Ticker

6/recent/ticker-posts

ads

SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Signalis’ and ‘Sophstar’, Plus Today’s New Releases and Sales

SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Signalis’ and ‘Sophstar’, Plus Today’s New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 31st, 2022. It’s Halloween! It’s Halloween! There are a couple of scary games releasing today, but nothing too exciting. What is more exciting is that our pal Mikhail has a couple of reviews for us, including the rather good Signalis. I also have a couple of reviews for you, including the rather good Sophstar. Rather good all around, I’d say. Then we’ve got the new release summaries, and of course the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s go!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Signalis ($19.99)

signalis switch review

Signalis from rose-engine and Humble Bundle is one of the biggest surprises of 2022. When Humble Bundle announces a new game, I usually pay attention because the publisher puts out games that line up with my taste to some degree with every release. I wasn’t sure what to think about Signalis when it was announced as I’m very picky with horror games, but it blew me away.

If you’ve not kept up with it, Signalis is a PS1-style survival horror game, but one that has a very striking aesthetic. It blends in exploration, puzzles, an atmosphere that oozes exactly what I love about horror games, and superb animation work. While most veterans of the genre will likely be able to see it to the end in less time, I spent about 13 hours in Signalis and enjoyed almost all of it.

signalis switch review

While Signalis is a game I now adore, there are a few things worth highlighting. If you aren’t a fan of the older Resident Evil games, you might find the limited inventory or backtracking in Signalis a bit annoying. I expected it given the game’s trailers and promotion, but it is worth noting. The second aspect I want to highlight is the accessibility. You can tune Signalis to be harder or easier in combat and also play with standard or tank controls. I’m glad to see the developers add both of these options.

Having played it on Switch and PC, the Switch version has a few performance issues that I hope can be addressed in potential updates. The trade-off is Signalis looks amazing on the OLED screen. On PC, Signalis runs and plays brilliantly, but this is definitely a game that is perfect for portable play if you have a Steam Deck or newer Switch system where the strengths of the system elevate the experience through the OLED display and better speakers.

signalis switch review

If you had told me that an indie horror game would be on my top 10 games of the year a few months ago, I’d have laughed because of how good 2022 has been for JRPGs but here we are. Signalis is a shockingly good horror game that I recommend to any fan of the genre. It has a superlative atmosphere, stunning art, and an excellent soundtrack. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

Moonscars ($19.99)

moonscars switch review

Moonscars from Black Mermaid and Humble Games is a challenging action-platformer with great visuals, but one that is let down by a few annoying design decisions in its current state. On Nintendo Switch, Moonscars has been a rocky ride across the game’s state pre-release and through the current update, and while things have improved, it does feel like you’d be better off grabbing it in a few months rather than jumping into it now.

I’ve enjoyed many games that are inspired by FromSoftware’s games over the years. These range from Team Ninja’s superlative Nioh series to excellent indie games like Salt & Sanctuary. When Moonscars was announced, I was excited to play it based on the aesthetic alone. Having seen it improve quite a bit on Switch across updates, Moonscars is a bit too obtuse for its own good right now when it comes to difficulty and some aspects of the combat.

moonscars switch review

If you crave a bleak and very challenging game, and are ok with some clarity issues thanks to the aesthetic, Moonscars will satiate you. After potentially a few updates to polish some of the issues I had with it, Moonscars can be something special that I can recommend without hesitation. Right now, it unfortunately has some asterisks attached to the recommendation.

While I did enjoy a lot of Moonscars in the time I’ve put into it on Switch as of version 1.3.003 and the current PC build, it feels like an early access release that is close to hitting the finish line. There are a few things that need work like enemy HP, some areas looking too similar, and the unforgiving nature not pushing me to learn, but frustrating me in parts. In its current state, I’d recommend it assuming you’re ok with all of that and some performance issues on Nintendo Switch. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher ($49.99)

As bizarre as the concept initially seems, Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher is a relatively natural blend of ideas that works almost exactly the way you would think it does. Take the virtual pet-meets-RPG framework of Monster Rancher, swap out the original line-up of monsters for kaiju drawn from Ultraman, and add in a few appearances from the man himself, and that’s Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher. It has a lot of fun with the absurd idea of raising a giant monster like some kind of pet, but otherwise it’s going to be very familiar to fans of Koei Tecmo’s long-running series.

