SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Rainbow Skies’ & ‘Xtreme Sports’, Plus Today’s Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for August 21st, 2023. In today’s article, we’ve got a couple of reviews to get things going with. The tactical RPG Rainbow Skies and the gnarly Xtreme Sports get their time in the Judgement Chair today, and who can say which will fly and which will fall? I mean, besides me. After that, there’s a bit of junk to wade through in the new releases, and a rather robust list of new sales to check out. Let’s get started on the week!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Rainbow Skies ($19.99)

Rainbow Skies is one of those games where I am fully aware of all of its flaws, and they are numerous, but I found myself having a pretty good time with it anyway. The story is two slices of bread with nothing between them. The writing borders on irritating most of the time. None of the characters are particularly interesting or likeable. The battle system is as basic as a turn-based tactical RPG can get. Enemy AI is quite poor by the standards of the genre. The world design is really bland. Sure, it looks and sounds nice, but otherwise what does it have going for it? And yet, I ended up getting into it.

It’s not really a mystery why, though. This is a game full of endless lists of things to check off. Side quests, upgrades, monster collection, exploration, and so on. As you complete things, the game will let you know. You can see your progress in these things at all times from the menu. When combined with a relatively frictionless and somewhat mindless game, this assortment of largely pointless achievements is enough to keep me going when I just want to chill with something. I’d compare it to a KEMCO RPG, albeit with a lot more oomph thrown behind it.

Given the reasoning behind my sticking with the game, I can’t really give it more than a light recommendation. If you’re like me and sometimes like to dig into a game with lots of lists of things to fill out, you might have a decent time with Rainbow Skies. It doesn’t do anything particularly well, and it certainly does a few things badly, but there’s a hook here that worked on me and very well might work on you too.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Xtreme Sports ($9.99)

WayForward was one of those hidden secrets back in the day when they were in the licensed game salt mines. The developer is pretty well-known these days thanks to its flagship Shantae series and high-profile projects like River City Girls and Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp. If you want to dig into the history of the company’s games, things can be pretty tough. I doubt we’ll be seeing reissues of Sabrina: The Animated Series: Zapped! or Wendy: Every Witch Way anytime soon. But there is at least one game from those early pre-Shantae years that the company owns outright, and we can now play it on the Switch via Limited Run Games’ Carbon Engine. Hailing all the way from the year 2000, it’s Xtreme Sports for the Game Boy Color.

Yes, a Game Boy sports game that focuses on rad to the max ‘tude might seem like it would age about as well as a cup of milk on a picnic table in Japanese summer, but Xtreme Sports has more going on than you might think. Rather than taking the Track ‘n Field/Epyx Games approach of giving you a bunch of events and presenting them as-is, Xtreme Sports creates a little world that you explore. Your freedom is limited by the number of medals you have, and you earn more medals by completing challenges issued by the characters hanging around the various locations. You can also find some hidden medals if you look around hard enough. Your objective is two-fold: win the Xtreme Sports tournament, and figure out what’s up with the gang known as the Bone-Heads. This structure elevates what would otherwise be an amusing but limited mini-game collection.

There are five sports on offer in this game: skateboarding, inline skating, surfing, sky boarding, and street luge. As is usual for this kind of game, each of these events essentially plays almost entirely differently from the last. There are some common elements however, such as the Twitchy Shakes you can collect in order to give yourself temporary power-ups. All of the events will track your time and score, and some of them also have flags you can collect. The challenges will require you to meet or exceed the NPC’s performance in one or more of those categories. The way you play will depend on which of these conditions you’re trying to satisfy. There are various stages for each sport, and you’ll likely need to do some memorization of them to complete certain challenges.

Each of the sports is reasonably fun, and some are better than others. I don’t love the street luge as much as the others, and I really got into the surfing. But again, they’re all enjoyable enough. Going for high score was generally my favorite kind of challenge, while hunting down the flags was sometimes just annoying. The inline skating courses feel like they’re meant to shuffle you from left to right, so backtracking and exploring to get all of the flags involves a lot of frustrating trial and error. The controls work well in all the events, and I think WayForward got a lot of graphical mileage out of the limited hardware’s capabilities. The Carbon Engine wrapper does its work well here, offering solid emulation, a good LCD filter you can turn on or off, a few display ratio options, save states, and a selection of borders. You also get a nice Extras section with some art and a 3D replica of the original cartridge.

Xtreme Sports is one of those games that would have flown past most players back when it released, and as a WayForward Game Boy Color offering it still tends to live in the shadow of Shantae. I’m not sure if I can be the one to change anyone’s mind about it, but I can at least back up the many other reviews of this game over the years by saying that there is more to this game than you might think at a glance. If you’ve ever enjoyed any events-based sports game or can appreciate a good score/time attack game, you really should give this one a shot.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Nothing but Bin Bunch games today, friends. The weekend is rapidly becoming the place where these kinds of games get dumped and instantly deep-discounted. Don’t fall for these tricks! Unless you want to, in which case, do!

