Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 31st, 2019. I managed to spend half of my birthday sick in bed, but I got a sweet birthday cake from my wife and some nice Spider-Man loot, so it’s hard to be upset. In today’s article, we’ve got a review of the recent shoot-em-up release Pawarumi, summaries of today’s trio of new releases, some tasty news bits, and a bunch of cool sales to dig into. Let’s roll into it!
‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Now Features the Hero from ‘Dragon Quest’
I actually got a prediction right for once! Praise me! Anyway, you probably already saw this, but during yesterday’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate video presentation about the latest DLC character, players were treated to the news that the Hero from Dragon Quest would be dropping later that day. That means he’s available right now! There are other Dragon Quest-related items that have been added to the game alongside him, like new Mii Fighter costumes and such. If you already have the Fighters Pass, you can go ahead and get him. He’s also going to be available a la carte for $5.99, just like Joker.
‘Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’ Adds New Content and Wumpa Coin Microtransactions
Ha ha ha, who didn’t see this one coming? Oh well. So the next Grand Prix is upon us in Crash Team Racing, and it’s called Back N. Time. The new track is the Prehistoric Playground and it has dinosaurs and other cool stuff. New items include a couple of new karts, a Fake Crash skin, and some Cave Painting stickers. A new character, Baby T., is the Bronze Tier prize, and a Fake Baby T. skin is the final item in the Gold Tier. Baby Crash and Baby Coco are new characters available in the Pit Stop, because apparently Sonic is the only mascot not willing to debase himself in that way. Geez, you’re really going to need some Wumpa Coins to get all this neat stuff, right? Guess you’ll have to grind them up just like everyone else? Or wait, because starting in early August, you can just buy Wumpa Coins for real money. Don’t worry friends, the kind people at Activision are assuring us all that these microtransactions will not have an effect on the core mechanics! But we’re all quite familiar with this kind of thing from our mobile gaming experience here, so we know what to do with that, right?
‘Turok 2: Seeds of Evil’ Remaster Hits the Switch August 9th
We already knew this was coming sooner or later, but an eShop listing has finally given us the date for the remaster of the classic Nintendo 64 title Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. It’s more first-person dinosaur shooting action with wild weapons like the Cerebral Bore, and you can even ride a Triceratops. You won’t need a RAM Expansion to play this hot action game in high resolution this time around! Oh wow, that could totally be on the box or something. Better counter-balance with some cynicism. Um, it’s missing the multiplayer component from the original game, which is where a good bit of the fun came from in the first place? Ah, fair and balanced.
Sci-Fi RPG ‘The Outer Worlds’ Will Be Coming to Switch
Gee, Obsidian was really going all-in on the Switch before they were acquired by Microsoft. I wonder if that will continue? Anyway, The Outer Worlds will be coming to Switch sometime after its release on other platforms this October. It’s a sci-fi RPG directed by the creators of the Fallout series, and it looks pretty fancy if you ask me. The port is being handled by Virtuos, who were behind the Switch versions of L.A. Noire, Dark Souls, Starlink, and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD among others, so it’s probably in safe hands. Unfortunately, we have no information about a specific release date outside of the fact that it will certainly be after the others. Nevertheless, it’s another feather in the Switch’s lovely RPG cap.
‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’ is Now Compatible with the Labo VR Kit
While it’s hard to guess what Nintendo’s long term plans are for the Labo VR Kit in light of the Switch Lite’s lack of compatibility with it, it seems there are at least a few things in the works for it. One just sort of popped out of thin air today, in fact. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a natural fit for the extra 3D perspective that the Labo VR brings to the table, so it’s nice to see it getting an update like this. You’ll be able to play four different courses in VR, and there are a couple of other little things to play with using the Kit as well. It’s a free update, so go on and grab it now if you own the necessary stuff to make use of it.
