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Hands-on

Switch Port Report: Spyro, Streets of Rogue, FAR

Switch to: Deutsch

Nintendo’s Switch recei­ves many ports the­se days, so we’ll take a look at the Switch ver­si­ons of Spy­ro Reig­ni­ted Tri­lo­gy, Streets of Rogue and FAR: Lone Sails.

Docked Mode

Spyro Reignited Trilogy – late burner

The Remas­ter Collec­tion of the pur­ple dragon’s adven­tures hit like a bomb last Win­ter. While pre­ser­ving the game­play for­mu­la of the Play­Sta­ti­on ori­gi­nals, Spy­ro Reig­ni­ted Trilogy’s detail­led visu­als left many play­ers stun­ned. Ear­lier in the week, this packa­ge was released for Nin­ten­do Switch and we had an exten­si­ve hands-on with the first game. Sin­ce I pre­fe­red to play Ray­man or Croc on PS1, I can’t com­pa­re this remas­ter to the ori­gi­nal games. Spy­ro the Dra­gon is a laid-back plat­for­mer with litt­le chal­len­ge, for the first half of the game. It fea­tures char­ming cha­rac­ters and a uni­que visu­al style. With the intro­duc­tion of the fly­ing levels Spy­ro turns all of a sud­den into Pilot­wings: You have to meet a varie­ty of objec­tives while navi­ga­ting through an obsta­cle cour­se on a tight time limit – all in one run. Spyro’s con­trols on Nin­ten­do Switch aren’t super pre­ci­se and, while the level design of the plat­forming worlds lea­ves room for errors, the air sec­tions aren’t so for­gi­ving. For­tu­n­a­te­ly the loa­ding times are fast. Asi­de from the­se frus­tra­ting moments, Spy­ro the Dra­gon offers beau­ti­ful­ly craf­ted worlds and smooth plat­forming.

 

Docked Mode

While Spy­ro looks decent in the Switch’s docked mode, it’s clear­ly a step back com­pa­red to the ver­si­ons on Play­Sta­ti­on 4 (1080p) and Xbox One (900p), espe­ci­al­ly on Pro and X (both are run­ning in 1440p). Once you deac­tiva­te the docked-exclu­si­ve moti­on blur which is enab­led by default, the 720p image is clea­rer and easier to the eye, but it makes the less detail­ed objec­ts and pop-ups all the more appa­rent. At least the frame rate main­tains a solid 30 frames per second (FPS), simi­lar to PS4 and XB1. Only the PC ver­si­on, which laun­ched along­si­de the Switch release this week, offers a hig­her (and unlo­cked) frame rate. It laun­ched also this week along­si­de the Switch release. In hand­held mode the reso­lu­ti­on takes ano­t­her dive but it looks a lot bet­ter the­re thanks to the smal­ler screen com­pa­red to a 55-inch TV. It also stays at 30 FPS in hand­held mode. Short loa­ding and level com­ple­ti­on times make Spy­ro Reig­ni­ted Tri­lo­gy a gre­at por­ta­ble game.

  

Handheld Mode

All in all Spy­ro Reig­ni­ted Tri­lo­gy offers an impres­si­ve packa­ge of clas­sic plat­for­mers with revam­ped visu­als at a decent mid-ran­ge pri­ce. Con­si­de­ring the tech­ni­cal limi­ta­ti­ons of the plat­form, the Switch ver­si­on is well done and is the defi­ni­ti­ve way to let the cute dra­gon slay flocks of sheep on the go. If you own a PS4, XB1 or a half-decent PC and you’re not incli­ned to play Spy­ro while tra­vel­ling, we’d recom­mend you look at the other releases first sin­ce they’re far supe­ri­or on a tech­ni­cal level and che­a­per.

