Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 30th, 2020. It’s the final day of the month, and we’re going out with an absolute bang. Among today’s new releases are the incredible Streets of Rage 4, the extremely enjoyable Levelhead, a pair of retro-tastic releases that have never been re-released before, and oh so much more. Add in a list of sales, and that’s pretty much the size of things today. Let’s swim on in!
Streets of Rage 4 ($24.99)
Holy. Freaking. Cow. This game is absolutely amazing. The 26-years-later sequel that fans have been waiting for, Streets of Rage 4 aims high and scores big. It’s a great sequel, an outstanding package filled with lots of unlockables and extras, a nostalgic trip, and simply one of the best beat-em-ups I’ve played in years. The Switch port is solid, and you can have up to four players locally or two players online. The soundtrack is, as you would hope, a real stunner. Just… I don’t know. As an old SEGA fan, my hopes for this game were extremely high. I didn’t think it would live up to them, let alone surpass them. But here we are: Streets of Rage 4 is beautiful, fantastic, and everything good and right about video games.
The latest from Butterscotch Shenanigans, the makers of such amazing titles as Crashlands. Levelhead throws its hat into the rather competitive platform level-maker category, and it does a pretty solid job of it. In some ways, its tools are more powerful than even those of Super Mario Maker 2. In other ways, not so much. But on the whole, if you love platformers or creation tools, you’ll find plenty to love in Levelhead. I’ll be doing a proper review of this one in the next few days, but I rather like it. That said, if you want to save ten bucks or so by going with the mobile version instead, don’t let me stop you. Both versions are great.
SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle ($7.99)
The latest and at least at the moment third-to-last release in the Switch SEGA AGES line is a significant one. G-LOC: Air Battle is something of a follow-up to Afterburner II, offering further high-octane aerial thrills. It received a number of home ports back in the day, with the Game Gear one probably being the most well-known. As you might imagine, neither SEGA’s 8-bit consoles nor the 16-bit Genesis were quite up to the task of handling a late Y Board release like this one. As such, this is the very first arcade-perfect port of the game, which is important all on its own. M2 have thrown in the usual extras and options along with a couple of neat extra features. Personally, I like Afterburner a little better, but G-LOC is still really cool in that classic SEGA style.
SNK Gals’ Fighters ($7.99)
Now this is what I like to see: old game companies starting to make titles from their back catalog available that aren’t from one of the usual platforms. The NEOGEO Pocket and its Color variant had a tragically short life, an unfortunate victim of the absolute nonsense going on with SNK’s ownership around the turn of the millennium. Still, in its brief time on this world it built a fairly solid library, with its strength being a genre that, to that point, hadn’t exactly been a strong suit of handheld gaming. But if anyone was going to crack that nut, it would be SNK. Gals’ Fighters isn’t the best of the bunch, but it is very good. Most of these NGP fighters are in a similar vein, presenting the characters in a cartoonish style and leaning into the humor. Keep ’em coming, SNK.
Pocket Arcade Story ($14.00)
It’s apparently Kairosoft time again, and as usual it’s a port of one of its mobile sims with the price cranked up a little for good measure. Pocket Arcade Story‘s theme probably holds a little more appeal to gamers than a lot of Kairosoft’s more out-there sims, but make no mistake about it, you’re going to be doing very much the same things you do in most of their other games. If you enjoyed Game Dev Story, you may find this to be a logical follow-up, and it’s certainly not bad by any means. I think you’re better off playing this one on mobile as usual, but I suppose if you really want to play on Switch, this one’s for you.
My Secret Pets! ($14.99)
Okay, we’ve got lots of games today about punching dudes, shooting dudes, and stabbing dudes. Let’s turn the page and look at a game about smooching dudes. Well, they’re kind of dudes? They used to be your pets, but they magically turned into hunky guys. As pets do. And you will choose one and probably smooch them? But you’re living with four of them, so I suppose things could get a bit dicey. If that’s not enough, your presumably fully-human ex-boyfriend may come crashing back into the scene to butt heads with these handsome guys. I guess you could consider this a gender-flipped reply to Nekopara. Like that it seems to be extremely typical fare for its sub-genre, so if you’re looking for a basic otome visual novel with an admittedly amusing premise, here you go.
War-Torn Dreams ($6.99)
There seems to be two major components to this game. For the most part, it’s a run-and-gun through a seemingly post-apocalyptic American wasteland. There are also some story bits where you’ll have conversations with characters and make choices that presumably have some effect on the gameplay? The game consists of nine chapters, which is probably a decent enough length for the price. It all comes down to the quality of the action, and if I’m going to be honest, it looks a little rough. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, however, and I haven’t played this game yet so I can’t say all that much. If it ends up defying my expectations, I’ll report back.
Book of Demons ($24.99)
A glance at the screenshot will tell you this game is paying homage to Diablo, but it’s not a clone by any means. There’s a deck-building component in play here, and a bit more of a roguelite feel to it all. Plus, it uses a pretty nifty papercraft theme for its look. While reviews for the game have been a little mixed on other platforms, players on Steam have been very enthusiastic about it. If you’ve already finished with Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2 and are on the look-out for your next conquest, you may find that Book of Demons offers an intriguing twist with just enough similar elements to help you settle in.
Oh, I know how this one works. This is basically a paid take on King’s free-to-play take on Taito’s classic Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move. It promises more than 30 levels of bubble-busting fun, but I’m not really sure that’s a great value. The power-up system from King’s Bubble Witch games appears to be in play here, with coins to purchase them earned by clearing levels. Look, if you want this kind of gameplay, you can buy one of the Arcade Archives Puzzle Bobble games for cheaper than this. They’re far better games, to boot. Wait, who made this pointless yet somewhat expensive game anyway? SABEEEEEEEEEEEEC!
