Reviewers Featuring ‘The Mageseeker’ & ‘DNF Duel’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales – TouchArcade
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for April 24th, 2023. In today’s article, we’ve got a full review from our pal Mikhail of The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story, plus a few smaller reviews from me of assorted games including Panic Porcupine, DNF Duel: Who’s Next, and God of Rock. After that, there are a few new releases to check out, plus a rather large list of new sales. Let’s get going with the week!
Reviews & Mini-Views
The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story ($29.99)
Riot Games’ Riot Forge initiative has been great at expanding the reach of the world and lore of League of Legends through premium releases to audiences that might’ve not experienced the source material. As the newest Riot Forge release, The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story had my interest since the start thanks to it being developed by Digital Sun who brought us the amazing Moonlighter. Despite enjoying Battlechasers Nightwar from Airship Syndicate a lot, I never got around to playing Ruined King by the same developers. I wasn’t about to make the same mistake with this release.
Before getting into The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story itself, my experience with League of Legends is limited to the little time I spent playing Wild Rift and Riot’s other mobile games while enjoying K/DA’s music. I wanted to see if The Mageseeker would be a great game even for someone like me, and it exceeded almost all my expectations, but it has two major issues in its current state on Nintendo Switch.
The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story has you playing as Sylas who has broken away from the Mageseekers. Sylas has the ability to steal spells as an important part of combat, which is otherwise relatively straightforward. The highlights, barring the lovely animations here, are definitely with the boss battles and gorgeous locations you explore. The mechanic to steal spells also applies to traversal in parts. While the magic system might be a bit too complex for how it plays out in-game, I feel like there’s a lot of potential here for future DLC or entries like this.
On Nintendo Switch, The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story is a bit soft visually depending on what mode you play it on, and it has some performance issues, but nothing too bad. If you are sensitive to inconsistent frame pacing, I’d get it elsewhere. I got used to it and enjoyed my time with The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story a lot on my OLED model Switch, where it looks gorgeous.
Speaking of looking gorgeous, I really hope we get an artbook released for the game that is available outside the expensive collector’s edition. The art and music are exceptional here. With Digital Sun involved, I expected this, but it really surprised me as I got deeper into the story.
The only issue on the audio side is the lack of full voice acting. The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story is a $30 game with additional optional DLC available, and it really would have benefited from voice acting for the cut-scenes. Hopefully Digital Sun and Riot Forge can work together on another game like this and include voice acting.
While the lack of voice acting is something that really disappointed me with how good other aspects are, I still recommend The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story to anyone looking for a quality action RPG with great music and lovely pixel art. As someone who loves Moonlighter, I hope Digital Sun keeps delivering on games like it and The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story going forward. –Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
God of Rock ($29.99)
The person who chases two rabbits, catches neither. That famous quote isn’t as universally applicable as it sometimes is presented to be, but I think it fits God of Rock. It is trying to take two popular competitive genres and smash them together into a cool new thing. At times it feels like it might succeed in its wild ambitions, but ultimately it just gets caught between the two genres it’s trying to merge. Too much of a fighter to be a good rhythm game, too much of a rhythm game to be a good fighter.
You’re meant to battle your opponents by reducing their life meter to nothing. You can do basic attacks by hitting the buttons on the board as they hit the sweet spot, and can also pull off some special moves by entering some commands. The longer a round goes on, the trickier the note board gets. Since you and your opponent are both playing, there are two note boards on screen. They’re small and it took me a long time to reliably remember which buttons corresponded to which lane. It was tricky to use special moves without messing up on the note board, too. Rounds tend to go on a while, a bit longer than you’d probably prefer in either a fighter or a rhythm game. Playing against another player who is dealing with similar issues can be fun, but battles against the CPU get tiresome in a hurry.
I think some people out there are going to really connect with God of Rock and love it to pieces, but I regretfully won’t be one of them. Even after spending a lot of time with the game I couldn’t get comfortable with it, and playing on the handheld screen with the tiny note board is just not a fun time. I think a lot of effort and thought went into this experimental game design, especially towards making it a satisfying multiplayer game, and it shows. But in the end, I don’t think the developer was able to make this recipe come together.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
DNF Duel: Who’s Next ($49.99)
Arc System Works knows how to make a good one-on-one fighter. If you want to make a fighting game from your anime or game IP, Arc will do it with style and competence. And that is exactly what DNF Duel is: stylish and competent. It’s packed to the brim with modes and story content that fans of the DNF franchise will adore, and the incorporation of magic points into the fighting system is a thematically appropriate twist. You get a nice variety of characters to choose from, and the story mode for each isn’t a half effort by any means. You also get the usual Arc presentation oomph, though it’s becoming clear that the Switch’s specs are causing more and more strain over time.
So yes, DNF Duel is a good fighting game. If you aren’t a fan of the brand then you might feel a bit lost with the story content, but it’s hard to argue against including that kind of thing given you can just play the other modes if you’re not into it. Those who enjoy the genre or the IP are going to have a good time with the game. But this Switch version carries some caveats. The visual quality suffers compared to other versions, with a lower resolution and some blurriness. It doesn’t look horrible or anything, and it runs well enough while you’re fighting. The online play is a big issue, with delay-based code instead of the rollback code found in other versions. That means you’re more likely to run into some lag issues, meaning the online experience here is inferior.