You’re a newly-graduated trainer who has arrived in town ready to get going, but an administrative error means you’re put on probation to start with. A very familiar veteran offers to give you some assistance and shows you the ropes. Like with the previous Monster Rancher release on the Switch, there are a variety of ways to get your hands on a monster. One new way is by scanning an NFC item such as a transportation pass. Unfortunately, Amiibos don’t work for this. You can get some very strong or unique kaiju this way, and if you can’t get your hands on the necessary item you can always search the database instead.

Once you have your kaiju, it’s time for the usual routine. Set a training program for it, feed it, give it the occasional rest, and enter it in tournaments. Battles are semi-real time affairs where you perform various attacks based on your distance from your foe. The camera here leans into the whole giant monster theme, and you really do get the sense of two titans clashing with each other as a result. You can use your winnings to take better care of your kaiju or buy new ones. Monsters only have a few years before you’ll have to retire them, so you’ll need to fuse them with other monsters or buy new ones to keep playing. Completing certain events or achievements will jostle loose a nugget of story content, so as long as you focus on the tasks at hand you’ll eventually make progress. It can take a while, though.

Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher sticks very close to the original Monster Rancher concept, perhaps too close. Adding in giant monsters and Ultraman appearances provides a bit of spice, but it would have been nice if there were more of an effect on the gameplay just to liven things up a bit for veterans. As is, it’s another Monster Rancher, albeit one with a little more charm than usual for fans of large rubber-suit creatures.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Sophstar ($12.99)

I’ll say it up-front: in terms of sheer bang for your buck, Sophstar might be one of the best shoot-em-ups you can grab on the Nintendo eShop. Between its beefy eight-stage arcade mode, additional modes like score attack, time attack, and endless, and a cool Cadet’s Challenge with sixty mini-missions to complete, you can get a ton of play out of this game even before you start digging into its scoring system. There are also a lot of fun unlockables including a wide array of amusing visual filters. To top things off, there are online leaderboards for pretty much every mode.

What makes it really wild is that Sophstar has nine completely distinct ships to choose from. Each ship has its own stats, shots, and teleport function, and they really do play differently. They’re remarkably well-balanced, so which one you’ll end up using likely depends on your playstyle. The nice thing is that among its many other qualities, the Cadet’s Challenge will force you to use particular ships and get acquainted with their ins and outs. It’s fun to try them and see which one will ultimately help you rack up the highest scores.

Sophstar is a vertically-scrolling shooter that sits somewhere between the borderline between Toaplan classics like Truxton and Cave-style bullet-hell shooters in terms of intensity. You have a standard shot, a sub-weapon, a teleport, and two buttons for slowing your ship down in order to make fine movements. As mentioned, each ship has its own load-out, and what precisely the sub-weapon and teleport do varies from ship to ship considerably. Sub-weapons can be almost bomb-like or just a powered-up shot. They also vary in terms of how much meter energy they use, so you can’t exactly spam the more powerful ones.

The teleports are another ball of wax. They operate on a cool-down timer, and while they’re mainly for defensive purposes you can also use them offensively as you’ll damage enemies when you teleport into them. You can’t always control them well enough to do this of course. Some of them will randomly throw you somewhere else on the screen. Some can be controlled to an extent. Some simply make you disappear for a couple of seconds. It’s tricky to learn how to best take advantage of the sub-weapons and teleports, but it’s the key to survival when the game heats up.

The game also includes just about every option you could ask for. Lots of visual and audio options, gameplay tweaks, fun filters and borders, the ability to change screen orientation and size, and tons of online leaderboards to compete on. You can even choose between two scoring systems, with a more straightforward option as the default and a more advanced one available for those who want a bit more flavor to savor. As you play you’ll unlock more things, like additional credits for the arcade mode and more filters and backgrounds. There are even some secrets to uncover.

