Impressions: Nogalious

Nogalious is a challenging and short platform puzzler from LUEGOLU3GO STUDIOS. What did we think of the opening title of this trilogy?

 

Free Product provided generously by LUEGOLU3GO STUDIOS!

 

Nogalious is a game that captures the essence of challenging retro titles, injecting some light puzzle elements. This classic design can lead to a sometimes frustrating but equally rewarding experience.

Nogalious is very much a retro styled game.

Nogalious proves to be a fun and challenging title.

 

How Does It Look?

Nogalious aims to replicate the earlier days of gaming.

Nogalious captures the classic PC era of gaming perfectly.

Nogalious is a very simple game. Objects are defined and the character stands out. Enemies can at times blend in, red bats and red clouds for instance, but the aesthetic suits the game well.

Items are often obvious, though at times can be obscured by the low-level of detail making it hard to see what you need to do.

As the game is a puzzle platformer of sorts, you need to examine each screen carefully to identify your objective, usually a key, to be able to pass to the next screen. This can involve pushing or pulling graves to align them, or killing all the enemies.

Of course the soundtrack is suitably retro, and captures the gothic feel of each stage well.

 

How Does It Play?

Nogalious isn't always a pleasant walk.

Nogalious can sometimes be a bit challenging…

Gameplay is as noted above, find the objective to grab a key to move to the next screen. Progress through each screen in a stage and finish the stage.

Along the way will be special stones and weapons for Nogalious to use. These range from a sword, a boomerang, and even timed mines. Each of these works differently and can be cycled through, so finding the right one is key for each situation.

Sometimes the way forward isn’t particularly clear, and this can come down to either the visuals, or the translation. The translation for Nogalious is odd in that while it gets the basics across, the language barrier proves difficult when explaining finer mechanics. With experimentation though it doesn’t take long to grasp.

Nogalious himself is very easy to control, being able to attack, jump and pull or push objects. Oddly jump is assigned to pressing Up, but this is simply a matter of adjusting. You have fluid mid-air control, but be warned as some platforms are less solid than they appear.

 

Let’s Talk Problems

Sometimes the solution is hard to see.

What do you see on this screen? Do you see a way to lower the water?

Trying to find the solution to a screen requires precise assessment of the pixel art. On the screen above you have a branch on a tree that will lower the water level and let you find the key to progress. Of course, this isn’t immediately obvious.

Another problem with the above screen is the crows. Given Nogalious perishes in a single hit, and they can eat away at the respawning vines you need to climb and jump between, and contact damage is also fatal, care is required.

There is a degree of randomness to this all. How much of the vine they chop away depends on where they land. Further, jumping between vines requires you to first jump and then move, making it feel more awkward than need be.

The final issue is, unfortunately, overall difficulty. The challenge in each room can vary greatly, and your limited lives and fragility lead to using your limited continues at which point, well back to the start.

This is a game about mastery, so a lot of trial and error will get you to the end.

Expect to die. A lot.

I saw this a lot…

Overall?

Nogalious is a fun game held back by its reference material. It’s still a great time, but the less patient gamers may find it a bit much. It’s fairly short, but the amount of (Mandatory) replaying will leave you chasing that high score if you are persistent.

I recommend this quite easily to fans of classic challenging titles.

If you want to see the game in action, we have a short stream below:

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to share what you think of on social media or try it out for yourself on Steam. While you are here, check out our other Impressions pieces! Until next time, Happy Gaming!

Impressions: Tiny Hands Adventure

Tiny Hands Adventure is a charming little romp of a platformer from Blue Sunset Games. What did we think of Borti’s debut adventure for bigger hands?

 

Free Product provided generously by Blue Sunset Games!

Sometimes simple is better than messy.

Tiny Hands Adventure is a nice and charming 3D platformer

Tiny Hands Adventure is a game that manages to evoke its reference material and present some new ideas to forge a unique identity. What you ultimately get is a solid experience full of charm and unique ideas, but nothing truly stellar. Good, but not super amazing.

