SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Dungeon Warfare’ and ‘The Church in the Darkness’ Reviews, ‘Darksiders 2’ Coming to Switch, ‘DC Universe Online’ Takes Flight, Sales, and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for August 6th, 2019. In today’s feature we’ve got several news items to check out, a couple of reviews of recent releases, a few new release summaries, and those lovely sales that keep us all broke. All in all, not bad for a Tuesday. The rest of the week should bring plenty of news, especially with word that we’re getting more Pokemon info tomorrow. Well, that’s a story for another day. Let’s see what’s on the plate this time!

News

‘Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition’ Launches September 26th

Sure, we all knew it was coming, but it’s nice to have a date for the game. Even if that date is in the middle of one of the busiest weeks of new releases this year. Why do you do this, publishers? It is a mystery. Anyway, the Switch version of Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition is on its way and will release on September 26th. Given how good the port of the first game turned out, I expect this will be a solid version of the well-received sequel. You play as Death as he sets out to try to clear his brother’s name. It’s good stuff. With the release of this game and a Switch version being included in the announcement for Darksiders Genesis, that really just leaves the third game to be ported. It might be too much for the Switch to properly handle, but that hasn’t stopped anyone outside of EA before, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Meet Misako in the Latest Trailer for ‘River City Girls’

WayForward and Arc System Works are working together on the next installment of the long-running Kunio-Kun/River City series of beat-em-ups, River City Girls. It’s due out on Switch and other platforms on September 5th, with a Limited Run Games physical edition announced for later release. The game follows Misako and Kyoko, the girlfriends of Kunio and Riki, as they rescue the guys the only way they know how: by smashing faces and boot-stomping hooligans. The latest trailer focuses on Misako and shows off some of her coolest moves.

Lord Zedd Almost Ready to Join ‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’

The last of the Season One Battle Pass DLC characters is just about ready to make his debut in Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. Lord Zedd himself steps into the fray, toting his battle staff and commanding Putties to do his bidding. As you can see by watching the trailer above, he’s got a lot of cool, flashy moves in his arsenal. I absolutely love his super move where he gets a little comfortable and commands as Lord Zedd should. He’ll be available in the game soon, and you can get him either as part of the Battle Pass, which also includes Trey of Triforia and Jen Scotts, or grab him individually.

‘Enter the Gungeon: Deluxe Edition’ Available Today at Retail

Enter the Gungeon is a great game that turned out to be a perfect fit for the Switch’s portability. If you’re one of the many fans of the game and you’d like to own a physical version, you’re in luck. Starting today, Enter the Gungeon: Deluxe Edition will be available at retailers for $29.99. Naturally, you get the game itself in its fully-updated form with all DLC included. There’s also an exclusive Shotgun Kin playable skin, some nifty stickers, a Bullet Kin papercraft, reversible box art, and a download code for a digital copy of the game’s awesome soundtrack.

‘Robo Puzzle Smash’ Kicks Off a Kickstarter for a Switch Port

Do you like puzzle battle games? If so, you may want to check this out. Developer PXLPLZ made a pretty nifty game called Robo Puzzle Smash that released on Steam a while back. They want to bring that game to the Switch and add in some extra features like a two-player mode, improved online play, and better art, but they need a little extra funding to make it happen. As such, they’ve kicked off a Kickstarter campaign today to cover the rest of the costs of the port. I’ve played the Steam version, and it’s a really fun, unique game that would suit the Switch perfectly. If you want to contribute towards making that happen, head on over to the Kickstarter page and do that thing we do.

Reviews

Dungeon Warfare ($9.99)

You don’t always have to do something new to make something good. Doing something familiar and doing it really well is a good approach too, and Dungeon Warfare is a good example of that. What you’ve got here is about as meat-and-potatoes a take on castle defense as you can imagine, but it’s so much fun that it’s hard to care about its lack of imagination. Each stage sees you building traps, obstacles, and other types of defenses to protect your dungeon from invading adventurers. Mulch the poor fellows to earn resources that you can use to build greater fortifications, and try to survive all of the waves of adventurers to clear the stage. Beating stages opens up new traps and such that will help you with the next.

Before I go any farther, I’d like to thank the developers of Dungeon Warfare for remembering that the Switch has both button controls and a touch screen. Sure, it means that playing on your TV is a bit more awkward than playing in handheld mode, though the game’s grid-like nature makes it less of a hassle than some. But people who want to play in handheld mode shouldn’t suffer for the docked mode people’s sake. This game feels great to play with a combination of buttons and touch, and from a control standpoint this is easily the best version of Dungeon Warfare.

