You sir! Oh yes, and you Madam! Are you interested in a new Nintendos?! Come, gather ye round, where I shall talk about nothing in particular, about a thing that isn’t out for a few months! Who knows ey’? WHO KNOWS?!
Can you taste that… it’s excitement. Excitement all over the shop! Oh, and the sound of a thousand keyboards duplicating carefully worded press-releases about a thing you can buy! See… I’m doing it right now. Blib, blib, blib… blob, blob, blob. Blib.
So we’ll talk about some boring facts before descending into opinions, shrugs and possibly, hope. Mostly shrugs.
Chapter 1: The Boring Stuff.
You can pre-order the thingy for £279.99 and is released on the 3rd of March. 5 games will be available on launch day, for real life money. I know, a whole 5 games. I’m pretty bored of “serious facts” already… Let’s face it, you’re buying this machine for Zelda. Right? Right!?
The switch is a tablet, with removal-able pads, which you can plug into a docking station, to make it like a proper console. How exotic. Also you knew that already. What else can the Switch do? You can play local multiplayer games with up to 8 players. Great! Need more controllers? You can buy an additional Joy-Con at £42.99 or £74.99 for a pair. Fuck. I hope my Pro-Controllers and Wii remotes still work! (Update – They don’t. Bloody hell Nintendo, what do you think you are playing at!)
The tablet screen is a bit “Wii U-ish” and the battery will last a couple of hours or so, depending on the game. Removed from the docking station the screen displays in the lowest HD available, whilst in the dock, it’s better. Of course. We are given 32GB of storage which is laughable if you intend to download things. At least it’s not region locked.
Lastly and most importantly the machine comes in two colour variants. A miserable grey and the obvious choice that befits a toy box.
That was boring. I liked the bit with the colours though.
Chapter 2: Launch Games, Wild Opinions and The Wii U
Not too long ago Nintendo proclaimed that this isn’t a Wii U replacement, as Wii U production screeches to a halt with mass game cancellations.
Hey… Is this the classic switch-a-roo. I mean, the Switch looks like a slightly better Wii U. It’s definitely a new thing, totally unlike the old thing. You cheeky ol’ Nintendo. I don’t mind, you go for it. No-one bought into the Wii U did they, and we all know they should have. This time round you can pick ya’ tablet up an’ run around like a lunatic, and even take it outside. You can have a little play with it in your parents’ garden, in the dead of night, wearing just your pants. People… they don’t know what they want, do they?
This being a new machine, we can expect a Mario game… Something with Super in the title. With Mario. On some form of Odyssey.
Did you just watch the trailer? Chucking a Mario in the real world is about as odd as you’d expect, although Mario jumping to his death, off the Empire State could be worth your time. Apart from stark realism, the main gimmick includes hats! I am a huge fan of any hat based gameplay, so… will Super Mario Odyssey dethrone Super Mario 3D World as best Mario game*? Much like every article about this very subject, all around the world, who knows.
Side Note – Yesterday I read a wonderful article on violent open world sandboxes and how odd they are as a concept. Super Mario Odyssey could be the first game that tackles and cracks this problem of tone within an open world, by being batshit insane and avoiding car theft.
*I’m aware this is a controversial opinion, but after heated discussion, tears and a rational thought, you can all agree. I’m correct.
Beyond the obvious, the other launch game that excites me is : –
Bomberman! with 8 player battles! I can’t imagine they could screw this game up, could they? I’m genuinely surprised when game developers get something like a Bomberman wrong… Stick your story modes up your arse, keep it simple and let me enjoy 8 player battles with the minimum of fuss.
The other release games is some Skylanders thing, and Just Danc- Wait.. Just Dance? Really? Sigh… Fine.
Chapter 3: A few things that bother me
A few things bother me.
I’m in no rush to purchase another semi-handheld machine. Yes, I’m aware the Nintendo Switch fully commits to the Wii U concept and is a proper handheld device, but I seldom enjoy gaming gaming on a train. If I did, I’ve got a phone, 3DS and a tablet. Why don’t I play Elder Scrolls whilst out and about? Distractions… Lots and lots of distractions. I fear I take my gaming seriously enough to become irritable when I can’t enjoy games at my own pace, in my own environment, without the filth contamination of other humans beings knocking my arms or breathing.
In my hypothetical ownership, the switch would sit next to my Wii U, doing the exact same job. I know, it’s not all about me. I’m sure lots of you enjoy gaming in forests for around 3 hours. It appears that Nintendo isn’t chasing the person who bought a Wii U, they’re chasing those which didn’t upgrade from the Wii. That makes sense. Let them discover the very best Nintendo games they missed. Nintendo should hammer that point home as the Wii U had some incredible games, of course they should get the best Mario Kart. Naturally I already own a copy. As I said; this really isn’t about me. Saying that, they should do something to keep existing fans happy, you don’t want to take them for granted. I’m sure Nintendo won’t.
Zelda is the only thing I’m really interested in playing, the reason to go out and buy a new console, the very same thing being released on a machine I already own…. Wait… Nintendo’s competing with itself here. I can’t see any reason why any of the other games can’t be released on the Wii U. It doesn’t appear to be that much of an upgrade when undocked.
I certainly won’t be clamouring to pay to play online, not for Splatoon 2.
Nintendo was correct to suggest this isn’t a Wii U replacement. But at £279.99 it is.
Whilst looking at 1-2-Switch, you can’t help but be reminded of the Wii U’s great promise. I loved Nintendo Land and lamented that a launch title was still the best example of what the Wii U could do. I would have taken a Nintendo Land 2. I almost forgot about what they did to Wii Sports U, what an utter cock up. Initially a download only title with a rental pricing plan which could be described as “madcap“.
I already own Mario Kart 8 with all downloadable content and I won’t be paying for it again. I suspect this could be a theme for this new machine.
As always, time will tell.
Chapter 4: Cow
Chapter 5: Final Thoughts
I might seem pretty downbeat about the Switch, but at heart, I’m not. Not at all, I just don’t think I’m its target audience. Will it have enough about it to seduce back the Nintendo forsaken*? Is this just a half measure? A punt on a great idea in a world of corporate safety? We just don’t know.
Good luck Nintendo, I’ll be watching with interest.