Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 14th, 2023. There’s no two ways about it: today is mostly about that Nintendo Direct. But due to the nature of time zones, today’s article is not about that Nintendo Direct. No, today is mostly about the big list of Thursday releases, plus a healthy list of sales and a few news nods. Sorry, it’s the best I can do with how things are. We’ll catch up tomorrow on all of the exciting details. For now, let’s get to what we’ve got!
Enjoy Today’s Nintendo Direct Presentation
Regular readers know how this goes. As I’m writing this, today’s Nintendo Direct presentation is about four and a half hours in the future. By the time you’re reading this, it will be in the past. It’s supposed to be about forty minutes long and will focus on Nintendo Switch games coming this winter. I’m sure there was a lot of interesting things in it, and I’ll try to touch on some of them in tomorrow’s article. As usual, I encourage you to watch the video linked above if you haven’t seen it yet.
The First Part of the ‘Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’ Expansion Pass Is Now Available
I forgot to put this in yesterday’s article, but hey, better late than never. The Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC will arrive in two parts, and the first of them is now available. Part 1: The Teal Mask brings you to a rather traditionally Japanese location with new Pokemon to catch and new adventures to embark upon. If you have the Expansion Pass, which is available for $34.99, you can just go ahead and grab The Teal Mask right now. There’s no set release date for the second part yet, but who knows, maybe it was in that Nintendo Direct I haven’t watched yet.
Mortal Kombat 1 Premium Edition ($109.99)
While Mortal Kombat 1‘s regular roll-out won’t happen until next week, those who purchase the Premium Edition get access from today. And I salute those brave soldiers, as we have seen very little of the Switch version of this game so far and what little we have seen is somewhat concerning. It normally doesn’t bode well when a publisher is holding its cards close to its chest this close to release, but we’ll know soon if we’ve got a miracle port or an unfortunate incident with this one. Fingers crossed, because in every other respect this looks like a home run for Mortal Kombat fans.
Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster ($49.99)
GameCube fans are eating well this year. We got Metroid Prime, we got Pikmin 1 and 2, rumors are persisting about some other things, and here’s a collection of Baten Kaitos and Baten Kaitos Origins. This pair of games was co-developed by tri-Crescendo and Monolith Soft (yes, the Xenoblade people), with Namco serving as publisher on the first and Nintendo handling the duties on the prequel. They’re turn-based RPGs with a really interesting world design that heavily incorporates cards into just about everything. I just got my copy in the mail a few hours ago so I can’t speak to how good these remasters are, but I’m a big fan of the original games and will vouch for them any day of the week.
Solar Ash ($39.99)
From the developer of Hyper Light Drifter comes another great–looking game, this time in spanky-fresh 3D. You play as a Voidrunner who is trying to prevent the destruction of her world. You’ll have to battle enemies, surf the clouds, swing around all over the place, take down nasty bosses, and grind rails like a cool early ’00 mascot character would. No Soaps, though. This has been out for a while on other platforms and has received a decent response, albeit one somewhat more muted than its predecessor. How about this Switch port? We’ll be leaving that to our pal Mikhail, who should have a review for us as soon as he can wrap his noodle around it.
Mugen Souls Z ($39.99)
Chou-Chou and friends return in this turn-based RPG follow-up. This time they’ll be attempting to conquer the twelve Zodiac worlds to prove Chou-Chou is the best goddess around. Explore the worlds, battle and recruit monsters, pop off some cool combos, and make your own goons by customizing various parts and job classes. This is a bit better than the original, but it’s still kind of middling as RPGs go. Since the game is almost a decade old, there’s no shortage of reviews out there for it if you want to get some opinions about its quality. I personally can really only recommend it to fans of the original game, especially at this price. Go grab it for half the price on Steam if you really want to play it.
Arcade Archives Manhattan 24th Precinct ($7.99)
Hey, another relatively obscure Konami game. That’s cool. This is a 1986 game and you might know it better under the title of Jail Break. It’s something of a run-and-gun affair where you have to blast your way through five stages, taking down prisoners and rescuing innocents. This one had to have some edits done to remove a certain licensed character that Konami didn’t have the rights to and cover up some bawdy elements, but the action remains the same. Is this one of Konami’s best? No, far from it. But it’s interesting and I suspect many of you haven’t played it before, so that might be enough.
