Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 18th, 2022. We’ve got another batch of reviews today, with our pal Mikhail covering the lamentable Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Definitive Edition. Has it been whipped into shape with a few patches? Hmm. We also have reviews of Tin Man’s To Be Or Not To Be and SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash. There are some new releases to look at as well, but they are mostly… dubious. Finally, we have sales! A little more interesting than yesterday, though still obviously not up to what we saw a few weeks back. Let’s go!
Explore ‘Pokemon Legends’ in the Latest ‘Tetris 99’ Maximus Cup
You know the routine by now, friends. Tetris 99 is rolling out another Maximus Cup event. The first one of the year, and the twenty-eighth overall. This one ties in with the upcoming Pokemon Legends: Arceus, with yet another spiffy theme to add to your collection. The event kicks off on Friday and runs through the weekend as usual, with the requirement of earning 100 points if you want to keep the theme. Don’t forget!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition ($59.99)
Ever since Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (quite a mouthful of a name) was revealed for mobile, consoles, and PC, I was very excited and a bit skeptical because GTA Vice City is one of my favorite games of all time. I was also curious to see how GTA San Andreas would feel after being disappointed by it years ago. Barring those two, I had my first proper playthrough of GTA III on mobile years ago. As you can see, I’ve had different experiences with each of the three games redone for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition and wasn’t going to pass up a chance at covering this release.
I adore the GTA franchise and have played every game barring GTA IV multiple times across platforms now. Before getting into the meat and potatoes of the Switch version and how this Definitive Edition feels across platforms, you’re probably wondering why an early November 2021 release is being reviewed about two months late. By the time I was nearly done with all three games on Switch and Xbox Series X (I bought this to compare), Rockstar Games announced a patch and then released another one soon after. Following two big patches for all platforms, I decided to wait and see if more patches were coming anytime soon. Following the holiday break, it looks like there isn’t anything planned in the near future for now. This review is based on version 1.0.5 on Switch with comparisons to the Xbox Series X version and the original mobile versions of the three games. Let’s get into things now.
If you’ve not followed the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition release, it includes remakes of GTA III, GTA Vice City, and GTA San Andreas for all consoles, PC, and mobile platforms (coming in the future). These games have been remade in Unreal Engine 4 using the originals as a base. This has resulted in an experience that feels familiar but fresh in some ways, but one with many technical issues on even the most powerful console available today.
The extent of the remakes involve new lighting, new character models, redone animations, controls that feel more modern, some new features, radio stations missing some songs (sadly this was expected), and a plethora of technical issues that are yet to be addressed. If you’ve never played the three games here, this release is sadly anything but definitive right now. After some updates, it will be in an easy to recommend state, but for now it has a lot of issues on Switch with the more powerful console versions being much better while still not great.
All three games have performance issues and low resolution visuals both in docked and handheld mode on Nintendo Switch. Even with how much I love GTA Vice City, I’d rather play it on my phone with touch controls over the Switch version in its current state. Draw distance is also very bad on Switch with many visual effects missing on Nintendo’s hybrid platform. The controls feel a lot better than the mobile version when paired with a controller though so there is some merit to this release. Beyond that, the new character models are hit or miss. I don’t have a problem with most of the new ones, but some stick out really badly.
The patches so far have addressed the major asset issues with some of the signage in addition to fixing the sound effects. It was pretty bad that all three games had GTA San Andreas sound effects for the interface. Thankfully, this was addressed in the recent patch on Switch. Beyond that, the performance has sadly not been fixed alongside the overall image quality still being blurry on Nintendo’s hybrid system. I almost wish Rockstar Games had just gotten the mobile versions ported to Switch instead of this release. It also doesn’t help that the minimap looks really bad on Switch with jagged edges and a lower resolution overall.
Moving over to the Xbox Series X version to compare things, I was surprised at how it looked and ran. I don’t mean this in a good way. The image quality and performance on Xbox Series X is what I expected from last generation systems. It also doesn’t help that this version lacks some visual features compared to the PS5 version. Even when playing in the mode that prioritizes a higher frame rate over visual fidelity, neither of the three games run perfectly. These visual options are absent on the Nintendo Switch version.
So far, the visuals and performance are disappointing in both the weakest and strongest console versions of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. Despite that, I’ve powered through and played them both for about 60 hours so far. I do a lot of exploring and side activities in GTA games, and didn’t want to change that for these new releases. Looking beyond the technical issues, GTA Vice City has aged brilliantly. I’ve also come to appreciate GTA San Andreas in ways I didn’t when it originally released. GTA III remains the weakest of the three even today. It needs a Yakuza Kiwami-like remake to really be worth your time today.
