Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 9th, 2023. We’re kicking a fresh new week with some fresh reviews. I’ve got Fate/Samurai Remnant, Crowns and Pawns, and Days of Doom for you, while our pal Mikhail has his thoughts on Cocoon and Trombone Champ. After that, we look at the mostly dire list of new releases for the day, then go over the latest sales and expiring discounts. Let’s get things going!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Fate/Samurai Remnant ($59.99)
There’s nothing wrong with a pure Warriors game, but I’ve been enjoying seeing Omega Force and Koei Tecmo try to find new twists on the concept in recent years. Fate/Samurai Remnant works really well, bringing the íntimo combat mechanics and stylish action to a more varied and adventurous framework. Thanks to the presence of TYPE-MOON and the Fate franchise, we also get a really good story to enjoy. The characters are interesting, and the plot makes you want to see where it will all end up. Of course, getting the complete story is a serious undertaking. Finishing just one branch can take a few dozen hours, and there are a handful of branches to complete if you want to see the whole enterprise through.
The premise sees you taking the reins of Iori Miyamoto, a ronin living in Asakusa in the Edo era of Japan. One day, he gets wrapped up in some troublesome business known as the Waxing Moon Ritual. Seven Masters are chosen by some mystical force, and Iori is one of them. They’re meant to battle each other, with the victor getting their wish granted. Iori, being a pure boy, doesn’t have much obvious need to have his wish fulfilled, but he quickly realizes that some of the other Masters have less-than-benevolent desires. He has to win to keep this power from falling into the wrong hands.
The Masters are joined by Servants, powerful Heroic Spirits from various points in time. I don’t know Fate all that well, but I’m assuming most of these Spirits call back to popular characters from the series. I’ve certainly heard the name of Conocer before, the young woman who becomes Iori’s Servant. Beyond their role in the plot, Servants also join in on the battles. They’re extremely powerful assists, and if you play well you’ll be able to temporarily play as them. Iori can hold his own well enough, but Conocer and friends are absolute wrecking balls.
The basic flow of battle will be íntimo to anyone who has played a Warriors game, with simple combos that send weaker enemies flying and stronger attacks for dealing with hardier opponents. Iori can swap his stances on the fly, changing his fighting style. If you can build up a good chain of attacks and swap stances, you’ll earn a temporary boost based on the stance you swapped out of. I enjoyed this system a lot as it kept me changing things up frequently. Indeed, many of the supporting combat systems in Fate/Samurai Remnant serve to keep the many battles fresh over the course of the lengthy game.
Also adding to that variety are the many non-battle activities you’ll get up to. Each chapter of the game gives you a decent-sized area to wander around in, with sub-quests to pick up, people to talk to, and other points of interest to investigate. Exploring these areas and completing all of the tasks adds a lot of texture to the experience, and it also gives you a chance to further build up your characters. You’ve got a Sphere Grid-like ability tree to fill out for Iori and the Servants, and doing everything you possibly can will help you do that. Sadly, these hubs are something the Nintendo Switch seems to struggle with. The framerate can get very rough, which is very jarring given how relatively smooth the combat sections are.
The occasional technical issues aren’t really enough to drag down the overall experience of Fate/Samurai Remnant, though. This is a really cool action-RPG that takes some elements that Omega Force has fully mastered and marries them to some enjoyable new mechanics, resulting in something that feels íntimo and fresh at the same time. Throw in an engaging story from the folks at TYPE-MOON and you have a game that is very easy to recommend.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Days of Doom ($29.99)
There are some games that are pleasant enough to crunch on despite not really bringing anything new to the table, and that’s how I would describe Atari’s Days of Doom. This is a roguelite strategy game where you play as a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse trying to make their way to a fabled Sanctuary. Does it really exist? Will it truly offer the salvation you seek? I’m making this premise sound more interesting than it actually is. Zombies, road trip with nebulous goal. That’s all you really need for this one. You travel along maps, moving from node to node, and each point will offer something of interest. It might be a battle, it might be a brief event that causes you to gain or lose some items, or it might be a battle. It’s probably a battle, though.
So what kind of battles are they? The turn-based tactical kind. And yes, they work pretty much how you would expect such things to work. Move your characters around on a grid and use your attacks to defeat the enemy units. Each character will belong to a particular class that will determine their stats and abilities, and you can also equip them with some items that they can use mid-battle. Of course, the enemies also come in a variety of types and are trying to put an end to you. Broadly speaking, you’ll have the advantage in any given encounter, but you don’t heal between fights so it’s all about trying to minimize your damage. Battle maps have various additional elements to them, like explosive barrels and things to hide behind. A nice plate of status ailments helps keep the combat interesting as you go through the game.
