Last month, I had the pleasure of travelling up to London to try out the upcoming Nintendo Switch. The upcoming console’s main selling point is the ability to play any game, anywhere, anytime.
Check out our experience and our initial thoughts after the break!
After a long coach journey, and scoffing down a burrito, I headed straight for the Hammersmith Apollo, where the UK premier was being held. Once inside, with our snazzy new lanyards, there were several Switch units in protective cases, each one showcasing the different ‘play modes’. The console looked so sleek, I could not wait to get my hands on it! Once the final setup for the demo units were ready, I headed straight for my first Switch experience with The legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild.
Though the demo is supposedly the same as the one at E3 2016 (though for the Switch), it was still my first time playing. The game looked absolutely stunning, and it truly felt like to could do what you want from the get-go. On this play through, I was using the Switch Pro Controller. The new Pro Controller also comes packed in with gyroscope controls, this made aiming the first person camera more precise, at least, it did for me. Though the triggers are supposedly digital, they still felt a bit resistive or analogue. I did overhear however, that apparently, how hard your press the triggers does affect the input. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. The controller was very comfortable to hold, and the new grips feel very nice.
For the first ten minutes or so, I was playing Breath of the Wild on the TV, however soon after, I was able to test drive the handheld mode. When I took the Nintendo Switch out of the dock, it felt like it was secure in the dock, meaning that it wouldn’t wobble around, risking damage to the screen. It also looks like there is some sort of guiding mechanism built into the bottom of the console, to make sure the dock connects properly. When taking it out of the dock, the game would prompt me to press down the shoulder buttons of the controller I am using, which leads me to believe the Pro Controller can be used in handheld mode.
Talking about the screen, the Switch’s screen is so beautiful and sleek. No more are the days of a low resolution, resistive touch screens. Replacing them are these beautiful 720p capacitive touch screens, and believe me when I say beautiful. Breath of the Wild looked so crisp and stunning while playing on the in-built screen. I really can’t wait to go out playing this on the bus! Click here to check out my experience of Breath of the Wild!
Up next is 1-2-Switch! 1-2-Switch is a very bizarre game, it’s a lot like what Wii Sports was to the Wii for the Switch. The game is a collection of minigames specifically designed to show off the capabilities of the new Joy Con controllers. The Joy Cons themselves are surprisingly comfortable to hold. It’s almost like they conform perfectly in your hand. The games I tried were Safe Crack, Ball Count, and Milk. All of them mainly showcased HD Rumble and motion features.
Safe Crack had me twisting the Joy Con with my hand to try and crack a safe before the other player. You can literally feel each click of the dial as well as the stronger click for the sweet spot. Ball Count tasked me with guessing how many balls are in the box. This is done by tilting the box and feeling the vibration of the balls. Finally, Milk gave me the opportunity to become a cow milker, one of my childhood dreams! I had to ‘milk’ a cow and try to fill up more bottles than the other player. Here, you are able to feel the vibration as your hand slides down the cow’s teat!
Milk was particularly interesting, not only were the movements fairly ‘suspicious’, but the reps also told us to look each other in the eye. Very awkward stares ensued! That’s one thing that is great about 1-2-Switch, the game can be played without a TV. Just prop up the screen and you are ready to go with your trusty Joy Cons! There are some concerns I have about the game however. My main issue is that the games can feel too simple. It doesn’t feel like there is much depth to the games. I’m hoping there are different modes for each game, or at least a party mode.
Arms was a fairly interesting experience too. Arms is an over the shoulder fighting game, where you are able to extend your arms to great lengths. Depending on which arms and which characters you choose will affect what attacks you can make, you can even shoot rockets with a certain pair. The game is mainly controlled using the motion features of the Joy Cons. However, Nintendo promises that you will be able to use traditional controls too. Don’t expect Wii Sports Boxing with a new coat of paint however, as it is much deeper than that. It seems that some strategy will be involved… so no windmilling or flailing about!
In this fighting game, there is quite a bit of emphasis on fighting from a distance. Whenever you throw a punch, your arm extends, and though this means you can attack from a distance, you are then more prone to attack as long distance attacks take longer to reach the target than close combat attacks. The controls are actually fairly easy to grasp, though can be a little tricky to master.
You move by tilting the upright Joy Cons left or right, and you can throw punches like you would in real life. Turning both Joy Cons inwards will cause you to block, and thrusting both forwards will execute a powerful grab attack. The motion controls are wonderfully responsive. I do not recall any of my actions to become misread at all, something which can easily be done in motion controlled games. Not only that, but I found that the Joy Cons, much like in 1-2-Switch, feel very natural in the hands. Hopefully, the end game will not hold any punches come Springtime. With its current RRP, I expect that there will be plenty of replay value with the title. Click here to check out our Arms gameplay!
Snipperclips is an absolutely delightful little game, and one of the few games that suits tabletop mode very well. The game actually originally revealed at EGX 2015 by the independent developer, SFB Games, as FriendShapes. Nintendo have now apparently taken the game under their wing as Snipperclips – Cut it Out, Together! In the game, which you can play with up to three other people, you play as some sassy little pieces of paper. You must work together by rotating and snipping to solve a variety of challenging puzzles. These ranges from fitting into a silhouette and clicking buttons, to getting a ball through a hoop and sharpening a pencil. The game is full of charm, I absolutely love the facial expressions of your paper buddies.
You play Snipperclips by holding the Joy Con on its side, which helps to debunk my primary concern of the controller. The Joy Cons, though small, actually feel very nice when holding them on its side. Originally, I thought that my hands would cramp up easily. I am happy to say that I was wrong… for now. I really cannot wait to try out more of those crafty puzzles.
Time to race my way to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Very few new features of the actual game were on show in this demo, however the main focus was the ability for eight player local multiplayer. With eight consoles setup in a circle, undocked, I was able to participate in an eight player local race. The races ran so smoothly, there was no sign of any lag or framerate dip. It was a pretty flawless experience. Mario Kart never looked so good on a small screen, prepare to experience high definition Mario Karting both at home and on the go.
Unfortunately, Battle Mode did not appear in the demo on show, though s few other previously announced titbits were present. These include some new characters, as well as the ability to store two items. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also includes HD rumble, though to a much more subtle degree than 1-2-Switch. Instead, the HD rumble simulates the vibration of the throttle, which is a nice touch to the racing title. Click here to check out our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gameplay!
Finally, let’s paint the town pink, green, or any other fluorescent colour, in Splatoon 2 (still should’ve been SplaTwoon!). While playing, I was able to try out the handheld mode of Splatoon 2. As per usual, the Switch’s screen made the game look so clear and vibrant. For those wondering how the map now works with the single screen, you can now view the map by pressing X on the controller. You can then use the D-Pad to choose who to super jump to.
The new type of weapon, the Splat Dualies, are pretty fun to use. You get two guns where you can use the ink to propel yourself into a dodge manoeuvre. Once your special meter is full, you can then temporarily use your dualies as a jetpack and shoot powerful bursts of ink at your foes. Splatoon 2 is just as fun as the original. I’m looking forward to what else it can bring to the table.
So, there we have it. Though I was up for 48 hours, it was very much worth it. From my experience so far, the Nintendo Switch seems like a very impressive console, and I truly cannot wait to finally own one from the 3rd March 2017. Before I go, I would just like to say a massive thank you to all the Nintendo reps who helped make the event such a pleasure to attend, as well as those at PrettyGreen who have helped to support NintyBuzz with inviting me to the event, even though . Thank You!
Have you been to one of the hands on events? If so, what was your experience like? Tell us in the comments below! Feel free to take a look at our full image gallery below too!