
Pianista ($19.99 from $24.99 until 6/14)
Robot Squad Simulator ($11.99 from $14.99 until 6/14)
Selma and the Wisp ($7.99 from $9.99 until 6/14)
Submerged ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/14)
Trine 2: Complete Story ($11.89 from $16.99 until 6/14)
Trine Enchanted Edition ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/14)
And that’s that for today’s edition of the SwitchArcade Round-Up. We’ll be back tomorrow with the Friday new releases, along with whatever news comes out of the last day of E3 2019. We usually see a bunch of sales on Fridays, but I’m not too confident about that this week. Nevertheless, whatever does come will be here as usual. Thanks for reading!