SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring Sonic Origins Plus & ProtoCorgi Plus Todays Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 26th, 2023. We’ve got a bunch of reviews for you today, with Sonic Origins Plus, ProtoCorgi, Unimime, and Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine getting evaluated by yours truly and the new Story of Seasons game tackled by our pal Mikhail. After that, we head into the new releases of the day, which are mostly made up of weekend stragglers. We finish things up as we always do, with the lists of the latest sales and expiring discounts. Let’s get going!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life ($49.99)

The Story of Seasons (previously known as Harvest Moon but not called that anymore) series has been very interesting to play ever since I discovered it back on the Nintendo 3DS. I loved Story of Seasons (the game) and Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, and quite liked my time with the first Switch entry Marvelous and Xseed Games released with Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. That was a remake, but a brand new game for me. Since then, we’ve had one new game in the series hit Switch in the form of Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town and another remake, Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life which I’m reviewing here.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town had a lot of good ideas and it was a fun experience, but was very lacking on Switch when it came to its technical aspects and some of its gameplay focus at launch. It felt more akin to My Time At Portia than Story of Seasons, so I Was hoping we’d see more of a traditional entry at some point in the future. When Marvelous announced Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life as a remake of the GameCube game, I was curious to see if we’d get a competent Switch version, and also if the game itself would be worth playing. A few of my friends who have been fans of the series since the beginning said this would be worth playing, and they were right. Not only is it worth grabbing at full price, but it also manages to stand alongside the genre greats today when it comes to life simulation experiences on Nintendo’s hybrid system.

With a robust character creator and visuals that perfectly suit the genre, Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life starts out very strong. It feels more modern than the actual new Story of Seasons game on Switch as well, but the real star is in the story you experience here. You can of course take things at your own pace with loads of freedom as well. Considering this is a mainline Story of Seasons game, I was surprised that farming isn’t something you’re constantly pushed into. The team really made this as chilled out as possible.

Farming, socializing, and working towards building up your life has never been better thanks to the quality of life improvements added here. Having spent the last few weeks taking a break from Final Fantasy 16 and Trails with Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life made me look up what was actually changed or added for this remake. While I can’t comment on how things felt with the original game, it feels like a lot has been done across the board to make Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life feel modern and chock full of quality content.

The Switch already saw one fantastic GameCube game get shadow dropped earlier this year with Metroid Prime Remastered, and I’m glad that even third party developers and publishers are putting in as much care and attention with their own GameCube (and PS2) games for Switch like in Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life.

Having played Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life on both Switch and Steam Deck, the latter is a better experience for sure with 60fps gameplay and improved visuals, but this is one case I’m not too bothered by the frame rate target and visuals on Switch like I was in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town or Rune Factory 5. If you don’t care about portability, get it elsewhere, but if you do, this is a fine experience and one I can safely recommend.

Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life is a game worth getting for anyone looking at grabbing their next relaxing experience on Switch. I was afraid of technical issues given recent games from Marvelous on Switch, but this is the best Story of Seasons on the platform, and well worth its asking price. As someone completely new to this entry, the developers have made it feel good enough to be a brand new game as well. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

Sonic Origins Plus ($39.99)

I reviewed the original Sonic Origins release here back when it came out, and while it did get a patch or two after that I largely stand by what I wrote there. Do go and have a look at it if you want to know my detailed thoughts on the non-Plus content. The question we have to look at today is whether the new content and features are enough to nudge up my original score. By and large, what we’ve got here are twelve added Game Gear games and the ability to play as Amy Rose in all of the games. We also get the ability to play as Knuckles in Sonic CD. There are a few other bits and bobs, but that’s the thrust of it.

Amy isn’t a game changer by any means, but she offers up another reason to replay these familiar games. Knuckles in Sonic CD is a bigger deal, since the exploratory nature of that game combines well with the greater traversal abilities of the Echidna. If you’ve never chased the good ending of the game before, I recommend trying to do it with Knuckles. As for the Game Gear games, they run a wild gamut of quality from the dreadful (Sonic Spinball) to the great (Sonic the Hedgehog). The emulation seems fine outside of an odd choice to add an echo filter to the audio, which sounds particularly bad in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Oh, and you’ll want to head to the options to remap your buttons. For some reason, they’re mapped in reverse by default on the Switch. I wish we could have had some Master System versions in here as well, but if wishes were fishes the world would be an ocean, I suppose.

