SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse’ and Today’s Other New Releases, Plus the Latest Sales

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Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 9th, 2023. Buckle up, because we have a massive list of new releases to get through today and a huge chunk of them are worth checking into. Why a random Thursday in March is this packed with games, I’ll never know. Beyond the summaries of all of this, we’ve got the usual lists of new and expiring sales. There’s also a bit of news, because I really couldn’t avoid it. And that’s about it, because that’s all I have time for with a new release list this big. Let’s go!

News

‘Metroid Fusion’ is Now Available for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Subscribers

It feels like this hit a little earlier than announced, but maybe I’m mistaking the days in my head. It feels like the Game Boy Advance Nintendo Switch Online app just launched, but we’ve already got a new addition to the line-up. It’s quite a doozy, too: Metroid Fusion. The fourth game in the mainline Metroid series received praise back in the day for just how scary the SA-X was, and some criticisms for how linear it is and how much it tends to hold your hand. It’s my fourth-favorite game in the whole series even if I have my own gripes with it. And now Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack subscribers can go ahead and play it. Technically this means we now have one version or another of all of the 2D entries in the series on Switch. Neat.

Wave 4 of the ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ Booster Course Pass is Now Available

On this most glorious of Mario Day Eves, many of us will be playing some Mario games. If the Mario game you choose to play is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and you either bought the Booster Course Pass or have a Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack subscription, you can enjoy a bunch of new tracks and a new character. Wave 4 of the Course Pass is here, and it adds Birdo as a playable character along with two new cups to play. The Fruit Cup has Amsterdam Drift (Mario Kart Tour), Riverside Park (Super Circuit), DK Summit (Mario Kart Wii), and Yoshi’s Island (a whole new course!). The Boomerang Cup has Bangkok Rush (Tour again), Mario Circuit (Mario Kart DS), Waluigi Stadium (Double Dash), and Singapore Speedway (wow, Tour again!). Well, that’s a lot of new stuff to enjoy. Go and get it.

New Releases

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse ($49.99)

I’m not going to pretend to understand the complicated ownership situation of this IP, but here’s the Wii Fatal Frame that was co-developed by Nintendo, Koei-Tecmo, and Grasshopper Manufacture, now available on Switch and other platforms in a spiffy remade form. Keep in mind that this was originally a Wii game, so don’t expect the graphics to be quite up to the level seen in Maiden of Black Water. The visuals have seen some improvements of course, and there are some new costumes that presumably will serve as replacements for the Luigi and Zero Suit Samus costumes. This is the first time the game has been available in English, so I’d imagine it’s all new to many of you anyway.

Caverns of Mars: Recharged ($9.99)

A fascinating pull. Atari has mostly been stick to hits from the arcade and Atari 2600 for its Recharged line, but this is the first time it’s dipping into its 8-bit computer library. The original Caverns of Mars is like Konami’s Scramble turned ninety degrees, but this one is more like a cousin of Downwell. And hey, that’s not a bad thing. You’re descending through shafts and you can fire your guns to slow your fall a bit, but you also need to keep an eye on your fuel stocks. Collect temporary power-ups and fuel, blast enemies for points, and pick a perk between levels to augment your load-out. I’ll be doing a full review of this one soon, but I think it’s another strong entry in the cool Recharged line.

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo ($19.99)

I love it when Square Enix digs into genres outside of RPGs, because sometimes we end up with something neat like Paranormasight. This is a Japanese-style adventure game that straddles the line between horror and mystery story really well. Set in Tokyo during the Showa era, it follows an intriguing cast of characters as they try to unravel the titular seven mysteries and with them the secret to the Rite of Resurrection, which is said to have the power to bring the dead back to life. I’ll have a review of this one soon, but if you like the genre I think you’ll enjoy this quite a bit.

