Monday, August 28, 2017

Game console review: Nintendo Switch

I would not consider myself as a true gamer, and that is mostly because of a number of things, like not having the time, patience, money, and hard ware to really get into it. While I am not playing such epic games like "Dark Souls", "Horizon: Zero Dawn", and "I Am Bread", I still take some time to play games that you can get in and out quickly, like "Rocket League". Needless to say, I was more of a gamer when I was younger, worshiping legends like Mario and Crash Bandicoot, while also improving my plastic instrumental skills in various Guitar Hero and Rock Band installments.

But after not owning a console for some time, I thought it was time to get back in the groove again, and when Nintendo announced their new console known as the Switch, I was instantly intrigued. Not that I am a Nintendo fanboy or anything like that (I have owned at least one console from all the major console makers), but I have always admired their desire for taking gaming to the next level. I absolutely loved the Wii and played it almost to death, and after the failure that is the Wii U (or as I call it, Wii plus tablet), the Switch seems like the right way to go.

So what is so revolutionizing about this piece of electronic? The Nintendo Switch is the first home console that also work as a portable console, which gives us the opportunity to play it wherever and whenever we want. At home on the TV, or on the train, there is no stopping. The console itself is a fairly small screen with open sides to attach the two joycon controllers, and it can also be docked into a stand that connects to your TV. Now, it does not hold the same capacity as the competition, but it still looks really nice, especially in the handheld mode where the colors and sharpness is simply astonishing.

Then we have the controller, which also can be used in multiple ways. It consists of two small joycons that could be easily described as two smaller versions of the Wiimote, which means they have motion control built in them as well. You can use them individually or both at the same time without any additional attachments, but I would not really recommend it because they are so small and light, which might work good for children, but not for adults. My preferred choice is instead in the handheld mode, where the joy cons are attached to the screen, turning it into a humongous version of the PSP, but it still feels nice to hold, and not too heavy as well. Another way is an additional piece that together with the joycons turns into a regular game controller, and it works too even if it is a little clunky. There is also a pro controller available, but it does not come cheap, so it might or might not be worth the trouble, depending on how you wanna play.

Now, there are some down sides with the Switch that I have found, but none of them are really that big. I have already talked about the small joy cons, but the main issue I have is that the Switch is simply just a gaming console. You cannot go web browsing, or watch Netflix, or anything like that, which is sort of a shame, at least give us the opportunity to stream the game live through the console. Also, the online feature is free for now, but a fee will be introduced in 2018, and while it is not that bad of a price (20 bucks for 12 months), I really do not like the fact that you have to pay additional money to play online.

Why can't they just get along...

But ultimately, what would a console be without its games? The library in the Eshop is pretty broad, with several small titles and some old games that make their debut on the console, like "Shovel Knight". Personally, I only have three games right now, but I definitely think all three is worth the price. "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is the best kart game in the series, with tons of great vehicle options, lots of cool tracks, and a nice and easy online mode. Some characters in here are unnecessary though (Pink Gold Peach? Tanooki Mario? All the baby characters?), but it is tons of fun for hours on end. Also, 200cc mode is down right insane, wilder than any "Fast & Furious" movie.

Then we have the post apocalyptic adventure where humans have become horribly mutated creatures that fights an eternal war against each other. I am of course talking about "Splatoon 2", which is a really nice follow up to the surprise hit from the Wii U. It is fast paced action with lots of depth and several nice modes. The single player campaign is also beefed up from the first game, and it works perfectly for those who need to fine tune their skills in the game. Needless to say, it is Nintendo at its finest. Finally, I also played "Sonic Mania", which is the ultimate game for retro Sonic fans, going in the same spirit as the first three games with fast 2D action with timeless characters. It is the game a lot of Sonic fans have begged and screamed for, and it is available for 20 bucks, easily worth the money.

You guys are probably already screaming "Why haven't you gotten the new Zelda yet?", and I think I explained it in my first sentence of this review. Any Zelda game requires a lot of time and dedication, and I simply do not have it. I will probably get it eventually, but not right now, maybe when the price goes down. I also do not have "ARMS", because I am not a huge fighting game fan, and while the game looks unique, it just does not appeal to me, and neither does the mini game collection "1, 2, Switch", a game I hoped would be this system's "Wii Sports", coming free with the console. But nope, it did not, so I will most likely not get it.

Why play as Mario when you can play as TYRANNOSAURUS MARIO!

There are however several games in the future I will get, because the line up of games scheduled for release is impressive, with the biggest one obviously being "Super Mario Odyssey", but there are other titles to look forward to, including the switch versions of "Rocket League", "Skyrim", "Super Meat Boy" and more, the upcoming "Metroid" games, "Sonic Forces", games from our favourite cute guys Kirby and Yoshi, and a whole new Pokemon adventure. Yes, the Switch seems destined to deliver tons of great games from various different genres.

Ultimately, I just cannot stop loving my new little favourite toy. It may not be as strong as the PS4 or the Xbone, but it brings a whole new dimension to gaming that makes it that much more versatile. It is definitely not a perfect console by any means, and only time will tell if it will be as fondly remembered as the SNES, the Nintendo 64, and the Wii, but it is a charming little toy that works perfectly for the whole family... and of course the bachelors too. Now, if you excuse me, I am gonna go and fling some red shells at the 11 drivers ahead of me, COMING THROUGH!

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