Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 28th, 2020. In today’s article we’ve got a full review of Paper Mario: The Origami King for you to enjoy. There’s also a bit of news about the next Tetris 99 event, summaries of all of the new releases including Megadimension Neptunia VII, and the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales. Let’s do it!
The Next ‘Tetris 99’ Event Features ‘Paper Mario: The Origami King’
Well, I think it’s safe to say there’s a pattern to the Maximus Cup events in Tetris 99 at this point. If Nintendo’s got a big new first-party game to promote, chances are good that it will show up in Tetris 99 at some point. So here we are with the latest event, which starts on Friday and runs through the weekend. It features Paper Mario: The Origami King, and as is generally the case with recent Maximus Cup events you can get your hands on a special theme by earning 100 points during the course of the event. Yes, bring me those themes. I will collect them all.
Paper Mario: The Origami King ($59.99)
Hi, it’s me: the person that liked Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Yes, I played the earlier Paper Mario games. No, I didn’t play Color Splash. Why do I like Sticker Star? That’s a long story, but I kind of got what the developers were going for with it and enjoyed it for what it was rather than what I wanted it to be. I know that’s not something everyone can or wants to do, and that’s fine. I just want you all to know where I’m coming from.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is a fantastic game in almost every respect. From what has been revealed in interviews and the like, the developers have a lot more limitations in terms of what they can do in the Mario playground than they did back in the Super Paper Mario and Thousand-Year Door days. That doesn’t stop the game from having a fun story with memorable characters and villains, nor does it keep it from presenting some fresh areas and situations. It’s a lot better than Sticker Star in that regard. The graphics look great, using the clash between different materials to excellent effect. The music is absolutely outstanding. The team did a great job with it.
Like the last few games in the series, there’s a heavy focus on elements from adventure games. Lots of puzzles to solve, items to search for, and characters to talk to. For me, this is what the Paper Mario games are all about these days. It’s fairly challenging in places, but there are various ways for people who have issues to keep moving forward. I really loved traveling around the world and figuring out what I needed to do in each location. Not all of the puzzles land, but most of them do. And of course, it’s all wrapped up in an amazing localization that really brings the humor and clever wit that we’ve come to expect from Paper Mario.
But there’s one big part of the game that I didn’t really enjoy that much. Paper Mario is a series that has gone through some major changes over its lifespan, with the first two games being firmly in the RPG realm, the third game being a Monster World-ish action-RPG, and the others not being quite sure of what they are at all. Paper Mario does not want to be an RPG anymore, but there are aspects of that genre that it just can’t seem to let go of. Sometimes those bits end up being pointless but harmless. The big nut that the developers can’t seem to crack is in the combat system.
Sticker Star‘s combat system stayed quite similar to classic RPG battles, but without any sort of proper experience points on offer and limited battle resources, players rightfully questioned what the point of the battles were. From what I hear, Color Splash tried to add a few new twists to battles and also offered up pseudo-experience points in the form of Hammer Scraps that eventually increased your paint meter. For better or worse, The Origami King‘s battles feel further removed from standard RPG battles than ever before.
There are still some RPG-ish bits, of course. You’ll select your command from a list of options, and numbers pop up showing how much damage you deal and receive. The timed button presses from previous Mario RPGs are still here, too. But battles in The Origami King are more like puzzles than anything else. You need to line up enemies by moving the rows and columns, something that gets quite tricky as you get deeper into the game. Successfully lining up enemies is a major benefit, so the pressure to solve the (timed) positioning puzzles is serious. Boss battles are even more puzzle-like, though the series was admittedly leaning heavily in that direction well before this title.
Your reward for winning a battle consists of coins and confetti. Coins are useful for buying items, of course. Confetti? Well, you’ll need a lot of it to fill in gaps you come across in your travels, but it’s not hard to come by at all. Nintendo doesn’t want you to get stuck, after all. Anywhere you need to use confetti, there will be something around you can smack with your hammer to refill your bag. Kind of a lousy reward, in other words, but I suppose it doesn’t matter since most battles aren’t all that easy to avoid anyway. You’re going to be fighting a lot whether you like it or not, and you’ll have to learn to deal with the cumbersome battle system as a result.