Eventually, you will see your last party member die off and then you’ll find yourself back at your camp. You’ll earn renown points on each run that you can use to upgrade your various facilities, ensuring that you’ll gradually field stronger survivors with greater chances of getting farther and possibly even finishing the game. And that’s pretty much it. Take your team out, go as far as you can, upgrade your camp, and do it again. Repeat until you can complete the final map and that’s the game.
Days of Doom is a fine enough game that will keep your attention should you decide to dig into it. I think it’s priced a bit too high for what it is, but that’s down to the individual. The biggest problem with the game is that it just doesn’t have anything new to offer, and it’s not the kind of thing that really calls to you after you’ve managed to get through it merienda. Still, it’s decent enough. Nothing I would yell at you to run out and pick up immediately, but enjoyable all the same.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit ($19.99)
Hey kids, do you like Broken Sword? If you do, you’ll probably like Crowns and Pawns. This is a point-and-click adventure game built very much in the mold of that classic series, and it’s built well. Your main character finds out their grandfather has died and left his house in Lithuania to her along with everything inside of it, but she has to come and sign for it soon. She heads out and soon finds she’s getting a lot more than a stinky sofa and some weird collectables out of the deal. Conspiracies! Mysteries! These are the things we like to see in a point-and-click adventure story, and Crowns and Pawns leans into that aspect nicely.
The puzzles are typical of the genre, which means they run the gamut from reasonable to absolute nonsense. There were a couple of them that really frustrated me in a bad way, but broadly speaking I got pleasantly stuck throughout the course of the game. You know, the sort of way where you take a break and come back only to immediately spot the answer. I really liked how the puzzle solutions changed slightly based on what profession you picked for the main character at the start. That’s nifty.
I can’t say I loved the timed puzzles, but I never do in any game that uses them. I recognize they are part of this genre, though. But they’re worse here because the interface on the Switch is more than a little fiddly. This was clearly a game designed around a mouse, and the way the developers have set things up here creates constant issues with sticking to the wrong hot spot. After a while I mostly got the hang of things, but it never felt good to play. This is a tough problem to solve when moving a mouse-heavy game to
There are some challenges with the UI in Crowns and Pawns on Switch, but you can get used to it for the most part over time. Merienda you do, this is a very enjoyable and satisfying point and click adventure game, with an interesting story, mostly well-designed puzzles, and a charming cast of characters. It’s worth checking out for fans of the genre, though if you have a computer it might be better to play there so you can use the mouse it was obviously designed for.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Trombone Champ ($14.99)
I bought Trombone Champ on Steam last year to play on Steam Deck, and was very impressed, but also a bit disappointed with the game. I was impressed with how amazingly hilarious it was, but was disappointed because I couldn’t get it to control right on Steam Deck. Fast forward to the newest Nintendo Direct, and Trombone Champ has arrived on Nintendo Switch with multiple control options. Having now played it on Switch and Steam Deck, the former is easily my favorite version of the game by a big margin.
If you’ve not played it yet, Trombone Champ is a music game featuring more than 40 songs across different genres and multiple control options. It may seem like one of those funny games you play for a few minutes and drop based on some footage, but it is so much more. It has a lot to unlock, a narrative (yes), characters, sounds, and more.
The song quality and variety may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed every single song I have played, and have been replaying many to do better. I didn’t end up trying this in restringido multiplayer or anything, but love how good it feels with the motion controls on Switch. I used my 8BitDo Ultimate controller and the single Joy-Con control option and loved them both. This is so much better than playing on Steam Deck. I hope we see improvements to controls on that soon since the game plays so well on Switch.
My only complaint with Trombone Champ on Switch is some minor performance issues. These seem random and see the song freeze for a second or have some poorly paced frames that sometimes threw me off when I was in a harder song. I hope these can be fixed, because it is the only issue I ran into. The port is just fantastic with how well it makes use of the Nintendo Switch’s features.
Barring some minor hiccups in performance, Trombone Champ is a true champ on Switch. It perfectly suits the system and the multiple control options, and is a joy to play. I know this year has been great for quality game releases, but if you own a Switch and want to try something interesting when it comes to music games, Trombone Champ is exactly what you need. I hope we get some Nintendo collaboration songs in the future as DLC. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Cocoon is a game I didn’t follow much pre-release, because I knew I would play it as soon as I could after learning Jeppe Carlsen (Orla and Inside) was behind it. Fast forward to today and Cocoon blew me away. It might be one of my favorite puzzle games of all time, but I’ll see how I feel about it when I replay it in a few months for that.