Ib ($14.99)

Oh yeah, this is exactly the kind of creepy horror adventure that I tend to avoid because they scare the heck out of me. So of course I have been asked to review it. Sigh. Everyone finds my scaredy-cat nature amusing, I suppose. Anyway, a girl gets separated from her parents in an art gallery. She searches for them, but the museum starts to change around her. And it’s not changing into a chill coffee shop or anything. The original game was built in RPG Maker, but this is a fully remade version of the game. Lots of new stuff, so even if you’ve played the game before, you might enjoy the trip. Let’s see if my heart gives out this time.

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Record of Agarest War ($39.99)

Somehow, Record of Agarest War returned. For such a mediocre game, this sure does get around. Nine years ago I gave the iOS version of this game a pretty sparkling review, but those were different times and that one cost six bucks. At forty bucks in the current era, with all of the stunningly strong competition in this genre on the Switch? It’s a harder sell. A much harder sell. You can definitely find worse turn-based tactical RPGs on the platform, but for this much money you can surely do better. I like the system where your offspring from the current generation becomes the hero of the next, and it’s certainly a lengthy affair, but even there I have to say that you can probably find more enjoyable ways to spend your time. Well, it’s your call in the end.

Session: Skate Sim ($49.99)

I think we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that we’re probably not getting any more Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remakes anytime soon. That is a sad thing. A very sad thing. If you’ve exhausted the existing Tony Hawk game and need something to scratch your skating itch, this might be of interest to you. It’s more modeled after the style of EA’s Skate series, but beggars can’t be choosers. The game didn’t exactly light the world on fire on other platforms and Nacon’s track record for Switch ports isn’t exactly promising, but if nothing else we should be able to pick this up for a fiver several months down the line, and maybe that’s good enough.

Tiny Troopers: Global Ops ($19.99)

Well, well, well… if it isn’t Tiny Troopers, back again in Global Ops form. This isn’t my favorite series under the sun, but that was mostly on me for expecting it to be like Cannon Fodder instead of appreciating it as its own thing. Anyway, it’s another twin-stick shooter where you guide your little troops through more than forty missions set across six different locations, blasting everything that’s trying to blast you before it can, you know, do that thing. You can pop online and enjoy some multiplayer for up to four, and that is indeed cross-platform. There’s also local multiplayer, again for up to four, in case you have some friends in the vicinity that you want to play with.

ONI: Road to be the Mightiest Oni ($29.99)

This is a really interesting game. It’s an action-adventure game and it certainly has big ambitions. What is fascinating is just how close it gets to achieving them. I wouldn’t call this a must-have or anything, but if you’re a little bored of the usual thing and want something that has a bigger heart than budget, you might want to give this a go. You’re trying to help a little Oni who has been trounced by the legendary Momotaro. He wants to beef up his strength for the rematch, and his road is not going to be an easy one. I kind of dig it? I’ll have to sit on my thoughts a bit before I decide exactly how I feel about it, though.

Arcade Archives Turbo Force ($7.99)

Before there was Aero Fighters, there was Turbo Force. It’s a vertically scrolling shooter with a time travel theme, and while it lacks the story and charm of its spiritual successor, you’ll definitely see the resemblance. I wouldn’t exactly call it a great shooter or even necessarily a good one, but it’s historically significant in a certain way and certainly a rare sight when it comes to reissues. Aero Fighters fans should dig it at the bare minimum.

Figment 2: Creed Valley ($24.99)

Well I just heard, the news today, it seems Figment 2, is here to play. With arms wide open! CAN YOU TAKE ME HIGHER? Sorry, sorry. I saw Creed and things just went from there. I thought it would be funny; it absolutely was not. No one should be reminded of that band. Fortunately, this game has nothing to do with any of that. It’s another action-adventure, but you’re romping around the human mind. The battles in the game are musical, which is as good a gimmick as any. The first game was really good and I have little reason to believe this will be any lesser an experience.