 

How Does It Look?

Tiny Hands Adventure has a lot of variety!

Tiny Hands Adventure is actually a quite attractive game with a lot of variety.

Tiny Hands Adventure is a very charming game. Not confined the dinosaur appropriate locales, the games has you climb lighthouses, traverse swamps, top-down view mazes, inter-dimensional stairways and even a comic book. While it may seem to be a visual mismatch, the game maintains its identity even though different settings.

On PC the game runs perfectly fine. No issues with resolution of frame rate, that I can see. On Nintendo Switch, I cannot say, but it stands to a reason a fairly simple game should have no issues.

Sometimes the worlds may look a little empty or flat, and the text certainly isn’t as refined or well implemented as it could be, but it’s functional. Everything is appropriate and accounted for.

I also have to say, the soundtrack is really good. Not a dull track in there, a good range of styles and lively beats.

 

How Does It Play?

Even with a controller on PC the game was very responsive.

Tiny Hands Adventure is a very nice feeling game in the hand.

Gameplay in Tiny Hands Adventure is simple. Progress through each stage in a tier, in what order you desire, grab the main collectible and finish the stage. When all 4 collectibles are assembled you can take on the boss.

Boss battles are perhaps the weakest aspect of the game as a whole, lacking feedback to being hit and at times either being too long for a fight that has no checkpoints, or being simply a waiting and dodging exercise. They aren’t bad, but some fine tuning would have been nice.

Beating a boss awards you a “Hand”, an extension of Borti’s standard tail whip. These include a drill, plastic grab hand that doubles as a wider spin, and grappling arms. Each of these are used in various stages, some even requiring repeat visits later in the game. Beyond this though, they feel under-utilised, but give Borti more to do as the game progresses.

Strikingly, the game encourages repeat visits to stages by offering 5 collectible crystals. Some require certain Hands, so making note of the different environmental situations is key. Collecting all five unlocks the harder version of a stage, with a single white crystal to collect, for 100% completion and rewards.

This is a simple but effective way of improving replay value, and while the game isn’t too difficult, the harder stages are definitely where the greatest challenge lies.

Borti himself however, is a joy to control. His weight feels right and his movement, even when using a controller on PC, feels smooth. There were very few times I felt like a death was the fault of the game, and rather my own judgement. He has a wide range of moves including a spin and slide, so he comes well equipped, though these feel under utilised until later, as the level design is often rather basic and doesn’t require much use of these advanced moves.

 

Let’s Talk Problems

Sometimes you can make Borti a super T-Rex

This game does have some rather entertaining bugs

This release is by no means flawless. As a smaller title errors do slip through. Sometimes you may find something isn’t quite solid, or a hitbox is a little misaligned on some spikes. Regardless, the game still manages to be fun.

The aforementioned issues with boss battles stands out as a real low point, as does the lack of enemy interaction, instead acting as stationary obstacles.

The game could perhaps come off as boring to some with its relative ease and simplicity, but to others this may be a positive. That is for the individual to decide.

Finally, and this is a purely personal problem, the explosive boxes in the game aren’t distinguishable enough from their standard counterparts, with the explosive graphic only appearing on some sides and the colour (Because I’m colour blind) being near identical.

 

Overall?

Tiny Hands Adventure is a game that occupies the same space as Sonic 1 and Crash Bandicoot in my mind: A solid foundation. With that said, I can recommend the game to platforming fans, and the concept of a T-Rex looking to expand his reach is ripe for picking.

I can only hope like the aforementioned examples, a potential sequel to this game would take the concept and run with it, with crazier worlds and more varied and useful Hand upgrades to Borti. The concept has a lot of promise.

If you want to see the game in action, we have a forty minute stream below:

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to share what you think of on social media or try it out for yourself, on Steam or Nintendo Switch. Until next time, Happy Gaming!

