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