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Slipstream, the review of the Out Run-style arcade racer for Nintendo Switch

Slipstream, the review of the Out Run-style arcade racer for Nintendo Switch

Unjustly unnoticed on PC four years ago, ansdor’s Out Run-style arcade racer tries again on Nintendo Switch: the Slipstream review

Slipstream is a retro-style arcade racer, which draws on the classic Out Run for aesthetics and the SEGA series in general for the gameplay, completely based on the drift mechanism. In the game, however, there is also a pinch of Initial D, which never hurts, and vaporwave and synthwave sound atmospheres that are expressed in the context of a captivating soundtrack.

This is not a new project, actually: funded on Kickstarter back in 2016, the game landed on PC two years later, after quite a few postponements by the developer.
ansdorbut without getting the feedback it deserved.

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Now the author tries it again Nintendo Switch: can the Japanese hybrid console make the most of this experience? Read on for ours Slipstream review to find out.

As mentioned, Slipstream takes up the retro aesthetic of the original Out Run, but on the side gameplay the game refers to the most recent episodes of the SEGA series, those that focus on drifting to offer an absolutely arcade driving experience, in which you never take your foot off the accelerator and it is possible to tackle any curve by putting the car sideways , where this maneuver is carried out with the right timing.

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The layout of the commands by default, with accelerator on A and brake on B, it is soon unsuitable for the task, but fortunately it is possible to modify it at will and therefore use the triggers, then assigning the rewind function to any other button, which clearly allows you to rewind the time for a few seconds in order to remedy a glaring mistake, but which in reality is not easy to make the most of due to the great speed of the action.

We therefore launch ourselves on the road at full speed, giving a shot of the brake to start the rear of the vehicle and at that point managing the drift with the analog stick to avoid collisions with the other cars and above all with the objects surrounding the track, as a violent impact can result in a spectacular pirouette of the car and in the loss of precious seconds. To gain the cue often needed to overtake you must also get in wake for a few moments and activate the boost that gives the game its name.

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Slipstream includes several options in order to regulate the degree of challenge, but without giving up a balance of difficulty that we would define lively, and which will hardly see you win a race at the first try. Using the automatic drift, in fact, will slow you down in the corners, while the opponents’ ability can be set on three levels by emphasizing their acceleration rather than the final speed. Similarly, we will be able to change our approach to the race by choosing one of the five cars in the game.

The system is therefore captivating, very immediate, but at the same time difficult to master, and is declined within different modality. There is clearly the one that faithfully reproduces the experience of Out Run, called Gran Turismo: the long path to crossroads and checkpoints with a bonus represented by direct opponents to whom we will have to eat the dust from time to time, but there are also several alternative stipulations.

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In addition to the single race on one of the fifteen tracks available, the grand prix over five races and the ability to upgrade the car with the money obtained from time to time, the rally-style event, the time trial and the elimination battle royale, Slipstream includes a local multiplayer via split-screen for two or four users, to be played holding the Joy-Con horizontally: a nice possibility, but one that forces you to use that default layout that just didn’t convince us.

The game is based on the graphics of the original Out Run, simulating with polygons and textures the very fast zoom of low-resolution sprites that represented the trademark of the SEGA game. In the same way, the car we drive boasts very few animation frames describing its movements in curves: a tribute too, but with some inconvenient implications on the possibility of really controlling the reactions of the vehicle.

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The end result makes it fairly good on the go, with Rocky 60 fps and a sensation of speed that becomes even difficult to manage in successive curves, especially when we are in the wake of other cars; but the quality of the fifteen available scenarios moves between highs and lows, with some frankly bad tracks and asset recycling that is heavy at certain times.

To look at the screenshots honestly you would not give it two cents, but in action Slipstream has its reason, both in docked and portable mode, placing itself in the latter case as an experience at times psychedelic and alienatingthanks to the mix of peculiar tones and electronic tracks able to truly catapult us back in time.

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There soundtrack, signed by the American musician eff, in fact includes a selection of really interesting pieces, made up of rhythms and melodies that easily enter the head and try to stay there as long as possible, although on the effects side things are decidedly less brilliant and inspired. Either way it is a title to play with headphonesthere is no doubt.