Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
The Nintendo Switch has been out over a month and a half, plenty of time for Play Legit to get its hands on all the system has to offer. We want to sum up the highlights and let you know what we think it’s lacking. Nintendo seems to always be on the brink of something incredibly epic or something that will implode in on itself. As we break down the points we want to give you a reason to buy this system, or pass it up as a failure all together.
Day one with the system revealed that the console is quite light. The controls feel like you are practically holding nothing, and while initially I thought this would be an issue it doesn’t seem to be. We’ll delve into the controls later, for now, lets just talk about materials and looks. The console looks streamlined and phenomenal next to the other current generation of systems which is amazing, considering that they aren’t that old. Clearly one big change has been the material the system is made out of. compact design inside of a durable, sturdy, lightweight shell. It’s something interesting sitting next to the television in a world of similar looking television appliances and for that it gets brownie points. The system begs for you to pick it up. If you missed it, make sure you check out our launch day unboxing.
The Switch was made to be versatile and it certainly does this part of its job well. I have been watching Netflix while other people in my family simply go over, pick up the switch tablet which automatically turns on and boots up to the last place you left off. It allows family members to enjoy time in the same space while vegging out on different entertainment devices. I also had a friend over the first week I had it who didn’t know a thing about video games. She asked me what the Switch was after noticing it as a new addition and intrigued I told her she should “figure it out”. She simple went over, picked it up, and started using it. A testament to its well-integrated ease of use.
A big part of the seamless nature of the system is the control options. No matter which way I have played, it always seems to work well. I have a pro control which I originally bought, as a courtesy, for the Giant Male I live with. My thought was that he would have bigger hands and it would be difficult for him to use the tiny switch controls. I can tell you with certainty I was dead wrong. He has the choice at any point to use any controls he likes and yet he typically chooses to use the standard two joycons in separate hands. Considering the main title on the console right now (Zelda: Breath of the Wild) is a complicated control scheme, he did have some issues at first. Now with over 100 hours logged into the game I rarely hear him complain about the actual console controls. Play Legit’s KJ has had some issues with fighting titles so far. “I’ve known these moves in King of Fighters since I was a kid. It’s not bad.” he says, “but I do have some trouble.” Even if you aren’t a fan, Nintendo makes it incredibly easy to link whatever control you choose to the system. Never has a wireless device been so simple in connection transitioning. Simply hit any button, and the console knows what you are trying to do.
The only major complaint I have about the controls are the wrist strap additions. For some insane reason, you can place the wrong wrist strap easily onto the wrong controller. Most people would not realize at first there is a left and right joycon, and so there are left and right wrist straps. By mixing these up you create a situation that makes it difficult to remove the accessory. In fact I had to search the realms of the internet to finally get mine disconnected and I hurt myself in the process. To see just how easy it is, I again suggest you watch our day one unboxing where I am thoroughly confused why I cannot removed the item as easily as I placed it. That being said, let’s get real. No one is ever going to use those wrists straps. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Nintendo just placed that accessory in the box as a litigation safety precaution so they can say, “well we make sure we tell people to use the wrist straps”. Unlike the Wii days, throwing a switch control at your television on accident is unlikely to break the television.
The interface on the system mimics the simplicity of the console. A place for profiles, several large current apps, settings and such and that’s it. There aren’t any distractions with ugly ads or upcoming games. If you are interested in those things the system gives you the option of checking out several ongoing news apps, but only if you would like. Checking on your friends is easy. Nintendo stuck with the 2 million digit friend code, which I didn’t appreciate but adding someone was seamless too. Right now Nintendo hasn’t added any extra apps for entertainment like Netflix, Hulu, or any other third-party additions. The Switch will be launching its paid online service this fall and we will be right here to review it when it launches. For now they are focusing on games, games, and more games, and giving you a taste with the free service now.
Nintendo Switch gets about four hours of battery life. That’s great for the boy who wants to take Zelda to entertain him at the restaurant, but for the cross-country CEO, it could be better. Back up batteries are available but I wish it had about double that life. And that brings me to the most unforgivable point about the Nintendo Switch.
The Switch was created to be on the go. A beautiful device that performs the best of both the console worlds and the handheld. This hasn’t even happened to me and I am deathly afraid that it will eventually. Why, just why would you build a mobile device with no cloud data backup? Not only that but you knowingly launched it with a title that can easily take over 200 hours. What if it’s stolen from my bag, what if my kid runs with it drops it steps on it and destroys it, or if I’m playing and it gets snatched up, or I’m on a trip and we leave it at the dinner table, or any number of other nightmarish things that could happen. The answer is, you are out of luck. There is absolutely no way to get your save data back, hundreds of hours of Zelda gone. Forever. No cloud, no way to get the data onto another console, no way to save it to an SD card. This is the absolute greatest failure Nintendo made with this system.
Let’s move onto better things. The tablet in mobile mode is fantastic. It has good sound quality and the screen is crisp. I would have preferred a matte surface to the screen to help with glaring from other light sources instead of the glossy screen. Sometimes it’s hard to see if you are outdoors or if you have a brighter light on behind you but really it’s no worse than other tablets on the market.
The load times for games is unmatched. When I say seamless, I mean in every way. You are not bombarded when turning on the console with things you don’t care about. Click your controls on, load what you want, and Bam! The game is up almost quicker than you can blink. Most of this is due to automatic sleep mode that keeps the console conscious instead of completely off. While other consoles have had this option they haven’t used it very well.
Finally, for those of you that are still about backwards compatibility, this console doesn’t have it. Classic games will be available for download but if you are into the throwbacks like I am, may I suggest you simply keep your old consoles and games? Nintendo Switch is clearly focusing on the here and now in every way and that is fine by me.
Overall I feel more confident about this console purchase than I have for about the last decade. My theory is, since Nintendo doesn’t have to focus on two systems anymore, a console and handheld, they can put one hundred percent of their effort into what gamers care about most: The games! If Zelda is any example of the software Nintendo can put out when they put in their full-effort, then it should be a no-brainer. In my eyes hardcore gamers have always needed a Nintendo system regardless of if they have their Playstation or Xbox. This console speaks to the soul of casual gamers too. Mobility and seamless effort place this console in a light that shows me it can reach the masses like never before. It has yet to be seen if this is true, but personally, I hope it is.
The Nintendo Switch System Gets
4 Out of five
+Interesting and easy to use interface
+Controls work well regardless of type
+Wireless control connection
+Lightweight material in an attractive console design
-No cloud data storage
-Tablet glare is an issue in certain lighting
-Absolutely pointless wrist strap accessory