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SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World’ and ‘Maneater’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

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Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 31st, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got reviews of three recent releases: Maneater, Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World, and Missing Feature: 2D. There are a handful of new releases to check out, but don’t get too excited. They’re not exactly the most thrilling of affairs. We round things out with the usual incoming and outgoing sales, as always. Let’s check everything out!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Maneater ($39.99)

Maneater is at its best in its beginning hours. You’re controlling a shark whose general purpose is to avenge its mother after she’s killed by a reality TV host. For his part, he’s trying to kill you for chomping off his arm the last time you met. You swim through the seas, gobbling up anything smaller than you and tail-thwacking anything that isn’t until it fits in your mouth. The first time you find yourself flopping up on a beach, chomping down on swimmers and sun-bathers as you propel yourself around, it’s hard not to crack a smile. It’s bloody, but just abstract enough that it feels like a schlocky movie. Killing shark hunters when they try to come after you, bashing their boats to bits, and jumping out of the water for a snack? Yeah, good stuff.

Or at least, it’s good stuff early on. While the game has an RPG-like system wherein your shark gets more powerful as you go, it doesn’t feel like there are any meaningful changes in the gameplay. Even worse, once the initial rush wears off, you start noticing just how clunky some elements are. Targeting during tense battles is never as smooth as it should be, and as the challenge ramps up it becomes a serious point of frustration. It’s never enough to make the experience fall apart completely, but the thrills of the early game give way to weariness in the back half. The reality TV-style presentation remains a highlight, but the actual gameplay bits get repetitive. A shame, as this Switch port is excellent from a technical standpoint.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World ($34.99)

Monster World IV probably didn’t need a remake. It almost certainly didn’t need a 3D remake. But it got one, so let’s consider what it brings to the table in a fair fashion. The first thing to note that is Monster World IV is a really great game. Originally released in Japan for the Mega Drive/Genesis, it had the honor of being one of the first retro games to get a years-after-the-fact official translation, appearing on the Wii Virtual Console before making its way to other platforms. It’s even on the SEGA Genesis Mini. If you’ve somehow missed out on it, it’s certainly worth playing.

The original Monster World IV thus far has not been available on the Nintendo Switch. Not through the SEGA Genesis Classics Collection, and not through the SEGA AGES line. The release of this remake also marks the first chance you have of getting that original game on the hybrid handheld, albeit only through the physical version of Asha in Monster World. I believe it’s a good thing to have Monster World IV on any platform, especially one that has seen so much love shown to Wonder Boy and Monster World games in general. Those who enjoyed Monster Boy or Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap will definitely enjoy this game in any form.

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World gives you a way to play Monster World IV on your Switch. Two ways, if you buy the physical version. Setting aside extras, the means by which it allows you to do this is through the 3D remake. Remaking cherished 2D games with polygonal graphics has a spotty history, but Asha in Monster World feels surprisingly faithful to the original. It makes a few gameplay changes, allowing you to save anywhere and hiding more items around the world, but it feels like the original game in just about every way that counts. Even the new presentation doesn’t dramatically change the game’s identity. It feels a bit on the budget side, but Asha and the other characters remain cute and well-animated.

Indeed, Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is so faithful to the source material that it feels like a remake without a point. I appreciate being able to save anywhere, but that isn’t anything that would have been difficult to implement in a rerelease of the original version. But this is the version of Monster World IV that Nintendo Switch owners have, and I believe this remake is agreeable enough to get the appeal of the game across. The price is a bit on the stiff side given the game is as brief as it was in the 16-bit era, but taken as a whole this is as it ever was: fun, feel-good, and something you’ll want to come back to now and then in the future.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Missing Feature: 2D ($3.99)

This game really made think about how much a clever gimmick can make up for issues in other areas. I’m dead certain about two things about this game. Its gimmick is very clever. It has a lot of issues in other areas. The gimmick is so clever, it almost provides cover for everything else. When you start the game, it’s a completely unfinished 2D platformer. Everything is made up of placeholder graphics, almost none of the features are implemented, and there isn’t even any audio. As you play through the levels, you’ll find items that enable new features and elements. It’s a really fun idea, and the game fully commits to it.