Impressions: Paladins (Nintendo Switch)

Paladins manages to be a fun game on the surface and in gameplay, but it has a few steep cliffs.

Paladins is an interesting release on Switch

Paladins went free to play on Switch so we got a chance to try it out!

Paladins is an interesting title. A Hero Shooter with various modes and teams of 5 battling it out for supremacy. Each character is unique, each mode offers new challenges.

There are daily rewards, levelling up both your characters to unlock new skills and your general account for rewards. It’s all very progression based.

Which is exactly why this is a free to play game.

 

How Does It Look?

Paladins looks fantastic on the system

Paladins looks mighty clean on Switch

Paladins looks good on Switch. Nothing about it feels off, though the dynamic resolution can be very obvious in high density moments, but everything is smooth and fluid.

There are a variety of HUD options and placements, cursors and more. The UI is very customisable with one caveat.

As health bars of allies show up a “Sickly Green” when impacted with a status ailment, and enemies are red…a colour blind mode would have been very helpful!

 

How Does It Play?

Some of the load times are a bit extreme

Paladins can at times take a good while to get going however.

The gameplay itself is fairly simple, divided into 3 modes. Team Deathmatch where you compete to get the most kills, Siege where you battle to capture a point and then escort a payload to the enemy base, 1 point for each action, first to 4 wins.

Finally there is a standard Control mode, where you occupy a marked space and accumulate 400 points to win, fighting off the other team to do so.

These modes are all good fun, however the Siege mode lasts for far too long compared to the others, especially when wrestling for control.

Controls are snappy and responsive, and nothing feels out of reach. Interestingly you can get battle buffs by performing well during matches, earning credits to spend for that match. This is best done while respawning of course but it keeps things dynamic and allows you to adapt.

Of course this all comes with a downside: Load Times. Loading can take a while and especially getting into a match. It’s nothing major but for something on a console known for being snappy, this is a bit surprising.

Stage variety also seems a bit light, but that could just be bad luck during matchmaking. It’s hard to tell.

 

Let’s Talk Progression

Sometimes simplicity is best.

Paladins is an absolute behemoth of monetisation, and it’s confusing.

Progression in Paladins is strange. You level up characters and unlock cards and new abilities for battles, clear daily challenges to earn Gold and maybe even Crystals…but getting more from the game is hard.

You have a very limited number of characters initially, and this makes choosing one difficult since the game doesn’t allow duplicates on a team. Further to this, finding the characters in the store is difficult, and expensive in terms of Gold, as they are buried amongst voice samples and outfits etc.

But most egregious is a Battle Pass, akin to Fortnite with challenges for rewards, that you pay for with Crystals, a Season Pass, that gives you all Battle Passes, and various chests of randomized items.

Crystals are the premium paid for currency and the sheer wealth of options for expanding what you can simply do in the game is insane. It’s a complicated and frankly worrying mess that so much is gated off, as the game is genuinely fun.

But if this seems like an issue, there is a Buy All option with the Founder’s Pack. For a fee you unlock everything and this is how the game initially launched. I would recommend that over the restrictive Free To Play release.

 

Overall?

Paladins is an excellent game marred by some weird choices for monetisation. It tries to accommodate every model known to the industry at once.

This is the biggest downfall of the game, as what is a very fun time is locked behind a grind and premium rewards.

If you want to see the game in action, we have a two hour stream below:

 

Thanks for reading everyone, and don’t forget to share what you think of Paladins on social media or try it out for yourself, it is free to start after all. Until next time, Happy Gaming!

Impressions: Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy on Switch

Crash Bandicoot on Nintendo Switch is a perfectly serviceable, graphically sound port. However, it has an air of laziness around it.

 

Crash Bandicoot on Nintendo Switch is perfectly fine. These remakes of the original trilogy comes over, gameplay intact from PS4.

