Drift legends was originally released on Android and has had some success in the mobile market. But with the huge amount of titles on playstore it’s difficult to standout from the crowd. But now DL ventures into a new territory… the Nintendo eshop bringing something that we don’t have on the Switch yet – a driving experience that’s not about racing but focusing on the art of drifting!
So let’s see how it does on the Switch!
So what’s on offer here? Let’s start with latter options before we talk about main modes. Well, options available to use at the beginning of the game are the tuning station for customising your car and the car shop were buy new rides.
There’s also a practice mode to use. It’s the best place to try out any new cars to perfect your drifting abilities.
You can pick one of the 10 courses, however, at the beginning most will be locked. You will need to buy them with the ingame currency which is called CR.
After which, you play on that current track. You need make your car selection before you enter the practice mode in the car selection shop.
It’s just a mode to try out the controls, here is how they all work:
Left analogue stick is steering. The X button is your accelerator, B button is for reversing. You use handbrake with A button, swap through 3 camera angles with L bumper. I found the second camera angle to be the best to use as it’s easier to see while drifting. You pause with – or + button.
The career mode is split into 3 leagues: Beginner, Amateur, and Professional.
In each league, there are multiple events from around the world, for example in beginner league some events are: Retro car festival, Japan cup, Turbo cars challenge, etc… each event inside the league must be completed. Thankfully, you can do them in any order, as once you complete them the more will be unlocked.
Each event/cup has certain requirements such as what type car can be used, aspiration type. If you select a certain cup and try to start race, you may be directed to car selection shop. Nice, little green or red indicator will show you what car is needed for that current race. If you’ve got enough CR, you can buy that car and continue to track. If not, replaying cups will be needed to buy your next car.
Also each cup has easy, normal, and hard challenges in each event/cup. Completing these will be necessarily to move on.
Even though you’re on a race track, you won’t be actually racing. You will be trying to drift at every possible moment to score points as each difficulty requires so many points to officially be achieved. You also have a time limit counting down. But don’t fret, you don’t have to complete any laps – just focus on drifting, that’s all that matters here!
Now and again you may see a secret car attached to one of the difficulties. If you manage to complete it, that secret car will be unlocked for you to use.
I really like the selection of cars on offer. When you first begin, you car is a complete mess, but once you start to compete in leagues, cups, and events you’ll be able to buy a lot better vehicles.
There are currently 25 to buy but apparently there are over 40 cars to unlock but most of them are secret vehicles, according to the developer.
Cars look pretty cool and I definitely recognise a few but sadly there are no names for any of the vehicles. The only information that is visible is if you own it or not, cars origin, and era of the car. It’s a bit of a shame as I would have liked to know what some of these are.
As you go through cars, they become more expensive but each car has a multiplier attached to it which can help you in cups to achieve a higher score!
When you start a track and as soon as you start drifting, you will see a combo meter appear at the very top of the screen. It also shows your current multiplier and next to that is the drift icon which changes colours as you drift: from yellow to green once a combo is complete.
Under that is a white bar which counts down and once it hits 0, the combo will end and any points you got will be added to your score on left hand side.
To keep that white bar full, you need to keep drifting. Every time you do the bar will remain and the combo will continue – as soon as you stop drifting it’s over. Also, if you end up on the grass, you won’t earn any points. You only earn points on the tarmac. If you hit the wall or a traffic cone you will have 100 points deducted from your combo score. The only thing that will end your try is if the timer runs out and you haven’t accumulated enough points.
I’ll be honest, when I first started, I have no idea how to drift as there’s no tutorial to help you out. But after I changed the camera angle to the 2nd one, it just clicked and I’m now drifting all over the place ~ LOL!
Only other information on screen is the current laps to the right; on the left you have the total score; and CR accumulated; pause icon and eye icon which is for camera angles, and your speedometer at the bottom.
If you pause the game, you can view the controls, turn up or turn down the music, sound effects, restart run or exit.
Pimp my ride!
Before you get too excited, there are only two options here. You either change car tyres or treat your ride to 61 different colours. These range from standard, shiny, powdered, to luminous ones, and two tones, and picking your own colours for your own cars can be pretty cool. Prices range from the lowest being 1000 CR, to highest being 5000 CR.
You can also pick tyres but the selection is pretty low with only 5 different types of tyres to pick from.
It’s a shame that there aren’t more customising options here.
Another neat feature is the daily events which have a timer for how long that event is currently available for. Again, these could be a series of events or single cups. It’s a nice inclusion that’s for sure.
But remember that some events or cups may require a car you don’t own yet and if you haven’t got the required vehicle, you won’t be able to enter that event or cup.
I should mention a few little issues I have with Drift Legends. One is really weird one, I have spoken to developer about it and they are aware of it…
Every time I start Drift Legends, my joy-cons automatically sync as 1, 2 player joy-cons. At first, I thought I was the only one having this issue but apparently the developers are aware of it, but I didn’t get a clear answer if they were going to fix it or not. It doesn’t really affect the game. It just means when you leave, you need to re-sync controls to 1 player configuration again in the controls settings.
Also, there is no pro control support, sadly, but again I’ve spoken to the developer about it, so maybe it could be added later on.
And my last complaint is it mentions on Nintendo descriptions for drift legends that the game has a photo mode like the mobile versions has. After looking and trying to find it, I emailed the developer only to find out that mobile photo mode isn’t in the game. It’s just the ability to use the Switch’s screen cap function, which I’ll be honest, I was a little disappointed as the mobile version’s photo mode is great as you could angle the camera for great action shots. However, here as you all know, pressing the capture button just takes a screen grab which is hardly a huge selling point.
Hope they add the mobile photo mode to the game in the future as I feel a little short changed over this feature.
It’s all good!
Even with these issues, I am really enjoying Drift Legends. It’s not your typical racer and focuses on only drifting and scoring points but I’ve had fun with it. I like the selection of cars on offer, the different colour paint jobs, and the speeding around tracks is pretty fun and its price point is pretty good in my opinion. They could have charged a lot more.
Yes, it is a mobile game and it has a few issues, but for £4.49 I can’t complain too much. I really like racing or car related games so this one is a no brainer for me.
Just pick it up if like cars, drifting, and looking into passing a few hours. It’s not going to hurt!
Music is very hip hop in my opinion. I’ll be honest, I turned down the music and just had the sound effects playing with the typical car engine’s roar and the sound of the car sliding around the track and the sounds are all ok.
Visuals & Performance
I really like the visuals of the cars – they look nice and have a nice shine to them. Tracks themselves look alright too with little effects like bloom, sun rays shining into the camera – it’s not ground breaking by any means but everything looks ok.
Performance worked great. I didn’t experience any crashes or slowdowns. Everything ran great. Only issue I experienced is the one I mentioned above with the joy-cons, but again, it doesn’t affect the game.
For £4.49, it’s got a bit of content that’s going to give you at least a good couple of hours. Three leagues take a while to get through, then buying all the cars. You also got the daily events that will extend your playtime.
Yes, there are some short comings like no multiplayer but it’s not a bad time waster and its price point reflects its content. We don’t have anything like this on the Switch that focuses only on drifting, so give it a chance and you may end up really liking it.
Large selection of cars to use
61 colours to paint cars with
No pro control support… yet
Weird joy-con configuration set-up
No online leaderboards