Fan Stream Review (Switch eShop) | Nintendo Live

If you’re looking for retro racing, you don’t have to look far for the Switch. The likes of Hotshot Racing, Formula Retro Racing, Horizon Chase Turbo, and the Sega Ages versions of Virtua Racing and Out Run ensured that anyone keen on a racing game from their collection of vintage vehicles was practically spoiled for choice.

Slipstream is the latest game to be added to this ever-growing list, and given that other games have tried its ’80s-style look in the past (we’re looking at you, 80s Overdrive), its art style doesn’t feel particularly unique these days. Fortunately, then, there is still a very interesting racing game underneath what has become a somewhat overused aesthetic.

The game is clearly inspired by ’80s arcade racers like Out Run (plus another Sega title, which we’ll get to), with high-speed road races and comically long turns pretty much the order of the day. In an effort to add some variety to the actions, though, there are a few approaches that each take the action in a different direction.

Grand Prix is ​​your typical Mario Kart mode, where you get three cups consisting of several races, with points awarded based on where you end up. Meanwhile, the Grand Tour is very similar to Out Run, where you have to work your way through five connected stages within a set amount of time, with forks at the end of each stage that determine where you end up next. Then there’s Cannonball, which is similar to the Grand Tour but with more customization, allowing you to create a single long race with up to 30 stages, which you can manually choose from among the 15 available tracks.

As mentioned earlier, once you’re on the road itself, Out Run is the main effect, but it’s an interesting hybrid because while its appearance is clearly based on the 1986 Sega original, the handling features a powerlide mechanic that looks a lot more like it. polygonal complement run 2.

While it is possible to get through most turns simply by turning and braking when needed, in order to turn efficiently on each track, you will have to master hard sliding. This is done by briefly tapping the brake button and then jamming the accelerator pedal again, swinging it out of the back of the car. A strong slither of the fan stream takes a few races to get used to, because timing is crucial: start too early or too late and you’ll hit the track scenes (Out Run style flips, naturally). Once you’re done, it can be very satisfying to swing around a very tight turn because the back of your car can barely avoid brushing off the many obstacles on the side of the track.

However, the design of the track can lead to some frustrating moments at first. Many of the tracks are designed in such a way that some turns lead straight into opposite turns without warning, which means that if you don’t know they’re coming, you almost certainly won’t be able to pull the second slip in time and you’ll crash.

This is addressed somewhat by adding a rewind button that lets you redo the action a few seconds later, allowing you to anticipate the turn, but realistically this feels like paper on the cracks: you don’t have to rely on a rewind system, even on tracks that are new to you . Of course, as you learn each stage you’ll eventually memorize which quickly turns bullets into opposite turns, meaning this becomes less of a problem over time, but it can still get annoying during the first few hours of gameplay.

Of course, a special mention must be made of the game’s graphics, which are effectively handled cleverly by trying to replicate the pseudo 3D style of Sega’s ‘Super Scaler’ racing games like Out Run and Super Hang-On. While the game is technically 3D and its tracks are polygon, the cars and scenery all look like sprites. When you zoom through tracks at high speed (especially when astronomical streams are activated) at 60fps, the effect can be really impressive. We may personally be past the entire ’80s, but when it’s handled well, it’s handled well.

However, one thing that struck us as particularly odd is the way the fan stream refers to the Sonic the Hedgehog series for no apparent reason. Among the 15 tracks in the game, seven of them have the same name as Sonic or Sonic R stages (Chemical Factory, Ice Cap, Emerald Hills, Resort Island, etc.), while winning a trophy screen gives you a special celebration where your trophy is surrounded by what can only be described as Chaos Emeralds. The Grand Prix races are called “Acts” (and are presented with a splash screen identical to those in 16-bit Sonic games), and the 3-2-1 countdown uses a design starkly inspired by Sonic Mania.

We will understand this if Sonic is connected to the game in any way, weak or otherwise, but the connection – beyond Speed It’s just so random that everything seems out of place. The odd gesture here or there will be one thing but the references are so frequent that anyone well versed in Sonic won’t necessarily appreciate it: they’ll likely get distracted and wonder why they’re there. There is a homage to something, and there is just a dumping of references to it wholesale without rhyme or reason.

Music is also a mixed bag. They’re your typical helper to a retro ’80s-style soundtrack but none of it really clicked in a way that made us turn up the volume on our headphones. It’s a “safe” collection of pieces that match the aesthetics without having to go to great lengths to create any truly memorable bands. It is one of those situations in which if there was no music, its absence would be noticeable but its presence is not noticeable in any way.

Despite the negativity in this review, the one main thing to take away from it is that, in essence, there are some solid racing action to do here once you get used to the maneuverability and corners coming out of nowhere. Also due to its reasonable price, it’s a perfectly acceptable racer if you’re looking for something different to keep you occupied for a few hours.

There is also a local 2-4 player split screen multiplayer, which includes nearly all single player modes (the only exception being the Grand Tour due to its multiple tracks). Everything still works fine and smoothly in the split screen, so it’s another good option for those looking for some local multiplayer racing benefits.

We may feel like the ’80s style is overused and the slithering air stream isn’t pushing it forward in any great way, but the aesthetics and music obviously suit personal taste, so your mileage may vary (so to speak). In the end, there’s just enough to do here to justify the relatively low price the game sells for, so you definitely won’t feel short if you buy it.