Yesterday, I was reading something I wrote on my little side blog a couple of years ago. In that entry, I remarked about how the Nintendo 3DS didn’t really have a ton of good shoot-em-ups, so even a decent one would be very welcome. A quick look around the Switch eShop shows just how much can change from one console generation to the next, because Nintendo’s current system is absolutely drowning in excellent examples of the genre. Whether you’re looking for classics or new games, you’ve got plenty of choices on the Switch.
I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing for a game like Pawarumi. On the one hand, shoot-em-up fans who like to play on the go probably have a Switch and are likely on the lookout for good games in the genre, and Pawarumi is certainly one of them. On the other hand, there’s so much absolutely top-tier stuff that it might hard for something that is “merely" good to get noticed. I hope Pawarumi finds an audience on the Switch, because for whatever I think of its nuts and bolts, I can feel the sheer passion coursing through its veins at every turn. This is a shoot-em-up that was clearly made by fans of shoot-em-ups, and it’s obvious they have seriously done their homework in putting together something solid in almost every respect.
The clear source of inspiration here is Treasure’s legendary title Ikaruga, which dazzled players with its unique color-switching gameplay mechanic. Pawarumi also uses a color-switching mechanic, but implements it in a slightly different way. You have three different weapons at your disposal at all times: a blue laser, a green gatling gun, and red missiles. Enemies conveniently come in those three colors as well. There’s a triangle at play here, and knowing when and how to manipulate it is the key to excelling at the game.
At the most basic level, matching your weapon color to the enemy does a Boost attack. This will refill your health gauge as your fire upon your foes, and that’s very important because once that health gauge is empty, that’s the end of the game. No extra lives, no continues. It’s critical to keep that health gauge topped up. Better still if you don’t get hit, however. You also have what is called a Crush attack. Each color is weak to one other color and strong to another. Use the right color and you’ll deal double damage. Finally, you have a super-bomb attack that also uses a meter. You can refill that meter by reversing the Crush order to drain the enemies.
Keeping these sorted takes some time, as it’s not nearly as natural a thing as black beats white or white beats black. The game helps you out by putting indicators at the bottom of the screen, but it can be fatal to look away from the action, so it’s best just to memorize them as soon as you can. Of course, nothing says you have to. Any weapon will damage any enemy for the most part, and you should be able to pull yourself through the first difficulty level at the very least relying mostly on Boost attacks. But you’re not going to reach those high scores without taking full advantage of this system, and it will aid you greatly in your goal to beat the game’s other two difficulty settings.
The easy course has you run through four stages, while you get the full five-stage course on the other two difficulty levels. The order of the stages is switched around on the hardest mode, which if nothing else nicely demonstrates the way the difficulty curve works in Pawarumi. The challenge picks up within each stage, but for the most part one is just as tough as the next. The final stage is the exception, I suppose. You won’t get to see it if you only play on easy mode, though. And there are no extra options for turning on unlimited continues or more lives here, so you’ll really have to do it on your own. Once you’ve finished all three difficulty levels, all that’s really left is to go for the score attack. The game has online leaderboards and the scoring system is robust enough to make that a fun proposition, though.
The game is a nice visual tour, as well. It reminds me of some of the earlier polygonal shoot-em-ups we saw in the mid- to late-90s, albeit better-looking than most of those. The art style is great, drawing on ancient Columbian culture and filtering it through a sci-fi lens. There’s a lot of visual variety in the stages, and it uses dramatic camera angles at the start and end of each stage in a way that sort of reminded me of Panzer Dragoon. The only fly in the ointment is that the game is locked at 30 FPS. Apparently the game could run at 60 FPS in some places but it couldn’t hold it all the way through, and the developers prioritized consistency. It may be updated later if they can figure it out, but honestly, it doesn’t look or play badly at all. If you’re used the PC version the timing is the slightest bit different, but at least in my opinion, it’s fine.