Naturally the resolution is lower at 720p when docked, and lower in handheld mode. With this comes graphical downgrades. Some expected, like shadows and the fur textures being limited or removed. Some however, like reflective surfaces, are omitted entirely.

These missing aspects certainly stand out, even compared to the PS1 originals. It’s no deal breaker, but in certain stages like the future themed areas from Warped, lot of charm is lost. This was clearly in the name of smooth performance, as the game maintains a fairly constant 30fps.

Reflective surfaces are missing...for some reason.

Reflective surfaces are completely missing in the Crash Trilogy.

 

So What’s In The Box?

 

Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is a collective remake of the original Crash titles. With this comes various improvements, notably to Crash Bandicoot (The Original), such as better game design choices. This includes making Gems easier to get, forgoing the No Deaths requirement outside of Colour Gems.

Not all changes are positive. The use of one unified physics scheme across all 3 games (Based on Crash 3) leads to conflict with level design in Crash 1 and 2. This is simply due to level design in a platformer being built around what the character can do, with Crash 1 and 2 at times simply not being built for Crash 3 controls.

Additionally, some vehicles control with unusual weight and slow turning that limits mobility, adding frustration to Crash 3.

Further, the DLC stages Stormy Ascent and Future Tense are included as standard alongside various Quality Improvements made since the initial PS4 release.

Ultimately, this is the definitive way to experience all 3 games. As the de facto portable experience, this release is excellent.

Crash on Switch is the de facto portable experience.

This is a very feature rich package!

 

It’s Not All Sunshine in Wumpa Island…

 

So let’s address the downsides of this port. First, as noted, it doesn’t look as good. I feel as though some cutbacks aren’t necessary but if it’s in the name of smooth performance, it’s agreeable.

Now we know this port only exists because of a sole engineer proving the game would run, on their own time. 

This lack of interest in even attempting to get the game running by the development staff hints at corporate apathy. There are Switch specific issues that hint at a lack of care on various parties.

Firstly, using any controller other than Joy-Con while docked, before undocking the system, leads to the game being unable to recognise the Joy-Con in Handheld mode. This means using a Pro Controller on your TV before swapping to handheld mode, means you need to reboot the game.

Further, swapping which wireless controller you are using, at least when undocked, leads to the same problem. The game doesn’t respond to swapping controllers or modes unless you use the Joy-Con.

Who holds responsibility for this we will never know. Is it Nintendo for not performing adequate checks during the Lotcheck process? Is it Toys For Bob, the team behind the port? We may never know, but Crash Bandicoot on Switch doesn’t support these basic aspects of the system.

 

So What Do We Think?

 

I am extremely mixed on this release. On one hand, the game is smooth, responsive and absolutely worth a purchase for fans. If you have another console, this becomes a tougher sell, but for a portable Crash experience, this is fantastic.

The catch is some cutbacks feel extreme, and the lack of Switch functionality including screen recording (though this may be tied to CPU usage by the game) and controller swapping leaves a sour taste.

This feels like the most basic of ports. Its solid, it’s a great game, but it doesn’t react to the basic functionality of the system. As noted, it’s like the port was rushed and not intended.

But that doesn’t deter that this is a great way to experience the game. If you can overlook the cutbacks and system specific issues, this is an absolute must for platformer fans.

 

That’s all for this Impressions piece! Crash is back (Again!) and we hope you have fun wumping from islands and through time. Let us know what you think on social media, and Happy Gaming!

Impressions – Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

Is Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition the truly definitive experience?

Fresh on the Nintendo Switch is the Wii U cross-over between the Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. Better described as a mix of Dynasty Warriors with Zelda aesthetics, items and a few mechanics, it is undeniably a Warriors game through and through. So how does Hyrule Warriors fare?

Does Hyrule Warriors live up to it's Wii U and 3DS counterparts?

Hyrule Warriors returns, with all the trappings of a Warriors experience.

