Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 5th, 2019. Today, we’ve got a review of Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, some news about Labo VR support for two of the Switch’s most beloved titles, summaries of all of today’s new releases, and a gargantuan list of sales to comb through. I’ve put today’s article on the scale, friends, and it reads: big fella. So let’s put on our fancy white gloves and see what turns up, shall we?
‘Nintendo Labo: VR Kit’ Support Coming to ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ and ‘Breath of the Wild’
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 5, 2019
You know, Nintendo has a habit of sometimes burying the lede on its products. Don’t get me wrong, the included software and mini-games in Nintendo Labo: VR Kit look fun enough on their own, but if Nintendo had opened with the words “you can use this thing to play Breath of the Wild in sorta-VR”, it’s likely nothing more would have needed to be said. Anyway, April 25th will see updates to both Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that add support for the VR Kit. In Mario‘s case, it will take the form of three mini-adventures in previously-visited locations. But Breath of the Wild? The whole darned game can be played with the VR Kit, and only the pre-rendered cut-scenes will show no effect. You’ll be able to toggle the option on and off at your leisure, so there’s no need to start a new file or anything. Nintendo Labo: VR Kit comes out next Friday, so you’ll have to make do with the included games for a couple of weeks before these updates hit.
Darksiders: Warmastered Edition ($29.99)
If you’re already familiar with the 2010 cult classic Darksiders, this will be an exceptionally short read for you. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition for Switch is essentially the same as the Wii U version, but on your Switch. And that version was a fairly straight port of the original PS3/Xbox 360 game with some visual enhancements. So there’s not much new here beyond it being handheld, and that may be enough to make the decision for some of you. It’s the same old Zelda-style action-adventure smashed up with Western-style melee combat that it always was. It clearly feels of its time, but that’s a good thing in some instances.
Now, if you are not familiar with Darksiders, you may well be in for a treat. The game chronicles the adventures of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He gets duped into breaking the delicate treaty between Heaven and Hell, seemingly bringing devastation onto the world of humankind through his error. Things have gone completely ca-ca no matter what happens, but he wants to try to prove his innocence and figure out who is really behind all of this. Unfortunately, he’s stripped of his powers before his investigation begins, and you probably know where this is all going if you’ve played a few games in your life.
Yes, it’s up to you to regain War’s powers, which will allow him to tackle the puzzles and other challenges ahead of him. You do this by exploring dungeon-like areas, finding power-ups, and battling bosses. Throw a nice lick of Western comic book grimdark on top of a pre-Breath of the Wild 3D Zelda and you’re more than halfway to Darksiders. The combat is a lot more fluid than most of the Zelda games, however, drawing inspiration more from the God of Wars and Devil May Crys of the gaming world. Oh, and fair warning: despite the generally high production values in its telling, the story doesn’t really wrap up here or indeed in any of the sequels, so you may not want to get too invested. Just enjoy the shlocky ride.
And what an enjoyable ride it is. There are bits of Darksiders that feel a little out of date, such as the relatively confined sizes of its “rooms”, or the less-than-impressive polygon count of certain objects, but the gameplay itself is still quite solid. For whatever reason, very few developers or publishers ever took the risk of trying to make a game similar to the 3D Zelda adventures, and Darksiders is handily among the cream of that meager crop. The navigation and exploration are well-done, the combat is fast and fun, and the puzzles aren’t too bad either. Regaining War’s powers feels very good, making you feel more and more like an almighty force of nature with each step.
There isn’t much new to be found here for Darksiders veterans, but if you’re in the mood for a well-constructed port of the game or haven’t played it before, you’ll be more than happy with what you get in this package. It may be several years old, but this was a pretty major production in its time and for all the quality software the Switch has, it doesn’t really get many games like this all that often. And you know, it’s still kind of novel to get good ports of last generation games on a handheld device. War: what is it good for? This game, for one thing.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Zombie Scrapper ($2.99)
Hopping over the Switch from mobile, this formerly free-to-play twin-stick shooter has one big thing going for it: it’s very, very cheap. But is it good? Eh. It’s not awful, but with how many great games there are in this genre, I’m not sure I’d recommend it even at this low price. Hard to argue with the amount of content, at least. You get a 36-stage campaign, an endless mode with 12 different levels to pick from, and lots of unlockable weapons and hats. So if you hate zombies and only have three bucks, here you go.
