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Custom Mech Wars Review, Steam Winter Sale 2023 Deals, New Verified Games, and More – TouchArcade

Welcome to the final Steam Deck Weekly feature for 2023. Yes, another year has gone by and the Steam Deck keeps getting better than ever before through updates (barring Valve’s recent update that broke a lot on the Docked experience for me), and ahead of next week’s end of year features and lists, this feature will cover some impressions, a review of the fun Custom Mech Wars and two Double Dragon releases, impressions of a few recent games and demos and more. There are also quite a few newly-Verified games on Steam for Steam Deck. Let’s get into it all now.

Steam Deck Game Impressions & Reviews

Custom Mech Wars Steam Deck Review

When D3 Publisher announced Custom Mech Wars, I thought it would be an interesting game I’d likely need to import on PS5 eventually. I didn’t expect a localization, but was glad to see it confirmed for a global worldwide release on not only PS5, but also Steam. I love D3 Publisher’s Earth Defense Force games, and Custom Mech Wars felt like it channeled some of EDF with a blend of Gundam Breaker. Could Custom Mech Wars deliver on the addictive gameplay loop from those games while delivering in deep mech customization? The answer is mostly yes, with some caveats.

The narrative in Custom Mech Wars is pretty standard stuff. It gets the job done, but you’re here for the loop of going into a mission, taking down mechs, getting new parts, customizing your mech, and getting to the next one. You can also opt for higher difficulties to get better rewards. There are drops you collect for either parts or buffs as well. I know the dev team isn’t mentioned in any marketing material, but I’d be shocked if this wasn’t the EDF team or at least them involved in a big part of Custom Mech Wars.

One of the highlights of Custom Mech Wars is the sheer nonsense you can do with customization. You can make the funniest mechs possible, and still be a war machine. This plays a big part of the gameplay loop, and I imagine the game won’t hit as hard for folks who just want well-designed missions with a story focus. I think Custom Mech Wars complements Armored Core VI really well this year. While it isn’t as polished or fun, I enjoyed my time with Custom Mech Wars on PS5 quite a bit, and have loved revisiting missions on the go on Steam Deck even before the recent patch hit. This patch fixed the audio not working on SteamOS. Barring that, there’s nothing you need to do to play Custom Mech Wars on Steam Deck. It just works, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get Verified soon. It just needs a demo since I don’t think many will take a chance on it right now, and it will be easier to recommend once it gets a price cut or has the DLC included in the base price.

On Steam Deck, Custom Mech Wars allows you to change resolution (720p, 1080p, and 4K), frame rate target (60fps or uncapped), toggle anti-aliasing, adjust shadow quality, adjust texture quality, toggle motion blur, toggle fog, and toggle SSAO. When playing on the Deck itself, it shows Xbox button prompts. Using my DualSense controller shows PlayStation prompts correctly. The performance isn’t perfect, but it isn’t even perfect on PS5 based on what I’ve played. I would recommend turning a few things down to aim for 60fps with drops. Just like in EDF, I didn’t bother going for a locked frame rate here. If you enjoy EDF games, you know what to expect. I do wish the load times were a bit better though.

While the lack of an English dub isn’t a dealbreaker for me in most games, I’m not a fan of the constant flow of dialogue during missions because I want to focus on the gameplay and not reading subtitles. This reminds me of how Koei Tecmo’s Warriors games are with important information constrained to subtitles during missions. If the game had English voices here, I could just focus on the mission at hand, combat, and enemies. The Earth Defense Force games are good about this.

In its current state, I feel like Custom Mech Wars should’ve been priced a bit lower or have the EDF DLC included in its asking price. The missions and enemies don’t get as crazy as that, but for a game focused on customization and mechs like the name suggests, it does the job well. I’ve enjoyed playing it quite a bit on PS5 and Steam Deck. With the latest update, the audio issues are also finally fixed on Steam Deck, and I recommend getting it if you are a fan of Earth Defense Force style gameplay, mechs, and customization.

