SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Bubsy: Paws of Fury’ and ‘Obakeidoro’ Reviews, ‘Untitled Goose Game’ Release Date Announced, Today’s New Releases, the Latest Sales, and More
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 2nd, 2019. Wow, September already. Those years really fly by as you get older, friends. They go especially quickly when they’re filled with good times, and this month has a lot of those for Switch owners. Every week is going to be wilder than the last, so I hope you’ve saved a bit of dough. Today we’ve got a pair of reviews for releases from last week, along with a couple of news bits, summaries of games that dropped out of thin air late last week, and the customary list of new sales. Let’s have a look!
Aritcle Table Of Contents
‘Castle Crashers Remastered’ Arrives on Switch September 17th
I know what you’re thinking: there aren’t enough games coming out this month. Well, don’t worry, my friend. The Behemoth has decided to relieve the boredom of a slow September by scheduling Castle Crashers Remastered for a release on September 17th. The game will sell for $14.99 and will include all the grand beat-em-up action the classic original had to offer but with improved visuals and HD Rumble. It also includes all of the DLC that the original game got over the years.
‘Untitled Goose Game’ Comes Out September 20th
Ha ha, I was just making a cheeky joke about how there are too many interesting games coming out this month, and here we are with another one. The quirky-looking game where you play as a jerkhead goose finally has a release date: September 20th. Yes, the same day as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Will you choose to be the kid who ticks off fowl, or the fowl who ticks off kids? It’s up to you friends, but with Untitled Goose Game costing just $19.99, you could probably do both?
Bubsy: Paws on Fire ($24.99)
I think there are two ways to look at Bubsy: Paws on Fire. From one point of view, this is probably the best Bubsy game ever. I’m actually rather fond of the first Bubsy, even though it seems to get a lot of stick from people these days. It was no Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario World, but it was lot better than a good chunk of the platforming fare in that era. It was fast, it had huge levels with lots of secrets, and the visuals were pretty good. The sequels? None of them have gone all that well, to say the least. Even the overly self-aware revival from a couple of years ago was pretty poor. Bubsy: Paws on Fire is more limited in its scope, trading out free-form platforming for stage-based auto-running, but it’s a far more competent example of the latter than any of the other sequels have been of the former.
From another point of view, this is the worst game in Choice Provisions’s Runner series. Bit.Trip.Runner was the break out success of the Bit.Trip line that got its start on the Nintendo Wii almost 10 years ago. It was followed up by a very well-received sequel in the form of Runner2, and a less well-received second sequel, Runner3. Bubsy: Paws on Fire isn’t Runner4, but it shares an awful lot with those games, good and bad. I suppose the one thing that Bubsy and Runner truly had in common was that both were badly in need of a shake-up. I’m not sure this particular marriage was the best for both partners, though. As much as having a stable framework has benefited the unreliable Bubsy brand, I don’t think what Runner necessarily needed was a deliberately annoying cast of characters.
Well, no sense arguing about oughts and ought-nots. Bubsy: Paws on Fire is what it is, and what it is is a stage-based auto-runner in the vein of the Runner games. Each stage is filled with an assortment of hazards that will send you back to the last checkpoint if you crash into them, as well an assortment of collectibles that you can try to grab to open up new stages and buy new costumes. There are multiple characters, and each stage cleared with a character will earn you a completion medal. Moving forward requires you to have a certain number of said medals, which means you’re definitely going to be playing stages more than once to get each character’s rewards.
