Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 22nd, 2024. The bad news: today’s new releases are absolutely dire. Not even interesting bin fodder, just a few nothing burgers. The good news: we have some reviews for you. Our pal Mikhail has his take on the upcoming release of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy, and I have my takes on Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, and Reigns: Three Kingdoms. After that, we address the aforementioned underwhelming new releases, then finish up with the usual new sales and expiring discounts of the day. Let’s go!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy ($49.99)
After the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy saw the original three main games in the series hit modern platforms, I was expecting Capcom to bring 4,5,6 to the same platforms, but it took quite a while. In the meantime, we had the superlative The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles hit consoles and PC. Fast forward to today, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is finally here, and Capcom made sure to make the wait worth it with the slew of extras and with how good this release feels on Switch.
We’ve already reviewed the games included here through their mobile releases so I won’t dwell on them too much, but revisiting many of these stories and characters after so long (compared to when I played them on iOS or 3DS) has been refreshing, and it really makes me hope Capcom has done all these collections and remasters to finally lead into a new main Ace Attorney game with Shu Takumi, but that remains to be seen.
Barring the main games included here, there are quality of life and accessibility options included. These are all complemented by a very stylish menu interface. Right off the bat, you can tell Capcom invested more resources into this package compared to the original trilogy. For accessibility, you can thankfully disable screen flashes, enable an option to hide the HUD, change subtitles and text box related settings, and also enable a story mode that plays the game for you or lets you experience it as a visual novel. There is also a consultation option that lets you consult your partner for help in Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice if you need it.
In terms of extras, the museum lets you listen to music from the series coupled with lovely chibi character animations, view a plethora of art and videos from the games, and also set things up for funny scenes in the animation studio. In-game achievements are included on Switch as a part of the accolades menu since the Switch has no system wide achievements. You can definitely tell how the games evolved over each entry and platforms with how the visuals saw upgrades from the original GBA days to the 3DS entries.
Speaking of upgrades, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy looks brilliant on the Switch’s OLED screen and also docked on my monitor. I wrote about how it is on Steam Deck already, but I don’t have a Steam Deck OLED model yet, so this Switch version is the best looking version of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy that I own, and I loved playing it with touch controls.
In terms of value, the three games with all DLC on 3DS (RIP) or mobile cost more than this collection does, and that’s not even counting the extra content included. As a value proposition, it might seem like this bundle is expensive compared to prior releases, but it definitely is worth it. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who recently played these games though, because just the extra content doesn’t justify the full asking price.
My only complaints with this release also apply to the original games. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies isn’t as strong as the other games outside of its DLC. Most of my friends dislike Spirit of Justice, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it, and I finally got to experience all of the DLC for it here. So while it may sound like I’m down on certain aspects, even a subpar Ace Attorney game is worth playing.
While I still prefer the original trilogy games overall, there’s no denying the sheer amount of quality and effort put into Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy. It makes the original trilogy feel like a very bare-bones release in comparison thanks to the amazing extras. The Great Ace Attorney games remain the peak of the franchise, but I adored Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and enjoyed my time with Dual Destinies including its DLC and revisiting Spirit of Justice. Now we need a new entry. Come on, Capcom. -Mikhail Madnani
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown ($49.99)
I’m not a huge Prince of Persia fan. I’ll be up-front about that. I found the first game awkward to play and couldn’t really get into it. The second game, I liked even less. Prince of Persia 3D? I played it at an E3 show and pretty much got my fill. Sands of Time? Okay, that one was neat. Its sequels, I didn’t care for. I actually liked the PS3/360 reboot, but I wasn’t blown away by it. Lots of respect for the series; just not all that into it personally.
With that in mind, I didn’t really have any expectations from Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. Good or bad, it’s not like it was going to be of any major concern to me. Some fans seemed upset that it was a game set on a 2D plane, and that it didn’t star any of the familiar characters. Others seemed to be interested but were treating it as a side game, a lesser snack while waiting for the real prince to return. Well, I hoped it turned out good for all of them. I’ll just be over here, playing some weird PC-8801 games or something. Oh, I’m reviewing it? Okay, I’ll give it a go.
