SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Maximus 2’ and ‘Melatonin’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 9th, 2023. In today’s article, we’ve got a couple of reviews. One is from me, and the other is from our pal Mikhail. After that, we have some slightly dubious new releases to look at, and then the usual lists of new and expiring sales. That’s it, but that’s not bad for a Monday. Let’s get to it!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Maximus 2 ($4.99)

This is just big, silly beat-em-up fun. That’s the kind of thing developer Four Fats is good at, a talent well-honed over the course of several releases. The art style is goofy but cohesive. The action is fast and a little broken, but in that amusingly enjoyable way where you laugh at the outcome. You can play alone or with up to four players locally, and there are several distinct playable characters to use and upgrade. Like the original game, it’s a parody of Golden Axe and other beat-em-ups, but it can stand fairly well on its own chops.

There are certainly some vestiges from its origins as a free-to-play mobile release, but nothing that messes much with the core action. Mainly the continue system, which just sort of tosses a ton of continues your way. For all intents and purposes this is the game you would get if you bought the ad removal IAP from the mobile version, and in a case that is rarer on Switch than it should be, it’s priced similarly.

Maximus 2 isn’t going to threaten the kings of the beat-em-up genre or anything, but if you enjoyed playing games like Castle Crashers, you’ll likely have a good time here. Leveling up all of the characters and unlocking their extra skins will take quite some time, so even if you’re playing solo there’s a lot to do here. Despite a few rough edges, it’s an excellent value for brawler fans on a budget.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Melatonin ($14.99)

melatonin review switch

Melatonin is a Rhythm Heaven-inspired game about dreams. It has a very pleasing aesthetic, gorgeous animations, and a lovely soundtrack spread across its levels that ramp up the difficulty quite a bit as more inputs arrive. I adored Rhythm Heaven on 3DS, and Melatonin is the first game since to scratch that itch.

I initially thought the charm might wear off quickly, but Melatonin was compelling all the way through. It isn’t a very long game, but I’ve been revisiting earlier levels on higher difficulties to try and improve. Each level begins with a tutorial showing you the ropes with visual cues followed by the proper score mode where you try and press buttons going by the sounds and animations of the level. This is a bit complex, but you can toggle accessibility options to make things a bit simpler.

melatonin review switch

On Switch, Melatonin makes good use of the HD Rumble. There are a few performance issues, but nothing that made me miss notes during levels. I hope this can be addressed in potential updates.

Melatonin from Half Asleep was only released a few weeks ago, and it is already one of my favorite rhythm games on Nintendo Switch. Just like Gal Metal a few years ago, Melatonin excels in its simplicity while being quite challenging. This coupled with the gorgeous visuals and excellent music makes Melatonin an easy recommendation for fans of Rhythm Heaven and those looking for a challenging new music-focused game.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

New Releases

Scrap Riders ($19.99)

I think it’s a very unusual idea to mix a point-and-click style adventure game with a beat-em-up, but I won’t lie: years of badly-implemented action mechanics in adventure games have me wary. It looks pretty good from what I’ve seen so far, so I’m hoping my concerns are totally unfounded. Anyway, you’re a member of a biker gang in a cyberpunk setting. It’s all presented in a rather comedic style, so adjust your tonal expectations appropriately.

Rafa’s World ($9.99)

A completely generic platformer. Big five-dollar Switch platformer energy, and not even a particularly interesting one either. Throw in the fact that it is ten dollars and not five and you have a real conundrum. Recommended only to people named Rafa, because how awesome is it that it is your world? Pretty awesome. I’d buy Shaun’s World for sure.

Rooten ($4.99)

This is a horror adventure game set in a forest full of dangerous ways to die. Explore and try to uncover the mystery behind the missing station staff, and try not to join their number while you’re at it. Not really my kind of game, so I can’t say much more than that.

Roof Jump Stunt Driver ($12.99)

BoomHits has another driving game, this one centered around rooftop jumping. You get ten different cars to drive, a bunch of missions to complete, and a course full of obstacles and jumps to master. This will almost certainly receive a deep discount before too long, as all of these games tend to.

