Reviews Featuring ‘Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp’, Plus New Releases and More – TouchArcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 1st, 2023. In today’s article, we’ve got a bit of news from our pal Mikhail before we wade into a voluminous pool of reviews done by myself and the aforementioned pal. After that, we have a few new releases to summarize, plus the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Quite a hefty fellow for a Monday, but that’s how it is some weeks. Let’s get to it!


All Aksys 2023 Update Showcase reveals many release dates

Over the weekend, Aksys Games had its newest livestream that had release dates, new information, and more revealed for the publisher’s upcoming slate for the near future. SwitchArcade readers know how much I enjoy the otome games they publish, but there’s more coming this year. While we didn’t get a release date for it, Experience Inc’s newest dungeon RPG titled, and I’m not joking, Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King is coming to the West this fall with a physical release planned for Switch.

Reviews Featuring ‘Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp’, Plus New Releases and More – TouchArcade

The other games of note from the showcase which you can watch in its entirety above are otome visual novels Radiant Tale, coming July 27th and Norn9: Last Era, the fandisc, coming August 24th with a limited edition. The game I’m most excited for from Aksys is Jack Jeanne developed by Broccoli. I don’t care for the food, but Jack Jeanne has looked very interesting with its striking aesthetic and premise. Jack Jeanne is due on June 15th for Switch and the team showcased the limited edition on stream. I should probably pre-order it now. While not a new announcement, stay tuned for my review of Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo in the near future. -Mikhail Madnani

Reviews & Mini-Views

Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp ($59.99)

After all the delays and anguish, Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is more or less exactly what it says on the tin. You’ve got remakes of the two Game Boy Advance games in the long-running series, done up in a WayForward style with a few extra bits and pieces here and there. If you’ve never played these games before and have any love in your heart for turn-based strategy, pick this up. You’ll have hours upon hours of fun making your way through the campaigns of each game and the extra challenges loaded in. If you have played them before, all you need to ask yourself is how much you feel like revisiting them.

Sure, the presentation is different. You’ll either like it better or worse, but I think that’s a subjective point. There are some new quality of life features and you can play online, albeit with some very limited options, but the meat of the games is the same as it ever was despite these differences. A more expanded online mode could have added a lot to the game, but you’re confined to one-on-one matches against friends here. It’s not nothing, of course. But a ranked mode where you could play against strangers would have been pretty neat for those who have already mastered the games.

So really, the package rests on the quality of the games it is remaking. Gee, that’s lucky. These games kind of rule. The series was a few games in by the time it hit the Game Boy Advance, which meant most of the fundamental kinks had been worked out. This presented some challenges a few games later, but for these two games it means you get really tight, well-designed strategy gameplay with a smooth difficulty curve and plenty of variety in how they lay out their stages. In this package you have to play through the first game to unlock the second, but the second game follows on so well that it feels natural. The single-player campaigns are a lot of fun and if they’re all you ever play, you’ll get your money’s worth. But you can also play multiplayer, and that’s a whole other avenue for fun.

I think many would like to see a new game in this series, but with how long the brand has been dormant I can understand Nintendo wanting to re-establish things before seeing where to go next. Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is one of those remakes that maybe does too much in some ways while doing too little in others, but the quality of the original games shines through brightly. I have some mild issues with the visuals and technical performance, but what is great about these games, the tactical gameplay, can’t really be hindered by that kind of thing.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Teslagrad 2 ($19.99)

Some games just sort of nail their idea on the first go around, and Teslagrad was pretty close to doing just that. Was it a perfect game? No, only Tetris is. But it had a core idea, fun with magnetism, and ran all the way down the street with it. A very clever game. But games like that can be really tough to follow up. Mess with the idea too much and you might lose the magic. Don’t change enough and you get that feeling of being a lesser expansion pack. I can’t quite decide where Teslagrad 2 falls here. Sometimes it’s the former, sometimes it’s the latter, and sometimes it’s in that ideal zone in between. There are some new actions and abilities here that make for some new puzzle set-ups, but magnetism is still the name of the game. Attract or repel as necessary to reach your goals.

What I will say is that Teslagrad 2 has some performance issues on Switch. Sometimes the framerate gets inconsistent, and I ran into a few light hitches while playing. That makes me think that it might be best to check this game out on another platform if you have that option and aren’t married to the portable factor. Beyond that, this game is fine. Not great, and not as fresh as the first game, but it’s fine. If you liked Teslagrad, this is a new story with similar mechanics and a whole new set of puzzles to solve. If you didn’t like Teslagrad, I don’t think this will change your mind. And if you haven’t played Teslagrad, I think I’d recommend the first game over this one.

