SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Siralim 3’, ‘Redneck Skeet Shooting’, and ‘Bus Fix 2019’ Reviews, ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ News, Today’s New Releases, the Latest Sales, and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 9th, 2019. Today, we’ve got reviews of three recent releases, one of which is good! We’ve also got some news on upcoming releases like Pokemon Sword and Shield, summaries of today’s new releases including Senran Kagura Peach Ball, and the latest sales information you know and love. It’s a big one today, so let’s get cracking!
News
More Details on ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ Including Gigantamaxing


Thursday January 01, 1970

The Pokemon Company revealed new information about the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. One new feature is Gigantamaxing, which is kind of like a special version of the previously talked-about Dynamaxing. Specific Pokemon will be able to take advantage of this, not only becoming bigger but slightly changing their form. They’ll gain access to special G-Max moves when they do this. We also got to see some new Pokemon, new trainers, and found out that each version will have some exclusive gyms and gym leaders in addition to the usual exclusive Pokemon. So yeah, this is definitely one of those cases where you’ll have to buy both versions if you want to experience it all. Even trading isn’t going to get you those gym leader battles.
‘The Grisaia Trilogy’ Comes to Switch in Japan in November


Thursday January 01, 1970

The new home of visual novel ports seems to be the Nintendo Switch, and another one of the big names in the genre is heading to the system in Japan. The Grisaia Trilogy includes The Fruit of Grisaia, The Labyrinth of Grisaia, and The Eden of Grisaia along with all of the extras and side-stories associated with each. It will release on November 7th in Japan, and the reason why I’m telling you about it is that the game will have a full English text option, which certainly points towards an eventual Western release. The games themselves are romance adventures, focusing on a large cast of unusual characters who you have to try to help with their problems. It’s fairly well-regarded and the games sold quite well in Japan.
Reviews
Siralim 3 ($14.99)


Thursday January 01, 1970

The Siralim games are like well-hidden sinkholes to the center of the Earth. They seem completely benign from the outside, and then you step into one and soon realize that you will never, ever get out. Like its predecessors, Siralim 3 is essentially an endless monster-catching RPG. It has a different premise and a larger group of monsters amid a few other improvements and additions, but the main advantage of this particular installment for our purposes today is that it’s on the Switch and the others are not. Don’t worry that you’ve missed out on anything if this is your first experience with the series. There are certainly some story callbacks in Siralim 3, but they’re not critical to the enjoyment whatsoever.
Indeed, the story in general isn’t something that is likely to concern you all that much. You’re the king of a castle called Nex, and you’re being attacked by the evil king of Siralim (hmm) and his army of creatures. The first order of business is to restore the various realms to the control of their respective deities. You’re given your choice of your first monster and head into the portal to the first realm. There are lots of ways to get more monsters, but the easiest way is to extract the cores of the random enemies you face in the realms and summon them once you get back home. You can have up to six monsters in your party at a time, while the rest will hang out back at the stables.

Realms are randomly generated. Each floor will have at least one sub-quest to take care of, along with plenty of monsters and loot to pick up. At the end of each realm, you’ll have to face off against a boss. If you win, you’ll head back to Nex and get your next quest. If you lose at any point, you’ll teleport back to Nex no worse for the wear. You can always teleport back to the highest floor you reached, though you may want to go to a lower floor to boost your levels a bit if a boss is giving you a lot of trouble. It’s probably a better idea to re-examine your party composition and battle strategies, however. There are a lot of things you can do to improve your odds without brainlessly grinding experience. But if you want to do that, I won’t hold it against you. For some reason, it’s kind of fun to grind in Siralim.
Each realm usually has a new NPC to rescue that will take up residence in your castle, adding some new feature or another and occasionally opening up new rooms. It’s a clever way to slowly roll out features so that players don’t get overwhelmed at the start, and it gives each new system a chance to shine for a bit before something new comes along. It also means that you’ll have new things to grapple with even hours into the game. But with no level cap, no inventory limit, and really nothing holding you back from creating the most powerful army of monsters the world has ever seen, there’s no real rush to have access to every little option.

