Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 12th, 2020. It may be a Tuesday, but we’re not hurting for cool stuff to talk about today. We check in on the latest Tetris 99 event, look into some recent updates, dig into a full review of Slayin 2, and check out two very promising new releases. The list of sales is pretty tragic today, but at least we’ve got the rest to enjoy, right? Let’s dive on in!
The 13th Maximus Cup Event in ‘Tetris 99’ Features ‘Animal Crossing’
Wow, time for another Tetris 99 event already? I guess so! Hot on the heels of last month’s event, which saw a Ring Fit Adventure theme up for grabs, the 13th Maximus Cup aims for a slightly less intense franchise: Animal Crossing. The event kicks off on Friday, and runs through the weekend as usual. Like in most of these events, if you earn 100 points you’ll get to keep the event’s theme for future use. I wonder if we’ll be getting a Xenoblade theme next?
An Update on Updates Featuring ‘Children of Morta’, ‘Darksiders Genesis’, and More
There have been a number of updates recently, so I figured I’d quickly go through a few of them. Will I do this kind of thing again in the future? Maybe!
Children of Morta: The free Setting Sun Inn expansion adds a New Game+ mode, new Family Events, extra cutscenes, some extra quests, and a whole lot more. Considering that you don’t have to pay a dime for any of it, it’s hard to argue against this update.
Wargroove: Version 2.1.0 makes a number of adjustments to the gameplay balance, including a reduction of Fog of War sight range across the board and a slight nerf to Nuru’s groove charge rate. There are also some tweaks to the Event Editor and multiplayer experience, along with some bug fixes.
Northgard: The Clan of the Snake DLC is now available for purchase on the Switch, giving you access to Svafnir, Clan of the Snake. These cunning warriors are led by the Spear Maiden Signy. If you want to add this unconventional crew to your game, the DLC will set you back $4.99.
Stranded Sails: The free Exploration Update adds fast travel Portal Stones you can use to move around with less of a hassle, some UI improvements such as letting you cook or craft multiple items at a time, and the ability to row faster. There are some other tweaks and adjustments, all aimed at addressing feedback received from players.
Darksiders Genesis: This free update makes some significant improvements to the game’s mapping system, a source of much frustration for many players. Pretty much every level has seen some minor tweaks to tie up some unintended issues. A bunch of fixes and improvements targeted at making the multiplayer experience better have also been included. Oh, and you can set the dead zones on your sticks now. Yay! Maybe make that a system-level thing, Nintendo?
Slayin 2 ($11.99)
Slayin in a lot of ways was almost a perfect mobile game. By making a few sensible additions and adjustments to Skipmore’s Drancia, which itself was a simplified and modernized take on Falcom’s Romancia, developer Pixel Licker came up with a light slice of action-RPG fun that fit the pick-up-and-play nature of the platform perfectly. It was a huge hit, pulling many a mobile gamer into its thrall for a long time. Some significant updates were delivered to the game after its launch, but no follow-up arrived.
The sequel instead makes its debut in the console market. While there are some instances of mobile games proving to be hits when they make that move, they rarely meet the same level of enthusiasm given the different habits of the players. Slayin 2 can offer a similar experience to the mobile classic if you head into the Arcade Mode, but the Story Mode offers something a bit crunchier for you to gnaw on. Don’t worry, it’s still not overly complicated. It just adds more progression systems and goes for a discrete stage-based approach.
There are a few new elements in the gameplay mechanics. First of all, the game is now set across two planes. You’ll have to hop between them to clear out the enemies, and this ability proves to be the key to handling many of the game’s bosses. Each character also has some special attacks they can make use of so long as you have some charge in your Spark meter. As before, your character will auto-attack and has the ability to jump. As you play, you’ll unlock more characters with expanded skills. No matter who you’re using, the key to survival comes from learning enemy patterns and making sure you’re attacking them from the right angle at the right time.
Depending on the mode you’re playing, how you improve your character is different. In Arcade Mode, it works just like the first game. You’ll gain experience by defeating enemies, leveling up at set intervals. Enemies also drop coins, and after defeating a boss a shopkeeper will appear who will sell you various power-ups in exchange for them. In Story Mode, you won’t level up by defeating enemies. Instead, the coins you use can be spend to rebuild towns and buy permanent upgrades for your character. You’ll also earn Fame, but unlike the original game you won’t need to worry about grinding this stuff. Progression is smooth as long as you aren’t playing like a fool.
