Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for August 28th, 2019. Today we’ve got reviews of two new releases, and one of them is really, really not good. We’ve also got summaries of a few new games, some lovely news items, and a nice list of sales including a number of excellent Nicalis titles. There’s plenty to read today, friends, so let’s get to it!
‘Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and Lion King’ Coming to Switch
Back in the 16-bit age, some of the most popular games around were based on Disney’s animated properties. That probably seems weird to the younger gamers out there. But titles like Aladdin on the Genesis were genuine system-selling hits, and there are lots of people out there with fond memories of those games. Well, Disney is going to be scratching the nostalgia itch for a few people with the October release of Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and Lion King on Switch and other platforms. It will include the Genesis, Game Boy, and Super Game Boy versions of Aladdin, and the Super NES, Genesis, Game Boy, and Super Game Boy versions of The Lion King. The collection is being put together by Digital Eclipse, so you can count on tons of cool extras. It will be available digitally and at retail for $29.99.
‘Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection’ Officially Confirmed for Switch
Well, it didn’t take long for Capcom to follow up on that unfortunate leak in the Hong Kong PlayStation Store. The company has officially pulled back the curtain on Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection, which will be arriving to Switch and other platforms on January 21st, 2020. The set will include the four Game Boy Advance Mega Man Zero games and the Nintendo DS Mega Man ZX and Mega Man ZX Advent games with a bunch of new options, extras, and a new mode called Z Chaser. The collection will cost $29.99 and if you pre-order it, you’ll get a pack of ten remixed songs.
The Latest ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Event Does the Shuffle
Another week, another Spirit Board event announcement. As is the case every weekend, there’s an event going down in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate this weekend. This one focuses on the Shuffle All item, which you can receive by tackling a variety of targets. Just to sweeten the deal, you’ll get triple the usual amount of SP when you defeat your foes. It starts on Friday and runs the usual three days, so if you want that Shuffle All item, make sure you set aside some time on your calendar.
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas ($5.99)
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is at its absolute best right when you start the game. The graphics are colorful and well-drawn. The controls of the little character feel pretty good, and the whipping abilities he has at his disposal have a lot of potential. The first few areas are breezy and enjoyable. Sure, the game is obviously biting hard off of Kirby‘s style, but the gameplay is more than different enough to separate it. Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there. Piece by piece, Whipseey squanders its positive aspects. By the all-to-soon-to-come end, you’re left with something that has as many faults as features.
The story sees a boy named Alex transformed into a little, pink, legally-distinct blobby fellow. He needs to find the Lost Atlas to save the land, transform back into his human form, and get home. I think. There’s really not much story in-game beyond a couple of largely dialogue-free cut-scenes. In his new guise as Whipseey, our hero can jump, swim, crack his whip straight ahead, swing from special rings, and hover by spinning the whip over his head. He can take several hits from enemies without dying, but many of the game’s hazards will instantly kill him.
Let’s head straight to the problems, then. The game suffers from some choppy movement and scrolling. It’s very noticeable when you’re moving through longer level sections, which may be why so many of the sections are built on a single screen. The collision detection isn’t terrible but it’s just unreliable enough that it will cost you the occasional bit off your life bar until you get a proper sense of the invisible lines around Whipseey and his foes. Enemies don’t always properly telegraph their attacks, which is a particular problem with the bosses. The game’s difficulty is all over the place. Some sections are nearly brain-dead in how easy they are, only for the next area to require pixel-perfect jumping lest you get knocked to your doom. Indeed, that will tend to be the cause of most of your demises in this game. Enemies will hit you, send you flying, and you’ll fall into some spikes or a pit.
Somewhere around the third level, I started to feel like the game was just being ridiculous. The levels in this game are quite long, and if you exhaust all of your lives, you have to start from the very beginning. I couldn’t understand why the game was getting so strict with its demands in places when it was only the third level. Around a half hour later, I had my answer. The third level was the game’s halfway point, more or less. Whipseey has but five levels to it, and long though they may be, it still results in a game that takes about an hour to finish. On its own, that’s not necessarily bad. Lots of great classics aren’t much longer than that, after all. But the pace of Whipseey is just terrible.
