Hello dear readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 24, 2023. We have a few more reviews for you today, all written by yours truly. The main star is Persona 4 goldand backup are the decent ones Empty prison and the not-so-decent ones Motorcycle mechanic simulator 2021. After that we have some new releases to look at, one of which is quite intriguing. Finally, the lists of new and outgoing sales are waiting for you to sift through. Let’s go there!
Reviews and thumbnails
Persona 4 Gold ($19.99)
I mean yes. I’m going to do it. If this isn’t a full five out of five, what is? While Person 3 lost as much as gained in the transition from PlayStation 2 to PlayStation Portable, Person 4The switch from PlayStation 2 to PlayStation Vita was, well, nothing short of gold. It had everything the original game had, plus much more. And not only did it not have to compromise its visual presentation, it could even improve it. This Switch version uses the Vita Persona 4 gold as a base, scale up and upgrade the graphics where possible, add the option to choose between English and Japanese voices, add more detailed difficulty levels, and include a very welcome quick save feature. It’s a total win.
Broadly speaking, the gameplay of Person 4 is similar to that of Person 3. During the day you do normal teenage things like going to school, hanging out with your friends and studying. At night, explore dungeons and take part in turn-based battles against evil creatures using the power of your Persona. It’s largely up to you how you want to spend your time each day, and it’s important to make the most of it. You’ll have to decide whether to spend more time building relationships or fighting evil, but whichever you choose, you’ll have hurdles to overcome at certain points in the calendar.
In the details, there are many differences between the previous game and this one. The setting is in the countryside rather than the big city, which itself creates a different atmosphere. While Person 3 saw you try to explore the vast dungeon of Tartarus to get to the bottom of a mysterious mind-destroying phenomenon, Person 4 you try to solve a series of mysterious murders. The main link between them seems to be televisions, and you’ll soon find yourself venturing into the TV world to battle evil demons and monsters. Instead of exploring one big dungeon, you’ll be dealing with several smaller ones, each with its own theme. I’ve heard people say that if Person 3 is Buffy the vampire killerthen Person 4 is Scooby-Dooand I can’t really argue with that.
Like its immediate predecessor and successor, Person 4 is an exceptional JRPG experience. The low-pressure time management and relationship side of the game mesh perfectly with the role-playing games where you play each other out in a way that makes sense and brings out the best in both. Pursuing the social bonds with characters not only rewards you with some satisfying mini-stories, but also strengthens you in the role-playing game. The overall plot is fantastic and the characters in this game really stand out. There are some character pieces that might not land as well as you’d hope, but overall it’s hard not to get attached to this crazy crew. People tend to like these characters even over those in others Persona games, and for good reason.
The gameplay also holds its end. While it depends on your preference whether you like it Person 3‘s single giant dungeon or Person 4There are many smaller dungeons out there, it’s hard to deny that the latter have more personality. i think so too Person 4 has a slightly fairer difficulty, but that could just be it Person 3 trained me well. By default it’s a relatively challenging affair that forces you to use your brain a bit in combat and do some good prep for boss fights, but there are so many tweaks and toggles in this version that you can make it as easy or hard as you want it to be. The core loop of leveling up, merging and gradually building a powerful team of Personas to use is also a winner.
Persona 4 gold shines at its best in this Switch port, and it was already a truly brilliant game that any fan of the genre should play. The fact that you can get such a great RPG for such a low price is wild, and Person 4 has always been a great game to enjoy on a portable computer. If you’ve already played it on the Vita I’m not sure you’ll find enough here to make it another first but if this is your first time tuning into the Midnight Channel the Switch version is an incredible way to experience it.
SwitchArcade Score: 5/5
Void Jail ($2.99)
Empty prison looks a lot like the kind of funny mobile games we saw regularly in the glory days of iOS. It’s cheap, fun, and while it doesn’t make a big lasting impression, it will be a good friend to you for a week or so. You find yourself in a circular arena with many unfriendly enemies teleporting in in increasing numbers. You have a gun that you can shoot in any direction with the right stick, and you can roll. You can occasionally pick up a power-up. Oh, and the enemies can’t hurt you. They can only push you backwards. Take a bullet, punch. Encounter an enemy, bot. But if you touch the outer edge of the arena, you’re toast. The goal is to keep it up as long as possible. The longer you survive, the higher you rank in the online leaderboard and the more skins and power-ups you unlock. That’s all there is to it, and I really mean that.
