Asphalt 9: Legends Review
Releasing tomorrow, Asphalt 9: Legends is a mobile game port for the Nintendo Switch based on arcade racing gameplay. With many mobile ports suffering lacklustre performance when leaving the mobile platform, there will no doubt be questions on how Asphalt 9 would deliver on the Switch. After putting it through the ringer, we are ready to answer that question and more. Let’s dive in!
While clearly built in the template of freemium mobile games, Asphalt 9: Legends ports surprisingly well on the Switch. Based on a primarily touch-screen experience that works just as well on Switch screens, the controls are very straightforward and picked up quickly.
The selection of cars is not comparable to major console franchises like Forza, but there is still an impressive variety of different classes and styles of cars, most of which will be familiar to the user.
These are unlocked through completing races and opening packs to collect car blueprints that eventually become sweet new rides for you to race around. Your cars can then be upgraded with basic currency and premium items collected in specific races. Much of this content follows the freemium formula for mobile games, enticing users to purchase premium currency or cash packs.
It may seem like just another money grab, but the Starting Racer Pack that was provided for review purposes really holds great value and is one purchase, if the only one, that is definitely worth picking up. It turns a freemium game experience into one very similar to that as if you had purchased a game full price, at a fraction of the cost.
Again, a symptom of its mobile beginnings, Asphalt 9: Legends bases many of its rewards around completion of daily missions and challenges, as well as timed free blueprint packs, which are available every 4 hours.
When this is combined with the fact that your cars can only be used in 6 races before needing to be refuelled (either by waiting or paying premium currency) it can put a damper on the experience. Yet another reason that the Starting Racer Pack adds such great value is that it will provide you with enough cars from the get-go that you will not have to worry about refuelling for quite some time.
The racing itself is not intended for realism focused gamers or those who want long, many-lap races. Instead, Asphalt 9: Legends is designed for quick races and the ability to pick it up, play for 15 minutes and then put it down again. The fast-paced and drift-heavy courses are perfect for a fast hit of fun. Once again, this makes sense when you think about the fact that this is a port from the mobile platform and it translates quite nicely to the Switch, as it prides itself on being portable and easily picked up for quick, on-the-go gaming sessions.
Overall, Asphalt 9: Legends is a sufficiently fun free-to-download Switch game that can get a little annoying with ads for premium purchases, especially for those who are not used to freemium games on mobile. If you can withstand that, and especially if you are willing to purchase the starter pack, the game can provide many sessions of fun and addictive gameplay that is easily picked up for a few quick races whenever you have the time. While not a game that is apt to draw lengthy game time in any given day, it is certainly worth keeping on your system for some quick fun.