I may not be a huge Prince of Persia fan, but I can now say I am a big Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown fan. This is an amazing Metroidvania-style action-adventure game. It really has it all. The combat is challenging and fun, with a focus on parries and a nice variety of moves to pull off. Boss battles in particular are wild. The exploration is excellent. The Citadel that the game is largely set in is absolutely massive, and there are lots of cool traversal upgrades that allow you to move through it in increasingly satisfying ways. The main character Sargon is incredibly nimble and agile, and the Citadel starts to feel like your own personal playground before long. Even the story is quite interesting, and that’s not something I usually concern myself with much in this genre.
I also want to mention the overall user interface and experience, because I feel like the development team has really put in the work here. You have all kinds of accessibility options to tailor the experience to your needs, some handy features that make navigating the huge map a lot more manageable, and clean menus that are easy on the eyes and sensibly laid out. This level of polish of course extends to the presentation. The game looks, sounds, and runs really good on the Nintendo Switch, so if this is your platform of choice you needn’t worry. Some loading times here and there, but I imagine we’re all used to that now.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a stunning entry in both the Prince of Persia series and the Metroidvania genre. Despite the game running almost twenty hours in length, I felt like it went by in a flash. It hits every note it has to, and has quickly become one of my favorite games in this genre in quite some time. Throw in a ton of options for those who would prefer an easier or harder experience, and you’ve got a real winner. I’m not too thrilled with the Ubisoft Connect stuff, but otherwise this is a must-have title to kick off your year with.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank ($14.99)
Making the jump from an action-adventure game to a roguelite twin-stick shooter might be an odd one for most heroes, but Turnip Boy isn’t like the rest of those goody two-shoes. His defeat of the evil mayor in the first game has left a chaotic void, and in all of this nonsense Turnip Boy gets recruited to rob a bank. Yes, he is the root of all the problems and he’ll probably cause more, but there’s work to be done. And who’s to say this bank isn’t some kind of evil bank? It probably is. Anyway, time for robbing!
The basic loop of the game sees you going in, stealing as much cash as you can while making your way in as far as you can, and then getting out. You then use your ill-gotten loot to upgrade all sorts of things before heading back in. Repeat until you finish the game, more or less. There are a bunch of wacky weapons, tools, and other things to collect. Oh, hats! There are hats. It plays a lot like Enter the Gungeon, and when you throw in the irreverent sense of humor that made the first Turnip Boy game so fun, you have a good silly time.
Or you would, if you weren’t playing this game on the Switch. Turnip Boy Robs a Bank doesn’t feel like the kind of game that should be causing trouble for this admittedly aging hardware, but it does. Whenever you hit any remotely busy sections of the bank, the framerate drops, something staggeringly. Those who can forgive that kind of thing can still enjoy the game, but it was distracting even for me. You can find so many games similar to this on the Switch that don’t run into similar problems, and that makes it very hard to recommend this one despite the generally good quality of the underlying game.
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is a pretty good take on the roguelite action genre that fans of games like Enter the Gungeon will want to check out… but perhaps not on Switch. While the game itself is quite enjoyable for the most part and checks off the necessary boxes, there are significant performance issues at play here that drag down the experience. If you have another option to play it on, I’d recommend doing so. If all you have is a Switch, I think you’re better off playing a better-optimized Switch roguelite.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Reigns: Three Kingdoms ($2.99)
I’ll be frank and say I wasn’t as enamored of the original Reigns as many were. I think it was a clever way to present a choice-based game, building on the familiar swiping motion we all use regularly on our mobile phones. But I also found it a bit repetitive and ultimately a bit more lacking in depth than I was hoping for. Each subsequent follow-up has only worn the concept out a little more for me. Playing the games outside of the phone context also feels a bit odd. So here we are, with the Switch version of a game we’ve seen previously via Netflix’s mobile offerings. How is it?
