SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Croixleur Sigma’ Review, ‘Yooka-Laylee’ Gets a Retro-Themed Update, ‘Darksiders Warmastered’ Releases Today, the Latest Sales, and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 2nd, 2019. Now that the day of lies is over, we’re left picking up the pieces of our broken hearts. Yes, I’m afraid Kirby is not going to be a cube from now on. These things happen. Sadly, because of April Fools, there wasn’t a lot of real news yesterday. But don’t worry, as I’ve got another review for you to enjoy along with summaries of all of today’s new releases. Plus, lots of good sales to consider. Let’s move on!

News

Updating ‘Yooka-Laylee’ Allows You to Make it Look the Way it Plays

It’s always interesting to see what happens with Kickstarter games that sell themselves based on being follow-ups to classic titles. It sometimes feels like it’s a no-win situation for the developers because whether they venture too far away or stick too closely to the original, there are going to be complaints. Yooka-Laylee more or less delivered what it promised: a Rare-style N64 exploratory platformer experience. But it certainly does feel a bit out-of-date as a result. So why not complete the package by downloading the latest update? It adds the 64-Bit Tonic mode to the game, which changes the graphics into something a little more, er, late ’90s? It must have been a lot of work for the developers, so make sure to check it out if you own the game.

Reviews

Croixleur Sigma ($19.99)

Croixleur Sigma initially comes off like a more substantial game than it actually is due to how polished its presentation is. That lack of substance is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think it’s important to be clear about what the game is before we go too far into this review. This is an arena-based action game with some light RPG mechanics, and most of the long-term replay value comes in unlocking the massive amount of accessories you can attach to each of the four playable characters. The combat system isn’t particularly deep, the enemy variety isn’t all that large, and the arenas aren’t much more than basic circles with some random effects applied. And yet, it somehow scratches an itch for me. It’s fluff, to be sure, but it’s not a bad piece of fluff.

When you start the game, your options are fairly limited. You can only pick one character, and you won’t have any accessories or extra weapons available. A little story snippet will introduce you to the game’s world, and you’ll head off into the place where you’ll be spending the whole game. On each floor, a group of enemies will appear in waves. You have to take them all out. After that, a portal or two will appear that take you to another floor. At specific intervals, more of the story will play out, and eventually you’ll reach a final boss of sorts. Along the way, you’ll earn two different types of coins and the occasional new weapon.

Your character can attack, dash, jump, and use a special move that pushes enemies away. All but the basic attack consume MP, which automatically restores itself over time. As you battle enemies, you’ll also earn super attacks that can be used to deal massive damage to large groups of foes. Beyond their basic statistics, characters largely differ in terms of which super attack they can use with each weapon. Certain accessories can add new moves or modify your existing ones, but you’ll naturally have to unlock them first. The action flows smoothly enough even though it’s not all that deep. The main strategy is to bait the enemy into using an attack, get out of their range, then come back in after to get some licks in. This gets complicated if you have too many baddies chasing you, but it’s still the way to go.

Well no, that’s not entirely true. If you have a second character join in, either via CPU control or another player, it’s also pretty effective to have one player kite the herd while the other character picks things off from it at their leisure. The herd will probably never catch up, and they generally won’t turn their attention away once they’re locked in, either. So you can do that if you don’t find it too dull. I tended to flit between the two strategies, and got rewarded for my courage by taking a few lumps on the noggin. Since you get some HP restored when you level up or advance to another level, you can afford the luxury now and then if it keeps you interested.

The stories are all pretty much nothing-burgers, but that’s not a bad thing given how often you’re going to be starting from scratch in the game. You get a couple of continues, but generally speaking, death is death. Back to the beginning, back to level one. But you get to keep all the weapons you find and the coins you scrounge up, and those coins can be exchanged for accessories that change how your character looks and grant some kind of bonus while they’re at it. If you just want the bonus but don’t like the look, the game does let you toggle whether the accessories are visible or not. There are multiple costumes for each girl which when combined with the accessories give you a fair bit of customization over how characters look. Characters will unlock as you clear the game with each successive heroine, but it’s not too tough to get that done.

