I’d been excited about the Nintendo Switch the moment I watched the announcement trailer and I knew that I just had to have it. Previously the last console I’d bought had been the 3DS and that was when it very first come out. I’ve been a fan of Nintendo for as long as I can remember, I have vague memories of being very young and playing Super Mario World on our old SNES. And then I got the Gameboy Advance, then the DS, the Wii and finally the 3DS. Nintendo has always produced that fail-safe console that I could happily play for hours and hours on end.
The announcement trailer for the Switch honestly blew me away. A portable console you could also hook up to the TV and play? I was sold! I eagerly waited for months to buy it, eventually deciding in October last year I would put any birthday money I got towards to console. You can imagine my surprise when it turns out my dad and step-mum had actually bought it for me! I could have cried! So why is this review coming out over a year since the Switch’s release date and almost a year after I got mine? The excitement alone of holding this console in my hands would have meant I gave it a 5-star review regardless of any issues I may have found. So I’ve waited, bought games, both physical and E-shop, seen what Nintendo has offered at Directs, as well as E3 to help me give an honest review on the Nintendo Switch and whether it’s worth picking up any time soon. But don’t worry I’m not going to yammer on about the technical aspects of the Switch because I’m not going to pretend like I know or understand whats going on inside the console because I don’t.
Let me take you back to October 20th of 2016. A trailer emerges on YouTube. It’s the Nintendo Switch, previously referred to as the NX, announcement video. I watched it once on my own, then excitedly showed my housemate, then watched it again when our friends came round. I was hyped. Like really hyped. Anything coming from Nintendo was pretty sure to be a hit with me, but I just knew that this was going to be the next best thing. A console where you can be in the middle of a huge boss fight and take it off the dock to continue playing instantly when you’re on the go. I’d never seen anything like it and I truly think that only Nintendo could have pulled it off like they did.
A lot of people didn’t understand my excitement, which is understandable, it is just another games console after all, right? Wrong. This was taking the home console and portable console and smashing them together, this was a big deal. There are typically three different ways for you to play your Switch; TV Mode where your console is docked, Tabletop Mode where the console is placed on a table with the kickstand out and Handheld Mode where you can use it as a standard portable tablet. Nintendo marketed the Switch as a home console you could take with you on the go, however, I still find myself using it more as a portable console that one I dock.
So let’s talk about some of the games themselves. I am more than happy with the selection of physical games available for the Switch. I eagerly awaited last years E3 and the Directs scattered throughout the year to see which games were being announced next. I was obviously hyped for Odyssey and I think it remains one of my favourite games on the switch so far. The music, the graphics, the story, the worlds, it is honestly an amazing game and if you’re thinking about getting a Switch just to play it, I say go for it – it’s definitely worth it! Mario Kart is, well, Mario Kart, it plays great as a multiplayer game and the courses themselves are absolutely stunning. Breath of the Wild is a game I bought having never really delved into Zelda, purely because of how pretty it is. I still haven’t played a huge amount of it, because it requires a lot of dedication and time, of which I don’t have currently. But I can confirm it is even more stunning in real life. I’ve also got LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 and Skyrim, both of which I have also only dipped my toe into but am very excited to play.
The E-shop isn’t something I thought would thrill me, purely because I’m a collector (*cough* hoarder *cough*) and I like having the physical games more than downloaded. However, when I first started to browse the E-shop last year, there were games I saw that looked so interesting that I actually downloaded them. Fe was one of them and I love playing this one in the dock because I think the animation and graphics are stunning, even if I still don’t fully understand how to play it or what the story is. However, as of late, I’ve been a little bit disappointed about the selection on the store. Nintendo seemed to have such a high-quality control that I knew I could pick almost any game and it would be pretty amazing, however, some of the things I’ve seen lately have made me question that slightly. I’m hoping it’s just a phase and that the quality control will be upped again soon.
Am I still a little disappointed that we don’t know everything about the online service? Am I happy to wait because it’s going to be £20 a year? Hell yes! The online service isn’t something I thought I would jump at because I’m definitely more of a solo player than playing as multiplayer, however I am intreguied. The thought of exclusive games and classics reinvented is almost enough to sway me into handing over 20 quid a year. And lets be honest, no other online service offers that cheap of a service, so even if it’s not used to the full potential of playing online, I think it’ll be worth it.
So am I still as excited about the Switch a year down the line? Yes and no. The console itself still thrills me and I honestly urge everyone who’s thinking about picking one up to go and grab one, especially if you’ve been a fan of Nintendo’s work in the past. However, I do feel as though things have slowed down for the Switch in regards to the quality of the E-Shop and the sorts of games that have been announced, but I think in part that a lot of that is down to the fact they had such a strong first 6 months on the market, which game after game and announcement after announcement being made.
That being said, there are still recent releases that I have loved like Octopath Traveller (if you haven’t already, please PLEASE pick this up!) and Lego Incredibles, as well as some big ones I’m less impressed about like Smash Bros, I’ll admit it looks amazing and I understand the hype but it definitely isn’t a game for me. I can’t wait to see what the online service brings to the console and I know that I will continue to buy games and am super excited to see what the next year brings to the Switch.