Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 12th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a full review of the upcoming Taito Milestones collection. There’s also a big new release to look at in the form of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, some news about another upcoming Capcom compilation, and the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales. Let’s get to business!
Capcom Announces ‘Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium’
While not without its issues, Capcom Arcade Stadium was a fun collection of games with some neat extras. One of the biggest problems with it was that it only had thirty-two games, a scant number when dealing with a company as storied as Capcom. Additional DLC was announced, but it seems like Capcom has changed its plans. Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium has been announced, offering thirty-two more games. The free game this time is SonSon, and Three Wonders has also been announced as a free bonus to those who pre-order Capcom Fighting Collection or buy it early. More details are said to be coming soon, so we’ll have to wait and see about the full line-up, pricing, and release date. For now, enjoy a new trailer for that Capcom Fighting Collection.
Reviews & Mini-Views
Taito Milestones ($39.99)
Forgive me for indulging in a classic writing cliche, but I want to talk definitions of words for a second. Specifically, ‘milestone’. There are two major definitions for ‘milestone’. One refers to a major step in a process, a significant marker towards some sort of greater destination. That is of course derived from the literal definition of ‘milestone’, which is a stone or sign that is placed on a road at set distances to let travelers know how long it is until various other locations. In that sense of the word, a milestone isn’t particularly important except in service to let you know how far you from the next actually important thing.
I can’t say what Taito was thinking when it named its latest compilation, but I imagine it was going for the first of those two meanings. It’s a positive way to describe a series of rereleases, after all. But I’m afraid that for most players, Taito Milestones is probably going to fit the second definition better. Among the ten included games, a particularly persuasive person could perhaps prepare a case for two or three of them being significant moments in the history of this storied company. At least half of them have fallen between the couch cushions of gaming history, to be kind. Little notches on the road posts between famous titles like Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, and Darius.
You won’t find that famous trio or indeed any of their progeny here. They have their own sets to sell, I suppose. The line-up here consists of the following: Space Seeker (1981), QIX (1981), Front Line (1982), Wild Western (1982), Alpine Ski (1982), Elevator Action (1983), Chack’n Pop (1983), The Fairyland Story (1985), Halley’s Comet (1986, natch), and The Ninja Warriors (1987). A far cry from the thirty-dollar sets of around thirty games from a few generations ago, but I guess that’s inflation for you. As you can see from the years of release, most of these games come from pretty early in arcade history. It’s also worth noting that all but two (Space Seeker and Chack’n Pop) have previously been released in Hamster’s Arcade Archives line.
That’s especially relevant here because Taito Milestones is simply ten Arcade Archives releases bound together with a simple menu, stripped of their multi-region versions and extra modes. The UI and options are all exactly identical to the Arcade Archives versions, and they even share leaderboards with those individual releases. A good thing in that you know they’ll play well and offer all the little options to fiddle with that Hamster is so good about including. A bad thing in that Hamster isn’t too keen on fun extras. Even worse, if you have any strong feelings about any of the included games, there’s a good chance you already own them in a more fully fleshed-out form.
Given that Arcade Archives generally go for about eight bucks apiece and this set is forty dollars for ten games, you’re getting each game for about half of the usual going price. Sure, they’re missing the Caravan and Score Attack modes along with the versions from other regions, but I think most players don’t bother with those anyway. I’ve seen the leaderboards, people. If you want every game in this set, it’s a heck of a bargain. Which I suppose brings us to the main point of this review: do you actually want these games?
Naturally, I can’t flawlessly answer that for you. I think every game in here has some merit and I’m happy to own them, but you’re going to have to apply your own spin. If nothing else, I encourage you to give these lesser-known games a try. Taito’s game designers knew what they were doing, and I’m yet to find a single game from their arcade catalog that doesn’t have something to offer. The inclusion of online leaderboards is clutch here, however. Some of these games are very simple, with the score attack element being what lends them replay value. If you have no interest in such things, then this collection probably isn’t going to tickle your fancy.
I can’t do detailed reviews of every game in this set, so let’s just do a speed round. Space Seeker – a hybrid shooter that is probably too complicated for its own good, but I appreciate its ambition. QIX – a stone-cold classic game of claiming territory, copied frequently by others but never with as strong of a vibe. Front Line – the grand-daddy of games like Commando and Ikari Warriors, and it feels like it. Wild Western – a tough top-down shooter sold by its charming presentation and surprising depth. Alpine Ski – a simple but challenging arcade skiing game, decent fun.
Deep breath, on to the back half. Elevator Action – probably the best game on here and the most famous to boot, it’s an action game stuffed to the gills with interesting mechanics to learn. Chack’n Pop – though it shares sprites with Bubble Bobble it’s a much more difficult game to learn, but it is worth learning. The Fairyland Story – Taito had a knack for colorful, single-screen action games and while this doesn’t hit all the right notes, it makes some sweet music anyway. Halley’s Comet – probably not anyone’s first pick for a Taito shoot-em-up, but it’s competent and enjoyable. The Ninja Warriors – outstanding production values in the streets (Daddy Mulk is an all-time banger tune), Kung Fu Master in the sheets.