It’s a fun game to play, but after a while it gets repetitive as little changes from session to session. There just aren’t many variables involved Empty prison, and the ones that are here feel a little more random than I’d like. You can do everything right, only for an enemy to show up next to where you’re standing and bounce you out without any recourse. Empty prison is best enjoyed as a small snack here and there, a few sessions at a time. In that capacity, it certainly deserves its meager fare.
SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5
Motorcycle Mechanic Simulator 2021 ($19.99)
Let me start this review by saying that if you enjoyed any of the other mechanical simulator games released by Ultimate on Switch, you’ll probably have a good time here. It’s another first of the same gameplay seen multiple times before. This game doesn’t do anything wrong that all the other games before it didn’t. But that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? Six years later, we get the same old mindless PC ports from this publisher. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But if so, I suspect it’s purely coincidental. Nothing I can see here suggests Ultimate thought about how this game would play on this platform. The user interface is horribly clunky and clearly designed for a mouse. The text is small enough to be almost unreadable on the handheld screen at times. It’s buggy in a lot of weird ways.
That’s not surprising Motorcycle mechanic simulator 2021 is as unpleasant to play on the Switch as it is. Most of these simulation games are, simply because they’re built around PC play and proper considerations aren’t made for the Switch’s input methods and display. If you can understand the abysmal controls and user interface, you may enjoy taking bikes apart, repairing them, and putting them back together again. But I would at least wait for a deep, deep discount.
SwitchArcade Score: 2/5
Right and Down ($9.99)
This looks interesting. It’s a roguelite card game, and yes I know we have a lot of them, but this one has a gimmick where the moves you can make are either good or bad. Each turn you make that one choice and must live or die with the results. The dungeons are randomly generated, but everything else in the game is fixed, so you’ll have all the information you need to make the best choice at any given time. There are several unlockable alternate heroes, tons of artifacts to unlock that can customize your abilities, and a total of nine different dungeons to tackle, each with an extra rule to mix things up. I haven’t had a chance to play this one yet, but it looks like a lot of fun.
Garden of Pets ($7.99)
They say nature abhors a vacuum, and if there’s one vacuum on the Switch that can be felt, it’s the lack of Nintendogs. So here’s another game that makes an attempt to fill that space, with a variety of different dog breeds to choose from and some activities you can do with them. You can also decorate the garden space they inhabit. It doesn’t look very fancy, but I suppose people can get attached to all sorts of things if they’re cute enough. But just having dogs when the title says “pets”? When do I get my pet-raising leopard gecko, huh?
(North American eShop, US pricing)
Well, not much in either list today. Haiku, the robot is pretty solid and that’s the lowest price yet. Otherwise I don’t have much to say. New Year’s sales have really slowed down at the moment, but I’m sure all of our wallets could use some rest anyway. For those who want to throw some cash, I’m sure we’ll find some reasons to do so later in the week.
Select New games on sale
Haiku the Robot ($13.99 from $19.99 until 1/30)
Pid ($1.99 from $19.99 to 1/30)
Hairy Hentai Tangram ($2.00 from $2.99 to 1/30)
Hot Tentacle Shooter ($3.34 from $4.99 to 1/30)
lonely village ($14.99 from $19.99 until 1/30)
Floppy Knights ($13.99 from $19.99 until 1/31)
Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack ($23.99 from $39.99 until 2/6)
LIT: Bend the light ($5.60 from $8.00 until 2/12)
Mail Mole + Extensions ($9.99 from $14.99 until 2/13)
Package Inc ($4.49 from $4.99 until 2/13)
Alpaca ball Allstars ($7.99 from $19.99 until 2/13)
discolored ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/13)
The company man ($12.99 from $19.99 until 2/13)
Classic Games Collection Vol.2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/13)
Sale ends tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25
Azure Saga Pathfinder Deluxe ($2.99 from $9.99 to 1/25)
Talk coffee ($8.70 from $12.99 until 1/25)
jade order ($1.99 from $2.99 to 1/25)
Anger in peace ($3.89 from $12.99 until 1/25)
She and the Lightbearer ($2.99 from $9.99 to 1/25)
That’s all for today, friends. I got my fifth vaccination shot today and it’s my first Omicron shot. I have absolutely no idea how hard the side effects will kick my booty, so I can’t guarantee we’ll have an article tomorrow. If I can crawl out of bed, I definitely do one. And when I do, you can look forward to more new releases and sales, plus all the big news hits. Happy Tuesday to all of you, and as always thanks for reading!