By now, we’re all fairly sensible to the realities of porting a sport from different consoles to Nintendo Swap – particularly when that sport has arrived throughout the final yr or so. Until you are working with a specific artwork fashion or setup that is purposefully simple to render, most Triple-A video games are going to take a knock to each efficiency and presentation. We have seen the best way to do it proper (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus being one such instance) and we have seen loads of methods to screw it up (comparable to a close to unplayable model of Ark: Survival Advanced).
By 2019, we’re now ready the place we are able to truthfully ask ourselves, ‘Is a sport price porting to Swap when the disparity in high quality is simply too nice?’ and it is that query that canines 3DClouds’ newest high-speed racing expertise. As a result of whereas Xenon Racer is not a very exceptional racer on PC and different console platforms, it is a stable one which owes a lot of its id to the heyday of Ridge Racer. However on Nintendo Swap it is a vastly completely different sport merely due to the concessions which have been made to get it operating on lower-spec hardware.
All of the content material on Swap is precisely the identical because the stuff you may discover on PS4 and each different platform – proper right down to the huge championship mode and the help for on-line play – but it surely’s the presentation that basically takes the hit. The framerate has been dropped from 60fps to 30fps, which by itself makes a critical distinction to a sport all about driving round tracks at ridiculous speeds. On prime of this, Xenon Racer usually struggles to hit that 30fps cap, and as a substitute sits across the 24-25fps mark for almost all of races. Every thing from the opening intro of the sport to the menus that take your chosen automobile by way of a storage on a number of ranges in actual time noticeably chugs to the purpose of exhaustion.
There’s additionally some appreciable enter lag, which is a cardinal sin or a sport that bases itself across the drifting mannequin from the Ridge Racer video games. Contemplating you are usually transferring at such excessive velocity, you at all times have to know when to faucet the brake to deliver the rear-end of the automobile out to drag off an ideal drift. Not solely does this refill your Xenon-based increase, but it surely’s additionally a basic a part of cornering. Too usually on the evaluate construct did we discover the brake inputs lagging a lot we would immediately smash into the aspect of a barrier and lose 4 or 5 positions in a matter of seconds.
Which is so irritating, as a result of Xenon Racer has loads to supply for race followers hoping for another racing expertise with a little bit further chew. This isn’t a straightforward racing expertise, invoking the difficult early days of WipEout with its combination of high-speed cornering and split-second choice making. You’ll be able to customise your futuristic automobile with new elements as you progress by way of the ranks and there’s an excellent Eight-10 hours of gameplay to be present in the principle championship mode alone. There are good elements current right here, however none of them get the prospect to shine on Swap in the way in which they do on different platforms.
Past its technical points, Xenon Racer has deep-seated gameplay issues that maintain it again from reaching that prime step on the rostrum. The dealing with mannequin is a little bit too cumbersome for a racer all about taking hyper-advanced sports activities automobiles round some difficult globally-set tracks, whereas drifting could be extremely temperamental; this concern is probably going right down to the aforementioned issues with enter lag, however even in comparison with the likes of GRIP, Xenon Racer merely doesn’t stack up by way of controls. There’s clearly an honest sport in right here someplace, however with out an adjustment to its dealing with mannequin and a big patch to its efficiency and presentation, it feels an excessive amount of like an unfinished product.
Contemplating Xenon Racer’s official Nintendo Swap pages include screenshots and trailer footage clearly taken from variations that don’t, in any manner, mirror the sport offered on Swap (one thing the developer has now taken steps to treatment), it’s clear this can be a port that has merely endured one sacrifice too many to get to the end line. Gone are the dynamic lighting and particle results, changed by a uninteresting lighting mannequin that solely actually reveals any sense of presence on the occasional nighttime monitor. Its visuals are dogged with pop-in points, and the flat, 2D crowds and low-res textures bring to mind a a lot earlier era of 3D visuals; take all of this under consideration and also you’re left with a sport that’s clearly inferior to the variations obtainable elsewhere – and if we’re being brutally trustworthy, these variations aren’t all that scorching, both.
It’s not usually we advocate you play a Nintendo Swap sport on a distinct platform, however there’s merely no manner we may advise you to choose this up proper now in its present state. There’s each probability the developer may present substantial help to patch Xenon Racer right into a extra playable state, however as of writing it’s a sport that does not warrant that full price ticket. With a layer of additional blurring when enjoying in handheld mode, and that sense of breakneck velocity diminished considerably by the sheer drop in frames when racing, you’re pressured to endure a racer that merely cannot justify its personal existence on Swap. Add in poor controls and enter lag and it is clear that Xenon Racer wanted a little bit extra time within the storage.