SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘New Star Manager’ Review, ‘Alchemic Dungeons DX’ Coming Next Week, ‘Guacamelee’ Goes Physical, Today’s New Releases, Sales, an

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Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 6th, 2019. Today we’ve got a bit of news, a review of one of last week’s releases, a look at the sole new release of the day, and a meager list of sales. Sure, it’s a bit of a quiet one today, but as is the case every week, Wednesday is merely the calm before the storm. Anyway, let’s have a look-see!

News


The Next ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Spirit Board Event is ‘Well-Rounded Spirits’



Another week, another Spirit Board event for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This weekend’s event is called Well-Rounded Spirits, and the theme is spirits that have a round shape. So yeah, Metroid, Voltorb, and so on. You’ll be running into more of them if you play during this event, and beating these special spirits will earn you extra SP. Go roll ’em, friends.

D’Vorah and Kabal Announced for ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Roster


We’re well on our way to Mortal Kombat 11‘s release, so character reveals should be happening pretty regularly from here on out. Today’s confirmations include Kabal, who originally debuted way back in Mortal Kombat 3, and D’Vorah, a fan favorite introduced in Mortal Kombat 10. Kabal wasn’t playable in Mortal Kombat 10, so it’s nice to see him back. I’ve included the video announcing his inclusion in Mortal Kombat 11 above, but you know, don’t watch it at work or anything. It’s Mortal Kombat, after all.

Japanese Roguelike ‘Alchemic Dungeons DX’ Hits Switch Next Week


It’s been a really long time since the last Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Just throwing that out there. Now, here’s the thing: I really like a good, tough roguelike or roguelite experience. But sometimes I just like to enjoy the mechanics in something a little less stressful, and since the Pokemon Company hasn’t been helping me out with that for a while, I’ve spent a lot of time with Alchemic Dungeons on mobile and 3DS. And hey, now I’ll be able to spend more time with it on Switch. Alchemic Dungeons DX hits the Switch next week. It adds new playable characters including a certain Rogue Ninja, along with a number of other new goodies to check out. Nice.

‘Guacamelee! One-Two Punch Collection’ Packs Both Games in One Physical Bundle


Both of the wonderful Guacamelee games came to Switch late last year, but if you wanted a more tangible memento to remember them by, Leadman Games and Drinkbox Studios have you covered. Guacamelee! One-Two Punch Collection packs both games together on a physical cartridge for the price of $39.99. Set to release on May 28th, the pack also includes an actual paper manual (that’s a feature now), a two-sided poster, and a download code for the soundtracks.

February’s NES Switch Online Games Are ‘Super Mario Bros. 2’ and ‘Kirby’s Adventure’


Nintendo has announced the next set of games due to hit the NES Switch Online app. Updating the app on February 13th will net you two new classics to play: Super Mario Bros. 2 and Kirby’s Adventure. The former is the American Super Mario Bros. 2 in all of its vegetable-throwing glory, while the latter is the excellent late-era NES game featuring the famous pink puffball flexing his copy powers for the first time. Both are excellent games. Sadly, the third game for the month is once again exclusive to the Japanese Famicom Switch Online app. Tsuppari Ozumo is a fun sumo wrestling game that never released outside of Japan back in the day, and it’s not easy to play in its untranslated form. Hey Nintendo, how about rolling out some Western exclusives like Star Tropics in situations like these?

Reviews

New Star Manager ($19.99)





Regular readers may or may not know that I am, in fact, Canadian. That’s relevant at times in all kinds of ways, but today it’s important because I’m writing a review of a soccer management simulation. I feel like there has been a concerted effort in the USA to try to make soccer more of a thing, and perhaps something similar has happened in Canada after I moved away. At least as far as my life is concerned, however, soccer is a sport I played in elementary school before becoming totally dedicated to ice hockey. I had a roommate in university who loved Manchester United and sometimes watched their games, but I was usually playing my Game Boy Advance or something while he was getting rowdy.

In short, I am probably not in the main demographic that New Star Manager appeals to. I even had to go look up a couple of basic rules, like how Offsides work, because I didn’t remember them from 30 years ago. But as I’ve already established, I do like a team sport, and we all know that I love RPGs, and what is a management simulation if not an abstracted sort of RPG? Taking in a deep breath, I approached New Star Manager with an open mind, or at least as open a mind as any human being could manage given their own life experiences.



Friends, this game is really good. I can’t give you a detailed comparison to Football Manager 2019 Touch or anything, but on its own merits, New Star Manager is really, really hard to put down. Now, I should first mention that there are no licensed teams or players here. That doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other, but if you are a soccer fan, I could certainly see how that might be important. They’re all fictional people here, and you’re always going to be taking control of one of the worst teams in the world. You’re tasked with turning things around, and whew, do they ever foist a lot of responsibilities on you.

You have to keep the team financially solvent. You have to keep the media interested. You have to please the board and your sponsors. You have to maintain the harmony of your team while also hanging on to talented players and staff. You have to keep your players well-trained but also allow them to rest enough that they aren’t going to be exhausted all the time. You even have to answer trivia questions in interviews. Oh, and you also have to play the actual games. Just a little bit, mind you. All of these things need to be juggled, and many of them act at odds with each other. That’s just how a good simulation should be, no matter what the topic may be.



The simulation side of things works more or less as you’d expect. You have to negotiate contracts, choose who to hire and fire, make sure you have good younger people coming in to replace the older people going out, build and upgrade facilities, and so on. The most unusual thing about it is that many of the rewards of your efforts are given to you in the form of cards, a quirk that makes more sense when considering the game’s free-to-play origins. But hey, a symbol is just a symbol, and it all functions as you would expect in this version regardless of how it’s expressed. Other quirks come in the form of interviews and pep talks, where you need to either quickly answer a question or pick the right responses to get a good effect.