The Last Spell ($24.99)

Sure are a lot of intriguing games today. This one has been out for a bit on Steam, so it’s a known quantity to an extent. It’s a tactical RPG with roguelite elements, and I could throw out a whole word salad of genres it draws from but suffice it to say that the result is surprisingly compelling. You know how Into the Breach just sort of got its hooks into you and took over your life for a while if you were foolish enough to play it? This one is a lot like that, too. I’ll have a full review soon when I can actually put it down long enough to write one.

Mystic Gate ($9.99)

Another twin-stick shooter roguelite, but at least it’s a well-made one. It hews very closely to the usual features you see in this kind of game, and that leaves me without much to write about here. Grab it if you’re drained Enter the Gungeon of every drop of blood and want something along those lines to scratch your itch. It’s not as good as that game, mind you, but that’s the one it most reminds me of.

Mari and Bayu: The Road Home ($16.99)

This is a puzzle-platformer that you can play alone or with a friend in co-op play. If you do go it solo, you’ll have to manage both characters as they each have their own abilities you’ll need to make use of in order to solve puzzles and move forward. It certainly has a gorgeous look to it, and it plays fairly well. I know it’s not the most useful thing to say, but if you’re into this genre I think you’ll want to give this game a closer look. If you have someone to play through it with it’s an easy recommendation, but it’s also worth running through on your own just to enjoy the scenery and decent puzzles.

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Metal Dogs ($22.00)

Apparently, this is a spin-off of Metal Max. And it’s another top-down shooter, but this one has two things that help it stand out. First of all, it’s not a roguelite. You can get new gear that upgrades your character, but you’re not going to have to restart or that sort of thing. Second, the playable characters are dogs. With guns. And not, like, anthro dogs. They’re just normal dogs with big guns on their backs. Pretty rad, not going to lie. The game has been out for a while in other places and seems to be generally well-regarded.

Zapling Bygone ($12.99)

Here’s another Metroidvania-style game. In this one you play as this weird tentacle alien thing, and the game description really wants you to know that the mechanic for gaining and using new abilities is by defeating enemies and wearing their skulls. So don’t forget that. It certainly has its own sense of style, and I’d imagine the character being a tentacle alien offers some novel points of its own. Reviews for it on other platforms are extremely positive, so if you love your Metroidvania games you’ll probably want to consider picking this up.

A Passive Boy at the Huntress Clinic ($19.90)

In this visual novel, the protagonist has been in a horrible traffic accident. Normally that would be a set-up for something serious, but here it’s just an excuse to have the main character laid up in a hospital full of large-breasted doctors and nurses who really want to tease him. I know no one is buying something like this for the well-written prose, but this is one of those games that has a really poor translation, so proceed with caution if you must indeed proceed.

Escaping a Fireworks Factory ~Nyanzou&Kumakichi: Escape Game~ ($4.90)

When are they going to get to the fireworks factory! Oh, they already got there. And now they want to escape. Kind of a metaphor for life and the thrill of the chase, I suppose. Anyway, this is another Nyanzou & Kumakichi escape game, and that means a silly little puzzle box aimed at those who want a slightly more beginner-friendly entry to the genre. I’ll at least grant that you don’t see this setting in an escape game all that often.

Chippy&Noppo ($19.99)

I kind of hate today. There are so many decent games that could use some extra attention but are definitely going to get lost in the shuffle because so much hit at once. Oh well. Chippy & Noppo is a really cute cooperative puzzle game. You can play alone if you want, of course. The idea is that you’re shown a picture of what you need to assemble, and then you need to use the tools and blocks to make it. Chippy is small and get into tight places, while Noppo is tall and jumps like a pro. A fun game to play on your own, and a really great game if you have a friend or family member to play in local co-op.

Know by heart… ($19.99)

This is more of a good story than a good game. Regular readers know that I am more than fine with story-first games, but I’d prefer if they just skip the gameplay bits if they’re just going to make enjoying the story more tedious. And unfortunately, that is where I am at with this interesting, deeply personal-feeling tale of a guy who feels his best years are long in the past and just wants to escape the tedium of his everyday life. I think the story is worth experiencing, but the bits between the story dumps are all really boring. You might enjoy it anyway.

