KOTOR on Switch Is the Same as It Ever Was

For this beloved game, that’s certainly not a bad thing

Key Takeaways

  • KOTOR on the Switch is exactly that, but if you’re a fan, that’s likely all you need.
  • It’s the same beloved adventure it’s always been, which is great, though the sharper visuals do make some of the textures look bad.
  • Age aside, it’s an excellent fit for the Switch that will hopefully win over a whole new generation of players.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic title screen

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a great fit for the Nintendo Switch, even if it’s showing its age after 18 years.

It’s challenging to think of a platform that hasn’t received a port of Knights of the Old Republic at this point—it’s even been on smartphones for eight years now. So, inevitably, it was going to be the Switch’s turn, and it’s no surprise it’s pretty much the same game as always.

I don’t see that as a bad thing, mind. KOTOR is one of the most beloved (possibly the most beloved) Star Wars video games of all time, and that’s not without reason. Simply being able to play it again on the Switch—and making it available for new players to discover—is kind of all I really wanted from it in the first place.

Still a Classic

Ignoring the shape of the physical controller and the button prompts that appear on screen, there isn’t really anything new in this Switch port. Compared to the original 2003 release, the visuals look sharper, and the aspect ratio during gameplay is wider, but that’s pretty much it. Again, not really a bad thing. Especially since we know there’s a proper remake planned for some point in the future.

Though being as old as it is, there are definitely some aspects that feel, well, old. There isn’t much variety to the animations, so many cutscenes and conversations start to look repetitive. Likewise, when it comes to the extremely limited number of faces and voices for non-player characters. Not being able to directly compare the stats of what you have equipped with what you just found or what you’re looking at in a shop can also be irritating.

Speaking with a Hutt in KOTOR

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The familiarity of the early game on the planet Taris has also been a bit of a mixed bag since it’s kind of a slow start, though, especially when you’ve played through it multiple times. But once I found my groove (and a few more party members, sorry Carth), I fell right back into my old groove.

The only thing that really bothers me about KOTOR remaining largely unchanged this umpteenth time around is the sharper visuals that kind of make the game look worse. More specifically, because the graphics are a much higher resolution, but the textures haven’t really changed, it makes some things look… not good. 

That said, less complicated patterns and smooth surfaces look fine, the models are simple but decent, and the lighting is nice. Heck, some of the environments still look impressive (for the time) when I’ve stopped to take in the sights. It’s just some of those alien skin textures (among others) probably should’ve been left looking a little blurry.

Switch Perks

It’s safe to assume the biggest draw of this particular port is that it’s on the Switch. And as a Switch game, we get to enjoy the perks that come with the hardware—namely, things like being able to immediately change between TV and handheld play. At least, that’s why I was excited about it.

Observing a defeated creature in KOTOR

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KOTOR is the kind of game that feels like it was designed for the Switch before the console ever existed. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say it feels like the kind of game the Switch was built for. It’s a lengthy RPG adventure, but you can save just about anywhere when not in combat, and the battle system lets you easily pause the action at any time. 

Between the ease of saving and having all the time you need to assess a situation and issue commands, it’s kind of a perfect fit for handheld mode. It also helps that the onscreen text and menus are big enough for even my less than stellar vision to read without much trouble.

Really, though, I’ve just been happy to have a reason to play KOTOR again. It’s definitely showing its age in some places, what with it being almost 20 years old, but a lot of it still holds up—especially when playing in handheld mode. Welcome back, KOTOR… again.

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