Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 26th, 2019. First, let me update you on the Knee Saga. It’s feeling a lot better today after some rest and proper icing. I may indeed be able to get back to my usual routine next week. As for today’s article, we’ve got a review of Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble, summaries of great new releases like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a bit of news, and some info on great sales on Resident Evil games and more. It’s full of stars, friends, so let’s go for a trip on the old TouchArcade rocket!
‘Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition’ Coming Next Month
Obsidian’s acclaimed CRPG Pillars of Eternity 2 was announced a while back for Switch, and it seems its predecessor will be joining it on the platform. A listing has shown up in the European and Australian eShop for the game, and it’s possible the North American site will have a similar listing up as you read this. The game is set to come out on August 8th, which is only a couple of weeks away. This has been quite a summer for Switch RPGs, and it looks like there’s no sign of it letting up anytime soon. Please finish Fire Emblem and Dragon Quest Builders 2 soon, everyone!
‘Zumba Burn It Up!’ Comes to Switch in November
Zumba fitness isn’t quite the dominant fad that it once was, but that doesn’t mean it won’t still work for burning off some extra calories. 505 Games and Kuju will be bringing the latest in the line of games based on the Zumba brand to the Switch on November 19th with Zumba Burn It Up!, a rhythm game that won’t clog your room up with plastic instruments and broken dreams. Up to four players can dance along to 30 different songs with adjustable intensities, or take lessons from digital versions of real Zumba instructors. The game will cost $39.99 and requires you to use the Joy-Cons separate from the Switch unit, so Switch Lite owners will have to pick up some Joy-Cons if they want to play.
Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble ($14.99)
It feels like an Advance Wars fan can get just about anything these days except a new Advance Wars. It’s not the only beloved franchise that seems doomed to never return, but what sets Advance Wars apart for me is in just how high-quality some of its imitators have been. Wargroove gave things a slight twist and came up with something that had much of the flavor but nevertheless stood quite distinct from its source of inspiration. Then there’s Tiny Metal, a game that makes absolutely no attempt at all to hide what its aims are. Were Nintendo still making games in the Advance Wars series, this level of naked imitation might be frowned upon, but since they refuse to pick up the stick I’m glad someone else is more than happy to grab it and run with it.
The original Tiny Metal got off to a bit of a rough start, though. There were missing features. The game ran pretty poorly, especially in handheld mode. There was a bit of controversy hanging around the game because of some Kickstarter drama. The framework was there and a lot of people stuck it out in spite of its flaws, but by the time things got updated, it feels like the crowd had moved on. Enter Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble, the rather quick sequel to the original. This game bolts right out of the gate with all of the improvements the first game eventually got, and adds plenty more on top of that. It’s faster, more engaging, packed full of content, and its multiplayer is ready to go right out of the proverbial box. All in all, this does a far better job of living up to the series it so unabashedly admires.
If you haven’t played Advance Wars or Tiny Metal, these are basically turn-based tactical strategy games with a modern military theme. Your goal is usually to defeat the enemy forces or capture their base. You have a wide variety of units at your disposal, each serving its own purpose and having its own disadvantages. You can buy those units by spending resources that you collect by occupying bases, cities, and such. Most missions therefore play out as struggles over the limited resources each map provides. They who control the most territory can deploy the most units, and that’s usually the momentum that leads to victory. Every once in a while, your chosen commander is able to use a special power that can swing the outcome in some way or another. Complex without being too complicated. Simple without being mindless. That’s the appeal of Advance Wars, and when Tiny Metal is on, that’s where its strengths also lay.
Full Metal Rumble absolutely packs in the content whether you’re playing in single-player or against another human. There are 77 skirmish maps with a whopping 21 available for multiplayer. There are more than 21 types of units, with the line-up gingerly taking a few steps outside the established Advance Wars blueprint. The single-player campaign runs for a healthy 39 missions, and there are now additional goals on each and every map for you to shoot for. A wide range of difficulty modes is present so that players of any level can find the right fit. There’s a whole new story here following the exploits of Commander Wolfram. The plot is interesting even if the storytelling itself is pretty poor on a fundamental level. The voice acting is dreadful and dialogue is a bit too wordy for its own good.
