21st Dec2017

‘Riptide GP Renegade’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

RiptideGP_Renegade_Firewater

We’ve reviewed a lot of racers, arcade or otherwise, on the Nintendo Switch since its release 9 months ago and whilst they’ve all had their own quirks and, sometimes, flaws none of them have been quite like this. Imagine taking the traditional arcade racers, throwing out all the vehicles, add in TONS of water, jumps, stunts and crazy over-powered, tech-heavy jetskis and you have the basis for Riptide GP: Renegade

Of course Riptide GP: Renegade won’t be anything new to those of us that have a current gen console or an Apple TV – the title won “2016 Game of the Year” on that platform and, honestly, the Switch port is pretty much exactly the same: from the graphics to the controls (well if you have an Apple TV game controller that is!), there’s been little to make this new iteration anything different than the iOS version. But as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And this game certainly isn’t broke!

For those that haven’t already experienced Riptide GP: Renegade, what you get in the Nintendo Switch version is a super-fast racer than balances racing with madcap stunts (usually triggered by a variety of thumb stick movements), stunts which add power and duration to your boost meter – in very much the same way Split/Second did with drifting. The main portion of the game is the career mode, which sees you progress through the usual competitive races, elimination races, bonus stages, freestyle events, etc. – you know, the usual for a racing game. Competing against 8 opponents is also very familiar to racing fans… However it’s the water element that makes this title stand out.

By making this racer dependent on the watery conditions, Riptide GP: Renegade adds a sense of unpredictablity to proceedings. Some races see you cruise round a course on calm waters; the next on choppy seas. Then there are the stormy conditions, the huge waves making it difficult to move forward, yet at the same time offering more opportunity to perform stunts and get more boosts for your vehicle! Of course winning races gives you not only XP but cash, which you can spend on your jet ski. The further up the field you finish, the more cash; and trust me, you’ll need all the cash you can get.

You see to even think of winning – or escaping the jet ski riding cops who also inhabit the racing landscapes (did I not mention the NFS: Most Wanted element to Riptide GP: Renegade?) – you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is tooled up to the max: buying extra top speed, faster acceleration and more stunts/boost. That may mean you need to repeat some races to hit first place but in the long run it’s well worth putting in the effort (some might call it grinding) to get maximum rewards.

Outside of the career mode there are the multiplayer options: free racing, split-screen multiplayer for up to four players, or the usual online mode. Unfortunately none of the multiplayer options feel as well-rounded or as fun as the career mode – which presents much more of a challenge in single player than facing a total stranger online does, thanks to the ever-increasing difficulty levels. That’s not to say there shouldn’t be a multiplayer option, it’s just Riptide GP: Renegade works better as a single-player game… which after the debacle with other current-gen games (favouring multiplayer over single player) is a refreshing change!

Ultimately, Riptide GP: Renegade is a hugely fun racer that captures the feel and speed of jet-skiing perfectly. My only gripe? The price. This new Switch port is £9.99, whereas iOS version is currently only £2.99… Honestly, if you’ve got a Bluetooth controller and an Apple TV you’re probably better off getting that version – once you dock your Switch there’s no discernible difference between the two. Still, this is a great port of a great game and a worthy addition to the Switch’s growing digital roster.

**** 4/5

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