Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 5th, 2019. The first week of July is over with, and I have to say that it wasn’t a great one for me. Lots of good games, at least. In fact, I’ve gone and written about some of them today. We’ve got some news, a special bonus for SwitchArcade readers who own Siralim 3, summaries of the latest game releases, a couple of reviews, and an absolutely beastly new list of sales to look through. Let’s dive on in!
‘Robotics;Notes Elite’ and ‘Robotics;Notes DaSH’ Coming West in 2020
Spike Chunsoft has announced that the hit visual novel Robotics;Notes Elite and its sequel Robotics;Notes DaSH will be localized and released sometime in 2020. As you can probably guess from the odd semicolon placement in the title, these games come from the same loose series as Steins;Gate. Like that game, this one tells the tale of some weird science. Instead of time travel, the theme is about robotics and augmented reality. This will be the first time either game has been officially localized. Robotics;Notes Elite will launch sometime next year on the Switch and other platforms, and DaSH will follow for the same platforms sometime after.
Unlock a Special Monster in ‘Siralim 3’ Just for SwitchArcade Readers
The Siralim series of monster-capturing RPGs makes its Nintendo console debut today with Siralim 3. One of the many cool features in this game is the ability to enter codes to get special items or monsters once you’ve unlocked the Breeding Master. Once you’ve done that, a special NPC character, a jester dressed in white, will appear in the main room of your castle. Go talk to him and he’ll let you enter a code. You can get these codes in various ways, but let’s get our lovely readers off to a little head start. Give him the code ‘SwitchArcade’ (minus the quote marks, case-sensitive) and you will get an egg for an extremely rare, very powerful monster. Note that you do need to be connected to the internet to enter codes. Enjoy!
To tell the truth, writing a review of Terraria at this point feels a little bit like writing a review of Minecraft. This game is so well-known and ubiquitous that I have trouble imagining anyone actually needs it explained, so all people really want to know with each new release is how the port turned out. So without further ado: really well. The port to the Switch is good. If you’ve ever played Terraria with a controller you’ll be fine here, and all the technical bits are as good as they are on any platform. Touch screen support is here if you’re playing in handheld mode. If you want to play Terraria, this is a great way to do it. The in-game keyboard is a little tiny and hard to use, but that’s been the case for every non-PC version of the game so I suspect people are okay with it.
If by chance you have no idea what Terraria is, it’s pretty simple to explain. This is a 2D Minecraft-style survival/crafting game. But it’s not just that. Terraria is a little bit more guided in some ways. There are actual goals to accomplish. There are bosses to beat. Other characters live in the world and they don’t just walk up to you and grunt. That extra dash of action-RPG-style structure makes for an experience that many find suits them better than Minecraft. It’s a little ungainly in places. Crafting what are understood as three-dimensional structures such as houses is always at least a little odd when playing from a side-view. The game wasn’t originally designed around using a controller and it often shows.
Nevertheless, it all works way more often than it doesn’t. This is one of those games you can lose hours in without even realizing it. One of those games you can play for weeks or months without noticing the gaming world is hurtling past you while you’re gathering the materials to build just the right new house for that Bob guy you met a little while ago. In short, it’s very much like Minecraft in spite of its differences, and those differences make it worth playing distinctly from that obvious point of comparison.
There’s really just one big fly in the ointment: the price. In a vacuum, Terraria is certainly worth thirty dollars. The problem is that it’s cheaper on every other platform, sometimes significantly so. On other current-gen consoles, it’s twenty dollars. On PC, it’s a cool ten bucks. The mobile version costs five dollars. This Switch port doesn’t offer anything above and beyond the other versions that merits that higher price. Heck, when you consider that you need a Nintendo Switch Online account to play online multiplayer, you could argue this is actually a lesser experience than on some other platforms. I’m not going to hold it against the game too much, but just be aware that you can get the same experience elsewhere at a lower price should the means be available to you.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
You know, I really like games that find a new way to present an old gameplay structure. In OVIVO, you have to move your character through scrolling stages filled with hills, hazards, pits, and so on. There are little goodies to collect along the way but the main target is simply to reach the goal. It’s a familiar dance, one we’ve all joined in on many times. Yet with one simple little twist, the experience feels quite fresh. OVIVO does something interesting with its platforming, and it’s as enjoyable as it is novel.
