Session: Skate Sim Review – Skateboard In Your Pocket (Switch)

Following the success of it's console launch, Session: Skate Sim is set to land on Nintendo Switch worldwide in the near future. Despite hardware limitations and a graphics downgrade, the port to Switch still plays as a solid skateboarding sim, with the addictive gameplay remaining intact.

Session Switch Review

Session: Skate Sim is the most realistic skateboarding game available to date, with iconic real life locations, a detailed video editor and textbook trick techniques. The passion of the team is evident through their commitment to consistently expanding Session, bringing new content and working on rectifying the minor glitches. Yet I think we all were surprised when Crea-ture Studios announced the arrival of Session on Nintendo Switch.

Session: Skate Sim is available on PlayStation, Xbox, Steam and is now available on Nintendo Switch in North America for $49.99 (£44.99). The rest of the world will be able to carry a skateboard in their pocket from 16th March.

Session: Skate Sim - Official Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer

Story – Kick, Push

If you’ve already put the hours in with Session: Skate Sim then there is nothing new to see here – except you may be happy to hear that “Skate Shop Meet Up” now lets you bail in between tricks. Completing objectives gains EXP points for you to progress your career from am to pro, unlocking new sponsors as you go. Pro skaters as well as NPCs will set you lines and introduce you to the historical challenges available in game.

Or if ticking off tricklists isn’t your style, then Lower Manhattan, Philadelphia and San Francisco are yours to skate at leisure. The DIY item dropper allows you to customise spots, creating mini parks with objects available to purchase in the shop. And of course, you can film then edit your clips using the array of camera filters and lenses available. 

Session Skate Sim Review Switch - LOVE Gap

Skate the cities in your own style, to your leisure.

Gameplay – Was That Switch?

Improved Tutorial

While skaters may have been satisfied with the challenging objectives set for you in Session, players who were still calling an ollie a bunny hop were having a harder time. To help get newcomers on board, Crea-ture Studios were committed to improving their tutorial and introduction to the game. As a result, the tutorial now offers clearer explanations on how to push, turn, and eventually ollie, going into further depth on the analog stick controls. Seasoned Session pros are able to skip this, and apply their preferred settings in the expansive options menu. In addition to these changes, there is now a shop locator icon on screen, allowing you to, well, locate the shop.

Switch Physics

The physics-based gameplay of Session: Skate Sim is the core of the game. With current generation controllers supporting features such as adaptive triggers and flexibility in dualsticks, it is important to take into account that these features aren’t present on the Nintendo Switch joycons; therefore, some of the board control available on console and PC won’t be available to Switch players. That being said, the game still plays well, and only some minor inconveniences pop up along the way.  

Session Skate Sim Review Switch - Fisheye

Replay editor, using the VX1000 and wide fisheye lens.

Skating in regular stance had a natural feel to it on the Switch. The diagonal positioning of the analog sticks feel perfectly placed for a kickflip, and skating switch/goofy feels as alien as expected, though the logic will click after some practice. The lack of trigger sensitivity doesn’t hinder a 180 nor does it prevent you cruising bowls. However, when it comes to setting up for a grind/slide, doing smaller taps to adjust your board shifts you into a revert. There is a simple fix (gameplay options enable you to turn down revert sensitivity), but for a new player unfamiliar with the mechanics or options menu, this could be frustrating. 

Graphics and Sound – Sketchy Landing  

Graphics Downgrade

Session: Skate Sim hit a sketchy landing in the graphics department on Switch. Some locations look better than others, with frame rate stuttering on random ledges. Details which are usually prominent on PS5 are rough around the edges on Switch, such as individual leaves on trees now blurring together. Some shadowy areas are impossible to see in at any time of day, which even with the addition of DIY lighting and full brightness are still hard to navigate.

Session Skate Sim Review Switch - Darkside

Some locations are too dark to be able to see without DIY lighting.

Possibly the biggest disappoint here, was the DOF in the replay editor. If you were on console or PC, you would be able to shift the cameras focus to add some artistic style to your clips. Yet due to the inconsistent and unclear graphics, this didn’t appear to have any effect. Hardware capabilities aside though, there are positives. The attention to detail is all still there. “Crea-ture Studios” embossed on the bearings, shadows appearing in the correct places and ripples in the puddles show that an effort was made to ensure the essence of the games visual quality remained. 

Audio Untouched

The sound design remains pretty much untouched. The bop soundtrack is able to be turned down for you to enjoy your own music while you skate and the rolling of wheels on pavement is as therapeutic as ever. The only problem that arises with the audio on Switch is the squeak of the trucks as you shift weight. As there are no adaptive triggers to allow delicate adjustments, each movement emits a louder squeak than really necessary. This is a part of the recent update for PlayStation, Xbox and PC, so I am looking forward to seeing how it compares.  

Session: Skate Sim was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a key provided by Dead Good PR.

More about Session: Skate Sim

Session: Skate Sim Review, A Skaters Perspective (PS4)

Session: Skate Sim All Historical Locations 

Session: Skate Sim's port to Nintendo Switch was an ambitious project, which took some hits in the graphics department. While I won't be giving up my PlayStation Session for Switch, the game still holds up and retains the essence of the game. The try, try, try again gameplay remains, as does the accurate control scheme used to perform tricks, making this the ideal game for skaters whose primary console is the Nintendo Switch, or want to carry the skateboard sim in their pocket.
  • Technically accurate gameplay.
  • Skate brand merchandise.
  • Improved tutorial.
  • The only skate sim currently available on Switch.
  • Downgraded graphics sometimes disrupt gameplay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>