Teslagrad 2 does justice to the well-liked original with a sharp presentation, some new mechanics to master, and more magnetic physics-based riddles to solve. It suffers somewhat from feeling a little too familiar at times, and it can’t quite escape the long shadow of the first game. The game also suffers from some technical drawbacks in this Switch version, and although none of it is really enough to spoil the game, I would still recommend playing it on a different platform if you can. Overall, an okay port of a pretty good game, but not one I’d recommend with the same vigor I would have for the first.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Labyrinth of Zangetsu ($29.99)

I’m going to refer to a Nintendo DS game named The Dark Spire here for a quick second. It was a dungeon RPG with a very distinct art style whose gameplay leaned really hard into its Wizardry influences, and some felt it did so to a fault. It wasn’t well-received at the time of its release, and it sold so poorly that I was able to grab a brand new copy from a local game store mere months after its release for a whopping $2.99 Canadian. That game now goes for over a hundred US dollars second-hand, and the reason why is because the game’s main fault was being extremely difficult in a period intolerant of such things. Attitudes shifted, and so did the appeal of the game.

I bring up The Dark Spire because Labyrinth of Zangetsu reminds me a lot of it. Mechanically, this game has Wizardry on its mind. Roll up your team of six, three in the front and three in back. Explore dungeons full of enemies, tricks, and traps. Head back to town to level up, manage your party, and divest yourself of some of the loot you’ve found. And woe be to you if some or all of your party falls in the dungeon. The price of bad luck or bad strategy is steep. And like The Dark Spire, Labyrinth of Zangetsu has a very distinct style to its visuals. Everything is made to look like a sumi-e ink painting, and it builds its narrative around that distinction. There’s no other dungeon RPG that looks quite like this.

Labyrinth of Zangetsu is an odd thing. It looks very distinct, but its gameplay couldn’t be more time-tested. It is so faithful to its source of inspiration that I would hesitate to recommend it to newcomers to the genre, but I think if you enjoy games like Etrian Odyssey or Stranger of Sword City, you should consider picking this one up. Not the longest or most unique of games, but Labyinth of Zangetsu was a surprisingly enjoyable time for me.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Magical Drop VI ($29.99)

Magical Drop fans who have been holding their breath worried about this being another Magical Drop V-style debacle, exhale: Magical Drop VI is fine. It plays very closely to Magical Drop III and it won’t let you down in the heat of the moment. It’s also positively stuffed to the gills with extra modes and features, which is a good and bad thing. There’s a lot to do here, and due to the way things are set up, you’re going to have to do most of it if you want to unlock everything. Even the characters are largely locked up. More casual players are unlikely to even get all of the modes unlocked, I suspect. The presentation also leaves a bit to be desired, trading the old pixel art for some visual novel-style animations that feel a little too stock. The World will never be the same.

Fans of Magical Drop will likely be satisfied with what Magical Drop VI offers, especially after what happened last time. That being said, I think more casual players can probably get their itch scratched more efficiently by grabbing the Arcade Archives release of Magical Drop III or popping in on the Super NES Switch Online app to play Magical Drop II. This is a good effort and it’s an impressive effort in many regards, but I can’t help but feel that in the attempt to add more things to do, the developers may have packed in too many things you have to do. Still, the core gameplay is done properly here, and that’s really what matters at the end of the day.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Disney Speedstorm ($29.99/$49.99/$69.99)

TouchArcade readers will be all too familiar with Gameloft, but the publisher has been also releasing games both free and paid on console and PC platforms over the years. After how successful Disney’s Dreamlight Valley was at giving players a new modern life simulation that seemed to blend in Animal Crossing and the world of Disney, the publisher is back with Disney Speedstorm as a take on the kart racing genre.

As with Disney’s Dreamlight Valley, Disney Speedstorm will eventually be a free to play game, but it is only available as a paid founder’s pack now in its early access release. These packs don’t seem too confusing on paper, but Gameloft’s onboarding is quite bad for how it handles in-game monetisation.

As a pure kart racer, I like Disney Speedstorm a lot. The references, gorgeous tracks, and sound design all come together to be the best I’ve played in the genre alongside Crash Team Racing‘s remake and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Granted the competition hasn’t been amazing, but the core gameplay is definitely strong in Disney Speedstorm.

Disney Speedstorm is currently available in three founder’s pack versions ranging from $29.99 to $69.99 offering varying amounts of in-game currencies, battle pass related things, and cosmetics. I didn’t actually use any of the in-game currency during my time with it. I wanted to see how much was available with the basic edition, and there isn’t much in terms of what each edition gets you for the multiplayer. This is very much an early access release, that ideally will have more through the year.

