SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Beyond Good & Evil’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Beyond Good & Evil’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for July 2nd, 2024. In today’s article, I have a few more reviews for you to dig into. I’ve got my assessments of Times & Galaxy, Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition, and Tchia. After that, there are a couple of new releases to check out. We’ll do that, then meet around the corner for the lists of the latest sales and expiring discounts for the day. Ready, steady, go!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Times & Galaxy ($19.99)

This game is awfully clever. It has really sharp writing, and as far as adventure game set-ups go this one is certainly novel. You’re a robot reporter for a galactic newspaper called the Times & Galaxy, just starting out on your career. You’re actually the first robot reporter, so… good luck with that. You head out on assignments where you’ll collect information by investigating the scene and talking to the people there. You’ll then use whatever information you collected to create a story for the paper, and the better the story you write the better things will go for you and your employer.

Each of the stories feels like a little episode of its own, and it’s fun to try to dig for better information and juicier quotes to use in your write-ups. Even setting aside what you’re going to put in your story, it’s enjoyable to try to unravel the truth behind situations that can sometimes seem completely different at a glance. Putting together the story is easy, with a handy tool that lets you set up each part of it based on the info you have collected. The game shows you exactly what each selection will do, so it’s easy to build the Times & Galaxy into the kind of media outlet you want it to be. Great power, great responsibility. The presentation is charming, and the quality of the writing is exactly where it needs to be for a game like this.

The worst thing you can say about Times & Galaxy is that it is very consistent in its mechanics, which means it falls to how well the writing clicks with you to keep your interest. I won’t say that every single scene had me glued to the Joy-Cons, but I think as a whole it’s worth a look for those on the hunt for an unorthodox adventure game. I had a good time with it, and I think it has a nice thing going with its basic loop. If you like the sound of its premise and are in the mood for some silliness, you’ll want to your nearest newssta… er, eShop, and grab a copy.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition ($19.99)

I was there on the frontlines to watch this poor game go out and die. It’s beyond my pay grade to say exactly why; the reviews were good and the few people who picked up the game seemed to like it a lot. But within a few weeks, we were stickering over those $59.99 price tags with $29.99 ones. That’s when I gave the game a shot, and to be honest, it didn’t strike me quite the same way it did others. Stylish, yes. Good pacing, for sure. It’s a good game, but I personally never mourned the lack of a follow-up. That’s just me, of course. I know how much it means to others and I hope they get what they’re wishing for.

One encouraging step towards that is this fine reissue of the original game. Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition gives the game a bit of graphical spit polish, has a new recording of the soundtrack, and adds in some useful quality of life features like autosaves. Otherwise, this is the game as it was. It handles itself well for a game of its vintage, and it’s easy to see why so many people saw something special in it. You’re always doing something new or interesting, and the world building is really solid. Plus, photography! Everyone loves video game photography. What can I say? This is an Ubisoft game from the last era before it really got its annualized ducks in a row, and there is something distinct about its games from this time period.

Mikhail has also been playing Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition on Switch and PS5. While there’s no shortage of information on the platform differences, one aspect he wanted to highlight is the cross progression. When you login to Ubisoft Connect in the publisher’s titles, you usually get some in-game bonus, but the addition of cross progression across all consoles and PC has been excellent. While I played Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition only on Switch, he enjoyed playing it at home on PS5, and then picking up his save on Switch to play on the go. It works flawlessly here as it did in Assassin’s Creed Mirage which he played on PS5 and iPhone 15 Pro.

Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is a great way to play this beloved cult classic, especially for those who want a portable option. While you’ll get a smoother framerate on other platforms, this Switch version isn’t hard on the eyes by any means. The improvements are welcome without overstepping, making the game very easy to get into despite its vintage. If you haven’t played it before, it’s worth trying out. Who knows? You might join the folks clamoring for that sequel. And if you have played it before, I’m sure I don’t need to twist your arm to convince you of the merits of a return trip.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Tchia ($29.99)

I’ll say at least this much for Tchia: its highs are very, very high. When it’s showing off its New Caledonia-inspired setting, or the distinct culture of its creators, it’s truly captivating. I like that it’s willing to let some moments just stew and really sink in. The soul-jumping mechanic that serves as its main gameplay gimmick is sometimes used in very clever ways. The first time you encounter some of its tricks, it’s fun to solve them. It’s also surprisingly polished for the size of the game and the size of its development team.

