‘Torchlight III’ Review, Mini-Views Featuring ‘Part-Time UFO’ and More, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales – TouchArcade


Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for November 2nd, 2020. We’re kicking off a new week and a new month, one that promises to have plenty of cool games to play. For our part today, we’ve got a bit of news, a full review of Torchlight III, Mini-Views of several games including Part-Time UFO and Mad Rat Dead, summaries of the new releases that dropped over the weekend, and the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales. Surprisingly packed for a Monday. Let’s get to work!

News

Get All Eight Types of Ash’s Pikachu in ‘Pokemon Sword & Shield’

In the last month and a bit, some codes have been released that allow players of Pokemon Sword and Shield to get their hands on a variety of special versions of Ash’s Pikachu, each wearing a different cap. Now that all the codes are out, I figured I would post them here for those who haven’t been keeping up on the whole affair. To use these codes, just pull up the Mystery Gift menu, then Get a Mystery Gift, then Get with Code/Password. You don’t have to pick one; all eight can be redeemed. Don’t forget to save afterwards! The codes are as follows:

Original Cap – P1KACHUGET
Partner Cap – 1CH00SEY0U
Hoenn Cap – P1KAADVANCE
Sinnoh Cap – V0LTTACKLEP1KA
Unova Cap – P1KABESTW1SH
Kalos Cap – KAL0SP1KA
Alola Cap – ULTRAP1KA
World Cap – K1NP1KA1855

Reviews

Torchlight III ($39.99)

Torchlight initially became popular by offering a solid Diablo-like experience to fill the gap while Diablo fans waited patiently for the third installment in that series. Torchlight II was there to break the fall from Diablo III‘s controversial state at launch. It seemed Blizzard had lost its way, and Torchlight (whose team included many of the key people behind Diablo 1 and 2) reaped the rewards. Several years later, we find Torchlight in a very similar boat to its spiritual parent. Torchlight III is a very different game in many ways from the previous installments, and as much as it pains me to say this, very few of the changes are for the better.

Does that make Torchlight III a bad game? No, not at all. In a vacuum it’s a perfectly amusing, if somewhat light, take on the Diablo-style action-RPG formula. Mowing down enemies, collecting loot, building your character, and finding cool new pieces of gear is satisfying enough to keep you rolling along through the game’s main story. It’s nothing you’re going to be shouting about excitedly, but it’s fine. Things break apart a bit as far as endgame/post-game content goes, and you can feel some of the assets being stretched as you battle what feels like the same few types of enemies over and over again. The pacing is all over the place, and you’ll likely pick up some gear pieces in the first hour that you’ll still be using at the end of the game. But hey, it’s perfectly playable and fun enough to carry you through the several hours of its main campaign.

Torchlight III does not exist in a vacuum. It’s the follow-up to two very well-made action-RPGs, the second of which is available on the Switch at half the price of Torchlight III. That game does basically every important element of the genre better than this sequel, giving you superior character-building options, better late-game content, smoother pacing, a better difficulty curve, and a lot more variety. Knowing this game’s difficult development circumstances, I can understand why so much of it feels undercooked. I also suspect that it will become a lot better through future updates, much as Diablo III did. There’s a good foundation here that can be hammered into something better. But that future potential is not now, so I can’t really do much with it.

To put it straight, if you come into this looking for more of what you got from the previous two Torchlight games, I think you’re going to be disappointed. It’s too simple, too slight, and altogether too plain to belong in the same conversation as those games. It can’t hold up to Torchlight II, nor can it be seen as a credible alternative to Diablo III Eternal Collection or even, I don’t know, Titan Quest. I’d put it more in the vein of lighter fare like Minecraft Dungeons, and in that company it’s more comfortable. Just want to mindlessly smack down some monsters and enjoy the clink-clink of dropped loot? Looking to spend a weekend with an action-RPG that is engaging but not too intense? Torchlight III will serve the role fine. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for your next months-long click-and-kill time-waster, this game isn’t going to do much to fill your belly.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Mini-Views

Grood ($4.99)