Basically, what you’re looking at here is a variation of Q*Bert. If you don’t know that game, the goal is to hop your little character around an arrangement of isometric blocks to “paint” them all. The twist in Quadle is that after you’ve painted a block, it will fall off of the level. So you have to be very careful about which blocks you jump to and when. If you leave yourself cornered, that’s that. As you work your way through all 128 levels, new hazards and stage gimmicks are introduced to keep things fresh. If you liked Q*Bert, Totes the Goat, or just like classic arcade games, you might enjoy this one.
This is straight-up Minesweeper, no more, no less. Click on squares on a grid to reveal numbers that hint at the locations of deadly mines. Flag the mines when you think you know where they are. Flag all of the mines correctly and you win. There are three levels of difficulty, and the game keeps track of your best time on each of them. And that’s really all there is to it. I’m sure you’ve played Minesweeper before. If you want it on your Switch, you can buy this one. If not, go to the next paragraph.
Arcade Archives Terra Force ($7.99)
This 1987 title was the third game in the Cresta series of shooters from Nichibutsu. It ditches the mechanic of building up your ship in favor of a more typical power-up plus option-style system. Interestingly, this is one of those shoot-em-ups that offers a mix of vertical- and horizontal-scrolling stages. It’s an okay game but it feels a little bland and flavorless on the whole. Hamster has given the game the usual treatment, so you can expect an experience reasonably close to the arcade original with a bunch of options for how exactly you want it presented.
Yet Another Zombie Defense HD ($4.99)
Look, just because you’re honest about it, it doesn’t absolve you of your guilt. Somewhat improbably, this is the second zombie survival twin-stick shooter we’ve looked at today. It’s an HD version of a game that debuted on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, and it was fairly popular in that form. Fast forward several years, and it’s just kind of plain when stacked up against the many other options you have in this genre. Really, it’s more or less the same deal as with Zombie Scrapper. Can you have fun with it? Sure. Is there a better way to spend your money or time? Almost certainly. But statistically I know there are lots of people out there who literally cannot get enough of shooting zombies, so shine on, you crazy diamonds.
Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission ($59.99)
Here in Japan, arcades are still sort of hanging in there. Most department stores have a very active game center where things like UFO catchers, photo booths, Taiko no Tatsujin drumming games, and deluxe sit-down racing cabinets delight people of all ages. Perhaps the most popular machines in these areas are the card games for kids. You use real physical cards and the game scans them and uses them in gameplay. Many of them will also dispense cards, creating a lovely feedback loop that is probably very healthy for humans whose brains are still properly forming. The multi-year king of games like these for boys is Dragon Ball Heroes, and you can now feel the flavor in your own home. Digitally, of course, so no need to fumble around for cards. So how is it? Well, the arcade games are designed to appeal primarily to seven-year-olds, so I’ll let you sort it out.
Monster Slayers ($14.99)
Bet you thought there weren’t going to be any highlights today, hunh? Got you! Monster Slayers is an easy-to-get-into deck-building RPG/roguelite, and it’s really good fun. I’m not so much digging that the Switch version is arbitrarily nearly double the price of the Steam version, but hey, it’s Digerati. It’ll be on sale before too long. And if you don’t feel like waiting, well, honestly? This is worth the price they’re charging on Switch regardless of its PC pricing. Dozens of hours of fun to be had here if you get properly into it.
Godly Corp ($7.99)
Well, this is silly fun. Basically the idea here is that Cthulhu or someone very much like Cthulhu gets a desk job and you have to control his tentacles to perform various tasks. The tentacles are, naturally, quite unwieldy, and hilarity will likely ensue. Kind of like a weirder take on Surgeon Simulator or its ilk, with a dash of Octodad for good measure. To tell the truth, these kinds of games aren’t really my thing, but I love watching people play them. Godly Corp is no different in that respect.
This is a rather unique little puzzle game where you have to put together pieces to re-create songs. You’ve got a circuit in front of you along with parts of the song, and you need to set them in the right places with the right parameters to match the actual song.There are 25 puzzles in total, and each one will probably take you anywhere from about five to ten minutes to finish. That’s a little on the brief side, but the music is so nice and the idea is so clever that I think most puzzle game fans will find this worth their time and money.
