By now, we’re all fairly good to the realities of porting a recreation from different consoles to Nintendo Swap – particularly when that recreation has arrived inside the final 12 months or so. Until you are working with a specific artwork type or setup that is purposefully straightforward to render, most Triple-A video games are going to take a knock to each efficiency and presentation. We have seen learn how to do it proper (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus being one such instance) and we have seen loads of methods to screw it up (reminiscent of a close to unplayable model of Ark: Survival Developed).
By 2019, we’re now able the place we are able to truthfully ask ourselves, ‘Is a recreation value 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 strong one which owes a lot of its id to the heyday of Ridge Racer. However on Nintendo Swap it is a vastly totally different recreation merely due to the concessions which were made to get it working on lower-spec hardware.
All of the content material on Swap is strictly 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 actually takes the hit. The framerate has been dropped from 60fps to 30fps, which by itself makes a severe distinction to a recreation all about driving round tracks at ridiculous speeds. On high of this, Xenon Racer usually struggles to hit that 30fps cap, and as an alternative sits across the 24-25fps mark for almost all of races. All the things from the opening intro of the sport to the menus that take your chosen automobile via 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 recreation that bases itself across the drifting mannequin from the Ridge Racer video games. Contemplating you are usually shifting at such excessive pace, you at all times have to know when to faucet the brake to convey 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 facet 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 lots to supply for race followers hoping for an alternate racing expertise with a bit of additional chunk. This isn’t a simple racing expertise, invoking the difficult early days of WipEout with its combination of high-speed cornering and split-second determination making. You may customise your futuristic automobile with new components as you progress via 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 best way they do on different platforms.
Past its technical points, Xenon Racer has deep-seated gameplay issues that maintain it again from reaching that high step on the rostrum. The dealing with mannequin is a bit of too cumbersome for a racer all about taking hyper-advanced sports activities vehicles round some difficult globally-set tracks, whereas drifting may be extremely temperamental; this difficulty 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 recreation in right here someplace, however with out an adjustment to its dealing with mannequin and a major patch to its efficiency and presentation, it feels an excessive amount of like an unfinished product.
Contemplating Xenon Racer’s official Nintendo Swap pages comprise screenshots and trailer footage clearly taken from variations that don’t, in any manner, replicate the sport introduced 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 boring lighting mannequin that solely actually exhibits any sense of presence on the occasional nighttime observe. Its visuals are dogged with pop-in points, and the flat, 2D crowds and low-res textures think of a a lot earlier era of 3D visuals; take all of this into consideration and also you’re left with a recreation that’s clearly inferior to the variations accessible elsewhere – and if we’re being brutally sincere, these variations aren’t all that sizzling, both.
It’s not usually we advocate you play a Nintendo Swap recreation on a special 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 recreation that does not warrant that full price ticket. With a layer of additional blurring when enjoying in handheld mode, and that sense of breakneck pace decreased considerably by the sheer drop in frames when racing, you’re compelled 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 bit of extra time within the storage.