Not every mission works out the way you might like. It’s still far too easy to just rush the enemy with overwhelming numbers and brute force the victory on a few maps. The campaign takes way too long to get up to a proper sprint, and the whole thing feels just a bit slower than Advance Wars on a turn-by-turn basis. While there are a few unique points to how combat works in Tiny Metal, it never manages to break away from its source in any meaningful way. And again, I don’t think it’s necessarily trying to break away with any real strength. But that means you’re constantly going to find yourself making comparisons, and in just about every regard the best that Tiny Metal can muster in such situations is a tie.
So yeah, it comes up a bit short when compared to the Advance Wars games most people in the West would have played. But it doesn’t have to beat Advance Wars to be a good game, and Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is a good game. When you’re in the thick of a good mission, untangling some nastiness on a skirmish map, or playing online against another human, it nails down enough of what it needs to in order to be a fun game. It runs notably better than its immediate predecessor, has fewer bugs (albeit at least one doozy still made it in), and is considerably more fully-featured. It’s also cheaper, which is an interesting turn of events. While I personally enjoy Wargroove more, this certainly satisfied my desire for a more orthodox take on the concept.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Fire Emblem: Three Houses ($59.99)
Ahhhh, it’s the new Fire Emblem! It’s really here! The latest chapter in Nintendo’s long-running strategy RPG series brings a true Fire Emblem experience back to home consoles for the first time since the Wii’s Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn back in 2007. You play as a young teacher at a special academy where the next generation of warriors is trained. Friendships and minor rivalries can become something entirely different once school is out, however, so think carefully about who you choose to align with. As always, the game is full of interesting characters and fun turn-based battles. The reviews have been stellar, so if you’re even a little curious, you likely won’t regret picking this game up.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood ($29.99 Standard, $39.99 Deluxe Edition)
Panic Button pulls off another miracle with this stunning Switch version of the latest in the Wolfenstein series. This one is more open-ended than the previous games, and plays a lot more like a loot shooter. The story picks up almost 20 years after the events of Wolfenstein 2, and BJ’s twin daughters are all grown up and off to rescue their papa by killing a bunch of Nazi scumbags. Play by yourself or join up with a friend as you level up, find new gear, and complete missions to free Paris from those goose-stepping wastes of space. Just make sure you have lots of room on your microSD card, because this bad boy takes up a whopping 20.6 GB of space. The Deluxe Edition includes a Buddy Pass that allows a friend to play through the game with you even if they don’t own the game, plus the Cyborg Skin Pack.
Ehn, that’s how the title is written in the shop, so I’m leaving it like that. Mobile gaming fans should remember Hoggy, Raptisoft’s wonderful platformer series. This is a nice port of the second game in the series, which includes more than 200 levels of gravity-flipping joy. There are two different characters to play as, and some neat Yoshi-style transformations to spice things up. All of this, and it’s even cheaper than the IAP to remove the ads on the mobile version. It looks and plays great on the Switch, too. If you like 2D platformers and haven’t played Hoggy or its sequel before, this is definitely money well-spent.
KILL la KILL -IF ($59.99)
What we’ve ended up with here is pretty much what you used to expect with a decent licensed game. That is to say, fans of the brand will probably enjoy the game well enough, but I can’t see it winning over anyone who isn’t already invested in KILL la KILL. This is an arena fighter, which isn’t exactly surprising as that seems to be the popular genre for adapting anime and manga licenses at the moment. It’s flashy, it’s over the top, it has the characters you want to see, and that’s about it. A bit too shallow and thin to stand on its own, but luckily it doesn’t have to. Worth noting that there is a PlayStation 4 version of this game and it looks a lot better in motion. If you have the option and portability isn’t important to you, that might be the better route.
