We were fortunate enough to be invited to the recent Nintendo Switch announcement event in London to get our mitts on the new console. But what can the Switch bring to the table to make it stand out from the rest?
This article was originally posted to How To Kill An Hour
The event allowed us to get our hands on a wide range of games coming to the Switch, from Splatoon 2 to The Legend of Zelda, we played them all. So below is a list of the games we played and short thoughts on what we played.
NOTE: What we played was in a heavily controlled environment with only small sections of the game on show, the games may differ greatly when released, and so all that is written here is subject to change over time.
First of all…
The Switch itself
The Switch is surprisingly comfortable and easy to use. The Joy-Con controllers look tiny at first, and when first held they feel like you wouldn’t be able to hold it with ease, but as soon as you dive into a game they quickly become an extension to your body. For those worry their hands will be too big for the controller, worry not, for that was the common concern among the crowd at the event, yet everyone walked away happily surprised with just how easy the controller was to use. But if you’re still worried you won’t like them, the Switch will also have a pro-controller option.
The big thing that many are sceptical about is the Switch’s portable screen, and while it’s certainly an impressive feat, it’s not going to blow you away. The screen is about the size of a small tablet (comparative to the Nvidia Shield), being 6.2 inches, but it strangely has a horrible black bar that takes up a good fingers width of the device. The screen runs at 720p, with the option of 1080p being available by placing it into the dock for big screen usage. Whether the means the resolution is upscaled or not is still not confirmed.
And finally, battery life is something to take into consideration, the device can run portably between 3.5 – 6 hours depending on what the device is doing. So if you’re playing something intensive such as The Legend of Zelda, expect the battery time to be significantly shorter than if you were playing something such as Sonic Mania.
Of course this is all we know for now, things could change / become more transparent in the build up to launch.
But now for the main reason you care about the Switch, the games!
Starting off with a game named after the very console itself, 1-2-Switch is a party game that makes full usage of the consoles remotes for some brilliantly silly two player party games.
Two of the stand out games were Ball Count & Milk
Ball Count involves trying to guess how many balls are in a box only using the remotes rumble to guide you. It’s more of an excuse to show off how cool the new rumble is more than anything, but it’s certainly something that catches you off guard. You can actually feel each and every ball in the box as it moves around, and it even gives off different feedback depending on how quickly you tilt the remote.
Milk on the other hand is something that everyone needs to experience once in their lives. You must stare into the eyes of your opponent as you mimic the gesture of milking a cow, all the while udders on the screen spew out milk with the most off-putting sound effects. The whole game is made to psych out your opponent, and we spent more time laughing our heads off than we did focusing on trying to milk the virtual cows.
The mini game collection certainly feels like a fun time with friends, but for £40, this collection might need to do more to win over audiences.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
It’s Mario Kart 8 with some glitter on it. That’s it. For those who didn’t get the chance to play the game on the Wii U, this is a blessing, as it lets them play one of the best Mario Kart games out there. But for a lot of diehard fans, three new characters and a new battle mode aren’t going to be enough to warrant buying the game again.
But the Splatoon level does look amazing. Speaking of…
A sequel to one of the Wii U’s hidden gems. Splatoon 2 aims to build upon the groundwork that the first game set out. With new weapons, new maps, new customization options, and a whole lot of paint, this game looks to be a more refined version of an already fantastic game. Being able to play with a pro controller also means aiming is a lot faster and more precise. Plus, being able to fly around on a jetpack that shoots paint while firing rocket launchers is just one of the best experiences out there.
Let’s just hope they can expand on the single player a little more in this one.
Arms is a two-player boxing game where the fighters have long elasticated arms that they can fire across the ring to damage their opponent. Jumping, dashing and blocking are key to success as you have to close in on your opponent as they unleash a flurry of punches.
What makes the game stand out (Apart from its delightful anime aesthetic) is the level of depth on display. There are a multitude of fist variations, each with their own pro’s and con’s, and can be mixed-and-matched onto different fists to make the ultimate combination. Plus, with each character being placed in a weight and speed bracket, it won’t be long until the minute details become wildly debated in competitive play.
Hopefully there will be some sort of story / single player mode for players to hone their skills. But as of right now, Arms stands out as one of the most exciting new titles coming to the Switch.
A game about friendship and co-operation, Snipperclips involves you cutting your partner’s body into all sorts of shapes to solves cute puzzles in a calm and relaxing manor. The fun comes from the variety of ways you can approach a situation, and a lot of laughter came from all the silly shapes you and your partner can cut each other into.
It’ll be a great one to play with people who are still new to video games and want something they can dip their toes into.
It’s Sonic, you run fast and jump on a bald fat man to save the world. But it’s really good! The controls are sublime, never feeling like the games taken over to do something cool or guide you through a level. You can stop at the drop of a hat, and then shoot off with the games new drop dash feature. If you’re a fan of old school Sonic and want to experience the blue blur at his peak, be sure to keep an eye on Sonic Mania.
Ultra Street Fighter 2
Wait didn’t this come out over 20 years ago? …Yes? Oh well then, here’s Street Fighter 2…. Again… yay…
But in all seriousness, they’ve done a few neat things here. All the sprites have been redrawn and everything plays at a smooth 60 frames. Plus, there’s a new(ish) character called “Violent Ken” who’s Ken with Akuma’s bonus damage and lesser health.
But yeah, no matter how you look at it, it’s still Street Fighter 2. Be that good or bad is up to you.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
And finally, the big one that everyone is looking forward to. Breath of the Wild looks to be Zelda’s biggest outing yet, with a fully interactive open world brimming with things to do. In our short time with it, we got to play around in a very small part of the map, but the large number of things to do and recognizable landmarks stand out as making this open world feel more populated than many others before it.
If there’s one thing to gripe on, and it’s a small gripe, is that the new Zelda isn’t going to hold your hand as much as previous entries. The Dark Souls mantra of “Git Gud” definitely stands true here. Battles actually felt like they meant something, as if every swing could turn the tides of battle. Every swing also leaves you vulnerable to attacks, and so every move becomes a calculated game of chess.
There were loads of things we didn’t get to try out in the Breath of the Wild demo, but even just seeing how much is on offer from the trailers alone, this is certainly one to get excited about.
One thing to note is that it’s also coming out on the Wii U, so for the maybe 15 people who own one (me included), you won’t have to fork out £280 just to play this brilliant looking game.
Boy that was a lot of talking! Are you excited for the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments below and keep it here for all your gaming goodness.