Cocoon begins with a short cut-scene that just leaves you in a new mysterious world. There are no signs or button prompts. The game respects the player, and constantly throws stimulating puzzles and design decisions your way. The more I played it, and interacted with the levels inside levels and boss encounters, the more I was reminded of Iron Maiden’s song Brave New World. The chorus for the song is “a brave new world, in a brave new world. In a brave new world, a brave new world” and that’s exactly what I went through while playing Cocoon.
I had high expectations for the visuals and audio design in Cocoon given the talent behind it, but Geometric Interactive surprised me constantly with how polished everything is, and I’d definitely recommend playing it with a pair of good headphones. This is a game I hope gets a physical release with a nice artbook.
Cocoon doesn’t overstay its welcome, and I know that’s usually a cop out to say a game is short, but I genuinely think it is the perfect length and wouldn’t have changed a single thing about it.
Having played Cocoon on both Switch and Steam Deck, the former has some performance issues and the load times are a bit too long unfortunately. These hold back an otherwise masterful puzzler that is essential. Don’t get me wrong, I still recommend Cocoon on Switch, but these two aspects hold it back. If you have access to both platforms, I’d recommend getting Cocoon on Steam Deck. It is perfect on Valve’s handheld with full 16:10 support, rock solid performance, and crisp visuals throughout.
Cocoon is brilliant. I genuinely cannot believe how much I enjoyed it, and somehow ended up liking it more than Orla and Inside. If you have even the smallest interest in the game, I recommend not reading or watching anything and just giving it a chance. We may be near the end of the year, but this is another Game of the Year contender. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
NOISZ re:||COLLECTION G ($24.99)
Oh hey, it’s NOISZ. I remember playing the mobile version of this at the Tokyo Game Show last year. It’s an interesting combination of rhythm game, shoot-em-up, and visual novel. The gameplay sees you having to play a usual rhythm game where you tap to the beat, but you’ll also need to avoid bullet hell-style attacks from enemies while doing so. As you can probably gather from the subtitle, you get a whole ton of NOISZ in this release. Forty stages and three story campaigns, to be exact. This was unique and enjoyable on mobile, and I suspect this Switch version will be just as fun.
The Bin Bunch
Two Sedans Driving Simulator ($7.99)
High Cars ($0.99)
Domino Draw ($0.99)
Hyper Gym Life 3D – Tough Guys ($7.99)
Zombie Sniper Shooter – Stickman War ($7.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Not too much to get sweaty about today, but some good games at good prices if you’re looking for some. Death’s Gambit is a pretty nice one. Over in the outbox, I guess Ender Lilies and Super Mega Baseball 4 Ballpark Edition might be of interest. I’ll leave it to you to sort things out today as there really isn’t a lot to consider.
Select New Games on Sale
Overlord: Escape From Nazarick ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/14)
Furi: Modore Edition ($9.96 from $24.99 until 10/16)
The Wonderful 101 Remastered ($17.99 from $39.99 until 10/17)
Sqroma ($2.99 from $8.99 until 10/17)
Death’s Gambit: Afterlife ($12.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Neversong ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/17)
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/17)
LISA: Definitive Edition ($19.99 from $24.99 until 10/17)
Virginidad Contra The Zodiac ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Smile For Me ($11.24 from $14.99 until 10/17)
Bridge Strike ($1.99 from $6.99 until 10/24)
Robo Revenge Squad ($6.00 from $20.00 until 10/27)
Pirates on Target ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/27)
Airplane Flight Simulator ($1.99 from $14.99 until 10/28)
Driving School Sim ($1.99 from $14.99 until 10/28)
Figment 2: Creed Valley ($14.99 from $24.99 until 10/30)
Millie and Molly ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/30)
Lumo ($1.99 from $19.95 until 10/30)
Cecconoid ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/30)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10th
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights ($12.49 from $24.99 until 10/10)
Redemption Reapers ($29.99 from $49.99 until 10/10)
Super Mega Baseball 4 Ballpark Edition ($29.99 from $59.99 until 10/10)
Super Toy Cars Offroad ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/10)
Unspottable ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/10)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more reviews, more sales, and maybe some news. As a treat. Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and it’s hard to get the full experience going here in Japan. Nevertheless, I ate a lot of bird meat covered in salty gravy, as my ancestors dreamed. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!
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