Tetsumo Party ($4.99)
You’ve probably seen some variation on this theme before. A wall approaches with a shape cut out of it, and the person has to contort their body such that it fits in the space lest the wall push them out of the play area. And so it is here. You control little sumo guys and need to move their arms and legs into the right positions to pass through incoming bamboo walls. Fail to do so quickly enough and you’ll suffer the consequences. Not really much to it as far as single-player enjoyment goes, though there are some unlockable characters. The real fun is in local multiplayer. A bunch of players can join in on the silly fun and that is where the flavor country is for Tetsumo Party. If you have friends over often for game night or are just looking for something fun to play with the kids, this isn’t a bad way to spend a fiver.
Titans Pinball ($2.99)
Yeah, it’s another one of these. It’s not a real pinball table, but it sure looks and plays like it could have been one. The theme this time around is a battle against the Greek Titans. A clash, if you will. Honestly, I can’t imagine any scenario where buying one of these tables would be a better idea than buying a table in Pinball FX3 even taking the price difference into account. But it’s a far better value for your money than Peach Ball, so that’s something I guess. And if you like the theme, it’s not like you’re going to get it elsewhere at this point.
Seeders Puzzle Reboot ($9.99)
This is an enhanced port of a PC game called Seeders Classic. It’s a puzzle platformer with lots of different kinds of puzzles on offer. Some of them are stupid physics problems. Some of them are logic puzzles. Some just need a bit of clever thinking. And others feel like they’re almost random. This one definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s sometimes really engaging and then spends the next while completely ruining any and all good will it has built up. Then it brings you back around again. And so on. Bring a friend with you to share the misery in co-op mode if you want, but the puzzles are probably easier to chew on by yourself in most cases. Not my thing, but I could see it being somebody’s.
Sheep in Hell ($2.99)
Making its way over from mobile is Sheep in Hell, which sees you playing a wolf who has to contend with demonic sheep in the underworld. Make your way through procedurally generated dungeons, choosing wisely when to fight and when to take flight. There are three different difficulty levels, lots of wild sheep to contend with, and challenges to complete. Well, it’s not the greatest game around and it’s cheaper to pick up on mobile, but I do think this one plays better on the Switch so the extra couple of bucks isn’t for nothing. I can’t see many people getting into this one for the long haul, but for three dollars I think you have to keep your expectations in check.
Garage Mechanic Simulator ($6.99)
From the publisher that brought us Bus Fix 2019 comes a very, very similar game. Garage Mechanic Simulator has you fixing up cars and selling them to try to move up in the world. You’ll have to take machines apart, find what’s broken, and do what you have to in order to fix it. If you can’t fix it, you’ll have to replace it. Then put it all back together and collect your money. Definitely not my sort of game, but I recognize there’s a big audience out there for experiences like this one and I’m sure they’ll be happy to have Garage Mechanic Simulator on their Switches.
Kiai Resonance ($4.99)
This is a simple game with a striking art style. You participate in sword fights where one strike is enough to kill. It’s a great idea, one we’ve seen done particularly well in classic titles like Bushido Blade. This game isn’t anywhere near that game’s level, naturally. It’s a five dollar indie game. So you hack away at moderately stupid AI opponents who don’t really change up their tactics or appearance from one to the next. Hits ironically lack a sense of impact, but I suppose if you find a like-minded friend to play it with, you might get a bit of fun out of Kiai Resonance. Otherwise, it gets old a little too quickly. I really do love how those visuals look, though.
Divine Ascent ($4.99)
This is something of a digital board game, by the looks of it. Up to six players compete to see who can finish building three towers first. You get two different modes of play here. The Puzzles mode provides a single-player experience where you have a limited number of moves to achieve certain goals. Sometimes there will be opponents, and sometimes you will be on your own. The Arena mode has you going up against AI or local human opponents in one of 24 levels. Different locations have their own unique special squares that add some spice to the turn-based strategy. I’d have to spend some time with this one to see if I’d give it a solid recommendation or not, but it’s at least intriguing.
