Welcome to our Community Review segment, where we invite members from the Progress Bar community to write-up their thoughts about a recently released game.
Our returning community reviewer is Ruairi O’Brien, who’s back to review Rocket League for the Nintendo Switch!
Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch is a perfect example of how third-party developers can create quality ports for a new system. Since its announcement at E3 2017, the Rocket League community was booming with speculation about the success of this game, and it seems that it was going to be popular considering it’s already hit the number one spot on the Nintendo eShop. This is for a good reason as the port of the critically acclaimed car-football game by developers Psyonix is by far the most definitive way to play it.
On the surface, Rocket League may seem lacking in longevity or depth, but the already established community that has engulfed the game’s wild success renders the entire argument false. Rocket League is the epitome of ‘easy to pick up, hard to master’; it’s a game that rewards its players for skilful play and determination. After each game, you learn new strategies and tricks to help you improve, and for this reason, Rocket League has a lot of replay-ability. There are a lot of different modes available, most of which encourage different playstyles with players of various skill levels. There’s the standard ‘Soccar’ mode, a game of football, but with cars, that can be played 3v3, 2v2, 1v1 and, the chaotic rumble of 4v4. Not only are there four different modes that conceive completely different gameplay styles, there are also different types of games, such as ‘Snow Day’ Ice Hockey and ‘Hoops’ Basketball which have their own unique styles and player base. There is also a Single Player mode called Season, which are ‘Soccar’ matches against AI which gradually increase in difficulty.
Rocket League on Switch handles incredibly in both Handheld and Docked mode. If you’re coming from another version of the game, the Joy-cons could take some getting used to, but the flexibility of ways to play compensate for the smaller overall face-buttons and control sicks. However, the one thing lacking from the Switch version is analogue triggers, something neither the Pro Controller nor Joy-cons have. This affects gameplay in the sense that you are either at a standstill or at full speed, but you can always slow down by holding brake or powerslide. It’s a minor inconvenience that’s hardly Psyonix’s fault and one of the definite drawbacks for the Switch version.
The Switch’s graphics are by far the most noticeable differences from the other three versions of Rocket League. It uses Dynamic Resolution in handheld mode so depending on the stadium being played and how many players there are in the match, the resolution changes to make sure the game will always run at 60 frames per second. In docked mode, the game runs at a smooth 720p with almost no noticeable frame drops. If the Dynamic Resolution warrants no purchase, you can definitely look forward to seeing the future updates that Psyonix has promised post-launch.
Cross-platform play is a big selling point for Rocket League, and for good reason. It connects players from all different platforms to play without limitations and the Switch version of Rocket League can be matched with players from both the Xbox and PC versions no problem. This makes matchmaking happen in a matter of seconds from pressing that search button, which is extremely convenient. As of now, there is no way to invite players from these other systems into your lobby, but Psyonix has that planned for the future. For now, you can create a Private Match and give your PC or Xbox One friends the Username and Password of the lobby so you can mess around together, which works amazingly. The only downside is that players from other platforms cannot see the Switch exclusive Super Mario and Metroid cars, just the exclusive Mario and Luigi hats.
One of the biggest new features to Rocket League is local split screen multiplayer on the go. Even though some constraints come to mind when you think of an already small screen split in half, it works surprisingly well, even when using a single joy-con; there may be fewer buttons but they still do everything that a traditional controller can do, with the exception of a second analogue stick for camera control when you aren’t in Ball-Cam mode.
Rocket League on Nintendo Switch is the definitive edition of the original hectic and memorable sports game. Whether you’re new to the game or you’re a regular player looking to hone your skills on the go, this version is the way to go for an all-round enjoyable experience. Rocket League has redefined the sports genre concept on the Switch with its unique gameplay and hassle-free multiplayer. With Psyonix providing free updates regularly to stabilise the game and add new content, it’s the best time to hop in, score some goals and do some flips.
Thanks again Ruairi! If you would like to be part of our Community Review segment, get in contact with us!