May 16, 2022

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’ Announced, Reviews Featuring ‘Atelier Sophie 2’, Plus New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 28th, 2022. The weekend...

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 28th, 2022. The weekend is generally a time to chill, but the Pokemon Company went ahead and announced a whole new Pokemon generation yesterday. On top of that, I’ve got a few reviews for you to enjoy, covering the likes of Atelier Sophie 2, Moto Roader MC, and To the Top, Mammoth!. There are a couple of new releases to check out, and lots of sales that backed up over the weekend. Let’s get to it!

News

‘Pokemon Scarlet’ and ‘Pokemon Violet’ Announced For Late 2022 Release

Yesterday’s Pokemon Presents had lots of interesting points in it, with special events kicking off in various Pokemon mobile games and some nice new gifts and features being added to Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl and Pokemon Legends: Arceus. The biggest surprise was, as usual, reserved for the end of the show. The next generation of Pokemon games was announced for release on the Nintendo Switch later this year. We’ve got the usual two versions, this time going by the titles of Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet, and the starter Pokemon were revealed. The game’s setting appears to be in a Spain-like region. I imagine we’ll be getting plenty of details in the coming months, but for now feel free to check out the reveal trailer.

Reviews & Mini-Views

Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream ($59.99)

It’s important to know who you are, and if there is one thing I will say for Gust’s Atelier games, it’s that they know exactly what they are. While some of the mechanics differ from game to game and the cast of characters is always shaken up a little, you know that an Atelier game will give you a comfortable, fluffy RPG experience with an engaging crafting system. You’ll likely have your preferences of casts and specific gameplay mechanics, but I don’t feel like I’m stepping far out on a limb to say that if you enjoy one Atelier game, you will probably enjoy them all. They’re never going to wildly exceed expectations, but they sure won’t let you down either.

Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream comes on the tail of two games featuring the rather popular Ryza. Those games proved to be greater commercial successes than previous entries in the series, no doubt owing in part to their more approachable mechanics. Well, that and the fact that Ryza seems to have connected very strongly with people. Before Ryza, however, Sophie was the one that ruled the sales roost. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book released in 2015 across a variety of platforms and saw an enhanced DX release on the Switch last year. Its unique features and charming character dynamics arguably helped set the stage for Ryza’s eventual rise.

The heart of that original game came down to the relationship between the heroine Sophie and her friend Plachta. The latter is an amnesiac who has been transformed into a book, and Sophie wants to help her regain her humanity. The best she’s able to do is transfer Plachta’s soul into a doll body. A lot of other things happen in that first game, but I’ll let you go ahead and play it if you want all the nitty-gritty details. The important thing is that Sophie is still trying to help out Plachta at the beginning of Atelier Sophie 2. They leave the town of Kirchen Bell in search of leads, and end up at a mysterious tree. A vortex sucks the pair of them in, and Sophie finds herself separated from Plachta in a strange world of dreams.

And so it is that this sequel also focuses on the connection between Sophie and Plachta. There are other things going on here that you’ll learn as you play through the game, but you have to be invested in the story of this pair if you want to get the most from this game’s plot. The setting is a bit disappointing given how much potential there was for what is meant to be a world of dreams, but it’s serviceable enough. Lots of areas to explore for enemies to battle and materials to harvest, and that’s generally what you need in an Atelier game.

In terms of mechanics, there’s a lot of Atelier Sophie in this sequel, but with a number of sensible improvements from subsequent games and a few twists of its own. Turn-based battles? Yes. A crafting system involving placing shapes on a grid? You bet. Plenty of info about the things you’ll come across in the field, a useful minimap that can be as hands-off or obtrusive as you like, lots of recipes to discover, and tons of quests to complete. Overall a very smooth game to play, providing a nice blend of some of the more complex older mechanics and many of the niceties of newer, more approachable entries.

