Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 14th, 2021. In today’s article, we have two more reviews for you to dig into. First up, I take a long look into the wild nonsense that is WarioWare: Get It Together!. Then I shift gears dramatically and dive into the magical world of Cave shooters with a review of Espgaluda II. There are a couple of new releases to look at today, including the rather lovely Cruis’n Blast, a little bit of news to stick our shovels into, and the usual lists of new and expiring sales to look at. Let’s get into it!
‘WarioWare’ Takes Over ‘Tetris 99’ in the Next Maximus Cup
Wah-ha-ha! There is definitely a pattern to these Maximus Cup events, and I expect we’ll be seeing one for most major first-party releases for the foreseeable future. This latest one, kicking off on Friday at 12:00 AM PT and running through Monday at 11:59 PM PT, ties in with the recently-released WarioWare: Get It Together!. It’s the usual affair: play the game during the event, rank as high as you can, collect event points, and when you accumulate 100 of them you’ll unlock the theme permanently. It’s another colorful and quirky theme, and I’ll be adding it my stack of themes I collect and never use because I can not, will not give up the Game Boy Tetris one. Best of luck to you in perhaps doing the same!
Reviews & Mini-Views
WarioWare: Get It Together! ($49.99)
WarioWare has always served as a grab bag of silly little gameplay ideas. Things that you would probably be hard-pressed to build a full game around, but are fun enough for short blasts. Perhaps unsurprising, given it was yet another creation of Nintendo’s R&D1, the branch of the company behind the Game & Watch and Game Boy. Initially, people weren’t quite sure what to make of the first WarioWare game. It didn’t take long for anyone who played the game to find its appeal, however. It was a fire hydrant of wacky humor, intuitive gameplay, and sheer novelty. A wonderful little surprise.
Surprise is one of the toughest advantages to maintain, though. The team behind the WarioWare games seemed very aware of this, with most follow-ups introducing at least one major new gimmick. WarioWare: Twisted! used a rotation sensor to add a literal twist to its microgames. WarioWare: Touched! took advantage of the Nintendo DS’s touch screen. WarioWare: Smooth Moves leaned on the Wii Remote’s capabilities. WarioWare: Snapped! used the DSi camera. WarioWare D.I.Y. gave users the power to make their own microgames. WarioWare Gold made up for its lack of innovation by cramming in as many microgames from the past as possible.
With this series, the quality of each installment seems to be an intersection between the strength of the gimmick and how many interesting ideas the team can come up with to use that gimmick. Taken as a piece of hardware, the Nintendo Switch certainly has its share of unique selling points. But which of them would be best to build a whole new set of microgames around? WarioWare: Get It Together! seems to have settled on multiplayer, and while that’s a fine enough idea I’m not sure it really comes together here the way one would have hoped.
Adding in the ability for a second player to join in on the microgames means taking away the direct control that has largely defined all of the microgames seen so far in the series. Instead of interacting directly with each game, you instead control a little character who can be used to manipulate the various elements of each microgame. It certainly allows for a second player to join in, and the chaos of trying to work together or at least not get in each other’s way adds an extra dimension to the quickfire gameplay. Unfortunately, that person is going to need to be in the same room with you. Online multiplayer is not supported in this game.
This new style of microgame has its ups and downs even in single-player. On the negative side, there’s a tendency for microgames to feel more similar to each other than we typically see in WarioWare games. You are always going to be controlling any specific character in the same way, and there’s only so much variety that can be offered within the basic rules of the series under that kind of set-up. But the developer clearly anticipated this, because there’s another element of chaos at play here: the character itself. As you play through the game, you’ll unlock an assortment of characters, and they each have their own quirks. You can assemble a team from among the characters you’ve unlocked, but which of them will be thrown into what microgame is all down to luck. It’s a solid twist.
