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Reviews Featuring ‘Lorelei and the Laser Eyes’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales – TouchArcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 17th, 2024. In today’s article, our pal Mikhail has a whopping three reviews for you to enjoy. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer, and Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER all have titles that are a bit too long in my opinion, but how are the games themselves? Mikhail’s got you covered. After that, I take a look at the remaining noteworthy releases of the week, plus offer up the lists of the latest sales and expiring discounts. Let’s get to it!

Reviews & Mini-Views

Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer ($16.99)

Last August, I wrote about the best boomer shooters on Steam Deck, and included Big Z Studios and No More Robots’ Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer in my feature. I love the game, and kept hoping it would see ports to more platforms after it debuted on Steam and Xbox. Fast forward to this month, and Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer arrived on PlayStation and Switch, and I’ve been replaying it on both PS5 and Switch for review.

This new version of Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer doesn’t include any added content or anything, so if you already played it, you don’t need to buy it again, but I’m sure anyone who played and enjoyed it before has likely already bought it at least once more to support the game, because it is that damn good.

If you’ve never heard of it, Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer is a spin-off to the excellent Hypnospace Outlaw, but you can play this directly. It is a boomer shooter or retro FPS with a 90s aesthetic that oozes charm and fantastic gameplay despite some portions of the game annoying me even today. I love the music, visuals, cut-scenes, and weapons here, and it just remains a damn fine game overall.

Having revisited it on Switch, Steam Deck, and PS5, I think the Steam Deck version is by far my favorite. It runs flawlessly there and never dropped below 60fps for me. On Switch, the frame rate target is much lower at around what feels like 30fps, but it felt fine to play in handheld mode. The docked performance felt worse. Load times aren’t terrible, but they are much longer on Switch than Steam Deck or PS5.

The lack of gyro controls is disappointing though. I feel like they might be added since the developer put in effort to even bring in touchscreen support for the interface on Switch. Hopefully this port does well enough to get a physical copy with a nice ooze green vinyl soundtrack release. Make it happen.

Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer remains a fantastic boomer shooter, and is the most 90s thing (compliment) on the eShop right now. I hope it can see some performance improvement for docked play and gyro support added in potential updates though. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes ($24.99)

For developers like Simogo, I usually try to avoid constantly following the progress on upcoming games. With its releases, the less you know the better going in. When Lorelei and the Laser Eyes was announced, the only thing I wanted to know were what platforms it is on. It finally released on Switch and Steam this week, and is a masterpiece, but it might not be for everyone.

For fans of Simogo through the years, a review for a new game does not matter because they are just going to buy it and play it without looking into it. That’s what I’d do because few developers have earned my trust as well as Simogo in recent years. But, you’re here, which means you’re wondering how Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is, or if there’s any reason you shouldn’t get it. I’m going to hopefully answer both with no spoilers.

I think the last puzzle game that had me thinking about it as much outside the game was The Witness. I started seeing the shapes, thinking of the notes, remembering locations, and more from Lorelei and the Laser Eyes as I played other games like Final Fantasy XIV. Getting stuck on a puzzle game for a few days is never fun, but when it does click, the satisfaction is unmatched.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes begins with you controlling a woman who arrives at a hotel in Europe. You aren’t told anything about why you are there, but have access to a note and some free movement space. Right from the get go, the nonlinear nature of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes starts to unfold. This is important because there are multiple instances where you will get stuck or have no clue what to do, and try to explore and find a way forward. The game has no hint system and a notebook or note taking app will dramatically make your life easier as you play.

Every element of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes feels handcrafted and perfectly designed in its aesthetic and mechanically. I don’t even want to imagine how much time went into this for the small team as it had to also be localized into multiple languages while offering as little obvious information as possible to the player.

The one button control scheme in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is going to be a point of contention because you will need to get used to extra inputs for certain interactions you are used to in other games. You can’t back out of menus as you normally do in games, but it all comes together as you play because you are as much a part of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes as every element of the world.

Speaking of the world, the atmosphere in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is shockingly good. Simogo games are always best experienced with headphones, but I feel like that holds true the most for Lorelei and the Laser Eyes.

I already wrote about how Lorelei and the Laser Eyes felt on Steam Deck, and while I was surprised at how polished it was out of the box, I’m more impressed with the Switch version on the OLED screen. The striking aesthetic basically feels designed around the gorgeous handheld screen, and it plays perfectly with good HD Rumble. I would’ve loved touchscreen support for some interactions, but I have no complaints with the Switch version outside that. I think the only visual difference I noticed was the lack of anti-aliasing in parts on Switch.