Unfortunately, as the final game forms around you, an unfortunate truth begins to become apparent: this is not a very good 2D platformer. The physics are floaty, the visual elements don’t work well together, the collision is incredibly unforgiving, the music doesn’t fit the action, and the stage designs feel unfair. The unlockables get less exciting, and indeed often serve to make the already frustrating stages even harder. The precision the game demands in places is poorly served by the controls and character movements. It’s almost worth its low price just for the novelty of its structure, but in the end this game can’t manage to pull off what it seemingly wants to do.

SwitchArcade Score: 2.5/5

New Releases

Felix the Toy ($4.99)

A five-dollar 3D platformer, that’s what this is. Apparently inspired by the PlayStation Toy Story 2 game, which was surprisingly decent for what it was. You play as the toy named Felix and need to work your way through seven large levels set in real locations like houses, yards, and arcades. There are lots of collectibles to search for as you make your way through these areas, too. It’s a throwback in more ways than one, however. You’re going to have to contend with a positively atrocious camera that loves to get caught behind walls and other objects. But hey, it’s five bucks. As frustrating as that element can be, I think if you have happy memories of Toy Story 2 you will still get your money’s worth from this.

Cow Catcher ($4.99)

This is so completely, utterly stupid that it’s actually a little fascinating. You play as a dude in a wingsuit, and you have to fly around the levels and use a grapple to pick up cows. You then need to bring the cows back to a designated area and drop them off. That will earn you cowcoins, which you can use to buy upgrades and wacky new costume pieces. It’s buggy, janky, and makes very little sense. Even the level design is nonsense in places. It feels very much like something trying to channel Goat Simulator, and while I doubt it’s as substantial or pleasantly chaotic as that game, I think it might have a similar appeal.

Off And On Again ($14.00)

This is a 2D platformer whose chief gimmick involves turning parts of the levels off and on again as needed. In practice, it’s mostly hitting a lot of switches. Even at a quick glance I’ve noticed some clever level designs, but nothing to really lift it above the masses in a relatively crowded genre on the Switch. Besides the single-player mode, up to four players can enjoy some fun variations together via local multiplayer. Well, it’s something at least. If you’re extremely hard-up for another tricky platformer, you may want to look into this one. Otherwise, I’m not sure it does enough to stand out.

Stray Cat Doors2 ($16.00)

Like the first game, this is a very cute room escape puzzle adventure. In this one, you can move your character around the screen. Apart from the typical inventory puzzles, you can also look forward to some mini-games to break up the puzzle-solving. You also have a house that you can decorate and there are various outfits you can dress your character up in. There are lots of adorable kitty cats, of course. The first game was decent enough fluff but not much more than that, and I expect the same here. If you don’t mind ads and are okay with playing on your mobile device, this game and its predecessor are fully playable for free on the App Store.

Strike Daz Cans ($2.99)

Ah, Pix Arts. You missed the frenzy of last Thursday and Friday, but only just barely. What fresh junk do you have for us today? Well, it’s a game where you’re throwing balls at cans. You have a limited number of balls, and you need to knock down all the cans before you run out. Apropos of nothing, what I love about video games is how they let you do things you couldn’t possibly do in real life. Anyway, there are ninety levels to clear, and if you hit particular cans you can earn special power-ups. It’s cheap, and that’s everything nice I have to say about it.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

2K Games kicked off a sale soon after I turned in for the weekend on Friday, though it’s just the usual stuff. The excellent Cook, Serve, Delicious! titles are good pick-ups, as is the fun action game Tanuki Justice. Oh, and Crysis Remastered is half-off. That’s not a common sale by any means. The outbox has several interesting things in it, such as EA’s racers and the Torchlight games. Check both of those lists like your life depends on it, because who knows? Maybe it does. Probably not. Almost certainly not. But it’s possible. You want to take that risk?

