Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 22nd, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got reviews of three recent shoot-em-up releases. No matter what your budget, there’s one here for you. We then take a look at today’s new releases. While there are only a few in the list today, they’re all worth looking at. Depending on your tastes, anyway. As always, we finish things up with a look at the incoming and outgoing sales. While the big sale is over, there are a few things worth checking out in today’s lists. Let’s get to business!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! One of Cave’s classic bullet hell shoot-em-ups has finally arrived on the Switch, and it is indeed grand. Okay, this is technically the third Cave game to hit the Switch, the fourth if we count the G-Mode Japan-only mobile Dodonpachi port, but it’s the first of the games they published themselves to arrive on the platform. Mushihimesama, sometimes known as Bug Princess, was originally released in arcades in 2004. It’s a vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up with an insect theme, one that takes pride in throwing excessive amounts of bullets at the player. On higher difficulties some of the bosses will nearly fill the screen with shots, as Cave bosses like to.
The game has been ported several times, and this port seems to be based on the recent PC version. That’s good news, as that version was both high-quality in its replication of the original and robust in terms of essential options. You can remap controls, adjust numerous elements of the display, set audio levels, and play around with a few difficulty settings. This is all in addition to the game’s built-in difficulty options. Ultimately, Mushihimesama is a rare bullet hell shooter that scales its challenge well for players of all skill types. The input lag is about as low as you can expect from a Switch game, thankfully. It’s miles better than what we saw with the Psikyo shoot-em-ups when they made the hop to the platform.
People can and do split hairs about which Cave shoot-em-ups rank where, but I think there are two things that are generally agreed upon. First, even the worst of the classic line-up is excellent by the standards of the genre. It’s hard to go wrong with any of them, and Mushihimesama certainly won’t let you down in that regard. Second, Mushihimesama is one of the most beginner-friendly titles among a roster that often leans hard into the veteran player’s needs. It’s not surprising this latest initiative would lead with this particular game. It can be seen as a suitable gateway into the rest of this cherished developer’s works, and this Switch version does it every bit of justice it deserves.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
The weird thing about cute-em-ups (shoot-em-ups that have a cute visual design) is that they are often as hard as any high-level game in the broader genre. Fantasy Zone, Parodius, and Twin Bee are not particularly kind games, and it’s all the more of a surprise because of how utterly disarming they look and sound. That’s fine, but what if you want something a bit more friendlier? Rangerdog has you covered, and it won’t even ask a lot of money of you. You choose from three good dogs and take to the skies in a series of silly stages. Each pup has their own sets of weapons and power-ups, which you can pick up and upgrade by grabbing icons dropped by enemies.
It truly is a cute game in all respects. Stages are colorful and creative, with lots of interesting enemies and sights to see. The stage design feels very much out of the Konami horizontal shooter school, with a few cool gimmicks to call its own. I particularly enjoyed the stage where if you aren’t careful about shooting parts of the level structure, you could accidentally close the path ahead of you. The difficulty is generally quite manageable, but never so simple that it becomes boring. I really liked the different types of weapons, which add a bit of spice for replays.
Shoot-em-up veterans might find Rangerdog to be too breezy for their liking, but I strongly feel that you can have a good time here regardless of your skill level. There’s a lot of fun stuff to see on the journey, and the game does require you to pay a bit of attention as you go even in its lighter sections. That said, it seems mostly tuned for players who might be interested in a bright, colorful shooter but don’t have the patience to deal with the punishment some of the classics dish out. Either way, its low price makes it easy to bite on. I found Rangerdog to be an easy game to like, and even if it’s not as challenging or risque as Parodius can be, it certainly scratched a similar itch.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Arcade Space Shooter 2 in 1 ($3.99)
QUByte releases are extremely affordable, and while I tend not to let price tags sway my evaluations too much as a general rule, I find it hard not to take such things into account when relative costs are this low. Arcade Space Shooter 2 in 1 gives you two highly adequate shooting games for about the same price as a box of Pop-Tarts. Are they great games? No. Are they innovative games? Not especially. But they are fun and competently-built enough to keep you amused for a few hours, and I think it would be odd to ask for more out of them than that.
One of the pair is a Geometry Wars-style twin stick shooter with the extra twist of a playfield that is constantly shrinking. You have to stave off its collapse by picking up goobers left by defeated enemies. The other game is an endless vertical shoot-em-up. You can upgrade your ship on the fly with the goobers the enemies drop here, and there’s a bit of a meta where you can unlock new upgrades for successive runs. The controls on both games are fine, and while they aren’t lookers, they don’t come off as junk either. If your pocket money is coming up a bit short but you want a quick hit of shooting action, I don’t think you’ll feel bad about grabbing this combo pack.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX ($19.99)
Alex Kidd fans haven’t eaten so well in ages. Enchanted Castle was on the Genesis Mini. Alex Kidd in Miracle World was part of the Switch SEGA AGES line-up. Alex Kidd and the Lost Stars was included in the Astro City Mini. And now, Alex’s second most-tolerable game has an absolutely stunning remake in the form of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX. Although this is from entirely different people from the remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, the idea is quite similar. Take the original game, make a few modest changes to the gameplay, completely redo the presentation to make it gorgeous, and add a bit of extra content for garnish. In spite of all of the improvements, this is still very much Miracle World at its core. Whether that is a good or bad thing is an exercise best left to the reader. Oh, I’m reviewing this one? Uh… whether that is a good or bad thing is an exercise best left to me, it seems.