The various pieces that make up the levels don’t feel like they’re properly connected at all. There’s certainly no sensible difficulty curve happening. It’s like someone made a bunch of stage fragments for a complete game, shuffled them, dealt the player a fifth of the deck, and threw the rest of the cards in the trash. The boss fights feel similarly disjointed from the stages they rule, and they’re almost all ridiculous damage sponges that repeat the same patterns over and over again as you slowly chip away their life meters. The final boss doesn’t even really feel like a final boss at all, which perhaps is fitting as the final level doesn’t feel like a final level either. It just kind of ends.
It’s a shame because the game seems to have gotten a lot of the harder stuff right. Its appealing, cohesive visuals are a treat. The audio is easy on the ears. The controls really do work well. Some of the level pieces are quite enjoyable to work your way through. Some are dull as dishwater. Some are purely aggravating. But when those enjoyable ones hit and you get a nice rhythm of jumping, whipping, and running going, Whipseey shows exactly what it could have been. All the more frustrating when the next stupid situation comes along and brings it all back down to Earth. I’ve played worse things, but this could have and should have been better than it is.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s ($12.99)
Look, I’ll level with you all: I didn’t go into this game expecting much at all. The title all on its own had a lot of warning signs. The provocative nature of hunting panties. The use of the Japanese loan word for ‘panties’ that was borrowed from the English language to begin with, in spite of the developer not being Japanese. The cheap nostalgia hook that is throwing back to the 1990s. This wasn’t even Species, friends. This was Species 2. I knew this before I even hit the A button on the Home Menu. But you know, I’ve swam in garbage many times in my two decades of writing about games. Sometimes I even find a quarter.
Somehow, Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s was even worse than I was expecting. Worse in pretty much every possible way. Well, no. I’ll give it one thing. The art looks pretty good and is quite authentic to the 1990s setting both in terms of content and style. That’s all the nice things I’ve got to say about it.
What is this game exactly? Well, you play as a young man looking for love. He’s quite the handy fellow, able to solve just about any problem people ask him to help with. Indeed, he’s got a reputation for his excellent work and often gets referred to others. There’s just one big thing getting in the way of him finding romance: he needs to see the woman’s panties first. His idea is that a woman’s panties will reveal a lot about her true personality, allowing him to sort out the good matches from the bad without even going on a single date. So when he’s called to help out an attractive woman, he does everything he can to discover what her panties look like without getting caught in the process.
Yes, I’m rubbing my temples right now. But there are ways you could make this premise work, I’m sure. Pantsu Hunter definitely doesn’t. It alternates between visual novel-style story scenes with the occasional dialogue choice and graphic adventure scenes where you have to search every pixel of the room and use various objects on other objects to solve puzzles. The writing in the dialogue scenes is pretty poor. It’s stilted and there are typos and grammar mistakes all over the place. You’d best not tune out, however, as making the wrong choices can lock you out of opportunities or even lead directly to a bad ending. You’re going to be seeing a lot of bad endings in this game, by the way. Don’t even try to guess where they’ll come from, because that would require this thing to make sense.
The graphic adventure segments are pretty standard fare, provided we’re considering it by the standards of the 1980s. It’s very easy to get yourself locked out of areas, miss out on key items, or check the wrong thing and die for your sins. There’s no consistency here, mind you. A chair that you can sit in harmlessly one minute will kill you if you try to hunker down in it after having one conversation with someone. Some things need to be checked in the right order to get the desired effect. Some need to be checked multiple times to work properly. Sometimes checking multiple times gets you killed though, so be careful.
As an extra treat, these sections sometimes have a timer slapped on them. You can’t check someone’s underwear drawer while they’re still in the room, after all. So she leaves the room and you’ve got a little time to carefully drag your cursor around and see what produces a different result from usual. But wait, because in addition to searching around, you’d better make sure you’ve done a couple of other things lest she be upset when she comes back, sending you to another bad ending. Which things? Who knows? Just try until it works. It reminds me of some of the worst bits of King’s Quest 3, and that’s not a good thing at all.
