Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 2nd, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got two full-sized reviews. I’ve gone and written up Blizzard Arcade Collection, while good ol’ Mikhail has a breakdown of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ for us to enjoy. There’s a slice of news to check out, and the usual new release summaries to read. Finally, the ever-present lists of incoming and outgoing sales, as you like them! Let’s dive in, shall we?
‘Bowser’s Fury’ Features in the Next ‘Tetris 99’ Maximus Cup
While I was more than happy enough just having Super Mario 3D World on my Switch, the Bowser’s Fury extra content ended up being the real surprise of that release. While it’s a bit on the short side, it has a lot of cool ideas that make for a rather unique Mario experience. Plus, Fury Bowser is pretty cool. His next step is to rampage over to Tetris 99, where he is the star of the 20th Maximus Cup event. Kicking off on Thursday night and running through to the end of Monday, this event follows the usual pattern of having you gather event points to permanently unlock the event theme. The higher you place, the more points you’ll earn. As long as you’re persistent, you’re sure to add the Bowser’s Fury theme to your collection.
Blizzard Arcade Collection ($19.99)
Times may have changed for Blizzard, but for a very long time the company seemed like it could do no wrong. After the release of Warcraft II in 1995, Blizzard regularly sat at the top of the PC gaming market for a good couple of decades. Indeed, Blizzard’s presence was one of the biggest rays of light during some very dark years for PC games. If you gamed on your computer in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you almost certainly had some Blizzard games in your collection. Warcraft II, Diablo, StarCraft, Diablo II, Warcraft III, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft II all sold millions and piled up accolades upon accolades. Even in recent years as the company’s influence has waned, it has produced such hits as Diablo III, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone.
But Blizzard’s history does not begin with Warcraft II. Or even the original Warcraft, for that matter. No, the company got its start on home consoles, with some decidedly different fare from what it would come to be known for. Some without a firm grasp on genre labels may even describe their output during this period as ‘arcade games’. Blizzard Arcade Collection does not include all of these games. It does not include even half of them, technically speaking. But licenses and contracts being what they are, some of those games just aren’t going to happen. What it does include is three of the best from that bunch, with multiple versions of each for you to enjoy. Let’s hit them in order of release.
Initially released for the Super NES in April of 1993 before making its way to a variety of other platforms, The Lost Vikings was the second release from the developer. It was inspired by games like Lemmings and King Arthur’s World. Three vikings, each with their own abilities, are captured by a spaceship one evening. You have to use their unique talents to help all three reach the exit on each stage. It feels like a cross between a puzzle game and an action game, and it’s just as enjoyable today as it was 28 years ago. This set includes the Super NES original, the Genesis version with its five extra levels, and a Definitive version that combines the best elements of both. All three versions allow you to make use of save states, and the classic versions give you some display options and a rewind feature.
Scant months later in June of 1993, Rock n’ Roll Racing made its debut on the Super NES. Something of a sequel to the developer’s first title RPM Racing, it moves the isometric racing action into space and adds a licensed rock soundtrack, which was a pretty substantial novelty at the time. It’s an outstanding racer that is almost as much fun to play solo as it is to play with a friend. Oddly, it seems to have been given the star treatment here. You get the Super NES and Genesis versions, a special four-player splitscreen version of the game, and a noticeably spiffier Definitive version than its peers. The classic versions again allow you to make save states, adjust display options, and use a rewind feature.
As for that Definitive edition, it’s quite impressive. Unlike the other two Definitive versions in this collection, Rock n’ Roll Racing Definitive is displayed in proper widescreen without any borders. The announcer’s voice has been re-recorded, and you can now listen to real artist performances of each of the songs as you race instead of the classic MIDI versions. The only tune that didn’t return was Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, a regrettable loss that affects the classic versions as well. In exchange, we get Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law, but only in the Definitive version. Not a bad peace offering. This is a great version of the game, but there are some bad points. There is no save function whatsoever, so you’ll have to make use of the in-game passwords to mark your progress. Like the other Definitive versions, you don’t get any display options or rewind feature either.