I’m sure the title will tip you off, but Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream is best appreciated by those who have already played the first game and enjoyed its characters and mechanics. There’s a little story catch-up here for those coming in fresh, and you will survive even if this is your first Atelier game. But the game certainly means to build on the foundations set in the first game, particularly with regards to Sophie and Plachta. As such, I’d advise you to play that first game before this one. That caveat aside, Atelier Sophie 2 does everything a sequel ought to and will assuredly provide Atelier fans with their regular dose of light-hearted RPG adventure.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Moto Roader MC ($6.99)

Wow, it’s a PC Engine CD game on the Nintendo Switch! That’s neat. It’s a rather mediocre PC Engine CD game on the Nintendo Switch! Well, I suppose that’s still a little neat. First released back in 1992, this is the third game in the Moto Roader series of top-down racers. Unlike the first two games in the series, this one fits all of the action on a single screen. This avoids the weird and clunky catch-up mechanics that plagued the previous games, at the expense of making it feel more like a souped-up Super Sprint than anything else. I believe this is the game’s first release outside of Japan, and Ratalaika has given it a similar set of options and features as their other recent releases like Gleylancer and Gynoug.

As top-down racers go, it’s okay. Not great, but it’s functional. There are lots of races, and some interesting multiplayer features for those with local buddies to play with. The extra data afforded by the CD format wasn’t exactly put to stellar use, and the presentation is rather unimpressive on the whole. Adding some awkward-to-use weapons to the Super Spring format doesn’t do a ton for the experience, and this is nowhere near other contemporary racers like R.C. Pro-Am or Rock ‘n Roll Racing. Not the most striking of starts for Ratalaika’s foray into the PC Engine library. Let’s hope better things await.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

To the Top, Mammoth! ($10.00)

This is a simple game that calls to mind classics like Hewson’s Nebulus/Castelian. You take your chosen character up the tower, avoiding obstacles and hazards along the way. You can hop forward as long as you aren’t trying to go up more than one block at a time. There are power-ups and perks to find along the way, and coins to scoop up that you can use for various purposes. It’s a level-based affair, and the aim is to make your way through all of them. You’re meant to do this as fast as you can, and will be awarded with stars based on your time. Mostly a matter of timing, but there are some extra secrets to find if you poke around.

There’s a certain basic joy to the whole affair, and some of the unlockable characters are weird and funny. But the game shows most of its hand really early, making the later stages start to feel a bit repetitive. Given how little there is on the bone to begin with here, it’s easy to get tired of To the Top, Mammoth!. It also feels very much like it is structured around a grind, making clear its origins as a free-to-play mobile game. Good for a bit of idle entertainment now and then, but it doesn’t quite have what it takes for longer-term thrills.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator ($29.99)

Oh, now this has some potential. In this game, you have to run your own winery. Choose the vines you want to grow, learn the process of growing and harvesting them, make the wine, and sell it. The developer seems to have put in a lot of work to make this as accurate as possible while still being a satisfying game, so don’t let that ‘Simulator‘ in the title make you think this is going to be some kind of bottom-tier junk. Reviews on other platforms were decent but not spectacular, so I suspect it is best suited to those interested in the topic matter.

Wall of Insanity ($7.00)

Here is a horror-themed third-person shooter that tries to pull off the whole survival-horror thing. Tries. It’s very rough, as you would expect for an ambitious game with such a modest price tag. Reviews are mixed on other platforms, and I imagine this particular version doesn’t have any major improvements. Do what you will.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Lots of sales came in over the weekend, as usual. And most of those sales, as ever, are what we love to call the usual suspects around these parts. I will at least direct your eye to the XCOM 2 Collection, however. It has hit an all-time low price of just five bucks. Five bucks! That’s wild. Buy it up. As for the outbox, shooter fans should think about grabbing Gemini Arms and Missile Dancer. And, uh, last call for the discounts on those Kingdom Hearts cloud versions. If you want them. You probably don’t.