So through trial and error, you eventually find some panties. You get a picture of the panties along with a little badly-written description of what kind of woman would wear such panties. Each woman has multiple pairs of panties to find, and sometimes these descriptions completely contradict each other. So much for our protagonist’s plan. The truly bizarre thing is that finding the panties has absolutely no bearing on reaching the good ending for each woman. You’ll find that by answering dialogue choices properly and doing the right actions at the right times. Maybe that’s the lesson here? If it is, the main character doesn’t seem to understand it. The game tracks the panties you find even if you hit a bad ending after that, so you don’t need to get all the panties in one run or anything.
That said, any bad ending will result in your having to start the entire chapter from the start. Don’t just hammer through that text you’ve read several times before, either. You might miss a crucial dialogue choice and get another bad ending that sends you back to the beginning once more. Honestly, it gets to a point where it feels more fun to try to find all the bad endings than deal with the panties nonsense. But having to start from the beginning again each time sucks out what little joy one can glean from even that Sierra-like activity. Once you know what to do, each of the game’s episodes is relatively short. Any longevity you would get out of the game would have to come from hunting down every ending, but they’re just not worth it.
The last chapter changes up the gameplay a bit, tossing this half-baked adventure game nonsense in the bucket in favor of a more typical dating simulation-type set-up with all of the women from the previous chapters. Here, you’re just trying to make the right choices to curry the favor of the women. The writing is still pretty lousy, but it’s a lot more tolerable without worrying about activating an ancient curse by clicking on an old hamburger or something. Yes, the best part of the game is the part where it ditches its mechanics almost entirely.
But maybe you don’t care that the gameplay is total garbage. Maybe you’re just here for the idea of women and panties. Well, you’re going to be let down as well, my frisky friend. The amount of fanservice in Pantsu Hunter is shockingly minimal for a game named Pantsu Hunter. There are more images of women in sexy underwear in the average Metroid game. I’m assuming there were more adult-oriented images in the original computer version that had to be cut here or something, because if not… I don’t know. You get to see the women in their swimsuits, and that’s about as far as it goes. The truth is that for a game with such a ribald and creepy premise, it very rarely engages in any sort of real debauchery. The protagonist is almost clinical in his descriptions.
I’m not sure which path the developers of Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s would have had to traverse to reach the good ending with its game, but this sure isn’t it. It fails on almost every level it possibly could. It’s a terrible adventure game. It’s a boring, poorly-written visual novel. It’s a mean-spirited choice-based adventure. It’s nonsensical in its logic, about as sexy as Ben Stein reading hockey statistics, and would be a complete waste of time if it weren’t for the small favor of it ending in about an hour. But hey, nice artwork.
SwitchArcade Score: 1/5
It’s a multiplayer arena battler for up to four players. Local only, I’m afraid. As you can probably guess from the title, the characters in this game are all robots equipped with a hook that they can swing from. There are fourteen different game modes that pretty much stretch the concept as far as it can go without spilling into entirely new systems. You can customize your character in 52 ways to create your own wacky robot or use one of the defaults if you’d prefer. I can’t find any impressions on this one so far as it seems to be launching on multiple platforms including the Switch on the same day. It looks pretty fun from the videos, at least.
AER Memories of Old ($19.99)
AER is a short, pretty adventure game that feels like it really should be a lot more than it is. When it’s on, it’s really on. The flying parts feel great, and some of the temple puzzles are really nicely done. But in between those bits, AER has some problems. It’s a little too vague, a little too aimless, and just a little too little all around. Like, it’s an okay experience overall, but it really does seem like it could have been much more than just okay. On a platform that offers an actual Zelda experience, I’m not sure how much I can recommend AER‘s hit-or-miss take on the genre. I suppose if you go in with your expectations at the right level, you might take to it better than I did.
Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s ($12.99)
Well, you’ve probably read the review by now. This is a cross between a visual novel and a hidden object adventure, and it’s not very good at all. You play as a young guy looking for love who believes the best way to get to know a woman is to know what kind of panties she wears. Fortunately for him, he’s a bit of a handyman who often gets requests to go to people’s apartments and fix things. You have to poke around and take advantage of the unsuspecting nature of your host to rifle through their things and try to find all their hidden panties. Sigh. Oh, and it takes place in the 1990s. Anyway, you’ll die a lot, find a lot of bad endings, and have to parse some logic that seems literally insane. The subject matter is highly questionable, the writing is awful, and the gameplay itself is irritating. It doesn’t even deliver much in the way of fanservice, which is the one thing you would think it would do right.