There are a few different modes outside of that, including a score attack mode, a challenge mode, and an interesting dungeon mode that introduces a weapon-breaking mechanic. Still, it all comes back to the same old action against the same old enemies, grinding up coins to buy out the full list of accessories in the shop. It’s fun for a bash now and then, but after the initial burst of enjoyment, the game tends to become repetitive after a session or two at most. Still, it’s fun enough that I found myself loading it up frequently to unlock another piece of gear or just to have some fun smacking around the monsters.

And that’s kind of where Croixleur Sigma is at. It’s an enjoyable enough game in small bursts, but it gets a bit tiresome if you try to put in longer sessions. There also isn’t much reason to come back if you don’t like unlocking bits and bobs, and once you’re finished said unlocking I’m not sure what you’d want to strive for. A higher score, I suppose? That said, by the time I’d done all I wanted to do in the game, I felt like I’d gotten a reasonably good value out of it. Probably not something I’ll think back on all that often, but I certainly didn’t have a bad time with the time I spent with it.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

Fractured Minds ($1.99)

Well, this is an interesting experience, at least. Fractured Minds was made by a 17-year-old named Emily Mitchell, and it won a BAFTA Young Game Designers Award back in 2017. It’s kind of an adventure game, but it wants to try to express what it’s like to grapple with mental illness. For example, the first thing you need to do is leave your room. You need a key to do so, but every key you find will be displayed as the wrong key. The text will linger so your screen is soon full of discouraging messages. Anyway, it’s that sort of thing. For the price, it’s hard to argue with it provided you find the premise intriguing.

Safety First! ($2.99)

Well, this is just freaking stupid, isn’t it? It’s a twin-stick physics puzzle game where you have to repair broken electrical wires by peeing on them. There are 69 levels, and the game’s description seems very amused by that total. There is also ca-ca, as you can see in that screenshot. I don’t know. This looks like one of those things that might be very amusing with friends and alcohol, and it’s priced for that kind of buy-and-toss mentality to work, I suppose. It just feels like it’s trying a little too hard, you know? If this kind of humor is your thing, the game itself seems to go over generally well with people, so the two or three bucks may be well-spent.

SpellKeeper ($5.99)

Surely most readers will have come across a light-directing puzzle in their various adventures over years of gaming. You know the sort. You angle mirrors just so to guide a beam of light to a goal. Well, SpellKeeper is a whole game made up of those puzzles. You get 50 of them here, so if you dig this type of thing, there’s plenty here for the cost of admission. It’s wrapped up in a cute if slightly generic fantasy presentation that sees you trying to free butterflies from cocoons. While I personally don’t mind this kind of puzzle now and then, I’m not sure I like them enough to deal with a whole game made up of them. Perhaps you feel differently, though.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition ($29.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Ah, this game was the fancy cat’s pajamas back when it first came out. It’s a mix of Zelda-style puzzle-solving and dungeon navigation with a battle system reminiscent of God of War and other Western character action games of the era. Not perfect, but more enjoyable than most expected. The second game was also pretty good. Shame they never ever made a third game. It just. Never. Happened. Anyway, this is a rather nice version of the first game, and playing it on a handheld is something else. It smolders with a bit more generic rage than I’d prefer at times, but I think it’s still a pretty darned good time. I’ll have a full review of this one very soon so I’ll leave this here for now.

AngerForce: Reloaded ($8.49)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

I really liked AngerForce a lot on mobile, and it certainly hasn’t suffered any in its road to other platforms. This is basically a vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up that takes after Cave’s bullet-hell style where you have to park your tiny hitbox in the few millimeters of screen space not filled with shots. And yeah, it’s a good one. Lots of characters, fun power-ups, a good scoring system. All you really need to get stuck into a shoot-em-up experience. I mean, I’d slightly prefer Cave’s shooters if they were available on Switch, but they aren’t, are they? So this will do just fine until then.

