Switching Things Up a Bit.

It’s safe to say that I’ve procrastinated somewhat in developing content to showcase my thoughts of the latest Nintendo console – the Nintendo Switch.

Having now owned the console and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild since release on the March 3rd I now feel that I am in a position that I can confidently pass my critique on the console itself, a couple of its key titles and Nintendo’s current direction within the gaming industry at large.

What do I think of the console then? Well, as fellow CPT author Jodie highlighted in a previous article The Nintendo Switch Announcement, legitimate concerns were raised. I must be wholly truthful and admit that I echoed a selection of Jodies’ criticisms of the new machine following the reveal trailer and subsequent drip feed of information from Nintendo themselves, as a consequence my personal hype for the console was muted somewhat as we approached release.

Even with doubts in mind; namely that of the battery life, overall power output and the sparse release game lineup – minus Zelda of course. I duly pre-ordered and received my grey Nintendo Switch unit along with Zelda at approximately 10am, March 3rd, 2017.

Thankfully despite all of the talk relating to JoyCon Bluetooth manufacturing faults, dock scratching defects and other various issues, my unit had absolutely none of these problems whatsoever. In fact I would say (fingers crossed) that my unit has been completely faultless from a manufacturing aspect.

The Switch is a wonderfully premium feeling console – all barring the plastic screen which is seemingly prone to scratches, again – an issue I haven’t personally experienced as a tempered glass screen protector went on my console straight from the box. For me the coated plastic JoyCons do feel excellent when held either in handheld or docked mode, however those with larger hands may have issues with button location/analogue stick placement whilst playing.

This is again not something I have experienced personally, however an additional purchase of the Switch Pro Controller would most definitely alleviate any of these problems. Admittedly not an ideal solution; but an option nonetheless.

From the selection of accessories available I have since purchased an additional pair of Neon JoyCons and the aforementioned Pro Controller. Neither purchase has contained any regret whatsoever and I am extremely happy with the colouring of the JoyCons purchased and the premium feel and quality of the Pro Controller.

The concept of being able to venture out of the house whilst playing my favourite video games is certainly something that has enamoured me greatly throughout my gaming life, this is evidenced by the amount of time  spent with my Game Boy Pocket, Nintendo DS and 3DS machines throughout the last eighteen years.

Now with the Switch firmly entrenched between my hands I am able to not only take some of my favourite mobile games on the go, but now I am able to take home console quality software anywhere in the world with me.

Whilst the software lineup has been very much open to criticism, the reality is completely different. Titles such as 1, 2 Switch, Just Dance 2017 and Super Bomberman were all titles that were pretty much written off as filler software and to be honest here, these three titles in particular are.

For me and many others it’s the sleeper hit titles such as Fast RMX, Snipperclips: Cut It Out Together and the revered indie hit,Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (a re-release containing the original game and all available downloadable content) that has brought the console to notice and made my decision of purchasing a Switch upon its release infallible.

These pieces of software in particular have brought many hours of enjoyment and satisfaction from both myself and friends that have used the console, this is due to the often brilliant game play mechanics utilised in these titles and the infectious replayability on offer within.

The jewel in the crown so far though is quite obviously ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.’ A title that is also available on the Wii U, but best experienced on the Switch.

Zeldas’ current score of 97 on Metacritic should go some way to proving just how good the game truly is and whilst I wouldn’t say that the game is faultless, a 97/100 or 9.5/10 could certainly be argued.

The only key fault that I’ve found with Zelda itself would be that of a lack of tasks to occupy yourself with once the main villain Calamity Ganon is defeated; an issue which should be suitably addressed in the upcoming Dowloadable Content expansion packs.

Thus far I’ve pumped approximately 110 hours into Breath of the Wild and am only now just beginning to relent somewhat, this is due to the releases of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. Both titles that I would also wholly recommend to any video game enthusiast that enjoys genuinely fun mechanics at the core of their game playing experience.

Having already played Mario Kart 8 to death on the Wii U over the last generation of consoles, Deluxe; for me, is still very much a vindicated purchase. The returning Battle Mode would warrant the price of entry alone, however the addition of the previously released DLC content featuring several new tracks and characters, new drifting features and revised item mechanics such as double pickups; ala Mario Kart Double Dash, really do separate Deluxe from its namesake.

With a big E3 long overdue from Nintendo, I can really see great things on the horizon for ‘The Big N’ this year with the Switch at the forefront of their plans – the crowning jewel if you will.

All in all, should you still be still on the proverbial fence about purchasing a Switch I would say that now is the time to bite. With deals to be found from various outlets within the £310 range with at least one quality title included, the Nintendo Switch would truly be a brilliant purchase.

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