Custom Mech Wars Steam Deck review score: 3.5/5

Double Dragon Advance and Super Double Dragon Steam Deck Review

I was initially going to do separate reviews for Arc System Works’ recent releases of Double Dragon Advance and Super Double Dragon on PC and consoles, but having spent a few weeks with both of them, I have similar thoughts so I’m doing a combined review. Having only played the original trilogy years ago, I hadn’t actually tried these two games until Arc System Works released them on PC, Switch, and PS4 worldwide as new ports.

Double Dragon Advance launched in 2003 on the GBA as a remake of the original game, but this release also featured things from future entries and ports. It feels like a remixed remake in ways, and it has been excellent playing it for the first time through this PC release. If you’ve played the original 1987 game many times, this will be a surprisingly good experience, and if you’re new to the game like I was, it will feel like a trip down Double Dragon memory lane. While I am happy to see the co-op feature included here, the lack of Remote Play Together hurts though.

Super Double Dragon released in 1992 on the SNES, and it feels pretty bad to play compared to other entries I’ve tried. The speed is sluggish, and I’m glad there’s an option to adjust the game speed without having any audio affected here. This version of Super Double Dragon on PC, PS4, and Switch also includes Return of Double Dragon that feels like a much better game overall. Playing more of Return of Double Dragon reminded me of how different platforms sometimes had completely different takes on a game. As a curiosity, this has been worth the purchase, but it also ended up impressing me once I dug into it more.

While they both run without issues on Steam Deck, the lack of Steam Cloud support and the game speed tied to monitor refresh rate is disappointing. On the Deck itself, the 60hz target or cap is fine, but when I played on my 144hz monitor, I couldn’t cap the frame rate in-game at all, so both games ran too fast. I hope this can be fixed in an update. I’d also love for higher resolution support since both games are capped at 1080p.

Double Dragon Advance and Super Double Dragon are both worth buying at the low asking price individually to play on Steam Deck, but I hope the few PC-specific issues can be addressed in updates. Right now they are both good on Steam Deck, but will have issues if you play on your PC or dock the Steam Deck on a high refresh rate display like I do.

Super Double Dragon Steam Deck review score: 3.5/5

Double Dragon Advance Steam Deck review score: 3.5/5

SteamWorld Build Steam Deck Impressions

Shaun recently reviewed SteamWorld Build on Switch, and I also wanted to cover how it is on Steam Deck. He already went into detail about the game itself, but if you’re curious about how it plays and looks on Steam Deck, read on.

As a huge fan of the SteamWorld games, SteamWorld Build has been an interesting and different experience. It isn’t what I wanted from the series, so I was quite disappointed when it was revealed. Having played it, I’m glad I gave it a chance. It feels like a perfect blend of the charm of SteamWorld with a genre I didn’t think it could fit into. It also happens to play almost perfectly on Steam Deck.

SteamWorld Build on PC lets you toggle button prompts between Xbox and PlayStation, adjust frame rate target, resolution, v-sync, texture quality, shadow quality, depth of field, LOD quality, ambient occlusion, bloom effects, and use a few quality presets for all the settings. I left everything on default barring the shadows which I turned down a bit, before trying to increase certain options. SteamWorld Build looks excellent and supports the Deck’s 16:10 aspect ratio.

If you were hoping to play SteamWorld Build on Steam Deck, barring some text and UI sizes being a bit too small on the device’s screen, I have no complaints with it. Once those are fixed, this will be the best version of the game by far. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long for the update.

Tekken 8 Demo Steam Deck Impressions

Since Tekken 8 is a current-generation console-only game, I was curious how it would look and run on Steam Deck. After Tekken 7 disappointed me in general, I’m glad that Tekken 8 seems to be going in the right direction based on the time I spent with it on the PS5 demo. Tekken 8 on Steam Deck is interesting. It checks the system when you boot it up and automatically adjusts settings, but I feel like the benchmark results are a bit conservative. Even after turning a few things up, I could get 60fps during matches which is all you need in a fighter. The one problem is some cut-scenes don’t have audio playback on Steam Deck right now. I tested on Proton Experimental (bleeding edge) and a few versions of GE with no luck. I hope this can be fixed for launch.

