Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 19th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a bit of Tetris 99 news to look at before we head into a full review of the excellent Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness. I liked it a lot. We’ve got a single new release to look at, Idea Factory’s Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars, and then the usual lists of new sales and expiring discounts. Let’s get to work!
It’s Kirby Time in the Next ‘Tetris 99’ Maximus Cup
It’s been a little bit since the last Maximus Cup event in Tetris 99, but the next one is finally upon us. Kicking off on Friday and running through the weekend as usual, the 29th Maximus Cup celebrates the release of Kirby and the Forgotten Land with a sweet new theme you can unlock permanently by racking up 100 event points over the course of the weekend. The two previous Kirby event themes will also be available for a while for a mere one ticket, and will enter the permanent rotation after that for thirty tickets.
Reviews & Mini-Views
Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness ($14.99)
I am not a person who is naturally inclined to enjoy base defense games. Never have been, really. I’ve enjoyed a few, but it takes a really good one to get my attention for very long. In recent years, one of the ones I enjoyed the most was Gotta Protectors on the Nintendo 3DS, which released in North America back in July of 2016 and apparently flew so far under the radar that barely anyone detected it. Gotta Protectors itself was a sequel to an Xbox Live game with a cult following, Protect Me Knight. The core idea of those games, and this sequel, is that there is a princess you need to protect from attacking monsters. Said monsters come in ridiculously massive waves, and you need to use your basic attacks and extra skills to fend them off.
The intensity of the action is one of the things that separates Gotta Protectors from the pack. When the enemies come out in full force, this game resembles a 2D pixel art take on the Dynasty Warriors games as much as anything. You’ll be cutting down swarms of enemies with your character of choice while also darting around the map to take care of various goals. Each of the eight characters brings his or her own stats and abilities into the fight, and you can unlock more between stages if you have the coins to buy them. This new installment, Cart of Darkness, cranks up the volume on everything. More characters, more enemies, more goodies to find, bigger maps, and a robust multiplayer mode that you’ll want to try out.
Another big thing that makes Gotta Protectors stand out is that it comes from developer Ancient, which means you can look forward to some great sprite work and an absolutely amazing chiptune soundtrack. If you’re willing to pony up for the DLC, you’ll not only gain more missions and skills for your characters, but also new versions of the soundtrack done in the style of a number of classic consoles. But even if you roll with the stock Nintendo 8-bit style soundtrack, it’s a feast for the ears. Taking together the gameplay, look, and sound, there’s really nothing else out there quite like this series.
I also have to commend the writing, lovingly localized, which presents an amazing ode to 8-bit games of the 1980s. It’s silly, full of fun references, and overall a joy to read. I particularly enjoyed the names of the more than nine hundred collectible game cartridges you can find, each one named after a classic video game of some sort. While these cartridges often have similar effects to one another when equipped, I wanted to get them all just to see what names would come up next. The whole game is full of playful bits that fully shine through in the English script.
There are a few changes in Cart of Darkness when compared to its predecessors. The princess is somewhat mobile now, as she rides the tonk-like castle to the enemy’s fortress to smash it down. That adds some new dimensions to the gameplay, as you’ll need to hit switches, fill holes, collect keys to open the path, and more. Each mission involves a handful of maps, and you’ll now level up between those maps instead of on the fly in battle. A lot of the character customization has been streamlined, and cash is now even more king than it was before.
The biggest change is just how well multiplayer is incorporated into the experience. You can still play through the whole game solo, of course. It’s not the first Gotta Protectors game with multiplayer, either. But it is now absolutely effortless to bring in pals to back you up. Local play on one system, local wireless play, online play… however you want to play with others, it’s covered here. I tested the game extensively with our pal Mikhail, and in spite of us being located in completely different parts of the world, the blistering action never missed a beat. And it was a ton of fun, too.
I enjoyed Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness just as much as the previous game, which is no mean feat to repeat. The only knock I can give on it is that it can get a little repetitive if you try to jam too much of it at once, but even that is almost completely alleviated by bringing a buddy or three with you. It’s an enjoyable, tense game with an outstanding presentation in all respects, and a game well-worth adding to your Nintendo Switch collection.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Neptunia X SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars ($49.99)
This is a very straightforward hack-and-slash action game featuring the characters from Neptunia and Senran Kagura. Pick your favorites from ten different playable heroines drawn from the games of both series and battle against the Steeme Legion and its leader Yoh Gamer for the sake of the world of Gamninjustri. Not a whole lot of depth or art to this, but it’s silly fun that fans of either franchise should enjoy well enough. I’ll have a review of it soon.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Some good stuff in the list today. Grapple Dog has what I think is its first post-launch sale, and that’s a fun one. The LOVE trilogy is also on sale, but all you really need is the third one. Thalamus has their line-up on sale, with treats like 10 Second Ninja X, Rogue Aces, and Millie & Molly on offer. You’ll also want to look at the outbox, with games like the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy, Samurai Warriors 5, and Tokyo Dark Remembrance finishing up their latest sales. Check those lists!