Select New Games on Sale

Terra Lander ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Terra Lander II RSR ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Terra Bomber ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Road Fury ($2.69 from $8.99 until 3/2)
World Quiz ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Dark Thrones ($2.69 from $8.99 until 3/2)
Gas Guzzlers Extreme ($29.99 from $49.99 until 3/2)
Witch Hunter ($2.69 from $8.99 until 3/2)
Contraptions ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Vegas Party ($6.59 from $21.99 until 3/2)
Santa’s Xmas Adventure ($2.69 from $8.99 until 3/2)
Horizon Shift ’81 ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Chicken Range ($2.69 from 8.99 until 3/2)
Crash Dummy ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/2)
Car Driving School Sim ($6.99 from $13.99 until 3/3)
Carnage: Battle Arena ($4.49 from $14.99 until 3/3)
4×4 Dirt Track ($5.99 from $11.99 until 3/4)
City Driving Simulator ($5.99 from $11.99 until 3/4)
AAA Clock ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/4)
Art Sqool ($1.99 from $12.99 until 3/4)


Retro Highway ($4.79 from $5.99 until 3/4)
Battleship ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/4)
Clue: Classic Mystery Game ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/4)
Truck Simulator ($5.99 from $11.99 until 3/5)
The Last Survey ($1.99 from $14.99 until 3/5)
Portal Dogs ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/5)
Construction Site Driver ($6.99 from $13.99 until 3/6)
WWE 2K18 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 3/7)
WWE 2K Battlegrounds ($15.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
WWE 2K Battlegrounds Deluxe ($19.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)
XCOM 2 Collection ($4.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI ($8.99 from $29.99 until 3/7)
L.A. Noire ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)
BioShock Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/7)
BioShock 2 Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/7)
BioShock Infinite Complete ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/7)
BioShock: The Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)
NBA 2K22 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 3/7)
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 ($7.49 from $29.99 until 3/7)
The Outer Worlds ($23.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)


Carnival Games ($9.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
PGA Tour 2K21 ($14.99 from $59.99 until 3/7)
PGA Tour 2K21 Deluxe ($17.49 from $69.99 until 3/7)
Borderlands GotY Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 3/7)
Borderlands Handsome Collection ($15.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
Borderlands Legendary Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)
Tales from the Borderlands ($14.99 from $24.99 until 3/7)
The LEGO Movie 2 Video Game ($5.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game ($7.49 from $49.99 until 3/7)
LEGO Worlds ($5.99 from $29.99 until 3/7)
LEGO DC Super-Villains ($8.99 from $59.99 until 3/7)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 ($5.99 from $29.99 until 3/7)
LEGO The Incredibles ($8.99 from $59.99 until 3/7)
LEGO City Undercover ($5.99 from $29.99 until 3/7)
LEGO Jurassic World ($7.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
Scribblenauts Showdown ($3.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
Scribblenauts Mega Pack ($5.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
Cars 3 Driven to Win ($5.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)


Mortal Kombat 11 ($9.99 from $49.99 until 3/7)
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Add-On ($12.49 from $49.99 until 3/7)
Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath ($11.99 from $39.99 until 3/7)
Mermaid Castle ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/7)
Guards ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/8)
The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Skydrift Infinity ($10.49 from $14.99 until 3/11)
Pile Up! Box by Box ($10.49 from $14.99 until 3/11)
X-Force Genesis ($3.50 from $7.00 until 3/11)
A Gummy’s Life ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/11)
El Hijo A Wild West Tale ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/11)
Horned Knight ($2.49 from $5.99 until 3/11)
A Pretty Odd Bunny ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/11)
Mafia Slots ($1.99 from $5.99 until 3/14)
Caterpillar Royale ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)
Collide-a-Ball 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)
Bingo ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)
Dungeon Shooting ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)
Ping Pong Trick Shot Evolution ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)