If you’re coming into Disney Speedstorm from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you will miss the vast amount of characters and tracks for sure. I wouldn’t really compare them, but given Mario Kart 8 is the most popular kart racer on the planet, the comparison is inevitable. You’re also getting a downgrade to performance here, albeit with more complex visuals.

Even on Switch, Disney Speedstorm looks great. The resolution is much lower than the PC version I’ve been playing on Steam Deck, but I have no major complaints with the visuals. There seems to be some dynamic resolution at play that drops lower in multiplayer. If you were ok with how Crash Team Racing looks, this should be fine. Just don’t expect crisp Mario Kart 8 style visuals here.

Speaking of Steam Deck, I’ve been seamlessly moving from my Switch to Steam Deck and playing Disney Speedstorm. It uses a Gameloft account to sync progress over. Even the in-game unlocks and more carry over. I love it when games do this.

If you’re ok with paying up front to play a free to play game early with some in-game unlocks, it is worth grabbing Disney Speedstorm right now. The core gameplay is strong and I love the visuals for the tracks currently available. Even a lot of the songs are great.

Disney Speedstorm in its current state on Nintendo Switch is a great kart racer held back by confusing in-game monetization. I’ve enjoyed playing Disney Speedstorm online with friends and randoms on both platforms, but Gameloft needs to do a better job with how unlocks and progression works for those unfamiliar with free to play mobile games. There’s a lot of potential here and there’s definitely fun to be had even in the early access release, but I was hoping for more. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5 (Early Access)

A Light in the Dark ($19.99)

A Light in the Dark from Sekai Project and the creatives behind the excellent Rabi Ribi is one of the more interesting visual novels I’ve played. It is a shorter experience, but one of the rare stories that doesn’t feel like it is dragging on through each of the endings.

You play as someone who has been kidnapped, and the story deals with how life is unfair in a lot of ways. Things are rough for a lot of people, and they have to resort to anything to survive. A Light in the Dark deals with these themes and more. A more grounded story that can get dark. The characters feel real, and I was surprised at how different things can get depending on your choices.

When bringing A Light in the Dark to Switch, Japanese voice acting was added which is supposed to hit PC at some point in the future. The package is quite polished in its current state, but the shorter length may disappoint some.

I enjoyed my time with A Light in the Dark quite a bit on Nintendo Switch and hope to see more from the world. It is rare for visual novels to feel this grounded and real. Hopefully it gets a physical release in the future. –Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Terra Flame ($19.99)

Terarin is back with another cool shoot-em-up, this time a side-scrolling shooter inspired by the Thunder Force series. Swap between multiple weapons as you blast your way through eight amazing stages, or hop into the caravan mode and see how high of a score you can rack up within a time limit. There are online leaderboards, so score chasers will have lots of reasons to come back. I’ll have a review of this one soon.

Deathwish Enforcers. ($22.99)

From the maker of Battle Princess Madelyn comes this Sunset Riders-inspired homage to 1970s action movies. You’ve got barely-disguised versions of Dirty Harry, Charlie Bronson, Diana Riggs, and Cleopatra Jones in the playable roster, seven levels of wild set pieces, and support for up to four players via local multiplayer. Seems alright, but I do wonder if it’s okay to have a game with ‘Deathwish‘ in its name that also happens to star a Charlie Bronson-like named Chuck? Well, I’m sure it’s fine. As for the game itself? You don’t see a lot of Sunset Riders-like games. If that’s something you dig the idea of, it might be worth the punt.

Forever Lost: Episode 2 ($5.99)

Oh hey, that was pretty quick. So here’s the second episode of Glitch Games’ adventure game series, packed with fresh locations and puzzles to test your wits on. I found the port of the first episode had some technical issues, so let’s hope this one is held together a little better. I’m not sure if I’ll be reviewing this one or not, but I’ll likely just peek at it and see if it’s running better. I’m sure the rest of it is fine enough.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

The Golden Week sales keep rolling in. Today we’ve got a bunch from Square Enix, NIS America, 2K Games, ININ Games, and more. Plenty of good stuff, particularly if you have an affinity for role-playing games. And there are more sales to be found on the eShop, as this is the usual curated list. Not too much in the outbox, but make sure you give that a look as well.

