Sifu works well on Switch but this is far from the definitive edition

Sifu has been one of this years’ best surprises, now it’s arrived on the small screen.

PlayStation owners were given an early treat this year with this hard-as-nails, cinematic brawler that in any other year would have been up for game of the year awards. I genuinely cannot believe this launched back in February, it’s been a busy year.

There’s good and bad news about the Switch port. The good news is for the most part, the translation is tight. The game is stunningly vibrant on Switch OLED with colors that really sparkle and pop as you look across rooftops, fight through greenery and jive through the neon lights of the club.

Fights still play out comfortably with action as fast and furious as you’ll find on PlayStation. It also turns out this is the perfect portable game to dip in and out of, with a gameplay flow that lends itself to quick runs and replays, depending on what kind of mood you’re in.

Now for that bad news. The game has suffered for the port with lengthy load screens, and some really rough textures and noticeable aesthetical compromises just to get this running at all. Up close, you can see pixelated portraits, bare buildings, and some character models are quite jagged.

The game regularly hiccups in between sequences, really struggling with the transition between gameplay and cutscene. And while this is more of a personal choice, I personally found the bounce of the buttons on the DualSense to be more comfortable for countering, blocking, and parrying than the shoulders of a Switch JoyCon or my Hori Pad.

Still, it is impressive this game plays on Switch to the level it does with the whole challenging experience intact. For those who’ve never played Sifu, the aim is to seek vengeance on those who killed your master, learning more about them in the process.

You’ll have to fight through loads of their lackeys, all the while picking up clues on how to make your way through levels quicker and easier, then face those challenges head-on.

If you die in Sifu or get knocked out, you age. If you reach your 80s, you’ll eventually die of old age and each death adds an additional multiplier on your lifespan. So you have to make the choice whether to keep fighting, age be damned, or whether to restart a run and sacrifice all the progress you’ve made. A tough balancing act.

It’s all here, just as we documented in our review earlier this year and it’s still a tough as nails game that won’t be for everyone. It still has plenty of enjoyable action that you won’t be able to get enough of, though it also comes with the frustrations of mobs overpowering you in numbers and devouring chunks of your health with one clean hit.

So in news that will surprise no one, the best way to play Sifu is on PlayStation 5, with your 4K TV and a solid, stable framerate that suits the breakneck pace of the action. I preferred hopping on a DualSense as it offers a more comfortable place for the action along with those additional effects.

That said, Sifu is solid on Switch and it’s certainly a pleasure being able to play on a handheld, even if there are plenty of compromises to make that happen.

It’s nice to have options and fortunately Sifu is a game that both benefits from the full, big screen experience as much as it feels completely at home and natural in the palm of your hands. Provided you can look past some shortcomings.

Sifu is out now on PC, PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch

Played on Nintendo Switch OLED

Code Kindly Provided by Sloclap

About the author

Sam Diglett

Sam grew up with a PS2, spending hours howling at the moon in Okami and giving students wedgies in Bully. Fortunately, she also likes Pokemon because otherwise life could have been quite annoying for her.
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