Basketball fans who own a Switch might have been eyeing NBA Playgrounds. The game has been out for some time now to a luke-warm reception. But with the new year came something surprising. All of a sudden the eShop sported an “Enhanced Edition” of the game.
Owners of the game can sigh in relief because this new version is totally free (identifiable by the golden hue around the game’s icon). So no need to spend more cash if you don’t want to. Also, the game uses your existing save game, so any progress won’t be lost. So, why is there an entirely new title and not an update which should be the case?
Apparently, it has something to do with the size of the game. The original Switch game was fairly large and didn’t have online play. The developer, Saber interactive, later added online making the game even, which got them into some discussion with Nintendo. Turns out is that they were able to significantly reduce the game’s size (from 9.5 Gb to 7.6, if I’m not mistaken) but the Switch’ update system didn’t allow for shrinking the game’s overall size. So ultimately they had to provide a whole new ‘title’ to replace the old.
While this is definitely an odd move, it is commendable that Saber has done this to provide the best experience for Switch owners. Especially since the game launched without an online mode. But they had already promised a copy of Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn for that mishap already. This game apparently is still coming.
The enhanced edition adds all of the recent updates including a shot meter (addressing one of the more annoying mishaps with the game) and a rebound indicator (addressing another one). It also adds a three-point contest and a bunch new players. It also adds the two DLC packs, one of which unlocks the game’s entire roster (including the additions since the game’s launch).
Overall the game is slightly improved but it’s by no means a new experience. This whole mess is a good moment to have another look at the game. It’s also on sale until January 18th.