Battles are turn-based but if you’re not really into them you can automate them to a great extent through fast-forwarding and using macros for your monsters. Just make sure you wake up for the boss fights or you’ll find yourself back home in record time. In general, the difficulty curve is kind to those who fully engage with the various systems that Siralim 3 has to offer, but it can be tough going if you just expect to smash your way through everything. When combined with the, er, humble presentation, this aspect makes Siralim 3 potentially a little off-putting for genre newcomers. But if you take the time to learn how it all works, there’s really nothing else out there quite like a Siralim game.
It’s no looker by any means and its story is barely there, but get past the surface of Siralim 3 and you’ll find one of most absorbing RPG experiences available on the Switch. I had already played this game on my iPhone when it hit iOS, so I really didn’t need to sink a ton of time into the Switch version for this review. I’ve nevertheless been staying up until the wee hours of the night ever since I downloaded the game, trying to push my party a little bit farther and get my hands on cooler and stronger monsters. If you have any love for the mechanical side of the RPG genre, I’m confident you’ll find yourself doing the same should you pick this one up.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Redneck Skeet Shooting ($4.99)

Well, here it is: the worst Nintendo Switch game I’ve ever played. Redneck Skeet Shooting is a game that wouldn’t have been all that great even if it executed well on its thin premise, but it somehow fumbles what should have been a pretty easy catch and ends up a total disaster. The idea is that you play as the titular redneck, trying to shoot bits of garbage and what-have-you as it it launched from the other side of the screen. Each one you break gives you some cash, but if you shoot the dynamite your round will immediately end. Provided you avoid blowing yourself up, each round will end after a certain amount of time has passed. You then take your winnings, maybe buy a new gun, stage, or costume, then head back on in for another go.
The biggest problem with the game is that the controls are absolutely terrible. By default your gun is pointed downwards, and if you don’t touch anything it will try to fall back to that position. You have to press up on the stick to slowly raise your gun, and if you need to hit somewhere between the lowest and highest position, you need to carefully tap at the stick to keep it from going too low or high. Many targets take more than one shot, and you can hit them when they are off-screen if they go too high. Upgrading your gun will increase your rate of fire and how much damage each shot does, but aiming never at any point feels good. And if the aiming doesn’t feel good in a game where the only thing you do is aim and pull the trigger, you’ve got a big problem.

Aside from that, the game suffers from being really grindy and repetitive. You’re doing the same thing every time, so the only way to spice things up is to unlock something new. Unfortunately, it takes a ridiculous amount of time to gather enough coins for anything past the first couple of upgrades, which means you’re grinding away at the exact same level dozens of times. And while unlocking a new stage gives you a small burst of excitement, that soon subsides when you realize you now have to do the exact same thing on this new stage, but for longer. Simply an awful game at every level.
SwitchArcade Score: 1/5
Bus Fix 2019 ($5.99)

Perhaps the biggest thing working in the favor of Bus Fix 2019 is that I played it immediately after Redneck Skeet Shooting. Bus Fix 2019 is also not a very good game, but it at least does what it sets out to do without totally tripping over its own shoelaces. As it says on the tin, this is a game where you fix buses. People bring in their broken buses, you fix them up, and you get paid. You can use that money to buy buses of your own. I’m not sure who out there likes the concept of buses that much, but if that is you, your ship has come in. But not really, because there are a lot of corners cut in this bus repair simulator.
Certainly, there are no real buses here. I don’t expect that from an indie game, naturally. But the buses that are here use such low-quality models and textures that it feels like you’re squinting through foggy glass. The UI, clearly meant for a keyboard and mouse interface, is really annoying to use, and just about every aspect involves menus in menus in menus. Or you can just hit the hot-button connected with whatever bit you’re trying to fix and watch as the game almost plays itself. Customers will have specific complaints you need to address, but it all comes down to finding the faulty part and either replacing it or fixing it. That involves taking a lot of things apart, and you’ll have to put them back together when you’re done. The faster you do it, the more money you make.