Now, if you’re not the sort that goes in for score attacking, I’m not sure how strongly I could recommend Pawarumi. It is a lovely game and it’s fun while it lasts, but like most shoot-em-ups, it’s not very long if you’re just trying to get through it. There are no extras to unlock, and there aren’t any assists if you’re struggling, either. The game wants you to learn how to play it properly, and I can respect that. But if you’re used to Switch shoot-em-ups that let you credit feed to the end, you’re probably going to bounce off this game hard. The three-color system is neat, but it’s also a bit non-intuitive until you learn it to the point of reflex.
On the other hand, if you’re familiar with the score attack dance and don’t mind a game that won’t offer much of a hand to help you up, there’s a lot to like about Pawarumi. It pays homage without copying, it’s absolutely gorgeous at times, and the weapon system is clever and enjoyable once you’ve got it down. the bosses are interesting, with a couple of them being downright novel in how they ask you to use your weapons. On the whole, it’s a good, well-constructed shoot-em-up that would be quite welcome in the library of any fan of the genre. I’d probably recommend it on other platforms before the Switch, but if portability means more to you than 60 FPS, you won’t be sad with what you get here at all.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Raiders of the North Sea ($19.99)
This is a digital version of a reasonably well-liked board game. It offers a single-player campaign and AI opponents for you to battle against, or you can head online and play with up to three other real humans in cross-platform multiplayer. Anyway, this a worker placement game, and if you’ve played Lords of Waterdeep, you’ll find this somewhat familiar in broad strokes. Build up resources, raid other players, rinse and repeat. Do it all up in a viking theme and you’re about where you need to be. It’s good stuff, though as always with this sort of thing you’ll really need to be into the multiplayer to get your full money’s worth out of it.
Bear With Me: The Lost Robots ($4.99)
Bear With Me is a point-and-click adventure game series with a noir setting and a teddy bear detective. His name is Ted E. Bear. Yeah. Well, I promise the humor gets a little better than that. The Lost Robots is a prequel chapter that actually released after the other chapters, but it’s the core of the set on the Switch. The original chapters, known as The Complete Collection, are apparently available as DLC for this game. Anyway, expect lots of silliness and banter, along with some decent but not spectacular puzzles to solve. Some of those puzzles make very little sense, but I imagine if you’re into this genre enough to go digging, that’s not something you’re unfamiliar with. It’s decent but even though this adventure technically takes place before the others, you’re probably better off taking the chapters in the order they were released in. There is a demo for this one, so you can give it a try before you commit to spending your fiver if you want.
The Tower of Beatrice ($5.99)
This is an adventure game that kind of leans on the whole room escape/hidden object line of design. The puzzles are a bit on the easy side, and it’s a pretty breezy experience on the whole. Maybe a couple of hours long if you sit down and really go for it. But for six dollars, I suppose that’s reasonable enough. The graphics are decent, the humor works, and the puzzles are logical enough that they aren’t annoying. Probably not something that is going to stick with you very long after you finish it, but it’s a nice little romp for a quiet evening or something like that.
Well, it’s Wednesday. We’re probably going to get a bunch of new sales coming in after I’ve gone home for the day, but here’s what we have for now. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d strongly recommend any of these except Morphies Law. Well, that’s alright sometimes. Do check the outbox, as a lot of great games like Resident Evil 4, Kero Blaster, and Chasm are finishing up their discounts. Some of these games may not come around for this cheap for a while, so have a careful look before it’s too late.
