Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 30th, 2020. Today is all about the new releases, and we’ve got a whole ton of them to look at. Some interesting games, though I can’t say many of them have what we would call general appeal. Besides that massive list, we have exactly one news nugget to check out, along with the usual list of sales. Let’s have at it!
New Costumes Hit ‘Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’
Nintendo has been sharing information recently about the upcoming major expansion content on the way for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, but what to do if you haven’t bought that fancy Expansion Pass? Well hey, you can enjoy some free costumes in this latest update. Four characters get some new threads, and most of them will be quite familiar for comic book fans. Spider-Gwen gets her Gwenom costume, Venom gets the Anti-Venom suit, and Miles Morales and Ms. Marvel get some street wear. All of this adds up to an update worthy of the coveted SAMSotW award if I ever saw one.
Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire ($13.99)
Holy cow, Alfa System is still alive. Uh, for those who aren’t familiar with that name, Alfa System is a Japanese developer who has been around since 1988. It worked on a ton of games on the TurboGrafx-16, developed the Phantasy Star Portable games, created the excellent Oreshika games for Sony, and perhaps most relevant to this game, developed the Castle of Shikigami series of shoot-em-ups. Alfa System made something like three games in the last decade, with the last being Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines on the Vita in 2014. So yeah, I thought we might have seen the last of them. Instead, we get this rather fun and vibrant shoot-em-up. Play as five sisters in this vertically-scrolling shooter that feels more than a little familiar. Nothing overly exceptional, but if you’ve got fond memories of Shikigami or just want another solid shooter, here you go.
Aviary Attorney: Definitive Edition ($19.99)
Replacing the characters in otherwise ordinary tales with birds and cranking up the humor is a formula we’ve seen work many times in the past. Aviary Attorney: Definitive Edition is a mystery visual novel where everyone is a bird. It is very silly and has a very distinctive art style. The game has been out on other platforms before, and people have generally liked it. Will you like it? It’s very possible. I know I am definitely the sort of person that likes visual novels, mystery stories, and silly birds. I also am a fan of unusual art styles. I will therefore be partaking of Aviary Attorney, and you may follow me if you so desire.
Prison Princess ($19.99)
Um, well. This is a sort of room escape puzzle game type thing. You are a ghostly spirit and you need to help two princesses escape from their prisons. They are woefully underdressed for such a situation, but the game cautions you not to get too distracted lest you end up unable to perform your duties. Guide the princesses, solve the puzzles before you run out of time, and try to find a happy ending from all of this. No, not that kind of happy ending! Well, okay. Maybe that kind of happy ending. I don’t know. I’ve got more than enough games on my plate right now to make room for this one, so I really haven’t the foggiest idea how it all ends. Could be a pizza party, with everyone getting their own personal pan pizzas? That would be nice.
Sparkle 4 Tales ($9.99)
The perpetually-on-sale Sparkle series gets a new installment today with Sparkle 4 Tales. Like the last couple of games, this is basically a mellow evolution experience where you guide life to create something nasty or sweet. It looks neat but it gets boring really fast. Still, there must be some people out there who are into all of this, or we wouldn’t be hitting a fourth installment. If you liked the previous ones, I can’t see why you wouldn’t check this one out. The only real decision is whether you want to grab it now or wait a month or two for it to go on sale for 90% off.
Ascendant Hearts ($9.99)
Visual novel time again. We’ve seen some really great narrative adventures released recently. Will Ascendant Hearts continue the streak? Eh, probably not. This looks like a relatively generic romance adventure. It’s a parody of JRPG tropes and other fantasy staples, so there’s some amusement to be found in that aspect at least. There are three different partners to romance and three different endings based on your choices, and if nothing else the price is quite reasonable as these things go. It’s not really hard to figure out if this game appeals to you or not, so I’ll leave you with that.
UORiS DX ($9.00)
A Tetris-derived falling block puzzler where all of the pieces are apparently fish or other underwater creatures. There are a few different modes including an endless mode, a timed mode, a mission mode where you have to solve puzzle set-ups, and a picture book where you can check out the different creatures. There’s also a battle mode and a co-op mode for two players to enjoy together locally. Certainly a quirky one, but I suppose it could be fun. I don’t know. These games that try to slightly modify Tetris often come out feeling a bit weird, but if that’s your bag, don’t let me stop you.
