Gameloft’s ever-popular Asphalt 9: Legends has come crashing onto the Nintendo eShop today. Interestingly, it’s available as a free-to- play title, just like the iOS and Android versions, with an optional £19.99 launch bundle which eliminates many of the original version’s grindy elements.

What exactly does that bundle get you? Well, 200,000 Credits and 300 Tokens for starters, which – as I’m learning while playing through the game for review – is a decent amount. Your 20 quid will also get you 5 cars from the get-go, including the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, DS Automobiles DS E-Tense, Lotus Evora Sport 410, Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack, and the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.

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By comparison, those who opt for the free version will start the game with only one vehicle. While I would have preferred the Switch version be entirely devoid of free-to-play element, I suppose this is as good a compromise as we were likely to get.

If you’re yet to take this latest entry in the long-running Asphalt series for a spin, it’s a fast-paced racer all about performing awesome power-slides, jumps, and other such OTT arcade racing manoeuvres. It offers so much content that I could easily see some sinking dozens of hours into mastering tracks and working through the extensive Career mode. 

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One thing I’ll say about the Switch port is that it might actually run worse than the Android version running on my S9. I can’t really tell what it’s targeting, probably 60 fps. It’s not the biggest issue in the world, but it’s certainly distracting me from the otherwise stellar presentation.

We don’t have too many decent racers on Switch right now, so I reckon it’s probably worth dipping a toe in the free version to see if it’s for you. Those looking to learn some helpful tips and tricks before delving in should check out our extensive Asphalt 9: Legends Game Hub. And be sure to look for our full review when it goes live later this week.

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