First gimmick: your character is a ball. Well, that’s not a very new idea. We’ve seen lots of games where you control a ball and have to deal with its rolling tendencies, after all. Next: the stages are monochrome. Ah yes, very moody stuff. Quite popular among certain sections of the indie set. But it’s more than that here thanks to the game’s real differentiating mechanic. See, you can’t jump in this game. Not in the traditional sense of hitting a button and springing into the air, anyway. And your ball can either be black or white, which is also pretty important. With the tap of a button, your ball will change between the colors, and that color determines what is up, what is down, and what kind of surfaces you travel on.
Picture a black ball traveling along a black hill with a white background. You hit the button and suddenly your now-white ball slips through the floor and is now traveling on a white hill with a black background. Upside-down, if that wasn’t confusing enough. The act of falling through gives you a little height, of course, and that ends up being a pretty critical technique for gaining air. Roll down a big hill to gain momentum, swap colors at right moment, and you’ll rocket out the other side of the ground. Don’t worry if you mess up. Death has almost no consequences, at worst setting you back a little ways. Just have fun with it and try to push forward. When you finish a stage, the camera pulls back and lets you see exactly what the design you were platforming through looks like. It’s a neat touch.
OVIVO is interesting to me because it’s doing something so familiar but forcing me to learn all kinds of new techniques to do things that come so easily in other games. Don’t put too much into this comparison, but it kind of reminds me of how Bionic Commando made you approach old obstacles differently due to a lack of that ever-so-fundamental jump button. Like that game, there’s a nice rhythm to the movement here, and just enough to learn to make mastering it satisfying. I’m not sure this is going to be for everyone, but it was definitely for me.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Siralim 3 ($14.99)
Ah, I love the Siralim games. These are the Everlasting Gobstoppers of the monster-catching RPG set, with dozens of hours of things to do and new things to learn even after you’re well into the game. This is the first time the series has come to a Nintendo platform, but don’t worry if you haven’t played the first two. The games stand on their own just fine, and the third game is easily the best so far. Over 700 monsters to collect, randomly generated dungeons with 15 different themes, a robust crafting system, literally no level cap, an absurd amount of end game content, and even seasonal events are included in this game. And if you’ve checked the news section, you’ve already seen that there’s a special monster in there for SwitchArcade readers. I’ll have a full review of this one soon, so keep an eye open for that.
Paradox Soul ($4.99)
At just five dollars, this is one of the more economical choices on the Switch if you’re looking for a Metroidvania-style game. And some bits of it work well, with the one-hit kills in particular lending this a certain distinct flavor from most games of this sort. It’s only a couple of hours long, but I think that’s reasonable for the price. The bigger problem is that in spite of its short length it gets pretty tiresome well before the end. There’s just not enough to mix things up along the way, and what starts off as a decent little game ends up being rather disappointing. I’ve certainly played worse, but that’s not really high praise, is it?
Hero Express ($4.99)
This one isn’t too bad at all. With its side-view, collectible currency, and level design, it looks for all the world like it’s going to be an auto-runner or something. But no, you actually manually control your acceleration or even go in reverse if you want to. Your goal is to reach the end of each level before your fuel supply runs out. Extra fuel is scattered along each stage, but you aren’t going to be swimming in the stuff by any means. Each stage is set up with its own obstacles and tricky layouts, and you’ll be taking a distinct vehicle into each one. You’ll also find a unique currency in every stage, which can only be used to upgrade the level-specific vehicle. There are only eleven stages but they’re tough enough that you’ll probably be at it for a little while.
Yeah, there it is. We get a bunch of new sales every Friday, but this week’s list is really nice. For my specific highlights today, I’m going to point at two recent releases from Circle Entertainment. Shadows of Adam is a pretty cool retro-style RPG that is worth grabbing at its discounted price. The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa has a lot of rough edges, but good glorb does it do a great job of creating a proper sense of atmosphere. There are tons of other good games in today’s list, however, so be sure to check it carefully. There aren’t too many sales ending this weekend, but if you wanted that low price on the video game equivalent of Marvel Super Heroes-brand oatmeal, act now.
