Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 6th, 2023. We’ve got a bit of everything for you today. A little bit of news slid in last night, for starters. I’ve got a full-sized review of Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection for you, and there are a few new releases to check out. We finish up as we always do with the lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s get this show on the road!
An Assortment of New Retro Games are Available on Nintendo Switch Online
Sometimes Nintendo gives a heads-up in advance when new games are going to be added to Nintendo Switch Online’s retro game apps, and sometimes it just drops them on the spot. Today it was the latter, and it’s quite a bumper crop. On the NES app, we’ve got a freshly translated version of Namco’s Tower of Babel, now going under the name Mystery Tower. Over on the Super NES app, it’s Natsume’s classic Harvest Moon. This has been on the Japanese app since last year, so it’s nice to see its English version available for fans in the West. Finally, the Game Boy app has two new offerings. Sunsoft’s Game Boy Color Blaster Master remake, Blaster Master: Enemy Below, is an interesting variant on the classic game. Kirby’s Tilt ‘n Tumble originally used a gyro sensor, having you tilt your Game Boy to move the little puffball. And hey, it works that way here, too! All of these games are pretty good, and all you need is the basic Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play them. So go, update, and play!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection ($79.99)
I love the Etrian Odyssey games. I picked up the first one the week it released on a whim, having not enjoyed a first-person dungeon crawler RPG in quite a while. I grabbed it because I was at the time infatuated with new gimmicks, and the idea of drawing my own maps was extremely compelling. The visual design was appealing, and Yuzo Koshiro’s music was every bit as great as I expected it to be. At its core Etrian Odyssey is a great dungeon RPG, and one I could gush about at length. Part of that is indeed that map-making gimmick, giving the player a persisting bit of ownership even if they keep on dying and being sent back to their last save. The Nintendo DS had a lot of games that used its unique features in important ways, and this series is certainly among the best of the bunch.
The move to the Nintendo 3DS didn’t affect any of this, as it shared the two screens and touch feature of its predecessor. The series continued to thrive on that platform, with a whopping three mainline entries, two remakes, and two spin-offs released. It seemed like Atlus’s one big franchise success outside of the MegaTen series, and the only thing that could stop it was if the next Nintendo handheld ditched the second screen. Oh. Well, that’s awkward. I frankly just expected Atlus to ditch the map-making and try to make a go of it anyway, but the years passed and nothing came. Finally, an announcement! The first three games, all nicely remade, coming to Switch a la carte or in one package. Not only does the series live on, but a new option exists to play the original games apart from the now-pricy DS carts. But how will the mapping work?
Well, there are a couple of things to say here. First, I don’t think there was a better way to implement the feature given the features of the Switch. Second, it’s just not as intuitive or enjoyable as mapping on the Nintendo DS. Having the map ever-visible on the bottom screen as you moved about and battled on the top, stylus tucked between the fingers of your hand of choice, ready to flick out at a moment’s notice to draw some walls or paint some floors, is just not something that can be replicated here, especially if you’re not playing in handheld mode. Indeed, I expect many people to just forego the process and let the game’s new auto-mapping features handle most of the work. Alright, next question: are these games still enjoyable despite this?
The answer, of course, is yes. If you got into this series with the 3DS games you might find the first two games to be a bit no-frills and unfriendly at times, but all three games are solid RPGs that will offer you dozens of hours of dungeon-exploring goodness. If you’re only going to get one, Etrian Odyssey III offers the most refined and complete experience of the original trilogy, but I will go to bat for the first two games any day of the weak even with their rougher edges. The first game especially features some masterful story-light storytelling.
If you find the default difficulty level of the games to not be to your liking, there are some new options to take advantage of. The visuals are crispy as heck now, the framerate is better than it was on the Nintendo DS, and the new remastered soundtrack is outstanding. The new font… well, it’s better than the font in the original version of the first game? Setting aside all of the mapping stuff, these are fine updates of the Nintendo DS games that present them, for better or worse, in a far more faithful fashion than the 3DS Untold games. And as I’ve already said, I think they’ve done the best they could with the mapping.