Oh hey, it’s our old pals at Sabec again. It doesn’t take a lot of squinting at the logo to figure out what this is: Battleship. Yes, the classic board game that can actually be played with two sheets of paper and a pencil if you’re so inclined. The boats have been swapped for land-based units, but it’s Battleship. The eShop description says this is for one player only, but the text says you can play against another player or “the smart Ai player”, so your guess is as good as mine on that front. Look, I’m not saying there isn’t a place for a video game version of Battleship, but it’d have to be awfully good. Is this awfully good? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Eclipse: Edge of Light ($14.99)
Hey, it’s another one for our “VR game from other platform ported to Switch minus VR” folder. In this one, you’re exploring the surface of a dead planet. You have a jet pack, and that seems to be the highlight of the whole thing. It takes a few hours to go through the whole thing even if you take your time, but is it worth that time? Ehn. I don’t think so, but what do I know? I’m just some weird guy who writes about games in order to pay for my shelter and food. At any rate, if you have access to a PSVR or Oculus, you’re probably better off experiencing this game there if you really want to dig into it. Doesn’t hurt that it’s the same price or cheaper on those platforms.
Speaking Simulator ($20.00)
There’s a solid market out there these days for silly games, and this one definitely looks silly. You play as a robot who has to navigate a variety of social situations without tipping off the humans around them. Manipulate your tongue and try to make the right words and facial expressions to convince everyone you’re totally normal. If you fail, you’ll blow a gasket of sorts and eventually explode. There are ten different scenarios to play through and countless ways they can go awry, so if you’re looking for something fun to whip out at a party or just need a chuckle, this may be the ticket.
Never Again ($13.99)
This is a first-person horror game where you play as a young girl with asthma. The customer reviews for this game on Steam seem mostly positive, so that’s at least an encouraging sign. The puzzles are apparently quite well done, but some of the negative reviews talk about it getting repetitive and a bit exhausting over time. These kinds of games aren’t really my thing, so I’m not going to blow fourteen bucks to find out for myself. At the very least, though, it seems better than the average one of these things we see hit the eShop every other week.
Bookbound Brigade ($19.99)
Metroidvania games everywhere these days. With how many there are to choose from, the question with each new release is whether or not it has anything to offer a relatively crowded market. Bookbound Brigade pitches itself as a literary Metroidvania, and that certainly is the theme of the thing. You play as a group of famous figures from the past who move together in various formations. It’s okay, but I found it gets frustrating a bit more often than I’d like. There’s a lot of precise platforming in this game, so be aware of that if you’re looking to jump in. I’ll be doing some kind of review of this one soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Arc of Alchemist ($39.99)
We don’t do a mark of shame or anything around these parts, but if we did, Arc of Alchemist would earn one. Idea Factory’s latest action-RPG runs like absolute hot trash on the Switch. Like, this is borderline unplayable in handheld mode. The framerate is awful, and there are tons of bugs that pop up with alarming regularity. I’m sure the game is better on the PlayStation 4, but Idea Factory should be ashamed of themselves for releasing a game in the state that this Switch version is in. Don’t waste your money.
As usual, there will probably be a lot more new sales out by the time you read this. I’ve gathered what is here at the time of writing, and it’s pretty meager. So meager, in fact, that I don’t really have any recommendations. I will say that the outbox has at least one game worth considering. That lovely remake of Puzzle Quest seems to be a game that will be on sale often, but it’s never a bad time to buy it for half-price.
Select New Games on Sale
Almost There: The Platformer ($1.49 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Horse Farm ($14.99 from $19.99 until 2/19)
King’s Heir: Rise to the Throne ($3.74 from $14.99 until 2/9)
2048 Battles ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/18)
Lydia ($3.00 from $4.00 until 2/19)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, January 31st
Aborigenus ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/31)
Bridge Constructor Ultimate ($11.99 from $14.99 until 1/31)
Deployment ($2.49 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Madorica Real Estate ($9.99 from $14.99 until 1/31)
Mushroom Quest ($1.49 from $2.99 until 1/31)
Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/31)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ve got another lengthy list of new releases to check out tomorrow, and there should be a rather robust list of new sales to go with them. Perhaps some news? Perhaps. We’ll see what happens. At any rate, I hope you all have a solid Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!