New Games on Sale
Snake Pass ($7.99 from $19.99 until 7/19)
The Jackbox Party Pack 2 ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/18)
The Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/18)
Overcooked Special Edition ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/17)
Pan-Pan ($3.00 from $5.00 until 7/25)
Axiom Verge ($13.99 from $19.99 until 7/11)
The Flame In the Flood: Complete ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Koi DX ($3.00 from $5.00 until 7/25)
Worms W.M.D. ($14.99 from $29.99 until 7/17)
Serial Cleaner ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Human: Fall Flat ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Yooka-Laylee ($19.99 from $39.99 until 7/17)
Grand Prix Rock ‘N Racing ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/24)
Mercenaries Saga Chronicles ($10.49 from $14.99 until 7/25)
Mercenaries Wings: The False Phoenix ($10.39 from $12.99 until 7/25)
Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder ($0.99 from $9.99 until 7/8)
World Conqueror X ($5.99 from $9.99 until 7/25)
European Conqueror X ($7.99 from $9.99 until 7/25)
Coffin Dodgers ($6.49 from $12.99 until 7/11)
Rogue Aces ($5.19 from $12.99 until 7/19)
Shelter Generations ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/25)
Raging Justice ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/17)
Smoke And Sacrifice ($7.99 from $19.99 until 7/19)
Pode ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/18)
Bomber Crew ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Manual Samuel ($3.99 from $9.99 until 7/19)
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate ($29.99 from $59.99 until 7/11)
Time Carnage ($7.79 from $12.99 until 7/18)
Velocity 2X ($7.99 from $19.99 until 7/19)
Tangrams Deluxe ($4.49 from $4.99 until 7/11)
The Swindle ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/19)
WILL: A Wonderful World ($10.49 from $14.99 until 7/25)
Beholder: Complete ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Sheltered ($10.04 from $14.99 until 7/17)
Gnomes Garden 2 ($2.99 from $4.99 until 7/22)
Caveblazers ($8.99 from $14.99 until 7/11)
The Office Quest ($2.39 from $11.99 until 7/18)
When Ski Lifts Go Wrong ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Robothorium ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/18)
Pumped BMX Pro ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Solstice Chronicles: MIA ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/25)
Pet Care ($0.29 from $1.49 until 7/24)
Motosports Manager ($10.04 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Lyrica ($15.99 from $19.99 until 7/18)
The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/25)
Super Star Path ($3.99 from $4.99 until 7/24)
Bot Vice ($7.99 from $9.99 until 7/24)
Rollin’ Eggz ($2.69 from $2.99 until 7/24)
Shadows of Adam ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/25)
For The King ($18.60 from $24.99 until 7/19)
Darkwood ($13.49 from $14.99 until 7/11)
American Fugitive ($14.99 from $19.99 until 7/19)
Ankh Guardian – Treasure of the Demon’s Temple ($5.59 from $7.99 until 7/24)
Space War Arena ($1.49 from $14.99 until 7/6)
Sales Ending This Weekend
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 7/6)
Space War Arena ($1.49 from $14.99 until 7/6)
Battle Group 2 ($0.99 from $9.99 until 7/7)
Happy Words ($6.99 from $9.99 until 7/7)
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet ($17.99 from $19.99 until 7/7)
Perfect Angle ($2.99 from $9.99 until 7/7)
RIOT – Civil Unrest ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/7)
The Count Lucanor ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/7)
Tinboy ($0.79 from $1.99 until 7/7)
Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure ($7.49 from $29.99 until 7/7)
Zombie Scrapper ($2.54 from $2.99 until 7/7)
That’s all for today, friends. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get this together for you all this time, but it was rather luckily a bit of a slow day for news and new releases, so it all worked out. Next week brings us ever closer to the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but it’s also a pretty solid week of games in its own right. Psyvariar Delta, Skulls of the Shogun, Blazing Chrome, God Eater 3, and Dragon Quest Builders 2 should keep just about anyone busy for a week or two at least. Anyway, have a nice weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!