I’ve praised Lorelei and the Laser Eyes a lot, but there is one element that I didn’t care for in the game. I spoke to Simogo about this as well in my interview. Some inputs for puzzles would’ve been much easier if you could move in two directions when interacting with something. It was a deliberate decision to make the game control like this. I respect that, but there are a few instances where I didn’t care for that implementation.

I don’t know how Simogo keeps doing it, but Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, like every other game I’ve played from the studio, gets my highest possible recommendation. It is one of the best games I’ve ever played on Switch and Steam Deck. If you have the smallest interest in unique experiences and like puzzle games, buy Lorelei and the Laser Eyes and grab a notebook. You will not regret it. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 5/5

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER ($14.99)

It has been so long since I first played 2064: Read Only Memories that I forgot we were even getting a new game in that universe. Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is a sequel to that game, and a narrative-heavy point and click adventure, but it can also be enjoyed on its own. I ended up liking Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER a lot, but it isn’t exactly the sequel I pictured in my head for the original.

I usually try to keep my expectations in check for sequels to games I played and adored years ago, but I just couldn’t here. When I first played Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER, I realized the team focused on delivering a shorter experience in some ways, but built on many aspects of the original to make it memorable throughout.

Yes, there are familiar faces and the vibe is impeccable here, but Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER feels like a return to a place you’ve not been for years rather than the big new sequel. Once you accept that, you will see what Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER was going for.

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER is set in the gorgeous world of Neo-San Francisco where you play as an ESPer tracking down the Golden Butterfly. Alongside your Neurodiver, you hook into people’s minds, learn more about them, and try and fix memories.

The point and click gameplay is very good, and I enjoyed relaxing after work while tackling an hour of Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER each night, but the lack of proper touchscreen support on both Switch and Steam Deck is disappointing. On Switch, there is some touch support, but it feels like the DualSense touchpad functionality rather than being able to play it like other adventure games on Switch.

2064: Read Only Memories had lovely pixel art and a great score, but Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER takes things up a notch in every production including voice acting. The anime aesthetic and the FM synth music are incredible here. I hope they do an artbook for the game soon.

Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER feels like a weird sequel in how it didn’t end up being what I hoped for, but still had me glad it exists and enjoying it more or less all the way. The music, art, and interactions elevate this to an essential for fans of 2064: Read Only Memories, but I still like the original game more. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

Select New Releases

Kyukyoku TigerHeli -Toaplan Arcade Garage- ($34.99)

Years after the Japanese release, M2 has finally brought this collection of Toaplan shooters to the West. The basic version includes the arcade versions of Tiger-Heli and Twin Cobra, with all the fun options and gadgets you could ask for. A really cool training mode for learning the games is also included. You can also splash out $17.99 for some DLC that includes one more arcade game, Guardian/Get Star, plus a variety of home console ports of Tiger-Heli and Twin Cobra. Some options for these, but none of the fancy gadgets. I think this is a great set, provided you enjoy shooters. Very premium.

Overmorrow ($19.99)

This is an adventure game with an intriguing premise. The number of actions you can take per in-game day is limited by how many Runes you’ve found. Once you’ve spent that energy, you can rest to refill it. That moves the in-game calendar forward a day, and after thirty days your save will be deleted. Is that all there is to it? Hmm. Yes, this is one of those games where there is more to it than initially meets the eye. You know if this your kind of thing better than I do.

Return ($13.99)

You left your planet 200 years ago seeking new life, and it’s finally time for you to… title drop… RETURN. You come back and things are quite different, which makes sense since it’s been a couple of centuries. Things appear to have gone very badly though, so it’s good that you have your gun with you. And the uncanny ability to roll around like wild, and roll you will. A short but decent little exploratory action game, with a strong atmosphere and style.

Morbid: The Lords of Ire ($29.99)

While the Switch certainly isn’t suffering from a lack of games inspired by the Souls games, it doesn’t have a ton of Soulslikes that play it relatively straight with the concept. Well, here’s one more. There are some big evil jerks around, you have to go kill them, you’ll probably die a lot, but somehow you’ll make it through eventually. Honestly, not too shabby as far as indie takes on this sort of thing go. At that price, you kind of want a demo to try it out first, but it is what it is.

My Little Pony: A Zephyr Heights Mystery ($39.99)

A pretty standard licensed game from Outright Games. Up to two players via local co-op can pick their pony of choice, customize their appearance, explore a decent-sized world, play mini-games, look for secrets, and try to save the day. It’s best enjoyed with a kid who loves the series, or a big kid who loves the series. Either is fine.

FoxyRush ($4.99)

The look of the fox has changed, but this little platformer does indeed come from the same developers as the FoxyLand games. You have a lot more moves this time around, with the ability to slide on walls, swing on ropes, and more. There are sixty-four levels to play in total, and you can unlock more characters by collecting the stars scattered about. Nothing too fancy, but this is your five dollar Switch platformer for today.

