May 17, 2022

Die Nite

Are people who control the game

SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Arise: A Simple Story’ and ‘Ganryu 2’, Plus New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 9th, 2022. In today’s...

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 9th, 2022. In today’s article, I’ve got two reviews for you to check out. Ganryu 2 – Hakuma Kojiro came in hot on the Switch a while back, and I’ve got my thoughts on the game after its latest patch that is meant to fix some of its issues. Arise: A Simple Story made its way over after bowing on other consoles a couple years back, and I’ve spent my weekend going through the emotional wringer playing it. There are also a couple of new releases, but nothing too wild. We finish things up with the usual lists of new and expiring sales for you to thumb through. Let’s get this show on the road!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Ganryu 2 – Hakuma Kojiro ($19.99)

When this game first released a couple of weeks back, the Switch version was in an absolutely sorry state. The framerate was so poor at times the game was nearly unplayable. With the developer’s assurances that a patch was on the way soon, I opted to wait so as to give it a fair review. Well, the framerate is better now. It’s still not good by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s playable. I guess we’ll have to settle for that. We shouldn’t have to, but things are what they are.

The game behind the issues is pretty fun. It feels more inspired by Shinobi III than by the original Ganryu most of the time, but that’s not a bad thing. You’ve got a decent set of moves at your disposal, with shuriken and your trusty katana serving as your main weapons. You also have a very useful dash that can be used to zip through the air and slice through your foes. The game’s five stages take you on a journey across Japan, with large environments, multi-directional scrolling, and lots of secrets to find. Each stage tosses in some gimmicks to keep things interesting, such as mine cart rides and shoot-em-up segments.

There isn’t anything truly new here, but it plays well and we’re not exactly swimming in quality Shinobi games these days. There are frustrating bits but overall it’s a very pleasant 2D action game built in a classic style. That does mean that you will have to learn those patterns, because the game will happily rock you if you don’t. It would be nice if the game were a little longer, but I suppose it’s being true to the arcade roots of its predecessor. Frankly, my biggest problems with Ganryu 2 can be found in its technical performance. The framerate is still rough. The initial load is absurdly long. The control responsiveness that the game demands through its gameplay challenges simply isn’t here.

Like Andro Dunos 2 earlier this year, Ganryu 2 is a faithful sequel to a game that few ever expected to get a sequel to. In terms of gameplay, it goes well beyond the relatively humble design of the original, resulting in a title that fans of Shinobi and Strider will almost certainly take an interest in. It’s unfortunate, then, that even after at least one patch dedicated to addressing issues, this Switch version of Ganryu 2 has a number of problems that interfere with the gameplay. I’d love to give this a strong recommendation on the basis of the solid game behind the wonky performance, but I really can’t muster more than a weak nudge.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Arise: A Simple Story – Definitive Edition ($19.99)

This is one gorgeous, heart-wrenching game, that is for sure. The game starts with the death of an old man who is apparently some kind of honored warrior or chief of his tribe. He wakes up in what we can assume is the afterlife, and will go through some of the major memories of his life on the way to his ultimate peace. These memories are divided into ten fairly lengthy stages that our main character has to make his way through. From childhood to youthful romance to old age, these stages are all brilliantly designed in terms of presentation. They convey their themes in a symbolic way, with some of them bright and warm and others dark and dreadful.

Indeed, soaking in this visual and aural candy is one of the best things about Arise: A Simple Story. True to its title, the actual narrative is quite minimal and while it is impactful it also isn’t doing anything particularly new with its nuts and bolts. It is in how that story is told that things get interesting. When a tragedy occurs, our hero finds himself caught between the shadows that threaten to drag him down and the raging fire that perhaps represents his anger. A happier life event sees him literally bouncing off of giant sunflowers in a warm, sunny field. When the game comes for your heart, it takes all the right steps to hit you as hard as possible. None of the emotions this game tries to evoke feel unearned, and that is impressive.

I wish I could speak so fondly about the gameplay. The puzzle elements are fun enough. The core gameplay gimmick is that you can roll time back and forth, changing the world around you. It’s a limited enough range that you won’t struggle to find out what you need to do, but wide enough that you do have to keep your eyes peeled. The problem comes in the platforming, of which there is a fair bit. It’s hardly the most demanding of platformers, but it’s demanding enough that the somewhat clunky physics and controls can make things frustrating. Generous checkpoints and unlimited lives minimize that irritation, but for all the jumping about you end up doing it rarely feels good.

Even with all of the frustrations I had with the platforming in Arise: A Simple Story, everything else here is so good that I feel good about recommending it. The emotional journey is outstanding, and unlike a lot of other narrative-focused games, Arise packs in a lot of gameplay to go with the story. This Switch port makes some minor technical concessions, but it’s quite good on the whole. A straight run through will only take you a few hours, but hidden collectibles make it worth taking your time to explore. A Simple Story it is, but there’s something to be said for simplicity.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Invasion Waves ($5.00)

An incredibly basic take on the top-down twin-stick shooter genre. There are three different areas, and you’ve got an endless mode to dig into if you’re inclined to. There are a lot of better games like this around the same price on the eShop, especially if you watch for sales.