The Bin Bunch

Rescue Team 911 Simulator – Ambulance,Police, Firefighter ($11.99)

Skateboard Drifting with Maxwell Cat: The Game Simulator ($9.99)

FRMaster – Formula Racing Simulator ($6.99)

Stack Ball Run! ($0.99)


(North American eShop, US Prices)

First up, I want to highlight God Wars The Complete Legend. It’s not the best tactical RPG around, but it’s surely worth that four dollars it’s on sale for. This is a last chance sale, as it will be pulled from sale at the end of this month. Beyond that, there are quite a few decent games in today’s list. I’ll call out Donut Dodo, Galacticon, and Murtop for fans of arcade-style games, but do look through that list yourself. There are some nice games in the outbox as well, so have a good gander.

Select New Games on Sale

Mayhem Brawler ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/26)
Halftime Heroes ($2.49 from $4.99 until 8/26)
Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook ($39.99 from $49.99 until 8/28)
Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 1 ($27.99 from $39.99 until 8/28)
GrimGrimoire OnceMore ($39.99 from $49.99 until 8/28)
Disgaea 1 Complete ($19.99 from $49.99 until 8/28)
Disgaea 4 Complete+ ($19.99 from $49.99 until 8/28)
Disgaea 5 Complete ($19.99 from $39.99 until 8/28)
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny ($29.99 from $59.99 until 8/28)
God Wars The Complete Legend ($3.99 from $39.99 until 8/28)
Langrisser I & II ($17.49 from $49.99 until 8/28)
Rubberduck Wave Racer ($17.99 from $19.99 until 8/28)
Kizuna AI: Touch the Beat! ($27.99 from $34.99 until 8/30)
Parasite Pack ($3.99 from $7.99 until 8/31)
Cthulhu Pub ($1.99 from $9.99 until 9/1)

Worms WMD ($5.99 from $29.99 until 9/3)
Killer Frequency ($18.74 from $24.99 until 9/3)
Dormitory Love ($29.04 from $34.99 until 9/4)
Imp of the Sun ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/4)
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator ($11.87 from $17.99 until 9/4)
Disjunction ($5.27 from $15.99 until 9/4)
My Lovely Daughter ($4.49 from $14.99 until 9/4)
My Lovely Wife ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/4)
Silt ($9.89 from $14.99 until 9/4)
Embraced by Autumn ($15.19 from $18.99 until 9/8)
Sable’s Grimoire: Man & Elf ($4.79 from $5.99 until 9/8)
Papertris ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/8)
Donut Dodo ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/8)
Galacticon ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/8)

Murtop ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/8)
The Legend of Gwen ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/8)
Time of War, Arkano ’90 ($9.14 from $14.99 until 9/8)
Sandream ($7.49 from $24.99 until 9/8)
ANIMUS: Revenant ($4.59 from $22.99 until 9/10)
Modern War: Tank Battle ($3.74 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Counter Delta 2 ($11.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
World War Prologue ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Crime Busters Strike Area ($5.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Bunker Life ($8.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Haunted Zombie Slaughter ($6.74 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Car+Toon Race ($2.74 from $10.99 until 9/10)
World Class Champion Soccer ($4.39 from $10.99 until 9/10)
Dead Rain: New Zombie Virus ($4.94 from $10.99 until 9/10)
Space Genesis ($1.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)
Dungeon Limbus ($2.99 from $14.99 until 9/10)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 22nd

AEW Fight Forever Elite Edition ($71.99 from $79.99 until 8/22)
Annalynn ($3.99 from $4.99 until 8/22)
Battle Chasers Nightwar ($11.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
Darksiders III ($19.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
Descenders ($9.99 from $24.99 until 8/22)
Destroy All Humans! ($19.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
Disney Speedstorm ($20.99 from $29.99 until 8/22)
Disney Speedstorm Ultimate Pack ($45.49 from $69.99 until 8/22)
Eternal Radiance ($7.99 from $19.99 until 8/22)
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie ($17.49 from $24.99 until 8/22)
Hide & Dance ($2.99 from $4.99 until 8/22)
Hypnospace Outlaw ($6.99 from $19.99 until 8/22)
Koumajou Remilia Scarlet Symphony ($26.99 from $29.99 until 8/22)
Mom Hid My Game! ($2.99 from $4.99 until 8/22)
Mom Hid My Game! 2 ($2.99 from $4.99 until 8/22)

Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 ($19.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
My Brother Ate My Pudding! ($2.99 from $4.99 until 8/22)
Nekopara Vol.1 ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/22)
Not Tonight: Take Back Control ($2.49 from $24.99 until 8/22)
Nowhere Prophet ($2.49 from $24.99 until 8/22)
OmegaBot ($6.49 from $12.99 until 8/22)
Remnant From the Ashes ($33.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
Risen ($25.49 from $29.99 until 8/22)
Siralim 3 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 8/22)
Siralim Ultimate ($9.99 from $19.99 until 8/22)
Sophstar ($6.49 from $12.99 until 8/22)
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake ($33.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
The Sin ($4.73 from $5.99 until 8/22)
Titan Quest ($11.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)
Wonder Boy Returns Remix ($5.99 from $14.99 until 8/22)
Wreckfest ($25.99 from $39.99 until 8/22)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with more new games, sales, reviews, and perhaps some news. I’m really tired today. Sometimes days off aren’t as restful as one would hope. Well, one foot in front of the other. The bed awaits soon enough. I hope you all have a magnificent Monday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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