Hello gentle readers, and welcome to today’s busier-than-expected SwitchArcade Round-Up. In today’s article, we look at Nintendo’s surprise Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase, check out the huge amount of new releases, and check out the latest sales. There’s a lot in here today, friends. But if you can take away anything from this article, it’s that you can now play moon in English and we’ll soon have a collection of the Final Fantasy Legend games. At least there are some good things happening in 2020.
Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase Shows Off Upcoming Games
It seems like Nintendo’s happy with its new Partner Showcase format, as a surprise presentation was made yesterday with several new and previously-announced games to show off. The games on display included Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, Harmonix’s Fuser, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack, World of Tanks Blitz, Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions, Collection of SaGa: Final Fantasy Legend, Just Dance 2021, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, the next Minecraft Dungeons DLC, Jump Force Deluxe Edition, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition. The presentation is just over 11 minutes long, and it’s well-worth watching to see those games in action.
The Next DLC for ‘Cadence of Hyrule’ is Now Available
A while back, it was announced that Cadence of Hyrule would be getting some paid DLC and a season pass. The first part was made available immediately, adding new characters and modes. The next set of DLC is now available, adding 39 new remixed songs to jam along to. You can get it as part of the $14.99 season pass if you already bought it, or you can pick it up separately for $5.99. That just leaves one set of DLC, the Symphony of the Mask content with Skull Kid.
Have you ever played a JRPG and found yourself questioning the accepted behavior of the protagonist? You know, going into people’s houses and looting their chests and dresser drawers, mass-slaughtering local wildlife just outside of town for hours on end, and so on? Once upon a time, some people who had worked on some very famous JRPGs asked the same things, and that led to moon. It calls itself an anti-RPG, and you’ll be playing the role of… not-the-hero, following in the destructive wake of the so-called hero and trying to bring love back to the world. This game originally released on the PlayStation 1 in Japan back in the day, but this is the first time it’s been available in English. It was a major inspiration for a little game called Undertale, so if you liked that game you’ll definitely want to try this one out.
World of Tanks Blitz (Free)
What started off as a mobile version of the popular PC game World of Tanks has grown over the years into a beloved variant in its own right. World of Tanks Blitz offers a lot of the same thrills as the core game, but with a smaller number of players on the field and a slightly more deliberate pace as a result. My son has been playing both this and the core World of Tanks nearly daily for the last several years, so I daresay there’s something to this business. Yes, there’s a bit of pay-to-win involved thanks to some powerful tanks being closed off to free players, but you can still get quite a bit of fun out of this without spending anything if that’s your jam.
Hypnospace Outlaw ($19.99)
It’s a reality I’ve come to accept: some of the people reading this are a lot younger than I am. So I’m not sure if all of you remember the internet of the 1990s, but if you do you will probably love Hypnospace Outlaw. The idea here is that you are an enforcer who has to hunt down wrongdoers by surfing webpages and exchanging emails, all while trying to avoid viruses and malware. You can customize your desktop, install some sweet screen savers, and so on. For all of this to work, the simulation of the 1990s internet really had to land properly. Fortunately, Hypnospace Outlaw knocks that part out of the park. Unique, well-written, and retro-cool as heck, this is a game that fans of narrative adventures will definitely want to play.
Blast Brawl 2 ($9.99)
This is a party brawler for up to four players where any hit means death. As such, it’s quite fast-paced and frantic, as you try to land hits without putting yourself at risk. There are several different characters to choose from, and a variety of arenas to do battle in. No online multiplayer, so you’ll need some friends to join in on local play to get the most out of it. It’s an amazingly good time in multiplayer, and even a little fun playing on your own even though there isn’t a lot to do. If you do regular gaming nights with buddies, this is a worthy addition to the line-up.
Arcade Archives Super Dodge Ball ($7.99)
Most people who are familiar with Super Dodge Ball know it best through its NES version, and that’s a bit of a shame. That version is very fun, no doubt, but it was pushing the NES well past what it could do. Slowdown and flicker were rampant, and characters could easily be lost in all of that. If you want to see what the game can be without the 8-bit shackles, Hamster’s got you covered with its latest release. The 1987 arcade version of Super Dodge Ball has gorgeous, huge characters and colorful, detailed backgrounds. The gameplay is just as good as you remember from the NES game, if not better due to being smoother. Hamster’s done a nice job here, and I’d easily recommend this to any fan of arcade-style sports games.
