Author Topic: Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection (Switch) Review  (Read 1859 times)

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Offline John Rairdin

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Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection (Switch) Review
« on: March 21, 2024, 12:40:00 PM »

These people need to be stopped.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/review/66651/star-wars-battlefront-classic-collection-switch-review

I had every intention of writing a very normal review for Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection. When I first booted it up during the pre-launch period to just play some Galactic Conquest, I was actually pretty positive about it. Performance held up well, image quality was good, all of the nice per-pixel effects from the Xbox version were preserved (something I’ve learned can’t be counted on in Aspyr Star Wars ports), and in general this seemed like a solid version of the game. Then I played online and found it borderline unplayable. I was alerted by another NWR staff member to check out the single player mode in Battlefront 2 where sure enough, half the cutscenes were just randomly missing. In the days that followed we’d find out some of the new features in the game were actually pulled directly from a mod with no credit to their creator. Even the little voice in my head that said “surely they’ll fix it” was shot down by memories of the promised but never delivered Sith Lords Restored update for Knights of the Old Republic 2.

To be blunt, I’ve personally reviewed half of the Star Wars ports Aspyr has released on Switch, and I’ve purchased all of the rest. Their work has ranged from just adequate to well below expectations, but after Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Battlefront Classic Collection, I think it's time for Star Wars and Aspyr to part ways. These games deserve better than this. Today I’d just like to work my way through the Battlefront Classic Collection, highlight the issues, give credit in the few places it is legitimately due, then leave it up to you. I will not be giving the game a score because frankly that would require a fully playable product to review, and I don’t believe Aspyr has delivered that.

Both of these games were originally released at a time where online gaming on home consoles was very young. So whether you consider these games to be predominantly built around online or offline play will just depend on where you were at in terms of online gaming at the time they were released. But it's fair to say that objectively, the expanded online multiplayer is a huge draw for this collection. At launch, it didn’t work. Only a few dedicated servers, supporting 64 players apiece, were available to the thousands of players who logged on. You could also play on user hosted servers but performance took a huge hit while using these servers even if the host's internet was fast and reliable. Since launch some new dedicated servers have come online but the active player base has dropped to under 100 active players last time I checked (on a Friday night). On the bright side, the servers are much more capable of supporting this, and I had some reasonably well performing matches during that time, but at no point did I play with a full lobby. The closest I ever got was about 50 players at which point the game became laggy until enough people left. Good luck finding the 64 player matches the game was sold on.

Now let’s focus on some of the new content. Another major selling point of this release were new heroes and villains to play as, and the ability to play Heroes VS Villains on any map. When this was revealed in the initial Nintendo Direct trailer the fan community noticed that the work of modder iamashaymin appeared to be present in the collection. Aspyr clarified that this had been a mistake and the modded code would not be present in the final version. A little data mining by iamashaymin evidently revealed their mod was very much still in the game.

By far the weirdest issue I’ve seen is the missing cutscenes in Star Wars Battlefront 2. Before and after each level of the single player campaign you’re supposed to be treated to a pre-rendered cutscene narrated by Temuera Morrison who played Jango Fett, Boba Fett, and about 200,000 clone troopers with a million more well on the way. The intro cutscenes are present and accounted for but the cutscenes at the end of each level just aren’t there. As you’d expect this leaves about half the story completely untold and makes for some fun narrative timeskips.

But here’s the thing, beyond that single player bug in Battlefront 2, if you’re playing offline the game is largely fine. I’ve seen some posts online indicating major graphical bugs but I’ve never been able to recreate these, at least in the Switch version running on real hardware. I have noticed some very minor graphical touches like bloom (which were likely tied to resolution in the original release) feel quite weak as a result in this version. But recent patch notes lead me to believe this is already being actively dealt with. The default aim sensitivity is quite high in Battlefront 1, even as someone who plays plenty of competitive shooters. But a quick visit to the options menu can fix that. Meanwhile Battlefront 2’s default sensitivity is far too low. All of the nice bump mapping and effects from the Xbox version are here, and for my money the game generally looks better overall than any previous version, including the PC release. And actual native widescreen support on a console version of these games is always a win.

Unfortunately this does mean that they’ve bloated what should realistically take up about 10GB to over 30GB on Nintendo Switch. Meanwhile the other consoles somehow take up an outrageous 70GB of space. For reference I still have the original two Battlefront games installed on my Xbox Series X and they take up a total of 7GB between the two of them. Even with upscaled textures that is a remarkable amount of bloat that is honestly hard to justify for what you’re getting.

At the end of the day, if you plan to only play offline in Galactic Conquest mode, you’ll probably have a decent time. If you engage with any other part of this release, you will encounter some sort of issue. I wish I could say that I was shocked that these games would be released in this state but I’ve been covering Aspyr’s Star Wars ports for too long to be surprised anymore. A lot of very separate, very bad decisions needed to all happen at once to allow this product to exist. It is ultimately a culmination of everything Aspyr has gotten wrong in their Star Wars ports for the last five years. How they have maintained the rights and how Dark Forces somehow escaped to Nightdive instead (thank the maker) I’ll never know. It is time to put more care into re-releasing these games. These games are iconic, oftentimes genre shifting, and they deserve better than this.


Offline Enner

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection (Switch) Review
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2024, 03:37:04 AM »
GET'EM, John

Offline Stratos

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection (Switch) Review
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2024, 07:05:30 PM »
Would love to hear your thoughts on the other SW ports, by Aspyr and others. May be worth a dedicated article to give a rundown with links to the various reviews already written? I've nabbed a few of them but truthfully I never played much of them individually. I was more grabbing them for the nostalgia and a vague hope it would encourage more titles from the past LucasArts era or even new games in a similar vein.

I knew about the issues surrounding KOTOR 2, but thought the others seemed decent enough for what they were. I played the re-released Outcast, Academy, and Podracer to my recollection. Are they all really viewed that poorly?
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Offline Kairon

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection (Switch) Review
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2024, 12:57:56 PM »
Quote
But here’s the thing, beyond that single player bug in Battlefront 2, if you’re playing offline the game is largely fine.

This is me and I'm praying that this bears true as I've just purchased it from the eShop this morning. ;D
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A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.

Offline CJ100

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Re: Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection (Switch) Review
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2024, 03:42:24 PM »
The thing is, they released an extemely and obviously flawed product and it was profitable for them. Why? Because of the huge masses of people that jump on the hot new thing even if that thing is trash. You buying stuff like this sight unseen is what enables this sort of thing to continue happening. Yes, what they did was scummy, but don't ignore the fact that they could rely on people like you buying it in massive numbers no matter how bad the thing they released is.