Summum Aeterna ($19.99)
From the makers of Metroidvania-style game Aeterna Noctis comes this roguelite spin on the concept. At a glance I think it’s safely checking most of the boxes people want to see checked in these side-scrolling action roguelites, but the only way I could say for sure would be to properly dig into it. Still, looking at people who have done so tells me that this is at least worth investigating for fans of things like Dead Cells. One interesting distinguishing feature here is a cross-platform leaderboard of sorts that pits your best times on the highest level seeds against other players. If you finish at the top of the pile, you’ll get a cool hat until someone takes it from you. Neat.
A gun-toting, adorable axolotl takes the center stage in this top-down roguelite shooter. The main character is the major gimmick here, as it otherwise looks like a solidly-constructed but fairly orthodox entry into its sub-genre. As you battle your many foes, keep an eye out for axolotl eggs that you can raise into helpful Axolittles. Kill enemies, use them as ingredients, cook up stat-boosting recipes, and go back in even stronger than before. Sure, why not?
Fresh Start ($19.99)
This seems vaguely inspired by PowerWash Simulator. You’re traveling around a world where everything has been covered up with mud and other goop. You have to clean it all up by washing things off and vacuuming things up. There are also some quests to complete and light puzzles to solve. Seems promising for PowerWash fans looking for their next hit. No word on whether or not things go DING when you clean them, though. And if it doesn’t do that, then it’s fighting an uphill battle right from the start.
This affordable arena battler allows up to four people to duke it out via local multiplayer. Choose from five characters and see who will be the last one swinging. Oh right, I didn’t mention the gimmick of this one. Everyone has a grappling hook. You can use it to get around, and you can use it to kill the other characters. From time to time, chests will descend from the sky and offer up some power-ups and other goodies to turn the tides. You can also battle the CPU if you want, but I get the strong impression that isn’t really the best way to play.
Inspector Gadget: MAD Time Party ($39.99)
Inspector Gadget is back… in Switch party game form! Up to four players can join in on this via local multiplayer, and it’s pretty much a generic party game with an assortment of minigames to compete in. But it has Inspector Gadget, Chief Quimby, Penny, Brain, and others, so maybe that’s enough for you or your kids. There are sixteen different minigames to play in total, which isn’t too shabby but well under what you would get with a Mario Party game. Your call.
You might look at this and just see a rather run of the mill Bomberman clone with phenomenally bad release timing, but there’s a lot of weird behind-the-scenes things going on with Dynablaster. Back in the day, Bomberman was released in some regions as Dynablaster. Hudson didn’t own the name, so someone else grabbed it and is using it to, er, borrow some attention from the original. On top of that, this was one of the games slated for the ill-fated Intellivision Amico, a console whose noisy spokesman promised would only feature exclusive games that needed its bizarre controllers. I guess that wasn’t true, because here’s Dynablaster on Switch. It’s a competently made homage, but it has the misfortune of launching a day after a much more fully-featured official Bomberman game. If you want a more affordable option and don’t mind the lack of online options, this might be an okay alternative. These developers have been through a lot and probably wouldn’t mind the support.
Thunder Ray ($14.99)
Are you Johnny Ray? Are you Slim Ray? Are you Fay Wray? Who wants to know? Okay, so this is pretty obviously a game inspired by Punch-Out!! one way or another. Its story seems very similar to Power Punch II, but no one could possibly be inspired by that mess. In terms of gameplay, it comes off more like Super Punch-Out!! than the NES one, and whether that is a good thing or not is an exercise best left to the reader. Travel across the galaxy battling the fiercest aliens to prove you’re the best of the best. The graveyards of gaming history are littered with games that tried to imitate Punch-Out!! and fell short. Can this one beat the odds?