That will be the first hurdle for any player. Do you like Warriors titles? If not, and cleaving through thousands of enemies per battle isn’t your thing, then this game will immediately turn you off.

This is of course the bulk of the gameplay. Moving from keep to keep, reacting to real-time objectives and changing win or loss conditions. There is plenty of strategy and running around. It’s worth remembering that your own actions matter more than any others. Your army doesn’t help much.

This makes the game fairly chaotic. Indeed it can be quite a hurdle and losses can sneak up alarmingly fast. Compounding this is the mini-map, which highlights changing objectives but actually catching where they are amongst all the information on-screen can be difficult. Pausing may be necessary, but this slows the pace of what should be a hectic battlefield.

How does Hyrule Warriors play?

This is one of the premier questions surrounding Hyrule Warriors. The game was 720p with a sub-30 frame rate on Wii U. On 3DS it was naturally hampered. The volume of enemies, performance and look of the game just didn’t justify the purchase, despite the expanded content.

Sometimes the game can get a bit messy...

Imagine the frame rate in a moment like this.

On Nintendo Switch, the game runs at a native 1080p, granted with no real improvements otherwise. It certainly runs better, well above 30 frames per second, but a constant 60 isn’t around. However, the instability is preferable to sub-30. The drops were only noticeable in intense situations, though they are ever-present to some degree.

In handheld mode then, the game maintains a clear and crisp image. What doesn’t carry over is performance as it is inferior to the docked experience. At a glance it looks about as unstable as the Wii U release. Of course in handheld mode, the system feels fine when playing. There were no gripes with controls here, though a Pro Controller did prove best when docked due to the fast button presses required.

This is the best performing version of the game, but it does feel lacking in some respects.

 

So what about content?

This is the single most alluring point in favour of this game. If you consider the performance a minor annoyance rather than a deal breaker, and don’t find Warriors titles monotonous, you will get value for money.

Combining all the Wii U content with the extra story and modes from the 3DS release with all the DLC and some new quality of life features makes a very robust package. All the story content is intact and the My Fairy mode transitions as well. All the DLC Adventure maps, where you cross 8-bit maps from various games clearing challenges, return as well.

You won't be putting this mode down anytime soon.

Hyrule Warriors is absolute bursting with things to do.

There are countless hours to be had here, and helping this is the small improvements made to the game. Most notably, some stages and missions will feature Owl Statues which once activated, act as warp points for fast travel. In this release, that allows you to mitigate running across maps in time sensitive moments. A much-needed feature in my opinion.

Another nice addition (From the 3DS release) is character swapping. Some missions will let you take in up to 4 warriors at once, and you can swap between them. This allows you to be at multiple places at once. Again, a much-needed feature that makes some challenges manageable compared to the Wii U iteration. Of course, you can also have them be controlled via AI using a Command prompt in the menu if you need them moving remotely.

Added to the Adventure Modes is the ability to buy Item Cards you have already owned for a hefty fee. This simply cuts down on having to replay missions, though any with two Gold Skulltulas still requires a second run.

 

Lots To Unlock!

There is a swath of things to unlock. Gold Skulltulas for meeting certain requirements. Heart pieces and containers for each character. Weapons, skill trees to upgrade, materials from enemies. Costumes, more characters, more things to buy and upgrade. Hyrule Warriors is a very rewarding game. Every action gives you something usable.

However, those actions will be very repetitive across the many maps and modes. Sure the objectives can change, missions can be very dynamic and change at a whim, but the process remains the same. In the moments the game presents quiz battles or special giant boss challenges, it’s a breath of fresh air.

 

How does Hyrule fit into this?

The Zelda influence is more than a coat of paint

Imagine this scenario in a proper Zelda title…

The Legend of Zelda is more than a skin for this game. Items to be used in battle to expose weak points or counter attack are ripped from the franchise. Several musical tracks and locations are as well. The items in question are used almost exclusively for giant bosses or smaller enemies, but rarely you can see situations to use them in movement. This is hardly necessary however.

