Nintendo Switch Port Review: Ruiner
Ruiner is finally available on Nintendo Switch, bringing forth the hectic mayhem seen originally on other consoles and the PC. Just a disclaimer, this is a review of the port where I talk about my impressions of it on Nintendo Switch, if you would like to read the full review of the game, be sure to check out our original review as the base gameplay remains the same. I will talk about what I have noticed whilst playing the game so far on Nintendo Switch based on graphics, controls, and performance.
Ruiner is a fantastic looking game, there is no doubt about that, but it isn’t because of crazy graphical techniques seen in most AAA games, but instead due to a strong aesthetic identity harmoniously mixed with strong shadowed lighting that has hard coloured lighting, paying homage to a neon-noir look.
As its more about the visual style and good art direction than intense graphical features, the game looks just as visually stunning on the switch. I couldn’t notice any big difference between versions. Where you have games like The Witcher 3 where there is a stark difference between the consoles and Switch, that sort of sacrifice isn’t shown here, and the game looks just as amazing.
Whilst there were times where the screen felt cluttered due to the amount of enemies on the screen, the red outline on the enemies prevents everything from blending in together, and makes enemies stick out more from the background, as the shadows can be overpowering. The other versions also have this red outline, but it seems to be stronger here which is a good thing, but that might just be me.
If you play it on a docked TV however, it is a huge improvement and the bigger screen makes everything easier to read, however with that a different issue stands out.
Ruiner is a challenging twin-stick game, with skills and abilities directly feeding into the hectic nature of the game. As you can imagine, this requires a good control scheme that doesn’t feel limited or unfair when playing. I have played Ruiner on all available platform so far and have found the controls to be great on them all, but found a few caveats with Nintendo Switch base controls.
What I noticed is that because the sticks on the Joy-Cons are quite small with a much smaller range than other controllers, the movement and aiming isn’t as precise as you’d want. It is a bit more noticeable whilst playing on a big screen, but doesn’t feel as bad at all with handheld, and I didn’t have any problems.
My advice? Invest in a Switch Pro Controller if you want to play on the TV, not only Ruiner but any other Nintendo Switch game. The Pro Controller is easily one of the best controllers on the market, and is in fact really popular on pc as well, as per the Steam hardware survey. It is the best way to play Ruiner on the TV, otherwise the handheld scheme feels fine.
Ruiner not only looks visually pleasing, but the performance is consistent as well, with a frame rate of 30fps throughout the game. I rarely noticed any dips during any of the game’s intense moments. Obviously with a twin stick shooter reliant on good reflexes, 60 fps is always great, but I never felt like the 30fps experience hindered anything.
It helps that the game runs on the Unreal Engine, which is a very versatile engine with an impressive scalability that ranges from smart phones to high end PC’s, whilst looking great on all of them, and its benefits are clearly evident here. However, Unreal Engine or not, porting to Nintendo Switch is not a walk in the park, as the whole architecture is different and for someone like Reikon whose first foray into a Nintendo platform has been Ruiner, it is an impressive feat.
The issues I talked about as well, are specific to either handheld or docked, and it’s a tricky situation where a problem present on docked is improved whilst handheld but then that comes with its own problem which isn’t an issue on TV. Which is why, I truly think Reikon ported it to the best of their abilities and managed to make the experience just as fun as the other versions despite the limitations they had.
Overall, you won’t be missing much if your first experience with Ruiner is on the Nintendo Switch, and you will get around about the same experience available elsewhere. I would again recommend that you look at our original review regarding the gameplay, as both the plus and minus are still available here, and the score is more reflective of the port.