Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for August 29th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got three reviews to look at. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, Kirby’s Dream Buffet, and Yars: Recharged all get evaluated and scored in our usual fashion. There’s only one new release today, and it’s pretty awful. We summarize it anyway, because why not? We finish things off with the lists of new and expiring sales for the day. Let’s get this week started!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection ($39.99)
Fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are eating incredibly well in the gaming sphere this year. A few months back, we had the absolutely amazing Shredder’s Revenge from Dotemu and Tribute Games, giving us a brand new dish with a nostalgic flavor. Now Konami and Digital Eclipse are here with a buffet of old favorites presented in as lovingly a fashion as one could ever hope for. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is a set I never imagined we would see, and I’m thrilled that this chance wasn’t seized upon half-heartedly.
This set includes every single Konami-developed TMNT game all the way up through the 16-bit console era. Turtles, count it off! You get the original arcade game, the arcade version of Turtles in Time, the original NES game (enjoy the swim), the NES version of the original arcade game, the NES-only beat-em-up The Manhattan Project, all three versions of one-on-one fighter Tournament Fighters, all three Game Boy games, the Super NES version of Turtles in Time, and the Genesis Hyperstone Heist. All but two of the games also have Japanese versions available, and four of them can be played online with rollback netcode.
For the most part, the games are near-perfectly emulated versions of the originals. There are two things that have changed, both involving TMNT The Arcade Game. The arcade version has replaced its toon-perfect rendition of the 1987 animated show’s theme song with a re-recorded version. It’s lacking in oomph, but it does the job. The other change is in the NES TMNT II: The Arcade Game. All the Pizza Hut logos have been replaced, mostly with blank signs. And that’s it! Turtles in Time‘s arcade version even has the original Pizza Power theme song. You can enjoy the games with save states, rewind, and that cool Digital Eclipse feature that allows you to watch a playthrough and jump in whenever you like to start playing.
If that was all there were, that would be more than enough. But there is a lot more to talk about. Some of the games have enhancements you can turn on, with the ability to remove slowdown and flicker from the NES games being massive game-changers. There are a few different filters you can use, imitating a CRT television, an arcade monitor, and a dot matrix display as needed. You can fully remap your buttons for each game, which is nice. Naturally, all games that originally supported multiplayer can be played with the appropriate number of players locally. While online play is restricted to just four games, I was genuinely impressed at how smooth it was when Mikhail and I tested it out.
Heading over to the Turtle Lair offers up an incredible embarrassment of riches. Boxes and manuals for every version of every game have been fully scanned and are available for your perusal. You can also view a massive number of comic book covers and selected images from the various animated TV shows from the entire history of the Turtles. There’s a music player where you can listen to the soundtracks for the games, and a wealth of design documents and other behind-the-scenes goodies to check out. There’s also a strategy guide that offers a deep, Nintendo Power-style dive on each of the games, complete with videos you can watch that demonstrate various points. You can spend hours digging through all of this stuff. The images can be a bit slow to load, but that’s a minor quibble.
Really, minor quibbles are all I have with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection. It would be nice if those extra images loaded quicker. I wish the Super NES Turtles in Time had support for online play. I’d like to have more than one save state per game. But that’s all I’ve got. Otherwise, this is an outstanding, exhaustive collection of some truly fantastic classic Konami games, delivered accurately with a Party Wagon full of extras. This may well be Digital Eclipse’s finest collection yet, and is a must-have for any fans of beat-em-ups, the Turtles, or general gaming history.
SwitchArcade Score: 5/5
Kirby’s Dream Buffet ($14.99)
This is a fun game that just doesn’t have enough meat on its bones. It’s a race/battle game between Kirbys where you need to collect the most strawberries. A full round consists of two races sandwiching a minigame, followed by a battle where you’re trying to knock each other out of the arena. You’re in full rolling mode in this one, but you can pick up some of Kirby’s copy powers to give yourself a little boost. If you want to practice or just don’t feel like doing the full thing, you can also play the races, minigames, and battles as separate modes.
As you earn strawberries over the course of playing, your level will go up. New levels bring new customization options for your character as well as other little goodies. It gives you an extra reason to keep coming back, and if you’re playing single-player it’s just about all there is to do. The game is more fun in multiplayer, but you can only play with two players on one Switch. Even then, you can see the framerate take the occasional dive, which I suppose is why only two can play at once. If you have additional Switch units for local wi-fi or hop online, you can play with up to four players. That’s where the game is at its most enjoyable. Even then, it gets old fairly quickly. There isn’t enough variety here, and it feels like if you fall behind early on in the series of events, you aren’t going to be able to catch up.