Well, we’re a day away from the big batch of new sales for the week, but today isn’t shaping up too badly on its own. Nicalis has put a bunch of their popular titles on sale, including all of their recent releases. I’d say the picks of the litter are Cave Story+, Binding of Isaac, Ikaruga, and VVVVVV, but they’re all pretty decent for the prices they’re at. Also mind that outbox, as the bulk of those big Capcom sales are coming to a close tomorrow along with those deep discounts on Rayark’s games and the pair of Supergiant titles.
New Games on Sale
Umihara Kawase Fresh! ($29.99 from $39.99 until 9/8)
Crystal Crisis ($14.99 from $19.99 until 9/8)
Redout ($29.99 from $39.99 until 9/8)
RemiLore ($29.99 from $39.99 until 9/8)
Blade Strangers ($19.99 from $39.99 until 9/8)
Code of Princess EX ($19.99 from $39.99 until 9/8)
Ikaruga ($9.99 from $14.99 until 9/8)
The End Is Nigh ($4.99 from $14.99 until 9/8)
VVVVVV ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/8)
Tiny Barbarian DX ($9.99 from $29.99 until 9/8)
Cave Story+ ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/8)
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ ($19.99 from $39.99 until 9/8)
Wuppo: Definitive ($11.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Old Man’s Journey ($6.69 from $9.99 until 9/16)
Bargain Hunter ($9.99 from $11.99 until 9/10)
ESport Manager ($6.79 from $7.99 until 9/16)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, August 29th
A Case of Distrust ($4.49 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku ($16.74 from $24.99 until 8/29)
Bastion ($2.99 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Beholder 2 ($11.99 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Beholder: Complete ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle ($11.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Cycle 28 ($1.74 from $6.99 until 8/29)
Damascus Gear Operation Osaka ($17.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
DEEMO ($20.99 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Desktop Soccer ($5.68 from $7.11 until 8/29)
Devil May Cry ($14.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen ($22.49 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Escape Doodland ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/29)
Furwind ($7.49 from $9.99 until 8/29)
GoFishing 3D ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Heave Ho ($8.99 from $9.99 until 8/29)
Implosion ($8.39 from $11.99 until 8/29)
Inversus Deluxe ($4.49 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Iris School of Wizardry ($16.74 from $24.99 until 8/29)
Kid Tripp ($1.99 from $3.99 until 8/29)
Kitty Love – Way to Look for Love ($16.74 from $24.99 until 8/29)
Klondike Solitaire ($4.49 from $8.99 until 8/29)
Koloro ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/29)
Lifeless Planet: Premiere ($5.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Monkey Wall ($3.99 from $4.99 until 8/29)
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate ($24.99 from $49.99 until 8/29)
Nidhogg 2 ($6.74 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Okami HD ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Onimusha: Warlords ($11.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Pinstripe ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Pizza Parking ($1.49 from $5.99 until 8/29)
Project Nimbus: Complete ($11.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Real Drift Racing ($3.74 from $4.99 until 8/29)
Resident Evil ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Resident Evil 0 ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Resident Evil 4 ($19.99 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Resident Evil Revelations ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Resident Evil Revelations 2 ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
RiME ($9.89 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Rotating Brave ($3.99 from $4.99 until 8/29)
Sine Mora EX ($14.99 from $29.99 until 8/29)
Sky Rogue ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection ($19.99 from $39.99 until 8/29)
Super Hero Fight Club: Reloaded ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/29)
Transistor ($3.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
Ultimate Chicken Horse ($10.04 from $14.99 until 8/29)
Unit 4 ($2.99 from $14.99 until 8/29)
VOEZ ($17.50 from $25.00 until 8/29)
Voxel Shot ($6.40 from $8.00 until 8/29)
Wulverblade ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/29)
That wraps up this biggie-sized edition of the SwitchArcade Round-Up. We’ll be back tomorrow with a ton of new release summaries, along with whatever news and sales come along. Probably no reviews, but I’ve got some cooking to put out at some point soon. I hope you all have a great day and as always, thanks for reading!