SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Legrand Legacy’ Review, ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Update, A New Character for ‘Mario Tennis Aces’, Today’s New Releases, an

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Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 30th, 2019. Today we’ve got a review of the JRPG-style game Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds, news of updates for a few of Nintendo’s heavy hitters, a whole batch of new releases, some sales, and more. You know, all that good stuff that fills one’s belly, metaphorically speaking. We’ve got a lot to go through as usual, though, so let’s get to it!

News


Boom Boom Heads to ‘Mario Tennis Aces’ in February, New Update Coming Soon


New challengers keep on coming to Mario Tennis Aces, and the latest addition will be long-suffering mini-boss Boom Boom, who makes the scene sometime next month. Debuting in Super Mario Bros. 3, Boom Boom has made sporadic appearances in Mario games over the years, generally serving as a big, stupid boss at the end of a mid-world castle. In other news, Version 2.2.0 of Mario Tennis Aces will be hitting sometime this week, adding a Court Selection option to Free Play and Swing Mode, a new Hosted Match mode, and a variety of tweaks and adjustments to character parameters and overall game balance.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Version 2.0.0 Released, Piranha Plant Ready to Reign Over Fools



Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has hit the big 2.0.0 mark, and as most predicted, Piranha Plant has joined the roster along with the update. The character was a free bonus for anyone who registered their game up until now, so if you forgot to to that… well, sorry, you’ll have to pay. But not now, because there’s no way to actually do that at the moment. Besides the Plant, this update also makes a number of changes. Spirit Board mode now supports up to four players, and the exclusive Spirits from a couple of the Spirit Board events now have a chance of appearing in the shop. A ton of characters had tweaks in order to better balance the game, and a number of other fixes and adjustments have been made as well.

Don’t Forget ‘Splatoon 2’, Which Also Got an Update Today



There isn’t anything as exciting as a new character in the latest update to Splatoon 2, which brings the game to version 4.4.0, but hey, it’s still news. A number of tweaks have been made to the Kelp Dome stage, and most of the weapons have had some minor adjustments made to them. Other than that, it’s largely a giant list of bug fixes, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Bug fixes make the update world go ’round, after all.

Reviews

Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds ($19.99)





I’m going to start this review with a very important tip for enjoying Legrand Legacy. When you start the game, go into the settings, flick over to the gameplay tab, and switch ACT Mode to “Fixed". Trust me on this one. The original version of the game had some odd rules that made it hard to enjoy at times, and while this updated version has most of them turned off by default, you’ll still need to change the default for the ACT gauge. Wait, Shaun, what are you even talking about?

In hindsight, that’s probably a weird way to start a review, but there’s a fine line between fun and irritation sometimes, and Legrand Legacy certainly has the capability to cross it if you’re not careful. The napkin description here is that Legrand Legacy is an homage to a certain type of classic JRPG, the sort that sprung up around the massive success of Final Fantasy 7 and more or less faded out as pre-rendered backgrounds went out of vogue in favor of real-time 3D. It’s an admirable target, and I genuinely believe there is a fair bit of nostalgia for this period in RPG history.



But aiming at something is one thing. Hitting it is quite another. Legrand Legacy sadly doesn’t quite hit the bulls-eye, but it at least hits the board. It doesn’t quite have the storytelling chops or design quality of a full-scale PlayStation Final Fantasy game, nor does it have the ostentatious bombast of something like The Legend of Dragoon. No, this ends up more in the company of things like Legaia 2 or Koudelka in terms of quality and scale. Which is to say, it’s enjoyable enough to go through and you’ll probably want to stick with it to the end, but it’s likely to slip out of your brain not long after you’ve stopped playing. It is to latter-day PS1 RPGs what a decent Kemco game is to 16-bit RPGs.

It has a lot of good points, though. The visuals really are nice, and perfectly evoke the late PS1/early PS2 era in spirit if not in accuracy. Not that it looks inaccurate in a bad way, rather that the higher resolution and more complex character models here are beyond what you would have seen at that time. The pre-rendered backgrounds and fixed camera angles are handled well, and immediately push the nostalgia buttons. The overworld map is a little less evocative, but I suppose even having one is nostalgic enough in this day and age. It’s less impressive on the audio side, with mostly forgettable tunes that get trotted out a little too often for their own good.



Dungeon designs are decent, and I think the variety in locations is pretty good for a game of this scope. Enemies are visible and work a little like the ones in the later Persona games, allowing you to try to sneak up behind them to get a free round of attacks. I guess this brings us to the battle system, and the explanation of that ACT gauge option I told you to flip at the beginning of this review. By default, just about any action you take in the turn-based battles triggers a QTE that has you press a button with precise timing to stop a spinning wheel. Not an unheard-of concept, but the way that Legrand Legacy handles it on its default settings is maddening. Namely, it’s random as to which button you’ll have to press and where on the wheel you’ll need to stop. Even the most basic of attacks requires you to pay careful attention.

Now, you have some options with that gauge thanks to player feedback on the original PC release. You can turn it off entirely, or you can switch it to a Fixed mode where you’re always hitting the same button and aiming for the same segment on the wheel. You get better rewards for sticking to the original setting, but it’s just not worth the aggravation, if you ask me. But I also wouldn’t turn it off entirely, as the mini-game does add a little something to the many battles you’ll be fighting. Fixed mode gives you that spice without forcing you to read and react with a hair trigger. You’ll still have more than enough going on in the fights thanks to a clear system of weaknesses and resistances to exploit. You’ll also have to arrange your party in such a way as to minimize damage to the weaker characters. It’s enjoyable if not terribly exciting.



