Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 9th, 2020. I’ve been a busy beaver lately, friends. As such, I have a whole lot of game opinions for you today. First up is a full review of Pikmin 3 Deluxe, a lovely game whose value depends greatly on whether or not you played it in its previous incarnation. There are also several Mini-Views, with quite a range of quality in the mix. We’ve got a few new releases to check out together, and the usual lists of new and outgoing sales to consider. Let’s get started!
Pikmin 3 Deluxe ($59.99)
There are two questions to address when it comes to Pikmin 3 Deluxe, and it all comes down to what catches your eye first in that title. Was it the word ‘Deluxe‘? If so, you probably already played Pikmin 3 on the Wii U and are wondering what’s new. The answer to that is: a little, but not sixty dollars’ worth. Not even close. If instead your gaze went to ‘Pikmin 3‘, then this is probably a new game to you. In that context, is it worth the money? Absolutely. This is an excellent game that was a long time coming, and yet when it finally arrived it was shackled to hardware very few people owned. It deserved a second shot, and I’m glad it’s getting one.
Let’s take care of that first group. What’s so Deluxe about Pikmin 3 Deluxe? For starters, all of the DLC is included. I feel like if you owned Pikmin 3 on the Wii U and liked it, you probably already bought that DLC though. There’s a new prologue and epilogue featuring Olimar and Louie, and that’s kind of neat for fans of the series. The story mode now allows co-op play, which is very fun if you have someone who wants to join in with you. Naturally, some things have been tweaked and adjusted to account for the slightly different interface the Switch has when compared to the Wii U. Finally, there are some visual improvements, but nothing dramatic. That’s the lot.
Now, for the people who may have played the first two Pikmin games. Pikmin 3 adds quite a bit to the formula. There are now multiple player characters, allowing you to split up your Pikmin and work on multiple tasks at once. There are two new Pikmin types: Rock Pikmin, who can break through all kinds of solid objects, and Winged Pikmin, who can fly and generally break the level design like the mad fools that they are. It splits the difference between the tight time limit of the first game and the leisurely second game, giving you a time limit that you can extend through exploration. There are some new modes to play, and the multiplayer features are far more robust than anything seen in the previous game. If you enjoyed the first two games, you’ll almost certainly like this one.
Finally, to those who are completely new to Pikmin. This series is an oddball take on real-time strategy. You explore a strange planet, searching for food to bring back to your home world. Your characters can’t do a lot on their own, but they’re able to recruit local creatures called Pikmin to help them out. Pikmin come in various types, each with their own properties. You’ll use them to battle enemies, secure resources, and solve puzzles. This installment puts you in control of multiple characters, allowing you to split your Pikmin forces when needed. In the beginning, you’ll have a few tasks that need to be accomplished. Your ultimate goal, however, is to gather as many food items as you can before your time limit runs out.
The story mode is broken down into days, with each day using up one unit of your precious food supply. Finding more food extends the time limit, and your ending is determined by how many of the items you find by the time you have to return home. Time passes as you play, so you’ll have to play reasonably efficiently if you want to find everything. It’s not a terribly strict time limit, but it’s there. Basically, each day you head out and do what you can, then when it gets dark you haul back to your ship to hunker down until daylight. It’s a nice loop, giving you plenty of chances to take a break if you need to or simply roll on if you’ve got the time.
In general, making progress is all about having the right types of Pikmin at the right times and locations. Few of the puzzles are all that challenging to sort out, though you have to pay careful attention to your surroundings to notice all of the possible routes and items. Once you understand what each Pikmin can do it’s all about applying them in the right situations. Complicating that are enemies that roam about and need to be dealt with carefully. An individual Pikmin isn’t very sturdy, and neither are your characters. You have to use every advantage to overcome enemies, whether that be sheer numbers, the element of surprise, or focusing on a weak point.
It might sound like this would be a bit much to handle with a controller, but the interface is easy to use and efficient. Calling your Pikmin, sending them after targets, and splitting up and controlling individual squads is very smooth. Games like this are usually best played with a mouse, but Pikmin was specifically designed for a controller and as such it doesn’t suffer from a lack of specific, granular control over your units. The visuals are lush and legible whether you’re playing on a big screen or the small one. As is usual for a Nintendo-published game, the writing is amusing and clever. I chuckled at every new discovery, as mundane objects were given strange new names from the little explorers.
