Penny’s Big Breakaway and More Reviews, New Kunitsu-Gami and Dragon’s Dogma 2 Details, New Verified Games, and More – TouchArcade


Welcome to this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. The last week has been really great for new releases and games I’ve been playing on Steam Deck. I can’t talk about some yet, but I’ll get to those when I can. Today’s feature has reviews of Penny’s Big Breakaway, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, and Slave Zero X in addition to impressions of Ufouria 2 on Steam Deck. A few notable games have gotten Steam Deck Verified or Playable ratings as well this week with a plethora of game news. Let’s get into the reviews and impressions first.

Steam Deck Game Reviews & Impressions

Penny’s Big Breakaway Steam Deck Review

When Penny’s Big Breakaway was announced, I won’t lie and say I wasn’t disappointed, but let me explain why. I’ve never been a huge fan of 3D platformers outside of a select few. Super Mario Odyssey is the only one I truly loved in the last decade with others disappointing me in one way or another. When the team that did one of the best Sonic games announced a 3D platformer, I wasn’t sure if it would be for me or not. You see, I love Sonic Frontiers and even enjoyed both Colors and Generations, but still wondered if the team at Evening Star would be able to get me hooked to a 3D platformer rather than a 2D one. It turns out they did a lot more, and I love Penny’s Big Breakaway.

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Penny’s Big Breakaway is my favorite 3D platformer since Super Mario Odyssey. I can’t remember the last time a game in the genre hooked me this quickly and for this long. I started playing it around launch day, but have basically been replaying stages and making sure I get some time into it on Steam Deck every single day. That isn’t to say it is perfect, but a few polish issues aren’t enough to drag this down. The dual analog controls feel perfect, and every single stage so far has wowed me with its design and the music. I’ll get to the music in a bit, but Penny’s movement with the Yo-Yo and the optional activities in each level make this one feel special. That isn’t even taking into account the varied boss fights that I enjoyed throughout.

Penny’s Big Breakaway is about traversal, combos, avoiding penguins, speedrunning, and more with the game’s physics system that makes just about everything feel fluid. The downside to Penny’s Big Breakaway right now is in how there are some collision or clarity issues I’ve run into. I very much consider the first run through each level as a tutorial to get better at it on replays before moving on, but it is a few fixes away from perfection on this front.

Visually, I adore how Penny’s Big Breakaway looks almost throughout. Penny’s character design took a bit to grow on me, but I love the level variety and the aesthetic throughout. The other aspect I want to highlight is the score from Tee Lopes and Sean Bialo. Usually, Tee Lopes being involved means I will like the music, but I didn’t expect to be this blown away by the score. It makes sense when I think about how the game itself constantly surprised me, but I think this is some of Tee’s best work.

On Steam Deck, Penny’s Big Breakaway is basically perfect with 90fps support on the Steam Deck OLED, and it looks stunning. When I got my Steam Deck OLED, I played many games that blew me away, but playing Penny’s Big Breakaway on it felt like it was made for the platform. I have zero complaints with the game on Steam Deck, and even played it with the Docking Station on my 144fps monitor to revisit some stages. The team nailed everything on Steam Deck. One thing to keep in mind is that menus and videos are 16:9, but the actual gameplay is full 16:10 on Steam Deck.

Aside from a few issues, I have no complaints with Penny’s Big Breakaway. It is a joy from start to finish with its sublime gameplay, superlative soundtrack, and gorgeous visuals. Playing it on Steam Deck OLED at 90fps made me not want to bother with the other versions at all. Not only is it a great fit for portable play, but having an uncompromised version with no technical issues elevated Penny’s Big Breakaway further. I can’t wait to replay it regularly throughout the year. This is my favorite 3D platformer since Super Mario Odyssey and I hope the soundtrack gets a vinyl release in the future.

Penny’s Big Breakaway Steam Deck Review Score:4.5/5

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley Steam Deck Review

My only real experience with Moomins before Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley has been through art shared by friends on Twitter. When Raw Fury announced Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, I was curious how it would be for a newcomer to the brand. The iOS version is coming later, but I’ve been playing it on both Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a music-focused adventure game that features light puzzles, exploration, colorful visuals, relaxing gameplay, lovely sound design, and basic quests in its four or five hour long runtime. Having played it, I’m definitely a fan of the Moomins now, and hope we see more games like this from the brand. Despite the simple exploration and puzzles, the storybook aesthetic and interactions with the plethora of characters elevate this to something special.

When it comes to controls, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley feels great with both controllers and using the touchscreen. The touch controls on Switch are a good taste of what to expect when Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley hits mobile. On Steam Deck, using touch brings up the cursor, but it still is fully playable with the touchscreen if you’d like to do so.

