Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 19th, 2022. In today’s edition, we start things off with a pair of reviews. WayForward’s Spidersaurs and LOUD from QubicGames and Hyperstrange get evaluated in our usual fashion. After that, there are several new releases to check out, and that’s just what we do. As ever, we close with lists of the latest sales and expiring discounts. Let’s head out on the hunt!
Reviews & Mini-Views
I’m sure this is being mentioned in almost every review of Spidersaurs, but just in case this is the first one you’ve read, let me just say it: this is, mechanically speaking, a Contra game in everything but name from many of the same people that brought us Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS. WayForward is behind both games, and it’s clear what the intention was here. But because this is WayForward, they’re not just going to trace someone’s homework in world-building. No, if there’s one thing I have learned about these folks, it’s that if you give them a chance to make a new setting and cast of characters, they are absolutely going to run with it.
Genetically modified spider-dinosaur hybrids are running amok in a lab designed to create and raise such creatures for meat. Our heroes have sampled enough of the products of this company that they have become genetic anomalies themselves, making them the right candidates to handle this mess. You can choose between a punk rock star who attacks using music played from her guitar, or a prospective cop who uses sports equipment in lethal ways. While they by and large play the same, each has some specific weapons to call their own. Most of their moves ape those of the Contra heroes, in particular their Contra 3/4 incarnations. You won’t initially have access to all of their abilities, however. Each boss you fell drops some meat that gives you a new move to use from that point forward.
It’s a tough game, though not as tough as Contra 4. It’s a fun game, though not as fun as Contra 4. I don’t think those two things are related, mind you. It just feels a little bit slower in its gameplay, and doesn’t have quite as many wild set pieces as later Contra games did. Having the moves unlock over the course of the game instead of being available from the hop feels like a mismatch for the game’s linear design, and the bosses don’t quite have that zing I like to see in a run-and-gun. I also find it a little too visually busy at times, making it hard to clearly track enemies and their attacks.
With that all said, I think fans of the genre will find a lot to like here. WayForward has brought its usual level of production values to the genre, and its experience in making 2D action games of all sorts shines through. I’d probably recommend Blazing Chrome or even Super Cyborg over this as far as Contra-inspired games go, but I don’t think we’re so drowning in good games of that sort that we should turn up our noses at this fine specimen.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
LOUD is a rhythm game that tells a story, albeit a rather simple one. Astrid is a teenager who turns to music to escape some of the difficulties of growing up. She starts by swinging around a broom in her room, but it isn’t long before she has a proper guitar and starts chasing her dreams. Dojo, casino, it’s all in the mind. The tale is told across fourteen stages, each with their own accompanying music track, that take Astrid through various locations and times in her life.
The gameplay involves timing-based button taps and holds, and most closely resembles that found in Atlus’s Persona rhythm games. Astrid stands in the middle, and nodes corresponding with up, left, and down on the directional buttons and the X, A, and B buttons surround her. Tap the appropriate button or direction when the star hits the sweet spot, and that’s almost everything you need to know. Beyond simple tapping, some notes require you to hold, while others require you to mash the button. Screw up too much and you’ll fail the stage and have to try again. There are four difficulty settings (you’ll have to unlock the harder ones) and they cover a wide range of skill. Relaxing tapping on Chillin’, a pleasing amount of heat on Skillin’, and mad shredding on Grindin’ and Liberator.
With rhythm games, I’m really looking for two things at the end of the day. First, are the gameplay mechanics easy to pick up, but scale up in challenge well? And second, is the music good? LOUD passes both of those tests well. The rocking soundtrack is pleasing to the ears, and while the gameplay isn’t the most original thing I’ve played, it does its job the way it should. Throw in a high-quality presentation and a story that managed to hold my interest and you’ve got a pretty cool game.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Endling – Extinction is Forever ($29.99)
While this may seem like an odd way to describe a game, I’m going for it. If you want to feel a deep, depressing sense of despair for the future of our world, Endling is the game for you. You play as a mother fox who is the last of her kind in a ruined world. You have three children, and whatever else you do in the game you must constantly make sure you are taking care of them lest they die. And there are a lot of ways they can die. You too. You’ll meet lots of other living things. Lots of them also die. It’s a bleak world. Little bits of beauty in it, but don’t play this if you’re already feeling down because it will just drag you deeper.
Gloom and Doom ($39.99)
This is a visual novel about a wraith trying to kill his way into heaven (it’s complicated) and his final target, a girl who wants to die. There’s just one problem: she can’t die, despite the wraith’s many efforts. This odd pairing will end up clashing with the forces of heaven and hell alike, and your choices will determine the ultimate outcome. The whole thing is just drenched in a 1990s feel, and the story is quite interesting. The only major knock I have on this is that it is for some reason twice the price of its Steam counterpart. At twenty dollars I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this, but at forty, it’s a tougher sell.