Provided you enjoy old-school turn-based RPGs, the sheer bang for the buck of Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection is hard to beat. If you’re just looking for one, then the third one is probably your best bet. While I still think the true experience is best found on Nintendo DS, these remakes are a good alternative for those who don’t want to dig up twenty-year-old hardware and some absurdly expensive second-hand games. I hope this is laying the foundation for a new game in the series, as revisiting these games has whet my appetite for further adventures.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Loop8: Summer of Gods ($49.99)
A coming of age RPG set in 1980s rural Japan that involves time travel shenanigans? Sign me up! Or that’s what I would be saying if this game was better. Unfortunately, it’s more tedious than interesting. The dialogue is excessive and boring. The combat is completely uninspired. It just doesn’t deliver on any of its promises. And I’m not the only one who seems to think so, as this game is garnering some pretty nasty review scores across the board. I’m not going to tell you not to play it, but you can’t say you weren’t warned.
Raiden III x Mikado Maniax ($29.99)
First, we had Raiden V on Switch. Then, the original Raiden. After that, Raiden IV. We’re all over the place here, but now we’ve got Raiden III. This was the first game developed after original publisher Seibu Kaihatsu went kaboom, and was instead created by MOSS, a developer that included members of the original Raiden team. Given its time and place, it’s understandable why it’s a bit of a conservative shooter, and its workmanlike nature is either going to be comfort food for you or a bit too bland. This version spiffs up the graphics and adds a bunch of extras to help sweeten the deal, at least. I’ll have a review of this soon.
Dreamy Trail ($4.99)
Want to go on a virtual hike? Played the other dozen or so hiking games from Ultimate Games already? Here’s one more. I continue to wonder where the breaking point will be for these. I suppose we’ll check in after a week or so when the next one comes out.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A big Capcom sale is up, and it’s a lot of the usual stuff. Some highlights include new low prices for Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection, and the Capcom Arcade Stadium DLC bundles. Not too much outside of that, but I’ll let you poke around and see what strikes your fancy. Check those lists!
Select New Games on Sale
Root ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/12)
Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/13)
Football Kicks ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/19)
Chess Pills ($1.99 from $2.99 until 6/19)
Suicide Guy Collection ($1.99 from $10.99 until 6/24)
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate ($11.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Rise ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Rise Deluxe ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak ($29.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Rise + Sunbreak ($39.99 from $59.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Rise + Sunbreak Deluxe ($49.99 from $69.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Stories 2 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Deluxe ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/26)
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen ($4.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
Shinsekai Into the Depths ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Devil May Cry ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Devil May Cry 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Devil May Cry 3 SE ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Onimusha Warlords ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Ghosts n Goblins Resurrection ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
Okami HD ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Mega Man 11 ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
Mega Man Legacy Collection ($7.99 from $14.99 until 6/26)
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
Phoenix Wright AA Trilogy ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection ($24.99 from $59.99 until 6/26)
Capcom Arcade Stadium Packs 1+2+3 ($15.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium Bundle ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Capcom Fighting Collection ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary ($9.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
Capcom Fighting Bundle ($24.99 from $59.99 until 6/26)
Ultra Street Fighter II TFC ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 0 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 4 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 5 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 6 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil Revelations ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil Revelations 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 2 Cloud ($29.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 3 Cloud ($19.99 from $29.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil 7 Cloud ($29.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Resident Evil Village Cloud ($29.99 from $39.99 until 6/26)
Cyjin The Cyborg Ninja ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/26)
Steve Jackson’s Sorcery ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/26)
The Solitaire Conspiracy ($2.39 from $11.99 until 6/26)
Thomas Was Alone ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/26)
Behold the Kickmen ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/26)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7th
Azur Lane: Crosswave ($14.99 from $49.99 until 6/7)
Choices That Matter ATHWL ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/7)
Choices That Matter ATSWE ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/7)
Choices That Matter ATSWO ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/7)
Death end re;Quest 2 ($14.99 from $49.99 until 6/7)
Dusk Diver 2 ($34.99 from $49.99 until 6/7)
For The Warp ($4.87 from $17.99 until 6/7)
Here Be Dragons ($4.49 from $17.99 until 6/7)
Mary Skelter 2 ($9.99 from $39.99 until 6/7)
Megadimension Neptunia VII ($8.99 from $29.99 until 6/7)
Redemption Reapers ($29.99 from $49.99 until 6/7)
Super Neptunia RPG ($7.99 from $39.99 until 6/7)
Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown ($5.99 from $19.99 until 6/7)
To Be Or Not To Be ($2.09 from $6.99 until 6/7)
Warlock of Firetop Mountain ($2.99 from $29.99 until 6/7)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, and perhaps some news or reviews depending on a variety of factors not the least of which being the position of Jupiter in relation to Neptune. Or something. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!