Review: Rocket League (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, November 24, 2017

Review: Rocket League (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Soccar on the go.

It has been a wild ride for Psyonix over the past few years. After Rocket League released on the PlayStation 4 and PC back in the summer of 2015, gamers and press from all over the world have had nothing but good things to say about the game. Around the initial launch, I put ample time into the PS4 version and really enjoyed the gameplay and the whole craziness of what Rocket League is. At the time, though, I kept thinking to myself how cool it would be able to have the game on the go. Fast-forward to 2017 and Psyonix (via Panic Button heading up work on the port) must have been listening as they have released their award winning game on Nintendo’s hybrid console.

This version of Rocket League retains all of the great things that make this a special game. The gameplay is still top notch and allows for super fun and competitive matches both on and offline. The core of the game features the popular game of “soccar” having players control rocket powered cars in a game of soccer. Other modes are also in the game, such as a version of basketball, hockey (complete with a huge puck) and a “Rumble” mode that is pretty much standard “soccar” but with various power-ups. These extra modes are fun, but the real bread and butter of the game lies in the traditional soccer matches.

While there is a ton to like with the Switch version of Rocket League, it doesn’t come without some caveats - mainly when it comes to visuals. The Switch version of the game runs at 720p in docked mode and uses a dynamic resolution scaler in handheld mode. According to Psyonix, the resolution typically hovers around 526p when playing on the go. With that said, the game runs at 60 frames per second and I haven’t run into any slowdown. Even with the lower resolution, the consistent framerate really holds the experience together and keep the experience stable and fun.

Rocket League looks amazing in motion. There is always so much going on in the matches -  cars jumping across the screen, explosions, the huge soccer ball getting bounced around all over the place and more. However, when you slow things down or look at screenshots, some of the finer details, in particularly the textures, are muddy and appear somewhat smudged. It’s not a bad looking game by any means, but it is just kind of underwhelming. If graphical fidelity is something that you are considering when purchasing Rocket League, you’re better off picking it up on another platform.

Online play works very well in this version of Rocket League. Even when I was rocking an online match (via WiFi) in handheld mode, I had almost no issues with lag. I did, however, run into some issues with matchmaking after already being in an active match. After a match, players have the option to continue on to another match. If enough players choose “ready,” another match will start shortly afterward. If there are only two or three players that opt for this, players are put onto a practice pitch to await other players to start a new match. Every single time I’ve been thrust into this, I’ve never been able to get connected to another match. It would lead me to back out to the main menu, search find another match and I’d be right back into the action. This is a very specific issue and I’m honestly not sure if it’s widespread. On a similar note, the servers in Japan/East Asia are not nearly as populated as they are in the West and sometimes takes a bit more time to get connected to a match. While it is possible to connect to other servers around the world, I was opting to play with the best latency possible. Again as I stated before, once connected to a match, I have had almost no issues during gameplay.

Rocket League remains as fun as ever on the Switch. The added ability to play this game on the go is a welcome addition that has given me more chances to play than I could if it were tethered exclusively to the television. Exclusive things like the Mario and Samus themed cars are a fun bonus as well. The only real negatives here are the ho-hum graphics, the resolution and minor matchmaking issues. This is a game that you need to have on your Switch.

Final score: 8.5

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