Grood is a decent horizontal shoot-em-up at a very reasonable price. It’s got a heavy metal vibe to its presentation that adds to the tension, and the in-game action keeps up nicely. The core gimmick here is a slow-down ability that you can charge up by shooting enemies and use when you see fit. You can also pick up and make use of new weapons as you go. It’s quite forgiving in some ways, allowing you to take quite a few hits before you’re knocked out for good. That doesn’t keep it from being quite tough, however. Enemies can take a lot of hits and threats come from many angles, making it tough to stay on top of things without getting hit. Once you die, that’s it. This is a very competitive genre on the Switch, but Grood manages to keep pace even if it doesn’t significantly stand out.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Part Time UFO ($8.99)

This was an incredibly charming game on mobile, and it hasn’t lost much at all in the transition to the Switch. It’s a little more unwieldy when you’re using button controls compared to the touch controls it was designed around, but it plays well enough. The new content, including the wildly fun multiplayer mode and endless tower mode, makes this worth picking up even if you already went through the mobile release. I also like that Kirby and the gang get to make cameo appearances thanks to this being on a Nintendo platform. Part Time UFO is HAL Laboratory doing what it does best: creating a cute, lovable character and putting them in a game with rock-solid, eminently enjoyable mechanics.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny ($7.99)

One of the things I have to ask myself with each of these NEOGEO Pocket Color releases is what it has to offer over the similarly priced big-boy version through Arcade Archives. In the case of The Last Blade, it’s a fair bit. This pocket version attempts to draw elements from both Last Blade games together, and throws in quite a lot of unlockable content to boot. If you’re looking for a fighting game to play with friends, you’re better off with the main games, but for something to chew on in solo play this definitely has a fair bit of appeal. Not the best game in this line of re-releases so far, but still worth picking up for the SNK fan.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! ($29.99)

I can appreciate that the developers of the Umihara Kawase series are looking for new directions to take the games. I sincerely hope they come up with something better than this in the future, however. The attempt to turn Umihara Kawase into a Bubble Bobble-ish arcade game just doesn’t work. It doesn’t feel much like the previous games at all, and what it has become isn’t very fun at all. Grab enemies or balls to load your bazooka, then blast at other enemies. Collect the requisite number of coins to move to the next stage. Sometimes swinging is helpful, but it’s rarely critical. Clumsy controls, elements that don’t mesh well with the rest of the game, and some truly dull level designs make for an experience that not even multiplayer can salvage.

SwitchArcade Score: 1.5/5

Mad Rat Dead ($39.99)

Mad Rat Dead from NIS America is a rhythm platformer where you play as a lab rat trying to take revenge on humans for locking you up in a cage. Just like Crypt of the Necrodancer, Mad Rat Dead adds rhythm-based mechanics to another genre and it has worked out almost perfectly. You dash, jump, dive, and attack your way through multiple levels that get more difficult as the stages go by to try and reach your goal. The only aspect of this game that disappointed me was how the enemy placement in levels feels a bit tacked on. In terms of accessibility, if you die (by taking any damage), you can immediately rewind to a previous position. There isn’t any fixed beat mode letting you just enjoy the music and play this as a platformer though. Speaking of music, Mad Rat Dead‘s soundtrack is one of the biggest surprises for me this year. It is fantastic and will stick with you long after you play with its catchy tunes. If you enjoy rhythm games and are up for a challenge, this Mad Rat is just what you need. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator ($7.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

I’ve played a lot of different kinds of games in my life, but I think this is the first horror/management sim hybrid. It uses the familiar structure from the other Five Nights at Freddy’s games, where you’re trying to survive a number of nights without the animatronics killing you. When they do, you’ll get a jumpscare. So far, so same. But what you’re doing each day and night is quite a bit more complicated than just watching doors and conserving electricity. There are several phases, most of which involve you using your funds to upgrade the restaurant in some way or another. Considering the odd blend here, the game is surprisingly enjoyable.

