When Rocket League first came out, it was given away as part of PlayStation Plus, a strategic move to be sure, but since then, the game has developed quite the following and now that its on Switch will that following, follow it?
The good news is that all of the action is the same, the gameplay on offer matches that of its brethren and it means that if you know what you are in for, then you will get exactly that. The game is basically car soccer, but with jet engines, so you and your team have to get the giant ball into the opposing teams goal, it sounds simple enough of course, but as you progress through, you will discover that there are some fairly advanced moves that may make you think twice. The game is broken down into two types, online against real people or offline against real people locally or with bots.
If you stay offline the game offers you the chance to prove your mettle as you compete to be the winner of championship and as you compete the required matches, your win and losing numbers are placed on the ladder, rank high enough and you are onto the finals. If you fail to rank, then you are out and your season is over, the funny part is the game never made any sort of fuss out of it, just a little text on the screen stating your out. The seasons can rank from 9 ‘weeks’ long to 36, with them running in multiples of 9, so you can either have a short one or longer if you prefer, but as each match takes 5 minutes to run, a short season will still take you a while to finish. As you complete matches, you will earn experience points, level up and you will get a reward, sometimes is a cosmetic item like a flag or a hat, other times it might be something as grand as a new body for your car.
The excitement of the game changes when you take the game online and compete against real world players, doing that will have you rethinking your ability to compete on the global stage, or at least it did me. When you see another player flip their car into the ball, after driving along the side walls of the stadium and score a goal, it is quite a thrill, though not as great as doing it yourself. Thankfully, the Switch version of the game, seemed to have no issues with playing online, something that is critical for the release of a game where online is key, the times I did encounter issues were in locating matches, but that happens with a lot of games, so not an issue here.
When docked, the game ran fine, there was some slight load in issues as the levels would load up, textures would be replace constantly as the camera panned around, but it ran fine. The game is said to have an adaptive resolution, which I never noticed, so no comments about that, the one concern is when game is planed in handheld mode. Every time I took the Switch from its dock to play the game away from the TV, I noticed a common thing, the machine gets hot, something that no other game has made me notice before. Given that the JoyCon are small, my hands would wrap around the Switch and that made the heat easy to detect, while not an issue per say, the Switch was working overtime to dissipate the heat.
Rocket League for Nintendo Switch is the same game that players around the world have been enjoying on other platforms for ages, so if you have not had the chance to try it yourself, this is a great version to try it on. However if you play it elsewhere already, there is nothing here that could convince you to start over.