Super Magbot ($17.99)
This is one of those challenging platformers, but with a twist: you can’t jump. Well, not directly anyway. The idea here is that you have magnet powers and need to use the elements of attraction and repulsion to get around. Aside from getting through the levels, those who want to really show their stuff will need to collect the star fragments placed in some truly tricky locations. As a bonus, collecting them will unlock further challenges. This looks very promising, but I haven’t had a chance to put my hands on it yet so I can’t say much more than that.
LEGO Builder’s Journey ($19.99)
The LEGO games are collectively among the most popular and high-selling licensed games of all-time. And they certainly do a nice job of capturing the style of the bricks and figures, as well as the far IP reach of the brand. But they don’t really involve much building, do they? Isn’t that what LEGO is mostly about? If you’ve ever felt that way, you should check out LEGO Builder’s Journey. This is a set of stylish puzzles about using LEGO bricks to clear a path for your character. It’s quite good, but it’s also very short. There’s also no compelling reason to play this on the Switch over playing it more affordably via Apple Arcade. But if a Switch is all you have and you don’t mind a concise, well-made puzzle game for twenty bucks, that’s what you’ll get here.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Well, we won’t have another sale like last week’s for quite a while. Let’s get back to the normal routine. Highlights today include TowerFall at a very low price, the usual EA sales, and a bunch of other assorted indies that could catch your eye better than they caught mine. Not much in the outbox that won’t be back around before long, but you may want to grab Tools Up! while it still has a deep discount. That sale was connected to its new DLC, so we may not see that low of a price again on it for a while.
Select New Games on Sale
TowerFall ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/28)
Salad Bar Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
Fantasy Checkers ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/28)
Royal Tower Defense ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/28)
Among Pipes ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/28)
Gangsta Paradise ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/28)
Colorfall ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
S.N.I.P.E.R.: Hunter Scope ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/28)
Fall Gummies ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/28)
My Magic Florist ($1.99 from $6.99 until 6/28)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/28)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/28)
Fantasy Tower Defense ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
The Legend of Ninja ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit ($27.99 from $39.99 until 6/28)
Burnout Paradise Remastered ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/28)
Unravel Two ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/28)
FIFA 21 Legacy Edition ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/28)
Real Drift Racing ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
Bubble Cats Rescue ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/28)
Classic Games Collection Vol 1 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
Food Truck Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/28)
Street Basketball ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/28)
Plants vs Zombies: BfN Complete ($27.99 from $39.99 until 6/28)
Undead Horde ($5.09 from $16.99 until 6/28)
Onirike ($13.49 from $14.99 until 6/29)
Bossgard ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/5)
Black The Fall ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/5)
Pet Shop Snacks ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/11)
From Shadows ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Effie ($13.99 from $19.99 until 7/12)
This is the Zodiac Speaking ($4.54 from $12.99 until 7/12)
Help Will Come Tomorrow ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/12)
Jet Ski Rush ($1.99 from $3.99 until 7/12)
Destrobots ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/12)
Big Pharma ($5.99 from $29.99 until 7/12)
Golazo! ($4.04 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Jet Kave Adventure ($13.39 from $19.99 until 7/12)
Deadly Fighter 2 ($1.99 from $3.99 until 7/12)
Apocalipsis Wormwood Edition ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Castle of Heart ($1.99 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/12)
Ellipsis ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/12)
The Tower of Beatrice ($2.99 from $5.99 until 7/12)
We. The Revolution ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/12)
A Winter’s Daydream ($2.99 from $5.99 until 7/12)
Stellatum ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/12)
Roarr! Jurassic Edition ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Skyhill ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/12)
7th Sector ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/12)
Last Encounter ($1.99 from $14.99 until 7/12)
Breeder Homegrown: DC ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Active Neurons: Puzzle Game ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Active Neurons 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Active Neurons 3 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/12)
Rift Keeper ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/12)
North ($1.99 from $2.99 until 7/12)
Drowning ($1.99 from $2.99 until 7/12)
Blood Waves ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/12)
The Mooseman ($3.49 from $6.99 until 7/12)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 23rd
Aragami: Shadow Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 6/23)
Astro Duel Deluxe ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/23)
Battle Group 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/23)
Beat Cop ($2.24 from $14.99 until 6/23)
Buildings Have Feelings Too! ($13.99 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Candle: The Power of the Flame ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Children of Morta ($10.99 from $21.99 until 6/23)
Cloudpunk ($14.99 from $24.99 until 6/23)
Deadlings ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/23)
Demon’s Rise: War for the Deep ($2.49 from $6.99 until 6/23)
Dig Dog ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/23)
Dungeon Escape ($3.99 from $4.99 until 6/23)
Feather ($4.69 from $9.99 until 6/23)
Hero Hours Contract ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/23)
HoPiKo ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/23)
House Flipper ($9.99 from $24.99 until 6/23)
Little Racer ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/23)
Metamorphosis ($7.49 from $24.99 until 6/23)
Moonlighter ($7.49 from $24.99 until 6/23)
Red Wings: Aces of the Sky ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Roombo: First Blood ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/23)
Screencheat: Unplugged ($2.20 from $12.99 until 6/23)
Solitaire Card Games ($2.99 from $5.99 until 6/23)
Solo: Islands of the Heart ($5.99 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Space Cows ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/23)
Sparklite ($9.99 from $24.99 until 6/23)
Strike Daz Cans ($2.39 from $2.99 until 6/23)
The Rainsdowne Players ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/23)
This War of Mine: Complete ($3.99 from $39.99 until 6/23)
Tools Up! ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/23)
Willy Morgan & the Curse of Bone Town ($19.99 from $24.99 until 6/23)
That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow will bring another batch of new releases, including Worms Rumble and the latest outstanding effort from the esteemed Benjamin Kistler. We’ll have summaries of the lot, along with whatever news and new sales pop up. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!