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Rocket League review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Psyonix
Developer: Psyonix/Panic Button
Medium: Digital
Players: Multi
Online: Yes
ESRB: E

Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch is an excellent port of the extremely fun and unique soccer (?) title  from the developers at Psyonix. This port is brought to us by Panic Button, the group responsible for the recent DOOM port on the Switch. Rocket League on Switch boasts the same great controls, addictive gameplay, varied modes, and the platform makes for a great portable experience. Everything feels intact with this port of Rocket League, right down to the frame rate, which remains consistent throughout. Even the online play is solid, with only a handful of instances of lag. All in all, this is a pretty darn good version of Rocket League, and worth checking out if you’ve not played it before (or want a portable version).

If you’re not familiar with Rocket League, I’ll attempt to explain the basics. You control a small vehicle, the equivalent of a remote-controlled car, piloted through a large arena. You can face off against other players or the A.I. in 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3, or 4 vs. 4 matches. The basic idea is that you’re playing soccer, with a large ball plopped into the center of the arena that you’ll need to ram your car into repeatedly in order to bounce it into the opposing team’s goal. The catch? Rockets! Your vehicle boasts a limited boost function that not only propels you forward, but when combined with your jump ability you can move upwards, rocketing and bounding around the arena in order to clip or tap a mid-air ball to surprise your opponent.

This is sort of the core appeal of Rocket League. Mastering air control is pretty difficult, and at first a lot of your goals will feel more like luck than actual skill. However, over time, you’ll be pretty surprised at how well you get the hang of things. Thankfully, matchmaking does a pretty solid job of pairing you up against similarly skilled players, and even those with subpar abilities can feel useful and knock in the occasional goal, or manage to save the game by bouncing back an opposing shot. The game rewards players for various things by granting points, which in turn will allow you to build your experience level and unlock tons of cosmetic items.

Those cosmetic items are pretty varied, including various vehicle chassis, paint jobs, boost smoke effects, goal explosion effects, and even hats. A lot of this can be unlocked just by playing the game, but Rocket League also incorporates a loot crate system too for additional items. I know, I know, oh god loot crates. But I think Psyonix handles these in the right way. They’re only for cosmetic items, they’re not priced ridiculously (you actually buy keys to unlock said crates), and the game is priced moderately at the onset, so spending additional cash on the game if you’re already enjoying it doesn’t feel sketchy.

In addition to standard versus modes, there’s a handful of variant modes that are still competitive, but feature different types of goals to knock a ball into. There’s even a mode that introduces items that are similar in function to kart racers, bestowing limited abilities to your diminutive vehicle that can either help with offense or defense.

Overall, there’s a lot of fun packed into Rocket League, and this port to the Nintendo Switch manages to keep all of that intact. If you’ve never played, you absolutely should, and the Switch version of the game makes for a solid addition to Nintendo’s ever growing library.

Note: Psyonix provided us with a Rocket League Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A