Filling out the set is Blackthorne, a September 1994 release for the Super NES. It feels like a heavy metal blend of Prince of Persia and Flashback, and like the other two games on here it is quite the excellent title. It feels a bit stiff at times, but that was part of this particular type of game’s formula in that era. The choice of versions here is interesting. Naturally we get the Super NES original, but since there was no Genesis version we instead get the 32X version. Yes, there’s a 32X game on here. It replaces the pixel-art graphics with some iffy CG sprites, but if nothing else that makes it come off as something very different from the Super NES original. We also get a Definitive version, which seems to add an auto-map and a few other improvements to the Super NES version. Again, classic versions include a rewind feature and display options, while all three benefit from save states.
Apart from the games, there’s also an additional section on the menu dedicated to some behind-the-scenes stuff and marketing materials. If you’ve played any of Digital Eclipse’s recent collections, you’ll have a basic idea of what to expect here. Nice stuff. There’s also a music player that allows you to listen to the tunes from The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne at your leisure. No Rock ‘n Roll Racing allowed in this music player, unfortunately. Probably a licensing thing. It’s not really a big deal, I suppose. I can always fire up YouTube if I really feel the need to listen to Radar Love. Emulation on all games is impressive, and I have to state once again how wild it is that the 32X version was included. Digital Eclipse will probably never use that emulator again.
Blizzard Arcade Collection may initially seem light on content for its price, but rest assured that all three games are of the quality you would expect from classic Blizzard. On top of that, you’re given multiple versions of each including some spiffy Definitive editions, a good chunk of extra features and options, and even some nice historical content. It’s well-worth picking up whether you’re into gaming history, want to revisit some favorites from your younger years, or just want to play a trio of excellent games that hold up remarkably well for their age. While it wish it was slightly more complete (Lost Vikings 2, where are you?), I can’t argue with what you get for your money here. Thumbs way up.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ ($39.99)
When Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ debuted in the West on PS4 and PS Vita, it was an important game for the English speaking otome community because it was the last of its kind on PS Vita and one of the last physical releases in the West on the platform. Since then, the future of localized otome games has moved to Nintendo Switch and we get a steady supply of quality releases each year now. Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ is the second fandisc for Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, one of the best visual novels on Nintendo Switch.
To get the most out of Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ you definitely need to have played and enjoyed Guardian of Rebirth and its first fandisc Future Blessings. If you found yourself bouncing off Future Blessings or the original, you’re better off getting another otome game. If you did enjoy Cardia’s previous adventures already, Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ and its Christmas theme will definitely give you a good amount of quality story content with new and returning characters.
When you begin a new game, you can pick between a triangle date (short stories) with two characters, alternate stories for Lupin, Van Helsing, Victor, and more based on the Future Blessings stories, two epilogues, and a side story that takes place during the original game. Expect to put a little over 13 to 15 hours into Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ depending on your reading speed.
Visually, Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ is gorgeous as expected. Otomate doesn’t disappoint with the CG art ever but the Code: Realize games have always felt like a cut above most visual novels when it comes to artwork. This carries over to the interface that can be fully controlled with the touchscreen as is thankfully the case with Aksys Games otome releases on Nintendo Switch. I enjoyed the voice acting and music in Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ as well.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ if you enjoyed Guardian of Rebirth and Future Blessings. Despite Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ also being a fandisc, it definitely follows Future Blessings and I’d only recommend you play it after having finished both prior Code: Realize games on Nintendo Switch. This isn’t a throwaway set of stories just aimed at cashing in on the Code: Realize popularity in the otome community but a nice addition for fans who want more from the characters and story. In a lot of ways, revisiting Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ after playing it on PS Vita two years ago has been a great experience. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5
PAKO Caravan ($7.99)
Kind of a cross between the original PAKO and Snake, PAKO Caravan sees you driving your car around various levels collecting icons that add on to the caravan following you. This one has been available on mobile since late last year, and you can try it out for free over there to see how you like it before making your purchase decision. It’s only a couple of dollars more on Switch than it is to buy the ad-free IAP on mobile, so if you want to play this game on a big screen or use button controls this version is a good choice. It’s a simple game, but a fun and reasonably challenging one that is nice to fire up now and then.
