The Fitzgerald Scale – Thoughts on Quake Remastered for the Nintendo Switch

I have written about Quake before when I played what I considered to be a pretty janky and messy SEGA Saturn port a while back. Because I had a PC growing up that had so little RAM, it would take a lunar month just to open Microsoft Office. I never got to play Quake on the PC back in the day, so I never really got to see the “true” version of the game. However, recently I saw that Quake Remastered was coming out on the Nintendo Switch and decided that I would give it a bash just to see what I thought. Originally, I was going to do a review of it, but I decided to instead just give some general thoughts about my time spent with the game as I didn’t really feel like I had enough to say for a full on review.

Firstly, I must say that I enjoyed my time with Quake Remastered, and it should likely shock no one that the Switch version of the game is miles better than the choppy disaster that was the Saturn port I played all those years ago. Whether in docked or handheld mode, Quake Remastered is smoother than a nice pint of Caffrey’s, with the game moving at a consistent speed and plenty of visual options in the menu screen allowing you to mess around with the settings until you have something that is easy on your beady little eyes. I found the game a treat to play from a purely mechanical perspective, and you can easily save your game at any point and load it up again with equal ease, making it an all-round pleasant playing experience in that regard.

As someone who didn’t play the original Quake as intended back when it first came out, I’m not sure I’m really in a place to comment as to how authentic or improved the visuals are in Quake Remastered, which is another reason why I wasn’t sure about doing a full on review. I certainly thought it looked okay for a game that originally came out in the 90s. I’ve looked at some side-by-side comparisons, and it looks like certain lighting effects have been improved, and there’s a bit more detail on the weapons, but aside from that, Quake Remastered doesn’t look to have been especially jazzed up from a graphical perspective when compared to the original Quake game. I certainly didn’t think the game looked bad, and I found it quite immersive, in all honesty.

If you’re someone who demands extreme graphical fidelity and doesn’t like anything that looks below the PS4 from a graphical perspective, then you might look at Quake Remastered and potentially be disappointed that they haven’t done more with the visuals. I personally don’t mind that Quake Remastered has remained faithful to the original though as part of the fun of playing this for me was that I was actually going to be playing Quake. I wanted some Quake in my Quake Remastered; otherwise, what’s the point in even playing it to begin with? Part of the reason I wanted to play Quake Remastered was because I hadn’t been able to play the original as intended, and I wanted to take a step in a time machine to experience a classic slice of gaming history, so the graphics looking 90s-ish are a feature and not a bug for me.

Quake Remastered might be a bit of a culture shock from a gameplay perspective if you’ve grown up on a solid diet of Activision and Electronic Arts first-person shooters as the game plays completely different from something like Call of Duty. Quake Remastered is a game that encourages perpetual movement as you will regularly strafe from side to side in order to dodge enemy attacks before you can fling in some of your own. There’s no patient hiding behind cover whilst you wait for your health to automatically regenerate here. Instead, you need to find med packs dotted across the map in order to heal yourself, and enemies will actively chase you around the stage, meaning just hiding behind something and popping out now and then to fire off a few clips will be unlikely to bear fruit.

You are given a pretty fun arsenal to work with, including things like nail guns and bazookas, and the way the more vicious weaponry is gradually introduced the further you get into the game is done well and gives the game a natural difficulty curve. I did sometimes find myself falling into the classic first-person trope of running around wondering what I had to do next, but thankfully, this happened far less in Quake Remastered than it did back when I played Duke Nukem for Gaming Respawn. There were times when the difficulty would spike a bit, and I’d find I’d have to keep reloading a save over and over until I finally managed to brute force my way through, but in general, I had fun with the gameplay in Quake Remastered, and I did find it genuinely unnerving at points when some of the bigger and nastier enemies would attack me when I wasn’t expecting it.

Another reason why I didn’t end up doing a full review of Quake Remastered is that I really didn’t fancy going to the hassle of setting up a Bethesda online account so that I could play the online multiplayer, and any review would require that aspect to be covered. It’s not that I’m morally against online multiplayer or anything like that, but I find these days that it just doesn’t have the same pull for me as it once did back when I used to play games like Call of Duty 4 back in my university days. One annoying aspect of the game is that you seemingly need to be online just to play the single-player campaign, which strikes me as a bit of a design flaw if you’re not interested in the online multiplayer and just want to blast some knights in the face with a shotgun without a convenient nearby internet connection to hand.

That would be my biggest complaint about Quake Remastered, really, as I just don’t see why you should need to be online just to play the single-player campaign like that. I tried numerous times to play the game offline and never had any joy, but if there is a way and I was just being a big stupid-pants, then feel free to enlighten me in the comments section. Aside from that aspect though, I mostly had fun with Quake Remastered. I’m not someone who is a gigantic fan of the classic FPS genre or anything like that, but I enjoyed the main gameplay loop and thought the game itself had a decent slice of atmosphere to it.

The Urban Dictionary defines “The Fitzgerald Scale” as “A scale used to measure the awkwardness of a situation. The Fitzgerald Scale is divided into ten subunits, called ‘Geralds’. Each Gerald is in turn divided into ten Subgeralds, which gives 100 possible levels of awkwardness. One Gerald is a commonly awkward level, where a ten Gerald situation would be a scarring event.”

Example

Man, the atmosphere of that party was off the Fitzgerald Scale when we decided to leave

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