Torchlight II has been another loot RPG option for people who enjoy Diablo-likes since 2012. It’s well established on PCs, with an array of mods available in the Steam Workshop. But it’s only now, in 2019, that console ports have arrived. In particular, the Nintendo Switch version offers quite a bit of utility, both in how it is executed, how it looks, and how it handles multiplayer.
One concern with a game like Torchlight II might come down to how well it would translate to a console. On computers, you have a whole slew of hotkeys to execute different abilities for your characters. On a system like the Nintendo Switch you just… don’t. You have more limited options, which means Panic Button had to be more resourceful when porting. Fortunately, things are handled very well. Making a portal or using a potion is set to the L and R buttons by default. You attack with A. All of the other action and shoulder buttons can be mapped to five skills of your choosing, allowing you to select a moveset and easily be prepared for the challenges ahead.
Torchlight II’s new inventory system on consoles is probably one of the best parts. Everything is labeled clearly, with people easily able to navigate and handle all of the loot. You have a circular UI where you can go through each section to choose weapons and different parts of equipment. Clearly labeled arrows show if something is more powerful, when you compare you have both screens side by side, colors signify rarity, and sending it to your pet to have it automatically sold in town is as easy as pressing a button to tag it. Getting things reorganized and shuffled around is a process that takes about a minute or two, letting you get back to acquiring even more pieces.
The plus side is, when you do have someone or other people on hand, multiplayer is easy to execute. You decide if you are going to host or if you will join someone’s game. If you’re hosting, it is easy to extend an invite. (Especially since the Nintendo Switch now makes it slightly simpler to get into multiplayer.) Once you had off on a mission, things go rather smoothly. My frame rate never dropped and stayed consistent, even when I played undocked and in a session with someone else. While I did notice a situation or two where it seemed like my partner perhaps was attacking an enemy that was no longer there, it could be attributed to already having a combo attack geared up, rather than some sort of lag. (Should you have four friends in the same area with you who all also have Nintendo Switches and the game, you can go in for local multiplayer.)
Which bodes well for the biggest draw of all for Torchlight II on the Nintendo Switch. It’s the sort of game where you might want to play it undocked and on the go. If you do, there’s no loss of fidelity. The frame rate stays the same. The graphics quality doesn’t change. The loading times aren’t any longer (or shorter). It works just as well. There is the downside of everything suddenly being much smaller. Some very tiny fonts are at play and you can’t really distinguish any noticeable details on ally or enemy characters. (This can really take away from the fun of perhaps equipping enough armor that looks good together, for those who like to be fashionable.)
Torchlight II is another game in an underrepresented genre on the Nintendo Switch. It might not have the same legs as Diablo III, due to its post-game involving multiple runs of new game plus and Mapworks being the only things to do after you’re done. However, it is an alternative that could appeal to people. Especially since the console exclusive controls are handled well. Multiplayer works great. The only real downside is that some sacrifices, such as being able to enjoy the smaller details, had to be made to manage to make it work.
Torchlight II is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.