Ultimately, this is an awkward game to play on a controller and even when you get the hang of it, things get boring pretty quickly. I suppose this could be mildly educational for a kid or something, as you really will have to break things down to their base components and it’s interesting to see how it all fits together. But fixing buses virtually in this game is so rote and dull that I’d expect that even doing it in real life would be more fun. I’m also intrigued by the ‘2019’ in the title because it suggests this is neither the first nor the last Bus Fix. Now there’s a thought to keep you up at night.
SwitchArcade Score: 2/5
New Releases
Senran Kagura Peach Ball ($39.99)

Well, this is the most money you can spend on a pinball game for your Switch. Some weird stuff has happened and the Senran Kagura girls now think they are animals. The only way to save them is to play pinball while they lounge around the table in sexy poses. Sometimes when you hit the ball into certain locations you’ll play a mini-game of some sort. Like, in one you have to use the paddles to smack the girl on her butt-cheeks. Well, look. It’s Senran Kagura. You know what you’re getting into here. There are only two different tables included here, so don’t expect to get a whole ton of variety in the gameplay. Peach Ball went over like a lead balloon in Japan, mostly because it is not a very good pinball game at all. But if you’re starving for some content featuring the Senran Kagura girls, it’s not like there are any other options at the moment.
Hyperlight Ultimate ($8.99)

This is an enhanced port of a New Nintendo 3DS game called Hyperlight EX that also released on mobile at some point. It looks an awful lot like Geometry Wars, and in a broad sense it’s not too far from that. The gimmick is that you can collide with enemies to destroy them, but doing so requires you to first build up a meter by collecting fuel. This version has improved graphics, a new local multiplayer versus mode, HD Rumble support, and a few other little additions and refinements. It’s alright.
Desktop Bowling ($7.39)

I guess this is a series now. Desktop Bowling is a fairly simple take on the sport that sees the action play out on your desk. Sort of, anyway. It’s all dressed up in ways that you likely wouldn’t be able to pull off in real life, so some of the charm of the setting is lost. There’s a solo mode here where you can unlock new bowling balls, a few modes for local multiplayer, and a handful of mini-games. Like the other games from this line, I’m sure it’s okay for the price. That said, there’s a fair bit more competition around this price point when it comes to bowling games on the Switch, so I’m not sure if this brings enough to the table, so to speak, to catch anyone’s notice.
Sales
Well, that’s about right for a Tuesday, isn’t it? Not a lot of new sales today, but what’s here is at least unusual. Do mind the outgoing sales, as there are some games in there that don’t get discounted very often. BQM, Cursed Castilla, and Valkyria Chronicles 4 are all neat games that tend to go a couple of months between sales. Treasure Stack is a cool puzzle game that I think just got a good update and is a decent pick-up for ten bucks. The biggest batch of new sales this week is still a couple of days away, so don’t spend all your money today.
New Games on Sale

Xenon Racer ($23.99 from $39.99 until 7/22)
Among the Sleep – Enhanced ($19.99 from $24.99 until 7/22)
Jim Is Moving Out! ($11.99 from $14.99 until 7/19)
Circle of Sumo ($6.99 from $9.99 until 7/18)
The Walking Vegetables: Radical ($2.59 from $12.99 until 7/21)
Cast of the Seven Godsends ($1.29 from $12.99 until 7/21)
The Long Reach ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/21)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 10th

BlazeRush ($8.39 from $11.99 until 7/10)
BQM -BlockQuest Maker- ($9.99 from $14.99 until 7/10)
Car Mechanic Manager ($1.19 from $3.99 until 7/10)
Chameleon Run Deluxe ($2.99 from $5.99 until 7/10)
Cursed Castilla ($11.89 from $13.99 until 7/10)
Dungeon Stars ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns ($6.29 from $6.99 until 7/10)
Koloro ($0.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Odium to the Core ($0.49 frm $4.99 until 7/10)
One Strike ($0.49 from $4.99 until 7/10)
Please, Don’t Touch Anything ($6.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
Robonauts ($0.19 from $8.69 until 7/10)
Strikey Sisters ($7.99 from $9.99 until 7/10)
The Keep ($8.99 from $17.99 until 7/10)
The Stillness of the Wind ($9.09 from $12.99 until 7/10)
Treasure Stack ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/10)
Unit 4 ($1.49 from $14.99 until 7/10)
Valkyria Chronicles 4 ($29.99 from $59.99 until 7/10)
Yet Another Zombie Defense HD ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/10)
That’s all we’ve got for today, friends. No idea what’s waiting for us tomorrow, but there are some new releases to look at if nothing else. Depending on how much time I have, we may also have another review ready to go, and as ever the latest news and sales will be here. I hope you all have a nice day, and I’ll see you next time. As always, thanks for reading!