Another big new feature is the co-op mode. Another player can join in on either mode, allowing you to team up and take on the beasties together. Local only, mind you, but it’s still a rather fun cherry on top of the whole works. The game works rather well as a multiplayer experience, with you and your buddy dividing chores and covering each other’s backs. I didn’t play too much of this mode, but the little I played was a blast.
That said, even with all of the new additions, Slayin 2 is still an experience best enjoyed in short bursts. In that respect, it’s a wonderful game. Pixel Licker have really improved at just about every aspect of game development in the several years that have passed since the first game hit, and it shows. Slayin 2 looks, sounds, and plays better than the original without sacrificing the aspects that made that game so compelling. There’s enough new here that even those who burnt out on the first game should find something to energize them. Slayin 2 is a great effort that I can’t see leaving my Switch’s memory card anytime soon.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Jet Lancer ($14.99)
Yeah, this one is probably going to look a little too simple for some, but this fast-paced shoot-em-up looks right up my alley. Breaking from the usual scrolling business, this game instead takes a page from games like the Amiga classic BIP, allowing you fly freely around the various stages as you weave through enemy shots and return fire. It includes a 30-mission campaign, a New Game+ mode, lots of weapons and loadouts to choose from, and a talking cat. I want to take a closer look at this one, and there will probably be a review of some sort coming.
This game has some big “Amiga run-and-gun” energy to it, and for certain people that’s going to be like catnip. While I’ve haven’t exactly been quiet about how tired I’m getting of the whole 1980s retro-future style, even I have to admit that this game has some of the nicest, most detailed pixel art I’ve seen in a long while. Pick your favorite bounty hunter and take to the unfriendly streets, where you’ll blast away a motley assortment of hooligans, punks, and ne’er-do-wells. Go solo or grab a friend for some local co-op play. Either way, you’re in for some tense action and impressive sights.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Well, that’s just sad, isn’t it? Five games? Just five? And not even particularly interesting ones, either. That’s how it goes sometimes, but only very rarely. The outbox is more worthy of your attention today. First up, Hamster’s Arcade Archives. They rarely go on sale, and it’s up in the air as to whether any of these particular titles will be discounted again in the future. Grab whatever you’ve got your eye on. Bulletstorm and Ms. Splosion Man are also not often discounted. Sunless Sea‘s launch sale is coming to a close as well. Plenty to consider, to be sure.
Select New Games on Sale
The Long Reach ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/24)
Cast of the Seven Godsends ($1.29 from $12.99 until 5/24)
Gone Home ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/28)
The Walking Vegetables: Radical ($1.94 from $12.99 until 5/24)
Modern Tales: Age of Invention ($1.49 from $14.99 until 6/1)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 13th
ACA NEOGEO Aero Fighters 2 ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
ACA NEOGEO King of Fighters ’94 ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
ACA NEOGEO Metal Slug ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
ACA NEOGEO Power Spikes II ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
ACA NEOGEO Samurai Shodown ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
ACA NEOGEO Zed Blade ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Animated Jigsaws: Japanese Women ($2.50 from $10.00 until 5/13)
Arcade Archives Crazy Climber ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Arcade Archives Double Dragon ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Arcade Archives Moon Cresta ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Arcade Archives Ninja-Kid ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Arcade Archives Ninja-Kid II ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Arcade Archives Terra Cresta ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Bot Vice ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/13)
Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/13)
Caveblazers ($3.74 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Dead End Job ($11.89 from $16.99 until 5/13)
Dustoff Heli Rescue 2 ($2.00 from $8.00 until 5/13)
Hyperlight Ultimate ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/13)
In Between ($1.99 from $11.99 until 5/13)
Mecho Tales ($0.89 from $0.99 until 5/13)
Moonlighter ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/13)
Ms. Splosion Man ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Piczle Colors ($6.00 from $12.00 until 5/13)
Plague Road ($0.99 from $15.00 until 5/13)
Puzzle Wall ($2.00 from $8.00 until 5/13)
Sea King ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/13)
She Sees Red ($8.49 from $9.99 until 5/13)
Sunless Sea: Zubmariner ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/13)
Super Star Path ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/13)
Super Volley Blast ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/13)
Tied Together ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Tinboy ($0.99 from $1.99 until 5/13)
Toby: The Secret Mine ($1.99 from $11.99 until 5/13)
Vaccine ($2.50 from $10.00 until 5/13)
Yesterday Origins ($4.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
That’s all for today, friends. There will be a few new releases tomorrow that we’ll take a look at, and I may have one more review ready to go. We can at least count on the announcement of the next Smash event in the news department, and I have to believe there will be more new sales than today. I hope you all have an awesome Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!