Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 6th, 2023. In today’s article, we uncharacteristically start off with a few reviews. I take a look at Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition, and Sentry City. After that, it’s time for the new releases of the day. A lot of fodder for the bins, but plenty of good things too. We close things out in the usual manner with the lists of new and expiring sales for the day. Let’s finish the week!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai ($59.99)
I’m a big Dragon Quest fan, and I’m also one that is remarkably easy to please. I hear the theme music, I see the familiar monsters, and I have an almost Pavlovian response. It takes a lot to make me dislike something with the Dragon Quest brand attached, which makes it rather impressive in a certain way that Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai came so close to that line. Before I take even one step further into this review, let me say this clearly: if you are not a huge fan of Dragon Quest as an IP, stay the heck away from Infinity Strash. It has that mediocre licensed game stink all over it, which means if you don’t have that brand affection working for you there isn’t much here to love.
The thing is, even if you have that in tow, Infinity Strash is rough. The premise is that Dai has had his memories stripped away by a Demon Lord and has to try to recover them. This gives us the perfect excuse to run through the greatest hits of the manga/anime, hitting all those hot story beats and letting you play them. Or at least, it should let you. Sometimes it does, but sometimes all you do is watch. The basic form of the game is that you watch a lengthy narrated cut-scene that typically involves very little animation if any at all, then have a battle or run through a brief stage. Then you get more lengthy cut-scenes, then maybe you can play again for a bit. The ratio of passive entertainment to active here is really lopsided, and it’s frustrating because so much of what it shows you is something you could have played.
It feels like someone had the actually really good idea of letting people play through all of Dai’s adventures from the comics and/or show but then realized how large of a scope that would require and pulled it way, way back. The action bits are so short and small that it reminds me for all the world of a certain type of PlayStation Portable game. The combat itself is decent, though nothing to write home about. You have your basic attack, an array of magic spells or special abilities, a simple dodge move, a block, and some super attacks. There are multiple characters, each with their own abilities, and as you play through the game you can customize their loadouts with the new skills they learn and the stat-boosting memories you’ve unlocked.
The story itself is interesting, though the limited nature of the presentation makes it feel like you’re watching a lengthy recap more than anything. If you haven’t experienced the source material yet I think you’d have a better time going with the manga or the anime. And if you are familiar with The Adventure of Dai, I don’t know how fascinating you’ll find an abridged yet rather dense retelling of it to be. The action sections feel too meager to carry the affair on their own, and the Temple of Recollection really shows how shallow the combat is when it takes the center stage.
Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai isn’t an outright terrible game, but I’m having trouble thinking of any scenario wherein a person would be satisfied with what it offers as a full-priced title. Its choice to be a story game with sprinkles of action perhaps could have worked, but the way that narrative is conveyed here simply lacks in satisfaction. I can only recommend this to the most die-hard of Dragon Quest fans, and even then I’d suggest proceeding with extreme caution.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Sentry City ($4.99)
I’ve mostly enjoyed the output of publisher Flynn’s Arcade. It has a good eye for authentic-feeling arcade experiences and other simple yet fun affairs, which makes the games it publishes feel like a proper family despite coming from a wide array of developers. I was genuinely looking forward to playing Sentry City based on that, and the slick-looking screenshots sure didn’t hurt. After playing it, however, I have to say that I’m rather disappointed. The game’s presentation is on point, and its ideas work well enough on paper. At first it seems fun enough, but before long the problems become apparent.
I found the level designs, enemy placements, and the overall precision required to be too strict for how responsive the controls are. There are also surprisingly few tricks up this game’s sleeve, so you’ll run into the same type of set-up again and again. Your character’s toolset is too limited to get very creative with, so you’re basically applying the same tactics to similar situations over and over. Asking the player to pull off a tough challenge once is fine, and repeating it later can have some impact. But after a while it just feels like the game has no better ideas than to keep bothering you with the same frustrating nonsense.
Sentry City has its moments, and I think a certain kind of player might get really into it. For my part, I found the slightly unresponsive controls and overall lack of variety made for an experience that was simultaneously agitating and a little dull. There’s some enjoyment to be had here, but you’re going to have to put up with a fair bit of nonsense to get at it.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition ($19.99)
I had a little trouble making a final call on Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition, but I’ve decided to err on the side of recommending it that little bit more. This is a very good remake of the original game, full of all the features you could ever ask for. That’s to be expected given Night Dive’s involvement in its development. When it comes to bringing classic FPS games to modern platforms, there are no better hands. If all you’re wondering about is if the original game has been done justice here, then you’re all set. Go ahead and buy it.
Those coming to the game without any prior Rise of the Triad experience might not want to be so eager to jump in without knowing what’s ahead. You see, Rise is a game very much born out of its time, place, and circumstances. Apogee and id Software had a big hit in Wolfenstein 3D, and the former naturally wanted to keep the good times rolling. The latter had its very own DOOM in the oven and was understandably less interested in going another round with Wolfenstein and its engine. What was originally planned to be a sequel using a modified version of the engine found in the first game ended up being its own game, developed by Apogee itself with ex-id Software designer Tom Hall.