Select New Games on Sale
Grapple Dog ($11.24 from $14.99 until 4/25)
Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio ($2.99 from $4.99 until 4/25)
Deployment ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/25)
Rainbows, Toilets, & Unicorns ($4.19 from $6.99 until 4/25)
WarriOrb ($2.59 from $12.99 until 4/25)
PixARK ($9.99 from $39.99 until 4/26)
LOVE ($1.99 from $2.99 until 4/26)
kuso ($2.99 from $4.99 until 4/26)
Love 3 ($7.49 from $9.99 until 4/26)
Dumpy & Bumpy ($3.74 from $4.99 until 4/26)
Pinball FX3 Iron & Steel ($1.74 from $4.99 until 4/26)
Taxi Chaos ($14.99 from $34.95 until 5/2)
Ancient Rush 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/2)
The Company Man ($17.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
AnShi ($12.49 from $17.99 until 5/2)
Speed 3 Grand Prix ($14.99 from $39.99 until 5/2)
Mickey Storm & the Cursed Mask ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/2)
Angry Alligator ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/2)
Jump King ($6.49 from $12.99 until 5/3)
Death Road to Canada ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/3)
10 Second Ninja X ($1.99 from $11.99 until 5/9)
Cecconoid ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Destructivator SE ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/9)
Millie & Molly ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/9)
Lumo ($1.99 from $19.95 until 5/9)
Bezier Second Edition ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Rogue Aces ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/9)
Love: A Puzzle Box with Stories ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
Death Ray Manta SE ($1.99 from $10.00 until 5/9)
Word Forward ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/9)
Two Point Hospital Jumbo Edition ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Shieldwall Chronicles: SotN ($2.99 from $7.99 until 5/9)
A Day Without Me ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/9)
Knights & Guns Extended ($6.59 from $16.49 until 5/9)
Would You Like to Run an Idol Cafe? ($6.69 from $9.99 until 5/9)
Sakura Succubus 2 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/9)
Sakura Succubus 3 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/9)
Highschool Romance ($8.70 from $12.99 until 5/9)
Sable’s Grimoire ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/9)
Super Arcade Soccer ($1.99 from $6.99 until 5/9)
Grand Prix Rock ‘N Racing ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/9)
Rock ‘N Racing Off Road DX ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/9)
Adventure Pinball Bundle ($2.69 from $8.99 until 5/9)
Safari Pinball ($1.99 from $2.99 until 5/9)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20th
12 is Better Than 6 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/20)
AeternoBlade II ($5.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
Arkham Horror: Mother’s Embrace ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
Atelier Firis DX ($27.99 from $39.99 until 4/20)
Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX ($27.99 from $39.99 until 4/20)
Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Pack ($62.99 from $89.99 until 4/20)
Atelier Sophie DX ($27.99 from $39.99 until 4/20)
Attack on Titan 2 ($29.99 from $59.99 until 4/20)
Barrier X ($1.99 from $2.99 until 4/20)
BATTLLOON ($3.49 from $6.99 until 4/20)
Black Book ($14.99 from $24.99 until 4/20)
Blue Reflection Second Light ($38.99 from $59.99 until 4/20)
Breathedge ($12.49 from $24.99 until 4/20)
Carcassonne ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
Catan ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/20)
Dying Light: Platinum ($37.49 from $49.99 until 4/20)
Kingdom Rush ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/20)
Kingdom Rush Frontiers ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/20)
Lord of the Rings Adv. Card Game ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
n Verlore Verstad ($2.09 from $13.99 until 4/20)
Necrosphere Deluxe ($3.99 from $7.99 until 4/20)
Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists ($29.99 from $59.99 until 4/20)
Ninja Gaiden Master Collection ($29.99 from $39.99 until 4/20)
Police Stories ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/20)
Samurai Warriors 5 ($38.99 from $59.99 until 4/20)
SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off ($4.94 from $14.99 until 4/20)
Standby ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/20)
The Midnight Sanctuary ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/20)
Tiny Metal ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/20)
Tokyo Dark Remembrance ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
Tunche ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/20)
Tyd wag vir Niemand ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/20)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, potentially some news, and perhaps a review. We’ll have to see how the rest of my day goes. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!