SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Strayed Lights’, ‘Pac-Man 99’ to Shut Down, Plus New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 17th, 2023. In today’s article, we have some sad news about Pac-Man 99. Remember Pac-Man 99? After that, it’s a review of the intriguing Strayed Lights, then a couple of new release summaries that probably won’t knock your socks off. We wrap things up as we tend to, with the lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s roll on with Wednesday!


‘Pac-Man 99’ Sails Into the Sunset This October

After the success of Tetris 99, you can’t blame Nintendo for trying to apply the massively multiplayer idea to more classics. Super Mario Bros. 35 was a great anniversary game that seemed to attract a decent amount of attention, but Pac-Man 99 never quite seemed to click in the same way as its stablemates. Nevertheless, it enjoyed a bunch of interesting Namco DLC drops and has chugged along for the last couple years. Sadly, its time will be up later this year. Nintendo has announced that online service for the game will end October 8th, 2023. You’ll still be able to play the offline modes after that, and you’ll have access to whatever DLC you’ve bought. Speaking of, you’d best grab that stuff if you want it. DLC will be pulled a bit ahead of the shutdown, starting in August.

Reviews & Mini-Views

Strayed Lights ($24.99)

Strayed Lights makes an strong first impression. It has a stylish look to its visuals, the direction of the cutscenes is really good, and the music is excellent. The combat tutorial introduces its unique parry-based mechanics, which call to mind color-matching affairs like Ikaruga. The enemies adopt one of three colors, and you sport two. For orange or blue, you swap to the appropriate color and use good timing to parry. If the enemy turns purple, it’s time to dodge.

You can directly attack, but the quickest way to end fights is to parry until your meter is full and then pull off a special move or QTE to take down the enemy. Sure, the parry timing is a little laggy and hard to get the hang of, and I frankly am never happy to see a QTE, but it’s unique and it basically works. Defeating enemies earns you points you can use to unlock new moves and upgrades, and you can also explore the environments to find various goodies. So yes, seems promising.

The more I played Strayed Lights, the less I liked it. The combat soon became repetitive. Part of that is down to a general lack of unique enemies, and part of that is a result of how slowly new facets of the combat system are unlocked. By the time everything is available, the game is at its conclusion. The challenge was also uneven, with the most difficult bits being when you have to face more than one opponent at a time. There’s an ability that can help a lot with that, at least. There were also times where I had a lot of trouble understanding what I need to do to avoid an attack, but that’s most likely on me.

Exploration similarly got tiresome after a while. The platforming is clunky, with fuzzy collision detection being the main culprit. The game world is attractive, but it’s sometimes hard to figure out which direction you’re meant to go. I did like poking around for the collectible items, though. It added a bit of spice to the game even if it ended up killing me more often than any of the battles. The game’s atmosphere is compelling, and the wordless story leaves a lot of room for interpretation. I like that kind of thing, but your mileage may of course vary. I should mention that this review is based on a patched version of the game. Strayed Lights had a lot of technical issues at launch that seem to have been mostly fixed now.

Strayed Lights has a lot going for it thanks to its exquisite presentation and inventive combat mechanics. Unfortunately, its ideas start to lose their shine well before you reach the end of this several-hour-long adventure. It’s still a fun, unique game, but I couldn’t help but feel it suffers somewhat from being all dressed up with no place to go. If you really like the look of it, feel free to give it a chance. There is certainly something to it. That “something" got a little too played out a little too quickly for my liking, however.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases

World Championship Boxing Manager 2 ($14.99)

This is apparently a follow-up to a 1991 computer game, and I assume it must have been beloved by some to get a sequel thirty years later. This new game was developed by Mega Cat Studios, and it’s fairly typical of its work. The structure is about what you would expect from the title. You’re training and managing boxers, trying to help them climb to the top and win the championship. The publisher has gone and licensed Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson for the game, in case you want to manage them instead of some no-names. It seems to have gotten a seriously mixed reception on other platforms, with a lot of criticisms pointed at how simplified and thin on content it is. Well, do what you will with it. Remember that Punch Club exists, if need be.

