SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl’ and More, Plus New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 29th, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got a trio of reviews for you to check out. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl leads the pack, with Date Night Bowling and Death’s Door bringing up the rear. There are a few new releases to look at, but most of them aren’t too exciting. We summarize them anyway, because that is what we do. We round things out with the sales that popped up over the weekend. Some really good stuff in there, actually. We also have the list of expiring sales so that you can make some last-minute financial decisions. Let’s go!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl ($59.99, Double Pack $119.99)

Not that this is a particularly rare phenomenon, but I feel like a lot of people made up their minds about this release way too early. As soon as the game was revealed to be developed by ILCA and its chibi art style was demonstrated, many wrote Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl off. I won’t say that I don’t get it. Up until now, the pattern has been that the Pokemon remakes were made by Game Freak in the style of the latest generation of games. If Diamond/Pearl fans were hoping for something like Sword and Shield, I imagine Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl came as something of a shock.

So yes, I understand the initial reaction from some. Personally, I immediately understood why things were going the way they were, and I thought the art style looked cute and a bit nostalgic. As such, I was actually looking forward to playing Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and now that I have I can report that I had a really good time with it. It’s incredibly faithful to the original games in many ways, but makes a number of welcome improvements and additions. When compared to the Nintendo DS Diamond and Pearl, the only real nit I can pick is that you can’t turn off the Exp Share feature. I like using Exp Share, but those who don’t really should have the option to play the way they like.

Otherwise, this is a nice blast from the past that reminds me a lot of the kinds of remakes we see in the Dragon Quest series. The graphics are shiny but hardly cutting edge, the music is enhanced, the sound effects deliberately throw back to the past, and the gameplay seems largely content to do the same. There are meaningful additions, of course. The new underground greatly expands on the concept of the original games, and the post-game content is quite good. The fly in the ointment, however, is that Pokemon Platinum exists. That third version of the game included a lot of new stuff, and as this game aims only to remake Diamond and Pearl very little of that made the cut.

Nevertheless, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is still a very good experience. It offers a substantial quantity of things to do, a bit more challenge than we’ve seen in the series for a while, and a presentation that grows on you if you give it a chance. Would I pick this over Platinum if I had to pick one? Probably not, no. I sure wish it had made such questions redundant. But I don’t really have to pick between those two games. I enjoyed Diamond and Pearl back in the day, I enjoyed Platinum a little while later, and I enjoyed Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl here and now. It hits the notes most would want from a Pokemon game, and with this being a remake and Legends being right around the corner, I think its conservative approach can be forgiven.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Date Night Bowling ($9.99)

Date Night Bowling has a cute idea driving it, and it delivers on the promise of its title to a degree. You’ve essentially got two types of gameplay here. The first is a decent, but not spectacular, bowling game. There are two different alleys to bowl at, and a number of options you can either mess around with or leave alone. The act of bowling itself is simple and timing-based, so just about anyone should be able to get a handle on it. You can bowl alone, against an AI opponent, or against another player locally. The other component to the game is its date-related minigames. Most of these are timing-based, and there are quite a few of them. If you do well at them, you’ll raise your affection with your partner. The closing dialogue depends on the chosen characters and the level of affection between them by the end of the game.

The presentation is nice, and it’s fun to see what kind of minigames will pop up at first. The bowling is functional and simple enough to enjoy for players of a variety of skill levels, and the game is indeed most enjoyable when played with a partner. Those flying solo will likely find there’s just not enough on the bone here. Even with unlockable characters and a variety of dialogues, Date Night Bowling starts to feel a little tired after a few games. There are no grand stories or longer goals to reach towards, making this game best suited for the occasional romp with a like-minded player.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Death’s Door ($19.99)

Reaping souls is a big job, so it makes sense there’s a whole organization dedicated to the work. You’re not exactly the boss of the place, so you’ve got to go out and get your hands dirty. You’ll visit a variety of locations in pursuit of various targets, which largely take the form of challenging bosses. While you’ll have to make your way to each of those bosses by traveling through stages, it’s those battles that take the spotlight. Do your job well and you’ll naturally get paid, allowing you to upgrade your character. While you would expect this game to be a roguelike, it’s actually a more traditional action-RPG in most respects. It takes about ten hours to clear, and it’s a real trip.

