FROM NO ORDER TO PRE-ORDER!

It’s almost here; the Nintendo Switch is finally released worldwide on 3rd March 2017 & fans will finally get their hands on the latest The Legend Of Zelda instalment: Breath of the Wild! 

Nintendo recently announced the Nintendo Switch will be hitting three UK cities in February including Birmingham, Manchester & London!

As expected, these events sold out over the space of a few days, leaving those of us who were lucky enough to grab tickets feeling like we’ve won a ‘golden ticket’ to experience the Nintendo Switch prior to it’s worldwide launch!

I wanted to take this opportunity to voice my thoughts, both pre and post event to see if my pre-order mindset would shift. During my two hour time slot, I’ll be able to test out all three play modes including: TV mode, Handheld mode & Tabletop mode. 

As per the recent press event in London, the following games will be available during my Nintendo Switch experience; The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, 1-2-Switch & Snipperclips. I will be focusing on my most and least anticipated titles at the upcoming event in Birmingham on 10th February.

 

1. HARDWARE.

Nintendo Switch

Image: Nintendo

PRE – EVENT THOUGHTS.

It’s safe to say the Nintendo Switch is basically what we all wanted from the Wii U. A clean, smart looking console that can also be used on-the-go.

Although it’s going to be difficult to determine the actual weight due to the anti-theft measures that will be attached to the Switch during the event, hopefully I’ll be able to get some idea and see if it matches the somewhat ‘weighty’ image in my mind. 

POST – EVENT THOUGHTS.

I was already sold on the hardware pre-event but after getting to see the Switch close up, I was even more impressed! The Switch is a solid build and in no way looks cheap or could I find any flaws.

I was expecting the docking unit to be much larger, almost Wii U gamepad size but surprisingly, this is a nice and compact unit – perfect for those with limited space! In regards to weight, there was an anti-theft device attached to it but I managed to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in handheld mode and my hands didn’t feel uncomfortable or did the unit feel super heavy after playing for 30 minutes.

The 720p screen is perfect in handheld mode and the images I saw whilst playing Breath of the Wild & Mario Kart 8 Deluxe looked sharp and crisp.

JOY-CONS.

Nintendo Switch - Joy-Con

Image: Nintendo

PRE – EVENT THOUGHTS.

I believe there’s a lot of tech packed into these ‘Joy-Cons’ and I hope third party developers use it’s full potential. I’m concerned many will ignore the ‘HD Rumble’ technology that Nintendo have clearly revisited and improved upon since we held the Wii Nunchuk for the first time.

One game in particular I’m intrigued to play using the Tabletop mode will be Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I already have visions of my hands getting cramp after ten minutes trying to hold the ‘Joy-Con’ sideways and with the buttons so close together, it just doesn’t sound like a fun gaming experience.

POST – EVENT THOUGHTS.

First up, the Neon Blue/Red Joy-Con’s are so much more vibrant when you see them in person compared to the various images you’ve seen by this point, if you’ve pre-ordered this edition you won’t be disappointed!

Unfortunately, I could only play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in handheld mode but even after one race, the controls felt very natural and I wasn’t randomly pressing buttons to figure out all the moves etc.

Another aspect that really impressed me was the local multiplayer with 8 Switch consoles!! There wasn’t any lag and with the amount of Switch units in the vicinity during the event, I was expecting a little interference but I’m happy to report I had a blast enjoying both Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the local multiplayer mode was flawless!

The Joy-Con’s themselves were very comfortable to hold and my initial concerns over their size quickly diminished! ARMS not only displayed how far the technology has improved since the Wii’s release, the Joy-Con’s responsiveness felt way more accurate and you really felt in control of every swing and hook you threw at your competition in the ring!

ARMS is also a suitable name as once you build up enough power, you can strike a combo move which involves you shaking both controllers as fast as you can – and boy, can you feel it in your upper arms afterwards!

2. MOST ANTICIPATED TITLE.

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Image: Nintendo

PRE – EVENT THOUGHTS.