DNF Duel: Who’s Next is an enjoyable one-on-one fighter that does its IP proud. While I wouldn’t recommend it over the likes of Dragon Ball FighterZ or Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, it serves as another solid entry in the genre on Switch. Those who have the option to play it on another platform would probably be better to do so, particularly if they mean to play online. The delay-based netcode and slightly muddy visuals are enough to make this version the clear lesser choice unless portability is a make-or-break feature for you. Still, taken on its own merits, this Switch version is not a bad game at all.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Panic Porcupine ($7.99)
What a nice little surprise this turned out to be. Once I saw who the developer was it made a lot of sense. Spicy Gyro Games also made the rather enjoyable games Polyroll and Clash Force, so it’s little wonder that Panic Porcupine is another pleasing romp. It’s deliberately evoking Sonic the Hedgehog, outright parodying it in the opening cutscene. Each stage sees you zipping through small Sonic-style stages with a similar set of moves. You can run, you can jump, and you can ball up to increase your speed. The physics more or less follow its rules, too.
You have to collect all of the animals on each level and grab as many eggs as you can on the way. You’ll also be timed, and the game keeps track of the best ones. The levels are bite-sized but challenging, and there are no rings to save you here. One hit and you’ll be back at the start. You have infinite lives which means you can infinitely die. The challenge really ramps up as you go, and trying to get all of the eggs takes some thinking even early on.
If you like platformers, particularly the precision type, you’ll probably have a really good time with Panic Porcupine. Sure, it’s resting its hat on another game, but it’s doing so deliberately and with a wink. The controls are good, the physics are familiar, and the level designs are superb. It has all the hallmarks of a pretty great indie platformer, and I’m going to go ahead and conclude that it is exactly one of them.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
Smile For Me ($14.99)
Here’s an off-the-wall point-and-click style adventure game. You have to help the unusual residents of a place called the Habitat and ultimately unmask Doctor Habit. There are some puzzles to solve and plenty of characters to talk to, and by that I mean nod and shake to. Your character is silent, after all. I’ll have a review of this one as soon as I can. The queue is pretty full at the moment.
The vibrant visuals are really nice in this game, I have to say. This is technically a Metroidvania, but it’s fairly linear in practice. You play as Itorah, who is apparently the last human on the planet. There are plenty of masked characters about, however, and you’ll have to interact with them to unravel the story of the game. Apart from the striking setting, this follows the usual rules where you earn new abilities as you go through the game, opening up new traversal options. Reviews haven’t been stunning on other platforms, but perhaps Switch owners will take to it better.
Road Builder ($8.99)
The idea in this one is that you build roads from one point to the other, making sure you stay within budget. The more efficient your roads are, the more smoothly traffic will flow. It seems like a chill puzzler, though I don’t know if it has that bite I like in games like this.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A surprisingly large amount of games on sale today. The Golden Week sales in Japan are going to start rolling out this week, and a lot of them will probably filter over to the eShops in other regions. For example, today’s Koei Tecmo sales are part of that. Not related to that is the latest sale from Limited Run Games, with their digital offerings available at discounts. Have a look through the list, and check the outbox while you’re at it. I mean, Disco Elysium is in there. You can’t go wrong.
Select New Games on Sale
Super Kiwi 64 ($2.39 from $2.99 until 4/28)
Zoeti ($17.99 from $19.99 until 4/28)
APICO ($11.99 from $19.99 until 4/29)
Rytmos ($10.00 from $15.00 until 4/29)
Spy Bros. ($6.39 from $7.99 until 4/30)
Escape Room Bundle ($20.99 from $34.99 until 5/1)
Anima Gate of Memories AE ($5.99 from $29.99 until 5/1)
Knight Squad 2 ($9.74 from $14.99 until 5/1)
Sudoku Zenkai ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/1)
Lucie’s Potager ($14.99 from $19.99 until 5/1)
Blossom Tales II TMP ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
A Little Golf Journey ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
BPM Bullets Per Minute ($17.49 from $24.99 until 5/2)
Demon Turf ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/2)
Lil Gator Game ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
Bone’s Cafe ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Phoenotopia Awakening ($8.99 from $19.99 until 5/6)
Just Dance 2023 Deluxe ($31.49 from $69.99 until 5/6)
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/6)
Commander Keen in Keen Dreams ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/7)
Night Trap 25th Anniversary ($3.74 from $14.99 until 5/7)
Double Switch 25th Anniversary ($3.74 from $14.99 until 5/7)
Corpse Killer 25th Anniversary ($3.74 from $14.99 until 5/7)
Pictooi ($2.49 from $9.99 until 5/7)
Revenge of the Bird King ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/7)
Save Me Mr Tako: Definitive ($3.74 from $14.99 until 5/7)
The House in Fata Morgana ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/7)
Saturday Morning RPG ($2.49 from $9.99 until 5/7)
Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/7)
Cthulhu Saves Christmas ($2.49 from $9.99 until 5/7)
Cosmic Star Heroine ($3.72 from $14.99 until 5/7)
Monster Girls & Mysterious Adv. 2 ($17.59 from $21.99 until 5/8)
Cosmo Dreamer ($5.74 from $8.20 until 5/8)
The Hundred Year Kingdom ($6.44 from $12.99 until 5/8)
Monmusu Gladiator ($4.19 from $5.99 until 5/8)
Puzzle Battler Mirai ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/8)