Death’s Door is one of those nice combinations of a superb presentation and strong gameplay. The game could coast well enough on either of those points, but it hits them both and is excellent as a result. There’s nothing overly deep about the gameplay mechanics, and its brand of action is going to be familiar to most. The most impressive bits are the bosses, which require strong pattern recognition and good reflexes. The gorgeous sights and sounds along the way add tremendously to its atmosphere, doing their part to keep the player pulled into this unusual, compelling world. Action-RPG fans will certainly want to give this a go.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

New Releases

Guardian of Lore ($13.99)

This is a level-based action-platformer with a Native-American theme. Battle against monsters that seek to destroy the memories of ancient civilizations by invading their folktales. As Sayri, the Guardian of Lore, you’ll be able to wield magic to use against your foes. As you play, you’ll expand your abilities. You can go back to previous stages with those new abilities and reach areas you couldn’t be before. It’s not really a full-on Metroidvania, but it at least gives you a reason to cover old ground again. This got a reasonably positive response when it launched on PC earlier this year, so if you like the look of it you may want to investigate it further.

Farmquest ($9.99)

The “quest" in question here is to find a list of objects in each of the six scenes. The art is all mis-matched and clearly drawn from different sources, but I guess that’s how it goes. It might be fun for younger kids to poke at, I suppose. Personally, I don’t consider something a true quest unless I can get ye flask.

Crazy Trucks ($14.99)

This is a Monster Truck party racing game for up to four players via local multiplayer. It has a ton of different modes to play, including soccer, endurance races, scavenger hunts, and more. There are lots of different trucks to choose from, and the physics are just wild enough to make things interesting. Seems very much tuned for multiplayer fun, so make sure you have some people in the vicinity to play with if you plan on picking this up.

Astro Rangers ($2.29)

Well, this is a Gametry game, so it’s very likely a template flip from the Unity Asset Store. It’s a third-person shooter that is only playable in handheld mode, which probably means you have to use touch controls to play instead of buttons. It seems like junk to me, but it is at the very least cheap junk. Right here, right now, you can probably find better ways to spend your two bucks.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Surprisingly, a number of other decent sales appeared over the weekend. World War Z is on sale already, but you’ll have to move very fast on that one. Apart from that, all of Square Enix’s SaGa games have discounts right now. I like all of them, but you should particularly pay attention to SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions. That’s a very deep discount for a very good RPG. As for the outbox, Arc System Works and Atari are wrapping up their latest sales. Also note that the huge Cyber Deals event is wrapping up very soon, so you should finalize what you want to purchase from there before it’s too late.

Select New Games on Sale

World War Z ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/30)
Morphite ($3.74 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Golf Story ($6.99 from $14.99 until 12/1)
Silver Falls Episode Prelude ($5.99 from $7.99 until 12/1)
Subdivision Infinity DX ($3.74 from $14.99 until 12/1)
War Tech Fighters ($4.99 from $19.99 until 12/1)
Demons of Asteborg ($11.99 from $17.99 until 12/2)
Don’t Give Up: A Cynical Tale ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/2)
Coast Guard: Beach Rescue Team ($4.79 from $11.99 until 12/3)
Brawl Chess ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/3)
Gas Station: Highway Services ($4.79 from $11.99 until 12/3)
Haustoria ($1.99 from $12.99 until 12/3)
Detective Driver: Miami Files ($4.79 from $11.99 until 12/3)
City Bus Driving Simulator ($4.79 from $11.99 until 12/3)
Date Night Bowling ($8.49 from $9.99 until 12/3)

Under Leaves ($2.99 from $12.99 until 12/4)
Super Squidlit ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/6)
Swaps and Traps ($1.99 from $8.99 until l2/6)
Girabox ($1.99 from $2.49 until 12/6)
Event Horizon: Space Defense ($1.99 from $6.99 until 12/6)
Diabolic ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/6)
Aborigenus ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/6)
Tactical Mind 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/6)
Shakedown: Hawaii ($9.99 from $19.99 until 12/7)
Funny Bunny Adventures ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/7)
SUPERHOT ($14.99 from $24.99 until 12/7)
Starlight Alliance ($4.95 from $9.90 until 12/8)
Heart Chain Kitty ($4.95 from $9.90 until 12/8)
Shapeshooter ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/10)
Knights & Guns ($7.49 from $14.99 until 12/10)
Crazy Trucks ($7.77 from $14.99 until 12/13)

WeakWood Throne ($2.49 from $4.99 until 12/13)
Rally Road: Crashy Car Racing ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/13)
Zumatch ($2.99 from $5.99 until 12/13)
Real Boxing 2 ($8.99 from $14.99 until 12/17)
Little Bug ($7.79 from $12.99 until 12/17)
Akane ($1.99 from $4.99 until 12/17)
Eyes: The Horror Game ($1.99 from $2.49 until 12/17)
Pocket Mini Golf ($1.99 from $2.49 until 12/17)
Puzzle Book ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/17)
REKT! High Octane Stunts ($1.99 from $5.99 until 12/17)
Space Pioneer ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/17)
Robonauts ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/17)
Cargo Crew Driver ($5.99 from $11.99 until 12/17)
Mana Spark ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/17)
Night Lights ($3.99 from $4.99 until 12/17)