I can understand the sentiment that Nintendo probably shouldn’t be charging full-price for ports of years-old games, particularly if there are minimal additions. At the same time, there’s nothing about Pikmin 3 Deluxe that feels particularly old or out-of-date. If you’ve played it before, I don’t think you’re going to get much out of this version other than a format shift. But if it’s new to you, I think it’s as good as a brand-new game. You will definitely get your money’s worth out of it, just as much as someone would have when it released on the Wii U. It’s a wonderful game that a lot of people missed out on due to when and where it released, and I think it’s great that it’s now available to a considerably wider audience.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Choices That Matter: And The Sun Went Out ($5.99)
The last time I formally reviewed Choices That Matter here on TouchArcade, the episodic story had barely gotten rolling. I had high hopes, but hopes were all I had to go on at that moment. I could fib and say that this Switch port was my first chance to see the entire And The Sun Went Out story through, but I did that on mobile a while ago. It’s a fantastic choice-based narrative adventure and if you like the genre at all, you should give it a shot. This Switch version carries things over nicely. You can use buttons or touch controls, and while the original version was built for screens of a different aspect ratio, you can barely tell. A special tip of the hat to the writing. There are some very talented authors working at Tin Man Games, and they went all-out here. It shows.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle ($19.99)
While the first game enjoyed a cult following and decent sales on the Nintendo Wii, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle arrived a bit too late to the party on the system to get the attention it deserved. That’s unfortunate, because it’s a very strong sequel that leans even further into the things that worked in the first game while making dramatic improvements on things that didn’t. It’s not quite as novel, but No More Heroes 2 has the same swagger and charm that permeated the original. I wouldn’t recommend skipping the original title, but if you enjoy it you will certainly be happy with this follow-up. The Switch port is solid and helps address most of the technical issues the Wii version had. Good, stupid fun.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Dragon Lapis ($14.99)
To the extent that any KEMCO-published game these days stands out, Dragon Lapis distinguished itself on mobile by being a rare portrait-oriented JRPG. That’s obviously not part of the package anymore in its console ports, so you’re left with a competent but plain take on the genre. I don’t dislike the game. It’s serviceable. There’s a reasonably interesting job system to tinker with, and while the soundtrack is a bit thin what’s here is very good. Dragon Lapis is the kind of game that I could recommend to some if it were half the price it’s going for on Switch, but at fifteen dollars I don’t think it does anywhere near enough to justify its cost.
SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5
Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- ($19.99)
Netmarble takes its first steps into the console market with this spin-off of its successful free-to-play mobile RPG, and those timid footsteps are neither especially graceful nor particularly clumsy. I think those who play and enjoy the mobile Seven Knights game will really like this one, but it’s a bit inscrutable in terms of story and characters otherwise. The battle system is simple, but reasonably engaging and strategic. On the other hand, exploration is basically just moving from node to node on a map, fighting the occasional battle or watching an event play out. The visuals are okay, but they feel very budget. Indeed, that’s the feeling I get from the game as a whole. When you consider what twenty dollars can get you RPG-wise on the eShop, that’s not a good thing.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
As run-and-gun games go, Gunslugs isn’t the fanciest fellow around. Especially on the Switch, which plays host to some absolutely outstanding games in the genre. Still, there’s something about this game that makes it inviting to slip into when I’m just looking to relax. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of it all. You’re just running, gunning, and doing a little jumping. It’s not particularly difficult and you can enjoy it without concentrating too hard. I like the way it controls, I like the constant stream of changing weapons, and I even like the odd visual style. A mindless bit of carnage for whenever the mood strikes you, one that works as well here as it did on mobile years ago.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
This is a pretty solid adventure game with an emphasis on room escape puzzles. But it’s a bit more than that, because you also have a fair number of traditional adventure elements in here. Also, a bit of crafting? Not a ton, but that is here as well. The game’s tone is a bit surreal, but it’s certainly interesting enough to keep you plugging away. It’s also a good excuse to throw a wide variety of situations at you, and you never can be sure what kind of area you’ll find yourself in next. Rather impressively, this is apparently the work of a one-person development team. Anyway, if you’re into this sort of thing, you’ll probably enjoy Oneiros.
An interesting premise has its limits if other elements aren’t just right, and Replica had me strongly feeling that. This has been available on mobile and PC for a while, and I think if you’re going to play it the mobile version is the way to go. Mainly because this game takes place entirely within the bounds of a smartphone. You’re nosing around it trying to find evidence of its owner’s wrongdoings. A neat idea for an adventure game, and it works really well from a purely mechanical standpoint. Unfortunately the game leans heavily on its narrative, and the quality of the writing here is just kind of so-so. It’s a bit too trite, and I understand that in today’s reality that’s not the criticism it once was, but the script could definitely use some punching up. Not a horrible way to spend a fiver and one hour, but I’d still push you towards the mobile version just for immersion’s sake.
Duck Life Adventure ($7.99)
Just duck life, you know? This is the follow-up to Duck Life: Battle, and as such it shares quite a bit with that game. For example, it’s a port of a rather grindy free-to-play mobile game! The basic idea once again is to pick a duck, customize it, and train it by playing mini-games. There are quests to complete, tournaments to win, and lots of costume bits and weapons to collect. You can race on 60 new tracks or just do some battling using 25 different weapons. I didn’t care for the previous game much, and I’m not too big on this one either. You can try the free mobile version to see if you’re more into than I am, though. The main difference with the Switch version is that the various IAPs have been removed in exchange for paying an upfront price.
