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Game Review #085: Rocket League (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Psyonix

Publisher: Psyonix

Category: Sports, Racing, Action

Release Date: 11.14.2017

Buy Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Rocket League Ultimate Edition (physically) from Amazon here.

Where Are All The Sports Games

Sports is another genre that doesn’t get a lot of love on the Nintendo Switch eShop, and you really only have a handful of solid titles to pick from. Some of the bigger names haven’t even made the move to Switch, and some have speculated it being the online or under-the-hood power that keeps some titles from making the move. Well it didn’t stop my favorite sports game, Rocket League, from making the move, and when they did, they did it right in every single way. Let’s talk about it more.

What’s Car Soccer?

Rocket League is a simple concept of vehicular soccer, made masterfully by Psyonix. When the game first came out back in 2015, it wasn’t long before I picked it up on PlayStation 4 and put in many hours of playtime. It was a game that I knew I could always jump in play a few quick matches and have a great time, and then go on with my day. That was always part of the appeal, as I knew I could always just jump right in to a match.

Most regularly you play on a team of three, in which you use your vehicle of choice to ram into the giant soccer ball in hopes of making it into the goal. Now that’s how you start playing Rocket League, but after you put in some quality time and get beat by better players, you start to pick up the genius behind the game. You can use turbos and jumps to elevate your game. You can flip your vehicle in any direction, allowing you to block and do kick flips, even though they look like regular front and back flips.

Once you’ve played a few matches and really begun to get the nuances of the gameplay, such as jumps and how to properly use your turbo, you really start to become addicted to the game. You can also always jump into training in the main menu if you want to brush up on your skills. I found myself playing and trying new things match to match. Some matches I would hang back and just play goalie, and clear the ball over and over, keeping the other team from scoring a goal, which is just as satisfying. The game makes sure to reward you for this too, as every time you make a contribution to the match helping your team, you gain points. Clearing the ball, taking a shot, and of course, scoring a goal will all get you points within the game.

How’s This Going Down

There are so many different modes and ways to play. You can duel 1v1 and 2v2, but the most common are 3v3, and the all-out mayhem of 4v4. Which, oddly enough, never gets too crazy, as I always watch the ball and don’t just smash into everyone and everything. You can play local multiplayer with couch co-op, and even to take it a step further; I played split-screen out with friends with my Switch on its kickstand with each of us using a single Joy-Con, and it still was enjoyable on the small screen split into two.

Since there is a party system included, you can play private matches or just invite your friend into a lobby and play match after match. You get to play online against a whole community of awesome players, as Rocket League on Switch allows you to play across other platforms with other systems like Xbox and Steam. When playing online, you have a bevy of different options, as I’ve touched on above, but you can also play competitively. Then there are some fun modes, like the one called “Hoops”, where you play basketball with your vehicle. There’s a mode called “Snow Day”, where the ball is replaced with a puck, and you play hockey, and another mode in which you get power-up abilities. There is also a tab called “Career”—if you like to chase stats and leader boards, this is your place to go.

Can You Hear Me Now

One thing that has been a drag to most Switch owners, even the ones who love their Switch like I do, is the complete lack of ways to communicate during gameplay. Well, Rocket League has the answer, as everything is already built into the game like the before-mentioned party system. You can send messages back and forth between friends, and can chat with quick messages in the matches as well. This brings the game to another level that all other games on Switch, especially the sports games, should aim for. Plus, Psyonix listens to their audience and makes sure they’re happy, as they constantly and continually are putting out regular updates.

Customizing & DLC

You can go into the garage to select your vehicle, and then deck it out with what you have available. You will unlock items as you play, like car toppers and antenna balls. There are so many options and ways to customize your vehicle to make it unique to your personality. By purchasing the Switch version of the game, you get a Metroid-inspired car that resembles Samus’ suit, and a car that looks like Mario or Luigi, that even go as far as making the same sound Mario makes in the original games, and when using the turbo, you hear the music that plays when Mario gets a star in the game.

You can pop into the showroom, and if you’re like me, you have to buy some of the cars that are DLC. When I saw they had the DeLorean, I had to purchase it, and the same with the Jurassic Park DLC. None of the DLC are expensive, and it’s all cosmetic and mostly movie cars that they have to pay back to use, so it makes sense and I gladly paid for it.

Audio & Visuals, Make The Switch

The music is high-tempo and what you’d expect for a fast-paced sports game. The sounds are great down to the very smallest detail. The game also looks great at a solid 60 frames per second, with no pop in or blurry images. I was impressed with not only how great the vehicles look as they zip by going a hundred MPH, but also with how the arenas you play in are gorgeous, with no two looking the same.

What is most impressive to me is the amazing love and work the people over at Panic Button put into this game.

They had previously ported a little game called Doom over to the Switch when no one thought it was possible. Now I see why Psyonix went with such a trusted studio for their port. It was handled with care, because this game runs like a dream on the Switch. There were initially some issues with slight pop-in and blur, only in handheld, but after multiple upon multiple patches from the devs, the game now runs smooth as silk in both handheld and docked.

Final Thoughts

For me, this is one of the easiest and simple recommendations I can give someone that owns a Switch, because the game is amazing on all systems, but being able to play it handheld on the couch, or on road trip hooked up to my hotspot sets this version above all other systems. If you’re gonna make me say it then I will… Rocket League is must own game for the Nintendo Switch. I wish Nintendo would work a deal out with Psyonix so every single Switch sold came with it pre-installed on the hard drive. Yes! Let’s make it happen, Reggie!

Final Score: 10/10

Buy Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Rocket League Ultimate Edition (physically) from Amazon here.

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*Review Code Provided By Outrageous PR

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