Harvest Moon: One World ($49.99)
The farming sim genre’s messiest break-up has a nasty showdown happening this month as both Story of Seasons (the series once known as Harvest Moon) and Harvest Moon (Natsume’s own homecooked replacement) have new installments coming out. Harvest Moon strikes first with Harvest Moon: One World, which combines some of the familiar farming mechanics with a world-travelling gimmick. Natsume’s attempts have fallen well short of its competitor so far, but they have been getting a little better with each installment. Is this the one where Natsume finally scores a victory? I can’t say for sure, but you can ride a reindeer in this game so that’s one point in its favor.
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 ($39.99)
The first Monster Jam Steel Titans was… well, it wasn’t great. But I know some Monster Truck fans enjoyed it in spite of its flaws, and I suspect the game sold fairly well for what it was. So here we are with the sequel, complete with five large outdoor worlds, thirty-eight upgradeable official trucks, and plenty of stadium events and races to play. This game is available on other platforms and I somewhat doubt the Switch version is going to be up to snuff in terms of presentation, but this is the version you can play while laying in bed on a Sunday SUNDAY SUNDAY morning. If nothing else, a solid improvement over the original.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Certainly some interesting sales in the inbox today. Both of the Cook, Serve, Delicious! games that have come to the platform are on sale right now, and if you like cooking games they’re must-haves. If you have some nostalgia for the original game, Gods Remastered isn’t on sale often but it is now. V-Rally 4 doesn’t get discounted all that often, though it has its fair share of warts that even a deep sale might not be enough to excuse. As for the outbox, you’ve got things like Bot Vice, Super Star Path, and the Deponia games on deep discount that are worth grabbing if you like the look of them. Do that usual thing of having a careful look through both lists.
Select New Games on Sale
Demon’s Tilt ($11.99 from $19.99 until 3/8)
One Finger Death Punch 2 ($2.06 from $8.99 until 3/8)
Ponpu ($9.74 from $14.99 until 3/8)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 3/8)
Dry Drowning ($16.24 from $24.99 until 3/8)
Food Truck Tycoon: Asian ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/8)
Food Truck Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/8)
Burger Chef Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/8)
Cooking Tycoons: 3 in 1 ($5.19 from $12.99 until 3/8)
2048 Battles ($1.99 from $3.99 until 3/8)
Freecell Solitaire Deluxe ($1.99 from $8.99 until 3/8)
World of Solitaire ($1.99 from $14.99 until 3/8)
Puddle Knights ($5.99 from $9.99 until 3/8)
Space Robinson ($7.99 from $9.99 until 3/8)
Teslagrad ($8.99 from $14.99 until 3/10)
World to the West ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/10)
1001 Ultimate Mahjong 2 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/13)
Gods Remastered ($3.99 from $9.99 until 3/14)
Cook Serve Delicious 2 ($3.24 from $12.99 until 3/14)
Cook Serve Delicious 3 ($12.99 from $19.99 until 3/14)
Hunting Simulator 2 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/15)
Tennis World Tour 2 ($24.99 from $49.99 until 3/15)
Monster Truck Championship ($19.99 from $39.99 until 3/15)
Overpass ($27.49 from $54.99 until 3/15)
TT Isle of Man RotE 2 ($29.99 from $59.99 until 3/15)
V-Rally 4 ($14.99 from $49.99 until 3/15)
Close to the Sun ($12.49 from $24.99 until 3/16)
Suicide Guy ($1.99 from $7.99 until 3/18)
Robonauts $1.99 from $3.99 until 3/18)
Cubicity ($3.60 from $6.00 until 3/20)
I, AI ($6.99 from $9.99 until 3/21)
Death Squared ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/21)
My Aunt is a Witch ($6.99 from $9.99 until 3/21)
Bass Pro Shops: The Strike ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/21)
Cabela’s: The Hunt ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/21)