Paradise Lost ($8.99 from $14.99 until 12/17)
Multilevel Parking Driver ($5.99 from $11.99 until 12/17)
Truck Simulator 2 ($5.99 from $11.99 until 12/17)
Extreme Car Driver ($5.99 from $11.99 until 12/17)
Bulb Boy ($2.69 from $8.99 until 12/17)
Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers ($2.99 from $19.99 until 12/17)
She Sees Red: Interactive Movie ($2.99 from $9.99 until 12/17)
They Breathe ($1.99 from $3.99 until 12/17)
Romancing SaGa 2 ($7.49 from $24.99 until 12/18)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($8.69 from $28.99 until 12/18)
SaGa Frontier Remastered ($19.99 from $24.99 until 12/18)
Collection of SaGa FFL ($14.99 from $19.99 until 12/18)
SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions ($8.99 from $29.99 until 12/18)
Music Racer ($4.89 from $6.99 until 12/18)
In Rays of the Light ($5.59 from $7.99 until 12/18)
Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s ($9.09 from $12.99 until 12/18)
Aliens Strike ($3.99 from $4.99 until 12/18)
Syberia 2 ($2.09 from $29.99 until 12/19)
The Sisters: Party of the Year ($22.49 from $29.99 until 12/19)
Nira ($4.99 from $9.99 until 12/19)
.cat ($1.99 from $9.99 until 12/19)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 30th

.dog ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/30)
8-Ball Pocket ($1.99 from $5.99 until 11/30)
Alpaca Ball: Allstars ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/30)
Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus ($4.80 from $39.99 until 11/30)
Atari Flashback Classics ($19.99 from $39.99 until 11/30)
Blazblue Centralfiction SE ($19.50 from $49.99 until 11/30)
Blazblue Cross Tag Battle ($5.00 from $19.99 until 11/30)
Chaos Code NSoC ($6.70 from $9.99 until 11/30)
Code Shifter ($4.50 from $14.99 until 11/30)
Colorful Colore ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/30)
Crash n the Boys Street Challenge ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Damascus Gear Operation Osaka ($2.40 from $19.99 until 11/30)
Debtor ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/30)
Double Dragon ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Double Dragon & Kunio Bundle ($10.00 from $39.99 until 11/30)
Double Dragon 4 ($3.50 from $6.99 until 11/30)

Double Dragon II: The Revenge ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Double Dragon III: Sacred Stones ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Event Horizon ($1.99 from $5.99 until 11/30)
Family Tennis SP ($4.20 from $6.99 until 11/30)
Farabel ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/30)
FunBox Party ($1.99 from $2.49 until 11/30)
Grood ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Guilty Gear ($6.90 from $9.99 until 11/30)
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core ($9.80 from $14.99 until 11/30)
Half Dead ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Happy Animals Bowling ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/30)
Inferno Climber Reborn ($4.75 from $13.99 until 11/30)
Jurassic Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/30)
Kill la Kill -if ($10.00 from $19.99 until 11/30)
Kowloon High-School Chronicle ($21.00 from $29.99 until 11/30)

Mind Scanners ($15.29 from $16.99 until 11/30)
Mononoke Slashdown ($4.20 from $6.99 until 11/30)
Mushroom Quest ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/30)
Of Mice & Sand Revised ($6.69 from $9.99 until 11/30)
Pew Paw ($1.99 from $6.99 until 11/30)
Pong Quest ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/30)
Radio Commander ($5.24 from $14.99 until 11/30)
RBI Baseball 21 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/30)
Renegade ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)
River City Melee Mach!! ($4.80 from $13.99 until 11/30)
River City Ransom ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures ($16.49 from $49.99 until 11/30)
Skull Rogue ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/30)
Stay Cool Kobayashi-San! ($5.60 from $13.99 until 11/30)
Super Dodge Ball ($3.50 from $4.99 until 11/30)

Tactical Mind ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/30)
The Missing JJ Macfield ($7.50 from $29.99 until 11/30)
West of Loathing ($6.38 from $11.00 until 11/30)
World Soccer Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/30)
World War Z ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/30)
Worldend Syndrome ($10.00 from $39.99 until 11/30)
Zombo Buster Advance ($2.39 from $3.99 until 11/30)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, another review, some fresh sales, and maybe a bit of news. The weather is starting to get really cool where I’m at right now, and it finally feels like winter is approaching. Good time to curl up by the heater and play some games, I think. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!