Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 4th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a few reviews for you to check out. I’m a bit late to the party, but I have a full review of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. To go with that, there are reviews of WRC 10 The Official Game and Tempest 4000. We then move into today’s new releases, but they’re not the most thrilling bunch. Finally, we’ve got lots of new and expiring sales to dig into. Let’s get to work!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Kirby and the Forgotten Land ($59.99)
I like Kirby games a lot. That wasn’t always the case. I used to find them to be too easy for my tastes. In my younger years, my palate was rather limited. I wanted the equivalent of food drenched in hot sauce and peppers for every meal. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found a lot of joy in mixing in other flavors, and Kirby‘s mellow ice cream-like qualities are a treat I like to savor when they show up. Yes, even Star Allies. It’s not that bad, people.
At first glance, Kirby and the Forgotten Land had an air of uncertainty about it. Kirby games rarely truly disappoint, even when they go far off the standard path. But how well would an orthodox Kirby adventure work in 3D? Very well, it turns out. Arguably better than ever before? I’ll leave that assertion to the people who make lists. What feels inarguable to me is that the fundamental pleasure of the Kirby experience is absolutely at the core of this game, with enough new bits and bobs to keep it from feeling too familiar. Classic powers have new dimensions, especially when you upgrade them. Enemies you’ve faced a million times before take on new qualities. And hey, little Kirb can dodge pretty well when he has a Z-axis to work with.
In terms of stage design, Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes more after the likes of Super Mario 3D World than Super Mario Odyssey. Stages are fairly linear, and the camera generally takes care of itself. There are secrets paths and rooms to find, plus a healthy number of extra goals that teach you to basically mess with everything you can as you pick your way through each place. But there is a start to each stage and an end, and you will generally be moving forward. The extra goals do push you to explore to the extent that you can, however. Plus, you can find little capsules containing collectible toys to decorate your house with. How can you not want them all?
The game can be played in two different difficulty modes, and I went with the higher one from the start. In that mode, you get more coin rewards. You can use those for various things, but I found the step up in difficulty to be its own prize. I would not say this was an exceptionally difficult platformer on the whole even in Wild Mode, but it certainly wasn’t a snooze. Those who just want to dig into the usual chill experience can go with the other setting. You can change between the two whenever you want, so you aren’t locked in. Live according to your mood. You can also bring a friend with you, putting them in control of Bandana Waddle Dee. My son and I had a blast playing that way.
The presentation is truly excellent here. The characters, worlds, and other bits are well-designed from an artistic standpoint and look great in action. Performance is fairly solid, with the game sticking pretty doggedly to 30 frames per second most of the time. The music is a real treat as well. There’s a real wow factor to the whole thing, especially if you’ve been with the series for a long time. And in typical Kirby fashion, the whole thing ends in a rather impressive bang.
I can genuinely say that I haven’t had such a good time playing a game from start to finish as I did with Kirby and the Forgotten Land in quite some time. It put a grin on my face from the start, and it kept me happily engaged to the very last drop. Then I pulled my son in and we played through everything again in multiplayer. It’s one of the better Kirby games, and deserves a place of honor among the upper canon of Nintendo Switch titles.
SwitchArcade Score: 5/5
WRC 10 The Official Game ($49.99)
There is no sugar-coating this: WRC 10 The Official Game is a graphical mess. I tend to roll my eyes when people say a game looks like some console from the distant past, but with this game I can almost agree with it in some respects. The trackside detail suffers the most, looking sparse in every sense of the word as you speed past it. The framerate behaves itself somewhat better, but don’t expect it to hold steady because it sure doesn’t. You also probably won’t appreciate the loading times much, but I think those of us who play multiplatform games on Switch are used to those by now. It’s at its worst in handheld mode, but it doesn’t look pretty now matter how you play it. If you have any other means of playing WRC 10, you’re almost certainly better off exercising that option.
With a deep breath, however, I must admit that I still found a lot to enjoy in this anniversary edition of the long-running rally series. The advancements here over WRC 9 aren’t as significant as the jump from WRC 8 to that game, but there’s enough here to make the difference to rally fans. The racing has a steep difficulty curve, but spend enough time with it and you’ll find a very rewarding game indeed. The throwback stuff celebrating the WRC’s anniversary is quite welcome, and little touches like being able to edit liveries are nice.