Fairy Knights ($9.99)
This is a puzzle-RPG where you need to swap stones in order to activate spells and launch attacks on monsters. The puzzle gameplay is a bit like Gunpey, if you remember that one. You have to switch pieces that contain various paths in order to connect two points. If there are any gems along the path, you’ll fire off special attacks. Make bigger combos to deal more damage. It seems cute. There could be some potential in it, but I’ll have to investigate it further. We don’t see Gunpey-style puzzle games that often these days, and the RPG twist rarely goes wrong in games like this.
The Four Kings Casino and Slots (Free)
I suppose it’s more symbolic than anything at this point, but this feels like something of a new low for the eShop and Nintendo’s platforms in general. This is a casino-themed game where you can play a variety of gambling games and interact with other players. You can play for free, but you can of course spend some real money to get more fake money to gamble with. Maybe you’ll win lots of fake money! But you cannot cash it in for real money, so do not get too excited.
Ministry of Broadcast ($14.99)
As you can probably guess from the title, this puzzle-adventure game is heavily inspired by Orwell’s 1984. It blends some of its ideas and themes with a reality TV setting to create something of a modern critique. The story doesn’t quite come together the way you might hope, but the style is on point and the puzzles are excellent. In terms of gameplay it follows in the vein of things like Abe’s Oddysee and Flashback, so even if it doesn’t quite get everything right, I can see it appealing to some folks. It’s not like we get a whole ton of games like those these days.
Mushroom Heroes ($5.99)
You probably know how this kind of dealie goes. You have three different characters, each with their own abilities, and you have to have them work together to make their way through each stage. There are 38 stages in total, which is a pretty good amount for a game in this price range. The presentation opts for a pixel-art 16-bit-esque style that will likely be familiar to any mobile gamer. Nothing to get too excited about, but not bad at all. Lost Vikings fans may want to have a gander.
Pixel Art Bundle Vol.1 ($37.99)
Here’s another Digerati bundle, and it once again has some repeats from other bundles. The theme this time around is apparently pixel art, which… is a bit of a wide net, to be sure. The specific titles you get are the excellent run-and-gun Bleed, the atmospheric action game Slain: Back From Hell, and the somewhat poor survival horror title Uncanny Valley. You get a small discount over buying them individually, though the usual warning is in effect: all of these games go on sale very often, and this bundle likely will get a deep discount as well before too long. Basically, I wouldn’t buy in at the near-$40 price in any case.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
There are a couple of things going on in the sales that have popped up so far today. First of all, NIS America is having another sale. When combined with some lowered regular prices, a few titles are at the lowest we’ve seen them. The other happening here is the start of Qubic Games’s latest sales event. Pick up Robonauts or Geki Yaba Runner and you’ll be able to enjoy some deep discounts on other Qubic games in the weeks to come. 20% of the proceeds will go towards financing medical equipment and research in the battle against COVID-19. Very nice. Splatoon 2 is running a special demo at the moment, and the full game has been discounted presumably to entice those who have fun with said demo to buy in on the complete experience. Not much in the outbox, so you might as well go all-in on the new sales.
Select New Games on Sale
The Alliance Alive Remastered ($29.99 from $49.99 until 5/11)
Disgaea 1 Complete ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/11)
Disgaea 4 Complete+ ($29.99 from $49.99 until 5/11)
Disgaea 5 Complete ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/11)
Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/11)
God Wars The Complete Legend ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
Labyrinth of Refrain ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/11)
Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers ($23.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
Yomawari: Long Night Collection ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
Liar Princess & the Blind Prince ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/11)
The Princess Guide ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
The Longest Five Minutes ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
Penny-Punching Princess ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
Happy Birthdays ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/11)
The Lost Child ($19.99 from $49.99 until 5/11)
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/11)
Figment ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
Robonauts ($0.99 from $3.99 until 5/20)
Almost There: The Platformer ($0.79 from $9.99 until 5/7)
Geki Yaba Runner ($0.99 from $2.99 until 5/20)
Groove Coaster Wai Wai Party!!!! ($47.99 from $59.99 until 5/11)
Kemono Friends Picross ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/8)
Picross Lord of the Nazark ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/8)
Madorica Real Estate ($9.90 from $14.99 until 5/8)
WordHerd ($3.60 from $6.00 until 5/8)
Evoland Evolutionary ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Northgard ($17.49 from $34.99 until 5/12)
Chiki-Chiki Pro Wrestling ($9.89 from $14.99 until 5/21)
Splatoon 2 ($41.99 from $59.99 until 5/11)
Spice and Wolf VR ($17.49 from $24.99 until 5/15)
Star Wars Pinball ($20.99 from $29.99 until 5/7)
Rolling Sky 2 ($10.39 from $12.99 until 5/16)
Neo Atlas 1469 ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/21)
Monochrome World ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/21)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, May 1st
2048 Battles ($0.39 from $3.99 until 5/1)
Alien: Isolation ($24.49 from $34.99 until 5/1)
Arcade Spirits ($17.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
De Mambo ($2.59 from $12.99 until 5/1)
Later Daters ($6.55 from $7.99 until 5/1)
Solitaire Deluxe Bundle – 3 in 1 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/1)
Sydney Hunter & Curse of the Mayan ($6.69 from $9.99 until 5/1)
Urban Trial Playground ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/1)
That’s all for today and this month, but there’s still one precious day left in the week. Will tomorrow’s releases beat Streets of Rage 4? Ha ha, no. Not even a little. But there are a couple of interesting-looking games in the bunch, so make sure you swing back around tomorrow to see what’s what. I may also have a review of Streets of Rage 4 ready by then, in case you needed one for whatever reason. Just buy the game. Really. I hope you all have a terrific Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!