WHY I was born ($9.99)

Explore the memories of a man from childhood to adulthood, visiting various places and solving the puzzles or problems in each. Oh, and you’re a ball. Apparently there is some horror in here as well, so I guess be ready for things to potentially take a dark turn. Perhaps in the end you will help him find the meaning of his life. It feels like a big job for an imaginary ball, but I have faith. I believe in ball.

Super Ninja Miner ($4.99)

This is a port of a web game, and it’s one of those things like Tomb of the Mask or Old Towers where you’re zipping your character from one wall to the next, trying to collect goodies, avoid hazards, and defeat enemies. You get sixty levels in this version, and that’s not too shabby at all. A decent affordable pick-up for those who like this particular blend of puzzle and action.

Island Cities ($2.99)

A very chill puzzle game. Maybe too chill. In each stage, you’re shown the way the island is meant to look, then the pieces are jumbled around and you need to put them back. You can exchange any two pieces, so it’s really just like putting together a very simple jigsaw puzzle. No time limit either. It is what it is.

Space Haters ($5.99)

This is a vertical shooter with an interesting premise that sees you as an intergalactic sell-out musician trying to make your way across the cosmos to a great after-party. Unfortunately, your haters are going to get in your way. This is an intensely competitive genre on the Switch, so a unique set-up is at least one way to stand out. Perhaps it will be enough to catch your eye, dear reader. Or perhaps not. Such is the way of things.

Antigravity Racing ($8.99)

Hey, it’s Benjamin Kistler! That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A very long time indeed. Glad to see he hasn’t changed much, because this is just a dollar-store dumpster imitation of a far better game. Is it a template? I don’t know, and I can’t be bothered to look. All I know is that it’s kind of terrible and I sure wouldn’t pay nine dollars for this when you can just pay someone that much money to kick you in the butt with a steel-toed boot and get the same experience.

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Fear or Evil : Nightmare Horror Scary Game Phobia 2023 Simulator Hunter Games ($4.99)

More trash from the prolific trash-flingers at Midnight Works. Probably an even worse use of money than buying a Benjamin Kistler game. Use that five bucks for something more fun, like buying an old Pet Rock and a cool hat for it.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

I can feel a storm brewing. I can feel it in my bones. There isn’t much here so far, but that will likely change by the time you read this. We’ll catch up tomorrow. For now, we’ve got a new low price for The Good Life along with the first sale I remember seeing for Atom RPG. The outbox is fairly big, with discounts on the Star Wars games, No More Heroes, Story of Seasons, and more. Check both lists, and make sure you look at that outgoing list carefully.

Select New Games on Sale

Raspberry Mash ($1.99 from $16.99 until 3/13)
The Good Life ($23.99 from $39.99 until 3/15)
Clunky Hero ($11.24 from $14.99 until 3/16)
Memorrha ($12.99 from $19.99 until 3/16)
Roundguard ($6.32 from $19.99 until 3/16)
Freshly Frosted ($6.89 from $9.99 until 3/16)
#Funtime ($3.24 from $14.99 until 3/16)
Sail Forth ($16.59 from $19.99 until 3/16)
Fracter ($2.21 from $6.99 until 3/16)
The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines ($3.24 from $14.99 until 3/16)
Deleveled ($2.16 from $9.99 until 3/16)
Space Otter Charlie ($6.54 from $14.99 until 3/16)
Atom RPG ($9.19 from $22.99 until 3/22)
Touhou Spell Bubble ($27.49 from $54.99 until 3/22)
Age of Heroes: The Beginning ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)