The star of the show, Bubsy, can jump, glide, and pounce on enemies. If you want to grab all of the yarn balls in each level, you’ll need to master using these, sometimes in quick succession. Virgil Reality (yes, that’s his name) is a vole who appeared in the failed cartoon pilot and a promotional comic made for Bubsy 2. He controls like Bubsy but swaps out the glide move for a double-jump. He can’t pounce, but he can slide. Woolie is a member of the alien race that Bubsy fended off in the first game, but she’s on his side this time. She pilots a flying saucer and the gameplay in her versions of the stages is pure shoot-em-up action. Finally, if you collect all of the necessary items on each stage, you’ll unlock a bonus level where you play as Arnold, another refugee from the failed pilot and Bubsy 2. His levels shift the perspective to a behind-the-back view and are very similar to the bonus stages in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Some deep cuts, then. But I suppose they had to be. They certainly do inject some much-needed variety into the well-worn auto-runner format, if nothing else. Well, some of the characters do, anyway. I feel like Virgil’s moveset could have and should have just been integrated into Bubsy’s arsenal, as having to run each stage with both him and Bubsy adds an extra layer of monotony to a game that really didn’t need more of that. The runner levels are probably the best of the lot, which makes sense given the pedigree of the development team. The shoot-em-up levels are fine, while Arnold’s levels are, much like the Sonic bonus stages they seem to be patterned after, a bit too fast and loosey-goosey in the control department to really get into.
Thanks to these characters, this game certainly isn’t hurting for content. Four different characters means three different variations on each level plus one bonus level for each and every node on the map. That, in turn, means four sets of collectibles for each level, requiring you to memorize an awful lot of perfect runs and paths. There are three worlds and each has ten nodes plus one boss battle. I’m sure you can do the math on that. If you enjoy the Runner style of gameplay, there’s an awful lot here to dig into. Sure, two of the characters go in different gameplay directions, but the focus on collecting all the goodies without hitting anything dangerous unites them. I’ve seen some people say the price feels a bit high on this game, and I agree with that to an extent, but in terms of pure hours of content I don’t think it’s too far from where it ought to be.
Naturally, the game is drenched in humor. Every character has a quip for every stage along with a bunch of other expressions they’ll use in certain situations. The frequent and sometimes lengthy load screens also pack in some jokes, and the descriptions of the unlockable costumes are written with an eye to amuse, too. Trading on Bubsy’s modern reputation of being an obnoxious twit, a lot of the quips are overbearingly irritating. Bubsy makes lame gags and oversells them. Virgil busts out the stock Comic Book Store Guy lines. Woolie really likes her alien puns. Arnold just wants some peace and quiet. I can’t say any of these lines made me smile, but at least they’re kept to a relative minimum. The other bits of humor work a lot better. The loading screens are fortunately amusing. The opening and closing cinematics have some good gags in them.
While a lot of this infused personality is irritating and may very well repel some people, it does help the game feel less repetitive than Runner3 did. Don’t get me wrong. This is still a very, very repetitive game that is almost certainly best digested in smaller chunks. But the characters and the varying gameplay styles they bring with them are a step in the right direction. Maybe… maybe not these characters specifically, but the basic idea is a good one. And Choice Provisions has done its usual good job on the visuals and audio. It’s always quite clear what can and can’t hurt you, and the collectibles do a great job of bread-crumbing you along the best path. The music isn’t tied quite as tightly to the gameplay as it is in Runner, but the game uses sound effects well to make it feel like you’re bouncing along to the beat.
Paws of Fury seems to be struggling a little with the Switch’s hardware limitations, though. The visuals are nice but in practice the game doesn’t feel as smooth as you’d like a challenging runner to be. The load times can be pretty lengthy at times, too. The game just seems to be struggling at times, especially in the more complex levels. It’s too bad because the game’s pick-up-and-play nature fits the Switch perfectly, but those load times and performance issues are a bit of a wet blanket.
Bubsy: Paws of Fury isn’t that bad. It’s pretty fun to play here and there, I’d say. And that’s more of a win than I’d ever have expected Bubsy to score in the year 2019. Nailing down the proper timing and rhythm to beat each stage as the difficulty gradually heats up is as fun here as it has been in any of the Runner games, even if we’re assuredly hitting diminishing returns with this particular formula. The Switch port is a bit rough around the edges, but it’s playable enough to tolerate. As long as you’re prepared for what you’re getting into here, you’ll probably find the game to be quite decent. Strangely enough, I suspect the people who will be most turned off by Paws of Fury will be Bubsy fans disappointed that the game isn’t a regular platformer. I’m not sure how well Runner funs will take to having the characters replaced with a deliberately annoying group of literal rejects from the 1990s, either. But it wouldn’t really be Bubsy if it wasn’t cheesing somebody off, right?