On Steam Deck OLED, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley can run at 90fps and support the full 16:10 aspect ratio, but a few areas see the frame rate dropping a bit. In a game like this, it isn’t a dealbreaker at all, but it was worth mentioning. Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley looks gorgeous on the Steam Deck OLED. It is good on Switch, but the game on Steam Deck is much smoother overall with crisper visuals. One setting I recommend turning on is the toggle for extra large font which helps in handheld mode on both platforms.

What surprised me the most about Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is how it managed to perfectly blend its varied cast, gorgeous visuals, amazing audio almost throughout its four hours or so runtime. Despite not having any prior attachment to these characters, parts of it made me feel nostalgic. Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley isn’t going to be for everyone, but I enjoyed the relaxed exploration and simple puzzles here. Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley has been a good relaxing experience to play as a break from the more-involved RPGs recently.

Steam Deck Review Score:4.5/5

Slave Zero X Steam Deck Review

I first discovered Slave Zero X when I saw pre-orders going up for its physical release. The box art was striking, and I thought I would play it on PS5 eventually when I buy the physical release. Leading up to launch, the demo had a lot of people including myself excited about it, and I’m quite blown away by the final game, but it has a few issues and definitely isn’t for everyone. Slave Zero X from Poppy Works and Ziggurat is a new game set in the world of the original 1999 game Slave Zero, that I hadn’t played. For me, this is a brand new game, and it blends in mechanics I didn’t expect to see together.

When I had my first proper gameplay session with Slave Zero X on Steam Deck, it got me thinking of BlazBlue, and how that would feel in a game like this. I soon realized that it was more of a proper character action game with tons of variety in its combat, and ended up experimenting with the combat quite a bit. It is a bit unpolished in parts for sure, but the combat is just sublime, and I love the animation work. I don’t want to give you the wrong idea by saying it sometimes feels like an early access release, but it definitely would have benefited from a bit more polish.

If you check out the training options, it is even more obvious who the developers of Slave Zero X were catering to with the hitbox and hurtbox options, input display, dummy settings, and more. I never knew how much I wanted a blend of fighting games and character action games until I played Slave Zero X.

On Steam Deck, Slave Zero X lets you adjust resolution scale (1x-2x), display mode, toggle v-sync, adjust maximum frame rate (60 to 240 and uncapped), toggle intro videos, adjust geometry detail, and adjust light quality. On my Steam Deck OLED, I tried playing at 90fps and it isn’t doable. I’d recommend setting the frame rate cap to 60fps and you still might see some dips here and there. Despite its visuals, Slave Zero X is basically a 2.5D game with detailed sprite and animation work accompanied by modern effects.

The few things I’d like to see fixed are some areas where it felt like enemies were just constantly spammed at the player and some difficulty spikes. I also would like proper 16:10 support if it is possible rather than black bars during gameplay.

Slave Zero X is not for everyone, but it ended up impressing me more often than it disappointed me. The few annoyances aren’t enough to hold this back from getting a recommendation from me, especially on Steam Deck, but I do hope the developers can tweak things so it reaches its full potential. If the sound of having fighting game mechanics and inputs in a character action game and beat ’em up hybrid sounds good to you, Slave Zero X will be perfect for you. It is a challenging game that isn’t ashamed of itself, and I love most things about it.

Slave Zero X Steam Deck Review Score:4/5

Ufouria: The Saga 2 Steam Deck Impressions

Having never played Sunsoft’s Ufouria before, I was interested in Ufouria: The Saga 2 because a friend of mine linked me to the game’s reveal, and the vibe it had looked like something I’d enjoy. Shaun will have a full review of Ufouria: The Saga 2 on Switch in the near future, but I wanted to focus on how it looks and feels on Steam Deck in this impressions piece.

On Steam Deck OLED, Ufouria: The Saga 2 plays perfectly at 90fps. There are no in-game settings for anything barring language. It looks great even when played docked. There are two downsides right now. The first is no Steam Cloud support and the second is no 16:10 support for Steam Deck. The latter isn’t surprising given the aesthetic and how it was likely designed around 16:9 displays, but I am disappointed in no Steam Cloud support. Barring that, I have no issues with Ufouria: The Saga 2, and it has been quite a fun, albeit short experience.

If you were hoping to play Ufouria: The Saga 2 on Steam Deck, you can safely buy it. I’ve not run into any issues, but hope Steam Cloud support can be patched in. Stay tuned for Shaun’s full review of it next week.