Ultimate Racing 2D ($2.99 from $9.99 until 3/21)
Music Racer ($4.89 from $6.99 until 3/21)
Regina & Mac ($4.99 from $9.99 until 3/21)
Mask of Mists ($10.49 from $14.99 until 3/21)
7th Sector ($13.99 from $19.99 until 3/21)
Super One More Jump ($1.99 from $7.00 until 3/21)
Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s ($9.09 from $12.99 until 3/21)
Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply ($1.99 from $5.99 until 3/21)
Battle for Blood ($2.79 from $3.99 until 3/22)
Q.U.B.E. 2 ($2.99 from $29.99 until 3/22)
Legend of Numbers ($2.09 from $2.99 until 3/22)
Binaries ($2.59 from $12.99 until 3/22)
Must Dash Amigos ($1.99 from $6.99 until 3/22)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3rd
#SinucaAttack ($3.99 from $4.99 until 3/3)
AER Memories of Old ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Bot Vice ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/3)
Brave Dungeon + Dark Witch Story ($7.19 from $8.99 until 3/3)
Cake Laboratory ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/3)
Chalk Dash Carnival ($1.99 from $7.09 until 3/3)
Chaos on Deponia ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Crypt of the Serpent King ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/3)
Deployment ($1.99 from $9.99 until 3/3)
Deponia ($3.99 from $39.99 until 3/3)
Deponia Doomsday ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Desktop Baseball ($2.91 from $7.29 until 3/3)
Desktop Basketball ($2.88 from $7.20 until 3/3)
Desktop Bowling ($2.95 from $7.39 until 3/3)
Desktop Dodgeball ($2.98 from $7.45 until 3/3)
Desktop Rugby ($1.99 from $7.43 until 3/3)
Desktop Soccer ($2.84 from $7.11 until 3/3)
Desktop Table Tennis ($2.96 from $7.41 until 3/3)
Desktop Volleyball ($2.97 from $7.43 until 3/3)
Dotori ($9.59 from $11.99 until 3/3)
Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Edna & Harvey: The Breakout ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Felix the Reaper ($2.49 from $24.99 until 3/3)
Fuser ($39.99 from $59.99 until 3/3)
Gear.Club Unlimited 2 ($9.99 from $39.99 until 3/3)
Goodbye Deponia ($1.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
GraviFire ($3.99 from $4.99 until 3/3)
iota ($6.39 from $7.99 until 3/3)
Juiced! ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/3)
Liberated ($11.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Our Flick Erasers ($6.48 from $12.96 until 3/3)
Rollin’ Eggz ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/3)
Shift Happens ($2.99 from $14.99 until 3/3)
Silence ($3.99 from $39.99 until 3/3)
Spider Solitaire Black ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/3)
State of Mind ($3.99 from $39.99 until 3/3)
Super Star Path ($1.99 from $4.99 until 3/3)
The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav ($14.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
The Dark Eye: Memoria ($14.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
The Forbidden Arts ($4.94 from $14.99 until 3/3)
The Legend of Dark Witch ($5.59 from $6.99 until 3/3)
The Long Journey Home ($2.99 from $29.99 until 3/3)
Unrailed! ($9.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Virtual Battle ($5.38 from $7.69 until 3/3)
Virus: The Outbreak ($6.69 from $9.99 until 3/3)
Voxel Galaxy ($1.99 from $7.43 until 3/3)
Voxel Pirates ($1.99 from $7.28 from 3/3)
Voxel Shot ($1.99 from $8.00 until 3/3)
Voxel Sword ($1.99 from $7.00 until 3/3)
X-Morph: Defense ($4.99 from $19.99 until 3/3)
Zombie Driver Immortal Edition ($3.74 from $14.99 until 3/3)
Zombie Scrapper ($1.99 from $2.99 until 3/3)
Zombies Ruined My Day ($1.99 from $3.99 until 3/3)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with a few new releases, some news, and probably a few new sales. Perhaps a Mini-View or two, but we’ll see. I’m fully submerged in Bravely Default II right now, and gosh is it my flavor of jam. I’ll be doing a review of it after I finish, but I didn’t get the game early or anything so it’s going to be a little bit. I hope you all have a great Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!