The other caveat with Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch is the download size and how it will affect the late physical release. All three games together will not fit on a 16GB cartridge which means you’re going to have quite the big download once you get the physical release. A small part of me hopes that the delayed physical release ensures everything is on cartridge and the distributor pays for a 32GB cartridge, but that is very unlikely given how expensive those cartridges are. As of now, you can’t buy the games separately either so you’re going to have to pay full price and download 16.5 GB for GTA San Andreas, 5.1 GB for GTA Vice City, and 3.2 GB for GTA III. Thankfully you can install and delete individual games.
Rockstar Games and Grove Street Games did do some extra work for the Switch version beyond porting the games to Nintendo’s hybrid system. In addition to gyro support for aiming, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition has touchscreen support for the interface. This is a nice addition and I’m always glad to see more developers make use of the Switch’s woefully underutilized touch screen even for minor things like this.
If you love GTA like I do, these releases will be worth getting at a discount when they push out a few more patches. If we assume the performance issues will be resolved, this still will not be an essential or anywhere close to being definitive sadly. The real draw of this package will be having these three games that never saw releases on a Nintendo platform before. Sadly, that is the worst way to experience Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. If you have access to newer consoles, you’re better off playing there for now. It is a shame that Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition makes even Super Mario 3D All-Stars (that I found very lacking), feel like a polished release that is worth full price.
In its current state, the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is only worth getting if you can get it at a large discount and assuming you’re willing to put up with many technical issues on Switch. While a lot of the major bugs I ran into have been addressed in patches, this is still nowhere near as good as it should be given how important these three games are to gaming in general. It also doesn’t help that the Switch patches are delayed compared to other platforms.-Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5
To Be Or Not To Be ($6.99)
You know, I think if we had more fun with Shakespeare in general, people wouldn’t end up having so much trauma about having to study it. And there’s really no better way to have fun with Shakespeare than Ryan North’s hilarious choice-based takes on his plays. If you want one of those books on your Nintendo Switch, that is finally an option. Tin Man Games has brought over its superb conversion of Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be, and it’s just as good now as it was all those years ago when it first hit mobile.
The idea here is that Ryan North rewrote the classic Hamlet as a choice-based gamebook. You can follow the way the story is meant to go and just enjoy the humorous prose and pictures, but it’s a lot more fun to start getting creative and doing what Shakespeare never dreamed. Want to play as Ophelia and forget all about that loser Hamlet? Sure, you can do that. Play as Hamlet and give up on your vengeance to find happier outcomes? Lots of chances for that. Heck, if you play your cards right you might even be able to take on the role of Ryan North! There are lots of endings to find, along with some artwork that you can collect and view in a gallery later on.
The gallery, presentation, and various options make this a more enjoyable experience than simply reading the actual book. As with most electronic versions of gamebooks it’s certainly more easier to thumb around and explore different branches, too. The whole vibe Tin Man has infused this game with matches perfectly with the words by North and art by his various collaborators. Exploring all of the routes, collecting all of the art, and just seeing what silly little things you can find make for an incredibly pleasant gaming experience, one with few games to compare to on the Switch.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash ($7.99)
It’s very frustrating for all involved parties when an obscure vintage console has an exceptional exclusive on it. It’s hard to recommend someone go out and pay what is now a rather considerable amount of money to get a NEOGEO Pocket Color to play any particular game, and it’s equally hard to justify spending that money when you’re on the other end of a recommendation. SNK and Code Mystics’ NEOGEO Pocket Color Selection series has been a godsend in addressing this situation, and one of the biggest guns in the console’s library has finally joined the party.
Indeed, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash may be the singularly most important game in the ill-fated handheld’s library, and the one most worthy of bringing back. It’s unique, high-quality, well-known, fetches a pretty penny on the aftermarket, has features that can only be unlocked by linking to other expensive games, and frankly hasn’t been surpassed in spite of its publisher’s several attempts to do so. It is symbolic of the NEOGEO Pocket Color in a way perhaps no other game is, and the only other title from the console’s library that I think could garner a similar amount of attention stars a certain blue hedgehog.
