Every five years or so, a new “generation” of consoles and handhelds begins. Although one may come out a year or two before the next, they are considered to compete against one another for a space in your living room. Sony and Microsoft have been pioneers of the tried and true formula of amazing graphics and the latest trends that emulate PC gaming with a controller. Nintendo, on the other hand, has always tried something different. They have had casual successes like the Wii and more traditional creations such as the Nintendo 64, as well as hard flops like the Virtual Boy. But what happens when they try to appeal to everyone: Hardcore and casual, mobile and couch potato, with one machine? They make something like the Switch.
The Nintendo Switch, named after its ability to “switch” from home console to portable almost instantly, is unique in the current video game market. Because of this, it may be hard to grasp for some. I tried explaining it to someone serving me food across the street from where I attended the midnight launch, and they first thought I was talking about a PSP. While the Switch does in fact play HD games on the go, it is also a lot like one of its successors, the Wii. The controllers, or “Joy-Cons”, can be detached from the screen for Wiimote-like play. The best part? The system already comes with two of them, so multiplayer is possible right out of the box! Of course this was Nintendo’s intention, as they are a company that prides itself on creating in-person experiences with its games and systems.
It succeeds in doing this immediately. First, the menu screen is very easy to navigate. Each game gets its own large panel that you can scroll through, and tools like the photo album and the eShop can be accessed through smaller icons on the bottom. On the top-left, you can access the social settings of this console. You can change your avatar (which doesn’t have to be a Mii anymore), add/remove friends, and see your own friend code. You can even see what your friends are playing right now!
Its launch game lineup only helps to sell these features. After hooking up your Switch to the internet, go on the eShop to buy Snipperclips and Fast RMX. Both games are inexpensive and some of the best experiences I have had in gaming so far. Fast RMX is a high-speed racer, much like F-Zero, and SnipperClips is a co-op game starring two adorable characters that cut each other into different shapes to solve puzzles (don’t worry, they can regain their shapes!). Also available right at launch are other equally immersive games such as Super Bomberman R, I am Setsuna, and Just Dance.
But of course, everyone is talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This is a massive title for any system, especially as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. I have been an avid Zelda fan for my entire gaming career, and nothing in the series is quite like this. I won’t get into too many details because that game deserves its own separate review, but it is definitely worth picking up.
Only time will tell if the Nintendo Switch is a success, but it’s off to an amazing start! We have Mario Kart 8 to look forward to in a month, plus Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and more to play before the end of 2017. In the meantime, Zelda and the other launch titles are more than enough to keep us busy!
JD Case, aka JiggsDixon, is a lifelong Nintendo fan. Stay tuned for more Nintendo-related content here at All Things Quite Nerdy Entertainment. Feel free to add him on your Switch with his friend code: SW-3930-7723-0901