SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ Review, Mini-Views Featuring ‘Super Punch Patrol’, and the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 21st, 2020. We’re at the start of another week as we head into the busy part of the year for game releases. In today’s article, we’ve got a full review of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, plus Mini-Views of Super Punch Patrol, Space Elite Force, and Space Elite Force 2. There’s one new release to look at, though it’s not very exciting. We’ve also got the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales. Let’s dig in!


Super Mario 3D All-Stars ($59.99)

There are two ways a collection of classic titles can succeed. The first is by bringing a collection of excellent games that are still enjoyable to play to a new platform. The second way is by being a high quality historical record, providing interesting context and extras to help bring out the best in the included games. Super Mario 3D All-Stars gets high marks in the first category, but barely makes the grade in the second. Still, if you’re looking for some awesome games to play on your Switch, you’ll get lots of entertainment out of this bundle.

There are three games included here: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. It might have been nice to have Super Mario Galaxy 2 or even Super Mario 3D Land in here, but this is what we’ve got. All three games have gotten a bump in resolution along with a few other visual enhancements, and you can enjoy each game’s soundtrack from the main menu. That’s all you get. No art galleries, no save states, no major graphical changes, no developer interviews, or anything like that. You can’t even remap your controls in-game. Three games. Three soundtracks. That’s the deal.

Lucky, then, that the games are really great. Super Mario Galaxy may well be one of the best games of all-time, and Super Mario 64 holds up incredibly well for a game of its vintage and pioneering nature. Super Mario Sunshine… well, it has its moments. It’s certainly one of the odder 3D Mario games. Between these three games, you can have hours upon hours of fun, frustration, and fascination. And I think that even without any explicit context, these games speak for themselves as snapshots of different eras of Nintendo and the video game industry as a whole. Sometimes aggravatingly so, such as in the case of Super Mario 64‘s camera controls.

Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine are running under full emulation, with Super Mario Galaxy apparently requiring a mixed approach for whatever reason. In the case of Super Mario 64, visual improvements include higher-resolution graphics, some improved textures in places, and a crisper UI. There’s no widescreen option here, unfortunately. There are fancier ways to play this game unofficially, but it’s still a great way to enjoy an all-time classic. Just be prepared for some camera struggles, as a free-moving camera under the control of the player wasn’t a thing when this game was made.

Super Mario Sunshine is the black sheep of the 3D Mario family, and after replaying the game in this set and doing some soul-searching, I think it deserves that status. There are things that work very well in this game, but some big parts of it are really hard to enjoy. It was rushed out to help the flagging Gamecube, and like with its similarly-positioned partner The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, it shows. That said, it has some interesting ideas that make it worth poking at.

There are a couple of emulation bugs in this version, though nothing terribly serious. The resolution has been bumped up, wide-screen has been implemented, and the water-spray controls that took advantage of the Gamecube’s analog triggers have been remapped as best as you could expect. The R button works as though you’ve clicked in the Gamecube’s trigger button, while ZR acts like you’ve pushed it in partway. The pre-rendered cut-scenes have been upscaled with AI and it’s quite obvious. No new audio was recorded, so any instance of characters speaking about button controls are awkwardly clipped. All that said, this is a fine way to enjoy Super Mario Sunshine.

And that brings us to Super Mario Galaxy, the star of the show if one must be picked. I loved this game so much that I actually bought a copy for a friend because I had to share the joy. It is “video games" in one of the best possible ways. It was a Wii game, so it naturally had motion and pointer controls cooked into it, but unlike a lot of games on that platform they mostly worked here. There are a couple of stars that gave into sheer gimmickry, but generally things work in a very intuitive way. However, it is that aspect that presented the biggest challenge for bringing the game to a system without Wii controllers.

You have a few options open to you with this Super Mario 3D All-Stars version, depending on how you’re playing. The game will always try to use the gyro sensors in the controllers where it makes sense. As for the pointer, used for things like collecting and shooting star bits or latching on to pull stars, it depends on the mode you’re in. In handheld mode, you’ll have to use the touch screen as a substitute. It’s… okay. Definitely not intuitive, but it generally works. In docked or tabletop modes, you can use the Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller. They’ll use their built-in gyro sensors to fudge the pointer feature, and while they quickly lose the plot you can re-center the cursor by tapping the R button. The Joy-Cons work a little better than the Pro Controller here, though both are better than the touch controls in my opinion.

Mario’s spin move was one of the more frequent uses of motion controls in the original game, and while some people didn’t care for the whole process of shaking to perform it, I found it felt rather good. Well, both sides will be happy this time. You can activate the spin by pressing the Y button, or you can shake your Joy-Con or Pro Controller if that’s your preference. Beyond the control changes, the game gets an uptick in resolution (it looks even more fantastic), wide-screen is now the standard aspect ratio, and… well, that’s about it. You can play Super Mario Galaxy on your Switch. That’s the pitch.