Tom Hall has always had a playful design sense, and that couldn’t help but leak into Rise of the Triad. From a technology standpoint, the engine is sitting somewhere between the original Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM. Don’t look for any curved surfaces, and any instances of “rooms” on top of “rooms” happens via an interesting kludge of creating platforms out of items that the player can stand on. The levels look kind of ridiculous as a result, with floating discs forming stairs and such, but the fun thing about Rise is that it fully embraces this ridiculousness. One early example is the jumping pad, which will launch both you and enemies high into the air if you step on them.
The weapons can get silly, especially the magical ones, and the havoc you wreak with them is amped up for maximum pleasure. There are multiple playable characters, and the enemies have some surprisingly advanced behaviors at times given the era. It’s a goofy first-person shooter, and charmingly so. Is it as good as DOOM? No, not even close. And it certainly can’t hold up the generation of shooters that followed like Quake and Duke Nukem 3D. But it’s an interesting link in that chain, and I think it’s one that is still enjoyable to revisit. I don’t think that will be the case for everyone, both because the age of the game is apparent in a lot of ways and because even in its time it was a bit of a rough gem. Certainly, those who can’t deal with the odd nature of early 3D design will want to skip this one.
In the end, though, I just can’t not give a general recommendation to Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition. Night Dive has done its usual great work bringing this classic forward with a wide array of settings and options so that you can tailor it to your preferences. and the game itself for all of its flaws is a genuinely good time to play through. If you’ve played DOOM and Duke3D and are looking for something from the same neighborhood, consider picking up Rise of the Triad to see another angle on the earlier years of the genre.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Detective Pikachu Returns ($49.99)
It feels like a bit of a challenge for the game series to carry on when the biggest plot point was spoiled by the movie some years back, but maybe it doesn’t matter. This is, of course, the somewhat belated follow-up to the Nintendo 3DS adventure game which saw a tough-talking Pikachu solving crimes with the help of his partner, Tim Goodman. They’re back on the job in this one, with a whole bunch of new cases to resolve. A little like an entry-level version of Ace Attorney, in practice. I’ll probably be doing a review of this one, so do look forward to that.
Borderlands 3 Ultimate Edition ($59.99)
I guess this counts as a relatively major third-party release for the Switch these days. We’ve got a port of Borderlands 3 here, complete with all six content add-ons and the full collection of cosmetic packs, too. Anyway, it’s more shooting-and-looting fun, playable on your own or with another player via local wireless or online multiplayer. It’s as enjoyable a game as the first two, so it really just comes down to how well Gearbox pulled off what must have been a rather challenging port. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, so I unfortunately can’t say one way or the other on that.
The Pale Beyond ($19.99)
Five years after the good ship Viscount set sail for the Pale Beyond and was lost to its icy dangers, its sister ship the Temperance heads out on a similar voyage to seek answers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, your ship ends up in a deadly situation of its own. You have to manage your ship’s resources and make decisions that will lead to survival or a frosty death. There’s nothing to it but through it, even though you have no way of knowing what lies ahead. This one looks fascinating. I’m likely going to review it.
Pixel Game Maker Series Ninja Runner ($5.00)
An endless runner starring a ninja. I could elaborate, but is there any need to? You either want another bog-standard runner or you don’t.
Project Blue ($9.99)
8 Bit Legit brings another recent homebrew NES game to the Switch. This one is a platformer! I know, that’s unusual. You play as a little dude trying to escape from a laboratory, and you can both jump and shoot. It’s fine as these things go. Thanks to being with the Evercade console from day one, I’m used to these dime-a-dozen NES indie platformers, so this doesn’t do a ton for me. As with previous releases from 8 Bit Legit, you don’t get anything fancy like save states or what-have-you, so you have to finish the game in one session.
Pirates on Target ($4.99)
Something of a puzzle game where you need to move blocks and aim the cannons just right to take out the pirate ships. There are sixty levels to play. Might be an enjoyable evening’s entertainment if you’re in the right mood.
Freaky Trip ($16.99)
You know a game is good when it launches with an 80%+ discount. Oh wait, that’s actually how you know it was deliberately overpriced so that the publisher could make it look like the fair price is actually a mega-deal. Nothing new under the Sun from RedDeer Games, though. Anyway, this is a short point-and-click style adventure game. There are fourteen different areas to explore, and everything is very off-the-wall. I mean, it’s called Freaky Trip. It wouldn’t do if it was about organizing pencils in a cubicle or something.
Schleich Puzzles Farm World ($24.99)
A handheld mode-only set of sixty puzzles based on Schleich’s animal toys. It’s aimed at very young kids, and it strikes me as absurdly priced for this kind of thing. But I’m pretty sure I spent more on worse for my boy when he was young, so who am I to judge?
The Bin Bunch
Shy Cats Hidden Orchestra ($3.99)
Aquarium Land ($4.99)
Merge Master ($4.99)
Park Racer ($4.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
What should I call out from today’s list? Very few of these games are at new low prices or anything, and most of them will be back on sale before too long. So I guess I’ll just pick a few good ones. Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi, Spirit Hunter: Death Mark, and The Tale of Clouds & Wind. Okay, go have fun. As for the outbox? Not a whole lot. Check it while you’re at it, of course. You never know what you might find.