Animal Hunter Z ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/14)
Battle & Crash ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/14)
Steampunk Tower 2 ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/15)
Sweet Witches ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/15)
Spirit Roots ($1.99 from $6.99 until 3/15)
Mech Rage ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/15)
Drawngeon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/15)
The Great Perhaps ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/15)
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! ($2.07 from $12.99 until 3/18)
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/18)
Sweet Bakery Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/18)
Burger Chef Tycoon Complete ($2.19 from $6.99 until 3/18)
Sir Eatsalot ($1.99 from $12.99 until 3/18)
Pinball Jam ($13.74 from $24.99 until 3/18)
City Stunt Driver ($5.99 from $11.99 until 3/18)
Puddding Monsters ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/19)
#pinocchio, Puzzles Dream ($2.39 from $5.99 until 3/20)
Dungeonoid ($1.99 from $6.99 until 3/20)
Sports Pinball Bundle ($2.69 from $8.99 until 3/20)
Burn! SuperTrucks ($1.99 from $7.99 until 3/20)


Halloween Pinball ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/20)
Werewolf Pinball ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/20)
FootGoal! Tiki Taka ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/20)
Mummy Pinball ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/20)
Pirates Pinball ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/20)
Apocryph: Old-School Shooter ($6.99 from $14.95 until 3/20)
.dog ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/20)
Toroom ($1.99 from $14.99 until 3/20)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1st

12 is Better Than 6 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/1)
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
Aragami: Shadow Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 3/1)
Assault ChaingunS KM ($7.99 from $9.99 until 3/1)
BARRIER X ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/1)
Black Book ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/1)
Breathedge ($12.49 from $24.99 until 3/1)
Cast of the Seven Godsends ($2.49 from $12.99 until 3/1)
Conduct Together! ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
De: Yabatanien ($11.19 from $13.99 until 3/1)
Fhtagn! Tales of Creeping Madness ($3.99 from $7.99 until 3/1)
Fly Together! ($1.99 from $15.00 until 3/1)
Funny Bunny Adventures ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/1)
Gemini Arms ($7.59 from $9.49 until 3/1)
Kingdom Hearts 3 + Re Mind Cloud ($39.99 from $49.99 until 3/1)


Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Cloud ($31.99 from $39.99 until 3/1)
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Cloud ($39.99 from $49.99 until 3/1)
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Cloud ($71.99 from $89.99 until 3/1)
Lacuna ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
LEGO DC Super-Villains Deluxe ($11.24 from $74.99 until 3/1)
LEGO Harry Potter Collection ($9.99 from $49.99 until 3/1)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe ($8.99 from $44.99 until 3/1)
Little Bug ($1.99 from $12.99 until 3/1)
Mainlining ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/1)
Missile Dancer ($7.99 from $9.99 until 3/1)
Monster Harvest ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
Monument ($1.99 from $7.00 until 3/1)
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate ($17.99 from $59.99 until 3/1)
Peace, Death! Complete Edition ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/1)
Police Stories ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/1)


Postal Redux ($4.49 from $9.99 until 3/1)
RIOT: Civil Unrest ($3.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
Solo Islands of the Heart ($3.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
Sparklite ($7.49 from $24.99 until 3/1)
STANDBY ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/1)
Super Soccer Blast ($3.99 from $7.99 until 3/1)
Super Tennis Blast ($4.49 from $14.99 until 3/1)
Super Volley Blast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/1)
TETRA ($9.19 from $11.49 until 3/1)
The Forbidden Arts ($3.74 from $14.99 until 3/1)
The Long Reach ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/1)
The Walking Vegetables: RE ($2.59 from $12.99 until 3/1)
To Be Or Not To Be ($6.29 from $6.99 until 3/1)
Treadnauts ($10.04 from $14.99 until 3/1)
Tunche ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/1)
Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure ($7.49 from $29.99 until 3/1)
Vaporum ($7.49 from $24.99 until 3/1)
Vosaria: Lair of the Forgotten ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/1)
WeakWood Throne ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/1)

That’s all for today and this month, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow to kick off March with… I’m not sure yet, actually. Some new releases. Some sales. Maybe some news. Outside chance of a review, I guess. We’ll have to see what happens. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!