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Esports Rocket League

Rocket League on Switch: Impressions and discussion

November 14 saw the release of a port of Rocket League on Nintendo Switch. Ever since the port’s announcement at E3 this year, many have been looking forward to playing Rocket League on Nintendo’s new handheld-console hybrid. On paper, the game seems like a perfect fit for the system. A portable system such as the Nintendo Switch is perfect for playing in shorter sessions. Having a competitive game such as Rocket League on the Switch can help introduce the game to an entirely new audience. Additionally, more competitive players can play the Switch version of the game on the go, allowing them to practice whenever and wherever they are.

But does the Switch version of Rocket League hold up? Let’s delve into our impressions of the port, and discuss what the Switch version of Rocket League could mean for the game’s future.

Impressions of the Nintendo Switch Port

First and foremost, the Nintendo Switch version of the game is a competent port. The game itself runs at a consistent 60 frames per second (fps). However, over the course of my three hours of playtime, there have been isolated frame stutters here and there. For the most part though, the game remains at a solid 60 fps. The port achieves this through using a dynamic resolution.

The Switch version of the game (left) has a lower resolution and lower-res textures than the PC version (right), but the Switch version still looks good. Image: YouTube

In an AMA on Reddit, Psyonix provided specs for the Switch version of the game. When docked, the game outputs at 720p.

When undocked, the game uses a dynamic resolution scaler, going anywhere from 526p to 720p, in order to maintain a consistent 60 fps.

Whether docked or undocked, Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch looks quite nice. This isn’t to say that there are a few small issues. For example, explosions from demolitions look quite pixelated. Another example is the pixelation on the Rocket League signs around stadiums. But for the most part, Rocket League looks good and runs well on Switch. Some compromises are made to keep a smooth frame rate, but overall, the Switch version of Rocket League is a well-made port, and a great way to play the game.

The game itself features all modes seen in other versions of the game. Moreover, the Switch version of the game features cross-play with PC and Xbox One players.

As for Nintendo-exclusive content, Mario, Luigi and Metroid themed cars look good and their sound effects all have nice attention to detail (special mention to the 8-bit jump sound effect on the Mario and Luigi cars when they jump). Other than the difference in resolution and the visual quality of textures and some Nintendo-exclusive cars and hats, the Switch version of the game is as potent and playable as any other version of the game.

The portability of Rocket League on Switch

Without a doubt, the coolest thing about playing Rocket League on Nintendo Switch is that it’s on the Nintendo Switch. Unlike the console and PC versions of the game, the Switch versions allows Rocket League players to enjoy the game whenever and wherever they are. And for the type of game that Rocket League is, this feels right at home on a handheld-console hybrid.

The glory of the Switch version of the game is that you can play wherever, and however you want. Image: YouTube.

This raises curiosity as to how this version of the game may impact the greater community of Rocket League. Unlike other versions, the Switch version of the game can allow players to practice the game whether or not they are near a television or monitor. The only stipulation to playing the game in undocked mode on the Switch is the slightly-lower resolution. Playing Rocket League on an undocked Switch still offers the full Rocket League experience.

Could this possibly invite more players to want to put more hours into the game? That could be likely. Since the Switch version of the game doesn’t demand to be played near a television or monitor, players could get better at the game at any time. Speaking anecdotally, I’ve been able to play and improve at the game just by playing it while on the go. This could be replicated by just about any Rocket League player on Switch.

An easy recommendation to all Switch Owners

This port of Rocket League can only be good for the game in the long run. It will help introduce many new people to the game, and give previous players the option to play the game wherever they are, whether they’re competitive or casual. In appeasing both new and old players of Rocket League, the Nintendo Switch version feels like one of the most definitive ways to play Rocket League. While it doesn’t look as pretty as other console versions and especially the PC version, the Switch port of Rocket League is a great way to play the game.

If the Nintendo Switch version can introduce more people to Rocket League, then it can also lead more people to play Rocket League competitively. Just having the game be portable makes getting into the more competitive nature of the game feel all the more possible. Not only can this version help make Rocket League grow as a game, but the Nintendo Switch can also possibly help the game grow as an esport.

All year, the Nintendo Switch has been selling very well. With that, there are many games on the system worth getting. After spending a few hours with the game on Switch, it’s safe to say that Rocket League is one of the essential games to get on the Nintendo Switch.



Featured Image courtesy of Nintendo Enthusiast.

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