Select New Games on Sale

Minabo: A Walk Through Life ($13.49 from $14.99 until 5/5)
Milky Way Prince: Vampire Star ($4.49 from $14.99 until 5/6)
Chippy&Noppo ($17.99 from $19.99 until 5/7)
A Fox and His Robot ($41.99 from $59.99 until 5/7)
Dream of Tiny Snow ($8.99 from $11.99 until 5/8)
MONARK ($32.99 from $59.99 until 5/8)
TLoH: Trails from Zero ($31.99 from $39.99 until 5/8)
Void Terrarium 2 ($35.99 from $39.99 until 5/8)
NIS Classics 3: La Pucelle/Rhapsody ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/8)
Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/8)
Saviors of Sapphire Wings/Sword City ($29.99 from $49.99 until 5/8)
Labyrinth of Gallera: TMS ($41.99 from $49.99 until 5/8)
Tales from the Borderlands ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/8)
New Tales from the Borderlands ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/8)
Borderlands Legendary Collection ($9.99 from $49.99 until 5/8)

BioShock The Collection ($9.99 from $49.99 until 5/8)
NBA 2K23 ($8.99 from $59.99 until 5/8)
GTA The Trilogy Definitive ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/8)
Spelunker Party ($8.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Tactics Ogre Reborn ($32.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Harvestella ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Balan Wonderworld ($11.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
ActRaiser Renaissance ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Dungeon Encounters ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Voice of Cards: Isle Dragon Roars ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Voice of Cards: Beasts of Burden ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
NEO The World Ends with You ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy VII ($7.99 from $15.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)

Final Fantasy IX ($10.49 from $20.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy XII TZA ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Cloud Vers. ($44.99 from $89.99 until 5/9)
Collection of Mana ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Trials of Mana ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Legend of Mana ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
The Diofield Chronicle ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
Dragon Quest Treasures ($35.99 from $59.99 until 5/9)
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/9)
Paranormasight: Seven Mysteries ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)
NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/9)
Collection of SaGa FFL ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/9)

Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song ($21.24 from $24.99 until 5/9)
Romancing SaGa 2 ($7.49 from $24.99 until 5/9)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($8.69 from $28.99 until 5/9)
SaGa Frontier Remastered ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/9)
SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions ($8.99 from $29.99 until 5/9)
Various Daylife ($19.13 from $28.99 until 5/9)
The Future You’ve Been Dreaming Of ($8.99 from $17.99 until 5/11)
Dariusburst CS Core/Taito/SEGA Pack ($23.99 from $29.99 until 5/11)
Nono Adventure ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/12)
To The Moon ($8.39 from $11.99 until 5/12)
Moncage ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/12)
Finding Paradise ($8.39 from $11.99 until 5/12)
Super Shadow Break Showdown ($6.49 from $12.99 until 5/13)
Cotton Reboot ($13.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)
Cotton Fantasy ($17.99 from $39.99 until 5/15)

Panorama Cotton ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/15)
Cotton 100% ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/15)
Spelunker HD Deluxe ($7.49 from $24.99 until 5/15)
Turrican Flashback ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/15)
Never Again ($2.79 from $13.99 until 5/15)
Choice of Life Middle Ages 2 ($4.89 from $6.99 until 5/15)
Gigapocalypse ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/19)
Bridge Builder Adventure ($2.69 from $14.99 until 5/19)
Build a Bridge ($2.69 from $14.99 until 5/19)
Gematombe ($11.99 from $14.99 until 5/19)
Marsupilami Hoobadventure ($10.19 from $29.99 until 5/19)
The Smurfs Mission Vileaf ($13.59 from $39.99 until 5/19)
Car Factory Driver ($6.49 from $12.99 until 5/19)
My Universe: Puppies & Kittens ($8.49 from $24.99 until 5/19)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 2nd

A Little Golf Journey ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
Aeterna Noctis ($17.99 from $29.99 until 5/2)
Alien War ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/2)
Blood Will Be Spilled ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Blossom Tales II TMP ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
Bone’s Cafe ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/2)
BPM Bullets Per Minute ($17.49 from $24.99 until 5/2)
Colsword ($1.99 from $4.00 until 5/2)
Cult of the Lamb: CE ($19.49 from $29.99 until 5/2)
Demon Turf ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/2)
Dragon Question ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/2)
Feudal Alloy ($1.99 from $16.99 until 5/2)

In My Shadow ($6.60 from $12.00 until 5/2)
Lil Gator Game ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
Mixolumia ($7.50 from $15.00 until 5/2)
Monument ($1.99 from $7.00 until 5/2)
Nature ($1.99 from $2.99 until 5/2)
Ori & the Blind Forest ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/2)
Toby: The Secret Mine ($1.99 from $11.99 until 5/2)
UNI ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/2)
World Soccer Kid ($1.99 from $2.99 until 5/2)
Zombie’s Cool ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/2)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, more reviews, and maybe even some news. I have a dentist appointment in the morning, but I’m sure I’ll be back with plenty of time to write up the article. I hope you all have a great Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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