Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 16th, 2023. It may be a holiday in the United States, but nothing stops Shaun! We’ve got a few reviews for you to check out today, covering Terror of Hemasaurus, Breakers Collection, and Galacticon. After that, we’ve got a few new releases to summarize. Very dubious lot today, I’m afraid. Finally, we have the usual lists of new and outgoing sales. Let’s get to it!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Terror of Hemasaurus ($14.99)
Rampage was a really cool game. You got to be a giant monster. You got to smash tanks and helicopters. You could eat people. You could bust up buildings piece by piece until they crumbled to the ground. There was nothing else like it back in 1986. Sequels followed, eventually, but they mostly felt like the same game with some new, often hideous, wallpaper applied. The last time the franchise ducked its head up was in 2018 for a movie tie-in. Terror of Hemasaurus is, of course, not a Rampage game. But it is a game that Rampage fans will absolutely want to pick up. In terms of gameplay mechanics, it’s a more impressive follow-up to Rampage than any of the official ones. It also has a goofy story to accompany those mechanics, which doesn’t hurt things.
Anyway, you’re a giant monster. You’ve been summoned by a weird cult in an effort to give people the kick in the pants they need in order to start actually addressing climate issues. It’s some logic, to be sure. You don’t need to worry about that, though. All you need to worry about is stomping your way through each stage, causing the requisite amount of destruction without being felled by the various defenses that are thrown at you. It’s a fancier take on Rampage, more or less. You have some cool extra moves, and the destruction physics are considerably more advanced than we saw in any Rampage games. Also, you can boot people and send them flying. And you can add in a few friends via local multiplayer so you can all boot people together.
Just like the game it homages, Terror of Hemasaurus is loads of fun that only gets better the more players you add. Unfortunately, it can also be just as repetitive over longer sessions. It’s a great bit of stress relief, and the story is interesting enough to be worth paying attention to. The sheer level of chaos when you really start going to town is certainly something to behold, and there are some aspects that make me giggle no matter how many times I see them. It’s a worthy successor that all fans of Rampage should check out.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Breakers Collection ($19.99)
QUByte has put out a number of re-releases of older games, mostly drawn from Piko Interactive’s catalog. The prices are reasonable, but it often feels like you get what you pay for with them. Emulation issues, input lag, and almost entirely bereft of extras. Breakers Collection is different from QUByte’s usual fare. The emulation quality is excellent. The usual input lag isn’t here. And there are a bunch of extras, including an interview with some of the original developers, art galleries, achievements, and more. You also get online play that uses rollback netcode, and it works really well. QUByte put in a top-shelf effort on this, and I really appreciate it.
So how about the games? While this is inarguably a collection of Breakers games, and a complete one at that, it’s worth noting that the entire series consists of Breakers and its Champion Edition-like update Breakers Revenge. There isn’t a whole lot of reason to play Breakers with Revenge on here, as it essentially includes everything that game does plus more. So you’re technically getting two games here, but you’re really getting one. It’s a solid fighting game with a lot of charm, but as to whether it’s worth twenty bucks is going to be a tough call for most.
Breakers Collection feels like it’s one for the fans, and in that capacity it is excellent. It’s just about everything you could ask for from a Breakers re-release, with great emulation quality, lots of modes and extras, and an overall level of polish we haven’t seen in QUByte’s other retro collections up until now. Others will likely want to proceed a bit more cautiously, but it’s good to see a niche, beloved slice of the NEOGEO library get its chance to shine again.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
For reasons I cannot begin to fathom, it is pretty hard to play classic Midway arcade games on modern platforms. WB Games just isn’t interested in cashing in, I guess. I treasure games like Galacticon, who have the spirit of those formative and fun games coursing through them. As we saw with another recent release, Donut Dodo, Galacticon draws elements from a number of classic games but ultimate creates its own fresh experience. There’s a bit of Defender, a bit of Joust, and even some dashes of home classics like Jetpac. It even has a means for you to compare your scores with other players, a feature I think is essential for this kind of game.
Each stage has two components to it. In the first, you need to rescue various aliens from the hostile forces and load them up onto one of three ships. Be careful about who you put where, because the red and blue aliens don’t care much for each other. You can blast away enemies and scoop up power-ups and extra points in this phase too, but keep an eye on the time. Once all three ships are loaded, a vertically scrolling segment starts. In these sections you’ll have to avoid or take out obstacles while scooping up gems to add to your score. Eventually, you’ll reach your ship. Head into the tractor beam to finish the stage. Your score will be tallied and it’s on to the next one. Repeat until you run out of lives.
