It’s that time of year again. The fall season, where all the sports games start releasing back to back. It all starts with Madden in August, then goes NHL and NBA in the middle of September, then wraps up with the release of FIFA in late September. Unlike most years, where you could, for the most part, only get these games on the Xbox One and PS4, there was a new console this year in the Nintendo Switch. With a new console, comes a potential new market of players to grab, but it also means you have to develop a new port for said game. Right here is where developers EA and Visual Concepts took different routes for their Switch versions of the popular console games in FIFA 18 and NBA 2K18.
In the past when FIFA 18 was announced for the Switch, I expressed some concerns in another viewpoint article, which can be viewed right here. In that article, I spoke about how the game will not be using the usual Frostbite engine and will be missing multiple game modes.
Well, since that article there have been some updates regarding the Switch version, and in my opinion, it comes off as a little insulting. In an interview with FIFA 18 developer, Andrei Lazarescu was asked about the missing modes in the Switch version, for example, the Switch version is missing The Journey, FUT champions and squad battles. His response for the missing modes was “If you throw everything from the get go to a completely new player base, you might not get the desired result.”
This argument that Andrei is presenting is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever read. He is essentially saying that Nintendo Switch users are too incompetent to understand the intricacies of FIFA 18. Andrei we all know the real story here, the real reason that the Switch version is so butchered down and simple is because EA didn’t want to put any money into it – mainly because of their Wii U failure. Next time, don’t lie to the consumer about it and try to spin it. Saying that Switch users wouldn’t understand the technicalities of a soccer game is far worse than being upfront and honest about it.
With the disappointment of FIFA 18 came the surprise of NBA 2K18 for the Switch. Unlike EA, Visual concepts went all in on their Switch port of 2K18. Senior producer Rob Jones said porting 2K18 to the Nintendo Switch was a “gargantuan task.” The game features all of the same game modes and runs on the same engine as the PS4 and Xbox One versions:
“It’s not the same exact graphics because the Switch can’t push them, you know, but the experience itself – you’re not missing out on anything from the Switch version [compared] to the main consoles version”, he said, talking about the Switch version of 2K18.
The only compromises Visual Concepts had to make regarding the Switch port is the toned-down graphics, and they had to cut the frame rate from 60fps to 30fps.
With the Switch port of 2K18, you really are getting a console-quality sports game on the go. It’s great that they were able to pull this off, especially since EA couldn’t figure out how to port FIFA 18 to the Switch in a respectable manner. I really wish I didn’t have to bash on the Switch version of FIFA 18, but the Switch version of NBA 2K18 makes it come off as a lazy cash grab.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what I think. All that matters is what the public as a whole thinks about these ports. So, with that being said, will you guys be picking up the seemingly great Switch port in NBA 2K18? Or, will you still be picking up the Switch Port of FIFA 18 despite all of its downfalls? Or maybe you’ll be picking up both? Let me know in the comments below!