Graphics and Sound
Everyone wants to know, can this game thrive on the Switch hardware? The answer is a tiny yes and some glaring nos. The whole game feels watered down so that the hardware can handle it. When wrestlers appear in the locker room they are blurry and muddy. They look like a bad stream on Twitch when the internet gets wonky. The intricate details of faces and body shapes lose the crispness they would have on Steam, Xbox X, and PS5.
AEW Fight Forever had unimpressive graphics, to begin with, but on the Switch, it proves that Nintendo’s portable cannot run with the big dogs. The upside is that there is virtually no lag or load times. The game is blazing fast and only lags when you are scrolling through 500 names.
The design choices for this game are laughable. The wrestler, Nyla Rose, looks like she is Cookie Monster’s wife. Christian Cage looks like a taller version of Orange Cassidy. Certain hair types fly all over the screen like there is zero gravity.
I know AEW wanted to stick it to those WWE guys and show them that gameplay is more important than graphics, but a little more attention to detail would have been nice.
Music and sound are enjoyable and AEW has gotten a mix of hip-hop, metal, and rock to play in the background. I enjoyed this music much better than the five songs that play on a loop in WWE 2K23.
There is very little commentary and none of it is during the match. Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, and Jim Ross make small remarks before the match starts and after the win. Instead of commentary matches have the AEW crowd chanting and hollering while you fight. Fight commentary has been in games since 1998 so I have no idea why Yukes decided to leave it out.
Online and Other Stuff
I was able to find one online match. The lobby is a little different than traditional fighting game lobbies. Usually, you enter a room and you get a list of possible servers you can join. In this one, you pick which match type you want and then the game searches to see if they have anyone who also wants to play that. I tried looking for people in Exploding Barbed Wire and Lights Out matches, but it was empty. I finally found one person in a normal 1-on-1 match.
I didn’t hate the online match. I felt like I could keep up with the person and it was balanced. The game had a few moments of stuttering and wrestlers would freeze and then teleport. Yukes is really going to have to iron out that stuff if they want to have an enjoyable experience.
The store is where you can use virtual currency to unlock assets like poses, clothes, masks, and other in-game stuff. If you are the type of person who loves having every wrestling taunt available then that is the bulk of the shop. I unlocked Audrey Edwards and Cody Rhodes and left.
AEW Fight Forever (Nintendo Switch) Score: 6/10
Behind a terrific and exciting wrestling system in AEW Fight Forever is some odd choices, unfortunate hiccups, annoying quirks, and dumb limitations. Yukes fulfilled their promise to make an arcade game that felt like No Mercy. The problem is that we should have been more careful about what we wished for because a game made in the 90s is lacking a lot of important stuff.
A wrestling fan who is looking for a good AEW time is going to be serviced by this offering. Anyone who is looking for proper competition to WWE should hold out (or wait for much-needed updates). If you absolutely need to have this game be portable than you can rest knowing the Switch has your back. Everyone else should just get it on Steam.