Select New Games on Sale

BioShock: The Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 6/2)
BioShock Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/2)
BioShock 2 Remastered ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/2)
BioShock Infinite: Complete Edition ($7.99 from $19.99 until 6/2)
The Outer Worlds ($29.99 from $59.99 until 6/2)
L.A. Noire ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/2)
WWE 2K18 ($19.79 from $59.99 until 6/2)
WWE 2K Battlegrounds ($15.99 from $39.99 until 6/2)
NBA 2K21 ($9.59 from $59.99 until 6/2)
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 ($7.49 from $29.99 until 6/2)
PGA Tour 2K21 ($9.79 from $59.99 until 6/2)
Carnival Games ($9.99 from $39.99 until 6/2)
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI ($19.79 from $59.99 until 6/2)
XCOM 2 Collection ($14.99 from $49.99 until 6/2)
Borderlands Legendary Collection ($19.99 from $49.99 until 6/2)


Borderlands: GOTY Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 6/2)
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection ($15.99 from $39.99 until 6/2)
Tales from the Borderlands ($19.99 from $24.99 until 6/2)
Crashlands ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/4)
Little Mouse’s Encyclopedia ($10.39 from $12.99 until 6/4)
Brawl Chess ($3.99 from $9.99 until 6/4)
THOTH ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/6)
140 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/6)
Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns ($4.19 from $6.99 until 6/6)
Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio ($2.99 from $4.99 until 6/6)
Element ($7.19 from $11.99 until 6/7)
Family Mysteries 3: Criminal Mindset ($8.99 from $14.99 until 6/7)
Dwarf Journey ($5.59 from $7.99 until 6/7)
Steampunk Tower 2 ($2.99 from $9.99 until 6/7)
Deadly Days ($3.79 from $18.99 until 6/8)


Koral ($1.99 from $11.99 until 6/8)
Infernium ($2.49 from $24.99 until 6/8)
Mind: Path to Thalamus ($1.99 from $11.99 until 6/8)
Luckslinger ($7.99 from $9.99 until 6/11)
Batu Ta Batu ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/11)
Inferno 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/11)
The Bug Butcher ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/11)
Lost Wing ($2.39 from $7.99 until 6/11)
Dimension Drive ($1.99 from $12.99 until 6/11)
Back to Bed ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/11)
Lumini ($2.99 from $9.99 until 6/11)
Rainswept ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/11)
Time Tenshi ($10.49 from $14.99 until 6/12)
Bargain Hunter ($8.74 from $12.49 until 6/12)
The Unholy Society ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/13)
Roulette at Aces Casino ($2.99 from $7.99 until 6/14)


Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! ($2.50 from $12.99 until 6/14)
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! ($12.99 from $19.99 until 6/14)
EQI ($2.49 from $4.99 until 6/17)
Zombie Apocalypse ($2.39 from $3.99 until 6/18)
Pirates: All Aboard! ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/18)
Nonograms Prophecy ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/18)
Arcane Arts Academy ($5.99 from $7.99 until 6/18)
Tiny Lands ($4.79 from $5.99 until 6/18)
Strike Force Kitty ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/18)
Ego Protocol: Remastered ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/18)
Make War ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Star Horizon ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Picklock ($2.99 from $7.99 until 6/18)
Destropolis ($3.99 from $5.99 until 6/18)


Tanuki Justice ($8.99 from $14.99 until 6/18)
Splashy Cube ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/18)
Warplanes: WW1 Sky Aces ($6.99 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Body of Evidence ($3.49 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Golden Force ($11.99 from $19.99 until 6/18)
Bob Help Them ($3.99 from $7.99 until 6/18)
Graviter ($4.49 from $7.99 until 6/18)
Snowball Collections Bubble ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/18)
Pool Pro Gold ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Connection Haunted Server Error ($2.49 from $4.99 until 6/18)
Drag Racing Rivals ($2.99 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Powertris ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/18)
Wallachia: Reign of Dracula ($9.99 from $14.99 until 6/18)
Apparition ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Super Arcade Soccer 2021 ($5.60 from $8.00 until 6/18)