Dungetris ($2.99)

Build a dungeon and then battle through it in this roguelite. You can play cards to help the hero defeat the various enemies and take down the boss. It’s only a few bucks, so you might get your money’s worth out of it even if it doesn’t really work as well as one might hope.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Hm, let’s see what highlights I can pull out for you today. Earthlock is, by a whisker, at its lowest price ever. It’s not too shabby. Madness Beverage is pretty interesting, and it’s never been cheaper on Switch. The outbox has more cool stuff in it at a glance. Do consider games like Doki Doki Literature Club+, Horizon Chase and its DLC, and Death’s Gambit: Afterlife while you can. Check those lists, as always.

Select New Games on Sale

Robo Wars ($1.99 from $6.99 until 5/12)
Wizard Mike ($1.99 from $6.99 until 5/12)
Flowing Lights ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/14)
Wrestling Empire ($14.99 from $19.99 until 5/16)
Tax Fugitive ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/16)
Broken Blades ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/16)
Darkest Hunters ($2.12 from $5.30 until 5/16)
Bus Driver Simulator Countryside ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/16)
Pocket Slimes ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/16)
Rover Mechanic Simulator ($5.99 from $11.99 until 5/16)
Blandville ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/16)
Hundred Fires: Rising of Red Star ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/16)
Zombo Buster Advance ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/20)
Wide Ocean Big Jacket ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/20)
Match Three Pirates! ($2.49 from $9.99 until 5/20)
Candy 2048 Challenge ($3.19 from $7.99 until 5/20)


Yum Yum Line ($3.19 from $7.99 until 5/20)
Jigsaw Fun: Amazing Animals ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/20)
Xenon Valkyrie+ ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/21)
Demon’s Tier+ ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/21)
Riddled Corpses EX ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/21)
Demetrios The BIG Cynical Adv. ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/21)
Half Dead ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/21)
Runbow ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/21)
Pirate Pop Plus ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/21)
Madness Beverage ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/21)
Ellipsis ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/22)
Ultra Foodmess ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/22)
Summer Paws ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/22)
Moon Raider ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Scribblenauts Mega Pack ($5.99 from $39.99 until 5/23)


Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate ($17.99 from $59.99 until 5/23)
Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath DLC ($11.99 from $39.99 until 5/23)
LEGO DC Super-Villains Deluxe ($11.24 from $74.99 until 5/23)
LEGO Harry Potter Collection ($9.99 from $49.99 until 5/23)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe ($8.99 from $44.99 until 5/23)
Survive on Raft ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/23)
Derby Racing Xtreme Driver ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Genetic Disaster ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/24)
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/27)
Alveole ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/27)
Earthlock ($5.38 from $29.90 until 5/27)
Crysis 2 Remastered ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/27)
Crysis 3 Remastered ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/27)
Overlanders ($1.99 from $24.99 until 5/27)
Steam Tactics ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/27)
Sports & Wild Pinball ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/27)
Mail Mole + Xpress Deliveries ($9.99 from $14.99 until 5/28)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 10th

#DRIVE ($8.44 from $12.99 until 5/10)
A Case of Distrust ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Art Sqool Deluxe Edition ($1.99 from $13.99 until 5/10)
Battle Brothers: Turn Based TRPG ($16.49 from $29.99 until 5/10)
Bladed Fury ($12.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Burnout Paradise Remastered ($9.89 from $29.99 until 5/10)
Charterstone Digital Edition ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/10)
Circa Infinity Ultimate ($1.99 from $10.99 until 5/10)
Concordia Digital Edition ($19.99 from $24.99 until 5/10)
Croc’s World 3 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/10)
Cyanide & Happiness ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Death’s Gambit Afterlife ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Deployment ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/10)
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus ($11.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Eight-Minute Empire Complete ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)


Ever Forward ($9.74 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Fates of Ort ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/10)
FIFA 22 Legacy Edition ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/10)
Gem Wizards Tactics ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/10)
Good Pizza, Great Pizza ($6.49 from $9.99 until 5/10)
Guts ‘N Goals ($9.74 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Hexagon Defense ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/10)
Hoa ($9.74 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Horizon Chase Senna Forever DLC ($4.79 from $5.99 until 5/10)
Horizon Chase Summer Vibes DLC ($0.99 from $1.99 until 5/10)
Horizon Chase Turbo ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Iris.Fall ($12.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Istanbul Digital Edition ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Lifeless Planet: PE ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Little Bug ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/10)


Lost in Random ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/10)
MUSYNX ($19.49 from $29.99 until 5/10)
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/10)
Neon City Riders ($6.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Neversong ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Ocean’s Heart ($11.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Plants vs Zombies BfN Complete ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/10)
Spaceland ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Spy Chameleon ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/10)
Steam Rails to Riches Complete ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Super Soccer Blast: America v. Europe ($4.99 from $5.99 until 5/10)
Super Sports Blast ($7.49 from $24.99 until 5/10)
SUPERBEAT: XONiC ($19.49 from $29.99 until 5/10)
Unravel Two ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
while True: learn() ($9.09 from $12.99 until 5/10)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with some new releases, a review or two, and whatever sales and news roll in over the course of the next day. Here in Japan, this is the first Monday after a long holiday. That means ol’ Shaun is feeling very lethargic. I hope you all have a better start to your week, and as always, thanks for reading!