Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 22nd, 2023. I’ve had a good night’s sleep, and though my body aches down to the last bit of sinew and meat, I’m at least thinking straight again. We’ve got a lot to look at today. A little bit of news. A couple of reviews from our pal Mikhail. A bunch of new releases of wildly varying quality. Some sales. Let’s get to it, because it’s a big fellow!
‘Kirby & the Amazing Mirror’ to Be Added to Nintendo Switch Online Next Week
I was wondering if we’d be seeing any further additions to the Nintendo Switch Online retro game catalog this month after the, er, interesting selection a couple of weeks back. The answer is yes, as Nintendo announced today that the Game Boy Advance Metroivania-ish Kirby & the Amazing Mirror will be added to the service for Expansion Pack subscribers next week on September 29th. This is a rather interesting one as it allowed four people to play together cooperatively via link cables, and that feature will be working here as well through the app’s local wireless and online multiplayer option. I’ve never been a huge fan of this one, but if I can play it with others online I could see reevaluating my stance on it. I guess I’ll find out next week!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Solar Ash ($39.99)
Solar Ash, just like Bugsnax, was one of the indie games I was most excited to check out when it was revealed for PS5. I ended up buying it at launch when it released on PS5, and enjoying it quite a bit despite some technical issues. That was back in 2021. It then released on Steam last year, and now has hit Xbox and Nintendo Switch platforms. The sci-fi adventure platformer from the developers of Hyper Light Drifter on Switch is the first portable version I’ve played, and I’m impressed with the port despite the cutbacks.
When a developer that has made a game I love announces a new game, I usually try and avoid watching too much from the new project to go in and get surprised. With Solar Ash, I just watched one trailer to see its aesthetic, and held off on anything else until getting the game on PS5. I won’t lie, I was confused initially when I played it for a bit. Solar Ash felt like it was trying to do too many things with inspirations from Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and platformers. Its striking aesthetic is a highlight, but the gameplay might not click for all, but I got it. The asking price might put some off as well, which is why I wish Solar Ash had a demo. It is a risky game to release, and one that resonated with me enough to the point I gifted it to a friend on PC soon after it hit Steam.
Solar Ash on PS5 had some performance issues when I played it around launch, but nothing too bad. On Switch, the frame rate target is lower, and there have been noticeable visual cutbacks. The good news is that the aesthetic is still preserved here, albeit with more pop in and shimmering. I wouldn’t play Solar Ash‘s Switch version docked, but for portable play, it is a good version of the game. If you want to play on your TV or monitor and own another platform, grab Solar Ash there. Having tested it on Xbox Series X as well through Xbox Game Pass, that port is really great if you have the option.
If you skipped on Solar Ash back in 2021 or 2022, the Switch version is a fine way to experience it. The game itself remains the same, albeit with a good handheld conversion for Switch. While Solar Ash isn’t as amazing as Hyper Light Drifter, Heart Machine fans will find a lot to love here despite the visual cutbacks. Now we just need a physical release. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. ($49.99)
It is always a good day when Experience Inc. releases a new dungeon RPG in the West. I’ve loved the developer’s output since the PS Vita days, and we’ve even seen its *** DRPGs like Stranger of Sword City hit Switch in a bundle release. When Experience Inc. announced Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. in Japan, I was curious, but thought I should wait for a potential localization. It got a random fire sale in Japan on the eShop and I actually bought it back then and played for a few hours. It was a fair bit easier compared to other turn-based DRPGs, but had interesting systems.
Fast forward to this month, Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. (yes the full name again) (*Shaun’s note: Mikhail wanted to abbreviate the title but I am a chaos gremlin and insisted on using the full one every single time) is available in the West on Switch, PC, and PS5 bringing its multiple classes, weapons, customization, many varied portraits, and three different playstyle options to English speaking audiences. Having played it on Switch and Steam Deck, it ended up feeling lacking despite doing a lot right.
Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. is a first-person DRPG that has you moving on a grid-based map taking on various enemies with your customized party. I found it weird how levels seem to matter very little here, but that’s what makes this feel different with its larger focus on gear and quality of drops.
Experience Inc’s games are usually challenging, and Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. isn’t a walk in the park despite its difficulty options. You also see a slight boost to HP and MP on death as a part of the game’s roguelite element. But there are some features that make it a game that might be easier for newcomers like the ability to save anywhere and the aforementioned difficulty options.
The biggest issue that holds Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. back is its onboarding for newcomers. If you’ve already played a party-based first-person DRPG or a game from Experience Inc before, you will fit in here well and might even enjoy the mechanics a lot for how differently the developer approached some things here, but newcomers will need to spend time in the tutorial menus or learn by experience. (no pun intended)
Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. is Experience Inc’s weakest DRPG on Switch, but it still is worth checking out if you’ve played the developer’s other releases and want more. I just wish the in-game mechanics were better explained for newcomers, and that the systems were a bit more polished to make the game hit the quality I expect from Experience Inc. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Avatar The Last Airbender: Quest for Balance ($49.99)
Looks like Game Mill has another license under its belt. Avatar The Last Airbender: Quest for Balance offers up eighteen chapters taking you on adventure based on the original series. Aang and his friends explore various locations from the show, solve puzzles, and attempt to master the elements. You can actually play through the entire game in co-op if you like, with support for two players via local and online multiplayer. Screenshots look good, but you never know how well these licensed games will turn out when it’s time to play.