A Little Lily Princess ($11.99 from $14.99 until 6/18)
The Solitaire Conspiracy ($9.59 from $11.99 until 6/18)
Sky Mercenaries Redux ($6.75 from $15.00 until 6/18)
Cyber Complex ($6.74 from $14.99 until 6/18)
Steel Rain ($6.74 from $14.99 until 6/18)
The Adv. of Elena Temple: DE ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/18)
Rollin’ Eggz ($1.99 from $2.99 until 6/18)
Cryogear ($8.95 from $19.89 until 6/18)
Dream Alone ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/18)
Cake Laboratories ($1.99 from $2.99 until 6/18)
Crysis Remastered ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/19)
Tank Battle Heroes ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/19)
Best Sniper Legacy: DH & S3D ($3.99 from $6.99 until 6/19)
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill: S&B ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/19)
Crash Drive 2 ($1.99 from $8.99 until 6/19)


Marooners ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/19)
Dragon Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 6/19)
Titans Pinball ($2.00 from $2.99 until 6/19)
Speedway Racing ($3.49 from $9.99 until 6/19)
Top Speed: Drag & Fast Racing ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/19)
Skittles ($4.79 from $5.99 until 6/20)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1st

#1 Crosswords ($2.99 from $3.99 until 6/1)
1001 Ultimate Mahjong 2 ($6.66 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Adventure Llama ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/1)
Adverse ($3.89 from $5.99 until 6/1)
AnShi ($8.99 from $17.99 until 6/1)
Aqua Moto Racing Utopia ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)
Beast Quest ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/1)
Brick Breaker ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Burnout Paradise Remastered ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/1)
Cooking Festival ($4.39 from $10.99 until 6/1)
Croc’s World 2 ($1.99 from $5.99 until 6/1)
Deer Drive Legends ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
Depth of Extinction ($6.74 from $14.99 until 6/1)
Doodle Devil: 3volution ($6.29 from $8.99 until 6/1)


Evoland Legendary ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
Fe ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
FIFA 21 Legacy Edition ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)
Galaxy Warfighter ($3.99 from $6.99 until 6/1)
Genetic Disaster ($3.49 from $14.99 until 6/1)
Ghostanoid ($3.99 from $6.99 until 6/1)
Hob: The Definitive Edition ($11.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
Infinite: Beyond the Mind ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Infliction: Extended Cut ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
Joker Poker: Video Poker ($3.74 from $7.49 until 6/1)
Layers of Fear 2 ($26.99 from $29.99 until 6/1)
Lost Words: Beyond the Page ($11.99 from $14.99 until 6/1)
Love: A Puzzle Box ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit ($27.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)
Nine Witches: Family Disruption ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)


Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Northgard ($13.99 from $34.99 until 6/1)
Polyroll ($3.99 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Premium Pool Arena ($5.99 from $11.99 until 6/1)
Press A to Party ($2.79 from $7.99 until 6/1)
Ramp Car Jumping ($4.19 from $10.49 until 6/1)
Remothered: Broken Porcelain ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/1)
Sam & Max Save the World ($15.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
SmileBASIC 4 ($16.74 from $24.99 until 6/1)
Snow Moto Racing Freedom ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)
Solitaire ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Stealth ($4.48 from $4.98 until 6/1)
Subdivision Infinity DX ($7.49 from $14.99 until 6/1)
Super Space Serpent Secondary ($3.49 from $9.99 until 6/1)
Tetraminos ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/1)
The Deer God ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/1)


Torchlight II ($11.99 from $19.99 until 6/1)
Torchlight III ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)
Trine: Ultimate Collection ($14.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)
Troll and I ($2.99 from $29.99 until 6/1)
Trover Saves the Universe ($10.49 from $29.99 until 6/1)
Unravel Two ($4.99 from $9.99 until 6/1)
War of Stealth: Assassin ($13.48 from $14.98 until 6/1)

That’s all for today and this month, friends. Tomorrow will have a few new games to check out, which we will do in our usual manner. There could be some news, there will probably be some reviews. Sales? I bet there will be some sales. Well, we don’t control what the tide brings in, do we? All we can do is use what washes up to fashion a hut of sorts. A hut we call… the SwitchArcade. Wow, that’s mega corny. I’d better get going before this gets worse. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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