To sum up, I like every game included in this set, but I only truly love a few of them. That’s a problem in that I could just go and buy those few separately and keep twenty bucks in my pocket. I like the Arcade Archives quality, but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed with how flavorless the package comes across as a whole. It’s ten Arcade Archives games dumped in a box with a simple menu to choose between them. A better selection would make this an easier recommendation, but as is I think it’s only suited for Taito die-hards and those looking for an Arcade Archives sample platter.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim ($59.99)
Vanillaware’s latest game makes its way to the Nintendo Switch in what is a surprisingly competent port. A unique blend of side-scrolling adventure and top-down real-time strategy gameplay, 13 Sentinels tells the story of thirteen individuals from various points in time who must battle against invading kaiju in an alternate 1985. They do that through use of their Sentinels, large mechs designed for taking down giant monsters. It has a very good story and the presentation is at the level we’ve come to expect from Vanillaware. The RTS bits are… somewhat less good, but they’re not bad. This one became a bit of a sleeper hit on the PlayStation 4 a couple of years back, and now it’s time for Switch owners to find out why for themselves.
Hentai Uni ($2.49)
This is just a simple puzzle game where you need to rearrange the tiles to make pictures of ladies in various states of undress. Four girls, twelve different scenes, somehow stretched out to more than sixty levels. Not the best art or the most interesting of puzzle games, but for two and a half bucks I suppose you get what you get.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Well, let’s see what strikes my fancy here. Gynoug and Gleylancer are fun shooters if you haven’t grabbed them yet. Railway Empire and all of its DLC are on sale if that’s your thing. Have a look yourself and see what jumps out at you, though. The outbox isn’t very big, so check that one while you’re at it.
Select New Games on Sale
Swords & Bones ($1.99 from $7.99 until 4/18)
Trash Quest ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Circa Infinity ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/18)
Stela ($6.99 from $19.99 until 4/18)
Cuccchi ($5.59 from $7.99 until 4/18)
Promesa ($3.49 from $4.99 until 4/18)
Get 10 Quest ($2.09 from $2.99 until 4/18)
Glyph ($11.99 from $19.99 until 4/19)
Pinball FX3 Bethesda Pinball ($4.39 from $10.99 until 4/19)
The Game of Life 2 ($20.99 from $29.99 until 4/21)
Battleship ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/21)
Clue: Classic Mystery Game ($14.99 from $29.99 until 4/21)
Torn Tales: Rebound ($1.99 from $7.99 until 4/25)
Demon’s Rise: Lords of Chaos ($2.99 from $7.99 until 4/25)
TOEM ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Alpaca Ball Allstars ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Northgard ($8.74 from $34.99 until 5/1)
Evoland Legendary Edition ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Crysis Remastered ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/2)
Crysis Remastered Trilogy ($34.99 from $49.99 until 5/2)
Guard Duty ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
Syrup & the Ultimate Sweet ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Knightin’+ ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/2)
Apparition ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
Alder’s Blood DE ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
Destropolis ($2.99 from $5.99 until 5/2)
Connection Haunted ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Connection reHaunted ($1.99 from $6.66 until 5/2)
Golden Force ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
Clash Force ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
RogueCube ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Bob Help Them ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/2)
Duck Souls+ ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Rush Rover ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Railway Empire ($21.99 from $39.99 until 5/2)
Distraint 2 ($2.69 from $8.99 until 5/2)
Reminiscence in the Night ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Spacejacked ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
A Summer with the Shiba Inu ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
Radio Squid ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Ultra Hat Dimension ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Blind Men ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Ganbare! Super Strikers ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
Thy Sword ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
Strawberry Vinegar ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/2)
A Year of Springs ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Forgotten Hill Disillusion ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Gardener’s Path ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Dojoran ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
LoveChoice ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Jisei The First Case HD ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Kansei The Second Turn HD ($5.59 from $7.99 until 5/2)
Gleylancer($4.89 from $6.99 until 5/2)
Gynoug ($4.89 from $6.99 until 5/2)
The Prince of Landis ($4.79 from $7.99 until 5/2)
Enigmatis: TGoMC ($2.09 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Virtuous Western ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
One-Eyed Lee & the Dinner Party ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Go! Fish Go! ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/2)
Tanuki Justice ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Wallachia: Reign of Dracula ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Orbibot ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Kinduo ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Takorita Meets Fries ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Don’t Touch This Button! ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Klang 2 ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Shinrai Broken Beyond Despair ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/2)
6Souls ($5.59 from $7.99 until 5/2)
Night Lights ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/2)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13th
Air Conflicts Secret Wars ($3.99 from $19.99 until 4/13)
BFF or Die ($2.99 from $7.99 until 4/13)
Chess Royal ($1.99 from $2.99 until 4/13)
Danger Mouse: Danger Games ($3.99 from $4.99 until 4/13)
Detective Di: Silk Rose Murders ($3.89 from 12.99 until 4/13)
Draw a Stickman: Epic ($5.24 from $6.99 until 4/13)
Filament ($5.94 from $16.99 until 4/13)
Kosmonavtes: Academy Escape ($1.99 from $5.99 until 4/13)
Kosmonavtes: Escape Reality ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/13)
NecroWorm ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/13)
Panmorphia ($1.99 from $5.99 until 4/13)
Panmorphia: Enchanted ($1.99 from $3.99 until 4/13)
RazerWire: Nanowars ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/13)
Zombie Scrapper ($1.99 from $2.99 until 4/13)
That’s all for today, friends. To tell the truth, I had a bit of computer trouble today that caused me to lose a couple of hours of working time. I wanted to get more done, but it is what it is. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new games, more sales, and potentially more news. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!