3 Up, 3 Down – Nintendo Switch Edition
Recently, I attended a multi day event held by Nintendo to give the media and the public some hands on time with their newest system, the Switch. The event was designed to show off how snazzy the system is, give us a glimpse of the games and build the hype leading up to the release day next month. While I was pretty impressed with it overall, I left the event with some questions too. I’ve spent a couple of days reflecting on it and several questions persist. While there are certainly many Pros for picking a Switch up, there’s also some Cons to consider before you take that plunge.
The Love List
The whole appeal of the Switch is the ability to switch between how you play. You can either dock it and play on your TV at 1080p or you can pick up and go play on the pad in another room or outside (god forbid) or take it on that road trip you’ve always talked about. What makes this such a big selling point is how functional both modes are. When docked, it is a very functional system that didn’t show hiccups amongst the games I played. Breath of the Wild looked incredible and the framerates were top notch, even with how expansive the playing area was. When you pick it up and walk around, yes, it no longer runs at 900p, but I didn’t notice much difference. There was also no lag or framerate drop regardless of what was happening on screen at the time. The pad itself When we played Mario Kart 8 on a simulated flight on the tabletop, it was great! The race ran smoothly and the screen was big enough that we got a lot of rich detail from the game while getting all of the beautiful frustration from a personal favourite game without being so big it was clunky. Realistically, the ability to swap in and out is going to be a big sales factor, especially since Nintendo is still trying to cater to the family market. The fact that they’ve done the portable aspect so well could be a big draw.
The JoyCons are the controllers for the Switch that attach to the pad when it goes portable, can be used on their own or can be attached to a grip to give you a more controller like feeling. They’re small, oddly shaped, and the button layout looks off. So, they have absolutely no business being as comfortable, ergonomic and functional as they are! Those little things work very well in any way you want to use them. For party games or versus games like Mario Kart or 1-2 Switch, you and your friends get one each and I almost laughed at the thought of effectively playing Mario Kart with it. Until I did. Small as they are, they fit comfortably and give you great access to all the buttons. The only knock I could come up with was that the trigger buttons were easier to use when the wrist strap was attached – without it, they were slightly hard to hold down and drag an item behind you. Considering how much of the Switch is dependent on these little controllers, Nintendo needed them to be both effective and functional. Luckily, the JoyCons are both.
Nintendo has a roster of beloved characters that everyone goes nuts over. Look at what happened with Breath of the Wild. Even the mere mention of a new Zelda game and mayhem ensued at E3. The event I attended had to hand out time slot tickets, just to control the flow of people. Mario Odyssey isn’t due out for months yet and people are already clamouring for it. Hell, with Link and Mario coming and a deluxe Mario Kart, I’m almost ready to buy a damn Switch myself. So, imagine if Nintendo doesn’t royally screw up this time and offers their rabid fanbase several games. Like, a new Metroid. A new Smash Bros. A Star Fox that isn’t garbage. I mean, throw Kirby in there if you even wanted, it’ll get eaten up! Nintendo has a treasure trove of potential releases that will ensure the Switch is a monster hit. All they have to do is MAKE THE GAMES, unlike how they handled the Wii U. I mean, look how many U’s were sold and they were hardly offered content! Learn from your mistakes, Nintendo. On the other hand…
Click on through to PAGE 2 for the Hate List…