If the quirks and differences of the original release of Sonic Origins pushed you away, nothing in Sonic Origins Plus is going to turn your opinion around. Even the pixel scaling is still off. If you were okay with vanilla Origins, the Plus content is more than worth picking up. Ten dollars gets you a dozen Game Gear games and some fun new character options for the base game. I still think this is a solid collection that presents a good value for your money, and the Plus add-on only hammers that in more. I’d love to see a few things fixed or improved, but even as it is I think it’s a solid celebration of the most famous hedgehog in the world.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

ProtoCorgi ($6.99)

ProtoCorgi is a game I could see some people loving, but I ended up only liking it. You play as a cyborg corgi that soars through the air, blasting and barking his way through enemy forces to rescue his master. The pixel art is great, and the music backing it isn’t half-bad either. The game plays well, hits just about the right length for a shoot-em-up, and has a good difficulty curve. There are lots of little secrets to find with your bark move, and some extra unlockables and proper online leaderboards give the game a fair bit of replay value. One of those unlockables is a whole level editor you can use to make your own stage. That’s neat!

I just wish I enjoyed it more. It never quite sparked for me in the way my favorite shooters do. I came, I barked, I conquered. I messed around with the level editor a bit, found it a bit too opaque for my liking, and went back to trying to get higher scores in the main game. There’s a solid training mode included here as well. All fine. Maybe it doesn’t have that zing for me because, theme aside, it seems to stick to very tried and true design? The premise is quirky but the game itself hews so closely to the line that it feels a bit rote at times.

I enjoyed ProtoCorgi, and I think there’s a solid chance many of you will have an even better time with it. It has a solid presentation, almost all of the options you would want in a shooter plus a few more, and a cute premise. Throw in a very competitive price and it’s an easy shooter to recommend. Just keep in mind the usual rule about cute-em-ups: just because it looks fluffy, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Inexperienced shooter fans may want to approach cautiously, but shooter fans should have a barking good time.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine ($9.99)

Some ideas are better on paper than they are in practice, and I can’t help but feel that way about Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine, a Puyo Puyo-like spin-off of Super Meat Boy. The game plays almost exactly like Puyo Puyo, minus an opponent. We’re already off on the wrong foot, I think. The back-and-forth between opponents is one of the key points of Puyo Puyo. Here you’re just trying to make enough matches to fill a meter. It would be incredibly easy, but you know it won’t play out like that.

Each of the 120 stages has hazards on the play field, and the closer you get to finishing the more of them show up. Touch any of them with your falling piece and you fail, getting booted back to the last stage checkpoint. Interesting, except sometimes it really does feel like you can’t avoid the hit and crawling back from a checkpoint becomes more miserable the further in you get.

I love falling block puzzlers and there are a lot of good aspects to Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine. It looks good, the controls are responsive, and I respect that it tries something new in the genre. Unfortunately the core gimmick is also what sinks it. It’s too hard to focus on setting up solid combos when you have to deal with all the frustrating traps along the way. Survival often feels like pure luck, and I’m not a fan of that kind of thing in a game like this. Ultimately, I’d just rather play Puyo Puyo.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

Unimime – Unicycle Madness ($4.99)

Sometimes you just want to play a simple little game built around a simple little trick, and that’s was Unimime offers. You have to guide a little mime on a unicycle to the goal in each stage, a task easier said than done given the small issues of gravity and balance. Moving in either direction will pull you towards the sweet kiss of Mother Earth, but should you succumb to her temptations you’ll have to restart the stage. You have to use the stick to stay balanced as you move. Simple enough on a flat surface, but the game won’t accommodate you with those for very long. There are a number of extra objectives for each level that will complicate things further.