Eyes: The Horror Game ($2.49)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Wow, this is a bit of a blast from the past. Readers with sharp memories may recall Eyes: The Horror Game from its mobile release back in March of 2013. That actually predates my employment with TouchArcade. Neat! Anyway, this is a horror game where you need to search a haunted building to gather up a certain amount of money bags. As you rummage around in the darkness, you need to keep an eye out for warning signs that a ghost is near. If you lay eyes on them, you’re finished. You can collect runes to briefly see through the eyes of the spirits, helping you figure out where they are. Grab all the money bags and make your way to the front door to win. There are three buildings to play in, and some interesting secrets to find. You know, for a couple of bucks this is rather good. Kind of reminds me of Haunted House on the Atari 2600.

Boss Rush: Mythology ($8.99)

This is a 2D action game that consists of 20 boss battles against creatures and gods from Greek mythology. Despite the 2D nature of the game, it has clearly patterned its combat mechanics after the From Software Souls games. There are six different weapons and six different items to choose from, and an easy mode has been included for those who want a slightly more relaxed challenge. Definitely an acquired taste, but it’s not too bad for what it is. I love the theme and there really is a good bit of variety in terms of boss behavior and the required attack patterns to take them down.

AXES ($4.99)

This is a battle royale game that does not have multiplayer support. Hm. You just sort of engage in top-down battling with CPU opponents as a red circle closes in on you. There are more than 60 items to get your hands on, with more than 40 weapons to give some variety to the hacking and slashing. You can choose from more than 20 different characters, and there are a number of maps to play. Seems like something that might be amusing to play against other people, so I’m somewhat baffled why this game doesn’t offer that. Is there much of a market for this kind of thing? I guess we’ll see.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

A lot of the usual weekend sales popped up again, but there are some lesser-seen titles in the bunch as well. Like CASE: Animatronics! Blackmoor 2! True Fear! That kind of thing. The outbox has a lot of things to check out as well. Alien: Isolation is amazing, Grandia HD Collection is… okay, and those Star Wars games have never been cheaper. Have a look and see what grabs your attention.

Select New Games on Sale

Cyber Protocol ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/5)
Clumsy Rush ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/5)
Nirvana Pilot Yume ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/5)
OMG Police: Car Chase Simulator ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/5)
CASE: Animatronics ($16.99 from $19.99 until 11/5)
Liberated ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/6)
NecroWorm ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/6)
Boss Rush: Mythology ($7.19 from $8.99 until 11/7)
Super Club Tennis ($19.49 from $29.99 until 11/8)
True Fear: Forsaken Souls 1 ($6.49 from $9.99 until 11/8)
True Fear: Forsaken Souls 2 ($7.49 from $9.99 until 11/8)
Hyper Sentinel ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/8)
The House of Da Vinci ($5.99 from $9.99 until 11/8)
Zhed ($1.99 from $3.25 until 11/8)
Kine ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/9)


Diabolic ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/9)
Aborigenus ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/9)
Swaps and Traps ($1.99 from $8.99 until 11/9)
Knowledge Trainer: Trivia ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/9)
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 ($7.99 from $39.99 until 11/10)
Madorica Real Estate ($8.79 from $14.99 until 11/11)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/12)
The Legend of Ninja ($3.99 from $7.99 until 11/13)
Magic Nations: Strategy Card Game ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/13)
Dark Tower: RPG Dungeon Puzzle ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/13)
Caveman Chuck: Prehistoric Adv. ($1.99 from $3.99 until 11/13)
Inside Grass: Little Adventure ($3.49 from $4.99 until 11/13)
Deuces Wild: Video Poker ($5.61 from $7.49 until 11/14)
Bossgard ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/15)
Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings ($3.59 from $17.99 until 11/15)