Spellcats: Auto Card Tactics ($9.99)

You’re a self-aware cat, the only one in a world of humans where “Neko-casting” sees many a cat under the thrall of Nekocasters. You’ll have to summon cats of your own to defeat them and create a peaceful world for all cats. Maybe even find out about your origins? It’s another roguelite style game with a card-based combat system, a template that is starting to feel a little well-worn but is if nothing else relatively reliable.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

A nice selection of titles on sale today, including a number of Bandai Namco games and some nice indies like Siralim Ultimate and Final Vendetta. The weekend outbox isn’t too much to fuss about, but do note that the very rare sale on The Stanley Parable is finishing up soon. Check those lists, as you do!

Select New Sales

A Tiny Sticker Tale ($6.79 from $9.99 until 5/23)Football Manager 2024 Touch ($29.99 from $49.99 until 5/24)Sine Mora EX ($4.49 from $29.99 until 5/24)Siralim 3 ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/24)Siralim Ultimate ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/24)Tallowmere 2 ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/24)Demon’s Tilt ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/28)Among Us ($3.00 from $5.00 until 5/30)Hand of Fate 2 ($8.99 from $29.99 until 5/31)Wife Quest ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/31)Pretty Girls Panic Plus ($2.39 from $5.99 until 5/31)Violet Wisteria ($9.89 from $14.99 until 5/31)10 Seconds to Win ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)Dreams of a Geisha ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/31)Ancient Relics Egypt ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/31)Book Quest ($2.44 from $6.99 until 5/31)

Quintus & the Absent Truth ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/31)Master Maker 3D Ultimate ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)Suhoshin ($5.24 from $14.99 until 5/31)Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher ($19.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)Tales of Symphonia Remastered ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)Dragon Ball FighterZ ($9.59 from $59.99 until 6/1)Captain Tsubasa: RoNC ($9.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth CE ($9.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)Klonoa Phantasy Reverie ($9.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster ($29.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)We Love Katamari Reroll SE ($19.99 from $39.99 until 6/1).hack//G.U. Last Recode ($9.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)Sword Art Online Hollow Realization DE ($4.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris ($19.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)Ni no Kuni II: RK Prince’s Edition ($9.59 from $59.99 until 6/1)

Doraemon Story of Seasons ($9.99 from $49.99 until 6/1)God Eater 3 ($9.59 from $59.99 until 6/1)My Hero One’s Justice 2 ($9.99 from $39.99 until 6/1)Desktop Baseball 2 ($3.99 from $9.80 until 6/5)Make It! Taiyaki ($1.99 from $3.00 until 6/5)Chrome Wolf ($8.99 from $14.99 until 6/6)Onigo Hunter ($8.99 from $14.99 until 6/6)Final Vendetta ($9.98 from $24.95 until 6/6)Battle Axe ($7.49 from $29.99 until 6/6)Yodanji ($2.49 from $4.99 until 6/6)Cattails: Wildwood Story ($9.99 from $19.99 until 6/6)Sherlock Holmes The Awakened DE ($14.99 from $49.99 until 6/6)God of Light Remastered ($2.49 from $4.99 until 6/6)Apex Heroines ($14.99 from $24.99 until 6/6)Time Trap: Hidden Objects ($11.24 from $14.99 until 6/6)The Adv. of Elena Temple Definitive ($1.99 from $3.99 until 6/6)

Sales Ending This Weekend

Assault Suits Valken ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/18)PGMS Biggerman.io ($2.74 from $5.49 until 5/18)PGMS Cat and Castle ($4.24 from $4.99 until 5/18)PGMS Fish Tornado ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/18)PGMS Hunter of Devil ($4.24 from $4.99 until 5/18)PGMS Lunlun Superherobabys DX ($4.24 from $4.99 until 5/18)Animal Hospital ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/19)Asterix & Obelix: Heroes ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/19)Fishing Star World Tour ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/19)Garden Life: Garden Party Edition ($29.24 from $44.99 until 5/19)My Fantastic Ranch ($7.99 from $39.99 until 5/19)Rims Racing: Ultimate Edition ($6.99 from $69.99 until 5/19)The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/19)Train Life: A Railway Simulator ($5.99 from $29.99 until 5/19)Wildshade Unicorn Champions ($15.99 from $39.99 until 5/19)Zombiewood: Survival Shooter ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/19)

That’s all for today and this week, friends. We’ll be back next week with more new games, more sales, more reviews, and more news. This has been an exhausting week even though I didn’t really do too much. I guess that’s just the ol’ mental exhaustion kicking in. I’ll have to take a nice rest this weekend, and you should too. I hope you all have a great Friday, and as always, thanks for reading!


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