Krystallina did something she said she wasn’t going to do. What did she do?
As I have said in various comments, I was on the skeptical side for the Switch. Well, maybe not so much skeptical as cautious. So many people clamored over the Wii U and kept insisting that all the must-have games were just around the corner, that its popularity will just explode soon. I was hesitant about buying a Wii U, but the combination of a sale and a rebate made me break down. “It’s going to be amazing!! The best games!!” Well, I’ve only played my Wii U a handful of times. Most of the games just felt like next versions or remixes in the vein of the annual Madden or NBA games; there weren’t a lot of unique titles. Even the more interesting games like Pokkén Tournament and Splatoon came out late in the console’s lifespan.
But anyway, people fell in love with the Switch. As I’m not a The Legend of Zelda player (don’t hurt me!) and I have many games in my Wii U backlog, I didn’t see the need for me to get one. The combination of a console and handheld sounds nice, but a) I already have the console-handheld either/or in the PlayStation ecosystem, and b) I don’t play games on the go. (Darn you, motion sickness!)
Plus, as I mentioned, I was worried the Switch will end up being Wii U Redux. “Maybe in a year or two,” I thought. I know many people have had trouble finding one, so I doubt the console will be repackaged any time soon. But by next Christmas, perhaps a game or two will be included, and the game library will be much more impressive.
But when I had the opportunity to get a brand new Switch for just under $250 with no tax, I couldn’t help myself.
So, what are the first impressions of someone who wasn’t anxious for a Switch?
First thought: “It’s small.” Even though the screen is the same size as the Wii U’s gamepad, it just looks smaller upon first look. Especially since multiple people are supposed to be able to look at it at the same time.
Next, although I got the colored Joy-Cons, part of me wishes I had chosen the grey version so that the little Nintendo Switch Dog came through a bit more clearly. Oh, well. I’ll probably end up getting the gray ones eventually anyway.
I’ve also decided I hate these:
The Joy-Con straps are a pain to get off. I kept trying and trying, but I couldn’t. I looked at the instructions online, and I couldn’t figure it out. Even when I looked online, it was all about if you had put them on backwards, but I didn’t. Had to get my computer tool kit to jiggle it off. (You can see them in the picture above.) I practiced some more, and nope, still a pain. It feels like they’re going to go flying when I slide them off.
I ended up spending more time than I really needed to on lining it up. Surprisingly, not a fingerprint magnet and ended up with no bubbles! Although for a moment, I thought the dust sticker had scratched my brand-new Switch. (NOOOOO!) Just needed to use the dust sticker on those marks. Case is pretty nice, a small buffer to protect the screen from the case top and straps to hold the Switch in.
Anyway, after charging it, I fired up the Switch and looked around the eShop. With no built-in games and no freebies, the console really feels empty upon opening the box. I know people buy new games to go with new systems, but the “online” part of the system is pathetic right now. Feels like it needed something right out of the box, something for Zelda-focused players to have for when younger relatives come around and want to play the cool new Switch.
I now have a greater appreciation for Wii Sports.
I knew 1-2-Switch was mostly meh, a glorified tech demo. After playing it, I don’t know why this game exists.
Nintendo said they didn’t include a game to keep the cost of the console down, but 1 2 Switch should have either been Switch Sports or a bunch of minigames included with the system. I like Baseball and Table Tennis, and I’m sure other sports like bowling will work well on the Switch. They have that same fun feeling that made the Wii so popular, and there is still that feeling of “URGH” when you know you’ve swung too early or late.
However, some of the “games” on 1-2-Switch are just stupid. I never realized Liar’s Dice could be dumber. You know your opponent’s score, so if your opponent doesn’t give any clues (whether the truth or a lie), you’re flying blind. Shaving… really? Yes, I’m sure out of all the games in existent or can be downloaded on a $20 smartphone, everyone will be clamoring to shave a beard without knowing how much you’ve shaved.
Other ones like the Quick Draw are very simple but good, but Samurai Practice can be over in an instant. One swing, you lose. Yay? Then you waste time starting it up again. A good portion of the games have a longer video explanation than gameplay. The rhythm games feel like they randomly award points as players dance or play air guitar.
Also, I hope you don’t mind eye contact. Players are supposed to look directly into each other’s eyes, and this can be very uncomfortable for long periods of time. (Or I’m sure any period of time if you’re an awkward teenager… or child… or adult…) Also, if you’re playing in teams, I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to get a turn and have it be over in one mistimed moment.
1-2-Switch barely has a single-player mode. Very few games can be played alone, and the ones that do require loading/unloading accessories. And, hooray, I get to fake eating sandwiches. (That’s sarcasm.) It just makes no sense to not have a decent solo mode. It would be one thing if 1-2-Switch was a packaged game. But this is a paid first-party launch title; there’s no reason for it to be so lackluster.
In short, $20 is the upper limit for this game.
After Playing Switch Thoughts
Battery life was better than I expected. For this game (or “game”), an hour dropped it by about 20%. Not too bad. Obviously, this would be different with something like Breath of the Wild, but still nice.
I didn’t know how the Switch’s size would work for multi-player games (I mean, the screen is smaller than the tablet I carry around), but the game was still easy to see without crowding around.
Docking the console is still a bit unnerving. The screen protector didn’t affect docking it, but I think I’ll always be a bit OCD about accidentally scratching it. And about the kickstand as well, although I’m glad they went with that instead of some separate little holder.
I guessed I just assumed the power adapter would be a two-piece plug so that you could charge it through the wall or computer/whatever charging device you had. It just would make it more convenient I think that you could charge it either way instead of being forced to use the wall adapter right out of the box.
I have small hands, so the size of the Joy-Cons don’t bother me. It has already flown out of my hand once (thank goodness for the strap), which I have never, ever done on the Wii/Wii U. I don’t know if it’s because the size is small, the fact I was sitting down at the time, or just a weak grip because it’s a new item and I’m afraid of squeezing it too much. They must be stronger than I thought, as the right did survive an accidental collision or two into the ceiling.
My Most Wanted Games
So, what am I looking forward to?
I am Setsuna. It’s about time Nintendo made their consoles region free, and it’s probably my favorite feature of the system. Unless the digital version goes extremely cheap, I plan on importing the game so I can have a physical copy.
Pokkén Tournament DX and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 have the same issue as Splatoon: I own them, but they’re in my backlog. Still will pick them up though… eventually.
The untitled Shin Megumi Tensai and Taiko Drum Master games may get my attention when more information is released. There’s a Tales game announced to, but I have so many Tales games already it’s not even funny. I last left off grinding on Vesperia.
I still don’t think the game library is a huge jump right now for Wii U owners. But after playing the Switch, I do think it has more potential than the Wii U. The loading/unloading of the (very expensive) Joy-Cons is something I didn’t fully appreciate until I held it in my hands. It’s so much nicer than the tons of wasted space on the Wii U’s gamepad. I’ll pick up some heavier games eventually, but I do want a better minigame collection a la Wii Sports or Carnival Games in the meantime. Something that anybody can jump into easily but feels more like a game instead of way-too-quick and often-too-lame mini-mini-minigames.
I know a lot of people were wondering if or planning on trading in their Wii U system for the Switch. I still have a catalog of Wii games, so, for me, it’s not worth giving up. Plus bowling is the one game my family really loves, and my dog often hogs the Xbox 360’s Kinect camera. That, and I feel like playing some REAL fake sports, not some weird beach dash.