Tower Inferno ($2.99 from $7.99 until 11/15)
The Language of Love ($9.59 from $11.99 until 11/16)
Blood Breed ($2.03 from $5.99 until 11/18)
Slither Loop ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/19)
Chess Minimal ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/19)
Titans Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/19)
Dragon Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 11/19)
Cel Damage HD ($2.49 from $9.99 until 11/19)
Suicide Guy ($1.03 from $7.99 until 11/20)
Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply ($0.77 from $5.99 until 11/20)
Trancelation ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/20)
Perseverance ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/20)
Tower of Babel ($2.09 from $5.99 until 11/20)
Final Light, The Prison ($2.09 from $6.99 until 11/20)
Xtreme Club Racing ($2.07 from $9.89 until 11/20)


Blackmoor 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/21)
Ultimate Racing 2D ($2.99 from $9.99 until 11/22)
Binaries ($2.59 from $12.99 until 11/23)
Endless Fables: Dark Moor ($2.24 from $14.99 until 11/23)
Solitaire TriPeaks Flowers ($3.59 from $5.99 until 11/23)
Crowdy Farm Puzzle ($3.59 from $5.99 until 11/23)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3rd

36 Fragments of Midnight ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)
8-Ball Pocket ($2.03 from $5.99 until 11/3)
A Hero and a Garden ($3.74 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Access Denied ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Alien: Isolation ($19.99 from $34.99 until 11/3)
Azure Reflections ($12.49 from $24.99 until 11/3)
Best Friend Forever ($17.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger ($11.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Corridor Z ($0.01 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Daggerhood ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Dead by Daylight ($17.99 from $29.99 until 11/3)
Death and Taxes ($7.79 from $12.99 until 11/3)
Deep Space Rush ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Devious Dungeon ($4.39 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Devious Dungeon 2 ($4.79 from $7.99 until 11/3)


Eliza ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Esports Life Tycoon ($11.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Even the Ocean ($11.24 from $14.99 until 11/3)
FullBlast ($3.59 from $5.99 until 11/3)
FunBox Party ($1.99 from $2.49 until 11/3)
Gensokyo Defenders ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Gensou Skydrift ($19.19 from $23.99 until 11/3)
Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure ($16.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Grandia HD Collection ($27.99 from $39.99 until 11/3)
Gravity Duck ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Heroes Trials ($3.59 from $5.99 until 11/3)
Hoggy2 ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Homo Machina ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)
I & Me ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)
I Am The Hero ($5.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)


Inksplosion ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Iron Snout ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Jack N’ Jill DX ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Keen: One Girl Army ($4.99 from $15.99 until 11/3)
Kingdom: New Lands ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/3)
League of Evil ($3.99 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Midnight Deluxe ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/3)
My Big Sister ($3.59 from $5.99 until 11/3)
Neon City Riders ($13.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Neverout ($1.99 from $7.49 until 11/3)
One More Dungeon ($4.39 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Pato Box ($4.49 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Peasant Knight ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)
Plantera Deluxe ($2.74 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Poltergeist Crusader ($4.79 from $5.99 until 11/3)


Prehistoric Dude ($3.74 from $4.99 until 11/3)
RogueCube ($3.74 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Scheming Thru Zombie Apocalypse ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Shadow of Loot Box ($3.99 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Skull Rogue ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)
Squareboy vs Bullies: Arena ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Star Wars Episode 1 Racer ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Star Wars Jedi Academy ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Star Wars Jedi Outcast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)
StarCrossed ($7.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)
Super Box Land Demake ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Super Destronaut DX ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Super Weekend Mode ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Tactical Mind ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)
Tetra’s Escape ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)


The Eyes of Ara ($8.24 from $14.99 until 11/3)
Twin Robots: Ultimate ($3.99 from $7.99 until 11/3)
Type: Rider ($1.99 from $2.99 until 11/3)
Vandals ($1.99 from $3.99 until 11/3)
Vectronom ($6.99 from $9.99 until 11/3)
Volta-X ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)
Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature ($11.19 from $15.99 until 11/3)
Warlock’s Tower ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)
Zeroptian Invasion ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/3)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow will see several new releases, as has been happening often on Tuesdays of late. We’ll have summaries of all of those games, of course. We’ll also have more reviews and Mini-Views, some news, and likely some new sales to check out. Rest well, friends. We’ve got quite a week ahead of us. I hope you all have a superb Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!



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