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Asphalt 9
4.4

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Asphalt 9: Legends is an arcade racing video game developed and published by Gameloft as part of the Asphalt series. It was released on February 26th, 2018 for iOS in the Philippines as a soft launch, and it was released worldwide on July 25th, 2018.

Asphalt 9: Legends Switch Test — Too Many Spare Parts

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Asphalt 9: Legends is an arcade racing video game developed and published by Gameloft as part of the Asphalt series. It was released on February 26th, 2018 for iOS in the Philippines as a soft launch, and it was released worldwide on July 25th, 2018.

It is becoming a trend that games or series previously only available on smartphones are being adapted for the Nintendo Switch. Some of the titles can already be found in the eShop. One of the most famous mobile series has now made the leap too: Asphalt 9: Legends is now available for the Switch as a free-to-play game. We will tell you the details acquired from our test next.

More or More of the Same?

We started Asphalt 9: Legends on the Nintendo Switch without great expectations. The last mobile Asphalt installation we played was actually one of the first. We’ve been out of the racing game for a while. Nevertheless, nothing has changed here: Gameloft has always pursued the goal of bringing technically impressive and, above all, fast-paced racing games to mobile platforms.

And that’s exactly what Asphalt 9: Legends does well. Honestly, on the Switch with solid controls, Legends would easily do well as a new Burnout spinoff if it weren’t for the existing restrictions, more on that later. Overall, the game is an uncomplicated and fast arcade that comes with separate race tracks around the world, fast tempo, takedowns, and, for realism, law enforcement.

Asphalt 9: Legends also meets the requirements of mobile games. It is made for quick runs in between other activities, at least based on our experience. The longest races are in multiplayer, the single-player ones, however, are variably short. Some events are even almost ridiculously brief — they are hardly worth wasting fuel and increases the frustration even more if you do not win, due to the small size of the racetrack and finishing in under a minute.

Overloaded and Complicated Systems

It’s just too annoying that Asphalt 9: Legends started as a mobile game that has made in-app purchases popular. Honestly, we can imagine the game as a full-blown racing simulator on the Nintendo Switch that costs thirty or even forty dollars. It offers enough and is also a lot of fun. Apart from the really short races, Asphalt 9: Legends seems like it has been made for the Nintendo Switch and can also be played in both handheld and TV mode.

You get a lot in this free game, and with patience, you can unlock everything, but you are always brought back down to earth by the overloaded menus. The game constantly explains some new element which is not particularly clear. It usually only becomes understandable after you’ve used it a couple of times. Worst-case scenario, you end up spending real money.

It gives the impression that you get a lot of items as rewards for daily or weekly events or just for completing your career ones, but playing through these ridiculous items is simply enraging. Gameloft’s marketing of the packages for new vehicles is about as realistic as the image of a Big Mac compared to the carelessly made burger in the fast-food restaurant next door. You are being advertised a damn Hot Wheels car, but in the end, you get a handful of cards for a lame cart that you already have. You can improve the level with a certain number of cards, but… Well, it is still work.

Honestly, keeping track of everything that can somehow be leveled up, improved, and bought with real money is almost impossible in Asphalt 9: Legends. The situation is the same with the different leagues and event types. In the end, it is best just to do everything you want to do and look forward to progress. 

Sometimes less is more — when it comes to the Asphalt 9 interface, it is absolutely true. We would have uninstalled the game on the mobile phone after a few minutes.

The Burnout Everyone Awaited

Gameloft would have done everyone a huge favor if it developed a full-fledged Asphalt game for consoles. Because everything you need to make a good race arcade is there, and with the Nintendo Switch as a platform, you are almost set.

The routes that are spread across the globe are visually varied and also extremely detailed. We find it so much more fun than driving through the monotonous world again and again. There is a certain playfulness in different environments and interesting nuances. In the long run, however, the individual locations and tracks are repeated quite often.

In terms of handling, Asphalt 9: Legends on the Nintendo Switch initially feels spongy. But you get used to it quickly, and it is a typical arcade racer, in which you do not brake, but drift. And also take other cars down. The different types of nitro are meaningless, but it doesn’t matter, the main thing is it gets you more speed. As for the race types, you regularly have standard and time races at the start, which is sufficient. And also, a multiplayer mode is available. It is not that stable and brings together quite uneven players, but it is also a nice feature.

If you are able to overlook the overloaded menus and just want to concentrate on the awesome races, you will certainly be slowed down again. At some point, all of the tank fillings will be used up, and then it will take 15 minutes or so until you can race again unless you spend the in-game currency or real money on it. If you don’t have a car with enough upgrades, you have to wait for the next races or repeat old ones. 

The level of difficulty of Asphalt 9: Legends rises by leaps and bounds, the frustration increases, because, of course, you can’t just repeat races, you have to start them again and again from the menu.

Conclusion


Asphalt 9: Legends made it from smartphones to the Nintendo Switch. The worst thing about this adaptation is you constantly imagine what an outstanding game it could have been if Gameloft had developed it as a full-scale console title. It could have been the burnout everyone has been waiting for for years. Super varied routes around the world, fast-paced races with takedowns, enough playful variety, a real online mode: everything the racing heart desires are there. 

No question, with Asphalt 9: Legends, you get a lot for a free game. However, the experience is bogged down by too many useless elements, which frequently have something to do with real money: cars, card packages, upgrades, fuel — it is difficult to keep track. The races partly make up for this, but first and foremost, we hope there will be a big Asphalt game at some point.

  • Technique: 70
  • Graphics: 81
  • Sound: 77
  • Gameplay: 64
  • AI: 58
  • Fun: 69

Story: Who Needs It?

Frustration factor: present and sometimes quite large if the races are way too short or the level of difficulty is increased suddenly. And every attempt needs a tank of fuel!

Sustainability: Asphalt 9: Legends has it. In the absence of competition, it is one of the best racing games on Switch and should be talked about for quite a while. However, you can be in the risk of pumping too much money in it, while we are talking about sustainability.

Style: Cool, arcade-like, and fast. May it stay like this forever!

Music and sound: You listen to well-known music in the game, but you probably won't remember the songs.

Value for money: you get a lot here without spending money. But if you do, you can also be disappointed by the gambling factor.

Battery use: around 10% of the battery is used every quarter of the hour in handheld mode, which means playtime of a good two to two and a half hours without electricity is possible.

Graphics 4.0
Gameplay 4.0
Controls 3.0
Replay Value 5.0
Average: 4.4

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