In every respect but the battle system, Paper Mario: The Origami King is one of the best games in the series. Unfortunately, the battle system is a fairly large part of the game, and it’s just not great. I’ve dealt with worse, but I really wish the developers would just ditch the vestigial RPG stuff at this point. It’s not doing the games any favors, and I say that as a person who thinks water tastes better from a bottle with a Dragon Quest logo on it. Still, even taking all of the things I didn’t particularly enjoy in account, Paper Mario: The Origami King is a beautiful, hilarious adventure that is well-worth embarking upon.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Megadimension Neptunia VII ($29.99)
Nep-Nep finally makes a proper debut on the Nintendo Switch with this conversion of the 2015 PlayStation 4 game. The mainline Neptunia series may be new to some players who have been locked into the Nintendo ecosystem since its debut, but it’s basically a mostly-lighthearted RPG series that loosely envisions consoles and game companies as cute and/or sexy anime ladies. The series is known for its inside jokes and charming characters, which do a lot to elevate what is otherwise a fairly ordinary RPG experience. No idea how well they pulled off the Switch port, but the original game wasn’t exactly taxing the PlayStation 4 so I’m guessing it will be fine.
Publisher Team17 and developer One More Dream Studios offer up this rather interesting-looking puzzle platformer where your character can manipulate the age of her surroundings using a magical bow. So for example, a baby rhino is sitting on a platform that you would like to weigh down. You can use your bow to change it to an adult rhino, and boom, away you go. Visually, the game reminds me a lot of Celeste, so it kind of has that colorful, low-detail thing going on with its characters. Another similarity it has with Celeste is that it has a strong focus on story to go with its gameplay. This game looks really promising but I’ll have to spend more time with it before I can say anything definitive about it.
Rugby Challenge 4 ($49.99)
The Rugby Challenge series arrives on Switch for the first time with Rugby Challenge 4. It features a number of improvements over the previous game in the series, but none of that is terribly relevant to Switch owners. I suppose one noteworthy thing here is that it’s describing itself as an Early Access release, with more features planned to be added after launch. I’m… not real keen on a nearly full-priced game launching in an admittedly far from finished state, but I guess they’re at least being honest about it. Anyway, there are lots of different moves, modes, and create options in this game, plus commentary from real personalities Grant Nisbett and Justin Marshall. Up to four players can enjoy this one at once, but there doesn’t seem to be any online play options as of yet.
Escape Game Fort Boyard ($29.99)
There are lots of escape room games on the Switch, but this one is more of a party game than a puzzle or adventure game. Up to four players can join in on the fun via local multiplayer, in as much as there is fun to be had. Customize your characters and teams, then head into a bunch of mini-games with some light puzzle-solving and a lot of action-based stuff. The goal is to escape Fort Boyardee in time, lest you be buried under a torrential downpour of meaty Beefaroni. Oh wait, no. This is Fort Boyard. No Beefaroni as a penalty, only imprisonment. Well, that’s probably a worse punishment. Some people like Beefaroni enough that they might not mind sucking in their last breaths through a stream of the Chef’s tomato sauce. What were we talking about? Right, the expensive party game. I don’t know, I feel like there are better ways to enjoy video games with your friends or family, most of them much cheaper.
Interrogation: You Will Be Deceived ($12.99)
You’re a police detective and your job is to take down a terrorist group in this narrative adventure game. The gameplay consists of interrogating suspects with a light layer of strategy in how you have to manage your team and your reputation. The subject matter is particularly topical at the moment, and the game is definitely interested in exploring a whole lot of philosophical issues around justice, morality, and the costs of safety. It raises some interesting questions, but the core narrative that it uses as a jumping off point doesn’t come together as well as you might hope. It’s also very puzzle-ish in its gameplay. There are right and wrong ways to maneuver through conversations, making for a frustratingly artificial trial-and-error feel to the proceedings. Not bad, but not as good as it could have been.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
The outbox is big today, with some interesting titles on their way out that may not be on sale again for a while. Be sure to check through it and see if there’s anything there that you want, because I’ll be frank: the inbox probably isn’t going to do much for you. Some dubious pinball and racing games, a nice price on the Hero Quest-like Dark Quest 2, and a few other odds and ends. I mean, you can check it out anyway if you want. I’m not the sales police.
