I feel sorry for everyone who plays Sonic Frontiers on Nintendo Switch

Sonic Frontiers on Switch is quite an experience. On the most powerful hardware (PC, PS5, Series X) the latest installment of Blue Blur is a thoroughly enjoyable looking game. It has problems, but it’s not ugly. You wouldn’t walk past it with your eyebrows raised and your mouth open and staring like Sonic’s pants had fallen to his ankles. It is only fine. At Switch, Sonic’s pants didn’t just fall off; they were mutilated and thrown back at random on the hedgehog. This is the same core experience, but it’s so low key that even Tiger Woods in his prime would struggle to birdie.

To be fair to Sonic Frontiers on Switch, stage levels are decent – albeit far from ideal in terms of frame rate. These roller coaster-like runs are comparable to the other console versions in the way “I didn’t bother to put my glasses on.” You can tell it’s a bit rough, but it works. Unfortunately, where things start to unravel is in the open world areas. My word, these areas are uncomfortable for the eyes – and no amount of squinting can save them.

Here is a screenshot. I didn’t ask that on purpose. I just played the game and this is what I encountered:

Look at all this… lack of texture.

Here’s another one:


She will go through all of this. She is a waterfall.

I’ve seen a lot of people capitalize the Switch version of Sonic Frontiers as a surprisingly good looking version of a game that also exists on PS5/Series X. I’m honestly quite amazed by this. Perhaps there is an element that makes you develop feelings for your captor. At times it’s felt like Sonic fans were being held hostage by annoyingly mediocre Sonic games that at a disappointing kids’ party were all plates beige (with some food coloring spilling over them), so maybe that’s the explanation. Or maybe people just want to enjoy what they paid good money for.

Or maybe people have lower standards than me – although I’ve said before how brilliant I think most modern games look. I attribute it to Sonic the Hedgehog Syndrome: where you think something bad is actually good.

I fully understand that many people who are Sonic fans (poor people) have no choice but to play the game on Switch. I’m not directing this tirade at consumers, but I’m wondering how to bring games to the Switch — a handheld so far behind the times that I’m consistently amazed it even runs current games. And people think the Xbox Series S is hindering game development!

The fact that a game runs on old hardware at all shouldn’t be a selling point. If the game’s graphics are degraded to the point that it’s a distraction from gameplay, perhaps this game shouldn’t have been offered to users of that system.

I’m sure it will only be moments before someone comes in the comments or message me on the confusing blue tick platform to say something like “I played it on Switch, got all the emeralds, left.” fast and it’s brilliant.” I’m happy for you. As someone who really appreciates the visual side of video games, I just don’t want to play a game that looks like it’s being played with the world’s first emulation tool before it actually works.


This is the best open world look I’ve seen, and it’s still borderline hideous.

That was a bit grumpy, but it’s born out of frustration. The Switch is home to some great games, and it’s no surprise that by and large these games are designed with the hardware limitations front and center. This article will likely fall on deaf ears, but just expect better. If you can, don’t buy Sonic Frontiers for the Switch. I feel sorry for everyone who plays Sonic Frontiers on Nintendo Switch

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