The biggest bummer, for me, is the general lack of interesting unlockable minigames and toys. This is one of the things I always look forward to in a WarioWare game, and the absence of such in Get It Together! feels like a bit of a downer. You get a lot of microgames here at least, and you’ll unlock some interesting ways to play them with others. There aren’t quite so many microgames on offer here as in WarioWare Gold, but given the compilation-style nature of that game I wouldn’t expect otherwise. There are more than 200 microgames in Get It Together!, and when you add in the various characters you’ll use to engage with those games, there’s a lot here to chew on.
I have mixed feelings about WarioWare: Get It Together!. I enjoyed it a lot, especially once I pulled my son in for some multiplayer fun. The story mode was enjoyable to work through, though I found the mini-stories less satisfying than usual due to the odd lack of endings. The ultimate finale was utterly fantastic, taking full of advantage of the multiple character gimmick in the best possible way while also bringing back a welcome familiar face. After that, the Wario Cup offers some extra fun where you can compete with other players’ scores on a set challenge. You can also level up your characters by giving them Prezzies, and do the old familiar task of trying to earn flower marks on every microgame.
If you’re looking for the same manic, innovative energy that pervaded earlier installments in this series, I’m not sure you’ll come away from WarioWare: Get It Together! fully satisfied. It just feels more… expected, if that makes sense. But the idea of trying to survive as long as you can against a series of shuffled quick-draw challenges works as well here as it ever did, and the various characters and multiplayer modes add new quirks to that process. It’s not quite enough to propel the game to the must-have status of some previous WarioWare titles, but there’s still plenty here to like.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Espgaluda II ($19.99)
Live Wire brings another of Cave’s classic bullet hell shoot-em-ups to the Switch with this release of Espgaluda II, and I’m happy to say the quality of the effort is just as strong here as it was with Mushihimesama. You can play the game in a variety of modes: Normal, Black Label, Arrange, Arcade, Novice Normal, and Novice Black Label. There are lots of options to take advantage of with regards to the display and sound, including being able to create zoomed-in cut-outs of the main screen if you want a quick reference to, say, the immediate area around your hitbox. The game itself runs and plays smoothly, just the way you would hope. Unfortunately, the English localization seems to have gone a bit loopy here, but I can’t say it’s a big issue for me.
Espgaluda II is a bigger and better sequel to the original game, and its compelling risk-reward mechanic with the ability to slow down bullets, chain enemy kills, and convert all of that into big points remains as enjoyable now as it ever was. It looks and plays great, and apart from a somewhat dodgy English localization it’s hard to find many faults with this Switch port. The Novice modes offer a solid entry point for those who are intimidated by this genre and Cave’s titles in particular, and the other modes give veteran players a lot to dig into. Oddly, the online leaderboards for the Score Attack mode seem to be non-functional at the moment. Hopefully those kick in sooner rather than later, as players will eventually want to migrate over to comparing with each other. Even without that feature functioning, Espgaluda II is another highly-affordable conversion of one of the better arcade bullet hell shooters.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Cruis’n Blast ($39.99)
The Cruis’n series returns to Nintendo consoles in this outstanding conversion of the arcade hit from Raw Thrills. Hop into 23 different vehicles including licensed rides from Nissan and GM, plus some slightly wilder means of getting about. The tracks are the star of the show here, and there are just under 30 to test your skills on. The themes can get pretty out there, perfectly suiting the arcade-style racing physics at the core of the gameplay. If you really want to party like it’s the Nintendo 64 era, grab a few friends and race in four-player splitscreen. It’s great to see this series back on a home console again. Maybe we can convince WB Games to put together a new Rush game to go with it?