Sales

Ah, some interesting games in the old inbox today, friends. Oceanhorn, RIVE, Toki Tori 2+, and Swords & Soldiers are but a few of the goodies on offer, so take a good look and spend according to your means and needs. Or just do what I do and completely disregard both needs and means to go on a wild spending spree! Note: don’t do what Shauny Don’t does. As for the outbox, make sure to pick up A Robot Named Fight if you like Metroid and think the idea of smushing it together with a roguelite would be divine. Because it is. I’d also recommend The Mummy Demastered because it is a fun game and that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

New Games on Sale

Oceanhorn ($9.99 from $14.99 until 4/15)
Kensho ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/22)
The Count Lucanor ($3.74 from $14.99 until 4/14)
RIVE: Ultimate Edition ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/21)
Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/14)
Nine Parchments ($5.99 from $19.99 until 4/15)
Toki Tori 2+ ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/21)
Toki Tori ($2.49 from $4.99 until 4/21)
Metropolis: Lux Obscura ($5.59 from $7.99 until 4/15)
Deep Ones ($2.99 from $4.99 until 4/15)
Battle Group 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 4/14)
SkyTime ($1.79 from $2.99 until 4/15)
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin ($6.99 from $9.99 until 4/15)
Planet RIX-13 ($3.74 from $4.99 until 4/15)
Goat Simulator: The GOATY ($20.09 from $29.99 until 4/7)
Swords & Soldiers ($5.00 from $7.50 until 4/21)
Drowning ($2.24 from $2.99 until 4/15)
RIOT – Civil Unrest ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/14)
Safety First! ($2.00 from $3.00 until 4/8)
Alchemic Jousts ($7.99 from $9.99 until 4/22)
The King’s Bird ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/9)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 3rd

A Robot Named Fight ($6.49 from $12.99 until 4/3)
Anima: Gate of Memories ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/3)
Anima: Gate of Memories Arcane Edition ($26.99 from $29.99 until 4/3)
Anima: The Nameless Chronicles ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/3)
Assault on Metaltron ($4.89 from $6.99 until 4/3)
Awe ($3.99 from $4.99 until 4/3)
Bow to Blood: Last Captain Standing ($17.99 from $19.99 until 4/3)
Dead Synchronicity ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/3)
Defoliation ($7.99 from $9.99 until 4/3)
Demon’s Crystals ($11.24 from $14.99 until 4/3)
Earthlock ($13.45 from $29.90 until 4/3)
Freaky Awesome ($9.74 from $12.99 until 4/3)
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams ($23.99 from $29.99 until 4/3)
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal ($9.99 from $19.99 until 4/3)
Guilt Battle Arena ($3.99 from $9.99 until 4/3)
Leopoldo Manquiseil ($4.79 from $5.99 until 4/3)
Ludomania ($1.59 from $4.00 until 4/3)
Mars: Chaos Menace ($7.99 from $9.99 until 4/3)
Mugsters ($7.49 from $14.99 until 4/3)
Neverout ($1.12 from $7.49 until 4/3)
Nightmare Boy ($5.49 from $9.99 until 4/3)
Please, Don’t Touch Anything ($7.49 from $9.99 until 4/3)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate ($22.49 from $29.99 until 4/3)
The Mummy Demastered ($12.99 from $19.99 until 4/3)
Townsmen ($15.99 from $19.99 until 4/3)

That’s all we’ve got for today, but I feel like that’s plenty of damage for the wallet already. Join us tomorrow when I’ll have summaries of the two new releases for the day, with one being quite familiar to mobile gamers. I’ll also have the news and sales that appear throughout the next day, and if time allows, a review of Darksiders. Make sure to check back to see what kind of shenanigans we get up to! As always, thanks for reading!



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