Love Love School Days ($10.49)
Well, this doesn’t look all that good, but it might be weird enough to get some kicks out of. You’re playing a virtual reality dating sim and having reached an ending with one of the secondary heroines, you restart the game to aim for the main heroine’s heart. However, the girl you just courted catches your attempt to cheat on her and snaps. She’ll stalk you through the halls of the school, and if she catches you… it won’t go well. Can you find a way out?
Isekai Rondo ($14.99)
Hey, it’s another KEMCO RPG! Specifically, it’s another EXE-Create KEMCO RPG. This one takes its story cues from one of the big manga/light novel/anime trends of the last ten years, with the protagonist being someone from our world who is hit by Truck-kun and reincarnated in a fantasy world. He gets a great job class and naturally forms a party with one or more attractive ladies. Well, you know how these things go. I might review this one, just for funsies.
City of Beats ($19.99)
This is a rhythm-driven action roguelite shooter, and that’s already a mouthful from the hop. Indeed, if one were to find any issue in here it is that the game is trying to do quite a lot at once. Sometimes it might be a little too much, but for the most part it hangs together well. It’s also a little on the shorter side, so do keep that in mind. Reviews were on the positive side on other platforms, albeit not overwhelmingly, so if you like the sound of the concept you might want to give it a closer look.
Teocida + Estigma ($9.99)
A pair of bizarre games, to be sure. Teocida is a puzzle platformer with a psychological horror bent to it. Estigma is a puzzle game. I think it’s one of those games where you need to paint the floor by stepping over every square. The aesthetic is certainly striking with both of these games. Working out to a fiver each, this might be a decent choice for someone on the hunt for less typical fare.
Retro Mystery Club Vol. 1: The Ise-Shima Case ($9.90)
An indie Japanese-style adventure game retro throwback with graphics done by Kiyokazu Arai, who worked on at least one such game back in the day with Yuji Horii? Wow, that’s neat. No wonder it looks so authentically retro. Anyway, you’re a detective trying to solve a murder that happened in Tokyo, but your investigation takes you to Ise-Shima in Mie Prefecture. Question people, search for clues, and see if you can figure out the answers behind the mystery. Love it. You never know how good or bad these kinds of things are until you hit the end, but hopefully it can live up to its initial potential.
Retro Revengers ($9.90)
Wow, another game about the characters getting isekai‘d into another world. Two in a single day, what are the chances? Truck-kun is on a rampage today. This one is an action-platformer, and you’ve got an assortment of characters who each have their own abilities given to them by the Retro Goddess. You’ll have to switch between them to take advantage of their skills in order to defeat the evil Demon Overlord of Triple-A. Meta-commentary! Ha!
Enraged Red Ogre ($16.99)
From the makers of Zombie Panic in Wonderland, this is a Metroidvania-style action-adventure starring a tiny but strong red ogre. He has to rage his way through world broken up into nine different zones, smashing his foes and collecting upgrades to get even more powerful. I think it has its presentation down pat, but it takes a lot for a game of this sort to stand out on the eShop these days and I don’t know if attractive pixel art is enough. I’ll have to spend some time with it.
It has been pointed out to me that I may have tossed this in the Bin Bunch with too much haste. This is, in fact, a fully-licensed conversion of the official board game from Ravensburger. It looks to do that job ably, so if that is a thing you are interested in, here it is.
The Bin Bunch
River Pirates ($4.99)
Yummy Jewels ($2.99)
Ouija: They are Among us ($3.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
That’s a fairly large list of new sales for a Thursday. We’ve got some Square Enix games, some Inti-Create games, some ININ stuff, and more. I’ll let you look through yourself to see what jumps out at you, because if you leave it up to me I am just going to shake you and scream about SaGa and Theatrhythm. Not too much in the outbox, so you might as well look at that while you’re zooming through the new discounts.