The game originally came in two different flavors, as was the style at the time. There was an SNK version, and a Capcom version. This Switch port lets you play either of them. Both of them, really. They keep track of their saves independently. You can also play the Japanese versions, if that’s your fancy. In one of many cool features, you can also trade between your SNK version and your Capcom version, allowing you to collect all of the 300 cards by yourself. If you own SNK Vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium or the NEOGEO Pocket Color Selection Volume 1 set, you can also link up with that game to get some extra goodies. Code Mystics really covered all the bases here.
Naturally, all the other usual features we’ve seen in these releases are here. Two players can play on one screen. You can adjust screen dimensions, apply a filter, remap controls, and choose whichever version of the NEOGEO Pocket Color you want as your border. The game automatically saves your spot, and you can rewind a fair bit if you need to. While I wish Code Mystics would implement more save state slots, it’s really hard to find much to complain about in terms of options and extras. They’ve even got a copy of the original manual in here for each version.
How about the game itself? Not all obscurities can live up to their reputation, but Card Fighters’ Clash does. It’s a collectible card game adventure, with some inspiration from Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. You’ll battle a variety of opponents, collecting more cards for your deck as you go. The card game itself will be familiar to those who have played some of the more popular classic collectible card games. You have to send out fighters and attack your opponent, making use of special abilities at opportune moments. It’s pretty easy to pick up, but offers a fair amount of depth. Having all of those SNK and Capcom characters adorning the cards adds a little extra fun.
SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash was one of the most popular games on its console, and even now it’s easy to see why. It’s one of those games that gives back the more you put into it, and Code Mystics has done just about everything possible to make sure you can enjoy it to the fullest. Those curious about what the NEOGEO Pocket Color had to offer beyond its excellent fighting games will want to pick this up, and it goes without saying that card game fans should dive in on this one as well.
SwitchArcade Score: 5/5
Labyrinth Legend ($14.99)
An action-RPG roguelite from NIS America and Regista, Labyrinth Legend is a serviceable take on the concept that doesn’t stretch much farther than that. Take your character into the dungeons to battle monsters, earn loot, find crafting materials, and complete missions. You can play it alone or rope in another player for some local co-op. I’ll have a review of this one soon, but it’s alright.
Attack on Beetle ($5.99)
This game makes its way over from mobile platforms, and it’s a bit of a quirky one. In terms of gameplay, it reminds me a lot of Slither.io. You control an insect and need to eat slimes to add more insects to your ranks until you have enough to overcome the other swarms on the stage. You have to use the right type and element of insect to handle each stage or you’ll end up being the one that gets eaten. Grab the free version from the App Store of your choice and see how you like it before you commit.
Sit Ups Workout ($4.99)
From the developer of Push Ups Workout, here’s Sit Ups Workout. You can probably imagine how this goes. It’s a 10-week program designed to get you doing up to 250 sit-ups in one go by the end. Somehow, it’s handheld mode only. How does that even work? Anyway, it will track your progress for you and give you some encouragement. Alternatively, you can just do some sit-ups every day without this and save yourself a fiver.
Cop Car Police Simulator Chase ($14.99)
This is a port of a free-to-play mobile game, and the developers apparently couldn’t even be bothered to make it work in docked mode. It’s kind of a bargain bin open world game where you play as a cop. You can try it out for free on your mobile device. I presume this has been rebalanced to account for the lack of IAPs, but I haven’t looked into it that deeply. I feel like you could probably do better for your open world needs at or around this price point, but I leave that in your hands.
Trigger Dungeon ($3.99)
Another super-hard platformer that takes delight in putting you through a meat grinder. It’s fine for what it is. The low price perhaps will make it easier for some to swallow its lack of ambition.
Swing Saga ($1.99)
This is a straightforward and simple swinging game. Just hit the button at the right time and away you go. Pull off as many as you can before you fail. There are lots of different characters, plus coins to collect that you can use to get goodies from an in-game shop. It’s two bucks and it sure feels like it. Somehow not the cheapest game released today.
Drowning Cross ($0.99)
No, this is our cheapest game of the day. Oddly, it’s better than a lot of the other games that hit today. It’s a point-and-click style adventure game where a guy named Jeremy needs to find his missing boyfriend Leo after a mysterious car accident. It’s not a terribly long game, with thirty scenes to explore and twelve other characters to meet, but it’s sure as heck more than a dollar’s worth. There are two different endings and some optional things to do, too.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Well, what do we have today? Some Bandai Namco games, which is nice. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is so cheap you’d be silly to pass it up. Oh, and what’s that I see? Some pre-order discounts for the Kingdom Hearts Cloud games. Well, that’s interesting. That means you can pre-order those now, I guess. And in the outbox, not much at all. Such is how things go some days, friends. Check those lists as usual.
