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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Review, ‘Pokemon Sword & Shield: Isle of Armor’ Mini-View, and Today’s New Releases and Sales

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Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up. In today’s article, we’ve got a full review of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, plus a Mini-View of the first part of the Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass, the Isle of Armor. There’s also a bit of news to check out, plus…

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up. In today’s article, we’ve got a full review of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, plus a Mini-View of the first part of the Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass, the Isle of Armor. There’s also a bit of news to check out, plus summaries of today’s new releases including the epic RPG The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III. We round things out with a look at the latest incoming and outgoing sales, as usual. Let’s go for it!

News

Min Min is Now Available in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

The latest character to join the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Min Min from ARMS, is now available for purchase and/or download. Along with her, new Mii Costumes from Fallout, Tekken, Splatoon, and ARMS are available. There are also new stages and some new music. Even if you didn’t buy any of the new content, you can update to version 8.0.0 to benefit from some new balance adjustments and other fixes. Min Min is available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2, which can be bought for $29.99, or individually as a Challenge Pack for $5.99.

‘Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2’ Releases July 10th

As is often the case with games from Inti Creates, the game the company just announced is set to release very soon. A couple of weeks ago, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 was first shown and was said to be coming soon. How soon? Well, how’s next week for you? The game will launch on Switch and other platforms on July 10th at a price of $14.99. You can pre-order now in the eShop if that’s the sort of thing you like to do. In other Inti Creates news, Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 was announced, and the latest DLC for Blaster Master Zero 2 is now available.

Reviews

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated ($29.99)

I’ll cut to the chase immediately: this remake is a bit closer to a remaster in most regards, and as such it is very much a 2003 game in form and function. Don’t come into this expecting the slightly modernized approach that the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro remakes took. This is a prettier version of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, a game that was only slightly above average for its genre 17 years ago. The camera sometimes sucks. The controls feel a little odd thanks to the passage of time. The puzzles and set pieces that didn’t land very well back then are no different now. If that’s going to be a problem for you, I’d advise passing on this release.

The sales pitch for this game in 2003, at least from the player’s point of view, is that it was a competent 3D collectathon platformer that really embraced its license. If you weren’t a big fan of the genre or SpongeBob, there was little here for you. If you loved 3D platformers, this was a decent one. If you were a big SpongeBob fan, you’d be thrilled. I would say that to a lesser extent, that much is true of this Rehydrated release. The SpongeBob content comes from an earlier era of the show and may not resonate with fans as much as a result. The platformer genre has seen its strides and so that end of things may not play as well for you, either.

To let you know my personal feelings on both of those matters, I neither like nor dislike SpongeBob but am rather fond of platformers in all shapes and forms. As regular readers no doubt know, I’m a bit more forgiving than most about the warts of older games. So it’s probably no surprise that I find myself thinking that Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is alright. Not great, not a must-have, but it’s fine. There are moments of aggravation to be sure, especially when the camera is doing its thing. Sometimes it’s not totally clear what you need to do to earn certain Spatulas (this game’s big collectible), but I eventually figured most of it out using my Secret Reviewer Weapon: sheer stubbornness.

If you’re patient, you’ll find a decent game here. It’s nothing you’re going to go running down the street yelling about, but it’s perfectly playable. The developers of this remake have chosen to stay faithful to the source material by and large, and let’s be real: that source material was never swimming with the Crashes, Spyros, and Marios of the gaming world to begin with. SpongeBob fans will probably still enjoy it a lot, though it’s pretty obvious which voice actors got involved and which didn’t. Kids may also be willing to look past its more irritating elements because of how colorful and goofy it is. Otherwise, unless you’re extremely hard up for a decent 3D platformer, you may want to wait for the inevitable sale.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Mini-Views

Pokemon Sword & Shield: Isle of Armor ($29.99)

This is the first part of the Expansion Pass for Pokemon Sword & Shield. You can’t buy it separately from the upcoming second part, but the fact that there is a second part means that, in my eyes, this only has to justify fifteen dollars of that thirty-dollar price tag. And depending on what you’re looking for, it does. The new story content is brief and not terribly memorable. There’s a new rival that you’ll probably stomp into the ground, and a series of challenges from Master Mustard that won’t take more than a couple of hours to work your way through. But the new area itself is the star of the show here. It’s a huge Wild Area full of things to do and see. Returning favorites from previous generations abound, and you can now have your Pokemon of choice following behind you outside of battle. The Isle of Armor is a fun place to chill out in and there are lots of new Pokemon to catch, a task that will keep you busy for quite a while. If nothing else, this first part of the expansion shows the promise of the direction that the next main Pokemon game could and should go.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III ($59.99)

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Hmmm. So here’s the deal: this is a really good RPG, albeit a bit long-winded in the way that a lot of modern Falcom games are. The Switch port is fine, so you can digest the adventure on the go in the way that I personally think best suits this series. Although this comes from a different publisher in the West as the first two, they brought in key members of the localization team who worked on those games, so everything is fine on that end. It’s those first two games that make this a little harder to recommend, however. If this is your first Trails of Cold Steel game, you are definitely coming into the series in the middle of the plot. You’ll be able to hash out the important stuff easily enough, but it’s not the same as playing through, you know, all of the Trails games leading up to this one. It would be nice if those first two games had Switch ports, but such is life. If you don’t mind playing a little story catch-up, however, this is a really cracking adventure that will keep you busy for a while.

