Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, Tchia, Beyond Good & Evil, and FROGUE hit the Switch

Evidently, it’s hoped that holiday goers and travellers will be packing their trusty Switch into their hand luggage, as it’s a curiously busy week for everyone’s favourite handheld hybrid.

Nintendo continues its monthly first-party drop with the Tantalus-developed 3DS remaster Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD. While reviews are mostly positive (the Metacritic currently sits at 78%) some critics were saddened by the lack of new content while the majority agreed that Luigi’s Mansion 3 is superior in every way. As conversions go though, it sounds like a polished package – the menus and HUDs have been redone to match the 1080p (docked) image quality. “It’s just a super-sharp, clean looking game from top to bottom,” said Eurogamer.

Hopefully, sales of Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD won’t prevent Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble from becoming a success. This is the first new Monkey Ball game in twelve years, and fans had to prove to SEGA that there’s a demand by purchasing the last couple of re-releases. The Metacritic is currently a respectable 77% with several reviews clocking in at 8/10. However, some critics suggest that expectations should be lowered – this isn’t an evolution of the franchise. VGC also noted performance issues and a “sparse” multiplayer mode.

Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition

We aren’t done with big name releases yet, as Ubisoft’s Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is out now, first announced barely a week ago. Reviews are starting to go live, with reports that it’s a serviceable re-release, although it’s prone to stuttering and showing its age in a few areas. At £18 though, anyone who missed out on the original should certainly take a look. For the younger generation, BG&E was released during a busy Christmas period on the likes of PS2 and GameCube and never managed to find a foothold despite being praised.

Then there’s Bandai-Namco’s anime tie-in SPY×ANYA: Operation Memories – a photography-based escapade with mini-games and fashion/dressing up elements – and a belated release of the tropical open-world adventure Tchia.

Atari’s back too with their Sprint revival NeoSprint – a top-down racer with four player support, a track editor, and a campaign mode. Defunct Games reviewed it on their YouTube channel, and found much to enjoy.

We’ve reviewed a couple of new releases ourselves. Frogun ENCORE is a standalone spin-off of the 2022 PSone-style 3D platformer, offering a bunch of new stages and bosses, and some extra challenges. The difficulty level is perfectly pitched, becoming progressively tougher, and at around 3-4 hours it doesn’t overstay its welcome. It remains an ‘old skool’ affair though, with nothing groundbreaking to offer. Go Go Jump!! meanwhile provides a bunch of jumping-based challenges, each requiring memorisation and timing skills. There’s a story and hub world to tie it together, plus Survival and Challenge modes. It looks nice too, with vibrant cartoony visuals.

Other releases for this week include the pixel art top-down adventure Nocturnal Visitors – the first in a series, with the sequel already underway – an EGGCONSOLE release of the obscure racing/shooter hybrid Topple Zip, and the innovative looking FROGUE – a roguelike with bullet hell and platforming elements that’s also, somehow, turn based. There’s only one thing indie developers love more than cats, and that’s frogs.

New Switch eShop releases

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD – £49.99

Join the faint-of-heart hero Luigi on a spooky quest in Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD for Nintendo Switch. In this visually enhanced adventure, take a trip to the eerie Evershade Valley and explore haunted mansions that are screaming and teeming with troublemaking ghouls and paranormal puzzles.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble – £39.99

Join AiAi and friends in Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble on Nintendo Switch! Compete with up to 16 players online and aim to become Top Banana, work together with your favourite bunch in local co-op and explore the wonderfully crafted story in the all-new Adventure Mode.

Frogun Encore – £11.69

Frogun ENCORE is a dashing standalone expansion/sequel to indie hit FROGUN! Explore the world with your trusty Frogun in this cute, lowpoly adventure!

Three whole years have passed since Renata defeated Beelzebub, and her small vacation in Jake’s town is cut short when the fly bois attack again! It seems one of Beelzebub’s loyal followers has an evil scheme in motion to bring him back, and Renata, Jake and Hatter will have to travel the whole world to foil his plans.

Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition – £17.99

Armed with her precious daï-jo fighting stick and faithful camera, Jade’s adventure will get you to freely explore Hillys, combat creatures large and small, infiltrate dangerous areas, solve enigmatic puzzles, play addictive mini-games, race the best hovercraft pilots, and take pictures of the whole experience.

