It’s been a while since there was a console release that I was quite as excited about as the Nintendo Switch. Within my house currently, I have a PS4 pro, an Xbox one, an Xbox 360, a Wii, a WiiU, a Nintendo DSLite, and a New Nintendo 3DS…so it’s safe to say that I’ve nearly tried them all. And after standing in line for hours out in the cold so that I could get my hands on a Switch console as early as possible, I’ve spent the last 50 hours or so diving in.
Here are a few of my thoughts.
In terms of out-of-the-box hardware, I have to say I’m quite impressed. I had read some pre-release reviews that said it felt awkward, uncomfortable, and flimsy – all of which I have to disagree with. I did a few times feel like the buttons to release the joy-con controllers from the screen were in a weird spot but they never once got on the way during game play. Other people complained about the lack of a directional pad and that you have to read over a joystick on one side, but as with any controller after adjusting this goes almost entirely unnoticed.
The screen itself is pretty good too. I stuck a screen protector on there almost immediately to protect it from scratching since I tend to carry it around with me places and so far I’ve had no complaints about it. I was worried that the lower resolution of the screen might be annoying but everything is crisp and clean looking on it so I haven’t had any concern at all.
All in all, hardware feels great to me. The device is comfortable, the joy cons are great whether attached or separated – not to mention the vibration of them is actually impressive enough that I’ve stopped to appreciate it a couple of times. After playing on a new 3DS nearly every day for months, moving to the Switch is a very comfortable transition.
Software + Games
On launch day I picked up Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, Bomberman R, and SnipperClips. Zelda is about as good or better than I expected. I’ll be writing about it more in the future, but for right now just know that yes, it is as good as everyone is saying.
1-2 Switch I agree probably should have been something that was included pre-installed on the device. It’s a ton of fun especially with friends, does a fantastic job of showing off the technology and the hardware, and will continue to be fun for a long time. However, it’s not an everyday game and at a higher price point isn’t going to be a must-have for everyone.
Bomberman R wasn’t a game that was really even on my radar until other people I know started talking about how much they were looking forward to it. After playing it both in single player story mode and online with others, it’s a ton of fun! It’s a classic redone to fit into a modern gamer’s library so if you’re looking for something timeless and mindless, I highly recommend checking it out.
SnipperClips is another one that I was on the fence about but decided to give a shot. It’s a puzzle game that requires you to think out of the box and challenge yourself to solve problems. Don’t worry, it’s not too infuriating and the real highlight might be it’s co-op mode where you can have the help of a friend. Keep in mind though that disagreements during game play should be kept friendly!
As for the basic software of the console it’s a clean and simple UI meaning there’s almost no learning curve allowing you to jump right into your chosen game within minutes. As soon as more titles are released and we eventually see the introduction of the Virtual Console I’m curious as to whether this UI will stay the same or whether we will see a more app-focused alteration.
Y’all know I love to accessorize, and part of the fun of getting a new console is getting the fun accessories to go with it. My first plan was to get a skin for the console. However, upon going to order one from D-Brand skins (where I have purchased skins from in the past for phones) I noticed that they are not selling them because they damaged the devices during their own testing. Kudos to them for giving up the money they might have made and choosing to look out for the customer.
Ultimately I ended up with a pro controller, an extra charger, and a couple of cases. The pro controller is good if you’re used to an Xbox style controller that is a little more bulky, tilts the controls toward the center rather than orienting them straight up and down, and has a directional pad. However, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. The Switch comes with a joy con controller that will give you a similar feel and for the price, I encourage you to try it out before springing for the pro controller. That being said, I’ve read several reviews where other people thought the pro controller was an absolute necessity.
I also picked up a couple of amiibos that I haven’t yet used, but that I hear are well worth it later on in game play. Those will be covered in further detail once I write more in depth about Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In terms of cases, I actually ended up with two different types for two different use cases. The first case is one that holds just the screen with the attached joy con controllers. It’s more for those days where I think I might want to play during a break and I don’t need anything more than the basics. It’s fabric on the outside but durable enough that I can toss it in a bag and not feel worried about it at all. There’s also a space to hold game cartridges which is handy.
The second case I ended up with is much more bulky but will come in handy during trips or taking the entire console (including dock) to a friend’s house. It holds the screen with joy con controllers attached within a protected area, the dock in it’s own protected area, either the joy con controller or a pro controller, and an area for your game cartridges. As far as durability goes it feels tough and I would even feel comfortable putting it in a checked bag during a flight so I consider it a must have if you think you’ll want to transport your dock as well.
Those are just a few of my thoughts on the Nintendo Switch and I’m still looking forward to getting more play time with it. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on any other cool video game related things I come across, and I’d love to know if there’s anything in particular that you’d like for me to cover.