Select New Games on Sale
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 DE ($29.69 from $89.99 until 1/24)
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/24)
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/24)
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/24)
Captain Tsubasa RoNC DE ($28.04 from $84.99 until 1/24)
My Hero One’s Justice 2 DE ($27.99 from $79.99 until 1/24)
Dragon Ball FighterZ FE ($15.19 from $94.99 until 1/24)
Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythmic Adv.1 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 1/24)
Taiko no Tatsujin Rhythmic Adv.2 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 1/24)
Operation Hardcore ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/24)
Trash Quest ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/24)
Circa Infinity Ultimate ($1.99 from $10.99 until 1/24)
Battle of Kings ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/24)
S.N.I.P.E.R. Hunter Scope ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/24)
Racing Karts ($4.49 from $4.99 until 1/25)
ToeJam & Earl Back in the Groove ($2.09 from $14.99 until 1/25)
Azure Saga: Pathfinder DE ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
Rage in Peace ($5.19 from $12.99 until 1/25)
Ultra Space Battle Brawl ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/25)
My Lovely Daughter ($5.99 from $14.99 until 1/25)
She and the Light Bearer ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/25)
MagiCat ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/25)
Time Tenshi ($8.99 from $14.99 until 1/28)
Bargain Hunter ($7.49 from $12.49 until 1/28)
Alpaca Ball Allstars ($14.99 from $19.99 until 1/31)
Gordian Rooms ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
SkateBIRD ($16.99 from $19.99 until 2/1)
Gunman Clive HD Collection ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Mechstermination Force ($2.39 from $11.99 until 2/1)
Super Punch Patrol ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/1)
Trine Enchanted Edition ($3.74 from $14.999 until 2/1)
Trine 2: Complete Story ($4.24 from $16.99 until 2/1)
Trine 3: Artifacts of Power ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/1)
Boreal Blade ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/1)
Coffee Talk ($7.79 from $12.99 until 2/1)
Nine Parchments ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/1)
Collapsed ($6.75 from $15.00 until 2/6)
Save Koch ($2.00 from $20.00 until 2/6)
Bubble Cats ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/7)
Kids Farm Puzzle ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Adrenaline Rush Miami Drive ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/7)
Real Drift Racing ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Jet Ski Rush ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/7)
Lydia ($1.99 from $4.00 until 2/7)
Soul Searching ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Infini ($1.99 from $12.00 until 2/7)
Journey of the Broken Circle ($1.99 from $8.00 until 2/7)
EQQO ($1.99 from $6.00 until 2/7)
Blood Breed ($1.99 from $5.99 until 2/7)
A Night at the Races ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Stilstand ($1.99 from $2.99 until 2/7)
Cosmic Top Secret ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Zombie Hill Race ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
My Coloring Book ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Go! Fish Go! ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/7)
Poker Texas & Omaha Hold ‘Em ($2.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Castle of Heart ($1.99 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Deadly Fighter 2 ($1.99 from $3.99 until 2/7)
Warplanes WW2 Dogfight ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Football Cup 2021 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Chess Ace ($1.99 from $7.99 until 2/7)
Destrobots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/7)
Salad Bar Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/7)
My Magic Florist ($1.99 from $6.99 until 2/7)
Pet Shop Snacks ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/7)
Family Mysteries: PP ($2.09 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Demon Hunter: Revelation ($2.09 from $14.99 until 2/7)
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Cloud ($31.99 from $39.99 until 3/1)
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Cloud ($39.99 from $49.99 until 3/1)
Kingdom Hearts 3 + Re Mind Cloud ($39.99 from $49.99 until 3/1)
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Cloud ($71.99 from $89.99 until 3/1)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 19th
Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia ($4.99 from $12.99 until 1/19)
Outbreak ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/19)
Outbreak Lost Hope ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/19)
Outbreak: Endless Nightmares ($9.99 from $19.99 until 1/19)
Outbreak: Epidemic ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/19)
Outbreak: The New Nightmare ($6.49 from $12.99 until 1/19)
Reflex Unit 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/19)
Splatter ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/19)
SUPERHOT ($14.99 from $24.99 until 1/19)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/19)
WorldNeverland: Elnea Kingdom ($11.99 from $29.99 until 1/19)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with looks at a couple of new releases, plus whatever sales and news roll in. Perhaps a review or two if I have the time. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!