Steam Deck Weekly: Pepper Grinder and Missile Dancer 2 Impressions, FFXIV Dawntrail Release Date, New Strive DLC, This Week’s Verified Games, and More

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. If you missed yesterday’s long interview with Dave Oshry of New Blood Interactive, read it here. Aside from that, there has been quite a bit of news since last Friday when it comes to new game announcements, trailers, release dates, and more Steam Deck Verified and Playable games from Valve. I haven’t had enough time to review anything for this week, but I’ve been playing two notable games on Steam Deck. Before the news, let’s get into the Steam Deck gameplay impressions first.

Steam Deck Game Reviews & Impressions

Missile Dancer 2 Steam Deck Impressions

Missile Dancer 2 is a new sprite scaler shmup from the awesome Terarin Games. If you’re not familiar with the indie developer, Shaun has reviewed loads of their games on Switch, and with many of them hitting Steam as well, I’ve been buying every single release. I’m a huge fan, but was curious to see how the developer would tackle this style of shmups. Very well it turns out. Missile Dancer 2 feels like a blend of Terarin’s signature charm with After Burner across its lock-on system, great music, and lovely visuals. Missile Dancer 2 runs flawlessly on Steam Deck (capped at 60fps though) in the time I’ve put into it since yesterday. Stay tuned for Shaun’s full review of the game on Switch. I definitely recommend trying out the demo.

Pepper Grinder Steam Deck Impressions

I was always going to play Pepper Grinder because Devolver Digital published it, but the soundtrack being composed by Xeecee ensured it would be special. I love Xeecee’s work and music recommendations. Before going off on a tangent about that, Pepper Grinder is a superb and slick pick up and play 2D action platformer about drilling and diving.

Shaun is doing a full review of this, and I’ve been playing Pepper Grinder for a different feature, but it was so good that I just had to talk about it here. Barring some hit stop effect with the screen and the text effect that both give me a bit of motion sickness on both Switch and Steam Deck, Pepper Grinder feels perfect. It even runs at 90fps albeit at 16:9 and has Steam Cloud support. While I hope it comes to PS5 to see how the developers use the DualSense features, right now Pepper Grinder is basically perfect on Steam Deck. You definitely need to try the demo out.

Holo X Break Steam Deck Impressions

Holo X Break from the developer of the awesome Holocure is a free Hololive fangame. This one is a beat-em-up with pixel art visuals featuring a few of my favorite Vtubers like Polka and Botan. It has local co-op support right now, but online is being added in a future update. It is worth noting that Holo X Break has Steam Remote Play Together support right now, and that’s always a good option until official online play is added.

Holo X Break released a few hours ago (as of this writing), but I’ve had no issues playing it on Steam Deck at 90fps on the Steam Deck OLED. I’ve been focusing on playing with Polka for now, but I will likely be playing it more over the next few days while trying the other characters. I appreciate that the developer lets you choose your own button prompts while playing. There’s also an Entomophobia option. If you like Hololive, download this for free right now.

News and Trailers

Some interesting fighting game reveals, FFXIV expansion stuff, and more this past week. We also had Square Enix announce and release a surprise update for the amazing Star Ocean 2 remake and some more DLC announced for other games. Arc System Works released A.B.A in Guilty Gear Strive this past week as the newest Season 3 character with the next DLC arriving in May. Season 4 is in development as well. Dizzy better be in. Watch the A.B.A trailer below:

Square Enix announced that FINAL FANTASY XIV: Dawntrail will launch on July 2nd worldwide for PC, PS5, PS4, and Xbox Series X. Pre-orders are now live with early access beginning from June 28th. Pre-order bonuses include a Wind-up Zidane minion and Azeyma’s Earrings (30% EXP boost until level 90). Pre-orders are live here for all platforms. Square Enix also confirmed that the FFXIV and FFXVI crossover begins next week. Watch the trailer for it below:

XSEED Games and MAGES. announced Corpse Party II: Darkness Distortion for a North American release on Steam, Switch, and PS4. This is a brand-new game in the series which has had a lot of games through spin-offs and more since the amazing original debuted. It feels like I’ve been waiting 10 years for this. Watch the trailer for it below:

Free to play cozy simulation game Palia is now available on Steam following its Nintendo Switch and other PC storefronts launch before. I have this on Switch and will be checking it out on Steam Deck soon.

Square Enix announced and released a surprise update for Star Ocean The Second Story R bringing in a new difficulty mode, post-game Raid Enemies, new weapons, and a lot more. This remake is incredible as I said in my Switch review before, and I’m going to try out the update this weekend on Switch and Steam Deck. Watch the trailer for all the changes and new content below:

Koei Tecmo announced that the 2nd Fate/Samurai Remnant DLC “Record’s Fragment — Sword Chronicles" will be released on April 18th. More information isn’t available. I liked the first DLC, but I still need to finish it.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising will get its version 1.30 update alongside Vane who is the next DLC character on April 2nd. Balance adjustments and patch notes will be released a day prior. Watch the gameplay trailer for Vane in GBVS Rising below:

Capcom released the first update for Dragon’s Dogma 2 with a 30fps cap on PS5, motion blur options, the ability to start a new game on Steam and PS5, DLSS improvements, and more. Check out the patch notes here. Don’t bother trying it on Steam Deck yet. It isn’t close to being playable.

The final notable bit of news this week is Bandai Namco Entertainment revealing that Eddy Gordo joins Tekken 8 on April 5th alongside a new update. Early access begins on April 1st for Year 1 Pass holders. The downside to this announcement is a battle pass system being added into the game with a premium option. Check out the full patch notes here.

New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week

  • Backpack Battles – Playable
  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake – Unsupported
  • Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour – Playable
  • Command & Conquer: Renegade – Playable
  • Contra: Operation Galuga – Verified
  • DJMAX RESPECT V – Unsupported
  • Dragon’s Dogma 2 – Unsupported
  • Dungeon Keeper 2 – Playable
  • Dungeon Keeper Gold – Playable
  • Krimson – Verified
  • Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story – Playable
  • Out of the Park Baseball 25 – Unsupported
  • Palia – Playable
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri Planetary Pack – Playable
  • SimCity 3000 Unlimited – Unsupported
  • Slay the Princess – Verified
  • Star Trek Legends – Playable
  • The Alto Collection – Verified
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky – Playable
  • The Saboteur – Playable

Steam Deck Game Sales & Discounts

The Steam Deck Builders Fest is live until April 1st. Use this to not save 10% off on Balatro because you should buy it at full price, but you can grab that or many of the other games on sale like Gloomhaven or Peglin.

That’s all for this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. I’m hoping to have some reviews for iOS, Switch, and Steam Deck next week alongside features. As usual, you can read all our past and future Steam Deck coverage here. If you have any feedback for this feature or what else you’d like to see us do around the Steam Deck, let us know in the comments below. I hope you all have a great day, and thanks for reading.

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