Select New Games on Sale
Garden In! ($5.99 from $9.99 until 10/12)
No One Lives Under the Lighthouse ($9.59 from $11.99 until 10/12)
Stay Out of the House ($14.39 from $17.99 until 10/12)
The House of Da Vinci 3 ($6.49 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Sifu ($23.99 from $39.99 until 10/16)
No Man’s Sky ($29.99 from $59.99 until 10/16)
Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi ($41.99 from $59.99 until 10/16)
Variable Barricade ($34.99 from $49.99 until 10/16)
Horgihugh & Friends ($20.99 from $29.99 until 10/16)
Tesla Force ($7.64 from $16.99 until 10/16)
Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate ($9.99 from $12.49 until 10/16)
Brotato ($4.49 from $4.99 until 10/16)
Aka ($9.09 from $12.99 until 10/16)
River City Girls ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/16)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Shantae & the Seven Sirens ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/16)
Hand of Fate 2 ($4.49 from $29.99 until 10/16)
Mato Anomalies ($9.99 from $39.99 until 10/16)
Wild Legion ($11.99 from $23.99 until 10/16)
Spirit Hunter: Death Mark ($19.99 from $49.99 until 10/16)
Spirit Hunter: NG ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/16)
Record of Agarest War ($27.99 from $39.99 until 10/16)
DYSMANTLE ($8.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Spooky Spirit Shooting Gallery ($27.99 from $39.99 until 10/16)
Katamari Damacy Reroll ($7.49 from $29.99 until 10/16)
We Love Katamari Reroll + RR SE ($29.99 from $39.99 until 10/16)
Sayonara Wild Hearts ($7.79 from $12.99 until 10/16)
Telling Lies ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
King of the Hat ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Two Point Hospital: Jumbo Edition ($13.59 from $39.99 until 10/16)
Storyteller ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/16)
Lost in Harmony ($2.09 from $6.99 until 10/16)
Road 96 ($4.99 from $19.96 until 10/16)
Road 96: Mile 0 ($9.09 from $12.99 until 10/16)
Kentucky Route Zero ($14.99 from $24.99 until 10/16)
What Remains of Edith Finch ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Neon White ($17.49 from $24.99 until 10/16)
Unsouled ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/16)
Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo ($34.99 from $49.99 until 10/16)
Metal Unit ($3.19 from $15.99 until 10/16)
Undead Horde 2: Necropolis ($10.19 from $16.99 until 10/16)
Crime O’Clock ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
How 2 Escape ($11.99 from $14.99 until 10/17)
Ganryu 2: Hakuma Kojiro ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Andro Dunos 2 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Capcom Arcade Stadium, Assorted ($0.99 from $1.99 until 10/17)
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, Assorted ($0.99 from $1.99 until 10/17)
Front Mission 1st: Remake ($27.99 from $34.99 until 10/19)
To The Moon ($7.19 from $11.99 until 10/19)
Finding Paradise ($7.19 from $11.99 until 10/19)
Golazo! 2 ($4.49 from $14.99 until 10/20)
Wargroove ($7.99 from $19.99 until 10/20)
Dungeons of Dreadrock ($2.45 from $10.00 until 10/23)
Leap From Hell ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Into The Sky ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/24)
Venture Towns ($6.00 from $12.00 until 10/26)
Jumbo Airport Story ($8.40 from $14.00 until 10/26)
Forest Camp Story ($7.00 from $14.00 until 10/26)
Mutant Mudds Collection ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/26)
Breakers Collection ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/26)
The Tale of Clouds & Wind ($3.74 from $4.99 until 10/26)
Beat ‘Em Up Archives ($7.49 from $9.99 until 10/26)
Risky Woods ($7.49 from $9.99 until 10/26)
OU ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/26)
Monster Boy & the Cursed Kingdom ($9.99 from $39.99 until 10/26)
Orbital Bullet ($7.99 from $19.99 until 10/26)
Forest Crash Party ($15.00 from $30.00 until 10/26)
Cricket Captain 2023 ($7.49 from $24.99 until 10/16)
Sales Ending This Weekend
Ninja Kidz: Time Masters ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/7)
Super Night Riders ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/7)
Alchemic Cutie ($16.99 from $19.99 until 10/8)
Blade Assault ($15.29 from $17.99 until 10/8)
Happy Game ($4.59 from $13.13 until 10/8)
L.A. Noire ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/8)
Machinarium ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/8)
Pilgrims ($2.44 from $6.99 until 10/8)
Pill Baby ($3.00 from $15.00 until 10/8)
Rush Rally 3 ($4.99 from $14.99 until 10/8)
Yum Yum Cookstar ($11.99 from $29.99 until 10/8)
That’s all for today and this week, friends. We’ll be back next week with more new games, more sales, more reviews, and some news. We’re inching ever closer to the release of the new Mario game, so I hope you’re all doing your thumb exercises. I hope you all have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!