Playing just to survive is enjoyable enough. The first couple of stages are a little on the easy side but things heat up before long. Ultimately, you’ll probably want to start playing for score. Here you’ll find a variety of methods to juice your score, adding to the challenge as you try to juggle specific aliens to specific ships and trigger the hidden bonuses for each stage. It’s a lot to consider without being overwhelming, and the ceiling is satisfyingly high. After completing a game, a QR code will pop up. Scan it and you’ll have your score and initials registered on a global cross-platform leaderboard.
If you enjoy arcade-style score attack action games, Galacticon is a must-have. While it isn’t hard to identify where it draws inspiration from, the overall experience threads the needle of being fresh and vaguely nostalgic all at once. It’s a bit no-nonsense, with only a single mode and a small set of options, but the QR code-based high score chart ensures you’ve always got a reason to come back. Great fun.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Courageous Deduction Nori 2 Betrayed Nori ($1.50)
It’s a shame that with an incredible title like this that the game is both text-heavy and in Japanese only. Unless you can read Japanese, you won’t be able to get anything out of this at all.
A cute little overhead action-adventure starring a feline protagonist. That’s like its own mini-genre by now. Anyway, this one has some minigames breaking up the action here and there. The buzz on it seems to be fairly positive as far as I can see, but I haven’t had a chance to play it myself yet.
A handheld-only overhead action game with a variety of characters to choose from. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about here, but it’s only a dollar so if you think it looks appealing, you don’t have much to lose by taking a gamble on it.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Gosh, that was quick. Dragon Quest Treasures is on sale already. It’s not a huge sale, but it isn’t nothing either. There are some other interesting games in the lists besides that, but I’ll let you have a careful scan yourselves.
Select New Games on Sale
Dragon Quest Treasures ($49.79 from $59.99 until 1/20)
Dragon Quest Treasures Deluxe ($53.94 from $64.99 until 1/20)
Unsouled ($5.59 from $19.99 until 1/21)
Love 3 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/21)
Metal Unit ($3.99 from $15.99 until 1/21)
8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife Adv. ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/21)
Genetic Disaster ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/23)
Knight Squad ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/23)
Knight Squad 2 ($9.74 from $14.99 until 1/23)
Napoleon in the 3rd World Ep.1 ($19.99 from $24.99 until 1/23)
Vereda Escape Room Adventure ($6.29 from $8.99 until 1/23)
Devastator ($2.79 from $6.99 until 1/27)
Luckslinger ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/27)
The Bug Butcher ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/27)
Lumini ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/27)
Inferno 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/27)
Pecaminosa ($5.99 from $14.99 until 1/27)
Castle of Pixel Skulls ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/27)
Jack ‘n’ Hat ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/27)
Horned Knight ($1.99 from $5.99 until 1/27)
The Tiny Bang Story ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/30)
Spaceland ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/30)
Niffelheim ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/30)
Braveland Trilogy ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/30)
Even if Tempest ($34.99 from $49.99 until 1/30)
Construction Site Driver 2 ($6.49 from $12.99 until 2/3)
Inertia Redux ($2.06 from $4.39 until 2/3)
Pill Baby ($7.50 from $15.00 until 2/3)
Time Rift ($5.99 from $9.99 until 2/3)
Yum Yum Cookstar ($19.99 from $29.99 until 2/3)
The Enigma Machine ($4.79 from $7.99 until 2/3)
Thunderbolt Collection ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/4)
Zero Tolerance Collection ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/4)
Jim Power: The Lost Dimension ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/4)
The Immortal ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/4)
Radical Rex ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/4)
The Humans ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/4)
Head Over Heels ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/4)
Golazo 2 ($8.99 from $14.99 until 2/4)
Haustoria ($1.99 from $12.99 until 2/5)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17th
Color Zen Kids ($3.19 from $3.99 until 1/17)
Cube Life: Island Survival ($11.99 from $14.99 until 1/17)
Fluffy Horde ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/17)
It’s Kooky ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/17)
NBA 2K23 ($23.99 from $59.99 until 1/17)
New Tales from the Borderlands ($19.99 from $39.99 until 1/17)
OlliOlli World ($17.99 from $29.99 until 1/17)
Pixel Action Heroes ($3.99 from $4.99 until 1/17)
Space Tail: EJLH ($13.99 from $19.99 until 1/17)
Super Cyborg ($2.99 from $6.99 until 1/17)
Tales from the Borderlands ($14.99 from $24.99 until 1/17)
To Leave ($1.99 from $19.99 until 1/17)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, a review or two, and perhaps some news. I hope you all have a relaxing Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!