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill – Slaps and Beans 2 ($19.99)
More Bud! More Terence! More slaps! And a whole lot more beans! Given how localized the fame of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill is, the original Slaps and Beans was a surprisingly popular game. It was certainly an unusual take on the genre, and it paid proper homage to its source material. Now we have a sequel, and if nothing else it looks like it’s bringing the same kind of action and silliness that the first game offered. I’ll have a review of this one soon, so do look forward to that.
Oh, another nifty looking point-and-click adventure game. I’ll definitely try this one out and bring you a review soon. A thief ends up with more than he bargained for when the target of his latest robbery turns out to be a witch. He’s sent to a parallel world called Whateverland, and his only way back home involves teaming up with an extremely annoying ghost named Nick. A good premise and the art style seems interesting, so fingers crossed it turns out to get all the other bits right.
Shuyan Saga ($14.99)
We’ve had games trying to recreate the feeling of martial arts epics going all the way back to the likes of Karateka, to varying degrees of success. Shuyan Saga tries to provide story via a visual novel-style set-up while also bringing in the action of real-time combat. There are two different combat systems here. One is for when you are taking on crowds, while the other is for one-on-one fights. That’s a lot of bite to try to chew on, and opinions on how well this game manages it seem to vary. Well, follow your heart.
Silly Venarabbit! Venatrix is not for kids! I’d call this the “Resident Evil we have at home”, but more than anything it seems to be the “Alone in the Dark we have at home”. Visually it seems decent enough, and the two different characters having their own stories helps add some extra value to the game. Still, the previous games from this publisher don’t fill me with much confidence that this game isn’t going to get dragged down by a bunch of annoying flaws. That’s just a hunch, though. This might turn out to be a great game, for all I know.
Cyber Citizen Shockman 2: A New Menace ($5.99)
Now here’s a game TurboGrafx-16 owners might remember quite well. Originally released in the West back in 1992 under the name Shockman, this is actually the second game in the series. It follows Ratalaika’s release of the first game several months back, and there are a lot of familiar things about it. A similar wrapper, some art and manual scans, the usual shaders and such. You can play the original Japanese game, the old Shockman localization, or a brand-new localization under the above title. This is a much better game than the first, and I suspect that will be reflected in its score when I review it.
Rainbow High: Runway Rush ($39.99)
We might be assembling the Avengers of middling licensed games on Switch today. Here’s Outright Games with a Rainbow High game, and it fits the usual template. Choose your favorite character, explore the locations associated with the brand, and complete some simple puzzles and/or mini-games. I don’t know anything about Rainbow High and I’m not going to pretend this is aimed at a middle-aged guy like me, so I’ll leave it here and let you decide if it’s right for you or yours.
Cry Babies Magic Tears: The Big Game ($39.99)
Wow, yes. We’re very close to the bingo here, with only Microids missing. Here’s Merge Games with a Cry Babies game, and it fits the usual template. Choose your favorite character, explore the locations associated with the brand, and complete some simple puzzles and/or mini-games. I don’t know anything about Cry Babies and I’m not going to pretend this is aimed at a middle-aged guy like me, so I’ll leave it here and let you decide if it’s right for you or yours. Yes, I copy and pasted that. I might keep it handy for future use.
Telenet Shooting Collection ($44.99)
Edia has another package of vintage Telenet games for your consideration. There are two Genesis/Mega Drive games here, the outstanding horizontal shooter Gaiares and the also-great top-down multi-directional shooter Granada. There are also two TurboGrafx-CD games here, a pair of vertical shooters called Avenger and Psychic Storm. In my opinion they’re decent but not great, and I think we’re getting past the novelty of seeing TurboGrafx games appearing in these sets. Anyway, you’re basically paying eleven bucks and change per title here, which I think is a fair deal if you enjoy all four of them. This could be a better deal, but it is what it is.
Taisho X Alice: Heads & Tails ($34.99)
Here’s the inevitable fandisk for Taisho X Alice, doing the usual things these fandisks do. Which is to say, you get to see alternate viewpoints, side stories, “what-ifs”, and so on from the universe of the original game. With that being the case, you should absolutely not play this until you’ve played the original Taisho X Alice. If you did and enjoyed it, here are more goodies to dig into.
Farm Land ($4.99)
Here’s a no-frills farming game at a no-frills price, and that might be something you want today. You can play alone or with a friend, but either way you’re mainly going to be focusing on planting, growing, and harvesting various crops. There are some mini-games to play, too. Don’t expect too much more than that.
Mermaid Castle 2 ($9.99)
You’ve got forty levels set across ten locations, three different characters with their own abilities, and a mermaid castle to rebuild. I guess the first game did well enough to call for this sequel, which meant the castle had to be broken again. Does this mean that buying this game might lead to the mermaid’s castle getting destroyed yet again? The power we wield is one we must not take lightly, friends.