News

Quite a bit of interesting news this week across some game showcases and announcements in general. The Capcom Highlights Day 1 showcase aired with information about Dragon’s Dogma 2 (one of the game’s I’m looking forward to the most this year) and one of the publisher’s most interesting new games in a while, Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess. The Dragon’s Dogma 2 showcase had gameplay and the release of the character and pawn creation tool for consoles and Steam. You can use this tool to get a head start on the full game’s creation tools. Watch the full Kunitsu-Gami trailer below and the full Capcom Highlights Day 1 below that:

Blizzard’s Overwatch 2 is bringing in a Cowboy Bebop collaboration from March 12th featuring skins, emotes, and more. These skins include Spike Spiegel Cassidy, Faye Valentine Ashe (the highlight), Jet Black Mauga, Ed Sombra, and more to be revealed a day prior. The Ein Wreckingball skin will be unlocked for all players for free. This is what will bring me back to Overwatch 2 for a little while at least. Watch the trailer, one of Blizzard’s finest ones, below:

Sony announced that Nixxes will be bringing Sucker Punch’s open world masterpiece Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut to PC on May 16th with pre-orders now live on Steam. Nixxes being involved means the port will likely be amazing, and it is shaping up to be great based on the PC features trailer which you can watch below:

Atlus announced that Persona 3 Reload will be getting an expansion pass with content rolling out as early as next week. This pass, priced at $34.99, will include costumes, BGM, and the highlight, Episode Aigis -The Answer- which brings in the PS2 original Persona 3 FES’ Epilogue to Persona 3 Reload with enhancements and new content. I loved Persona 3 Reload and will definitely be playing this on Steam Deck and PS5. Watch the announcement trailer below:

Publisher Bushiroad and developer Eighting have announced (via Gematsu) a 2D fighting game for Steam and consoles based on Hunter x Hunter. The title is Hunter x Hunter: Nen x Impact and you can watch the teaser for it below:

Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak will launch on July 5th for Steam, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch in the West. I’ve already been playing this through the Japanese PC release, and it is fantastic so far. I even featured it as one of the games I wanted to play on Steam Deck in 2024. Watch the release date trailer below:

Arc System Works will be revealing the newest Season Pass 3 Guilty Gear Strive DLC character on March 20th during ARC Live. Said character will also be playable during the Arc World Tour Finals 2023 in California. Check out a teaser for the character below:

Bandai Namco Entertainment has opened up sign-ups for its upcoming PvPvE extraction shooter coming to Steam and current consoles. SYNDUALITY Echo of Ada will have a closed beta test from March 28th to April 1st. You can sign up for the closed beta here. Watch the SYNDUALITY Echo of Ada CBT trailer below:

Sega is celebrating over a million copies sold of the superb Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth with free in-game t-shirts now available as DLC on Steam and consoles. The t-shirts are also available to order physically as announced here.

The final bit of news isn’t about a game on Steam, but the official Fallout series just had its first trailer released. The show will air on Prime Video from April 11th. Watch the trailer for it below:

New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week

This week, some old and new games have gotten Playable or Verified ratings. The upcoming remaster of the 3DS JRPG I enjoyed, The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered, Devolver Digital’s highly-anticipated Pepper Grinder, and the reviewed-above excellent Slave Zero X are highlights on the Verified side. A few recent games I’ve been playing like Expeditions, Pacific Drive, and Last Epoch are now officially Steam Deck Playable by Valve. Check out the full set of notable Steam Deck Verified and Playable games for the week below:

  • Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore – Verified
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor – Verified
  • Expeditions: A MudRunner Game – Playable
  • Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart – Verified
  • Last Epoch – Playable
  • Pacific Drive – Playable (via TouchArcade reader Mor)
  • Pepper Grinder – Verified
  • Phantom Rose 2 Sapphire – Playable
  • Regency Solitaire II – Playable
  • Slave Zero X – Verified
  • The Inquisitor – Playable
  • The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered – Verified (via TouchArcade reader Mor)
  • WE ARE FOOTBALL 2024 – Playable

Steam Deck Game Sales & Discounts

Koei Tecmo has a Fatal Frame/Project Zero sale on from now until March 21st. If you want to try a more unique horror experience, I recommend both games here. Hopefully we see more ported to PC and current consoles over time. EA has added some of its classic games from the Command & Conquer, SimCity, and other franchises to Steam with launch discounts. I’m going to grab many of them. Check out the whole list here. Spike Chunsoft has a new sale on as well with its catalog discounted on Steam until March 21st. Check out all the games here. The final notable sale right now is the Auroch Digital-hosted Tabletop fest with many game discounts. Check out all the deals here.

That’s all for this week’s edition of the Steam Deck Weekly. 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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