New Games on Sale
Embers of Mirrim ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/6)
Morphies Law ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/18)
Avenger Bird ($1.19 from $1.99 until 8/13)
Guess the Word ($0.56 from $1.89 until 8/13)
I Wanna Fly ($1.25 from $2.42 until 8/13)
Little Shopping ($0.44 from $1.49 until 8/13)
Godly Corp ($3.99 from $7.99 until 8/13)
Theatre Tales ($1.11 from $1.49 until 8/13)
Chicken Rider ($1.99 from $3.99 until 8/13)
Switch ‘N’ Shoot ($3.21 from $4.59 until 8/6)
Akane ($1.99 from $4.99 until 8/20)
Odium to the Core ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/21)
One Strike ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/21)
Spartan ($0.99 from $3.99 until 8/21)
Robonauts ($0.39 from $3.99 until 8/21)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, August 1st
A Normal Lost Phone ($3.59 from $5.99 until 8/1)
Anarcute ($13.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Angels of Death ($10.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Animus ($5.59 from $7.99 until 8/1)
Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story ($3.59 from $5.99 until 8/1)
Astebreed ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Axiom Verge ($17.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
BAFL – Brakes Are For Losers ($1.99 from $4.99 until 8/1)
Big Crown: Showdown ($3.24 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Bombslinger ($5.99 from $11.99 until 8/1)
Burly Men at Sea ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Bury me, my Love ($3.49 from $4.99 until 8/1)
Chasm ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Croixleur Sigma ($9.99 fom $19.99 until 8/1)
Degrees of Separation ($5.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Die for Valhalla! ($5.99 from $11.99 until 8/1)
Dungeon Rushers ($4.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Fobia ($6.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Graceful Explosion Machine ($7.79 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Grid Mania ($0.09 from $0.99 until 8/1)
Hover ($12.49 from $24.99 until 8/1)
Illusion of L’Phalcia ($11.69 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Kero Blaster ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Kill The Bad Guy ($3.99 from $6.99 until 8/1)
Knights of Pen and Paper +1 ($8.99 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Knights of Pen and Paper 2 ($9.99 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle ($17.99 from $22.49 until 8/1)
Let’s Sing 2018 ($29.99 from $39.99 until 8/1)
Lode Runner Legacy ($5.99 from $11.99 until 8/1)
Lost in Harmony ($1.99 from $6.99 until 8/1)
Lost Phones Stories ($5.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Lust for Darkness ($13.13 from $14.59 until 8/1)
Mana Spark ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Mega Mall Story ($9.80 from $12.00 until 8/1)
Miles & Kilo ($1.59 from $7.99 until 8/1)
Momonga Pinball Adventures ($4.49 from $5.99 until 8/1)
Monkey King: Master of the Clouds ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/1)
Moto Rush GT ($10.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
NeuroVoider ($6.99 from $13.99 until 8/1)
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($4.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Old School Musical ($7.99 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Pankapu ($5.99 from $11.99 until 8/1)
R-Type Dimensions EX ($8.99 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Resident Evil ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/1)
Resident Evil 0 ($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)
Robbie Swifthand and the Orb of Mysteries ($9.99 from $17.99 until 8/1)
Shakedown: Hawaii ($15.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Shape of the World ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Smashing the Battle ($8.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Splasher ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Star Sky ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/1)
Steredenn: Binary Stars ($4.99 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Street Basketball ($4.19 from $5.99 until 8/1)
Super Rocket Shootout ($2.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
The Last Door – Complete ($10.99 from $14.99 until 8/1)
The Shapeshifting Detective ($7.79 from $12.99 until 8/1)
Thea: The Awakening ($12.59 from $17.99 until 8/1)
Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble ($12.74 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Titans Pinball ($1.97 from $2.99 until 8/1)
TorqueL -Physics Modified- ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/1)
Transcripted ($0.99 from $7.99 until 8/1)
Troll and I ($5.99 from $29.99 until 8/1)
Vertical Strike Endless Challenge ($3.49 from $4.99 until 8/1)
Way of the Passive Fist ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/1)
White Night ($2.99 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Yume Nikki -Dream Diary- ($11.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Zombie Night Terror ($9.99 from $14.99 until 8/1)
That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow will see more than ten new games hitting the eShop, including Chroma Squad, Omega Labyrinth Life, STANDBY, and others. We’ll probably also have some news and more than a few sales to look at, so it should be a good one all-around. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow, and as always, thanks for reading!