Re: Turn – One Way Trip ($11.99)
A side-scrolling 2D horror adventure, Re: Turn – One Way Trip has a lot of style and a strong premise that unfortunately collapses in the back half. There are puzzles to solve as you go on your rather long walks across the 2D environments, but none of them are particularly well-designed or fun to solve. The story and creepy atmosphere are the strong points of the game, but I’m not sure either of them are enough to counter its flaws. Also, while the game promises terror, it’s less scary than it is merely spooky. It’s clear a lot of effort went into this, and I’ve certainly seen far worse things come across my desk, but I feel like there’s a fair bit of unrealized potential here.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
The weekend sales trickle usually isn’t very interesting, but this time we’ve got some genuinely cool new discounts to consider. Manticore – Galaxy on Fire gets a rare deep sale, and Storybird titles like Guns of Mercy, Satazius NEXT, and Finding Teddy 2 are well worth considering as well. Some of last week’s new releases are also in the list, along with a fair number of the usual suspects. The outbox is comparatively small, but worth taking a look at just in case.
Select New Games on Sale
Red Faction Guerrilla ($14.99 from $29.99 until 11/13)
Kona ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/13)
Manticore – Galaxy on Fire ($6.99 from $19.99 until 11/13)
Redeemer: Enhanced ($11.99 from $29.99 until 11/13)
Clue: Mystery Game ($14.99 from $29.99 until 11/13)
Battleship ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/13)
Ash of Gods: Redemption ($16.49 from $29.99 until 11/13)
Dark Burial ($1.99 from $3.99 until 11/15)
Retro Arcade Shooter – AfP ($1.99 from $5.99 until 11/15)
The House of Da Vinci 2 ($7.49 from $9.99 until 11/15)
Adventure Llama ($1.99 from $2.49 until 11/15)
Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind + ($9.99 from $12.99 until 11/16)
Dead Dungeon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/16)
Atomic Heist ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/16)
One Person Story ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/16)
Farabel ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/17)
Mushroom Quest ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/17)
Mad Carnage ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/17)
Carnage: Battle Arena ($5.99 from $14.99 until 11/19)
Wolflame ($3.49 from $6.99 until 11/23)
Satazius NEXT ($3.49 from $6.99 until 11/23)
Armed 7 DX ($3.49 from $6.99 until 11/23)
Shmup Collection ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/23)
Finding Teddy 2: Definitive ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/23)
Guns of Mercy: Rangers ($4.49 from $8.99 until 11/23)
Gigantic Army ($4.49 from $8.99 until 11/23)
Build a Bridge! ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/23)
Super Trench Attack ($4.00 fromm $8.00 until 11/23)
Bridge Builder Adventure ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/23)
Ord. ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/23)
World of Solitaire ($8.99 from $14.99 until 11/26)
Suguru Nature ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/26)
Salad Bar Tycoon ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/26)
Blood Will Be Spilled ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/26)
Aircraft Evolution ($6.99 from $9.99 until 11/27)
Need a Packet? ($4.89 from $6.99 until 11/27)
Steam Tactics ($6.99 from $9.99 until 11/27)
Escape From Tethys ($6.99 from $9.99 until 11/27)
Norman’s Great Illusion ($3.49 from $4.99 until 11/27)
Mask of Mists ($10.49 from $14.99 until 11/27)
Pantsu Hunter ($9.09 from $12.99 until 11/27)
Active Neurons: Puzzle ($3.49 from $4.99 until 11/27)
Music Racer ($4.89 from $6.99 until 11/27)
7th Sector ($13.99 from $19.99 until 11/27)
Breeder Homegrown: DC ($3.49 from $4.99 until 11/27)
Feudal Alloy ($3.39 from $16.99 until 11/28)
FootGoal! Tiki Taka ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/28)
#Halloween, Puzzles Dream ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/28)
Apocryph: Old-School Shooter ($6.99 from $14.95 until 11/29)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10th
Birds and Blocks ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/10)
Bridge Strike ($2.09 from $6.99 until 11/10)
Bright Paw ($9.99 from $12.99 until 11/10)
Bullet Beat ($4.24 from $4.99 until 11/10)
Cattails ($1.99 from $14.99 until 11/10)
Deployment ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/10)
Flip Over Frog ($0.99 from $7.50 until 11/10)
Funny Bunny Adventures ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/10)
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 ($7.99 from $39.99 until 11/10)
Glitch’s Trip ($9.99 from $12.99 until 11/10)
Goonya Fighter ($0.99 from $24.99 until 11/10)
Invisible Fist ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/10)
Kingdom Two Crowns ($11.99 from $19.99 until 11/10)
Legends of Amberland: Forgotten Crown ($13.99 from $19.99 until 11/10)
MindSeize ($21.59 from $23.99 until 11/10)
Nullum ($1.39 from $1.99 until 11/10)
Quest Hunter ($14.99 from $29.99 until 11/10)
Rise of Insanity ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/10)
Sky Ride ($0.99 from $7.00 until 11/10)
Speed 3: Grand Prix ($35.99 from $39.99 until 11/10)
That’s all that’s good for today, friends. As is usual for recent Tuesdays, tomorrow will see several new releases. We’ll have summaries of all of them as always. Whatever news and new sales appear will also be included, and there may also be a review or two depending on what I can wrap up. I hope you all have a magnificent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!