I actually had a fun time with this. It has that great pick-up and play feel that makes for a terrific palate cleanser between bigger, more complicated games. It’s easy enough to just make your way through, but the added objectives layer on more challenge for those who desire it. It even has leaderboards so you can see how you stack up time-wise on each stage against other players. Games like Unimime tend to get lost in the crowded hallways of the eShop, but it’s one that is worth paying some attention to.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Soulvars ($16.99)

This is an enhanced port of the mobile game that came out a year or two ago. I remember it being pretty solid, and I can’t imagine it’s been made worse in the process of moving it to the Switch. Kind of a mix of a deck builder and RPG, vaguely along the lines of things like Darkest Dungeon or Monster Train. We certainly don’t have any shortage of that type of game on this platform, but another decent one is always welcome.

BroodStar ($11.00)

Mmm, I’m not really into shooters like this one, but I know some people dig them. It’s a vertical scrolling roguelite take on the genre, offering up twelve procedurally-generated stages to blast your way through. While you’re playing you can collect upgrade modules, and if you die you’ll have to start from the beginning but can retain those upgrades. There are hundreds of upgrades, several weapons and sub-weapons, plus some challenges and leaderboards.

Army of Ruin ($7.99)

These Vampire Survivors-inspired games need to get in while the getting is good on the Switch, what with the real thing being on the way and all. Other than the visuals being a bit more elaborate than the average game of this sort, I’m not seeing much that makes this one stand out one way or the other.

Hooligan Simulator – San Gangster Andreas Fight for City, Battle Gangs, Shooter, Police ($12.99)

Some more trash for the trash bin. I recommend leaving it in there and moving right along. Look, there might be some good sales down below.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Some of the Pixel Game Maker Series games have hit new low prices, and I particularly like the Game Boy homages Thunder Striker, Oumuamua, Rumble Dragon, Jewelinx, and Cham the Cat Adventure. Don’t sleep on those games from Flynn’s Arcade, either. Murtop, Donut Dodo, and Galacticon are amazing throwbacks to the classic arcade era. Almost nothing in the outbox for tomorrow, so your wallet is safe there.

Select New Games on Sale

Dream of Tiny Snow ($7.99 from $11.99 until 7/1)
Volley Pals ($4.86 from $6.49 until 7/7)
Ultimate Anime Jigsaw Puzzle ($3.74 from $4.99 until 7/7)
Hentai RPG: Isekai Journey ($3.34 from $4.99 until 7/8)
PGMS Shiba Mekuri ($4.39 from $5.49 until 7/9)
PGMS Ninja Otedama R ($5.09 from $5.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Thunder Striker ($7.91 from $11.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Oumuamua ($6.59 from $9.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Rumble Dragon ($7.91 from $11.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Jewelinx ($5.27 from $7.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Cham the Cat Adventure ($7.25 from $10.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Game Battle Tycoon ($9.89 from $14.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Block Slime Cave ($4.20 from $7.00 until 7/9)
PGMS Medium-Naut ($7.49 from $14.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Remote Bomber ($4.99 from $9.99 until 7/9)

PGMS Pearl Vs Grey ($5.99 from $7.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Clam Knight ($3.59 from $5.99 until 7/9)
PGMS Kingdom Fighter ($6.99 from $13.99 until 7/9)
Byte Cats ($5.99 from $11.99 until 7/9)
Sunrise GP ($11.09 from $14.99 until 7/10)
My Lovely Wife ($8.99 from $14.99 until 7/10)
The Library of Babel ($13.29 from $18.99 until 7/10)
Football Cup 2022 ($1.99 from $14.99 until 7/13)
Tricks Magician ($3.99 from $4.99 until 7/14)
New York City Driver ($6.49 from $12.99 until 7/14)
Murtop ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/14)
Donut Dodo ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/14)
Galacticon ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/14)
Papertris ($3.49 from $4.99 until 7/14)
Forgotton Anne ($3.99 from $19.99 until 7/14)
King Jister 3 ($2.99 from $5.99 until 7/16)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 27th

Madorica Real Estate 2 ($10.99 from $18.99 until 6/27)
Melty Blood: Type Lumina ($27.49 from $49.99 until 6/27)
Protodroid DeLTA ($15.99 from $19.99 until 6/27)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new releases, more sales, more reviews, and maybe some news. I’m getting my next vaccine shot tomorrow, but I imagine if I do have any side effects they won’t kick in fast enough to affect the article. I hope you all have a marvelous Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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