(Patrick)

Docked Mode

Streets of Rogue – fast food for roguelike fans

Our next game is Streets of Rogue, a stran­ge take on rogue­lites. From the very start it doesn’t take its­elf very serious­ly, with a goofy tuto­ri­al seg­ment and the fact that the main cur­ren­cy is chi­cken nug­gets. Even the cha­rac­ter choices are far from the norm, from nin­jas to goril­las, its clear what type of humour the game is going for. As for the game­play, it’s easy to pick up and the goals of each level are usual­ly easy to fol­low, though how you com­ple­te your objec­tives is whe­re things get cra­zy. Unli­ke other rogue­likes, Streets of Rogue takes pla­ces in a city, fil­led with buil­dings that all can be explo­red. While you can go around attack ever­yo­ne that you see, the best way to tack­le each area is usual­ly based on the cha­rac­ters you pick and the perks you’ll unlock. The sol­dier is the simp­lest of the bunch, having access to many wea­pons, let­ting you des­troy peop­le and buil­ding with litt­le hass­le. Mean­while, vam­pi­res can sneak easi­ly due to not appearing on came­ras, but can’t be hea­led with nor­mal items. Bet­ween the quir­ky cha­rac­ters, open ended level objec­tives and ful­ly dest­ruc­tible envi­ron­ments, Streets of Rogue is a uni­que expe­ri­ence no mat­ter how you play. It can get a litt­le repe­ti­ti­ve after you’ve tried out each of the cha­rac­ters, but there’s still enough here to keep you invested for many hours.

Handheld Mode

When it comes to the Switch ver­si­on of Streets of Rogue, it’s a solid port with only some minor issu­es. Visual­ly, the simp­le 2D spri­tes mean that the frame­ra­te is solid most of the time, drop­ping occa­sio­nal­ly when a lot is hap­pe­ning on-screen at once. The big­ger pro­blem is that ever­ything is fair­ly small, so in hand­held mode it can some­ti­mes be hard to see cer­tain objec­ts. Text suf­fers the most from this, and there’s no way to chan­ge its size.

Docked Mode

(Isaac)

Handheld Mode

FAR: Lone Sails – full Steam Switch ahead

While games­com was going on Oko­mo­ti­ve and Mixtvi­si­on released the action-adven­ture FAR: Lone Sails on Nin­ten­do Switch (we sum­med their line-up up in Ger­man). In short FAR: Lone Sails is a mix of INSIDE and Lovers In A Dan­ge­rous Space Time. If you look at the game a litt­le more clo­se­ly and lea­ve all the com­pa­ri­sons we like to make asi­de, FAR: Lone Sails sets sail on a uni­que jour­ney. Set in a post-apo­ca­lyp­tic world you stumb­le over an old stran­ge loo­king vehi­cle. The vehi­cle is made up of a steam engi­ne and a sail – so it’s a dif­fe­rent take on a hybrid. While taking on the three hour jour­ney you’ll have to defy natu­re, upgrade your vehi­cle with a fuel vacu­um and watch your loy­al com­pa­n­ion fall apart. The prot­ago­nist doesn’t say a word for the ent­i­re time and still the game mana­ges to tell an inte­res­ting back­ground sto­ry through the game world in the short amount of time and offers hints to how this world gra­dual­ly col­lap­sed. If your inten­ti­on isn’t to look for tho­se clues, you can still enjoy the game’s grip­ping atmo­s­phe­re in which the ama­zing music doesn’t play a small part in. While you’ll beco­me quick­ly ing­rai­ned in your tasks – search for resour­ces, add fuel, hit the steam but­ton, repair bro­ken parts, extin­guish fires and remo­ve blo­cka­des -, the pacing of FAR: Lone Sails is excep­tio­nal­ly well done.

FAR: Lone Sails runs on Nin­ten­do Switch as smooth as on PC, PS4 and XB1. It’s dif­fi­cult to pin­point any actu­al dif­fe­ren­ces bet­ween the Switch port (dis­play­ed on the left in hand­held mode) and the PC ver­si­on (dis­play­ed on the right, source: Steam) on still images. The lack of anti-alia­sing is appa­rent while play­ing but that doesn’t affect the over­all visu­als too much. The occa­sio­nal loa­ding times are fast and the mini­ma­listic gra­phic style works well on the Switch.

Handheld Mode

FAR: Lone Sails offers a uni­que game expe­ri­ence in a short amount of time and focus­ses on a fun game­play loop and a grip­ping atmo­s­phe­re. We can recom­mend the Switch ver­si­on wit­hout a doubt. If you take the train from Munich to Ber­lin you can enjoy a spe­cial jour­ney with a weird vehi­cle and expe­ri­ence lots of ups and downs, all while play­ing through FAR: Lone Sails.

Handheld Mode

(Patrick)

All of the screen­shots in this arti­cle have been taken by our­sel­ves with the excep­ti­on being the PC image of FAR: Lone Sails.

 

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