Embark on this epic adventure with improved graphics and controls, along with updated audio and remastered soundtrack, and new quality-of-life features including autosave, cross-save, and cutscene-skip.

Be ready to experience a trailblazing blend of action gameplay and thrilling emotional cutscenes!

SPY×ANYA: Operation Memories -£44.99

Based on the popular anime & manga series! Anya Forger has received a new assignment from school: create a photo diary of memories.

On weekdays, head to class in the morning, then enjoy family time in the evening.

On weekends, visit all sorts of exciting places, like the beach or art museums, in search of subjects worthy of photographing!

What kind of photo diary will you help Anya create?

Fortress Challenge – Fort Boyard – £34.99

Sir Fouras has taken the adventure at Fort Boyard to the next level.

With his 6 exclusive perks, one for each part, he will shake up the rules of the game. Upon your arrival at the Fort, select the perk of the evening, while Father Fouras guides you through his mysterious riddles.

This new edition also offers 10 brand new trials, including Tug of War, Pirate Planks, the Bank, the Garage, and many more.

Get ready to experience epic challenges and push your limits!

Tchia – £26.99

Join Tchia on her tropical open-world adventure as she sets off to rescue her father from the cruel tyrant, Meavora, ruler of the archipelago. Climb, glide, swim, and sail your boat around beautiful islands as you explore a physics-driven sandbox. Face the fabric soldiers created by Meavora in open encounters where your creativity gives you the edge. Take control of any animal or object you can find, make new friends and jam on your fully playable Ukulele. A poetic coming-of-age story inspired by New Caledonia.

FROGUE – £4.49

Frogue is a stylish turn-based action platformer with bits of roguelite, bullet hell and time manipulation. Dash through your enemies, freeze time and throw your sword to solve every situation in YOUR way.

Gigantosaurus: Dino Sports – £34.99

Play as Mazu, Rocky, Bill and Tiny and compete in eight chomp-sized games. You’ll fly across deserts, race across glaciers, blast targets with berrys and more. But look out – Giganto himself might just stomp into the action!

With lots of game modes you can create your own tournaments, take on AI opponents, or get the gang together for a split-screen party. Can you earn the most medals and win the Super Giganto Pineapple? You’ll have dino-mite fun finding out!

Vera Blanc Supernatural Mysteries – £7.99

Vera Blanc is a mystery / detective game. Take on the role of Vera Blanc, a young and beautiful woman with an extraordinary power: the ability to read other people’s minds! The game plays like a visual novel / adventure game with two endings for the mystery and a collection of challenging minigames.

In this episode, our heroine travels to a mysterious town in Germany deep in the Black Forest.

A serial killer is on the loose, and all leads point to a werewolf as the culprit!

TSUKIHIME -A piece of blue glass moon- – £44.61

TSUKIHIME -A piece of blue glass moon- collects the two tales that make up the “Near Side of the Moon” portion of the original Tsukihime: Arcueid’s scenario, “Moon Princess,” and Ciel’s scenario, “Midnight Rainbow.”

Creator Kinoko Nasu has painstakingly disassembled and rebuilt the story, updating the setting to 2010s Tokyo and expanding the narrative. This reimagined presentation will exhilarate players with its hard-hitting tension and realism.

Featuring beautifully evolved visuals, animations, and music, TSUKIHIME -A piece of blue glass moon- presents a fresh take on TYPE-MOON’s genre-defining classic.

MERGE BLOCK PUZZLE – £2.69

Grab the blocks with the same number and move them. The number of the fused blocks will be +1, and multiple blocks will be fused into one.

Beware of the increasing number of blocks as time goes by and keep fusing them. The goal is 100!

There are 2 game modes.

There are two game modes: the mode with props and the mode without props.

Lost Pixel – £4.49

In this unique game you will learn more about the life of a pixel, lost and drifting in a vast digital landscape.

You won’t be stepping into the shoes of a traditional hero – instead, you’ll take on the role of a lone, wandering pixel in a digital realm.

Captain Backwater – £8.99

Captain Backwater is a puzzle game with 100 treasure caves. Move the treasures around. If they collide, they disappear. It seems easy at first, but it is surprisingly difficult. Many objects like teleporters and brushes will help you to reach your goal.