Well, yeah. It stands to reason after so many games finished up their sales in the last week that we were due for another avalanche. And here it is! Most of the stuff here goes on sale pretty often, so I can’t recommend anything particularly pressing to buy. Shaun’s shopping cart today contained the two Bleed games along with Omega Strike, but you can waste your cash or save it as you see fit. Do take note of the sales in the outbox, though. Celeste, TowerFall, and the others are fairly high-profile and don’t go on sale quite as often as this other lot. As such, you may want to splash out on those games ahead of anything else.
New Games on Sale
Smashing the Battle ($8.99 from $9.99 until 4/11)
Croc’s World Run ($4.39 from $5.99 until 4/22)
Degrees of Separation ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Robothorium ($11.24 from $14.99 until 4/11)
FutureGrind ($14.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Animated Jigsaws ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human ($5.19 from $12.99 until 4/18)
Uncanny Valley ($3.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Blacksea Odyssey ($3.89 from $12.99 until 4/18)
Digerati Indie Bundle ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Omega Strike ($5.09 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Pipe Push Paradise ($4.39 from $10.99 until 4/18)
Rival Megagun ($11.99 from $14.99 until 4/11)
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 ($29.99 from $59.99 until 4/17)
The First Tree ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/15)
Machinarium ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Momonga Pinball Adventure ($4.49 from $5.99 until 4/11)
Vertical Drop Heroes HD ($3.39 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Nefarious ($5.09 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Shikhondo – Soul Eater ($4.19 from $13.99 until 4/18)
Fall of Light: Darkest Edition ($5.09 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Gnomes Garden 3: The Thief of Castles ($2.99 from $4.99 until 4/21)
Hacky Zack ($1.49 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Spectrum ($2.99 from $11.99 until 4/18)
Unexplored ($5.10 from $15.00 until 4/18)
1979 Revolution: Black Friday ($3.59 from $11.99 until 4/18)
Let’s Sing 2018 ($29.99 from $39.99 until 4/11)
Kill The Bad Guy ($3.99 from $6.99 until 4/11)
MotoGP18 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 4/18)
Paranautical Activity ($1.59 from $7.99 until 4/18)
Lost in Harmony ($1.99 from $6.99 until 4/11)
INK ($3.05 from $8.99 until 4/18)
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker ($7.79 from $12.99 until 4/18)
Dungeon Rushers ($5.99 from $14.99 until 4/11)
Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition ($1.79 from $8.99 until 4/18)
Don’t Die, Mr Robot! ($1.79 from $8.99 until 4/18)
BAFL – Brakes Are For Losers ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/11)
Castle of Heart ($1.49 from $14.99 until 4/7)
Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge ($6.92 from $9.89 until 4/18)
Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Camp ($4.49 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Bleed 2 ($4.49 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Aperion Cyberstorm ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/11)
Dustoff Heli Rescue 2 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/18)
The Coma: Recut ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Unepic ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Bleed ($3.59 from $11.99 until 4/18)
Slain: Back From Hell ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Portal Knights ($23.99 from $29.99 until 4/22)
Letter Quest Remastered ($2.99 from $11.99 until 4/18)
INVERSUS Deluxe ($8.99 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Graceful Explosion Machine ($6.49 from $12.99 until 4/11)
Outlast: Bundle of Terror ($12.49 from $24.99 until 4/12)
Outlast 2 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 4/12)
Klondike Solitaire ($6.29 from $8.99 until 4/25)
Food Truck Tycoon ($3.99 from $4.99 until 4/25)
Moorhuhn Wanted ($5.59 from $7.99 until 4/26)
Sales Ending This Weekend
Goat Simulator: The GOATY ($20.09 from $29.99 until 4/7)
Butcher ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/7)
Celeste ($13.39 from $19.99 until 4/7)
Stellar Interface ($11.04 from $12.99 until 4/7)
TowerFall ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/7)
That’s all we’ve got for today, friends. We’ll be back on Monday with all the good stuff you expect, and you can probably look forward to a review of Mechstermination Force early next week as well. What games are you all playing this weekend? I’m replaying Shovel Knight right now and have been spending quite a bit of time with the SEGA AGES version of Puyo Puyo. Feel free to comment below and let me know what games you’re getting stuck into lately. And as always, thanks for reading!