All up, Kirby’s Dream Buffet feels more like an extra mode you would find in a mainline Kirby game than something that can stand on its own. It’s amusing enough in short bursts with other players, but you’ll likely have seen all that’s worth seeing in a single session. Even as a party game, the lack of support for more than two players on one system makes it a little tough to recommend. The core idea isn’t bad and it’s certainly a polished experience, but it ends up being just a light snack rather than a filling meal.
SwitchArcade Score: 3/5
Yars: Recharged ($9.99)
Atari’s Recharged series keeps on surprising me. Missile Command: Recharged, the first in the line, was okay. Nothing special, but it was fun enough. The second wave had a bunch of lightly re-imagined takes on some classics, mostly adding power-ups, multiplayer and some specific challenges to spice things up. And hey, those were really neat provided you enjoyed the original game in question. But it’s this third wave that has me really excited. The idea now seems to be to make new games that retain the roots of the originals while pushing the gameplay out a bit. The first swing of the third wave, Gravitar: Recharged, had the benefit of working with a game that perhaps wasn’t among the most famous of Atari classics. It’s easier to make changes when people aren’t strongly attached to the original, after all.
Yars: Recharged, on the other hand, is trying to update the Atari 2600’s most popular original game. And it is a rather distinct game with a strong aesthetic that has heavy ties to the 2600 hardware itself, making it a risky pick for re-imagining. Indeed, we’ve seen at least one completely disastrous new take on Yars’ Revenge in the past. Well, this game doesn’t envision the insectoid protagonist as a lady in a spacesuit, so we’re at least ahead on that point. Yars: Recharged actually does a great job in picking what to retain from the original and where to build on it, and I think it’s my favorite Recharged game so far.
There are two different modes here, and they’ll be familiar to those who have been following this line of games. In the arcade mode, you have to play through thirty unique stages. You get one life, but you can take up to three hits per stage. There are a few modifiers you can activate to make the game more challenging and add to your score. In the mission mode, you’ll have to complete individual challenges. Some place more of an emphasis on action chops, while others are puzzle-ish in their designs. Completing both modes will take you quite a while, and you can keep chasing scores and challenging the leaderboards if that is your kind of thing.
Now, as for how the game works. You play as a Yar, an insect-like creature. Your goal on each stage is to defeat the Qotile, a sort of super-weapon typically defended by shields and turrets. Your Yar can fire bullets, but the Qotile is impervious to your shots. The only way to damage it is with the Zorlon Cannon, a powerful weapon that you can fire once you charge up its energy. You can collect the needed energy by destroying just about anything other than the Qotile using your shots or simply by munching down on things with your powerful jaws. If you defeat a turret, not only will you earn a ton of energy for the Zorlon Cannon but also a temporary power-up.
Firing your weapon is done in a twin-stick shooter style in this game, and that’s important because there are a lot more hazards to worry about than in the old game. While you can take a couple of hits before dying, those can go fast if you’re careless. At times the screen will have so many bullets it will resemble a bullet-hell shooter. And make sure you’re ready to clear the decks if you see the Qotile charging up a shot, as it doesn’t matter how many hits you have left if it manages to tag you. In a broad sense, it isn’t terribly different from Yars’ Revenge.
The stage designs are what sets this game apart, however. Some of the defensive walls that protect the Qotile take so many hits that they might as well be invulnerable to your shots, and the longer you hang around in a stage the more dangerous things get. Some of the stages use this to force you to strategize a bit. Maybe you need to try a back entrance? Maybe you need to take out some turrets to open a route? The game is always forcing you to re-assess your approach, and that makes it a lot of fun all the way through. You can also bring in another player via local co-op to help, and that has its own joys to offer.
I’m a big fan of Yars: Recharged. The first time I fired it up, I ended up playing it for the rest of the evening. Admittedly, I love the original game too. But I think this game does a wonderful job of adapting the basic loop of that classic and bringing in enough modern elements and new ideas to justify itself as something of a sequel. I really like its unusual blend of frantic shooting and calculated puzzle-solving, and I would happily recommend it to Atari fans and newcomers alike.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Krispain Hero:Roguelite Dungeon Shooter Fire Simulator Counter FPS World ($9.99)
Another purple monkey dishwasher SEO title from Midnight Works. It’s an endless first-person arena shooter of sorts where you’re given a slightly different gun every time you play. There are worse deals from this publisher, but I still wouldn’t recommend this at all.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A fairly light list of new sales today. I don’t have any particular recommendations, so do what you will with it. The outbox has quite a bit of stuff in it, like the Star Wars games and sales from Ubisoft, EA, 2K Games, and Microids. Have a careful look through the list and make sure to check the publisher pages on the eShop for a full list of what they have discounted.
