Reviews Featuring ‘Life is Strange 2’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales – TouchArcade
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 7th, 2023. As I mentioned yesterday, I had some things to take care of today. They ended up taking me until about four in the afternoon, which did not leave me much time to prepare today’s article. Luckily, our pal Mikhail came through with a whopping three reviews for you to read. I had enough time to do the new release summaries and lists of sales, so it’s like I wasn’t really gone at all! Neat! Let’s get to it!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Life is Strange 2 ($32.99)
When Square Enix announced Life is Strange: True Colors for Nintendo Switch, I was excited because it didn’t seem like it would get a mobile port. I loved Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm on every platform, and enjoyed experiencing them on the go through the iOS releases. Life is Strange 2 was never announced for Switch, and it remains one of the best narratives in the genre.
Nearly 4 years after launching on other platforms, Life is Strange 2 has arrived on Nintendo Switch with all the episodes available from the start, albeit without the Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit demo that other platforms had. Unlike prior games that focused on Max or Chloe, Life is Strange 2 is about new characters, but delivers on its narrative with some nice connections to the older games.
Nintendo Switch owners who got into the series through Life is Strange: True Colors recently had a chance to play Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm through the Arcadia Bay Collection. That is a weird release order, but thankfully the Life is Strange games are all accessible to newcomers. Life is Strange 2 still holds its own with how it tackles important and sometimes uncomfortable topics. Life is Strange 2 also improved on how decisions affect the outcome.
I won’t pretend to like Life is Strange 2 more than the first two games because I adore the originals for how they felt like a breath of fresh air when the competition in the genre that I played was beyond mediocre. Life is Strange 2 is actually the perfect sequel with its amazing story, great improvements to the core gameplay of the series, and brilliant use of original and licensed music.
On Switch, Life is Strange 2 looks and runs a lot better than I expected. It was a bit demanding even on PC when it launched, and the developers have done a good job with this conversion. Just be mindful of the 27GB install size if you plan on picking it up. I wouldn’t recommend playing Life is Strange 2 docked if you have access to another platform, but it is a very good experience handheld on the OLED model. It runs a lot better on Steam Deck as expected, but this is an impressive Switch conversion.
Life is Strange 2 on Switch also has touchscreen support for the interface. This isn’t a huge deal for most people, but I always appreciate when developers add this for those playing in handheld mode. I use touch for menus quite often on Switch when the game supports it.
I still remember seeing many of my friends who liked earlier entries being down on Life is Strange 2 from the start. I ended up liking it a lot back then, and it is stronger than the first two releases in many ways. Experiencing it again on Nintendo Switch has been great as this is the first time Life is Strange 2 is playable on a portable. Thanks to a competent conversion by the same studio that handled the Switch port for Life is Strange: True Colors, Life is Strange 2 is an easy recommendation for fans of the series and newcomers who want to play it on the go. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
The Pathless ($39.99)
The Pathless from Giant Squid and Annapurna Interactive was one of the games I was looking forward to the most on Apple Arcade and eventually on PS5 when I got one. Having played it on multiple iOS and iPadOS devices over the years, I was very curious to see how it scales on Nintendo Switch. At one point I didn’t think it would get ported because it has been over two years, but here we are. After playing The Pathless on Switch, I’m pleased with this conversion despite its technical cutbacks.
The action adventure game blends the best of some of my favorite games of the last decade, ended up being a very special experience. The traversal was spectacular coupled with the gorgeous world, and my only real complaint with the game was the stealth sections. It feels funny saying that since even Journey had something like that which annoyed me for a bit when the rest of the game was sublime.
On Nintendo Switch, The Pathless has good HD Rumble support and I was surprised at how it runs at an uncapped frame rate instead of being 30fps with drops as I’d expected pre-release. The uncapped frame rate does lead to some frame pacing issues, but overall this port is very good. Visually, there are some cutbacks for sure compared to other platforms, but all the compromises worked out well since you get the complete experience here albeit with lower fidelity, which isn’t as much of a big deal given the aesthetic.
I’ve not played The Pathless on Steam Deck yet, but compared to the iOS and iPadOS versions, I would recommend the Switch version of the game if you’re up for playing it on a portable. If you have access to a PS5 and don’t care about portability, I wouldn’t recommend The Pathless on Switch.
The gorgeous visuals in The Pathless are elevated by the sublime music and audio design. This is definitely one of the games you’d want to buy the soundtrack for when you finish it.
The Pathless‘ mix of Breath of the Wild‘s exploration, Journey‘s wonder, and Giant Squid’s own signature feel make it well worth checking out. I’m glad it has gotten a conversion that’s better than expected on Switch. If you’ve not played it before and would like to own and play it on a portable, The Pathless on Nintendo Switch is an easy recommendation. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
PowerWash Simulator ($24.99)
When I wrote about PowerWash Simulator as one of the best Steam Deck games of 2022, I mentioned how I was conflicted at the time because I initially wrote it off as a meme game. I’m glad to have eaten crow on that, because PowerWash Simulator is brilliant, and I adored my time with it on Steam Deck. It is a zen game experience that I used to go back to often while listening to music or a podcast. The wait for a Switch version has been long, but PowerWash Simulator arrived on PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch a few days ago. I’ve been playing the Switch version for review.
If you’ve not played or heard of PowerWash Simulator yet, you spend time with a high pressure water spray cleaning different objects and locations. You unlock larger and more complex locations in addition to upgrading your repertoire of tools to get the job done. These locations have a lot of small areas that need cleaning, tools that help you reach specific locations, and more. On paper, PowerWash Simulator sounds very boring, but once it clicks, it will be one of your go-to games to relax with.
