Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 17th, 2020. In today’s article, we’ve got a review of Langrisser I & II, summaries of all of today’s new releases including La-Mulana 1 & 2 and more, a couple of tasty news bits, and a surprisingly huge list of new sales to check out. Nintendo is putting on an Indie Game Showcase today that may well have aired by the time you read this, but due to the usual time lag, I’ll have to summarize any interesting news in tomorrow’s article. Let’s get to what we’ve got!
‘Trials of Mana’ Remake Demo Hitting Japan Tomorrow
The remake of Trials of Mana is just a little over a month away from release, and Square Enix has decided to give players a free taste starting tomorrow. The demo of Trials of Mana will let you play through the beginning of the game, including the Full Metal Hugger boss battle. As usual for Square Enix demos on the Switch, you will be able to carry over your progress to the full version when it releases. So far, the demo has only officially been announced for Japan, but if it follows the pattern of previous demos from the company it should be hitting worldwide around the same time. Square Enix has also released its final trailer for the game. It has also talked about some extra content, but since that is arguably in the realm of spoilers, I’ll leave that to you to find if you want it.
Check Out the Latest Indies in Today’s Indie World Showcase
Ah, always a fun gamble when I put these in the articles. Nintendo is hosting an Indie World Showcase today that will run for about 20 minutes, detailing upcoming indie game releases for the Switch. It is scheduled to start at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET, and whether it’s in the past or the future as you’re reading this, I cannot be sure. I do know that I will be sleeping at that time, so we’ll have to talk about whatever news it brings in tomorrow’s article. If it falls in line with previous presentations, we may get a surprise game dropping on the shop to go with it, though I may just be hoping big here. We’ll see! Or… we have already seen! I do not know our temporal relation to one another at the moment!
Langrisser I & II ($49.99)
Let’s get a few things out of the way immediately here. This is a pair of remakes of two very old, very early tactical RPGs that initially released on the SEGA Genesis. These are somewhat thorough remakes in a lot of ways, but in many respects they still resemble the 1991 and 1994 games they’re based on. These were very good games for their time, but if you come in expecting something similar to Fire Emblem: Three Houses or even Fire Emblem Echoes, you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock. The story elements are light, the battles are often drawn-out, and while the visuals have been redone, these games are not lookers by any stretch of the imagination.
There are also some changes here that may not sit well with fans of the original games, which is admittedly likely a small number of people in the West. The original Langrisser was localized as Warsong and has a strong cult following, but apart from that the series has gone largely without any official releases in the West. Indeed, since the release of the original game, the only worldwide releases for Langrisser have been the enjoyable free-to-play mobile title and the absolutely wretched Nintendo 3DS game Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei. With that in mind, it’s likely the gameplay changes won’t make much of a difference to most people reading this, especially since they generally make for better games overall.
You even have the option to revert a couple of the more obvious changes, if you like. Langrisser‘s character art was created in the early 1990s, and I probably don’t need to tell you that trends have changed in the last three decades. All of the character art has been completely redone by a new artist with more modern sensibilities in mind. If you’d prefer to go back to the classic art with big shoulder pads and even bigger hair, you can simply flip an option in the menu. Excellent. Similarly, although the fantastic soundtrack by Noriyuki Iwadare has been souped up with modern remixes, you can switch back to the original soundtracks if you like. Better still, a $9.99 DLC gives you the option to use the soundtracks from the PC Engine remake of Langrisser, the Super Famicom Der Langrisser, and the SEGA Saturn and PlayStation remakes of both Langrisser 1 and 2.
One extremely welcome change is that the branching story system implemented in the second game from the Der Langrisser remake onward has now been put into the first game. That means that even if you’ve already played the original game to death, there’s still a lot of new battles and story elements to discover. Indeed, that is perhaps the greatest aspect of this collection. The sheer amount of content on offer between these two games is incredible, and the branching storylines are easy to fully investigate thanks to a new feature allowing you to backtrack to earlier battles. When combined with the sheer length of many of the battles, these branching paths ensure you’ll get dozens of hours of enjoyment out of this set.
As opposed to the focus on single-character units seen in most Fire Emblem games up until Three Houses, Langrisser’s battles involve leaders with a full group of followers. When two units crash, the fodder units will be slowly stripped away, whittling down the overall HP of that unit. On top of that, you’re often dealing with dozens of units on each map, making for incredibly large-scale battles that can be very tense. While not as snappy as Fire Emblem, Langrisser feels more like you’re involved in real wars, and that’s a rather nice distinction that helps these games still stand on their own nearly thirty years after their initial releases. The large number of improvements made to the interface and overall mechanics make the games easier to slide into than ever, too.