Naturally, the giant bosses are a highlight. They do come across as more time wasters than challenges though, often being a distraction on a battlefield than a real challenge.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention the game can in fact be quite challenging. You can level up characters with Rupees should you not have time to grind. Skill trees however, require items. Items you can only get from enemies. There is a constant feedback loop but it does get tiring.

One big problem is in Adventure modes, when a certain character is needed that you haven’t touched. Better get the Rupees and items out to prepare them. It doesn’t take too long, but it can bog the pace of a good play session down.

That’s the other big hurdle with Hyrule Warriors. There will be a lot of grinding and most of it comes naturally but mixed with progressing simply being a process of repetition, it takes someone who loves Warriors to fully experience this game.

 

So, the Verdict?

How DO you enjoy this game?

There are several “Keys” to enjoying Hyrule Warriors.

This game ultimately has two main hurdles. The first is whether you like Dynasty Warriors. The repetitive gameplay is fine in short bursts, but if it doesn’t engage you, there is no point.

Secondly, be prepared to grind. There will be many times your progress feels stunted but keep at it. If performance drops don’t hamper your experience in any way and this game seems like it may be for you, then you will be in for a full experience.

Just don’t play it as much as I did in the first week. It’s fun but exhausting.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition gets our recommendation, if you’re willing to overlook repetition.

 

 

Thanks for reading our Impressions of Hyrule Warriors! Stay tuned for more impressions in the future, and even reviews! Of course as always, Happy Gaming!

Impressions: PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds!

An exercise in frustration, or an amazing game with a great concept?

 

So PUBG is something I have been aware of for a few months but never got into for monetary and other reasons. I simply had too much to do. But yesterday, live on stream, I played my first few matches.

 

I had only seen sparse footage of the game, or real discussion about it beyond its influence on Twitch and gaming as a whole. I know the story behind its creation, but not much of the actual gameplay beyond what is, on paper at least, an amazing concept.

miramar-b0ea3b5b

Airdrop up to 100 players into a huge map. Have them scavenge for armour, weaponry, tools and upgrades to their equipment…and kill each other. As they do this, the play area shrinks. Fall outside of this, your health is drained. So you have 100 people being funnelled down into a smaller and smaller area, and the last man standing wins.

This is truly an excellent concept…on paper.

Personally the idea of only two maps is a bit disheartening, until you realise these maps are huge, and the high variance of the games means every play will be different. You’ll never have the same round twice. Almost.

 

The execution of this concept is what drives me to a mixed reaction to it.

There are primarily three scenarios for your time in PUBG:

You are not likely to have two matches play out the same, unless you are unfortunate enough to be airdropped in next to someone, or a few people, who quickly find weapons, and bang, you are out of there within two minutes.

That isn’t the most fun aspect of the game. If you get lucky and don’t die immediately (Great! You got lucky!) you now need to find weapons. You can spend a good while running through open spaces (And thus be an obvious target) between buildings that may or may not end up with you defending yourself. Or dying if someone is hiding in one. That can happen too.

Long and short, you can spend a long time not being able to actually partake in the core of the gameplay.

Finally, you can end up in the third scenario which plays one of two ways. You’ll either get extremely fortunate and end up in semi-frequent bouts of combat and win, or die, or end up not finding anyone until the map shrinks and there are about 20 players left, and then come out on top…or die.

As shown above I made it to 7th place in a match…where I got two kills and spent a good 20 minutes sat in a house waiting for stuff to happen as the play area shrank and shrank, until I got blasted from the side.

This is easily the most fun part of the game. It’s high adrenaline, and goodness knows a grenade or gunshot with headphones on makes you leap out of your skin in what is a quiet world otherwise. Plus the knowledge that combat is inevitable and closing in on you is an amazing feeling.

