SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door’, Plus New Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for June 4th, 2024. It’s a relatively quiet day for new releases, but there are a couple at least. Before we look at those, I have a few reviews for you to enjoy. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, The Quintessential Quintuplets Double Pack, and Capes are in the spotlight today, and they’re all pretty good for what they are. In addition to the reviews and new releases, we have the usual lists of new and expiring sales for the day. Let’s dig in!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door ($59.99)

Gee, what’s with all these remakes of games that just came out a little while ago? What’s that? Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is twenty years old? No, that can’t be. That would make me… oh dear. Alright, let’s push through this existential crisis and get to the matter of this remake. Remaster? I can’t keep track of how the industry wants to use these words anymore. This new release of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.

So this is the one, isn’t it? The ex that many longtime Nintendo fans just can’t get over. Indeed, the younger readers out there might know this game best as the one that everyone talks about when they’re complaining about the latest Paper Mario game. Is it really that good? Well, yes. Mario’s been lucky enough to star in a handful of top-shelf RPGs in his time, but The Thousand-Year Door might just be the best. It has a fun story, great characters, excellent writing, a wild amount of variety in its scenarios, a nigh-perfect battle system, and a lot of interesting places to explore. All of that is wrapped up in a superb presentation that has only gotten better here on the Switch, and when you toss in the new quality-of-life features like quick partner swapping and improved fast travel, you’ve got a must-have game for all fans of Mario and/or RPGs.

If by some chance you have never played this game, let this be your excuse to do so. It’s really great, I promise. It has creativity and personality to burn, and while I won’t get on-board with bashing the games that came after it (they’re all fine, even Sticker Star), there is certainly something special about this game. It perfectly straddles the line between being decidedly and refreshingly unlike the usual Mario fare and being so Mario-ish that you can’t help but love it. The Switch has a lot of great RPGs so I won’t go as far out on the branch as to say this is the best on the platform, but it’s definitely among them. Play it. You’ll have a good time.

Those who have played the game before in its GameCube form have a harder choice, I suppose. Beyond the glow-up in the presentation and the new quality-of-life features, there are a few new things here. Some new badges. Some new mini-games. Some new… other stuff. It’s not nothing, but I don’t know if it’s enough to tell someone to drop the cash on a full-priced release of a game they’ve already largely experienced. If you love the game enough to play it again, then I would say this is a version that is very much worth playing. I daresay that even with its extra frames per second, the GameCube original doesn’t stand much of a chance against this new version.

Whether you’re new to the game or are simply relishing a return trip to Rogueport, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a fantastic way to experience one of Mario’s grandest and strangest adventures. Even as someone who has enjoyed the quirky charms of the last few Paper Mario games, I must admit that replaying the game via this version has made me pine for a new game with a similar sensibility to it. I don’t know if we’ll ever see that or not, but for now this superb remake more than satisfies.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

The Quintessential Quintuplets Double Pack ($59.99)

It’s always a little weird to play visual novel-style games based on an existing property. They either have to tuck the story somewhere in the canon where it won’t matter, or tell an alternate universe story. Either way, they’re shackled by the IP. But sometimes that isn’t a bad thing, because if there was ever a manga/anime where people might appreciate an alternate universe story, it’s The Quintessential Quintuplets. This was a story built to have fans at each other’s throats from the start, and the author had to be fully aware that around 80% of the readers would be disappointed no matter what the ending turned out to be.

A quick summary might be in order to bring you up to speed in case you’re not in the know. The Quintessential Quintuplets is a romantic comedy series about a straightlaced guy named Futaro Uesugi who, in serious need of money to pay his family’s bills and fund his future academic ambitions, takes a job tutoring the daughters of his father’s wealthy friend. He is surprised to find that there are five daughters, and they are quintuplets. Each of them is troublesome in her own way for our protagonist, but we the readers know from page one that one of them will end up his bride. Since they all have the same face, we don’t know which. And thus the story begins, with teases aplenty about which one will be in the bride’s position. I won’t spoil the ending in case you feel like reading/watching it, and frankly if you’re going to play these games you should do just that first.

We get two games in this pack. One of them, Five Memories Spent With You, is a fairly normal visual novel. It picks up from the decisive moment of the story, allowing the player to choose which of the five sisters Futaro chooses. You can go with the canon pick or any of the other girls, and if you complete all of their routes you’ll get a special extra route where you can have your cake and eat it too. As the story plays out, you’ll make choices here and there. Picking the right thing will earn you Futaro Points, and the ending you receive depends on whether or not you reached a certain threshold of Futaro Points. If nothing else, it’s a fun way to see how things could have played out if another girl had won. The main story follows the characters as they go on an Okinawa vacation to celebrate their graduation. It assumes you know everyone already and basically the story that led here, so I wouldn’t recommend it to a newcomer.

The other game in this bundle, Memories of a Quintessential Summer, is a bit more interesting. There’s a management element to this game that gives the gameplay a little more bite. The main cast ends up trapped on an island for two weeks and has to survive. That involves making choices to keep up supplies, stay on top of studies, and have some fun too. You can only take so many actions in a day, and you need to balance what you have each girl doing so she doesn’t fall into a funk or get too far behind on her studies. Here too there are multiple routes, and you can again unlock a special route where you take the whole bag home with you. This one is perhaps less dependent on one’s knowledge of the original story, but it will still benefit you to know the characters in advance.

As with most visual novels based on existing properties, The Quintessential Quintuplets Double Pack is aimed at the fans of the license. Those without pre-existing attachments are probably going to feel a bit lost here, and it’s hard to recommend the games to that sort of person as a result. That said, if you are a fan of this manga/anime, I think you’ll enjoy what’s on offer here. It’s all pretty modest in scope, but the characters are served well enough to satisfy. I think those who weren’t pleased with the canon ending of the series will find some additional joy here as you can choose a different path for our hapless hero. Not an especially ambitious or intriguing take on the genre, but good enough.