I was really surprised at how good Sophstar turned out to be, especially given the reasonable price. It’s a very fun shooter that is easy to learn but with enough depth to please veterans, and includes enough modes, options, and extras to keep you playing for a long time. I wish the soundtrack had a little more kick to it and I suppose it doesn’t really do anything dramatically novel, but otherwise I am hard-pressed to find much fault in this game. A virtual must-have for shoot-em-up fans.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

New Releases

Amazing Chicken Adventures ($19.99)

This is a game about a chicken who needs to roll eggs to certain places without accidentally losing them or destroying them. It’s trickier than it sounds. There are lots of gimmicks to keep things fresh, and if you really feel like adding some chaos into the mix you can also bring in a friend for some local co-op multiplayer.

MIDNIGHT Remastered ($1.99)

A two-dollar remaster of a free web game from five years back. You have to explore and collect the seven letters of the deadly sins. It is very dark. I don’t mean thematically, I mean the game is just very dark to look at. There’s a bit more content here when compared to the original, but you shouldn’t expect a very lengthy experience in any case.

LONGHEAD ($9.99)

This looks like a puzzle-platformer of sorts. You need to make your way to all the valves and turn them to relieve the pressure in the pipes. Meanwhile, some jerk named Elliot will do his best to mess with you via various means. Big five-dollar Switch platformer energy, but that’s inflation for you.

Daemonum ($4.49)

It’s a low-budget horror-themed first-person shooter, and it’s neither the first we’ve seen in the last few days nor will it be the last. A detective is called in to investigate a disturbance and ends up getting sucked into another world. This world, perhaps unsurprisingly, is full of bad stuff. Good luck with all that.

Vylan ($4.99)

A tricky one hundred-level platformer that features some tight time limits you need to stay ahead of. It has a bit of a PICO-8 vibe to its visuals. It could be something a person would like.

Halloween Shooter ($9.99)

Ducking in just under the wire for the holiday, Halloween Shooter is yet another low-budget Halloween-themed first-person shooter. This one is a bit more comical with its designs, and features five different weapons to use and thirty-six levels to play. I would just play DOOM again, but you do you.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

You’ve only got a short window to get those NIS America games if you want them, but I’ve listed them here just in case. Highlights today include new low prices for the amazing Infernax, the charming Pixel Puzzle Makeout League, and boomer shooter Project Warlock. There’s also a lot to like in the outbox, particularly for those with a fondness for B-tier RPGs. Have a look through both lists as ever, friends.

Select New Games on Sale

Poison Control ($4.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Disgaea 1 Complete ($17.49 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Disgaea 4 Complete+ ($17.49 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Fallen Legion Revenants ($19.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Fallen Legion Rise to Glory ($4.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Liar Princess & Blind Prince ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Labyrinth of Refrain: CoD ($17.49 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Mad Rat Dead ($24.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
NIS Classics: Phantom Brave/Soul Nomad ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
NIS Classics: Makai Kingdom/ZHP ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Shadow Corridor ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Pad of Time ($6.66 from $7.99 until 11/2)
Mystik Belle Enchanted Edition ($5.99 from $14.99 until 11/3)
The World Next Door ($2.49 from $9.99 until 11/4)
Garden Story ($12.99 from $19.99 until 11/4)


MLB The Show 22 ($19.99 from $59.99 until 11/4)
MLB The Show 22 Deluxe ($39.99 from $99.99 until 11/4)
Fireworks ($4.49 from $14.99 until 11/5)
Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis ($5.99 from $9.99 until 11/6)
Flewfie’s Adventure ($5.99 from $9.99 until 11/6)
Pixel Puzzle Makeout League ($3.74 from $14.99 until 11/6)
Into the Dark ($17.49 from $24.99 until 11/6)
Words Puzzles 3 in 1 ($3.59 from $3.99 until 11/6)
Infernax ($14.99 from $19.99 until 11/7)
Project Warlock ($4.49 from $14.99 until 11/7)
Demon’s Tilt ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/7)
Catan ($8.99 from $14.99 until 11/7)
Carcassonne ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/7)
Draw Rider Remake ($2.24 from $14.99 until 11/7)
Bloo Kid 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/8)


