WRC 9, Switch release review

WRC 9, Switch release review

WRC has landed again this year with its latest incarnation on the Nintendo console, and it’s not without its flaws. Let’s see how it is priced in our WRC9 review for Switch.

In recent years, the WRC rally game series has built a reputation for providing arguably the most accurate representation of the sport. Official World Rally Championship matches continue to maintain a balanced approach to motorsports that has nothing to do with the chaotic 12-car Dirt race, and has always revolved around two people, a driver and a navigator.
Unfortunately, while the franchise has garnered accolades in other gaming systems, it has struggled to find a foothold on Switch due to a number of technical problems That has been suggested again this year. Let’s see how in WRC 9 review for Switch.

Experience in a nutshell

Nice sunset cruise

For those not familiar with the genre, WRC 9 is simply the official game for the FIA ​​World Rally Championship. This class is technically based on 2020 championship, However, due to real-world events related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been updated. In fact, the 13-round season was put on hold after only 3 rounds, and she found herself stuck in limbo for six months. Then she returned with two previously unplanned rallies in Estonia and Monza, which for obvious reasons are not in this game, and lasted a little longer, but was eventually canceled after only 7 rounds.

This means that four marches (Australia, Catalonia, Chile and Corsica) have been removed from the previous season and the three new rallies originally planned for this season (Japan, New Zealand and Kenya) have been included; This gave rise to The number of tracks in WRC 9 is less than in WRC 8.
Sure, it’s arguably not the development team’s fault – we’re pretty sure licensing issues prevented them from holding some other tracks, even as an option to play them outside of the main season. However, the result cannot be overlooked, although this is offset to some extent by the addition of some additional stages in the Rally Finland and Portugal, which means that the total number of races is still higher anyway (108 races this time compared to 102 races last year. )), Although the variety of scenarios is slightly reduced.

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Game and play modes

Beware of unseen walls
Beware of unseen walls

As in the previous game, there is a mode in WRC9 Full career, Which allows you to manage everything from team offices and control various aspects behind the scenes, such as planning the next calendar, hiring and firing employees (monitoring their gross payroll) and using massive sums. Skill tree The game to develop the performance of the car and its entourage. In short, nothing new from last year’s game, Career Mode debuted in that capacity. Of course, if you are not interested in any of these “roleplay” components, there is also a way season You can simply face the demonstrations without having to see what’s inside the office.

However, games like this do have the experience down the road. The learning curve is steep, but that’s not necessarily criticism – anyone who has played a good rally game in the past (realistic, not something like Sega Rally) knows that you can’t get one and start swinging the car around turns. Like the ghost of Sebastian Loeb.
We understand that these games take a long time to master and the fact that Career Mode gives you the ability to get started in the classroom. WRC Junior It’s useful, because it gives you more time to get used to the very delicate handling of the controls, so much so that sometimes it can feel like you’re driving a grocery cart with wheels locked up. Take some time to not only master the car, but also learn the structure of each track and you’ll see that the hard work pays off.

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There are still elements, however, that although they are not the development team’s fault again, they make playing WRC on Switch less satisfying than on other systems. The most obvious is The lack of analog triggers: By default, the game puts acceleration and braking on ZR and ZL, and although this might be fine for arcade games, when the title revolves around the idea of ​​making your way through very narrow and dangerous landscapes, the metronome can be controlled. Very useful.
There will be a way around this, by going to the options menu and setting the acceleration and braking to the right stick, but this also has its pros and cons: Not only will you have to reset (or more likely give up) the controls to move the camera, but you’ll also have to reset Set the handbrake so you don’t have to raise your thumb too far from the right stick to press button A. Some rally drivers do this already.

The Frame rate, Which stops at 30fps as on other platforms, is slightly more stable than it has been in the past. There are still times when it fails to reach a steady speed of 30fps, especially when playing in manual mode, and there are a few scenarios in which it could visibly spike (Wells during a storm in this sense should be avoided like the plague, which is good advice In real life as well as in this game), but overall it looks more stable than before. To achieve success, the graphics sector has been sacrificed even more, which is bad news for a game that seemed a bit boring indeed.

Better or worse than before?

If you compare WRC8 and WRC9, you’ll notice that some environmental details have been removed. It’s a very small difference, but in places like Finland some trees have been removed, for example; Nothing will affect the gaming experience but it is definitely not the improvement expected. Only if you play exclusively in TV mode, since WRC8 doesn’t always hit 30fps, you’ll notice some differences.

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Even more disturbing is the engine’s constant struggle to keep up with the environment. Some Shadows do not appear In order to be a few meters away from them, draw yourself racing as if you were chasing some kind of ghost. Then there is Popup de assets With alarming hesitation, while some trees have a really distracting reverse fade effect. Rally games are a special case, because it’s you against the track, and if that track is constantly struggling to load and its trees suddenly pop up on the side of the road, it might get really disappointed.

Suspension

Tested version
Nintendo Switch

Digital delivery

Nintendo eShop

The improved frame rate makes WRC 9 a better experience than WRC 8, but it still has a number of issues that go beyond the developer, such as a lack of analog triggers and a low number of pools. However, the very distracting nature of the scenario, which is constantly overloading, or rather trying to do so, makes it difficult for you to properly immerse yourself in the action. It’s arguably the best rally game on the Switch to date, but for sports fans, waiting for a good match doesn’t stop there.

forefront

  • Slightly more stable than last year’s game
  • More than 100 races will keep you busy
  • Career mode remained interesting

against

  • Origins and Shadows have a hard time keeping up with the game’s pace
  • The lack of analog triggers forces the controls to be remapped for fun
  • Extremely long loading times

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