Characters gain new abilities according to how you distribute their stats upon leveling up. This gives you a bit of choice in how you want characters to develop without being overly complicated. I also like the way the game handles its item management, as characters need to equip anything they plan on using in battle. Each character can only hold four types of consumable items, so you have to think a little bit about what you might need. Again, not too taxing, but it does ask you to engage with it in a way a lot of other RPGs don’t. You’ll eventually recruit a number of party members, and their abilities differ enough that you’ll have to consider how each one can contribute in battle. On average, fights aren’t too hard, but there are a few bosses that might have you yanking your hair out if you don’t step back and give your battle plans some serious thought. Or you could just grind. I won’t judge you if that’s your way of doing things.

I think the main thing that keeps Legrand Legacy from being something really special is in its story and characters, however. It does the work of building its world and the associated lore, and even puts a fair bit of effort into character back-stories and personalities. And yet, I found that it never really was able to bridge the gap between the game and myself, leaving me feeling rather indifferent to the heroes and their plights. I mean, I’m glad it didn’t try to generate false sincerity with pants-on-head irony the way so many independent RPGs attempt to, but it all just felt very disconnected and bland. Again, very much like a Kemco game in many ways. It’s not for lack of effort, but it just doesn’t click. Side quests suffer similarly, giving the set-up and ostensibly the reasons you should care, but never properly following through.



That said, I did enjoy Legrand Legacy. I enjoyed it enough that I found myself playing in longer sessions than I’d originally planned to, even. That means it was not only not annoying me, but was actively compelling me to continue most of the time. That counts for something, I think. I firmly believe the team behind this game has the chops to make something really special in the future. Legrand Legacy isn’t quite that special game, but I think if you have enough of a fondness for JRPG-style games, you’ll enjoy what this game is doing even if you don’t necessarily love it.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

Hyperide ($1.99)





Although it shares its title and developer with Hyperide: Vector Raid, this is a totally different kind of game. I remember when this released on mobile a few years ago, and if I remember right, it’s more or less an auto-runner type deal where you have to navigate a star ship through asteroid fields. It wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t anything terribly special. Still, it seems to be priced with its scope in mind here, so I don’t know, you may want to splurge on it if you’re in the mood.

Fishing Star World Tour ($29.99)




Well, now we have another fishing game on the Switch. What now? This one takes a slightly more cartoonish tack to the sport than the last one we saw, and with it coming from mobile powerhouse GREE, perhaps that’s to be expected. Although it’s adapted from a mobile game, it has been greatly expanded with new fish, deeper mechanics, and so on. Oh, and it’s actually compatible with the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con fishing rod. That’s kind of neat. I mean, if you didn’t already toss that bad boy in the garbo, anyway.

Drowning ($2.99)




This is one of those quote-unquote walking simulators, which is to say that it’s more about playing through a story than dealing with tricky mechanics or anything like that. Still, it does offer up some hidden endings, so there’s at least a reason to poke around carefully. The game’s topic is depression, and you play as a high school boy who is trying to come to grips with the crushing feeling of living with the affliction. Well, you probably know better than I do if this is your sort of thing or not. At the very least, it has a nice soundtrack.

Chrono Clash: Fantasy Tactics ($0.99)




Hmm, I wonder what the deal is here. This game comes over from the mobile side of things, where it’s a free-to-play game with a ton of expensive IAPs. Now, such games coming to Switch in paid form with the shenanigans stripped out isn’t terribly rare, but they’re usually priced in such a way that they reflect that chief source of monetization being removed. Chrono Clash is sitting at a buck, which seems suspiciously low even if the game itself is mediocre. Well, I don’t know, and I can’t check because for whatever reason it’s not available in the Canadian eShop. If any of our readers wants to take one for the team and report in the comments, I’d be appreciative.

Paladin ($9.99)




Not to be confused with Paladins, Paladin is a twin-stick shooter that pays homage to classics like Defender. You are the last space ship and need to defend the Earth against a massive force of invaders. That sort of affair. It came out about a year and change ago on the Xbox One and seems to have garnered very mediocre review scores, so I don’t know if you’ll want to bite on this or not. In its favor, it seems to have lots of ships and upgrades, a good variety of enemies, and speedy gameplay. I suppose if twin-stick shooters are your thing and you also like Defender, you might want to check out Paladin.

Sales


Not a lot of new stuff worth mentioning today, but you may want to have a final look at the games going off sale. The Atooi sale finishes tomorrow, so this is your last chance to get things like Xeodrifter and Mutant Mudds at ridiculously discounted prices. Fairy Fencer F‘s introductory sale also ends tomorrow, so if you were waffling about that one, you may want to grab it. Could be a while before it goes that low again.

New Games on Sale



Survive! Mr. Cube ($4.49 from $14.99 until 2/18)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, January 31st



Bedtime Blues ($8.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Bingo for Nintendo Switch ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/31)
The Bug Butcher ($6.39 from $7.99 until 1/31)
Dimension Drive ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/31)
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force ($31.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Fly O’Clock ($0.99 from $1.99 until 1/31)
Grid Mania ($0.39 from $3.99 until 1/31)
Jumping Joe & Friends ($0.49 from $4.99 until 1/31)
The Mahjong Huntress ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/31)
Mecho Tales ($0.79 from $0.99 until 1/31)
Mutant Mudds Collection ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/31)
Plague Road ($0.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Soccer Slammers ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Startide ($0.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot ($2.49 from $4.99 until 1/31)
Totes the Goat ($0.99 from $4.99 until 1/31)
Toy Stunt Bike: Tiptop’s Trials ($3.49 from $4.99 until 1/31)
Xeodrifter ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX ($4.94 from $9.99 until 1/31)

And that’ll do it for today. Check back tomorrow for a ton of new releases, one or two reviews, and of course all of the news and sales that crop up over the course of the day. What’s on your shopping list this week? Feel free to comment below and, as always, thanks for reading!

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