Personally, I found these remakes an absolute joy to play through in their spiffy new forms. I enjoyed all of the options on offer, and I felt that the gameplay still, even after all these years, feels different enough from other franchises in this genre to make them worth digging into. But I’m generally okay with older games and believe that if a game was ever good, then it’s probably still good. If you’re the sort of person that needs games to have spiffy 3D visuals, zippy gameplay, and well-explained tutorials, you’re probably not going to have as good of a time as I did. Similarly, if you’re looking for a one-to-one remake of Warsong, you may find some of the gameplay changes chafing. All that said, if you’re a fan of turn-based tactical RPGs and can put up with some slightly vintage elements, you’re going to find a lot to enjoy in Langrisser I & II.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Cave Story is often cited as an early example of the rising indie game movement in Japan, one that inspired many indie developers all over the world. It’s a great game that absolutely deserves the praise and recognition. But another indie game from Japan rolled in on its heels, and in its own way was also incredibly inspiring: La-Mulana. An homage to classic MSX games like Maze of Galious, La-Mulana is an action-adventure game that is one of the best embodiments of “tough but fair” you can find. You play as an explorer searching the ruins of La-Mulana on a quest that will test your reflexes and thinking abilities alike. Although it doesn’t have any roguelike elements, this game was one of the chief inspirations for Derek Yu’s Spelunky. You know, in case you needed another reason to check it out.
La-Mulana 2 ($24.99)
This is the sequel to La-Mulana, naturally. Given the 13-year span between the release of the first game and this follow-up, you would expect great things. And great things it does indeed deliver, albeit very much in line with the first game. It’s bigger and arguably better, but you’ll want to play the first game ahead of this one as the sequel isn’t shy about spoiling the ending of the original game almost immediately. La-Mulana 2 takes you to the ruins of Eg-Lana, and I hope you like them because you’ll be spending the better part of 25 hours there. Don’t worry, you won’t even notice the time passing. It’s that good. I’ll be doing reviews of both of these games soon enough, but really, if you haven’t played them before and don’t mind difficult games, you’ll certainly want to buy up this whole series.
Knight Swap ($0.99)
A couple of weeks ago, you may have read me sing the praises of Unlock The King, and now you’re going to read me recommending the latest game in the series, Knight Swap. You get 100 puzzles where you need to move the knights around the board so that they end up swapping positions. The knights move according to Chess rules, and the boards vary in sizes and shapes. It’s a fun challenge, and it’s only a buck. If you liked the previous entries in this series or just want a nice cheap pack of logic puzzles, Knight Swap is a solid choice.
R.B.I. Baseball 20 ($29.99)
The latest installment in the R.B.I. Baseball series is now available, bringing with it a host of improvements over last year’s version that I’m ill-equipped to say much in depth about. The game is touting new controls, a new pitcher’s perspective, improvements to player models, and a variety of other upgrades big and small. The same selection of modes return from the previous version, and you’ve not only got a full set of MLB licenses but also a number of Legends and Legend Teams. I know some of our readers really enjoyed last year’s game, so if you dig baseball you may want to give this a shot.
Another driving game from the folks at Bigben Interactive, this time focusing on off-road journeys on UTVs and ATVs. Real licensed vehicles from Suzuki, Yamaha, Polaris, and Arctic Cat are included, so the game does have an authentic feel that many off-road racers lack. You’ll have to negotiate some extremely difficult terrain, making for a experience that pits you against the environment as much as the other racers. Reviews were middling on other platforms, and I feel confident the Switch version isn’t going to fare much better given the usual Bigben technical issues. Still, it’s not like there are a lot great alternatives on the Switch for this type of game.
Travel Mosaics 2: Roman Holiday ($7.99)
More Picross-style puzzle-solving adventures featuring the Walkers, the somewhat confusing family of anthropomorphic animals consisting of daddy sloth, mama cat, son rabbit, and daughter squirrel. You get 120 puzzles, 20 extra levels, and 20 bonus levels. There are three different difficulty modes, some trivia questions about Rome, and collectible souvenirs to fill the Walker family’s living room with. Maybe a good one to introduce Picross to the young kids with? I don’t know.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Wow, did we jump to Friday or something? What is with this big list of new sales? Some of these are pretty rare discounts, too! Like the sales on WayForward’s titles that celebrates the company’s 30th anniversary. I think this is the first time Mighty Switch Force! Collection has been on sale, and River City Girls hasn’t seen many discounts either. Namco’s rolling out its usual batch of sales, Ratalaika is having a sale on several of its titles, and many other interesting indies are here as well. Have a good look through the list, friends, and be thankful that the outbox doesn’t have too much worth caring about.