Fallen Angel ($14.99)
A top-down action-RPG whose visuals call Hyper Light Drifter to mind. It’s probably best to usher those thoughts out of your brain, however. Fallen Angel absolutely can’t live up to that game’s quality. It’s slower, stiffer, and blander in many ways. I think the game’s good points outweigh its bad points, albeit narrowly, but you may take to it better than I did. It does have lots of positive reviews from players on other platforms, after all.
Hazel Sky ($24.99)
This is an action-adventure game along the lines of things like Uncharted or Tomb Raider, but without any combat. That’s right. It’s just you, some puzzles, and some platforming challenges. It takes a few hours to run through the whole thing, and you’ll surely notice some rough edges along the way. The game was apparently made by six people, which is pretty wild. I suppose if you keep that in mind, you might be able to enjoy this more. On its own merits, it’s just so-so.
House Builder ($14.99)
Build various houses around the world in this semi-sim experience. It’s an awful lot like House Flipper, so if you’re in that kind of mood then this will serve you reasonably well. It’s buggy and janky but I have to believe fans of this type of game expect that stuff and can tolerate it better than the average person. If that is you, you’ll probably enjoy chewing your way through House Builder.
Motorcycle Driving Simulator- Dirt & Parking 2022 Racing Games Ultimate 4×4 City Offroad Kart ($19.99)
Got any other SEO terms you want to cram into that title, INSTAMARKETINGANDGAMES? Maybe throw in a ‘Souls‘, an ‘Animal‘, maybe ‘Craft‘? Handheld mode only, because this is a low-effort mobile game flip. Go directly into the trash can, and take your trash publisher with you.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Capcom’s having another one of its big sales, with some new low prices on Dragon’s Dogma and Mega Man 11 as the highlights. Nobody Saves The World has a modest discount, but it’s the lowest price we’ve seen yet on the game. Not much in the outbox to go over, so I’ll just leave that one to you.
Select New Games on Sale
Nobody Saves The World ($18.74 from $24.99 until 7/25)
A Sketchbook About Her Sun ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/25)
Guacamelee! Super Turbo CE ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/25)
Guacamelee! 2 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 7/25)
Guacamelee! 2 Complete ($5.62 from $22.49 until 7/25)
Severed ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/25)
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs ($2.99 from $9.99 until 7/25)
Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure ($1.99 from $19.99 until 7/26)
Okami HD ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Shinsekai Into the Depths ($14.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Phoenix Wright AA Trilogy ($14.99 from $29.99 until 7/28)
Great Ace Attorney Chronicles ($24.79 from $39.99 until 7/28)
Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection ($39.59 from $59.99 until 7/28)
Onimusha Warlords ($7.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Devil May Cry ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Devil May Cry 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Devil May Cry 3 SE ($11.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Mega Man 11 ($9.89 from $29.99 until 7/28)
Mega Man Legacy Collection ($7.99 from $14.99 until 7/28)
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection ($7.99 from $29.99 until 7/28)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 7/28)
Mega Man Zero ZX Collection ($14.99 from $29.99 until 7/28)
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen ($9.89 from $29.99 until 7/28)
The Big Con: Grift of the Year ($11.99 from $14.99 until 8/2)
Fly Punch Boom! ($1.99 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Jenny LeClue: Detectivu ($2.99 from $24.99 until 8/8)
Persian Nights 2: Moonlight Veil ($1.99 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride ($1.99 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20th
8 & 9 Ball Pocket ($4.79 from $11.99 until 7/20)
Bass Pro Shops: The Strike CE ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/20)
Biker Garage: Mechanic Simulator ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/20)
Blackwind ($14.99 from $24.99 until 7/20)
Cabala’s The Hunt CE ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/20)
Death and Taxes ($3.89 from $12.99 until 7/20)
Dreamo ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/20)
Horror & Adventure Pinball ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/20)
Horror & Sports Pinball ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/20)
Legends of Amberland: TFC ($6.99 from $19.99 until 7/20)
Nape Retroverse Collection ($5.94 from $6.99 until 7/20)
Ploid ($2.54 from $2.99 until 7/20)
Ploid Saga ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/20)
Princess Farmer ($11.24 from $14.99 until 7/20)
Reknum Cheri Dreamland ($2.09 from $6.99 until 7/20)
Sports & Adventure Pinball ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/20)
Wild & Adventure Pinball ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/20)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new games, perhaps a review or two, some new sales, and maybe a little news. I’ve been on a bit of a Mega Man replay kick lately, and I’m currently working on The Wily Wars via the SEGA Genesis app for Nintendo Switch Online. My son has also been dabbling in them for the first time ever, and he’s finding them surprisingly enjoyable. They’re definitely outside his usual wheelhouse as games go. Whatever you’re playing, I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!