Classic Games Collection Vol. 1 ($4.99)
You know, I’m not opposed to this kind of idea if it’s done right. Grab a few classic public domain games and throw them together into one digital bundle for a good price and there’s a good chance I’ll be there. What it really comes down to is if any of these games appeal to you. There are five games in total here: Tic-Tac-Toe, Checkers, Memory Game (matching cards), Mines (it’s Minesweeper), and Gomoku (basically Connect 4 with Go pieces). For me, this isn’t a compelling package. The games are all a bit too simple outside of Mines, and if I want to play Minesweeper there are better ways to do that on Switch. But I could definitely see this appealing to some out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the developer gets me with a subsequent volume.
In terms of sheer quantity, there aren’t actually as many sales as I was expecting. That said, there’s some great stuff in here. All of the Resident Evil games are on sale, some of them for the first time. Shakedown: Hawaii is on sale for the first time, and Monster Boy has a rare discount for the next couple of weeks. As for the outbox, I sure hope you grabbed Baba Is You. It’s a great game and I have no idea when it will be on sale again.
New Games on Sale
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom ($33.99 from $39.99 until 8/15)
Doughlings: Invasion ($8.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Doughlings: Arcade ($3.49 from $6.99 until 8/7)
Illusion of L’Phalcia ($11.69 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Solo: Islands of the Heart ($15.99 from $19.99 until 8/14)
Rally Rock ‘N Racing ($7.99 from $9.99 until 8/14)
Duke of Defense ($2.99 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Resident Evil 0 ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/1)
Resident Evil ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/1)
Resident Evil 4 ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/1)
Resident Evil Revelations ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Resident Evil Revelations 2 ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Shakedown: Hawaii ($15.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Sudoku Relax ($4.50 from $5.00 until 8/14)
The Demon Crystal ($7.99 from $9.99 until 8/14)
Jungle Z ($10.39 from $12.99 until 8/14)
Beat Cop ($10.04 from $14.99 until 8/11)
History 2048 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/14)
Dark Quest 2 ($6.59 from $10.99 until 7/31)
Quest for the Golden Duck ($0.19 from $9.99 until 8/12)
Degrees of Separation ($5.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Animated Jigsaws: Wild Animals ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/8)
Viviette ($7.99 from $9.99 until 8/14)
This War of Mine: Complete ($19.99 from $39.99 until 8/11)
MechaNika ($4.49 from $5.99 until 8/5)
Machinarium ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/8)
Puzzle Wall ($3.99 from $7.99 until 8/8)
Chasm ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($4.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Toy Stunt Bike: Tiptop’s Trials ($3.49 from $4.99 until 8/8)
Typoman ($6.49 from $12.99 until 8/8)
Brawlout ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/14)
Black The Fall ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Star Ghost ($4.49 from $8.99 until 8/8)
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Axiom Verge ($17.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Troll and I ($5.99 from $29.99 until 8/1)
Graceful Explosion Machine ($7.79 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Sales Ending This Weekend
60 Seconds! ($2.49 from $9.99 until 7/27)
Baba Is You ($10.50 from $15.00 until 7/27)
Jewel Fever 2 ($3.99 from $4.99 until 7/27)
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae ($5.95 from $11.90 until 7/27)
Infernium ($17.46 from $24.95 until 7/28)
Jumping Joe & Friends ($0.19 from $1.99 until 7/28)
Koral ($8.39 from $11.99 until 7/28)
MIND: Path to Thalamus ($8.39 from $11.99 until 7/28)
Pirates: All Aboard! ($0.59 from $5.99 until 7/28)
Timber Tennis Versus ($1.39 from $1.99 until 7/28)
That’s it for today, and the week in general. And almost the month! Whee, the time goes pretty quickly, doesn’t it? Next week isn’t quite as packed for great new games as this one was, but there’s still plenty to look forward to. August in general is going to have a number of major releases, which is kind of weird for what is usually a somewhat slow month in gaming. Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll see you all back here on Monday. As always, thanks for reading!