Release Date: March 3, 2017
Pros: Very fun to use, easy to adapt to, affordable, and portable
Cons: Disappointing performance on some games
Last weekend I stopped by the Nintendo Switch media preview event in Washington, D.C. I had a very good time trying out various different games on the Switch, some old classics that everyone knows, and some new games that you might not know about.
The first game I tried out was Street Fighter. This was a remastered version made for the Nintendo Switch. The first thing I noticed while playing was that it looked very smooth and crisp. The resolution was high enough that a snobby PC gamer like myself was happy with it, same with the frame rate.
After playing a few rounds of street fighter I moved onto Mario Kart. I tried this game in the “table top” mode. The Switch has multiple different modes it can be used in, the first being the conventional plug and play, the second being a “tabletop” mode. In this mode you take the tablet portion of the system and you set it up by itself on a table. You take the two joycons off the side and you are able to play with up to two people, one with each joycon. The third mode is very similar, but in this mode you do not take off the joycons, and you use it in a very similar way to other handheld systems, such as the PSP or Nvidia Shield, have been used in the past. I was skeptical going into this, the joycons, although easy enough to use while attached to the tablet, seemed a little unwieldy while disconnected from it. This skepticism was put to rest when I started playing, it felt extremely natural and comfortable to play and I had a great time playing the game.
After wrapping up with Mario Kart I was finally able to play the game I was most looking forward to, the new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild. I played this game in the normal tv mode initially but then switched seamlessly to the handheld system about halfway through. I started the game and although I enjoyed it very much gameplay wise, the performance was not very good. The edges were fuzzy, the frame rate was disappointingly low, and anything that wasn’t a foot away from your point of view was blurry to the point of almost not being able to see it.
Although I was disappointed by the performance on Breath of the Wild, I had a very good time with the Switch. The visuals were very good for the most part and gameplay, in all the modes, was very fun. The joycons were very natural and easy to use, and the classic controller was very easy to adapt to. Overall I would recommend the Switch to anyone and I really hope that Nintendo is able to make some of the games on it perform a little better.