Nintendo Switch Review

Nintendo Switch- Revolution or Another Wii U?

It’s been almost a full week since I’ve had my Nintendo Switch, and I have tons to say about it.

A console that Nintendo promised would give us a traditional home console and a kick ass handheld console in the same package. This idea SEEMED awesome but many were afraid that it would turn out to be a failed gimmick.

The Nintendo Switch is no gimmick.

Let’s break things down a bit, because there is A LOT to discuss here.

Console Design:

 

 

Right out of the box, the Switch looks beautiful. Perfectly weighted. It never feels fragile or “cheap”, but doesn’t feel like you’re holding a text book. The screen makes games pop perfectly, bringing whatever game you’re playing to life.

The overall design of the Nintendo Switch and it’s controller(s), was indeed a risk. But it was a risk well taken, as everything feels smooth and convenient. These design choices make gaming at home or gaming on the go as comfortable as ever.

Rating: 10

Sleek, comfortable and convenient. The Switch’s design is innovative, but NOT gimmicky or cheap.

TV Mode:

 

 

From my experience, gaming on my TV, via the Switch’s Dock, has worked out rather smoothly.

I’ve heard of issues of frame-rate drops at certain points, while playing Breath of the Wild, but if I had come across some of those minor issues, I definitely didn’t notice. I’m not saying they’re not there, but if I’ve seen anything while playing, it was never anything that tarnished my gaming experience.

With that out of the way, for what it’s worth, the Switch runs great on TV mode. Though limited, games look and play well. It is nowhere near as powerful as the PS4 or XBox One, but I never expected it to replace my PS4. Perhaps we’ll see Nintendo narrow the power gap between consoles, with the rumors surrounding the Dock, and the possibility of future upgrades (The HDMI port supports 4K so that alone makes those speculations pretty credible).

The Switch’s true test (for both TV and portable modes) will come throughout the year, as 3rd party titles like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, FIFA and NBA 2K18 are released. This could make or break the console’s future… Let’s hope it’s the former.

Rating: 8

From MY experience alone, I can firmly say that TV mode runs well. I’m satisfied with it now, but there is no doubting that TV mode will be put to the test in the coming months.

Handheld Mode:

 

 

THIS might have been what worried people the most leading up the the Switch’s launch. We’ve heard this song before… Console caliber gaming that you could take on the go. Some good, in their own right, others falling short of that promise.

Nintendo Switch is NO Wii U or PSP Vita.

The Switch gives you everything you get in TV mode while in handheld mode. You can seamlessly pop out the gamepad from the dock and continue playing. No choppiness. No slow down. This is literally console gaming on the go.

You can play with the Joy-Con connected to the gamepad, or you can play in table top mode, giving a new definition to local multiplayer. The fact that you can be out-and-about and spontaneously jump into a game with a friend is simply wonderful. Making new friends and networking with fellow gamers, is something special and could take the gaming community to an entirely new level. Gaming leagues/tournaments and friend hangouts will be more accessible to gamers around the world.

Being able to have a group of 8 players come together with their Switch consoles and play games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart/Party, FIFA, NBA 2K18… A beautiful time to be a gamer.

Rating: 10

Similar to TV mode, there is still a lot to learn as far as what the Switch will be capable of, but as of right now, there is NO denying that the Switch’s handheld mode is a gem. So far, Nintendo has delivered on their promise, allowing you to take your console on the go and play anywhere.

Joy-Con(s):

 

 

How many of us were afraid that the Joy-Con controller was going to be a mother Wii-mote? That’s definitely not the case here.

At a glance, the Joy-Con controller(s), which double as two fully functional controllers, seem tiny, but fit perfectly in even some of the bigger hands out there. The range of the Joy-Con’s uses make gaming convenient in almost any situation.  I’ve heard complaints about the lack of a “d-pad” but the Joy-Con’s “d-pad” seems pretty damn fine to me. I really don’t see an issue there.

Instead of abandoning their heavily touted motion controllers, they improved on it, and intergraded it into a more traditional, but undeniably different, controller. The Joy-Con controller is catered gamers. Blending functionality with connivence and comfortability. Whether connected to the gamepad, connected to the Joy-Con grip or separated, this time around, no matter how you choose to play, this feels more like a gamer’s controller than anything else.

One amazingly cool feature is that the Joy-Con, when separated can be used as two controllers, allowing you and someone else to play together anytime and anywhere. So, initially, the Switch comes with two controllers right out of the box.

Aside from the FINALLY included capture button (which will eventually allow for video capture) and the Amiibo reader, Nintendo added, what they call HD Rumble. They were the guys who introduced gamers to the “Rumble Pack” back on the N64, so it’s only natural that they’d build on that… Which they did. HD Rumble is something unique and almost hard to put into words. What it aims to do, is give players a next level feel of what’s going on in the game. The best use of this feature is lies a mini-game included in 1-2 Switch, where you have to guess how many marbles are inside of your controller. It’s crazy that it truly feels like there are marbles inside of your Joy-Con. One can only wonder how many unique ways developers will be utilizing this feature in the future.

Of course, if the Joy-Con isn’t you’re cup of tea, there is the option of purchasing the more standard Pro-Controller. A bit pricey, but when you consider that, it too, has the HD Rumble feature, it makes sense.

Rating: 9

Thankfully it’s not the gimmicky controller people thought it would be. It’s surprisingly comfortable for something that appears to be super tiny and doubles as two separate controllers. But most importantly, the Joy-Con is a fully functional, comfortable gaming controller.

The Nintendo Switch Overall:

 

 

I won’t jump the gun and say the Switch is the greatest console ever, as it has A LOT to prove. Its still has some catching up to do, when you look at the power and dominance of the PS4 and XBox One, but you have to give so much credit to Nintendo for taking a big risk with the Switch. There is a lot more room for improvement, but as it stands, the Switch is amazing.

Even with the limited amount of games and content (which will change in time), the console runs smoothly both in TV mode and handheld mode. The Joy-Con(s) proved that they’re not just another gimmick, but rather a formidable gaming controller.

The sky is the limit for Nintendo and the Nintendo Switch as long as Nintendo does the right things to get ongoing 3rd party developer support. The Switch could very well be this generation’s N64 and could be a game changer for the gaming industry, or it could be a slightly better Wii U. Nintendo isn’t a gaming juggernaut for no reason, so I’m ruling out the ladder.

Overall Rating: 9.5

A pretty high rating for a console with very few titles and content and a lot to prove, I know. The Switch won’t replace your PS4 or XBox One, but it’s a hell of a piece of hardware, with loads of potential that, I think, will come into fruition in the very near future. Call me crazy, but I think that Nintendo’s decision to not include certain things like streaming apps at launch was a great way to let the gaming industry know that the Nintendo Switch is a gaming console first and foremost… A ballsy move nonetheless.

I can firmly say that, with what I have in my hands right now, I am extremely happy with the Nintendo Switch. I personally feel like Nintendo has started a whole new video game revolution.

You can check out my Nintendo Switch Unboxing video on Successfully Failing TV

Nintendo Switch: Unboxed on Successfully Failing TV

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