Baldo the Guardian Owls ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/23)
The Lost Labyrinth ($5.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
My Downtown ($5.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Queen’s Garden: Sakura Season ($5.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Like No Other: TLotTB ($8.99 from $14.99 until 3/23)
Secrets of Magic 4 PM ($5.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Secrets of Magic 5 BtS ($5.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Bishoujo Battle Cyber Panic ($2.99 from $5.99 until 3/24)
Poker Pretty Girls Battle Fantasy ($2.99 from $5.99 until 3/24)
Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire ($2.99 from $5.99 until 3/24)
Santa’s Holiday ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/24)
KORG Gadget ($24.00 from $48.00 until 3/28)
Magic Code ($1.99 from $12.48 until 3/29)
Cattails ($3.74 from $14.99 until 3/29)
Monster Destroyer ($1.99 from $7.13 until 3/29)
Groove Coaster Wai Wai Party ($35.99 from $59.99 until 3/30)
Papetura ($7.99 from $9.99 until 3/30)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, March 10th

4×4 Offroad Driver 2 ($9.74 from $12.99 until 3/10)
Akiba’s Trip H&D ($11.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Andro Dunos II ($5.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Arcade Paradise ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? ($19.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Beasties ($1.99 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Buddy Simulator 1984 ($6.66 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Bulletstorm Duke of Switch ($7.49 from $29.99 until 3/10)
BurgerTime Party ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Catan ($7.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Choice of Life: Middle Ages 2 ($5.94 from $6.99 until 3/10)
Circus Electrique ($11.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Dragon Fury ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/10)
Drunken Fist 2 Zombie Hangover ($4.79 from $7.99 until 3/10)
Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Endling EiF ($19.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)


Freedom Planet ($4.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Gal Metal ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Ganryu 2: Hakuma Kojiro ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Ghostbusters Remastered ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Heroland ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Horatio Goes Snowboarding ($4.19 from $6.99 until 3/10)
Horizon Chase Turbo ($3.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
InnerSpace ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Instant Chef Party ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Instant Sports All-Stars ($9.99 from $24.99 until 3/10)
Into the Dark ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Irresistible Mistakes ($20.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Kid Ball Adventure ($2.99 from $4.99 until 3/10)
Kids Vs Parents ($21.99 from $24.99 until 3/10)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning ($23.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)


Kissed by the Baddest Bidder ($12.49 from $24.99 until 3/10)
KURSK ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Maggie the Magnet ($2.99 from $4.99 until 3/10)
No More Heroes ($14.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
No More Heroes 2 DS ($14.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Operencia: The Stolen Sun ($10.19 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Rage Among the Stars ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/10)
Redout 2 ($20.09 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Redout 2 Deluxe ($22.49 from $44.99 until 3/10)
Rick Henderson ($4.79 from $7.99 until 3/10)
Roof Jump Stunt Driver ($7.79 from $12.99 until 3/10)
Rune Factory 4 Special ($19.49 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Rune Factory 5 ($29.99 from $49.99 until 3/10)
Sakuna: Of Rice & Ruin ($19.49 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Salt and Sanctuary ($4.49 from $17.99 until 3/10)
Seduced in the Sleepless City ($20.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)


Slap the Rocks ($2.49 from $4.99 until 3/10)
Spacewing War ($4.19 from $6.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Episode 1 Racer ($7.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Jedi Academy ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Jedi Outcast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars KotOR ($9.74 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars KotOR II: Sith Lords ($9.74 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Pinball ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars Republic Commando ($7.49 from $14.99 until 3/10)
Star Wars The Force Unleashed ($15.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town ($23.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)
Torchlight II ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Torchlight III ($9.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)
Tribes of Midgard ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
Ultra Mega Xtra Party Challenge ($4.99 from $24.99 until 3/10)
Wreckfest ($29.99 from $39.99 until 3/10)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the remaining releases of the week, plus a bunch of sales (Mario Day may be every day but its sales come but once a year) and any giant news items roll in during the next twenty-four hours. I hope you all have an excellent Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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James Henry
James Henry
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