It’s a shame WRC 10 The Official Game is such a technical mess on the Switch, especially in handheld mode. Just about every other element of the game is solid, but I can’t imagine most players wanting to put up with a game that looks and runs as poorly as this does if they have any other choices. The best case you could make for this particular version is that you can take it with you, but the sheer amount of flaws you have to look past is not insignificant. If you only have a Switch, truly love rally racing, and are exceptionally forgiving of technical issues, then you might want to give this a look.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Tempest 4000 ($19.99)
Quirky developer Jeff Minter has been refining his take on Dave Theurer’s classic Tempest over the course of almost thirty years now, coming back to it now and then to spiff it up. His latest take on the vintage tube shooter is Tempest 4000, originally released in 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. The game has now arrived on the Nintendo Switch, gaining portability and losing very little in the process save the 4K visuals that the title may well be referring to. All the blistering action, trippy visual effects, and pumping tunes that were in the big-pants versions are here in all their glory.
The appeal here is the same as it has always been with Minter’s Tempest games and variants. There aren’t a lot of games similar to Tempest, and it’s still a lot of fun. Every new stage brings its own shape and therefore its own required strategies, making for a game that constantly feels fresh and challenging. Online leaderboards give the score attacking a stronger sense of purpose, and the presentation makes the whole thing feel like an experience as much as a game. Oddly while the in-game controls are incredibly responsive, the menus appear to be suffering from some sort of lag. Not a huge deal, but worth mentioning. If you come for the pure gaming thrills that a Minter jam always promises, you won’t be disappointed.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Dashing Dodgems ($11.99)
This is a bumper car party game for up to four players via local split-screen play. There are two different modes to play here, with one seeing you trying to bump each other off a gradually diminishing map and the other seeing you chase a spotlight to bask in its glow as long as possible. There are eight maps to play on, and you can play each of them in two distinct themes. If you don’t have anyone to play with, you can also battle the AI. I can’t imagine that being the best way to get your money’s worth here, so make sure you have at least one or two like-minded buddies within reach if you go for it.
Pocket Rockets ($0.99)
A simple thruster-based rocket game where you need to navigate your rocket around the obstacles and traps in each stage, scooping up coins and keeping an eye on your fuel gauge. Nothing new under the sun, but it’s priced where it needs to be.
Super Car Driver ($13.99)
Another mission-based driving game from Pixelmob, this time with a Super Car theme. There are ten different vehicles to drive, a bunch of missions to complete, and a decent-sized open space to cruise around in for fun. We all probably know how these work by now, and this is one more.
Chubby Cat ($9.99)
This seems to be a riff on Cut the Rope. You have to cut the thread to feed the cat, hopefully catching as many medals as you can along the way. Not sure I would pay a tenner for this, but maybe someone out there would.
Super Clown Lost Diamonds ($14.50)
Like the Dollar Store version of a 3D platformer, except it costs almost fifteen dollars. You get twenty-five levels to play, so I suppose the content is there. Not sure how much that means when it isn’t terribly great content, but different people value different things.
Aaron – The Little Detective ($9.99)
A “find the items in the picture” game aimed at kids. There are twelve different scenes to play in total. It might be good for the little ones, I guess.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Some good stuff in here. Baba Is You! Do you own it? If you like puzzle games and don’t have it yet, you should. Inti-Create has its Gunvolt games discounted, and SEGA has a wide selection of both Atlus and its own titles at agreeable prices. Oh hey, Ryan North’s To Be Or Not to Be from Tin Man Games is also on sale. Grab that too. The outbox has a few good things in it, but it’s small enough that I’ll let you scan it yourself.