This is where PUBG works best. Occasional combat instances, good luck finding weapons, and being able to play smart, assuming people don’t snipe you. Of course, you’ve got a 1 in 3 chance of your game even getting that far. More often than not, it feels like it won’t.

 

PostProcessingVeryLow

Of course that’s just the game design. Visually the game can range from alright to almost N64 style in visual quality, even at full resolution, as sometimes models and textures are incredibly poor. Other times not, which is a weird inconsistency. Maybe this a downside of playing on “Medium” settings, while streaming.

It should be noted I had very few network related issues, even when streaming the game and hosting a Skype call at the same time. That much is very functional at least, which is mandatory for a multiplayer game.

In terms of controls, I used both a Dualshock 4, and Keyboard/Mouse.

Keyboard worked fine for what it is, everything is mercifully within reach, just as I have explained before however, it’s not the most comfortable solution for me as a player. The downside of using a controller means some features like underhanded throws and quick switching through weapons, aren’t available without sacrificing other things. It’s a prioritize what you need kind of situation.

Finally, aiming seems a little…weird. Guns have the appropriate kind of blowback, which means you won’t just fire in a straight line. But reviewing some “Death Cam” footage (It happened a lot), I can see players do have a hard time lining up shots or even getting them to connect. I don’t know if that’s a network thing of if the aiming is just slightly off, but it’s a strange oddity.

 

Overall I can say PUBG on PC is something to at least try out. On Xbox One, I don’t know as I can’t test that version, but from what I have seen it’s not as smooth an experience at the moment, compared to the now out of “Early Access” PC version.

But therein lies the problem: The idea of the game is amazing. It’s just luck as to whether it plays out in a way that you enjoy, or if it effectively ends with you in a boring scenario where nothing happens for a good while, or die immediately upon starting.

 

Thanks for reading this Impressions piece on PUBG! It was an interesting experience and you can bet I will be doing more like this in future! If you enjoyed this article or have your own thoughts on PUBG, let me know on social media or in the comments, and I will see you next time: Happy Gaming!

Preview: Yooka-Laylee on Nintendo Switch! (Spoiler Free)

I got my Backer Code of Yooka-Laylee for Nintendo Switch in today, and I’ve spent some time blasting away at the game, so what are we looking at?

 

First off, I have mostly played in handheld/tabletop mode, so take that for what it’s worth.

Yooka-Laylee is presented as stated by the developers, just below full resolution on both modes. So the image is slightly softer. What is interesting about this and what I noted first, is the game simply feels better being played handheld, as though it fits the screen more than it did when I played on PS4 on my 40″ TV earlier this year.

That seems like an odd compliment but it really does feel at home here. The worlds are very pick up and play via Sleep Mode and with regards to controls, everything is just within reach.

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The game is the same as it has been since launch, only some improvements not available on other systems at launch are standard here. manual camera, audio toggles, fast speech and brief voice snippets, are all welcome additions. This is very much the best version out of the box.

Performance wise, the game is interesting, at 30 FPS, it does occasionally pause, albeit very briefly, seemingly to load something, at least in handheld mode, as well as very brief, very slight, and rare frame rate drops, if only for a second.

When docked, the game runs the same, though the little frame drops don’t seem present, or at least I haven’t encountered them yet within the first world. The image is again, below full resolution of the system, but looks fine, if a little soft.

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So in terms of drawbacks, the main thing is shadows and particles. Shadows are softer and particles seem paired back just slightly, but outside of those honestly minor things, the game seems as is. Maybe water effects are reduced, but those have been so brief in the world so far. It’s entirely possible other effects from elsewhere in the game are reduced further.

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But yes, Yooka-Laylee on Switch certainly is technically below the other verions, but it doesn’t feel like a significant drawback to draw ire. The wait has been worth it, assuming you like this style and structure of game, as obviously that remains unchanged. Yooka-Laylee certainly feels best here.