When it’s time to hit the field, it seems at first like the simulation that it is. The game plays out, with highlights shown in a sort of text-based feed. At key moments, however, the game will throw it over to you to directly control the action. You’ll have to pass, shoot, or set up a play of some sort. If you biff it up somehow, it’s no big deal. The game will take back over again until the next opportunity arises. But this does let you feel some added ownership over the goals and, in turn, the victories that your team racks up, and that’s not bad at all.



As mentioned, this game is a premium version of a free-to-play mobile title. You can spot where it’s from in a number of ways, most notably in the interface. Simply put, the game largely controls best with the touchscreen. Everything can be controlled with the buttons, and if you’re playing on your TV, it will have to be, but the simulation aspects are especially best when you can just hit the big buttons it presents. Controlling the on-the-field action takes some getting used to with buttons, but once you do, I actually found it easier to use them than touch controls for this portion of the game. Whatever the game did to monetize on mobile, there’s no trace of it here. I hit no unusual difficulty walls or unfair randomness during the considerable number of hours I’ve sunk into New Star Manager so far.

So yes, New Star Manager even appealed to someone like me who has little interest in the sport or business of soccer. My knocks on the game are minor ones at best. I’ve mentioned that the button controls sometimes feel less than ideal. For some, the lack of licenses may be disappointing. I also think the game can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but that’s a frequent issue in the simulation genre. But muscle through the early information dumps and learn how everything works, and you have quite a compelling game waiting for you. Obviously one that will hit better with soccer fans, but well-made enough that it’s by no means a requirement. A very lovely surprise.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

New Releases

Ping Pong Trick Shot Evolution ($4.99)





Second verse, same as the first. This isn’t the first Ping Pong Trick Shot game on the Switch, and something tells me it won’t be the last one, either. Rather than having anything to do with the sport of ping pong, this game is just a physics puzzler where you need to bounce your ball into a cup somewhere on the screen. I’m sure it’s perfectly inoffensive, but I can’t imagine actually spending time or money on something like this in the current day. But hey, if you’re pining for that era of mobile gaming where 27 forgettable games per day came out chasing the Angry Birds bucks, this will certainly evoke it.

Sales


There’s way more expiring than starting up today, but a lot of those expiring ones will be back on sale again in a couple weeks if my experience has taught me anything. As for today’s new sales, Axiom Verge and Overcooked! 2 are the obvious strong picks. Of course, now that I’ve written all of this, I’m sure a bunch of great sales will pop after I’ve gone home for the day. What can you do, right?

New Games on Sale



NeuroVoider ($6.99 from $13.99 until 2/11)
Axiom Verge ($17.99 from $19.99 until 2/21)
Figment ($11.99 from $19.99 until 2/21)
Viviette ($8.99 from $9.99 until 2/25)
Build a Bridge! ($8.99 from $14.99 until 2/25)
Overcooked! 2 ($18.74 from $24.99 until 2/12)
Ultra Hyperball ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/19)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, February 7th



City of Brass ($17.99 from $19.99 until 2/7)
Defense Grid 2 ($17.99 from $19.99 until 2/7)
Mercury Race ($7.19 from $7.99 until 2/7)
Almightree: The Last Dreamer ($9.99 from $19.99 until 2/7)
Animal Hunter Z ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
1979 Revolution: Black Friday ($4.07 from $11.99 until 2/7)
Bad Dream: Coma ($8.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Bleed ($4.07 from $11.99 until 2/7)
Bleed 2 ($5.09 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Clouds & Sheep 2 ($8.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
The Coma: Recut ($6.79 from $19.99 until 2/7)
Don’t Die, Mr Robot DX ($2.69 from $8.99 until 2/7)
Fall of Light: Darkest Edition ($5.09 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Freedom Planet ($9.74 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Fishing Universe Simulator ($8.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Frederic: Resurrection of Music ($0.59 from $5.99 until 2/7)
Frederic 2: Evil Strikes Back ($0.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle ($9.99 from $19.99 until 2/7)
Frost ($4.41 from $12.99 until 2/7)
Glaive: Brick Breaker ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Goetia ($0.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
GoNNER ($5.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Hacky Zack ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker ($7.79 from $12.99 until 2/7)
Ink ($2.69 from $8.99 until 2/7)
Inversus Deluxe ($9.74 from $14.99 until 2/7)
The Keep ($9.99 from $17.99 until 2/7)
Letter Quest Remastered ($3.59 from $11.99 until 2/7)


Merchants of Kaidan ($8.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Millie ($0.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Nefarious ($5.09 from $14.99 until 2/7)
No Thing ($0.49 from $1.99 until 2/7)
No Reload Heroes ($0.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Paranautical Activity ($1.59 from $7.99 until 2/7)
Puzzle Wall ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/7)
Qbik ($0.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Shut Eye ($0.59 from $5.99 until 2/7)
Slain: Back From Hell ($6.79 from $19.99 until 2/7)
Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut ($5.09 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Sparkle 3 Genesis ($0.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Sparkle Zero ($0.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Star Story: The Horizon Escape ($0.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Three Fourths Home ($2.69 from $8.99 until 2/7)
Timberman VS ($0.49 from $1.99 until 2/7)
Tiny Hands Adventure ($3.99 from $7.99 until 2/7)
Unexplored ($5.10 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Vertical Drop Heroes HD ($3.39 from $9.99 until 2/7)
VSR: Void Space Racing ($0.49 from $4.99 until 2/7)

Well, that should be about it for today. Tomorrow is Thursday, which means we’ll have a whole pile of new releases to look at. Depending on how much time I have, I might have a review of at least one of those new releases, along with whatever new sales come our way. As always, thanks for reading!

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