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

Capes ($39.99)

I like super heroes. It is known. I also like turn-based tactical RPGs. It is known. And so it is perhaps not the most surprising thing that I really like Capes, which is a turn-based tactical RPG about super heroes. But it could have just as easily gone the other way, because my love for these things means that if anything is especially off about how it’s put together, I’m going to really notice it. I’m not going to say Capes is perfect in how it applies superheroes to this genre, but it doesn’t mess anything serious up either. You get a bunch of heroes with a bunch of cool powers, and those powers are implemented into the turn-based battle system really well. I like the way you can team characters up with each other to use their powers together.

It’s actually impressive how well everything clicks together. Some lessons were clearly taken from the more recent entries in the XCOM series, and that isn’t a bad place to look if you’re making a game of this sort. It’s certainly a rougher thing in many ways. The character models don’t look great, and the voice acting runs the gamut. The story isn’t very interesting, which is unfortunate given the interesting set-up. The city has basically been taken over by super-villains, who now run the place and do anything they can to keep new supers from rising up. This doesn’t seem to bother the average citizen, perhaps because the villains control the media and make it seem like the supers are the bad ones.

You take control of a team of young “capes" led by a grizzled old guy who seems to have revenge on his mind. While your team is very small to start with, you’ll build up your band as you go until you have a veritable league of super heroes to work with. Very cool! But the plot is so predictable, full of conveniences to support what the mechanics require, and delivered so clumsily that it quickly squanders that great premise. It’s not terrible or anything, but if you’re going to get into this game it’s going to be more for the gameplay than the narrative.

That gameplay is very good, though. Capes eschews the usual reliance on dice rolls and gives you full predictable results for your actions. Once you get a handle on how the CPU behaves, you can more or less figure out how things are going to unfold in any given mission. That doesn’t make completing them easy, of course. But without RNG messing with you, each mission is for better or worse a puzzle to solve. I don’t dislike that, as the variety of powers in play gives you a lot to chew on as it is. You’ll have to be ready to spend some time leveling up your heroes in side missions if you want to keep up with the difficulty, mind you. I enjoyed almost every battle in this game though, and that’s saying something.

If you’re into the idea of a superhero-flavored turn-based tactical RPG, I can happily report that Capes won’t let you down. It brings powers into combat in sensible ways, and goes the extra mile of making sure things like cooperation between heroes is represented properly too. There are aspects of it that could use more polish, and you can feel where the budget perhaps wasn’t up to the ambition, but the meat of the game delivers quite nicely.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Select New Releases

Star Wars: Hunters (Free*)

Feels like this has been on the release calendar for absolute ages now, but it’s finally here. Zynga (oof) has a free-to-play (ouch) arena combat game based on Star Wars for up to eight players to enjoy via online multiplayer. I have no idea if this is going to be any good or not, but I’m not super hopeful. Luckily since it’s free-to-play we can all easily find out on our own how good it is or isn’t.

*Nothing is free in life, friends

Downward: Enhanced Edition ($9.99)

Oh, hey. It’s Downward. This came out on computers several years back, and it’s a fairly interesting first-person parkour game set in a foreboding yet gorgeous apocalyptic world. Pretty rough around the edges, but certainly not without its charms. It’s no Mirror’s Edge, but it’s decent enough.


(North American eShop, US Prices)

Not a whole lot going on sales-wise today, but Thalamus is doing another line-wide sale and WB Games has a few things on sale too. Kao the Kangaroo is at a new low price, and I think it’s just about where it needs to be to take a chance on it. Over in the outbox, the Minecraft anniversary sales are coming to a close. This is your last chance to get the games cheap, and in the case of the main game itself, you may never get another chance again. Check those lists and consider them carefully!

Select New Sales

TRON: Identity ($11.99 from $14.99 until 6/10)
Dead by Daylight ($11.99 from $29.99 until 6/20)
Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/24)
Cardful Planning ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/24)
Millie & Molly ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/24)
Destructivator SE ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/24)
10 Second Ninja X ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/24)
The Solitaire Conspiracy ($2.39 from $11.99 until 6/24)
Thomas Was Alone ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/24)
Bezier: Second Edition ($1.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Death Ray Manta SE ($1.99 from $10.00 until 6/24)
Lair of the Clockwork God ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/24)
Cecconoid ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/24)
Alien Death Mob ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/24)
Lumo ($1.99 from $19.95 until 6/24)
Rogue Aces ($1.99 from $12.99 until 6/24)
Behold the Kickmen ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/24)
Kao the Kangaroo ($8.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Tropico 6 ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/24)
LEGO City Undercover ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/24)
Mortal Kombat 11 ($8.99 from $59.99 until 6/24)
Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath DLC ($3.99 from $39.99 until 6/24)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, June 5th

BIT.TRIP Runner ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/5)
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium, Assorted ($0.99 from $1.99 until 6/5)
Coffee Crisis ($1.99 from $9.99 until 6/5)
Desktop Baseball 2 ($3.99 from $9.80 until 6/5)
Make It! Taiyaki ($1.99 from $3.00 until 6/5)
Minecraft ($14.99 from $29.99 until 6/5)
Minecraft Deluxe Collection ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/5)
Minecraft Dungeons ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/5)
Minecraft Dungeons Ultimate Edition ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/5)
Minecraft Legends ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/5)
Minecraft Legends Deluxe Edition ($24.99 from $49.99 until 6/5)
Umurangi Generation SE ($17.49 from $24.99 until 6/5)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Wednesday business. That means maybe a couple of new releases, some sales, and perhaps some news. No reviews this time, unless our pal Mikhail has been hiding something. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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