Gear.Club Unlimited 2 review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Micro?ds
Developer: Eden Games
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1-2
Online: No

The more I play Gear.Club Unlimited 2, the more I?m reminded of Asphalt Injection, a launch racer for the Vita that was trying to make the jump from mobile to console.

Note: this is not a good thing.

See, our review notwithstanding, Asphalt generally wasn?t so well-received. It looked and played…well, like a mobile game trying to be more than that. Too much of it felt like you were just being asked to do the same thing, over and over again. While you didn?t have to pay anything extra to win, it couldn?t escape the grindier aspects of mobile gameplay. It felt like you were in a constant loop of race-upgrade-race — which, to be sure, is the case in most racers, but it felt more prominent there.

It?s the same way with Gear.Club Unlimited 2. In fact, if anything, it?s even worse here. Every second, you feel like they?re about to helpfully suggest that you can upgrade your car by buying GCU Cash (or something along those lines), since they place so much emphasis on improving your car. Finish a race? Back to the garage for upgrades! About to start a race? Have you thought about going to the garage for an upgrade?

Of course, the constant upgrades may just seem more prominent here because it serves to highlight one of Gear.Club Unlimited 2?s worst aspects: the load times. It?s impossible to go from one place to the next without waiting, and waiting, and waiting. From the garage to the track, from the track to the map, it doesn?t matter — you?ll always be watching the progress bar race to 95%, and then stop for a couple of minutes. This is a problem because, notwithstanding the game?s promise of ?a huge playing area”, you can?t actually go anywhere without going through a cutscene or two. The map, the tracks, the garage — they?re all separate. Consequently, you?ll be seeing that loading screen a lot, and it?ll bother you more and more every time.

In the game?s defense, I guess, the races themselves all work perfectly fine. They never stutter or skip, and you don?t have to worry about lag between your controller and the screen. Mind you, it?d be pretty insane if you did — these tracks are as boring as they come. Again, despite Gear.Club Unlimited 2?s promise of diverse environments, you?ll notice there?s a lot of repetition from race to race. The game may try to disguise that fact by playing around with times of day and weather, but once you notice how bland the tracks are, you won?t be able to ignore it. Sure, they look nice enough, but they?re distinctly lacking in character.

It could be worse, I guess. Gear.Club Unlimited 2 could?ve suffered from the same fate as Asphalt Injection and been grind-heavy and ugly. Instead, you?ve got a game that?s just grind-heavy and boring. It works, which is nice, but with these load times, working feels like the least the game should do. The best games have some kind of exciting spark to them, and that?s one thing Gear.Club Unlimited 2 completely lacks.

Micro?ds provided us with a Gear.Club Unlimited 2 Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+