The StoryTale ($11.99)

This is a cute platformer where you can play as two different characters. There’s the Immortal Prince, who true to his name cannot die. If he takes a hit he’ll just bounce back a bit. Then there’s the Little Princess, who will die if she takes a single hit. So yeah, there are your difficulty settings for you. This game has a lot of ideas and mechanics in it, though it never feels quite like it manages to own any of them very well. Not bad on the whole, but not really anything special either.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Nothing too impressive today, though at least there are some less-seen faces in the new batch. The outbox includes a lot of games that go on sale fairly regularly, so there’s probably no pressing need to scoop any of them up unless you really want to play them now. The big exceptions are Fell Seal and Sydney Hunter, which thus far haven’t been discounted that often and may not be back again for a while.

Select New Games on Sale

Infinite – Beyond the Mind ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/21)

Energy Cycle ($0.98 from $2.99 until 7/19)

Energy Balance ($0.98 from $2.99 until 7/19)

Sigi ($1.64 from $4.99 until 7/19)

Burger Chef Tycoon ($1.49 from $4.99 until 7/20)

Vasilis ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/19)

Bucket Knight ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/19)

Breeder Homegrown ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/19)

Explosive Jake ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/19)

Active Neurons ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/19)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1st

Among the Sleep – Enhanced ($7.49 from $24.99 until 7/1)

Animus ($3.99 from $7.99 until 7/1)

Aperion Cyberstorm ($10.49 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Aquatic Adventures of Last Human ($3.89 from $12.99 until 7/1)

Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 ($8.99 from $29.99 until 7/1)

Black Paradox ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Blacksea Odyssey ($3.24 from $12.99 until 7/1)

Blair Witch ($26.99 from $29.99 until 7/1)

Bleed ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Bleed 2 ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Bleed Complete Bundle ($4.19 from $27.99 until 7/1)

Bloo Kid 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/1)

Bullet Battle: Evolution ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Can Androids Pray: Blue ($4.89 from $6.99 until 7/1)

Creepy Road ($5.19 from $12.99 until 7/1)



Dead End Job ($8.49 from $16.99 until 7/1)

Demon Pit ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)

Deployment ($0.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)

Digerati Indie Bundle ($2.24 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Don’t Die, Mr Robot! ($1.07 from $8.99 until 7/1)

Electronic Super Joy ($2.99 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Fall of Light: Darkest ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory ($14.99 from $39.99 until 7/1)

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark ($10.19 from $29.99 until 7/1)

Frost ($3.89 from $12.99 until 7/1)

Glass Masquerade ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Glass Masquerade 2 ($7.19 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Glass Masquerade Double Pack ($10.99 from $21.99 until 7/1)

Golem Gates ($7.49 from $24.99 until 7/1)

Hacky Zack ($0.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)



Him & Her ($0.49 from $0.99 until 7/1)

Horror Bundle Vol. 1 ($6.09 from $30.49 until 7/1)

I, Zombie ($0.99 from $4.99 until 7/1)

INK ($1.34 from $8.99 until 7/1)

Letter Quest Remastered ($2.99 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Light Tracer ($8.99 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Monster Slayers ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Nefarious ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Odallus: Dark Call ($4.07 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Omega Strike ($4.49 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Oniken & Odallus Bundle ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/1)

Oniken: Unstoppable ($3.39 from $9.99 until 7/1)

Paranautical Activity ($1.03 from $7.99 until 7/1)

Pipe Push Paradise ($3.73 from $10.99 until 7/1)

Reverse Crawl ($4.41 from $12.99 until 7/1)



Seeds of Resilience ($12.59 from $13.99 until 7/1)

Shikhondo – Soul Eater ($4.19 from $13.99 until 7/1)

Skelly Selest ($3.39 from $9.99 until 7/1)

Slain: Back From Hell ($4.99 from $19.99 until 7/1)

Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut ($3.74 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Snakeybus ($8.39 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Spectrum ($2.39 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Straimium Immortaly ($5.99 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo ($0.99 from $7.99 until 7/1)

Super Blood Hockey ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Super Treasure Arena ($1.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)

Sydney Hunter & Curse of the Mayan ($1.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)

Tamashii ($5.99 from $11.99 until 7/1)

Three Fourths Home: Extended ($1.07 from $8.99 until 7/1)

Truberbrook ($14.99 from $29.99 until 7/1)



Uncanny Valley ($2.49 from $9.99 until 7/1)

UnderHero ($10.19 from $16.99 until 7/1)

Unexplored ($4.50 from $15.00 until 7/1)

Uni ($2.49 from $4.99 until 7/1)

Valfaris ($13.74 from $24.99 until 7/1)

Verlet Swing ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/1)

Vertical Drop Heroes HD ($1.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)

WHIP! WHIP! ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/1)

XenoRaptor ($5.09 from $14.99 until 7/1)

1979 Revolution: Black Friday ($3.59 from $11.99 until 7/1)

That’s all for today, friends. Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but we’ll have coverage of whatever new releases arrive along with the news and sales that you crave. The reviews I’m working on at the moment are going to take a little while longer, so it could be a short one. We’ll see, as usual. Anyway, I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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