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
After my family had so much fun with Heave Ho in the last few weeks, I was pretty high on getting into more multiplayer Switch action. And what luck! A new game was coming out that looked very promising. Obakeidoro‘s title is a combination of the Japanese words for ghost/monster and the children’s game Cops and Robbers, and that is basically the concept in a nutshell. One player is a ghost who has to catch all three of the other players, who take the roles of human children. The kids can spring their captured cohorts if they’re careful about it, but the monster is considerably more powerful and should not be underestimated. If all three kids get locked up, the monster wins. If even one of the kids remains free when the timer is up, the kids win.
It’s a good idea for a game. And the presentation is nice and family-friendly, unlike that nasty boy Jason and his Friday the 13th game. You can play solo against the AI, or play multiplayer in splitscreen, via local wireless, or over the internet. Playing the game will earn coins and experience points, allowing you to unlock new monsters and new lanterns for the kids. Each new unlock brings some sort of unique advantage, giving you new abilities or improved capabilities. There are several stages to play on, and experience levels for your play as the kids and the monster are tracked separately, which theoretically should make it easier to match you with the right level of players when you jump online. Sounds like a reasonably solid effort, right?
I’m not going to say that Obakeidoro can’t be fun. There were some games where everything went well and we all had a pretty good time. But at least half of the time, the enjoyment was spoiled by one thing or another. As is often the case with asymmetrical multiplayer games, the balancing isn’t quite right here. The monster is at a disadvantage thanks to how big the stages are and how easy it is for a human player to rescue any of their captured friends. The timer is understandably quite tight, and if the people playing as the kids are even a little bit good at the game, the monster’s job is extremely difficult. It doesn’t help that the game suffers from very unclear collision detection. There were so many times where my monster clearly brought his claws around a kid only for it to not count, while sometimes I’d clutch at thin air and somehow suck my opponent in.
These collision issues are probably the worst offender from the game’s overall buggy feeling. Everything outside of the gameplay feels really nicely polished, but once you get into the actual action, Obakeidoro comes off a lot like it’s unfinished. That extends to the game’s reward balancing as well. You’ll earn coins at a pretty steady rate, but experience points don’t pace properly alongside them. You’ll have the money to buy new things long before you have the right level to allow you to buy them. But you’ll want to buy them, because the better lanterns and monsters offer a clear advantage that other players will take advantage of if you play online. Speaking of that, either the player pool is too small or the matchmaking isn’t taking ranks properly into account. I was constantly thrown in with players of the highest level even when I had just started, and I probably don’t need to tell you how that went.
Obakeidoro has a good idea behind it, but so long as you don’t mind gore, it’s an idea that Friday the 13th: The Game does a whole lot better even taking its higher price into account. The execution is just off here on everything from the fundamental balance to the rate of opening unlockables to the basic functionality of the mechanics. I love the game’s style and concept, but it’s just not very enjoyable to play.
SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5
Bulletstorm Duke of Switch Edition ($29.99)
I think it’s funny that in a week full of re-releases of older games, somehow Bulletstorm, the newest of the bunch by far, feels the most dated. Not old enough to be a classic yet, I suppose. While the mechanics and humor are often decidedly last-generation in a lot of ways, Bulletstorm is still a fun shooter and the Switch port is very well-done. If you’ve blazed through all the DOOM games and are looking for your next fix of white-knuckle rip-and-tear action, this game certainly won’t let you down. And yes, Duke Nukem himself makes the scene in this edition, fitting in rather snugly for someone who was added to the game completely post-hoc.