Magnus Trilogy – £8.09

Magnus Trilogy is a series of three visually captivating and emotionally immersive visual novel games, each with its own unique narrative and hand-drawn graphics. The Trilogy invites players to explore the depths of the human psyche, confronting them with unsettling themes and thought-provoking storytelling.

Radiant Tale -Fanfare!- – £44.99

An unlikely group of performers makes a last-ditch effort to reform a failing circus: a crazy dragon, a somber clown, a hesitant magician, an acrobat who can’t entertain, and a reluctant ringleader.

Radiant Tale introduced Tifalia, a bright new producer who does her best to turn this dysfunctional troupe around and make them stars.

Radiant Tale -Fanfare!- contains three all-new play modes with fresh stories and new routes with two side characters, enhancing the complete adventure!

Whacking Hell! – £8.99

“Whacking Hell!” is a frantic 2D top-down shooter with roguelite elements. The gates of hell have opened: whack all the monsters before they whack you! Collect their souls, ramp up your weapons and your spells, and become a slaughtering machine! Defeat waves of enemy attacks and nasty bosses by choosing the right path of upgrades.

Nocturnal Visitors – £4.99

One ordinary November night, Jamie witnesses a paranormal event. Shortly afterwards, he is transported to Aliorbis, a mysterious alternate version of Earth where magic and science coexist in almost perfect harmony. It’s the place where all the legends that we know of are born.

Play as Jamie and other characters with unique personalities and backgrounds, explore otherworldly scenarios full of detail, solve puzzles, and investigate gory crime scenes.

ECHOLOCAUTION – £4.49

Bats that live in the dark possess a unique ability called “echolocation.” They can distinguish between echo sounds to catch prey and avoid danger even in total darkness. “Echolocation” is a score attack action game based on the lifestyle of these fascinating creatures. Control cute bats and aim to become a full-fledged bat!

Each hunt lasts about 2 minutes, and you can clear the game in 1-2 hours, making it perfect for short game videos or live streams.

Make it! Yakitori – £1.51

Let’s make yakitori on the Nintendo Switch™!

Work efficiently to as many yakitori as you can!

Share Joy-Con™ and play with up to 4 players!

Reach for the ultimate high score!

Good Guys – £0.89

“Good Guys” is a linear visual novel that tells us about the adventure of two pets in a comic book format.

They are ordinary pets during the day, but as soon as their man goes to bed, they jump into their old car and fly to save poor four-legged creatures from all over the galaxy! Our smaller brothers suffer in the mines of other planets, they are treated horribly and kept in slavery. But our heroes are determined to end this! They will free their brothers and sisters from space captivity and place them in loving families.

Why do they do this? Yes, because they are GOOD GUYS!

Shogun – £4.99

Step into the era of the samurai and carve your destiny in Shogun Rulers, an immersive strategy and simulation game where you command as a powerful shogun.

Oversee a territory with villages, expansive rice fields, and thriving marketplaces. Manage resources, erect grand structures, and broaden your domain. Cultivate rice paddies, mine for precious metals, fish in rivers, and nurture the land to sustain your population. Erect crucial buildings like a trading post for commerce, dojos for martial training, and shrines to enhance spiritual growth. Your governance style will influence the progress and spirit of your people—lead with wisdom and honor or rule with strict discipline to fortify your dynasty.

EGGCONSOLE TOPPLE ZIP PC-8801 – £5.39

This is a top-view action game released by Bothtec in 1986. Players ride the Zipping and participate in a race held on the planet Frolic.

In the race, you must use weapons such as 3-way shots, homing missiles, smoke screens, and mines, as well as collisions, to defeat rivals. Use the item “”Radar”” to locate warp zones, move through each stage, and find a “”certain item”” to break through the final stage.

Can you dash through all 8 stages and be the first to reach the goal?

planetarian: Snow Globe

“planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet” is a sci-fi visual novel developed by Key. Its prequel, “planetarian: Snow Globe,” is now making its debut on the Nintendo Switch™!

How to Sing to Open Your Heart Remastered – £11.99

This game is the third installment of “Story of Eroolia” series.

The story begins after the ending of “How to Fool a Liar King.”

The half-cat half-human princess, Myana, who was previously a side character, is now our new heroine.