Hero Hours Contract ($3.99)
From the maker of The Rainsdowne Players comes this off-beat look at the real nitty-gritty behind the magical girl life. Sure, on the surface they’re all bright colors, ribbons, and magical wand attacks, but what happens after the cameras are off and the bad guys are beaten? Who pays Sailor Moon’s rent if she’s busy fighting evil all the time? A blend of turn-based combat and simulation, you’ll have to balance battling and negotiating better employment benefits with the magical familiar that gives you your powers. There are even social links and gacha machines! Friendship, love, and… unionization? Look, it’s only four bucks. You know whether you’re in or out based on that description, I’m certain.
Ultimate Fishing Simulator ($19.99)
Forever Entertainment takes another swing at what is a surprisingly competitive genre on the Switch: the fishing game. Scratching past the surface a little, we find that this game is connected to another familiar face: Ultimate Games. That may tell you what to expect, but in case it doesn’t, expect a lot of options, menus, and features that may or may not be explained properly. I love that the eShop description talks twice about how this game, unlike others, will not make you fall asleep. That’s a real selling point… but also a challenge. I’ll see you on the battlefield, Forever.
Retro Classix 2in1 pack: Bad Dudes & Two Crude Dudes ($9.99)
I guess someone finally realized Johnny Turbo’s name wasn’t the best way to sell classic Data East arcade games. This is a set of two games that were previously released under the Johnny Turbo’s Arcade line, done up with a new presentation and sold at a slightly discounted price. Bad Dudes and Two Crude Dudes go together well given they are part of the same series, and you get a little discount compared to buying the Johnny Turbo releases separately. Otherwise, this is essentially the same level of quality we’ve seen before. Which is to say that it’s fine enough but not really great.
Commander Keen in Keen Dreams: Definitive Edition ($14.99)
Really love this theme where publishers release one version of a game on the eShop and then sell another upgraded version separately later on. Very nostalgic, reminds me of the old Capcom strategy from back in the day. At any rate, Commander Keen is back yet again in that one adventure that for whatever reason isn’t under the same ownership as the other Commander Keen games. What do you get here over the $5.99 non-definitive version that can be found on the eShop? Well, you get full widescreen support, twelve new levels, and a full musical score. The overall design has been adjusted to make for what the game’s shop description says is a more modern experience. I don’t know. Keen Dreams is okay, but I don’t know if it’s “spend fifteen bucks on top of the several bucks I already spent" okay. But if you’re a keener for Keen, you may have an easier time justifying it.
Deadly Days ($18.99)
When I first saw the title for this one I thought it was going to be another one of those risque visual novels where a sexy lady falls in the lap of some wiener who lives in Akihabara. But no, quite the opposite: it’s an over-the-top strategic roguelite that sees you leading a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse. Shades of Death Road to Canada, yes. It’s even got a similar simple pixel-art look to it. And like that game, it’s quite a bit of silly fun. There’s a bit of a Switch tax here, as the game is several dollars cheaper on Steam. That serves to highlight what I think is the biggest issue with the game: the procedurally-generated elements are a little on the thin side, and things start to repeat in some very obvious ways before too long. But hey, if you aren’t burnt out on roguelites or zombies yet, you could give this a go.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition ($29.99)
Square Enix brings the original Crystal Chronicles to modern platforms with all kinds of modern touches: DLC items, online multiplayer, and even cross-platform play to an extent. Unfortunately, it also made a few odd decisions that make local multiplayer cumbersome and multiplayer in general kind of annoying to play. See, only one person gets credit for clearing the dungeon. So for everyone to check it off their lists, you’d have to hit up each dungeon four times. Yeah… no. I’ll be frank with you all here: I played this a few times in multiplayer back in the day and had a good time, but I’ve always found it tremendously wanting as a solo experience. Nice graphics, love the soundtrack, but as a game overall? I don’t really think it’s worth all that much in 2020. This sub-genre has come a long way on consoles in the last decade and a half.