Select New Games on Sale
Galaxy Champions TV ($1.29 from $6.99 until 8/10)
Moto Rush GT ($0.99 from $14.99 until 8/17)
Dark Quest 2 ($2.74 from $10.99 until 8/3)
Rock ‘N Racing Off Road DX ($1.99 from $9.99 until 8/16)
Grand Prix Rock ‘N Racing ($1.99 from $9.99 until 8/16)
Jurassic Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 8/16)
World Soccer Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 8/16)
Dragon Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 8/16)
Titans Pinball ($1.49 from $2.99 until 8/16)
Super Arcade Soccer ($2.44 from $6.99 until 8/16)
Super Street: Racer ($17.49 from $39.99 until 8/9)
Zumba Burn It Up! ($27.99 from $39.99 until 8/3)
Cooking Tycoons Bundle ($3.89 from $12.99 until 8/17)
Voxelgram ($5.19 from $7.99 until 8/3)
Invisible Fist ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/17)
Morphite ($2.49 from $14.99 until 8/18)
Storm Boy ($0.99 from $5.99 until 8/18)
Whipseey & the Lost Atlas ($0.99 from $5.99 until 8/18)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29th
ABZU ($13.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Adv. of Elena Temple: Definitive ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/29)
AeternoBlade II ($23.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
American Ninja Warrior ($11.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
Aquatic Adventures of Last Human ($3.89 from $12.99 until 7/29)
Big Buck Hunter Arcade ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Black Paradox ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Blacksea Odyssey ($3.24 from $12.99 until 7/29)
Bleed ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Bleed 2 ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Bleed Complete Bundle ($4.19 from $27.99 until 7/29)
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night ($27.99 from $39.99 until 7/29)
Book of Demons ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/29)
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($10.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Catch ‘Em! Goldfish Scooping ($1.59 from $7.99 until 7/29)
Demon Pit ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/29)
Don’t Die, Mr Robot! ($1.07 from $8.99 until 7/29)
Earth Atlantis ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Fall of Light: Darkest ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Flashback ($0.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Frost ($3.89 from $12.99 until 7/29)
Glass Masquerade ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Glass Masquerade 2 ($7.18 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Glass Masquerade Bundle ($3.29 from $21.99 until 7/29)
Goblin Sword ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/29)
Golem Gates ($7.49 from $24.99 until 7/29)
Goosebumps the Game ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Hacky Zack ($0.99 from $9.99 until 7/29)
History 2048 ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/29)
Horror Bundle Vol 1 ($6.09 from $30.49 from 7/29)
In Between ($1.99 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Indivisible ($23.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
INK ($1.34 from $8.99 until 7/29)
INK & Hacky Zack Bundle ($2.24 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Journey to the Savage Planet ($23.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
Just Black Jack ($0.99 from $1.99 until 7/29)
Last Day of June ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Last Encounter ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Letter Quest Remastered ($2.99 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Miniature – Story Puzzle ($0.99 from $3.99 until 7/29)
Monster Slayers ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Moto Racer 4 ($4.99 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Nefarious ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Nickelodeon Kart Racers ($11.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
Odallus: Dark Call ($4.07 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Omega Strike ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Oniken & Odallus Bundle ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Oniken: Unstoppable ($3.39 from $9.99 until 7/29)
Paranautical Activity ($1.03 from $7.99 until 7/29)
Pipe Push Paradise ($3.73 from $10.99 until 7/29)
Portal Knights ($13.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Rapala Fishing Pro Series ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Reverse Crawl ($4.41 from $12.99 until 7/29)
Safety First ($0.99 from $2.99 until 7/29)
Shikhondo – Soul Eater ($4.19 from $13.99 until 7/29)
Skee-Ball ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/29)
Skelly Selest ($3.39 from $9.99 until 7/29)
Slain: Back From Hell ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/29)
Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Snakeybus ($8.38 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Soulblight ($11.24 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Spectrum ($2.39 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Straimium Immortaly ($5.99 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Street Outlaws: The List ($13.99 from $39.99 until 7/29)
Super Blood Hockey ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Tamashii ($5.99 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Terraria ($20.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
The Man w/the Ivory Cane ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/29)
Three Fourths Home: Extended ($1.07 from $8.99 until 7/29)
Tied Together ($2.99 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Toby: The Secret Mine ($1.99 from $11.99 until 7/29)
Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing ($0.99 from $7.99 until 7/29)
Uncanny Valley ($2.49 from $9.99 until 7/29)
UnderHero ($10.18 from $16.99 until 7/29)
Unexplored ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Valfaris ($12.49 from $24.99 until 7/29)
Verlet Swing ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Vertical Drop Heroes HD ($1.99 from $9.99 until 7/29)
War Theatre ($0.49 from $9.99 until 7/29)
Where Angels Cry ($6.99 from $9.99 until 7/29)
XenoRaptor ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/29)
Yet Another Zombie Defense HD ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/29)
Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles ($17.99 from $29.99 until 7/29)
Zombieland Double Tap Road Trip ($13.99 from $39.99 until 7/29)
Zotrix: Solar Division ($0.99 from $1.99 until 7/29)
1979 Revolution: Black Friday ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/29)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the latest news, new releases, and sales as usual. There will not be any reviews because I’ve actually cleared my queue. Good for me! I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!