Cape’s Escape Game 9th Room – £8.41

After blowing some money on his favorite sweet soy sauce dumplings at the neighborhood dumpling shop, Cape gets a free shopping district lottery ticket. When he turns the tombola in hopes of winning the 3rd prize of “a ticket to slap condescending bourgeois”…

This time, the spotlight is on Cow who takes this opportunity to go wild. The Main Character and Cape are finally off to space!

A Street Cat’s Tale 2: Outside is Dangerous – £12.19

Explore the neighborhood, meet new characters, and talk with them. They will tell you more about themselves when provided with the right gifts.

Many adorable animals and friendly people await you with their own little stories.

Will Cinnamon make it home safely?

Play to find out!

Flying Tank – £12.99

Get into your Flying Tank and shoot ’em up like it’s the good old days! Kill strange bosses, drop bombs from above and build an arsenal of fun, powerful weapons.

Reclaim the stolen Earth – alone or with a friend – in a rich action-packed side-scrolling shmup!

Escape from the Tower – £4.49

Guide your brave princess as she makes her escape from a formidable tower. Battle through hordes of mighty enemies, overcome challenging obstacles, and face off against the fearsome dragon. Utilize unique abilities, collect powerful items, and strategize your way to victory.

Climbing Over It with a Spear Only Up – £6.99

Reach the top by thrusting your spear into the ice. Be careful, if you thrust the spear into stone, you’ll be shot backward!

Climbing Over It with a Spear Only Up aims to discourage you as you attempt to climb a surreal mountain. The higher you climb, the harder the fall. The controls are precise and fair. Falling will depend on your skill.

Fantasy Saga Frenzy – £4.49

Dive into a magical realm with Fantasy Mania Frenzy! In this enchanting puzzle game, you’ll find yourself merging magical artifacts to create powerful combinations. Journey through whimsical landscapes filled with magic and puzzle it out!

Cthulhu tower – £12.99

In Cthulhu Tower, you will plunge into the depths of cosmic horror as you defend the eldritch abominations led by the ancient entity against the relentless onslaught of humanity. This is a tower-defense game that takes a spine-tingling twist on the genre, casting you as the protector of the Great Old Ones in a battle that will test your strategic prowess and your sanity.

Yori’s Journey: Forgotten Origins – £9.99

Yori’s Journey: Forgotten Origins is an immersive third-person combat experience set in a post-apocalyptic world where survival is paramount. Player step into the shoes of the main character, thrust into a virtual experiment against your will. With the sole objective of surviving and reaching the end, players must navigate through a linear narrative fraught with challenges and dangers.

Dead Station 2 – £4.49

Are you ready to conquer the fear… again?

Your ship crashes on Titan, a moon of Saturn. Your only way out is to find salvation in the abandoned space station “”TAU-9″”.

Explore dark corridors, find new weapons to fight dangerous monsters. Solve puzzles to open new paths in search of surviving humans on the station.

All this and even more in a sequel of the atmospheric horror platformer.

Offroad Masters: Motocross Races – £3.59

Dive into the action by navigating a vibrant, stylized main menu and jump straight into single-player mode. Choose from unique tracks set in 4 breathtaking environments. Customize your ride by selecting from a variety of motorcycles, each with its own unique design and stats to match your playstyle.

Last Night of Winter – £8.99

The story takes place in an old stronghold, at the last days of a great battle. You died, but your will was stronger than your body, so you woke up again, to continue the siege in a never-ending night.

Remembering little more than your purpose, you’ll have to leave the dungeons, advance through the stronghold’s outskirts, and reach the highest tower. To find the Heir and finally end your curse.

NeoSprint – £22.49

NeoSprint zooms back to life as a single screen arcade racer for up to 8 players, paired with a robust track builder and intuitive sharing tools, ensuring a racing experience that satisfies speed demons and architects alike. Campaign mode, Grand Prix, Obstacle Courses and Time Trials provide tons of pulse-pounding race content, and multiplayer modes make for chaotic fun. Can you conquer the speedways and claim the fastest times?

NeoSprint

Next week: The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak, Cyber Citizen Shockman Zero, Food Truck Simulator, MACHI KORO With Everyone, Summer Games Beach Volley, Bouncy Chicken, Hot Blood, The Battle Cats Unite, The Five Covens, Art of Glide 2, Clock Creator: My Pendulum Clock, Taboo Trial, Sir Happenlance, Jetpack Race, and Editor’s Hell – Newspaper Story.