For your money, you get more than forty stages plus an endless mode that keeps things going after you’ve beaten everything else. Beyond earning new traps, you’ll also unlock special runes that you can use to modify the challenge. For example, the first one you get will make it so that you’ll fail if even one adventurer makes it to your dungeon core. Why would you want that? Besides making it a zestier challenge, you’ll also get more rewards for having runes equipped. And indeed, it is one of those runes that will eventually unlock the endless mode.

As for the traps, you’ll eventually get access to twenty-six of them, but you can’t bring them all in with you at once. Depending on your level, you’ll have to carefully pick and choose which ones you need for the stage ahead. You’ll also have to plan carefully about which ones you want to upgrade, especially early on when resources are very limited. Each trap can be upgraded up through three tiers, getting more deadly and powerful in their effects with each major step up. What makes all of this even more fun is that each stage has its own layout and if you bring the right traps along you can use the very design of the dungeon to your advantage. When you start combining the dungeon design with the right mix of traps and create what amounts to hero blenders, it’s hard not to cackle with glee.

I really enjoyed Dungeon Warfare when I played it on iOS, so it’s probably no surprise that I like it a lot on Switch, too. It’s a very straightforward affair but everything is put together so nicely that it’s just plain fun to jump in and play. The controls are smart and well-implemented, and the amount of content is almost perfect for the price. The endless mode will keep you playing for a long time, but even the campaign maps lend themselves well to replaying thanks to the runes and how many ways you can come at each map. If you’ve got even a little bit of love for the defense genre of gaming, you’ll have a great time with Dungeon Warfare. If you’ve burnt out on the genre or have already played this on another platform, on the other hand, you may want to give it a pass.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

The Church in the Darkness ($19.99)

I really wanted to like this game. When I heard the concept for it, I was instantly sold. Inspired by the Jonestown cult and other similar situations, The Church in the Darkness tasks you with infiltrating a commune that your family member has joined, trying to determine their motivations, finding your loved one, and deciding what to do with the whole mess. The gimmick is that in each playthrough, the personalities of the cult leaders and the specifics of the story change, so you never really know what you’re walking into. Neat. I love it.

Unfortunately, the concept is as good as it gets. The Church in the Darkness has a lot of problems. Some of them are baked into the design, while others come from the execution. The end result is a game that peaks just before you hit the start button on the title screen, while you’re still thinking about how interesting it all is. You get to choose one or two items to bring in with you, including things like a gun or alarm jamming devices. This may lead you into thinking that there are many ways to play this game, but there aren’t. If you go in guns blazing, you’re going to have a very bad time. There is the odd situation where killing someone may help, but you’re almost always better off sneaking around. Even knocking people out is a poor choice, since they’ll get up and possibly cause trouble after. No, just toss a rock to distract them and walk past.

The game has multiple difficulty settings, with the lower ones letting you see where everyone is looking at all times. Unless you’re wearing a disguise, you’ll want to stay out of those lines of sight. At higher difficulties, you can’t see the exact areas they’re looking at, but if you’ve played any of the lower settings it’s not hard to keep the distance you need in mind. The layout of the commune itself never changes from game to game, but guard and item placements do. And yes, the two leaders of the cult also change from game to game, but it rarely produces the interesting results you’d hope for, especially since a lot of their dialogue is identical no matter what their personality is set to.

Ultimately, the game plays out the same way each time up to a point. Skulk around, search buildings for evidence that you might need to solve a sub-quest or determine which personalities you’re dealing with this time. Find a contact who helps you narrow down your search for your family member, track them down, and see if they want to leave. Then make your own choice about what you’re going to do and who, if anyone, you’re going to hurt or kill. There are lots of endings, and they’re quite different from each other. But they’re also very brief, and the lead-up to those endings feels almost exactly the same every time. When you get the hang of things, it takes about fifteen minutes from start to finish, but the lack of variety makes it feel like a slog anyway.

As I feared, the game has some technical issues as well. The framerate struggles noticeably at times, and although the resolution isn’t as awful as certain other recent games I’ve played, the game suffers from generally poor visibility due to color choices and where the camera generally hangs. The controls are adequate but it never feels really good to play, either. I’m not sure if the game is smoother on other platforms, but it’s a really choppy experience on this one. Not unplayable by any means, but it’s just another disappointment on the stack.

The Church in the Darkness has a really great idea behind it, and parts of it came out okay. The cult leaders and their changing personalities are interesting for the first few playthroughs, and the presentation does a great job of establishing the mood. Unfortunately, I think it had to do a lot more to really sell the concept, like fleshing out more characters or making more play styles viable. You don’t really get to talk to anyone in anything but the most shallow of ways, and whether or not you can succeed at getting your family member out sometimes feels like pure luck as to if they’ll want to go with you. Add in a few technical issues and gameplay mechanics that don’t seem to go anywhere, and you end up with a real disappointment.

SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5

New Releases

DC Universe Online (Free)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Fans of the DC Universe, rejoice. You can now play Daybreak’s popular MMO action game where your created hero or villain joins forces with or battles against famous faces like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain Cold. Best set aside a good chunk of your memory card, though. This one takes up nearly 25 GB of space, and it’s only going to get bigger as time goes on, I’m sure. Anyway, it’s free to download and play, but if you want access to all of the content and other rewards, you’ll have to open your wallet for a subscription or some extra purchases. Pretty standard as these things go. You can definitely enjoy the game without paying, but you’ll have a much better time if you pretend this is like an MMO from 15 years ago and just shell out the $10 per month or whatever. Oh, and no offline play in this at all, obviously.

Shadows 2: Perfidia ($7.99)

This is a brief horror game inspired by titles like Penumbra. To be honest, it feels pretty cheaply-made, with a lot of repetition in floor designs and less-than-impressive production values all around. Well, that’s just how it is. You can play as two characters, with one essentially serving as a remake of the original Shadows and the other presenting an all-new adventure. Either way, you’re up to the same things. There are scary things afoot and you need to explore and escape as necessary. Jump scares abound, and the story never really makes much sense even if you can bring yourself to pay attention to it. The game does do a decent job of messing with you, so if that’s your thing you’ll probably take to this better than I did.

Epic Clicker Journey ($4.99)

This is more or less a straight-up take on the clicker genre, and I can’t think of anything I’d less like to play on my Switch. Visit twenty different locations and tap, tap, tap your way to victory. Use the resources you collect to upgrade your weapons, armor, and so on so that you can tap more efficiently and for greater damage. Collect keys that open the way forward on the map, and wait for your health to restore as a sped-up stamina meter ticks its way up. This was originally a free-to-play mobile game, and it’s barely hiding that fact. Some of the art is amusing but apart from that I don’t think there’s really much here worth getting excited about.

Sales

Well, that’s not very interesting, is it? There really isn’t anything in today’s new sales that I can get behind with any sort of enthusiasm, so you know what? I won’t. That’s just how things go sometimes. As for the out-going sales, I suppose I’d recommend Hard West, a decent if rough-around-the-edges Old West XCOM, and Super Blood Hockey, which is the best hockey game on Switch. Both are pretty solid pick-ups at those discount prices, and although I’m sure Hard West will be back on sale again soon, Super Blood Hockey may not appear again for a few months.

New Games on Sale

Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight ($5.99 from $9.99 until 8/26)
The Count Lucanor ($3.74 from $14.99 until 8/18)
Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/18)
I, Zombie ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/25)
Battle Group 2 ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/18)
Black and White Bushido ($9.10 from $13.00 until 8/19)
Riot – Civil Unrest ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/18)
Blazing Beaks ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/27)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 7th

Bad Dream: Coma ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Bard’s Gold ($4.49 from $8.99 until 8/7)
Damsel ($14.44 from $16.99 until 8/7)
Doughlings: Arcade ($3.49 from $6.99 until 8/7)
Doughlings: Invasion ($8.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Drift Legends ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Fishing Universe Simulator ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Frederic 2: Evil Strikes Back ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
Frederic: Resurrection of Music ($0.59 from $5.99 until 8/7)
Glaive: Brick Breaker ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Goetia ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Golem Gates ($12.49 from $24.99 until 8/7)
Hard West ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/7)
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Merchants of Kaiden ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)


Millie ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
No Thing ($0.19 from $1.99 until 8/7)
NoReload Heroes ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Qbik ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
Realpolitiks ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
Risky Rescue ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
Shut Eye ($0.39 from $3.99 until 8/7)
Solitaire Klondike Black ($4.50 from $5.00 until 8/7)
Sparkle 3 Genesis ($0.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
SpiderSolitaire Black ($4.50 from $5.00 until 8/7)
Star Story: The Horizon Escape ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)
Super Blood Hockey ($8.99 from $14.99 until 8/7)
The Adventures of Elena Temple ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/7)
The Forbidden Arts ($12.74 from $14.99 until 8/7)
Timberman VS ($0.19 from $1.99 until 8/7)
Tiny Hands Adventure ($0.79 from $7.99 until 8/7)
Toridama: Brave Challenge ($4.50 from $5.00 until 8/7)
Violett ($0.99 from $9.99 until 8/7)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow will see a couple of new releases, though nothing of major note. We’ll round up the news and sales as usual, of course, and if things are looking light? Well, there are always reviews in the review stand. I’ll see you all tomorrow, and as always, thanks for reading!



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