This is a review of Sunrise GP played and tested on Nintendo Switch. Sunrise GP is available on Nintendo Switch for €/$ 14.99.
Over the past few years, there have been quite a few “retro” racers. Some, like “Hotshot Racing,” the re-release of the original “Virtua Racing,” and “Horizon Chase Racing,” have inspired a lot of indie developers to take a shot at the genre as well. This month specifically, two of these projects are being released within a week of each other. Formula Retro Racing and Sunrise GP. We haven’t had a chance to look at Formula Retro Racing yet, but I had a good week with Sunrise GP to see if it can make the list of these great nostalgic racers.
Cell shaded retro racer
One of the first things you’ll notice when starting the game is its unique graphics, which set it apart from other retro racers out there. The cell-shaded cars, backgrounds, and roads are beautifully designed and the physics are also quite impressive. The driving and braking are reminiscent of one of my personal favorite arcade racers, Touring Car Racing. A game which was released in 1997 (Europe) and 1998 (North America) on the PlayStation 1. The game has a very smooth, arcade-like feel to it that makes for a fun and enjoyable driving experience. Without doing anything particularly outstanding.
The music in this game is arguably its best feature, boasting a well-balanced soundtrack with songs named after various European cities such as Warsaw and Moscow. The music feels like an updated version of the soundtrack from Outrunners, and it really helps to enhance the overall experience of the game.
One noteworthy feature of the game that extends its lifespan is its support for four-player couch co-op multiplayer. Each driver has their own corner of the screen, with no frame rate drops which ensures that the gameplay remains smooth from start to finish. Additionally, there are plenty of options available to customize the experience, including the number of laps and car choices. Overall, this is a well-implemented feature that adds a lot of value to the game.
Now, here is where I must mention about a part of the game that might turn off some racing fans. Sunrise GP suffers from ‘Kamakazi AI’. Some computer racers will try to turn this game into Destruction Derby. Others will camp and stop near a checkpoint at the end of lap to take you out. At times I’m not sure if the AI is aware that title of this game is not Burnout.
Blow some cash
The worst part of this game is how broken the reward structure is. There is a Challenge mode, where you can complete a total of 20 challenges. One of them, if played online, gives you an additional 100 credits for finishing within a certain time cap. If you play through all 20 one-lap courses and get the credit bonus, you can end up with 6100 credits. In less than half an hour. If you play all 20 Grand Prix courses, which last three to six times longer, and finish in first in every course, you only can get up to 6000 credits. I hope this can be fixed in an update. The credits can be spend on all sorts goofy parts that most of the time are cosmetic and do not upgrade the cars. So it isn’t game breaking, but kind of defeats the purpose of having a shop in the game.
Sunrise GP is available here in the Nintendo Switch eShop
With a few post-release tweaks and possible additional DLC, Sunrise GP has the potential to become a formidable retro racing game. Priced at €/$14.99 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive at the time of its release, it offers good value for its price point. While it does have its quirks and occasional issues with rewards, it's still a solid launch and deserves a chance to be played in its current state. In fact, there are far worse games in this genre that cost a lot more, so it's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of retro racing games.