Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 26th, 2022. It’s very, very quiet today. I don’t know if some weird guy is hunting a rabbit or what, but there’s not much going on. I have a review for you of the latest effort from indie developer Terarin, summaries of the somewhat dull pair of new releases, and the lists of new and expiring sales as always. Let’s see what we’ve got!
Reviews & Mini-Views
Raging Blasters ($14.70)
Indie developer Terarin makes shoot-em-ups that I happen to like a lot. Quite a bit of what he likes to pack into his games are the kinds of things I enjoy, and Raging Blasters is another one that hits the mark very well. In a lot of ways, it’s a very conventional vertical shooter. You’ve got your spaceship, a bunch of popcorn enemies in various formations, the occasional bigger target, an array of interesting weapon pick-ups, and lots of big bosses that will put your skills to the test.
There are a couple of less common points here. One is that you have two different types of shots. You can concentrate your firepower straight ahead, or you can do a multidirectional shot that will feel familiar to any fans of Hudson’s Soldier series of shooters. You can change the speed of your ship as you like, which will also be familiar to those fans. The power-ups you pick up serve as sub-weapons in addition to this basic shot, and cover an interesting array of attack patterns that all have their particular uses. You can juice your score by keeping a chain of combos going, something that takes a bit of skill. Oh, and when you take out larger enemies or groups of popcorn enemies, some point bonus items will fall in a style not unlike Compile’s Aleste games.
Indeed, Raging Blasters feels like a well-made homage to both Hudson’s TurboGrafx-16 shooters and Compile’s Aleste games, while also managing to carve an identity of its own. In terms of visuals and audio, it’s pure 16-bit style done right. You’ve even got the image of your pilot off to the side of the field. The soundtrack is excellent, matching the zippy pace of the action perfectly. Shots and explosions have the right amount of oomph to give you the tasty feedback you’d want while destroying an entire army of hostile forces.
That journey will take you through eight stages, and while it’s a bit of a pussycat on normal difficulty, the higher levels really turn up the heat. The balancing really is quite well done, as less-skilled players will find the default difficulty a lot friendlier than the average shooter. At the same time, the deep scoring system combined with the frenetic on-screen chaos of the Hard and Expert modes will satisfy veterans. In addition to the standard arcade mode, there’s also a three-minute Caravan-style mode where you try to score as many points as you can. Local and online leaderboards are available, allowing you to measure up your performance against other players easily.
You can also interact more directly with another player, as both modes support local co-op play. It’s pretty fun, even if it isn’t really going to be where you go for your high-score runs. Don’t have a buddy handy but want to enjoy the benefits of two ships? The dual mode lets you control two ships at the same time, one with each stick. Yes, that is bananas. But if you can pull it off, I’m sure it’s some impressive brain training. A nice little bonus feature that gives the game a bit of extra character.
While Raging Blasters isn’t out there breaking any shoot-em-up molds, it pulls together a lot of much-loved ideas into a sensible, enjoyable whole. More casual players will appreciate the somewhat gentle nature of the default arcade mode, while those who enjoy a solid score attack game will certainly find plenty to keep them coming back. Another excellent piece of work from Terarin.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5
Artsy Pixel ($6.99)
Another of those “color by number” affairs, this time with a pixel-art motif. There are 280 images to color, running through a variety of topics and sizes. Not really much challenge to it, but it could be something to zone out with if you are that-way inclined.
Solitaire Master VS ($6.99)
If your solitaire game has a versus mode, it is by definition not a solitaire game. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. This one has a classic mode where you play Klondike on your own, but it also touts a versus mode where you can “compete against real players across the globe”. That may be true, but you’ll have to do a lot of traveling because the multiplayer mode is local-only. Like many of these games, there are a number of unlockable decks to choose from. Something like the 150th solitaire game for the Switch, I’m sure. Just joking, it’s only the 36th.
(North American eShop, US Prices)
A few interesting games in the list of new sales. Rainbow Billy and Grapple Dog are both good fun and have hit new low prices. There are a few other oddities in there, so have a look. I don’t have anything particularly pressing to highlight from the outbox, but check yourself to be sure.
Select New Games on Sale
Rainbow Billy: Curse of Leviathan ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Monster Prom 2 ($14.39 from $17.99 until 8/1)
Space Warlord Organ Trading Sim ($13.99 from $19.99 until 8/1)
Grapple Dog ($10.04 from $14.99 until 8/1)
Floogen ($1.99 from $3.99 until 8/1)
Ziggurat ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/2)
Ziggurat 2 ($19.99 from $24.99 until 8/2)
Naught ($3.99 from $19.99 until 8/8)
Timothy vs the Aliens ($4.92 from $16.99 until 8/8)
Lotus Reverie: First Nexus ($4.95 from $15.99 until 8/8)
Kingdom Rush ($3.99 from $9.99 until 8/8)
Kingdom Rush Frontiers ($3.99 from $9.99 until 8/8)
Kingdom Rush Origins ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Anima: Gate of Memories ($3.99 from $19.99 until 8/8)
Anima: GoM – Nameless Chronicles ($3.99 from $19.99 until 8/8)
Heart&Slash ($2.99 from $14.99 until 8/8)
Slide Stories: Neko’s Journey ($1.99 from $2.99 until 8/8)
Highschool Romance ($6.49 from $12.99 until 8/15)
Sakura Succubus ($6.69 from $9.99 until 8/15)
The Secret Order: RttBK ($1.99 from $14.99 until 8/15)
Solitaire TriPeaks Flowers ($1.99 from $5.99 until 8/15)
Fatum Betula ($1.99 from $5.49 until 8/15)
Double Shot Gals ($3.34 from $4.99 until 8/15)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 27th
Aircraft Evolution ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/27)
Alveole ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/27)
Another Sight ($15.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
AO Tennis 2 ($17.99 from $59.99 until 7/27)
Aqua Moto Racing Utopia ($7.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
Bee Simulator ($15.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
Buck Bradley 2 ($1.99 from $6.99 until 7/27)
Catty & Batty: The Spirit Guide ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/27)
Cricket 22 ($34.99 from $49.99 until 7/27)
Dungeons & Bombs ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/27)
Farmer’s Dynasty ($11.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
Hunting Simulator 2 ($11.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
I, AI ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/27)
Into the Breach ($10.04 from $14.99 until 7/27)
Mask of Mists ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/27)
Monster Truck Championship ($15.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
My Aunt is a Witch ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/27)
My Little Riding Champion ($5.99 from $29.99 until 7/27)
Need a Packet? ($3.49 from $6.99 until 7/27)
Norman’s Great Illusion ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/27)
P.3 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/27)
Popeye ($2.59 from $12.99 until 7/27)
RiMS Racing ($19.99 from $49.99 until 7/27)
Rogue Lords ($17.49 from $24.99 until 7/27)
Roguebook ($17.49 from $24.99 until 7/27)
Snow Moto Racing Freedom ($7.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
Steam Tactics ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/27)
Street Power Soccer ($5.99 from $29.99 until 7/27)
Tennis World Tour 2 ($14.99 from $49.99 until 7/27)
The Unicorn Princess ($11.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
Truck Racing Championship ($11.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
TT Isle of Man ($9.99 from $49.99 until 7/27)
TT Isle of Man RotE 2 ($17.99 from $59.99 until 7/27)
WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship ($24.99 from $49.99 until 7/27)
WRC 9 The Official Game ($11.99 from $39.99 until 7/27)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, maybe some news, you know how it goes. I’ll be spending my evening playing more of Live A Live, which I will hopefully be able to finish before Xenoblade Chronicles 3 comes out… in a few days. Gulp. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!