Here we go
Off the rails
Don’t you know it’s time to raise our sails
It’s freedom like you never knew….
Oh Nintendo, you beautiful, youthful soul.
When rumors of a new Nintendo system began to circulate in 2016, there was a mix of skepticism and intrigue. Nintendo was coming off a failure of a system in the Wii U that lacked interest (I initially thought it was a Wii expansion) and sales and was looking for something to put them back in the good graces of the public the way the Wii did.
There were some strong points to the Wii U: the idea of the gamepad itself was certainly innovative, but many developers found it difficult to plan around, that and the distance you could be from the main console was limited. Which means that the GamePad was only useful if you shared a TV with someone, say a spouse, or children, or parents, either way the system’s main gimmick was limited.
Enter the Switch, designed to perfect the idea of the gamepad, the Switch is actually a portable console with a screen on top (essentially) with the ability to switch to a home screen when stored in its dock or back into a portable system when removed and its joycons are attached. Its specs are strong enough to switch between play styles with little to no drop in the graphics and screen resolution.
While the library started off light, it featured 2017’s game of the Year in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a massive expansion on the Legend of Zelda series and a major change in playstyle. As the year forged on the library was bolstered by Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Rocket League, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken Tournament DX ports, the critically acclaimed Super Mario Odyssey and surprising Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
So far my personal library is rather small, it consists of Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Sonic Mania, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Hulu. I know Hulu isn’t a game, but whatever, the app is useful.
Even with the small library I possess, I’ve had a TON of fun. The ability to “switch” (pun really not intended, but I couldn’t find another word that wouldn’t feel forced here) from playing on TV to a portable device if necessary is very helpful when you a) share your TV with others or b) have somewhere you need to go that doesn’t necessarily require your full attention to detail, so you can just chill and play your Switch in the background. I’ve done everything from playing on the couch to setting up the console itself on the kickstand that’s included while in the kitchen cooking so I can watch “Adventure Time” on Hulu. The system itself is lightweight and easy to carry, it’s not like trying to haul around a PS4 or XBox, it’s actually designed to be taken from place to place.
Aside from the major 1st party releases, the Switch has a major host of indie games sitting in the Nintendo eShop waiting for you. Oxenfree, Owlboy, A Night in the Woods, The End is Night, 88 Heroes, Stardew Valley and ports for The Binding of Isaac and Shovel Knight.
Add to those last two the fact that Undertale is coming and that Dark Souls will be coming to the system in May (Undertale date TBD) and you have an expansive library that covers many different genres. If there’s a type of game you want to play, you can find it.
If you’ve always been a big Nintendo fan, I’m sure that it’s not a matter of if you’re going to buy a Nintendo Switch, but when. I’d encourage you to hop on while the getting is good and before all the major console releases drop.
For those who have been on the fence: there are plenty of titles available to help you get the perfect sense of what this console can really do. Take the time to enjoy the Indie works the platform offers and get a full experience of the system before the heavyweights drop later on this year. I can promise you that it’s going to be MUCH MUCH harder to find a Switch once Smash Bros. releases around the Holiday season (that’s my guess) and the first ever main series Pokemon console game comes out in 2019.
Even if you want to play it “safe” with the known properties, Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokken Tournament Deluxe and smaller releases like Sonic Mania and Overcooked should be enough to tide you over. Do expect reviews for some of those soon.
I’d highly encourage you to consider buying a Switch, I’ll even conveniently link you to a posting in Amazon. Do note that we are an Amazon affiliate and do receive a bit of compensation if you purchase through us. So please consider doing so through this link if you’re going to buy one!