Portable, Powerful, Practical: A Review of the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo recently unveiled their newest system: the Nintendo Switch. Following the abysmal sales of the Wii U, Nintendo knew that they needed something big, new, and engaging if they wanted to regain the trust of their fans after millions were lost on the Wii U’s production. Thankfully, they did not fail. The Nintendo Switch has finally merged the two biggest gaming platforms — portable and home systems. Rather than needing two different systems to play the games produced by Nintendo, the Switch allows gamers to play at home or on the go whenever they please. Having owned and played several games on the Switch for over a month now, I can attest to the fact that it is an amazing and unique system, if not without some flaws.
The system itself contains a screen, a dock for TV mode, and two Joy-Cons (controllers for the Switch) which can detach from the sides of the system. The dock has an HDMI cable that, when the Switch is placed in it, allows for the games to project onto the screen. When the Switch is removed, the game immediately reverts to the Switch’s screen and leaves the TV blank. For more versatile gameplay, the Joy-Cons can be removed and used separately in each hand or put together to make a standard controller.
The system boasts a new feature called “HD Rumble” which has such sensitive rumble features in the Joy-Con that you can, for example, move it around as if it were a box containing marbles and be able to successfully guess how many marbles were in it based on the rumble alone (which happens to be a minigame for the underrated launch game “1-2-Switch”). About ten games were released with the Switch, but none of them had as much hype as the much-anticipated “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which fans had been eagerly waiting for since its announcement back in 2014 (the wait was worth it). Leaving the well-known tropes of Zelda behind, this new game utilizes a sprawling open-world map. The gameplay itself is amazing, but the graphics are stunning as well. Featuring several different landscapes, one can walk from an icy mountain top in the far north of the map to a burning desert in the deep south without having to stop. This was a fantastic game on its own, and it was extremely smart of Nintendo to use it for their launch of the Switch. As of now, more copies of “Breath of the Wild” (BotW) for the Switch have sold than actual systems themselves (which are currently out of stock everywhere, although new shipments are being worked on).
The flaws, however, do make themselves known. The most common flaw people are noticing is that the left Joy-Con seems to have trouble connecting with the system. It is unclear why, but Nintendo has had anyone having trouble with it send it back to them for a new one for free, and the new ones seem to have repaired this issue. People have also found their games lagging if too much is going on at once. I personally have experienced this while playing BotW. If too many enemies are being fought on screen, the game begins to slow down. It is not significant, but it is noticeable and can hopefully be fixed in future updates.
Overall, the Switch is a unique gaming system and has created a practical way of playing games at home and on the go. I for one am extremely pleased with Nintendo’s most recent endeavor and look forward to what they come up with next.