I’m sure anyone you’ve spoken to about the Nintendo Switch would’ve added the words ‘Breath of the Wild’ within the same sentence! The Legend Of Zelda and Super Mario are two of Nintendo’s most successful franchises and even though we won’t have both on launch day, ‘Breath of the Wild’ will keep fans entertained and exploring for months to come.

First up, I love the art style and to have such an incredibly large, open world environment will be worth the original release delay alone!

I’m more likely to use the Nintendo Switch primarily as a home console but knowing I can just slide the Switch from the dock and take the adventure with me is a welcome asset. No longer will you just be staring out of the passenger window when you can slay Bokoblin while diminishing your ‘bored’ travel factor simultaneously!

POST – EVENT THOUGHTS.

It was THE game that everyone had turned up to play without question! I was lucky enough to play 10 minutes docked using the Pro Controller, which felt very comfortable and lightweight in my hands. I then had another 20 minute session later on during the event and I focused solely on handheld mode.

Even after 30 minutes of gameplay, I walked away realising I barely scratched the surface of what The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has to offer!

Standing on the Plateau and looking out into the distance, you really get a scope for just how massive this game is and it’s going to take a while to travel from one side of the map to the other.

This is one aspect of Breath of the Wild that I loved, it encourages you to explore every Shrine and possibility out there! Everyone will have their own individual play style, some may stick to the story mode whereas other players will prefer to go off the beaten track and discover the more hidden secrets to Breath of the Wild.

The art style is one of Breath of the Wild’s strong points. Beautifully crisp and detailed, even the cut scenes have you engaged – whereas most games these days have you hitting that ‘skip cutscene’ button in seconds!

3. LEAST ANTICIPATED TITLE.

1-2-Switch

Image: Nintendo

 

PRE – EVENT THOUGHTS.

Watching the live footage of ‘1-2-Switch’ from the Nintendo Treehouse was just painful! When I first saw the Nintendo hosts playing ‘Milk’ & ‘Eating Contest’ in particular, my instant thoughts were “Do we really need this??”

I also thought at the time that ‘1-2-Switch’ would be the perfect ‘pack-in’ but since I’ve had time to reflect on this, I’d rather just pay for the console and purchase ‘Breath of the Wild’ separately, just as Nintendo visioned I would.

These mini-games seem like a throwback to the Wii days but is this necessary in 2017?? Surely, after a handful of playthroughs with your friends, this game is only going to collect dust and with a £34.99 price tag, your hard earned cash is better spent on other games or accessories!

POST – EVENT THOUGHTS.

Ball Count – Remember when you watched the recent presentation and everyone was baffled by the ice cubes in a glass scene? It’s difficult to convey the impressive HD Rumble technology that’s packed inside these miniature Joy-Con’s but it’s an impressive bit of kit!

You literally place the Joy-Con in your hand and rotate the unit to get a ‘feel’ for how many balls are inside the Joy-Con. I had a success rate of 50% and was genuinely amazed when I placed my bet on 4 and it turned out there was 7 balls inside the unit! The movement of the balls ‘inside’ of the Joy-Con is very believable and accurate in terms of weight and responsiveness!

Milk – The poor Nintendo worker on this stand must have heard all of the innuendo’s under the sun and you can guess why! Another fun game that brings many laughs and I genuinely had a good time with this mini-game. Would I play it again? Not in a rush but would make for great fun / memories at a house party!

Quick Draw – The IR Motion Camera really excels here. After finding out who got their ‘shot’ in first, the screen also displays both players firing angles which tells you if you’ve over or undershot! I played three rounds and after you hear the ‘Reaaddy…’ command on the screen, you’re impatiently trying to hold back on your trigger finger!

I still stand by my initial comment that the price is too high for 28 mini-games that I doubt you’d bring out except for the odd house party or for some family fun. I would consider picking this up once the price drops to sub £20.

Are you hyped for the Nintendo Switch? Share your thoughts in the comments below!