Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 10th, 2022. In today’s article, we kick things off with a pair of reviews. Our pal Mikhail has a review of Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection and I have a review of Chaos;Head NoAH/Chaos;Child Double Pack. There’s a bit of news, a few dubious new releases, and a list of incoming and outgoing sales for the day. A usual Monday, in other words. Let’s get to work!
‘Persona 3 Portable’ & ‘Persona 4 Golden’ Arriving January 19th
Persona 5 Royal will be arriving on Nintendo Switch pretty soon. October 21st, to be exact. You know what everyone always says: when it Persona rains, it Persona pours. Previously announced for release on the Switch and other platforms, Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden now have a proper release date. It’s the same day for both: January 19th, 2023. Fantastic. I feel like we don’t have enough RPGs going on right now, so these will be very welcome.
Reviews & Mini-Views
Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection ($39.99)
Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to get to play a lot of my favorite games across multiple platforms for review to see how developers scale things up or down depending on the system. Back when many people associated adventure games with Telltale, I fell in love with Life is Strange and have since played it on every platform including the remastered version on PC a few months ago. Life is Strange: Before the Storm improved on the original, and I was hoping we’d eventually see both hit Nintendo Switch.
The Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection brings both Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm to Nintendo Switch in a single package digitally or physically (albeit with one included as a code). This collection is based on the recent PlayStation, Xbox, and PC remastered releases rather than the original. Both remasters were included in the Life is Strange: True Colors Ultimate Edition or sold as a bundle at the same price as this newly-released Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection.
Both Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm had issues in their remastered versions. These have slowly been addressed, but it was disappointing seeing what should’ve been a home run release falter before the final innings. On Nintendo Switch, the Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection is the complete package offering two of my favorite games with brilliant soundtracks on a portable, but the port leaves a lot to be desired especially after how good True Colors was on Nintendo Switch.
If you’ve never played these games before, both Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm have excellent characters, superb music (both licensed and original), and great narratives elevated by the memorable dialogue. They are episodic adventure games that are fully available on Switch with all content including improved animations. Life is Strange: Before the Storm is set a few years before Life is Strange and perfectly complements the original story. This package is great value on paper for newcomers, but the technical issues hold it back.
There are two major issues with these games, and one of them has to do with the remasters themselves. Having tried both on Steam Deck, I’m not happy with the remaster and prefer the original releases which are also on mobile. This release almost reminds me of the GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition with how I had hoped the Switch port was based on the original mobile releases as opposed to a very demanding remaster that has its own issues on more powerful platforms.
In its current state, I’d even recommend the original mobile version of Life is Strange over the remaster in the Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection. Before the Storm on mobile is a bit unstable on modern devices right now, but it never looked bad. Having played the Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection on Switch and re-downloaded the remasters on Steam Deck and original mobile releases on my iPhone, it is a shame that there is no perfect way to experience these gems on the go.
The Switch versions of Life is Strange Remastered and Life is Strange: Before the Storm Remastered in the Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection suffer quite a few visual cutbacks and never manage looking great, but these really stick out in a time where we see Square Enix release a superb port of NieR: Automata. The combination of the remasters having issues in general and the cutbacks on Nintendo Switch make this hard to recommend without caveats. While Square Enix will likely fix some of the bugs, I really hope this collection is patched enough to be the slam dunk it should’ve been for new players looking to sample one of the publisher’s best franchises in years. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Chaos;Head NoAH/Chaos;Child Double Pack ($49.99)
I’m going to say something that I hope isn’t too controversial here: a visual novel without a decent localization is like a bicycle without wheels. You can have great art, an amazing original story, and the most charming characters around, but if the writing isn’t done justice by the localization none of that is going to matter. It pains me to say this, but Chaos;Head NoAH and Chaos;Child do not have good localizations. Also, there’s a bug present in Chaos;Head NoAH at the time of this writing that prevents you from finishing the game, so that’s a thing. I assume that at least will be fixed.
It’s not that the localizations are complete gibberish here or anything. Indeed, much of the text conveys the literal meaning of the original script in a serviceable, albeit incredibly bland, way. But there are just enough problems here to be distracting, and in some ways that may be worse than a complete fail. The localization doesn’t use quotation marks, so it’s not always clear where the internal narration ends and spoken dialogue begins. Verb tenses are inconsistent, sometimes even within a single chunk of text. The writing is so clinical that individual character voices are almost completely lost. I’m not going to speculate too much on why it’s all the way it is, but suffice it to say I think the localization in its current form is dull, confusing, and does its best to toss a wet blanket on the stories of these two games.
That’s unfortunate, because I would otherwise have a lot of praise for both of these stories. Chaos;Head in particular. As the game that kicked off the series that spawned Steins;Gate, Chaos;Head lays down a lot of the themes seen in later titles. You’ve got a great setting in late ’00s Shibuya, an unlikable protagonist that is about to take one on the chin hard from reality, some fascinating secondary characters, and a plot that will mess with your head and emotions in equal measures. Chaos;Child is a sequel and like most sequels doesn’t have quite the same impact as its predecessor, but by and large it has similar strengths and is worth your time.
It is extremely likely that the crash bug that prevents you from finishing Chaos;Head will be fixed soon if it hasn’t been already as you read this, but the low-quality localizations found in both games are nearly as big of a problem and are so baked-in that I can’t imagine anything will be done about them. If you’re a big fan of the other Science Adventure games (Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes), I could hesitantly recommend these games to you, but it’s a shame I can’t do so with the vigor that the original works should merit.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
LawnMower: Mortal Race ($9.99)
Another of these wacky lawnmower racing games. Make your way around the various tracks, avoiding hazards and trying to get to the goal as quickly as possible. I know some folks really get into these things, even if I don’t quite get them. If you’re one of those people, here you go!