Under the Warehouse ($5.99)

A little exploratory adventure game for those looking for such a thing today. A client has directed you to find a special egg, and to retrieve it you’ll need to go… Under the Warehouse. There are multiple endings here, which I imagine depend on the choices you make while conversing with your co-workers. There are also plenty of puzzles to solve, if that’s your jam. Seems fine for the reasonable price it’s asking.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Well, that’s a very familiar list of sales. Nothing terribly thrilling there, even if there are several good games in the lot. Grab ’em now, or wait until they on sale again in a couple weeks. Some cool Square Enix games are finishing up their latest sales, so if you want to save five bucks on getting hooked on PowerWash Simulator, last call. Check both lists as usual, just to be sure.

Select New Games on Sale

Remains ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Jump Challenge! ($6.17 from $6.86 until 5/23)
Sparklite ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/28)
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX ($6.79 from $19.99 until 5/28)
Monster Harvest ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/28)
Bounty Battle ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/28)
Timelie ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/28)
Cloudpunk ($6.24 from $24.99 until 5/28)
The Long Reach ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/28)
HoPiKo ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/28)
RIOT: Civil Unrest ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/28)
The Lightbringer ($4.49 from $14.99 until 5/28)
Ponpu ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/28)
Buildings Have Feelings Too! ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/28)
Deathrun TV ($5.09 from $14.99 until 5/28)

Spirit of the North ($8.49 from $24.99 until 5/28)
Foreclosed ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/28)
Vaporum ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/28)
Slaycation Paradise ($6.79 from $19.99 until 5/28)
Hayfever ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/28)
Stranded Sails: EotCI ($6.24 from $24.99 until 5/28)
Time on Frog Island ($8.49 from $24.99 until 5/28)
even if TEMPEST ($34.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)
My Last First Kiss ($12.49 from $24.99 until 6/1)
Formula Retro Racing World Tour ($12.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Fury Unleashed ($4.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Clone Drone in the Danger Zone ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)
Gang Beasts ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/6)
Marooners ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/6)
Plague Universe ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/6)
Crash Drive 2 ($1.99 from $8.99 until 6/6)
Crash Drive 3 ($1.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, May 18th

A Place for the Unwilling ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Arise: A Simple Story ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
Axiom Verge 2 ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
Badland: Game of the Year Edition ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/18)
Blade of Darkness ($4.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Blocky Farm ($6.69 from $9.99 until 5/18)
Brave Dungeon + Dark Witch Story ($4.49 from $8.99 until 5/18)
Cafeteria Nipponica ($8.40 from $14.00 until 5/18)
Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Cube Life: Island Survival ($11.24 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Demon Hunter: New Chapter ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Dungeon Village ($7.00 from $14.00 until 5/18)
Eternal Radiance ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
Exitman Deluxe ($3.99 from $4.99 until 5/18)
Fear Effect Sedna ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)

Gamedec Definitive Edition ($4.99 from $29.99 until 5/18)
Gibbon: Beyond the Trees ($5.09 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Golf Club Wasteland ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/18)
Hot Springs Story 2 ($8.40 from $14.00 until 5/18)
ibb & obb ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Kwaidan Azuma Manor Story ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/18)
Last Beat Enhanced ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/18)
Life is Strange Arcadia Bay Collection ($29.99 from $39.99 until 5/18)
Life is Strange True Colors ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/18)
Local News with Cliff Rockslide ($8.99 from $9.99 until 5/18)
Lovekami Divinity Stage ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Lovekami Healing Harem ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Lovekami Useless Goddess ($9.74 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Murder on the Marine Express ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/18)
Myastere Ruins of Deazniff ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)

OBAKEIDORO ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
Onion Assault ($6.39 from $7.99 until 5/18)
Overloop ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/18)
Pool Slide Story ($7.00 from $14.00 until 5/18)
PowerWash Simulator ($19.99 from $24.99 until 5/18)
Sherlock Holmes Crimes & Punishments ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/18)
Station Manager ($8.40 from $14.00 until 5/18)
Subnautica: Below Zero ($12.59 from $29.99 until 5/18)
Sword of the Vagrant ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/18)
Terror of Hemasaurus ($9.74 from $14.99 until 5/18)
The Hong Kong Massacre ($1.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
The Legend of Dark Witch ($3.49 from $6.99 until 5/18)
The TakeOver ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/18)
Valis: The Fantasm Soldier Collection ($31.99 from $39.99 until 5/18)
What Lies in the Multiverse ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/18)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the big list of Thursday releases. It’s looking like the temporary quiet period around the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is over, as the day is rather packed. We’ll have summaries of all of them, plus whatever sales and big news roll in. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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