Select New Games on Sale
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line ($32.99 from $49.99 until 9/26)
Theatrhythm FBL Digital Deluxe ($52.79 from $79.99 until 9/26)
Theatrhythm FBL Premium DD ($65.99 from $99.99 until 9/26)
Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song ($19.99 from $24.99 until 9/26)
Harvestella ($29.99 from $59.99 until 9/26)
Various Daylife ($14.49 from $28.99 until 9/26)
The Diofield Chronicle ($29.99 from $59.99 until 9/26)
Tactics Ogre: Reborn ($29.99 from $49.99 until 9/26)
Actraiser Renaissance ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/26)
Final Fantasy VII ($7.99 from $15.99 until 9/26)
Final Fantasy VIII ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/26)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/26)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/26)
Chrono Cross Radical Dreamers ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/26)
Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII ($34.99 from $49.99 until 9/26)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($5.21 from $28.99 until 9/26)
Collection of SaGa FF Legend ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/26)
Chocobo GP ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/26)
Dragon Quest Treasures ($35.99 form $59.99 until 9/26)
Paranormasight ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/26)
Octopath Traveler II ($44.99 from $59.99 until 9/26)
Voice of Cards Trilogy ($39.99 from $49.99 until 9/26)
Voice of Cards Trilogy + DLC ($51.99 from $64.99 until 9/26)
Shadows Over Loathing ($17.71 from $23.00 until 9/27)
Metal Dogs ($9.90 from $22.00 until 9/27)
Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 ($22.49 from $29.99 until 9/27)
GC: Luminous Avenger iX 2 ($13.74 from $24.99 until 9/27)
Gal Guardians: Demon Purge ($19.99 from $24.99 until 9/27)
Moving Out 2 ($22.49 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Disney Dreamlight Valley Ultimate ($45.49 from $69.99 until 9/28)
Taito Milestones ($11.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
Cannon Dancer – Osman ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
G-Darius HD ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/28)
Cotton Fantasy ($11.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
Cotton Reboot! ($11.99 from $39.99 until 9/28)
Ninja JaJaMaru: Great Yokai Battle ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Ninja JaJaMaru Retro Collection ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/28)
Ninja JaJaMaru: The Lost RPGs ($6.49 from $12.99 until 9/28)
Lootbox Lyfe+ ($5.99 from $9.99 until 9/28)
Go! Go! PogoGirl ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/28)
EvilUp ($3.59 from $5.99 until 9/28)
Pets at Work ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Frogun ($9.74 from $14.99 until 9/28)
Mrs. Cat Between Worlds ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Neon Souls ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Princess Closet ($14.99 from $19.99 until 9/28)
Bumballon ($2.99 from $4.99 until 9/28)
Velocity Noodle ($6.49 from $12.99 until 9/28)
Agriculture ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/29)
Shuttlecock-H ($5.19 from $7.99 until 9/29)
Aoishiro HD Remaster ($10.19 from $11.99 until 9/29)
Akaiito HD Remaster ($10.19 from $11.99 until 9/29)
Marble Maid ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/29)
Rick Henderson ($3.19 from $7.99 until 9/29)
Sephonie ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
UltraGoodness ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/30)
Death Becomes You ($5.59 from $7.99 until 9/30)
Working Hard Collection ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/30)
Aeterna Noctis ($11.99 from $29.99 until 10/3)
Fall of Porcupine ($13.39 from $19.99 until 10/4)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, September 15th
Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny ($11.99 from $14.99 until 9/15)
Armored Lab Force Vulvehicles ($8.49 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Ash of Gods: The Way ($21.24 from $24.99 until 9/15)
Ashina: The Red Witch ($7.99 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Danmaku Unlimited 3 ($6.99 from $9.99 until 9/15)
EchoBlade ($6.99 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Freezer Pops ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Gerda: A Flame in Winter ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/15)
Graze Counter GM ($9.99 from $14.99 until 9/15)
Hyper Meteor ($4.79 from $7.99 until 9/15)
Phantom Breaker Omnia ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/15)
Scar of the Doll ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 9/15)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new games, more sales, and a lot of news. I wonder what we’ll see in that Direct today? There have been leaks and rumors aplenty, but you never really know until you see the show. Fingers crossed for some Metroid. Any Metroid, really. I hope you all have a thrilling Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!