Risk of Rain 2 ($29.99)
Wow, what a nice surprise to see appear in the eShop. Risk of Rain 2 is an incredibly fun roguelite action game that mixes things up by having the game play from a 3D perspective. The Switch version is quite solid and plays nicely in both docked and handheld play. I don’t think I need to tell anyone that a great roguelite and the Switch are typically a match made in heaven, and Risk of Rain 2 is no exception. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good randomized romp rippling with ridiculous and raucous action.
It’s a fairly small list today, but there are a few good things to be had. The Trine games are on sale pretty often, but the first two games in particular are worth picking up. Treasure Stack is a fun puzzle game, and Hand of Fate 2 is just awesome. As for the outbox, we’ll be saying a fond farewell to those lovely Mega Man sales, along with the conclusion of the Curve Digital sale. Do what you must, but most of those games will likely be on sale again before the end of the year so you may want to save your money instead.
New Games on Sale
Legend of the Skyfish ($6.39 from $7.99 until 9/16)
Nine Parchments ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/13)
Werewolf Pinball ($1.97 from $2.99 until 9/18)
Mummy Pinball ($1.97 from $2.99 until 9/18)
Defunct ($0.74 from $14.99 until 9/18)
Trine Enchanted ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/13)
Trine 2: Complete Story ($10.19 from $16.99 until 9/13)
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power ($16.99 from ($19.99 until 9/13)
Soap Dodgem ($0.99 from $1.99 until 9/19)
Bombfest ($8.99 from $12.99 until 9/13)
Quest for the Golden Duck ($0.39 from $9.99 until 9/15)
Treasure Stack ($8.99 from $19.99 until 9/11)
Xenon Racer ($13.99 from $39.99 until 9/19)
Among the Sleep – Enhanced ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/18)
Human Rocket Person ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/13)
Let’s Go Nuts ($3.49 from $9.99 until 9/19)
Escape from the Universe ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/6)
AI: The Somnium Files ($53.99 from $59.99 until 9/17)
Deployment ($2.49 from $9.99 until 9/8)
Hand of Fate 2 ($17.99 from $29.99 until 9/7)
Magic Nations ($1.50 from $3.00 until 9/8)
InkSplosion ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/16)
Kentucky Robo Chicken ($0.99 from $2.49 until 9/22)
Jack N’ Jill DX ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/16)
I Am The Hero ($6.69 from $9.99 until 9/16)
Heroes Trials ($4.01 from $5.99 until 9/16)
Access Denied ($3.34 from $4.99 until 9/16)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 3rd
Blade II – The Return of Evil ($20.00 from $25.00 until 9/3)
Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling ($9.89 from $14.99 until 9/3)
Dead Dungeon ($1.49 from $4.99 until 9/3)
Doom & Destiny ($9.59 from $11.99 until 9/3)
Event Horizon ($1.79 from $5.99 until 9/3)
Fin and the Ancient Mystery ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/3)
For The King ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/3)
Hue ($6.99 from $9.99 until 9/3)
Manual Samuel ($3.99 from $9.99 until 9/3)
Mega Man 11 ($19.99 from $29.99 until 9/3)
Mega Man Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $14.99 until 9/3)
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
Miner Warfare ($6.39 from $7.99 until 9/3)
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
Pumped BMX Pro ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/3)
Riddled Corpses EX ($6.99 from $9.99 until 9/3)
Rogue Aces ($5.19 from $12.99 until 9/3)
Serial Cleaner ($1.49 from $14.99 until 9/3)
Shadow of Loot Box ($4.79 from $7.99 until 9/3)
Smoke and Sacrifice ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
Snake Pass ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
Sweet Witches ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/3)
Tardy ($2.99 from $9.99 until 9/3)
The Flame In The Flood: Complete ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/3)
The Swindle ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/3)
Velocity 2X ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/3)
When Ski Lifts Go Wrong ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/3)
That’s all we’ve got for today, friends. Tomorrow is a huge day for new releases, so I hope you’ll come back around here and check them all out with me. We’ll also have whatever news and new sales come our way, so it should be a pretty good one all around. I hope you all have a great day, and as always, thanks for reading!