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX ($20.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Samurai Warriors 5 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV ($41.99 from $69.99 until 5/9)
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends DE ($27.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse ($37.49 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Lydie & Suelle ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Firis ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Escha & Logy ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Ayesha ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Lulua ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Meruru ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Shallie ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Rorona ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Totori ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Sophie ($25.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Atelier Sophie 2 ($38.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists ($19.79 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Bridge Strike ($1.99 form $6.99 until 5/9)
Missile Dancer ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)
Gemini Arms ($6.64 from $9.49 until 5/12)
Raging Blasters ($10.29 from $14.70 until 5/12)
Madoris R ($4.00 from $5.00 until 5/12)
Project Highrise: AE ($7.99 from $39.99 until 5/12)
Refreshing Sideways Puzzle Ghost Hammer ($16.79 from $27.99 until 5/12)
Sushi Reversi ($9.99 from $13.99 until 5/12)
Magical Girls ($4.00 from $5.00 until 5/12)
Magical Girls 2nd Magic ($3.99 from $4.99 until 5/12)
Light of Life ($3.99 from $4.99 until 5/12)
Moon Dancer ($134.29 from $18.99 until 5/13)
Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands ($17.49 from $34.99 until 5/13)
Oddworld: Soulstorm ($29.99 from $49.99 until 5/13)
New Joe & Mac Caveman Ninja ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/13)
XIII ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/13)
Smurfs Kart ($23.99 from $39.99 until 5/13)
Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot TFC ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/13)
Beyond a Steel Sky ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/13)
Zombie is Planting ($2.19 from $10.99 until 5/13)
Counter Recon 2: The New War ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Girls Tank Battle ($2.19 from $10.99 until 5/13)
Bullet Battle: Evolution ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Dead Rain: New Zombie Virus ($6.59 from $10.99 until 5/13)
World Class Champion Soccer ($6.59 from $10.99 until 5/13)
Haunted Zombie Slaughter ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Crime Busters: Strike Area ($11.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
World War: Prologue ($11.99 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch ($23.99 from $39.99 until 5/13)
Bunker Life ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Animus ($2.15 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Animus: Harbinger ($2.15 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Animus: Revenant ($6.20 from $22.99 until 5/13)
World War: Tank Battle ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Modern War: Tank Battle ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Redden: 100denarii ($2.15 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Haunted Dawn: The Zombie Apocalypse ($4.04 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Car+Toon Race: RVC ($4.06 from $10.99 until 5/13)
Counter Recon: The First Mission ($4.04 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Counter Delta: The Bullet Rain ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Counter Crossline: Crime War ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Demong Hunter ($2.15 from $7.99 until 5/13)
Last 4 Alive: Escape From Zombies ($2.96 from $10.99 until 5/13)
Dark Water: Slime Invader ($4.04 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Dungeon Limbus ($4.04 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Space Stella: The Unknown Planet ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Space Genesis ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Off the Tracks ($3.51 from $4.39 until 5/13)
Haunted Zombie School ($5.54 from $14.99 until 5/13)
Rift Keeper ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/14)
A Winter’s Daydream ($2.99 from $5.99 until 5/14)
Stellatum ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/14)
Burn! SuperTrucks ($2.07 from $7.99 until 5/14)
FootGoal! Tiki Taka ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/14)
Blood Waves ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/14)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 25th
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX ($6.79 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Crash Drive 2 ($1.99 from $8.99 until 4/25)
Crash Drive 3 ($1.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut ($13.99 from $39.99 until 4/25)
Fury Unleashed ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Haiku, the Robot ($13.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Here Be Dragons ($4.49 from $17.99 until 4/25)
Hot Lap League: Deluxe Edition ($1.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
I, Zombie ($1.99 from $4.99 until 4/25)
Marooners ($1.99 from $14.99 until 4/25)
Monster Harvest ($4.99 from $19.99 until 4/25)
Robo Revenge Squad ($10.00 from $20.00 until 4/25)
Slime Rancher: Plortable ($12.49 from $24.99 until 4/25)
Super Soccer Blast ($3.99 from $7.99 until 4/25)
Super Tennis Blast ($4.49 from $14.99 until 4/25)
Super Volley Blast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 4/25)
The Lightbringer ($4.49 from $14.99 until 4/25)
Time on Frog Island ($8.49 from $24.99 until 4/25)
Void Prison ($2.00 from $2.99 until 4/25)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, more new releases, more sales, and maybe some news. We’re going to have a lot of reviews for you over the course of this week and next, as everyone decided to release all of their games at the same time for some reason. Please look forward to it. I hope you all have a magnificent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!