Riptide GP: Renegade is the second Switch game developed and released by Vector Unit, after the decent Beach Buggy Racing. Just like its cartoony predecessor, the game is a port of one of the better mobile games out there, with actually decent visuals, good controls, no microtransactions in sight, and a good amount of content given its very small pricetag.
Renegade is a futuristic jetski racing game that reminded me a lot of Wave Race during most of my playthrough. The game features decent controls that, while being a little bit floaty, aren’t much of an issue given the nature of its vehicles. Despite all the limitations imposed by the joycon’s lack of analog triggers, Vector Unit did a decent job with the overall gameplay.
The game features quite a handful of modes for such a cheap title. Besides your typical arcade and time trials, there are two different types of multiplayer (splitscreen and online), as well as a career mode. I have to admit the career mode impressed me in more than one way. First of all, there’s actually a story being told here. Sure, it’s not anything impressive, but there’s a little plot going on in this game, revolving around illegal racing and betrayal, something I definitely wasn’t expecting. The career mode also impressed me by having more than just your typical races: it even featured events such as slalom (the classic Wave Race mode in which you need to move left and right through gates) and boss races which reminded me of the good old Diddy Kong Racing. Finally, the career mode also impressed me due to its length. Riptide is a port of a mobile game, and you usually don’t expect much depth coming from those titles. I was wrong. Very wrong. We’re not talking about a Forza Horizon career mode, of course, but given the price the developers are asking for, I was expecting a lot less.
Visually speaking, I could notice a lot of similarities between this title and Beach Buggy Racing, especially when talking about visual effects such as motion blur and water particles being thrown at your screen. Both games probably run on the same engine. Given the similarities to its Switch predecessor, you can already imagine Renegade doesn’t have phenomenal graphics, looking like a late Playstation 2-era title at most parts, but it manages to surpass Beach Buggy Racing in terms of visual spectacle by boasting detailed environments, slightly better lighting effects and excelent water visuals. Props to the water phsyics as well.
The only actual issue I had with the game was in its sound department. While the game boasts a decent soundtrack, full of upbeat techno tracks, the game has some serious issues in its sound effects department. For starters, engine noises or collision sounds are hard enough to hear, given how quiet they are. To make matters worse, there were various instances in which the sound effects would simply cease to exist in the middle of a race. Engine noises, ripple effects, all gone. It even made me think my jetski wasn’t accelerating anymore, that I was experiencing an issue with my ZR button.
But in spite of its few flaws, Vector Unit’s second racing game for the Switch yet again manages to deliver a decent experience on a budget. Riptide GP: Renegade features a lot of content for its price, with a decent career mode, lots of customization options and fun multiplayer. Having it on-the-go is yet another plus. Given the fact Nintendo basically forgot about the existence of its Wave Race franchise, Riptide is a must-have if you miss the series.
Also available on: PS4, PC, Xbox One, mobile.
Copy of Riptide GP: Renegade provided by publisher.