Colors Live ($29.99)
This is a painting app that relies on touch controls, so you’ll have to play it undocked. The company is even selling some kind of special pen stylus for it you can buy from their website. Neat. Anyway, you can mess about making pictures as you like from the app’s tools or jump into a quest mode for something a little more game-like. You can share your creations online, and your whole process is uploaded with the final result. That means fellow artists can check out how everyone puts together their pieces. Personally I am not really looking for an art studio app for my Switch, but if you are then this one looks quite good.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
If you like classic SEGA games or Drinkbox titles, today is all about that good news for you. Some of those SEGA AGES games are obscenely cheap right now. Buy them all! SEGA can always use more money. Also take note of Murder By Numbers for half-price. It thinks we can’t see it, but we can. Not too much in the outbox worth fussing over, but do check those lists as usual to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything you’re interested in.
Select New Games on Sale
Guacamelee! Super Turbo CE ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/20)
Guacamelee! 2 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/20)
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs ($2.49 from $9.99 until 9/20)
Severed ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/20)
Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/20)
Butcher ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/20)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 9/20)
SNIPER: Hunter Scope ($1.99 from $14.99 until 9/20)
Cinders ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/20)
Super Daryl Deluxe ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/20)
MouseCraft ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/20)
WARSAW ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/20)
Operation Hardcore ($5.99 from $9.99 until 9/20)
Street Basketball ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/20)
Real Drift Racing ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/20)
Bubble Cats Rescue ($1.99 from $3.99 until 9/20)
Murder By Numbers ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/21)
Valkyria Chronicles ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/27)
Puyo Puyo Champions ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/27)
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA ($19.79 from $39.39 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Lightening Force ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Gain Ground ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Herzog Zwei ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Space Harrier ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo 2 ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Ichidant-R ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Columns II ($2.79 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Wonder Boy: Monster Land ($3.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Shinobi ($5.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Phantasy Star ($5.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Out Run ($5.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
SEGA AGES Virtua Racing ($5.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
Citizens of Space ($4.49 from $14.99 until 9/27)
Quest Hunter ($10.49 from $29.99 until 9/27)
Run the Fan ($1.99 from $3.99 until 9/27)
Food Truck Tycoon: Asian Cuisine ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/27)
Mable & the Wood ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/27)
Brotherhood United ($1.99 from $8.99 until 9/27)
Quell Memento ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
Quell Zen ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/27)
Adventures of Chris ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/27)
REZ PLZ ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/27)
Bite the Bullet ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/27)
Puzzle Bundle 3 in 1 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/27)
Double Cross ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/27)
The King’s Bird ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/27)
Joggernauts ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/27)
Salad Bar Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/4)
Adverse ($2.09 from $5.99 until 10/4)
Castle of Heart ($1.99 from $14.99 until 10/4)
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/4)
Classic Games Collection Vol 1 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/4)
Jet Kave Adventure ($13.39 from $19.99 until 10/4)
Freecell Solitaire Deluxe ($1.99 from $8.99 until 10/4)
Pet Shop Snacks ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/4)
Jet Ski Rush ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/4)
Destrobots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/4)
My Magic Florist ($1.99 from $6.99 until 10/4)
Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden ($2.09 from $14.99 until 10/4)
Demon Hunter: Revelation ($2.09 from $14.99 until 10/4)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 15th
Beat Me! ($3.89 from $12.99 until 9/15)
CRASH: Autodrive ($7.49 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Depixtion ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/15)
Frontier Quest ($10.79 from $11.99 until 9/15)
Golf Club Wasteland ($7.49 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Hyper Sentinel ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/15)
Mystery of Woolley Mountain ($3.99 from $12.99 until 9/15)
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL ($3.24 from $12.99 until 9/15)
Titan Chaser ($4.49 from $4.99 until 9/15)
Wood Block Escape Puzzles 3 ($3.99 from $5.99 until 9/15)
Zombiotik ($7.44 from $12.41 until 9/15)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more news, more new releases, more sales, and that’s about it. As for today’s visit to the doctor, it seems my health emergency last week was more serious than I had thought at the time. I was apparently lucky to navigate it without ending up in the hospital. I’ll be going for more tests later this week, and I’m hoping we can finally figure out what I’ve been battling with for the last couple of years. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!