There’s no question that Super Mario 3D All-Stars could have been better. It could have had more extras. It could have had more games. The included games could have had more improvements. I’m not going to deny any of that. But if I reach into my heart and judge this game for what is here rather than what is not, I personally feel it’s a wonderful pick-up that any Switch owner should at least consider buying. Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy are high-water marks for the 3D platforming genre, and Super Mario Sunshine may be lesser but still holds plenty of pleasures. Buying these games in their original formats will cost you far more than the purchase price of this set, too. If I allow the games to speak for themselves, the message is loud and clear: it’s Mario time!

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5


Super Punch Patrol ($4.99)

Gunman Clive developer Bertil Horberg apparently put Super Punch Patrol together in a relatively short amount of time while in quarantine. It’s so polished you would never realize it. Unlike some recent beat-em-ups, this game isn’t particularly interested in pushing the genre forward. It’s just a good old classic brawler experience, heavily informed by games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, Streets of Rage, and Double Dragon. It’s quite simple in scope, and it can be incredibly tough. Still, the fighting is solid and there are some fun things you can unlock even without beating the game. For five dollars, it’s an easy game to recommend to beat-em-up fans.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Space Elite Force ($2.99)

While this game at first seems like it’s going to be a Steredenn-style grind-em-up shooter, it really only shares some surface elements. You can upgrade your ship with the bits you collect, but you actually have to finish a stage to do it. As such, you have to be able to beat the current stage with what you’ve got. The controls are good and the action is fine enough. While there aren’t that many stages, the extra modes help stretch things out a little. There are fancier shoot-em-ups on the Switch, but for the price you’ll be hard-pressed to find many better than this.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Space Elite Force 2 ($4.99)

This sequel is very similar to the original, but it has slightly better production values and some minor changes to a few systems. It’s also a couple of dollars more expensive, however, which I feel makes its improvements a bit of a wash when compared to the original game’s value proposition. Still, if you enjoyed the first game and find yourself wanting more after having pushed through its relatively meager content, this is the logical next step.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

Birds and Blocks ($4.99)

Wow, this brings back old memories. Remember when these kinds of low-rent physics puzzles were all the rage on the App Store? In this one, the idea is that the birds need to be guided to safe ground. Which is not the ground, because the game says so. Instead it’s kind of a stone piece. Anyway, remove the blocks by tapping them (this one can’t be played in TV mode) and hope the birds fall in such a way that they land on the stone pieces. There are 80 levels of this, and if you don’t get tired of it after the first 10 or so then you’re made of tougher stuff than I am. On the off chance you like the idea behind it enough to play through the whole game, I think you’ll get your money’s worth out of it. You can try it for free on the App Store to see how it goes for you.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Plenty of new sales rolled in over the weekend, including some new low prices on WB Games releases like LEGO City Undercover. Darkest Dungeon is on sale again, and the quirky Treachery in Beatdown City is also discounted. Ys Origin is now available for pre-order for 20% off, and provided the port is fine I can certainly assure you that the game is excellent. The outbox has a lot of things in it, with the Bandai Namco titles probably being the most worthy of consideration.

Select New Games on Sale

Treachery in Beatdown City ($12.99 from $19.99 until 9/21)
SuperMash ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Animal Fight Club ($1.19 from $3.99 until 9/25)
Cyber Protocol ($0.99 from $9.99 until 9/25)
Clumsy Rush ($0.99 from $4.99 until 9/25)
OMG Police ($0.99 from $4.99 until 9/25)
Vampire: Coteries of NY ($10.99 from $19.99 until 9/25)
Nirvana Pilot Yume ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/25)
Darkest Dungeon ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/26)
GORSD ($15.29 from $16.99 until 9/26)
#Funtime ($10.49 from $14.99 until 9/26)
Scribblenauts Showdown ($9.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
Scribblenauts Mega Pack ($9.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
LEGO DC Super-Villains ($17.99 from $59.99 until 9/28)
LEGO Harry Potter Collection ($12.49 from $49.99 until 9/28)
LEGO Movie 2 Videogame ($11.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)

LEGO Jurassic World ($11.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
LEGO The Incredibles ($17.99 from $59.99 until 9/28)
LEGO Worlds ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
LEGO NinjaGo Movie Game ($12.49 from $49.99 until 9/28)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
LEGO City Undercover ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Cars 3: Driven to Win ($9.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
Quest Hunter ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Neon Drive ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
The Secret Order: RttBK ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/28)
Hexologic ($0.29 from $2.99 until 9/28)
Aborigenus ($0.89 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Diabolic ($0.89 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu ($19.99 from $24.99 until 9/28)
Roarr! Jurassic ($0.99 from $4.99 until 9/29)

