Indie team 3DClouds recently launched its latest project, Xenon Racer, across all platforms. This semi-futuristic arcade racing game was met with quite a bit of fanfare upon its initial reveal, and that momentum of interest stayed strong up until release. While the PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions have launched to relatively positive reactions, the Switch version of the game has been getting dragged across the asphalt—and for good reason. It’s not a great port at all.
Currently, Xenon Racer on Switch both looks and runs quite poorly. The graphics are one thing, but it’s really the sub-par framerate that’s bringing down the experience as the game can’t even hit 30 FPS in its current state. Switch owners are understandably upset, not just because this is a bad port, but also because the promotional materials do not reflect the product. All of the trailers across the eShop are not reflective of the Switch version’s poor quality.
The screenshots now do appear to be from the Switch version, but it looks as though they have been updated only after the controversy first broke, as revealed by ‘The Wayback Machine’.
3DClouds is aware of the various technical issues that are plaguing the Switch port. The main reason for these issues is that the game’s levels contain a “huge amount of graphical assets” and with the fast rate of speed that the game moves at, this is constantly pushing the Switch’s processor to its limit. The team is working on various patches to try and balance things out.
First will be Patch 3 that has already been submitted to and approved by Nintendo. It contains “changes to shaders and also weather textures” which will bump the framerate up by 2-3 FPS. Load times will also be reduced “by around 2-3 seconds”. Pop-in will also be reduced and the contents of the Career Mode will be changed a bit.
The larger Patch 4 has also been submitted but is still awaiting approval from Nintendo. This “brings further graphics improvements” resulting in sharper visual assets and further reduction in pop-in. Additional framerate boosts of 2-3 more FPS will also be present, along with the inclusion of a Quality/Performance mode which will be similar to Rocket League. The Performance mode in particular will allow for 30 FPS gameplay to finally be achieved.
While its great that 3DClouds is getting things fixed up, it really is a shame that the game as released in such a bad state at all, and even worse is that its promo material was deceptive. Hopefully something like this won’t happen again.