This is a simulation game where you own and operate an aquarium shop. You’re responsible for setting up the displays and taking care of the fish, as well as handling basic shop maintenance and customer service. It seems to be reasonably well-liked on other platforms, so that’s encouraging. How well Ultimate has adapted the computer UI to Switch is another question, as it is often a concern with its releases.
Invocation: The Festival of Souls ($6.99)
A little 3D arena battler for up to four players in local multiplayer. There are two different maps and four different characters, so it’s a bit light on content overall. The character choices are certainly unique. You’ve got Muhammad Ali, Jeanne D’Arc, Nikola Tesla, and Queen Semiramis. Why these four figures in particular? I don’t know.
Lost Dream: Memories ($4.99)
Sort of a short walking simulator-ish affair starring a fox. You have to search around a 3D world to find some sort of vaguely-described missing piece. It takes about thirty minutes to finish. I suppose that isn’t that bad for a fiver.
Frogy World ($2.99)
A generic platformer from the folks at Weakfish Studio. It stars a frog. That’s really all there is to say about it.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A few interesting games in the inbox today. Dusk Diver 2 should still be on sale for a few more hours when you read this, so if you want that be sure to act now. If you don’t have Ori & the Will of the Wisps, you can fix that issue now. There are some decent games in the outbox as well, so make sure you check out both of those lists just to be on the safe side.
Select New Games on Sale
Dusk Diver 2 ($39.99 from $49.99 until 10/11)
Rite ($4.89 from $6.99 until 10/14)
Will Die Alone ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
Promesa ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
A Sketchbook About Her Sun ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/15)
Cuccchi ($3.19 from $7.99 until 10/15)
Ultionus: Tale of Petty Revenge ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/15)
Mystic Belle Enchanted Edition ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/15)
Terra Bomber ($3.12 from $9.99 until 10/17)
Terra Lander ($3.12 from $9.99 until 10/17)
Terra Lander II ($3.12 from $9.99 until 10/17)
Dark Thrones ($2.80 from $8.99 until 10/17)
Contraptions ($3.12 from $9.99 until 10/17)
Taxi Chaos ($14.99 from $34.95 until 10/17)
Super Cyborg ($2.99 from $6.99 until 10/17)
WorldWide FlightSimulator ($19.99 from $24.99 until 10/17)
My Little Pony: Maretime Bay Adv. ($29.99 from $39.99 until 10/17)
DC League of Super-Pets ($29.99 from $39.99 until 10/17)
Ori & the Will of the Wisps ($10.19 from $29.99 until 10/17)
Madness Beverage ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/20)
Ashland Dossier ($5.49 from $10.99 until 10/20)
Mech Mechanic Simulator ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/20)
Cresteaju ($4.89 from $6.99 until 10/21)
Attack on Beetle ($4.19 from $5.99 until 10/21)
Pets No More ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/21)
Torn Tales: Rebound Edition ($1.99 from $7.99 until 10/22)
Demon’s Rise: Lords of Chaos ($1.99 from $7.99 until 10/22)
Super Cable Boy ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/22)
LawnMower: Mortal Race ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/22)
Barn Finders ($8.99 from $19.99 until 10/24)
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill S&B ($3.79 from $19.99 until 10/24)
A Frog’s Job ($3.99 from $4.99 until 10/28)
Puzzletronics: DI ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/28)
Driving Quest ($3.99 from $9.99 until 10/28)
Raven’s Hike ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/28)
A Juggler’s Tale ($11.69 from $17.99 until 10/28)
Bricky to Me ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/28)
Underland: The Climb ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/28)
Super Hiking League ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/28)
99Vidas ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/28)
Him & Her Collection ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/28)
ADVERSE ($1.99 from $5.99 until 10/28)
Soulblight ($3.74 from $14.99 until 10/29)
World Soccer Kid ($1.99 from $2.99 until 10/29)
Zombie’s Cool ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/29)
Dragon Question ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/29)
UNI ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/29)
Nature ($1.99 from $2.99 until 10/29)
Alien War ($2.99 from $3.99 until 10/29)
Down in Bermuda ($1.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)
Agent A: Puzzle in Disguise ($1.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 11th
Aqua Kitty UDX ($2.69 from $8.99 until 10/11)
Asterix & Obelix Slap Them All ($17.99 from $29.99 until 10/11)
Beyond a Steel Sky ($23.99 from $39.99 until 10/11)
Colsword ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/11)
Dungeon of the Endless ($3.99 from $19.99 until 10/11)
Dusk Diver 2 ($39.99 from $49.99 until 10/11)
Gear.Cub Unlimited 2 ($5.99 from $39.99 until 10/11)
Gum+ ($1.99 from $7.99 until 10/11)
Little Bug ($1.99 from $12.99 until 10/11)
Monument ($1.99 from $7.99 until 10/11)
Murder Mystery Machine ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/11)
My Universe: Cooking Star Restaurant ($9.89 from $29.99 until 10/11)
Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again x2 ($2.79 from $3.99 until 10/11)
Project Highrise AE ($7.99 from $39.99 until 10/11)
Swim Out ($2.69 from $5.99 until 10/11)
Syndrome ($1.99 from $24.99 until 10/11)
Tallowmere ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/11)
The Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($17.49 from $24.99 until 10/11)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ($11.99 from $29.99 until 10/11)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, more new releases, more sales, and perhaps some news. Despite all of the work I have right now, I decided to replay Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance over the weekend. I had a reasonable amount of fun. Well, back to work. I hope you all have a magnificent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!