Well, if you’ve loved every game in the series, step right up. You’ll have just as good a time here as with any of them, and you’ll certainly appreciate some of the new additions to the formula. The Three Kingdoms setting works out really well for this kind of game, and it will take quite a lot of playing before you’ll see everything. There’s even a little online multiplayer mode here, but good luck finding someone to play with unless you arrange it on your own. That said, even if you never do find someone to cross swords with, there’s enough here to justify the price tag.
There are a bunch of quests to complete, lots of characters to recruit, and an overall more strategic feel to the proceedings. It’s not a carbon copy of what has come before. That said, after so many games in this series I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little spent on the overall package. I know the art is a unifying element, and it’s hard to imagine Reigns without its characteristic speedy “swipe left/right” gameplay, but it’s all starting to feel like I’ve done this before. Several times, even. That isn’t really a problem with this game specifically. I think Reigns: Three Kingdoms is as good as any game in the series has been. I suppose it’s the Kairosoft thing, isn’t it? Your first one will dazzle you, but your fifth one will feel a lot less interesting. I also think the games lose something outside of the mobile framework, but that too might just be a “me” problem.
If you’ve enjoyed all of the previous Reigns games and haven’t played this one before on mobile, you’ll have a pleasant time digging into Reigns: Three Kingdoms. On the other hand, if you’re like and have felt a little burnt out on the last couple of games in the series, I’m not sure this one will really thrill you despite its new elements. Reigns: Three Kingdoms tries to teach this old dog a new trick or two, but in the end it’s still relying on the same old show.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
The Bin Bunch
Monster Truck Freestyle ($3.99)
Sudoku Game for Kids ($9.99)
(North American eShop, US Prices)
Some good games in the list today, friends. Gravity Circuit is a good one, and I know a lot of folks who’ll stand up for Vernal Edge as well. Those are just two quick call-outs; do check the list for more. Not much in the outbox today, but give it a swift glance as well just to see if anything grabs you.
Select New Sales
Mystic Academy: Escape Room ($6.99 from $10.99 until 1/30)
They Always Run ($11.99 from $19.99 until 1/31)
Double Kick Heroes ($8.79 from $21.99 until 1/31)
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure ($6.99 from $19.99 until 1/31)
Revita ($11.89 from $16.99 until 1/31)
Piczle Cross Adventure ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
NeuroVoider ($2.79 from $13.99 until 1/31)
ScourgeBringer ($5.94 from $16.99 until 1/31)
Astria Ascending ($17.99 from $39.99 until 1/31)
Guild of Ascension ($7.64 from $16.99 until 1/31)
Souldiers ($11.99 from $19.99 until 1/31)
Vernal Edge ($15.39 from $21.99 until 1/31)
Gravity Circuit ($16.49 from $21.99 until 1/31)
Fireball Wizard ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Astrologaster ($3.99 from $9.99 until 1/31)
Spirit of the Island ($19.99 from $24.99 until 1/31)
Pankapu ($2.39 from $11.99 until 1/31)
SUPERHOT ($9.99 from $24.99 until 2/2)
Slime Rancher: Plortable ($12.49 from $24.99 until 2/2)
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator ($11.99 from $19.99 until 2/4)
Among Us ($3.00 from $5.00 until 2/4)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, January 23rd
60 Parsecs! ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/23)
60 Seconds! Reatomized ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/23)
Aliisha: The Oblivion of Twin Goddesses ($13.19 from $32.99 until 1/23)
Charrua Soccer: Pro Edition ($7.19 from $8.99 until 1/23)
Game of Dragons ($13.93 from $19.90 until 1/23)
Horror Gallery ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/23)
Raid on Taihoku ($7.69 from $10.99 until 1/23)
RichMan 11 ($13.29 from $18.99 until 1/23)
RichMan 4 Fun ($9.59 from $11.99 until 1/23)
Temple of Horror ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/23)
X-Force Under Attack ($2.00 from $10.00 until 1/23)
That’s all for today. Worry not, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with some proper new releases, plus some reviews and all the usual sales stuff. Maybe some news? I’m not sure. I just know that for the first Tuesday this year, I’m not going to the hospital. Well, hopefully anyway. Who can see the future? I hope you all have a wonderful Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!