Sometimes I’m less pleased with it. Combat isn’t a huge part of the game, but it gets old really fast. Enemy encounters in general just don’t offer a diverse enough range of options to keep them interesting. The islands you explore are gorgeous, but there isn’t enough incentive to fully explore them beyond your own curiosity. I’m not fond of how cumbersome controlling the boat can be. The story doesn’t quite come together as well as the world-building does. There are some technical issues in places that I assume are a Switch thing.

But I’m not sure how much any of this matters. Tchia sometimes fools you into thinking it’s a bigger game than it is. But for all the size of its world and the degree of its interactivity, this feels like a deeply personal game. As I played through this game, soaking in all it had to offer, it made me think how lucky we are to have video games. Each of us can only live one life, and we can never truly know what another life would be like. But through video games, we can share our lives and pull other people into our world for a short while. And that’s how I felt playing Tchia. None of this is familiar to me, and yet I could feel the creators’ passion for their home in every bit of it. Splendid.

Tchia has something to it. I don’t think it’s the most fully-formed and properly fleshed-out open world game by any means, but I also don’t think that’s the main priority of it. This is a window to the place, the life experiences, the culture that the people behind it know so well. This Switch port carries itself well enough, though there are some noticeable visual flaws at times. Don’t come to this looking for a Pacific Island take on Breath of the Wild, because it isn’t that even if it sometimes resembles it. It’s Tchia. And it’s good.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Select New Releases

The Battle Cats Unite! ($19.99)

You like base defense with weirdly-drawn cats? Here’s base defense with weirdly-drawn cats. You may have seen this series on mobile or potentially other platforms before. It’s pretty good as this sort of thing goes. There are over three hundred and fifty different kinds of cats to collect. and more than three hundred stages to challenge. There are also some mini-games to spice things up. Oh, and you can play with another player via local multiplayer or local wi-fi. No in-app purchases in this one, so you can simply enjoy the experience without worrying about your wallet.

Utah Games Presents ($4.99)

This is kind of a nice little thing. It’s an assortment of games created by graduate students from the University of Utah’s Masters of Entertainment Arts and Engineering program, covering a handful of different genres. Supposedly you’re helping out the current and future students by picking this up and playing it, and that isn’t the worst way to spend a fiver.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Another inbox with a lot of good games in it but no sales that get me particularly excited. Ditto for the outbox. Just one of those days, I guess? I’m sure we’ll see more cool sales in a few days, so don’t worry too much.

Select New Sales

OKAMI HD ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/15)
Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate ($8.74 from $12.49 until 7/15)
Game Dev Tycoon ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/16)
Goonya Monster ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/18)
Mystery Box: Evolution ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/21)
Mystery Box: Escape the Room ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/21)
Mystery Box: The Journey ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/21)
Zotrix Starglider ($1.99 from $9.99 until 7/21)
Mechstermination Force ($1.99 from $11.99 until 7/22)
Super Punch Patrol ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/22)
Gunman Clive HD Collection ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/22)
Onion Assault ($1.99 from $7.99 until 7/22)
Fly Punch Boom! ($1.99 from $14.99 until 7/22)
Roombo: First Blood ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/22)
Suicide Guy: The Lost Dreams ($4.39 from $7.99 until 7/22)
TRIOS: lofi beats/numbers ($2.39 from $7.99 until 7/22)
Railway Empire ($19.99 from $39.99 until 7/22)
Commandos 2 HD Remaster ($14.99 from $19.99 until 7/22)
Feather ($2.99 from $9.99 until 7/22)
Dungeon Nightmares 1+2 Collection ($1.99 from $12.99 until 7/22)
Shadow Gangs ($14.39 from $23.99 until 7/22)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, July 3rd

Cats & the Other Lives ($14.99 from $19.99 until 7/3)
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! ($2.00 from $12.99 until 7/3)
Death Road to Canada ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/3)
Die for Valhalla! ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/3)
DNF Duel: Who’s Next ($14.99 from $49.99 until 7/3)
Fight Club ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/3)
HunterX ($8.99 from $14.99 until 7/3)
HunterX: Code Name T ($11.89 from $16.99 until 7/3)
Immortal Planet ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/3)
Retimed ($5.99 from $14.99 until 7/3)
STAB STAB STAB! ($2.99 from $9.99 until 7/3)
Steamburg ($1.99 from $4.99 until 7/3)
Thea: The Awakening ($5.39 from $17.99 until 7/3)
Wingspan ($9.99 from $19.99 until 7/3)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new games, more sales, perhaps a review, and maybe some news. My tooth extraction went off without a hitch, so that’s a worry off my shoulders. Now if the pain would subside a little, I’ll be all set. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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