Digital Foundtry believes Penny’s Big Breakaway to be one of the best games of the year. Brought to us by the developers of the stunning Sonic Mania, Evening Star, the game does for 3D platforming what Sonic Mania did for 2D, offering up a fresh new take on the genre, delivered by flawless technology.

In the video above, John Linneman of Digital Foundry describes what makes the game so special, how the various consoles and PC stack up, and reveals a curious performance-enhancing tip for Switch users never seen before, and it seems exclusive to this game.

While Penny’s Big Breakaway was capped at 30fps at launch, a performance mode was added to the mix shortly after, but with variable results. Firstly, the 30 fps mode remains listed as a quality mode - this mode runs at native 1080p in docked and native 720p in portable with anti-aliasing. Performance mode retains the same resolutions but removes anti-aliasing. However, a double-buffer v-sync presents problems.

While the double-buffer v-sync is positive for input latency, it also means that if the game persistently misses its frame-time target, frame-rate halves. So, when Penny’s slows down, it briefly drops from 60fps to 30fps, which can feel jarring. This happens in both docked and handheld mode.

This is where Linneman shares his surprising solution; the game responds to resolution changes at the system level. Set your Switch to 720p, for instance, and it directly modifies Penny’s render target size, resulting in 720p gameplay. This works even without closing the game, and remarkably, it solves most of the performance issues. Areas which previously dropped frames suddenly spring to life without a hiccup perfectly sticking to 60fps.

Apparently, Evening Star says they actually tried dynamic resolution scaling, but it did not have the desired performance level versus simply altering the max resolution. Most of the game plays well at 1080p60, but if the performance dips do bother you, you can run with this undocumented ‘ultra performance’ mode.

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