Flipped On ($1.99)

If you want a game to get angry at today, this is a good pick-up. It’s kind of a car-based platformer where you have to make your way through levels filled with extremely precarious platforms, guiding around obstacles and building up the necessary speed to take jumps when they crop up. One wrong move and you’ll go tumbling right off the road. Pretty fun for the price, but it is also incredibly infuriating.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

A few things in there worth noting. Kao the Kangaroo hits a new low price. The House of Da Vinci 2 is half price if you need to catch up before you play the third game. New Tales from the Borderlands hits a very reasonable sub-twenty dollar price. Over in the outbox, Koei Tecmo’s latest sale is wrapping up. Neither list is very long today, so do have a look at both of them.

Select New Games on Sale

The House of Da Vinci 2 ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/14)
Sotano ($3.49 from $4.99 until 1/16)
Shantae & the Seven Sirens ($17.99 from $29.99 until 1/16)
NBA 2K23 ($23.99 from $59.99 until 1/17)
Tales from the Borderlands ($14.99 from $24.99 until 1/17)
New Tales from the Borderlands ($19.99 from $39.99 until 1/17)
OlliOlli World ($17.99 from $29.99 until 1/17)
Axiom Verge ($7.99 from $19.99 until 1/20)
Hotshot Racing ($2.99 from $19.99 until 1/21)
American Fugitive ($1.99 from $19.99 until 1/21)
Human: Fall Flat ($5.99 from $19.99 until 1/21)
Smoke & Sacrifice ($3.99 from $19.99 until 1/21)

My Lovely Daughter ($5.99 from $14.99 until 1/23)
My Lovely Wife ($10.49 from $14.99 until 1/23)
Port Royale 4 ($24.99 from $49.99 until 1/27)
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars ($13.99 from $39.99 until 1/27)
Commandos 2 HD Remaster ($14.99 from $19.99 until 1/27)
Neon Souls ($3.99 from $4.99 until 1/27)
Kao the Kangaroo ($17.99 from $29.99 until 1/28)
Super Treasure Arena ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/29)
Tied Together ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/29)
Fly Punch Boom! ($1.99 from $14.99 until 1/29)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 10th

Ampersat ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/10)
Artifact Adventure Gaiden DX ($5.99 from $9.99 until 1/10)
Atelier Ryza ($29.99 from $59.99 until 1/10)
Atelier Ryza 2 ($29.99 from $59.99 until 1/10)
Atelier Sophie 2 ($41.99 from $59.99 until 1/10)
CASE 2: Animatronics Survival ($4.59 from $19.99 until 1/10)
CASE: Animatronics ($4.59 from $19.99 until 1/10)
Crowalt: Traces of the Lost Colony ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/10)
Escape String ($3.49 from $6.99 until 1/10)
Fantasy Blacksmith ($7.49 from $9.99 until 1/10)
Flying Girl Striker ($10.50 from $15.00 until 1/10)
Hyper Gunsport ($22.49 from $24.99 until 1/10)
Jetboy ($2.09 from $5.99 until 1/10)
Little Bit War ($9.50 from $13.71 until 1/10)

Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX ($20.99 from $29.99 until 1/10)
Moonrise Fall ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/10)
Persephone ($2.00 from $8.00 until 1/10)
PGMS Angel’s Blood ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/10)
Plan B from Outer Space ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/10)
Return to Shironagasu Island ($4.19 from $6.99 until 1/10)
Samurai Warriors 5 ($35.99 from $59.99 until 1/10)
Samurai Warriors 5 Digital Deluxe ($53.99 from $89.99 until 1/10)
Super Zangyura ($13.99 from $19.99 until 1/10)
Unichrome: 1-Bit Unicorn Adv ($9.99 from $14.99 until 1/10)
Unreal Life ($13.79 from $22.99 until 1/10)
VasterClaws 3: DotGW ($21.00 from $30.00 until 1/10)
Vazial Saga XX ($23.80 from $34.00 until 1/10)
World for Two ($8.39 from $13.99 until 1/10)
ZombieVital DG ($10.00 from $14.30 until 1/10)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, and perhaps some news and reviews. We’ll have to see how things to go. I kind of spent half the day playing Pokemon with Son of Musgrave yesterday so I’m a bit behind on my work. Well, sometimes diversions are worth taking. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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