Select New Games on Sale
Madorica Real Estate ($8.99 from $14.99 until 4/6)
BeatTalk ($11.79 from $17.99 until 4/6)
Gravity Runner ($7.49 from $9.99 until 4/9)
Baba Is You ($10.50 from $15.00 until 4/10)
Wrestling Empire ($14.99 from $19.99 until 4/10)
Hyper Sentinel ($1.99 from $7.99 until 4/10)
Silk ($1.99 from $12.99 until 4/10)
The Wild Case ($7.49 from $9.99 until 4/12)
Dieselpunk Wars ($12.74 from $14.99 until 4/14)
A Gummy’s Life ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/15)
Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack ($19.99 from $39.99 until 4/15)
Gunvolt Chronicles LA iX ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/15)
Gunvolt Chronicles LA iX 2 ($21.24 from $24.99 until 4/15)
Buried Stars ($31.49 from $44.99 until 4/15)
Ever Forward ($10.49 from $14.99 until 4/16)
Good Pizza, Great Pizza ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/16)
Superbeat: XONiC ($20.99 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Guts ‘N Goals ($10.49 from $14.99 until 4/16)
Musynx ($20.99 from $29.99 until 4/16)
Iris.Fall ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/16)
#Drive ($9.09 from $12.99 until 4/16)
Bladed Fury ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/16)
Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD ($14.99 from $29.99 until 4/18)
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania DX ($29.99 from $49.99 until 4/18)
Sonic Colors Ultimate DX ($31.49 from $44.99 until 4/18)
Sonic Forces ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Sonic Mania ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Valkyria Chronicles 4 Complete ($19.99 from $49.99 until 4/18)
Shin Megami Tensei 3 DX ($41.99 from $69.99 until 4/18)
Shin Megami Tensei 5 DX ($59.49 from $84.99 until 4/18)
Persona 5 Strikers DX ($34.99 from $69.99 until 4/18)
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 4/18)
Puyo Puyo Champions ($2.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo Games ($41.99 from $59.99 until 4/18)
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 ($9.99 from $39.99 until 4/18)
Rock of Ages 2 B&B ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/18)
SolSeraph ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Citizens of Space ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/18)
Team Sonic Racing ($14.99 from $29.99 until 4/18)
Team Sonic Racing/Monkey Ball Bundle ($24.99 from $49.99 until 4/18)
The Ultimate Sonic Bundle ($29.99 from $59.99 until 4/18)
Valkyria Chronicles 1 + 4 Bundle ($27.99 from $39.99 until 4/18)
SEGA AGES, Assorted ($2.79 – $4.79 from $7.99 until 4/18)
SEGA Genesis Classics ($11.99 from $29.99 until 4/18)
Risk System ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Super Skelemania ($2.49 from $4.99 until 4/18)
King Lucas ($2.49 from $4.99 until 4/18)
Spell Casting PP Edition ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Shipwreck Escape ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/21)
Sakura in Gameland ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/21)
Regency Solitaire ($7.79 from $11.99 until 4/22)
To Be Or Not To Be ($5.59 from $6.99 until 4/22)
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain ($2.99 from $29.99 until 4/22)
Choices That Matter: ATSWO ($3.59 from $5.99 until 4/22)
Choices That Matter: ATSWE ($3.59 from $5.99 until 4/22)
Choices That Matter: ATHWL ($3.59 from $5.99 until 4/22)
Extreme Car Driver ($5.99 from $11.99 until 4/22)
Tadpole Treble Encore ($6.02 from $8.99 until 4/22)
Qube Qross ($4.89 from $6.99 until 4/22)
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae ($7.14 from $11.99 until 4/22)
Multilevel Parking Driver ($6.49 from $12.99 until 4/22)
Truck Simulator 2 ($6.99 from $13.99 until 4/23)
Chubby Cat ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/23)
Super Clown Lost Diamonds ($2.00 from $14.50 until 4/23)
FUZE4 Nintendo Switch ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/23)
Membrane ($2.50 from $250.00 until 4/23)
OkunoKA ($1.99 from $7.99 until 4/23)
Monster Prom XXL ($4.95 from $15.99 until 4/24)
Him & Her 3 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/24)
Super Cyborg ($4.99 from $6.99 until 4/24)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 5th
Adventure Llama ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/5)
Angelo & Deemon: OHoaQ ($9.89 from $14.99 until 4/5)
Ascendance ($2.99 from $5.99 until 4/5)
Axiom Verge ($5.99 from $19.99 until 4/5)
Boreal Blade ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/5)
Crysis 2 Remastered ($17.99 from $29.99 until 4/5)
Crysis 3 Remastered ($17.99 from $29.99 until 4/5)
Dwarf Journey ($2.79 from $7.99 until 4/5)
Guardians of the Galaxy Cloud Vers. ($29.99 from $59.99 until 4/5)
Highrise Heroes: Word Challenge ($1.99 from $7.99 until 4/5)
Life is Strange TC Deluxe ($52.49 from $69.99 until 4/5)
Life is Strange True Colors ($44.99 from $59.99 until 4/5)
Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia ($3.89 from $12.99 until 4/5)
Nine Parchments ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/5)
Pendula Swing: Complete Journey ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/5)
Pinball FX3 Universal Classics ($3.99 from $9.99 until 4/5)
Pinball FX3 Williams Vol.6 ($3.99 from $9.99 until 4/5)
Quell Reflect ($1.99 from $7.99 until 4/5)
SturmFront: The Mutant War ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/5)
Superliminal ($11.99 from $19.99 until 4/5)
Trine 2 Complete Story ($4.24 from $16.99 until 4/5)
Trine 3: Artifacts of Power ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/5)
Trine Enchanted Edition ($3.74 from $14.99 until 4/5)
Under Leaves ($1.99 from $12.99 until 4/5)
Unspottable ($8.39 from $11.99 until 4/5)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, more new releases, more sales, and maybe more-more. I don’t even know what that means, so I can’t explain it at all. Let’s chalk it up to mystery. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!