Tank Mechanic Simulator ($17.99)
I guess it’s tank day today. A regular tanks-giving, if you will. Ultimate, the publisher behind a great deal of very similar mechanic simulator games, brings us yet another mechanic simulator game. The idea of this one is that you’re operating a tank museum, so you need to excavate and restore a variety of tanks to delight your patrons with. The excavation is a bit different from, say, the Car Mechanic Simulator games from Ultimate. You have to use stuff like metal detectors to find the tanks. There’s a whole process. But once you’ve got them back in the garage, it’s business as usual. Take them apart, fix or replace broken parts, and so on. These games aren’t really my thing, but they’re obviously pretty popular because they keep on coming.
Newton’s Cradle Puzzle Game ($2.99)
You probably know what a Newton’s Cradle is, even if you don’t know the name. You know those desktop toys where you pull back the metal ball then let go of it so it hits another metal ball, seemingly clacking each other back and forth in perpetual motion? Anyway, this puzzle game has you using metal balls to knock other metal balls around, hopefully landing them in the desired locations. There are 33 levels to clear, and it is quite challenging as a whole. Even once you get what to do, those levels will probably take you a couple of hours total to clear. Not bad for three bucks. The presentation is incredibly minimalistic, but the soundtrack is jazzy and easy on the ears.
Alphaset by POWGI ($7.99)
It’s time for another word puzzle game from the good folks at Lightwood Games. In Alphaset, you’re given a crossword-style puzzle that is missing precisely 26 letters. You need to fill in those letters using the entire alphabet. So you get one A, one B, and so on. It’s an interesting challenge, and Lightwood has as usual stuffed so many puzzles in here that you’ll be playing for hours on end if you mean to get through it all. Expect the typical hallmarks of this developer, of course: a simple presentation, dreadful puns, and a smooth level of challenge that should appeal to a wide range of players.
Best Friend Forever ($19.99)
I assume everyone has played Game Dev Story, right? I mean, this is TouchArcade. If you haven’t played it, what have you even been doing with your phone? So with that in mind, you remember how you could mash together two genres without any regard for how much sense it made? That’s kind of what Best Friend Forever makes me think of. It’s a visual novel with dating sim elements, but it’s also a pet-raising game. You have to raise your dog but also maybe find romance with people. Sometimes these goals will be at cross purposes. It’s a neat gimmick that adds a bit of spice to a well-trodden style of game, so if you like dogs and the pursuit of smooching, this could be the game for you.
This was part of the sizzle reel in the IndieWorld Showcase a little while back. Basically, it’s a game where you control a weird and kind of gross monster with big beefy appendages. You need to navigate through levels using those chunky arms, and all kinds of disgusting stuff will ensue as you do. Best enjoyed with a second player via local co-op, with each of you controlling an arm. As you make your way through the game, you’ll get new abilities and face new obstacles that require you to flex your repertoire. Seems like it could be a blast if you have a like-minded friend or family member to play with you. I personally find the aesthetic a complete turn-off, but that’s just my subjective problem.
West of Dead ($19.99)
Let’s start with the good here: Ron Perlman is the voice of the main character. Ron Perlman is awesome, and if you disagree you can take it up with Ron Perlman. Yeah, didn’t think so. The visual style of this game is pretty cool, and to an extent it’s hard to biff up a twin-stick shooter too much. The roguelite structure is expected by this point, so that’s no surprise. One way this game tries to distinguish itself is by putting an emphasis on cover. You really do need to find places to hide and shoot from, which is a cool idea that unfortunately breaks a bit in practice. Like, literally. Your cover deteriorates so quickly that you’re constantly on the move, and in boss battles it’s not unusual to run out of decent cover well before the fight is finished. If you’re the sort that can digest games that are frustratingly difficult, you’ll find lots to like in West of Dead. Otherwise, I’d give it a pass.