Select New Games on Sale
The Last Survey ($1.99 from $14.99 until 9/3)
Viki Spotter: Undersea ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/4)
The Great Perhaps ($2.49 from $9.99 until 9/5)
Steampunk Tower 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/5)
SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off ($3.99 from $14.99 until 9/7)
Devastator ($4.89 from $6.99 until 9/9)
The Bug Butcher ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/9)
Cultist Simulator ($5.99 from $19.99 until 9/10)
Regular Factory: Escape Room ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/10)
Hazel Sky ($17.49 from $24.99 until 9/12)
Kosmonavtes ($1.99 from $3.99 until 9/16)
Kosmonavtes: Academy Escape ($2.03 from $5.99 until 9/16)
Panmorphia ($1.99 from $5.99 until 9/16)
Panmorphia: Awakened ($2.99 from $6.99 until 9/16)
Panmorphia: Enchanted ($1.99 from $3.99 until 9/16)
Car Racing Trials ($5.19 from $12.99 until 9/16)
Driving Quest ($5.99 from $9.99 until 9/16)
Blob Quest ($3.49 from $4.99 until 9/17)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30th
Agatha Christie ABC Murders ($11.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Alteric ($1.99 from $4.99 until 8/30)
Among Us ($3.75 from $5.00 until 8/30)
Armello ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
Asterix & Obelix: Slap Them All ($17.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Beyond a Steel Sky ($23.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
BioShock 2 Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
BioShock Infinite CE ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
BioShock Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
BioShock: The Collection ($9.99 from $49.99 until 8/30)
Borderlands GOTY Edition ($9.89 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Borderlands: Handsome Collection ($9.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
Borderlands: Legendary Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 8/30)
Brief Battles ($2.09 from $14.99 until 8/30)
Burnout Paradise Remastered ($9.89 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Color Breakers ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/30)
Fe ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
FIFA 22 Legacy Edition ($9.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
Football Manager 2022 Touch ($15.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
Gamedec ($14.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
Grand Mountain Adventure Wonderlands ($20.99 from $34.99 until 8/30)
GTA The Trilogy DE ($39.99 from $59.99 until 8/30)
Gum+ ($1.99 from $7.99 until 8/30)
Lost in Random ($14.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
My Universe: Doctors & Nurses ($17.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
My Universe: Farmer’s Friends ($23.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit ($7.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
Owlboy ($12.49 from $24.99 until 8/30)
PGA Tour 2K21 ($14.99 from $59.99 until 8/30)
Plants Vs Zombies BfN Complete ($9.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
Professor Rubik’s Brain Fitness ($5.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
RWBY: Grimm Eclipse DE ($7.49 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI ($8.99 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Spiral Splatter ($1.99 from $4.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars Ep. 1 Racer ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars Republic Commando ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars: Jedi Academy ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars: Jedi Outcast ($4.99 from $9.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars: KotOR ($11.24 from $14.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars: KotOR Bundle ($22.49 from $29.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars: KotOR II: Sith Lords ($12.74 from $14.99 until 8/30)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed ($14.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
Starlink Battle for Atlas ($11.99 from $59.99 until 8/30)
Starlink BfA Deluxe ($19.99 from $79.99 until 8/30)
Stubbs the Zombie RWaP ($6.79 from $19.99 until 8/30)
Super Mega Baseball 3 ($13.49 from $44.99 until 8/30)
SUPERHOT ($12.49 from $24.99 until 8/30)
Tales from the Borderlands ($14.99 from $24.99 until 8/30)
The Outer Worlds ($23.99 from $59.99 until 8/30)
The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf ($23.99 from $39.99 until 8/30)
Unravel Two ($4.99 from $19.99 until 8/30)
XCOM 2 Collection ($7.99 from $49.99 until 8/30)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more reviews, more sales, some new releases, and perhaps some news. Did any of you try out Splatoon 3 over the weekend? What did you think? Feel free to let me know your thoughts on it in the comments. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!