Dying Light Definitive ($24.99 from $49.99 until 11/12)
Super Mabus Mania ($7.10 from $7.89 until 11/16)
Halloween Shooter ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/16)
The Suicide of Rachel Foster ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/18)
Mechanic Battle ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/18)
Venice Taxi Boats ($7.79 from $12.99 until 11/18)
Bones of Halloween ($3.99 from $4.99 until 11/18)
Last Threshold ($2.99 from $4.99 until 11/19)
Madorica Real Estate ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/19)
Dark Minute: Kira’s Adventure ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/19)
MonsterFruitAcademy ($16.02 from $32.05 until 11/19)
The Padre ($2.99 from $19.99 until 11/19)
Fire: Ungh’s Quest ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/19)
Vampire: The Masquerade Bundle ($8.69 from $28.99 until 11/19)
Rise: Race the Future ($8.24 from $16.49 until 11/20)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1st

Alder’s Blood DE ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Alien Isolation ($14.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Amnesia: Later x Crowd ($39.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Amnesia: Memories ($39.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Apparition ($2.49 from $9.99 until 11/1)
Arc of Alchemist ($11.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Azur Lane: Crosswave ($14.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
BATS Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad ($4.99 from $9.99 until 11/1)
Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Creepy Tale ($2.49 from $9.99 until 11/1)
Creepy Tale 2 ($3.74 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Cupid Parasite ($24.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Death end re;Quest 2 ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Death end re;Quest ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/1)
Disgaea 1 Complete ($17.49 from $49.99 until 11/1)


Disgaea 4 Complete+ ($17.49 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Don’t Starve ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Don’t Starve Together ($11.99 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Fairy Fencer F: ADF ($5.99 from $29.99 until 11/1)
Fallen Legion Revenants ($19.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Fallen Legion Rise to Glory ($4.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Flipping Death ($3.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Grapple Dog ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Griftlands ($13.39 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Hell Pie ($22.49 from $24.99 until 11/1)
Inner Voices ($3.19 from $7.99 until 11/1)
Invisible, Inc. ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Jin Conception ($7.50 from $15.00 until 11/1)
John Wick Hex ($5.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Labyrinth of Refrain: CoD ($17.49 from $49.99 until 11/1)


LEGO Star Wars Skywalker Saga ($35.99 from $59.99 until 11/1)
Liar Princess & Blind Prince ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Mad Rat Dead ($24.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Mark of the Ninja Remastered ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Mary Skelter 2 ($9.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Mary Skelter Finale ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
Megadimension Neptunia VII ($8.99 from $29.99 until 11/1)
Milanoir ($2.59 from $12.99 until 11/1)
Moero Chronicle Hyper ($7.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/1)
NIS Classics: Phantom Brave/Soul Nomad ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
NIS Classics: Makai Kingdom/ZHP ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
OlliOlli: Switch Stance ($2.99 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Pandaty ($1.99 from $8.99 until 11/1)
Pandemic Shooter ($1.99 from $4.99 until 11/1)


Penko Park ($9.74 from $12.99 until 11/1)
Poison Control ($4.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Queen’s Garden: Sakura Season ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Rogue Star Rescue ($9.89 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Secrets of Magic 4: Potion Master ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Secrets of Magic 5: Back to School ($9.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Shadow Corridor ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Source of Madness ($13.99 from $19.99 until 11/1)
Stick It to The Man ($2.39 from $11.99 until 11/1)
Supaplex WOW ($10.49 from $14.99 until 11/1)
Super Neptunia RPG ($11.99 from $39.99 until 11/1)
Wallachia: Reign of Dracula ($3.74 from $14.99 until 11/1)

That’s all for today and this month, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more reviews, more sales, and perhaps some news. I have a lot of games to play and not much time to play them, so I’m going to get back to that. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

October 31, 2022 at 11:00PM