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GRIP: Combat Racing Nintendo Switch Game Review

Is this racer treading new ground or just running on nostalgia?

November 05, 2018

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GRIP: Combat Racing Nintendo Switch Game Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Nov 05, 2018
( Rating: 3 Star Rating)

GRIP: Combat Racing brings players to a stylish racer that feels fresh out of the 90s. Check out Kidzworlds review of GRIP on the Nintendo Switch.

By: Max Cannon

GRIP: Combat Racing is clearly going for a 90s-racing sort of style, that's no secret either as the developers themselves have openly acknowledged that the game is a spiritual successor to the PC and PlayStation's Rollcage from 1999. While the similarities are undeniable, GRIP is a game that feels dated and is just shy of being a pleasant return to an older time in gaming. 

GRIP nails the feel of a high speed race.GRIP nails the feel of a high speed race.

Quick and Chaotic Racing

It's a bold move to release a racing game on the Switch considering the steep competition with Nintendo's own Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. GRIP shares several similarities with the plumber's racer, you'll hit the track, gain speed by driving over boost pads, and attack enemies while protecting yourself with items found on the course. Where GRIP hopes to find its own place is in the game's unique courses that have you racing across the walls and ceilings while pulsing techno music plays over the roars of noisy car engines. The game's style screams "early 2000's/late 1990's" and seems like it wants to carry a torch that hasn't been held since those earlier days, but maybe there is some good reason for that.

GRIP: Combat Racing - Trailer (Nintendo Switch)

While GRIP is a flashy and fun distraction that could eat up a few hours of your time, there's not quite enough variety here to warrant the game's $39.99 USD price tag, especially on the Nintendo Switch. There are certainly some thrilling races and cool courses --  some of the tracks really remind me of the excellent Wipeout games from the PS1 era -- but you're not going to get your heart racing like you would during a Forza Horizon 4 does now or a game like Rush would 20 years ago. Some of the cleverest courses have you rotating through a cylinder or switching between the floor and ceiling to take the quickest path or get a clear shot at an enemy. You'll also play around with the expected modes, including some fun with a demoltion derby type arena, but the standard campaign of races is where most will spend their time.

The various cars and courses highlight the potential of GRIP as a future franchise.The various cars and courses highlight the potential of GRIP as a future franchise.

A Loud, Sputtering Engine

While I can only speak to the Nintendo Switch version of the game provided for our review, it seems like the game may fare far better on other platforms. Though there is a day one patch to beef up performance and visuals according to the team behind the game, it's unlikely much can be done to save the game's jagged appearance and rough frame rate on the Nintendo Switch. It's undoubtedly a challenge to get a game like this to run on a weaker system like the Switch but just looking at videos of the game on other platforms proves that Nintendo's machine is going to give a poor experience. Which is a shame because it's apparent that a lot of work went into the art of the game. While some of the cars don't look like much more than Tycho Remote Controls Cars, you'll likely find a favorite that you can customize to your liking and the collection of tracks give a good variety of environments to race in.

The game's visuals take a noticable hit on the Nintendo Switch.The game's visuals take a noticable hit on the Nintendo Switch.

Final Thoughts

GRIP: Combat Racing could be a good skeleton for a future franchise. While there are some sparks of style in the game's tracks and races, it'd be hard to recommend this over something like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, especially when the Switch version GRIP is far from the best way to play.

Pros

  • Variety of Courses
  • Brings Back a Lost Style of Racer

Cons

  • Weaker Experience on Switch

GRIP: Combat Racing Game Rating:3

GRIP: Combat Racing Box ArtGRIP: Combat Racing Box Art

Available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Nov. 6th

Share Your Thoughts!

Are you going to try out GRIP? What are your favorite racing games? Share your thoughts below in the comments!