The Bin Bunch
Construction Machine Simulator 2023: Hard Truck Work Job ($12.99)
Galaxy Battle ($4.99)
Crimson Song – Yuri Visual Novel ($1.99)
Tough Law ($2.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
It’s never been cheaper to get the full Monster Hunter Rise + Sunbreak experience, and I’d certainly recommend it if you haven’t picked it up yet. The Mega Man Battle Network collections are at new low prices, and the Klonoa 1/2 collection is also at a bonkers low price. Check that list, and make sure to hit the weekend outbox on your way out the door too.
Select New Games on Sale
Bokura ($3.84 from $5.49 until 9/25)
Disney Speedstorm ($19.49 from $29.99 until 9/27)
NeverAwake ($19.99 from $24.99 until 9/27)
Filmechanism ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/27)
Murderous Muses ($9.79 from $13.99 until 9/28)
Flowing Lights ($2.49 from $9.99 until 9/29)
Mega Man Battle Network Collection ($39.99 from $59.99 until 9/30)
Mega Man Battle Network Collection Vol. 1 ($29.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Mega Man Battle Network Collection Vol. 2 ($29.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Monster Hunter Rise ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak ($23.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Monster Hunter Rise + Sunbreak ($29.99 from $59.99 until 9/30)
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen ($4.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Resident Evil 4 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Phoenix Wright AA Trilogy ($9.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Mega Man 11 ($9.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
JellyCar Worlds ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/2)
Fuga: Melodies of Steel ($23.99 from $39.99 until 10/2)
Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 ($35.99 from $39.99 until 10/2)
JoJo’s Bizarre Adv.: All-Star Battle R ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/2)
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 ($4.99 from $49.99 until 10/2)
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series ($15.99 from $39.99 until 10/2)
Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythm Festival ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/2)
The Answer is 42 ($1.99 from $2.99 until 10/5)
Chaos Galaxy ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
Magic Exposure: Yuri Visual Novel ($3.49 from $4.99 until 10/6)
Project Nightmares Case 36 ($13.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
Dragon Fury ($7.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
Book Quest ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/6)
RPG Time: The Legend of Wright ($11.99 from $29.99 until 10/6)
Blow & Fly ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/6)
Papetura ($6.99 from $9.99 until 10/6)
Remorse: The List ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
Perseverence: Complete Edition ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
Nightmare Reaper ($23.99 from $29.99 until 10/6)
Burnhouse Lane ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
DARQ Ultimate Edition ($12.49 from $24.99 until 10/6)
Buddy Simulator 1984 ($5.99 from $9.99 until 10/6)
Into the Dark ($7.99 from $19.99 until 10/6)
Super Toy Cars Offroad ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/10)
Islanders ($2.24 from $4.99 until 10/12)
Bramble: The Mountain King ($20.09 from $29.99 until 10/12)
Stray Cat Doors2 ($3.99 from $7.20 until 10/12)
Baseball Club ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/12)
Ruku’s Heart Balloon ($7.69 from $10.99 until 10/12)
PHOGS! ($11.24 from $24.99 until 10/12)
The Last Hero of Nostalgia ($18.74 from $24.99 until 10/12)
The Last Hero of Nostalgia DE ($22.49 from $29.99 until 10/12)
Castle on the Coast ($2.99 from $14.99 until 10/12)
Effie ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/12)
Sales Ending This Weekend
Alice Sisters ($2.39 from $5.99 until 9/23)
Armed 7 DX ($2.79 from $6.99 until 9/23)
Chef Life: A Restaurant Sim ($19.99 from $39.99 until 9/23)
Finding Teddy 2: DE ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/23)
Gigantic Army ($3.59 from $8.99 until 9/23)
Guns N’ Runs ($4.79 from $11.99 until 9/23)
Guns of Mercy Rangers Edition ($3.59 from $8.99 until 9/23)
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie ($12.49 from $24.99 until 9/23)
Little Misfortune ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/23)
RiMS Racing: EM Deluxe Edition ($11.99 from $59.99 until 9/23)
RiMS Racing: JM Deluxe Edition ($11.99 from $59.99 until 9/23)
Roguebook: Deluxe Edition ($6.99 from $34.99 until 9/23)
Satazius NEXT ($2.79 from $6.99 until 9/23)
Street Power Soccer ($2.99 from $29.99 until 9/23)
Train Life: Orient Express Edition ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/23)
TT Isle of Man RotE 3 ($29.99 from $49.99 until 9/23)
V-Rally 4 ($4.99 from $49.99 until 9/23)
Verdict Guilty ($3.59 from $8.99 until 9/23)
Wolflame ($2.79 from $6.99 until 9/23)
WRC 8 Deluxe Edition ($5.99 from $59.99 until 9/23)
WRC Generations ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/23)
1997 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/24)
Dungeon and Puzzles ($2.49 from $9.99 until 9/24)
Flutter Away ($10.39 from $12.99 until 9/24)
That’s all for today and this week, friends. We’ll be back next week with more new games, more sales, a lot of reviews, and some news. Now that my body and spirit are on the mend, I have to get started on the second half of the Tokyo Game Show experience: writing all of this stuff up. Wish me luck. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!