I played PowerWash Simulator on Xbox Series X at launch and replayed it on Steam mostly on Steam Deck later. Neither version runs perfectly, but my biggest complaint with the Xbox version was the controls not being too great. On Steam Deck and on PC, I forced gyro controls and had a much better time. I was hoping the Switch version would support gyro, but it sadly isn’t in right now. This Reddit comment gives me hope that it will be added though.
Visually, PowerWash Simulator scales down well for Nintendo Switch. It isn’t a massively detailed and realistic game, but the team did a good job with the visuals. It looks like it is running below the Switch’s native resolution in both modes, but it never looks bad. Some of the later levels will require you to press the d-pad button to highlight dirt more often though because some things are harder to see on the smaller screen at a lower resolution.
Performance is surprisingly good with the 30fps target. There are drops, but nothing horrible. Since it doesn’t run at a locked 60fps on Series X, the performance here is better than I expected. Load times are the real issue though. I hope those can be improved over time.
If you own a Hori Split Pad Pro or an 8BitDo controller with paddles, PowerWash Simulator is a massively better experience. Mapping stick clicks or buttons to change nozzles or rotate to the paddles helps a lot. Also I’d recommend adjusting the controller sensitivity to maximum or close because the default cursor and camera movement speed is too slow.
While the lack of gyro support is disappointing, PowerWash Simulator is a very good conversion for Switch. The only downside is the long load times in its current state. Barring that, it is a fantastic way to experience PowerWash Simulator, and a perfect fit for portable play. I hope it gets a physical release in the future with all DLC content included and I’m looking forward to the Final Fantasy VII DLC pack. Out of all the “Simulator” games on the eShop, this one is special. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Nadir: A Grimdark Deck Builder ($19.99)
Another one of those roguelike deck builder games that were all the rage a while back. They may not be the hottest of hot genres anymore, but that isn’t stopping developers from taking their own swing at the idea. True to its title, Nadir leans hard into its dark aesthetic. You command one of the Deadly Sins and engage in card battles against demons. That all said, it’s hardly novel for a game of this sort to use this kind of theme. Reviews are slightly positive for the Steam version, and I’ll fill you in on what I think of the Switch port in my own review soon.
Street Racers ($5.99)
A very simple driving game where you need to make it to the goal on each course while scooping up coins along the way. If that sounds like a million games you’ve played on your mobile device in the past, that’s because it more or less is just like those. I probably wouldn’t spend six bucks on it, but I am not the Principal of Money High School or anything.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A few nice things in the inbox today. Tin Man is having another sale on their line of adventure and adventure-related products, the big-pants version of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is at its lowest price so far, and other cool games like Lil Gator Game and Steel Assault are discounted as well. The outbox has a few interesting things in it, but nothing that is jumping out hard at me. I’ll let you check those lists on your own.
Select New Games on Sale
Steel Assault ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/13)
It’s Raining Fists and Metal ($5.59 from $6.99 until 2/13)
Pirated Code: Admin Edition ($9.89 from $10.99 until 2/13)
Lil Gator Game ($13.99 from $19.99 until 2/14)
Catlateral Damage Remeowstered ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/14)
1993 Shenandoah ($8.70 from $12.99 until 2/16)
Birfia ($1.99 from $2.99 until 2/20)
Speed Dating for Ghosts ($2.00 from $6.99 until 2/20)
To Be Or Not To Be ($2.79 from $6.99 until 2/27)
Tables of Tales: Crooked Crown ($3.99 from $19.99 until 2/27)
Warlock of Firetop Mountain: GSE ($2.99 from $29.99 until 2/27)
Choices That Matter: ATSWO ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/27)
Choices That Matter: ATHWL ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/27)
Choices That Matter: ATSWE ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/27)
LEGO Star Wars: TSS Galactic ($35.99 from $79.99 until 2/27)
Wildcat Gun Machine ($4.99 from $14.99 until 2/27)
Thomas Was Alone ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/27)
Coffee Crisis ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/27)
Behold the Kickmen ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/27)
Lair of the Clockwork God ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/27)
The Solitaire Conspiracy ($2.39 from $11.99 until 2/27)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8th
Arise A Simple Story Definitive Edition ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/8)
Beautiful Desolation ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/8)
Bridge Constructor Portal ($3.74 from $14.99 until 2/8)
Bridge Constructor Ultimate ($3.74 from $14.99 until 2/8)
Bridge Constructor Walking Dead ($2.49 from $9.99 until 2/8)
Dead by Daylight ($11.99 from $29.99 until 2/8)
Dead by Daylight: Ultimate Edition ($41.99 from $69.99 until 2/8)
Dead End Job ($4.24 from $16.99 until 2/8)
Gamedec Definitive Edition ($4.99 from $29.99 until 2/8)
Gigapocalypse ($6.99 from $9.99 until 2/8)
Glitch’s Trip ($2.59 from $12.99 until 2/8)
Retro City Rampage DX ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/8)
Rigid Force Redux ($5.99 from $19.99 until 2/8)
Shakedown Hawaii ($9.99 from $19.99 until 2/8)
Silver Chains ($4.99 from $24.99 until 2/8)
Slime-San ($3.59 from $11.99 until 2/8)
Splatter Zombiecalypse Now ($2.99 from $7.99 until 2/8)
The Inner World ($2.39 from $11.99 until 2/8)
The Inner World: Last Wind Monk ($2.99 from $14.99 until 2/8)
Truberbrook ($5.99 from $29.99 until 2/8)
Vambrace Cold Soul ($4.99 from $24.99 until 2/8)
Windscape ($3.99 from $19.99 until 2/8)
Wings of Bluestar ($11.99 from $14.99 until 2/8)
That’s all for today, friends. I’ll be back tomorrow with a more usual article, featuring the news, new releases, and sales we typically see on Wednesdays. Maybe a review or two from me. We’ll see. For now I am going to go and get some rest. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!