Apocalipsis Wormwood ($1.49 from $4.99 until 9/29)
Skyhill ($0.99 from $4.99 until 9/29)
We. The Revolution ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/29)
Golazo! ($4.49 from $14.99 until 9/29)
Big Pharma ($5.99 from $29.99 until 9/29)
Help Will Come Tomorrow ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/29)
Funny Bunny Adventures ($0.49 from $4.99 until 9/29)
Ys Origin ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)
Dominate: Board Game ($7.41 from $9.89 until 10/1)
Tamiku ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/5)
Mad Carnage ($0.29 from $4.99 until 10/6)
HyperParasite ($8.99 from $17.99 until 10/6)
Mushroom Quest ($0.29 from $2.99 until 10/6)
Blazing Beaks ($1.99 from $14.99 until 10/6)
Sudoky ($0.74 from $2.99 until 10/7)

Lockstone ($0.74 from $1.49 until 10/8)
Wordify ($0.69 from $2.99 until 10/8)
Lines X ($0.49 from $1.99 until 10/8)
Lines Infinite ($0.49 from $1.99 until 10/8)
The Big Journey ($1.24 from $4.99 until 10/8)
Sorry, James ($1.24 from $4.99 until 10/8)
Kakuro Magic ($0.74 from $2.99 until 10/8)
Animal Up! ($0.74 from $2.99 until 10/8)
Frozen Friends ($0.99 from $9.99 until 10/8)
Wayout ($0.74 from $2.99 until 10/8)
Akane ($0.99 from $4.99 until 10/9)
Journey of the Broken Circle ($6.40 from $8.00 until 10/9)
Car Driving School Sim ($10.49 from $13.99 until 10/9)
Dex ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/9)
Tharsis ($7.19 from $11.99 until 10/9)
Warlocks 2: God Slayers ($1.79 from $17.99 until 10/9)
Rimelands ($0.99 from $9.99 until 10/9)
Crazy Strike Bowling EX ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/11)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22nd

8-Ball Pocket ($1.97 from $5.99 until 9/22)
Alien Cruise ($4.52 from $11.30 until 9/22)
Battleship ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Bear With Me: Lost Robots ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/22)
Beast Quest ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Carcassonne ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Catan ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Clue ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Deer Drive Legends ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Degrees of Separation ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/22)
Dragon Ball FighterZ ($9.59 from $59.99 until 9/22)
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 ($9.99 from $49.99 until 9/22)
FunBox Party ($0.29 from $1.99 until 9/22)

God Eater 3 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 9/22)
Her Majesty’s Ship ($8.79 from $10.99 until 9/22)
Isoland ($1.88 from $2.17 until 9/22)
Isoland 2 ($2.71 from $3.62 until 9/22)
Jeopardy ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Katamari Damacy Reroll ($9.89 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Little Nightmares Complete ($7.49 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Little Triangle ($8.09 from $14.99 until 9/22)
Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Monopoly ($9.99 from $39.99 until 9/22)
Mr. Driller DrillLand ($22.49 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Munchkin: Quacked Quest ($9.99 from $24.99 until 9/22)
My Hero One’s Justice ($19.79 from $59.99 until 9/22)
My Hero One’s Justice 2 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 9/22)
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 ($34.99 from $49.99 until 9/22)
Naruto: Ninja Storm Trilogy ($19.99 from $39.99 until 9/22)

Ni no Kuni: WotWW ($14.99 from $49.99 until 9/22)
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 9/22)
One Piece Unlimited World Red ($9.99 from $39.99 until 9/22)
OTTTD ($0.49 from $7.99 until 9/22)
Override: Mech City Brawl ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/22)
Pandemic ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Pew Paw ($2.48 from $6.99 until 9/22)
RAD ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Rain City ($6.44 from $7.58 until 9/22)
RISK Global Domination ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Rooms: Anne & George ($8.84 from $14.99 until 9/22)
Skull Rogue ($0.98 from $2.99 until 9/22)
Super Dragon Ball Heroes ($17.99 from $59.99 until 9/22)
SuperMash ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet ($17.99 from $59.99 until 9/22)
Tactical Mind ($0.44 from $2.99 until 9/22)
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive ($14.99 from $49.99 until 9/22)
Tank Mechanic Simulator ($14.39 from $17.99 until 9/22)
Trine 4: Nightmare Prince ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Trine: Ultimate Collection ($14.99 from $49.99 until 9/22)
Trivial Pursuit Live! ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)
Troll and I ($2.99 from $29.99 until 9/22)
Ultimate Racing 2D ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
UNO ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/22)
Wheel of Fortune ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/22)

That’s all for today, friends. Hopefully we’ll have some interesting news to check out tomorrow, along with some spiffy sales. At the very least, there will be a review or two to check out. At the moment, there aren’t any releases on the schedule but things drop out of the sky on Switch all the time, so who knows? I hope you all have a momentous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!