If you were hoping to play Tekken 8 on Steam Deck, download the free demo and see how it feels. I also recommend trying different upscaling methods from the settings, but not using FSR 1.0. Someone will no doubt do more testing and come up with the best Tekken 8 Steam Deck settings to use, and I’ll be trying different things out myself here in the demo and in the full game in a few weeks. I’m looking forward to playing more of the demo later this week.


Despite 2023 nearly wrapping up, there’s quite a bit of news to cover. I’ll begin with SEGA releasing character-focused trailers for one of my most-anticipated games of 2024, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. There are quite a few trailers up in the full playlist here, but I’ve linked the trailer for one of my favorite characters from Yakuza: Like a Dragon below:

Dark fantasy city builder Against the Storm has been exploding on Steam, and I recently grabbed it to play on Steam Deck with its new big update adding controller support and more for the platform.

Atlus had two bits of news and trailers this week. The first is a new behind the scenes video for the upcoming Steam Deck Verified RPG Persona 3 Reload. This one has the voices of Mitsuru, Akihiko, and more featured. Watch it below:

Atlus’ upcoming JRPG from 2024, Metaphor: ReFantazio has gotten new details and screenshots about its world, characters, and story. The highlight of this one is the combat system, but I’m interested to see how this team tackles new characters and a new IP after working on Persona for a while.

Bandai Namco Entertainment’s upcoming action RPG Sand Land based on the classic manga got a new gameplay trailer recently alongside a new dev diary. Watch the gameplay video below:

Cuisineer from BattleBrew Productions and XSEED Games got quite an interesting update this week. It lets you pause time in menus, has changes to the fridge, interface improvements, and new customers visiting during teatime.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon added Ranked Matchmaking this week in its newest major update that also added new parts, new PvP maps, and more. Watch the trailer below:

Makaroll and Playism’s deckbuilding roguelike Phantom Rose 2 Sapphire got its first major content update this week bringing in a new game mode, skins, cards, balance adjustments, and more. I’ve been playing and enjoying this quite a bit on Steam Deck.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Volume 1 hit PC and consoles a little while ago, and it had a few issues. Thankfully, Konami has begun addressing them, and fixed Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Version already on PC by allowing players to disable the ugly smoothing option. It looks crisp and as it should now.

About a day ago, Koei Tecmo released a huge update for Fate/Samurai Remnant with new difficulty levels, playable servants, and more.

New Steam Deck Verified & Playable games for the week

  • Against the Storm – Verified
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered – Playable
  • Capcom Fighting Collection – Verified
  • Cultist Simulator – Verified
  • Cyber Knights: Flashpoint – Playable
  • ENDLESS Dungeon – Verified
  • Football Manager 2024 – Playable
  • Golf With Your Friends – Verified
  • House Flipper 2 – Verified
  • Inkulinati – Verified
  • Last Train Home – Playable
  • Layers of Fear – Verified
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 – Verified
  • Pinball M – Playable
  • Sonic Generations – Verified
  • Spells & Secrets – Verified
  • SWORD ART ONLINE Last Recollection – Playable
  • Furi Demake – Verified
  • TEVI – Playable
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition – Verified
  • THE FINALS – Unsupported
  • The Talos Principle 2 – Verified
  • Valfaris: Mecha Therion – Verified
  • Wayfinder – Playable
  • Wizordum – Playable

Steam Deck Game Sales & Discounts

Yesterday, the big Steam Winter Sale 2023 began with tons of discounts. I already grabbed some games through the sale a few days ago that had City Connection’s shoot ’em ups and some games from Playism. Be sure to check out my best Steam Winter Sale 2023 Steam Deck game highlights feature on the site and your own wishlist on Steam for any new deals in there or in your discovery queue.

That’s all for this week’s edition. 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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