Select New Games on Sale
River City Girls ($20.99 from $29.99 until 3/30)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/30)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate ($20.99 from $29.99 until 3/30)
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/30)
Namco Museum ($10.19 from $29.99 until 3/23)
SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/22)
SteamWorld Dig ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/22)
SteamWorld Dig 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 3/22)
SteamWorld Quest ($14.99 from $24.99 until 3/22)
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 ($12.49 from $49.99 until 3/23)
Super Dragon Ball Heroes World ($23.99 from $59.99 until 3/23)
Conga Master Party! ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/29)
One Piece: Unlimited World Deluxe ($11.99 from $39.99 until 3/23)
One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Deluxe ($11.99 from $39.99 until 3/23)
Ninja Shodown ($5.98 from $14.95 until 3/29)
88 Heroes – 98 Heroes ($8.98 from $29.95 until 3/29)
The Count Lucanor ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/29)
The Mummy Demastered ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/30)
Lumo ($11.97 from $19.95 until 3/29)
Unbox: Newbie’s Adventure ($5.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Stick It to The Man ($2.99 from $11.99 until 3/22)
Party Planet ($6.99 from $19.99 until 3/30)
Hello Kitty Kruisers ($22.46 from $29.95 until 3/29)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Naruto: Ninja Storm Trilogy ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/23)
Little Nightmares: Complete ($10.19 from $29.99 until 3/23)
No Heroes Here ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/23)
SpiritSphere DX ($2.00 from $10.00 until 3/30)
Pato Box ($4.49 from $14.99 until 3/23)
Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! ($10.49 from $14.99 until 3/29)
Holy Potatoes! We’re In Space?! ($10.49 from $14.99 until 3/29)
The Mooseman ($3.49 from $6.99 until 4/5)
Chicken Assassin: Reloaded ($4.79 from $7.99 until 3/23)
Flipping Death ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/22)
Red’s Kingdom ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/29)
Whispering Willows ($5.99 from $9.99 until 3/23)
Battle Group 2 ($0.99 from $9.99 until 3/29)
Storm in a Teacup ($1.19 from $2.99 until 3/29)
My Hero One’s Justice ($23.99 from $59.99 until 3/23)
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! ($19.99 from $49.99 until 3/23)
SkyTime ($1.49 from $2.99 until 4/5)
Trailblazers ($14.99 from $29.99 until 3/29)
Katamari Damacy Reroll ($17.99 from $29.99 until 3/23)
Desert Child ($7.19 from $11.99 until 3/23)
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/23)
Planet RIX-13 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 4/5)
The Office Quest ($2.39 from $11.99 until 3/31)
Drowning ($1.79 from $2.99 until 4/5)
Riot – Civil Unrest ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
Uni ($0.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Vaporum ($8.74 from $24.99 until 3/29)
Crashbots ($3.99 from $9.99 until 4/5)
Giga Wrecker Alt ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/29)
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/23)
Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet ($29.99 from $59.99 until 3/23)
OVIVO ($3.49 from $6.99 until 4/5)
Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns ($3.49 from $6.99 until 4/5)
God Eater 3 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 3/23)
Mighty Switch Force! Collection ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/30)
Solo: Islands of the Heart ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/29)
RAD ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/23)
Overland ($17.49 from $24.99 until 3/29)
Ni no Kuni ($34.99 from $49.99 until 3/23)
Stellatum ($8.99 from $14.99 until 4/5)
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth ($34.99 from $49.99 until 3/23)
Anthill ($3.99 from $9.99 until 3/22)
Horror Pinball Bundle ($4.49 from $8.99 until 4/5)
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival ($34.99 from $49.99 until 3/23)
Music Racer ($4.89 from $6.99 until 4/5)
Skellboy ($15.00 from $20.00 until 3/30)
Super Bit Blaster XL ($2.79 from $3.99 until 3/23)
Castle of Heart ($2.99 from $14.99 until 4/6)
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/6)
Metagal ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Super Weekend Mode ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Iron Snout ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Zeroptian Invasion ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Bird Game + ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Back in 1995 ($6.99 from $9.99 until 3/30)
Neon Junctions ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Cybarian ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Attack of the Toy Tanks ($3.49 from $4.99 until 3/30)
Paradox Soul ($3.49 from $6.99 until 3/30)
Jet Kave Adventure ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/6)
This Strange Realm of Mine ($10.99 from $12.99 until 3/23)
Color.Motif Deluxe ($0.69 from $3.49 until 4/4)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18th
Animal Rivals ($0.55 from $3.99 until 3/18)
Explosive Jake ($4.24 from $4.99 until 3/18)
Inversus Deluxe ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/18)
Klondike Solitaire ($2.69 from $8.99 until 3/18)
Nyan Cat: Lost in Space ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/18)
Rocket League ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/18)
Strikey Sisters ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/18)
UnderHero ($13.59 from $16.99 until 3/18)
Unlock The King ($0.49 from $0.99 until 3/18)
Zen Chess Collection ($1.99 from $3.99 until 3/18)
That will do it for today, friends. Tomorrow we’ll be dealing with whatever came up during the Indie World Showcase today, looking at a few new releases, and covering whatever other news and sales pop up in the interim. I hope you all have a tremendous Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!