After a COVID-19 induced delay, Star Wars Episode 1 Racer has finally made the native jump to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
Episode 1 Racer, lovingly called Pod Racer by just about everyone, is going for $20.55 on the eShop and $22.95 on the PlayStation Store this morning. Nice and competitive from the eShop for a change, that.
It’s pretty much identical in terms of support across the consoles. Both have splitscreen support for two players, although the PS4 version can be played via a PS Vita. There’s offline play on both, too. Switch players get access to motion controls, but otherwise it’s the same game as what was re-released on the PC recently.
The PS4 already had access to Racer’s Revenge, the sequel to Episode 1 Racer, although that never had the same charm as the original. Switch players, meanwhile, haven’t had access to Episode 1 Racer or Racer’s Revenge at all.
The controls on the Switch are set to “Racing” by default, which takes a little bit getting used to. The right stick is bound to roll, which is fine, while ZL and ZR are your slide and accelerate buttons. The right bumper is your repair button — a bit weird to hold if you’ve pushed the boost too far but don’t want to stop completely — while the air brakes are bound to B.
You can revert to classic controls if you want, where A accelerates, B is your air break, X and Y roll left and right, and ZL and ZR is your slide. I’m not sure which of these is better, but it’s worth knowing off the bat. (You can’t rebind any of the controls, incidentally.) The game runs at a smooth 60 frames, and it looks decent enough — for a remastered game — in handheld mode. It’s obviously better on a big TV, and very nice in the hand with a Pro Controller.
So that’s it – if you were waiting for Pod Racer to make the jump, now it has. Good game for the commute, for anyone who’s still doing that (or just restarted).