Glitch’s Trip ($12.99)
If you could see me right now, you’d see me doing that “not bad" thing with my hand. Because that’s what this is: not bad. It’s a challenging platformer with a strong shooting component that sees you bouncing and blasting your way through 100 levels. There are lots of interesting gimmicks and hazards you’ll have to deal with along the way, and four big bosses to take down. The main character Glitch has the ability to glitch out and briefly become intangible, which you’ll have to master if you want to reach the end. The controls are solid, the level designs are enjoyable, and the presentation is appealing. Those craving a new platforming challenge would do well to look into this game.
Hardcore Maze Cube ($2.49)
Let’s set aside that very generic title for a second. This is a game where you have to guide a cube character through mazes filled with deadly traps. You can move in any direction, so even though it looks like a side-scrolling platformer kind of affair, in practice it plays more like a top-down maze game. The game has a consistent and striking look to it, but otherwise its essentially the low-cost game it appears to be. Not really my cup of tea but if you only have a few bucks to spend this may be the best thing you can buy today.
Serious Scramblers ($1.99)
Oh but wait, there’s another contender for the low-price crown today. There’s no getting around this: Serious Scramblers seems to have drawn some serious inspiration from Downwell. You have to guide your character through vertical stages, tumbling down all the way. You can’t jump, however, so it’s even more about falling with style than Downwell was. I don’t think there’s any reality where you should own this ahead of the similarly-priced Downwell, but if you’ve played that and enjoyed it you might get a couple of bucks’ worth of fun out of this game.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
As is always the case on Thursday, there aren’t too many sales at the time that I’m writing this. There will likely be a lot more by the time you’re reading this, and even more by the time I get back into the office in the morning. We’ll cover them tomorrow. As for today? An absurd deal on Wonder Boy: Dragon’s Trap. A great discount on Kunai. A sale on some otome visual novels. And of course, sales on some of the new releases. The outbox is even tinier, but have a look at it anyway just to be safe.
Select New Games on Sale
Wonder Boy: Dragon’s Trap ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/2)
Deployment ($0.99 from $9.99 until 9/2)
Bridge Constructor Portal ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/15)
Dark Devotion ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/2)
Kunai ($8.49 from $16.99 until 9/2)
Interrogation ($9.74 from $12.99 until 9/2)
West of Dead ($15.99 from $19.99 until 9/1)
Iro Hero ($3.89 from $12.99 until 9/17)
Hidden Folks ($5.99 from $11.99 until 9/4)
Grand Prix Story ($12.00 from $14.00 until 9/17)
Enchanted in the Moonlight ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/12)
Star-Crossed Myth ($20.99 from $29.99 until 9/12)
Family Tree ($2.39 from $7.99 until 9/17)
Ghost Blade HD ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Perils of Baking ($1.49 from $4.99 until 9/17)
Kissed by the Baddest Bidder ($17.49 from $24.99 until 9/12)
Knights & Bikes ($15.99 from $19.99 until 9/8)
Pity Pit ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/17)
Best Friend Forever ($17.99 from $19.99 until 9/7)
Connection Haunted Server Error ($3.99 from $4.99 until 9/17)
MO: Astray ($13.49 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Blossom Tales ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Venture Kid ($0.99 from $9.99 until 9/17)
Oceanhorn ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/17)
Slayin 2 ($5.99 from $11.99 until 9/17)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, August 28th
Akane ($0.99 from $4.99 until 8/28)
Beholder 2 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/28)
Dex ($16.99 from $19.99 until 8/28)
Distrust ($7.19 from $11.99 until 8/28)
Do Not Feed the Monkeys ($9.09 from $12.99 until 8/28)
Lucah: Born of a Dream ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/28)
Monstrum ($23.99 from $29.99 until 8/28)
Overdriven Reloaded: Special ($0.99 from $7.99 until 8/28)
Summer Sweetheart ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/28)
Table Top Racing World Tour ($4.99 from $24.99 until 8/28)
ZikSquare ($0.99 from $6.99 until 8/28)
That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow will be another massive day for new releases, but at least I don’t need to worry about a Nintendo Direct popping again. I hope, anyway. We’ll have summaries of all the new releases and a giant list of finger-breaking sales to check out, I’m certain. I hope you all have a great Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!