I went hands on with the Nintendo Switch at the London Premiere, and got to try out a load of games on the system, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon Two, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Bomberman R and Arms!
Camera 1: Hi and welcome back to P Myth Gaming.
So I’m not long back from the Nintendo Switch Premiere event in London, where I spent the afternoon sampling the various delights that Nintendo’s new console has to offer.
I got to play a decent mix of games including Arms, 1, 2 Switch, Street Fighter 2 Ultimate, Super Bomberman R, Splatoon Two, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Camera 2: And Zelda of course.
Camera 1: The way the booths were set up meant I got to try the Switch, and the JoyCons out, in various configurations. So let’s get into it!
Naturally, the first thing I did, along with everyone else, was make a beeline for Breath of the Wild.
Camera 2: Usain Bolt would’ve struggled to beat us nerds to that booth.
Camera 1: I started out playing on the TV with the Pro controller, which felt really nice actually, all the buttons in exactly the right location where your fingers and thumbs rest naturally on the pad.
The game itself looks absolutely gorgeous, and whilst there were a couple of frame rate drops here and there, the booth dude told me that it was actually a tech demo we were playing, and the final game will run perfectly smoothly at 1080p, 60fps, no worries.
Two thirds into the demo I put the pro controller down, and lifted the system itself out of the dock.
The transition was practically instantaneous, I just hit a couple of buttons to let the system know I was ready to carry on playing and I was right back into the game.,
Camera 2: Accidentally killing Link by throwing him off the top of the Temple of Time.
Camera 1: The Switch screen is 720p, but with the size that is, it doesn’t matter one bit. The game still looked absolutely gorgeous, and ran just as well.
Later in the day I also played Splatoon Two on the system itself and if anything that looked even better. The ink looked really vibrant and there was no slowdown or frame rate drops whatsoever, even when the battles got really intense with 8 people throwing suction bombs and firing off special weapons and splattershots all over the place.
Camera 2: Me and the Zelda Universe team absolutely dominated by the way. We may have to set up a team when it comes out.
Camera 1: The system itself feels great in your hands. It feels light, but durable still. Nintendo consoles are always pretty sturdy and although the Switch is more of a grown up bit of kit compared to the kinda crazy toy approach they’ve taken in the past, it doesn’t appear to be any exception to that.
Camera 2: Though admittedly I didn’t throw it on the floor to test it, despite some Mario Kart related frustrations.
Camera 1: The JoyCons feel equally comfortable and natural to hold either side of the system, again with the buttons all being easily reachable, and the gyro aiming in Splatoon and the bow and arrow in Zelda was accurate and responsive, and felt really good.
Removed from the system, on first glance the JoyCons actually look kinda small and I was worried they were gonna be awkward to handle. I got to try them out in a few weird ways with 1 2 Switch, I played bomberman with one JoyCon turned sideways with the wrist strap shoulder buttons, and I also got to try them in the sad puppy grip too.
Camera 2: That thing is forever going to be known as the sad puppy to me now.
Camera 1: So the 1 2 Switch demos I tried out were all one on one games with each person taking either a left or right JoyCon.
I did some dances, cracked a safe, took part in a shootout, and milked a cow.
Camera 2: And then I went to the Switch event.
Camera 1: Each of these used the motion control in various ways. The cow one for example had you holding the joycon sideways and moving it downwards whilst rolling your fingers over the SL and SR buttons before releasing them to fill virtual cups full of milk.
Camera 2: Nobody beat me at that by the way. I am the champion of the teat.
Camera 1: Perhaps the most interesting one though was Safe Cracker, where you rotated the JoyCon through 180 degrees like you were cracking a safe.
The new HD rumble meant you felt the tumblers move and then there was a subtle difference when you were at the right point to unlock it.
The game itself was neither really here nor there, but as a demonstration of the tech it was quite impressive, and applied to something like reloading a bolt action sniper rifle in COD or something could really add to the immersion.
1 2 Switch in general definitely feels like it should’ve been a pack in. The mini games I tried out were pretty good fun, and I can imagine if you’ve got a few mates round for a curry and a few drinks, they would be a hell of a laugh.
But unless it perhaps comes bundled with some extra JoyCons I didn’t really see a great deal to justify a full game there, unless it’s gonna be dirt cheap.
The other motion heavy game was Arms, which is basically Wii Boxing on acid.
You tilted the JoyCons in unison to move around and punched by punching. Tilting the JoyCon whilst you punched allowed you to curl your punches in pursuit of a sidestepping opponent, and holding them horizontally let you block attacks.
It felt pretty responsive and at no point did I feel like it wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do, though I admittedly got my arse handed to me so I probably need a bit more game time to really asses that.
Moving on to Bomberman where I held the JoyCon sideways with the wriststrap/shoulder button attachment, that actually felt really good. Again, given the size of them I was worried that playing in that configuration would unleash all sorts of cramp, but it did feel natural and comfortable.
And whilst I haven’t exactly got shovels for hands, I’m not rocking Donald Trump style miniature ones either so that was pleasantly surprising.
I was even using the JoyCon R where the stick is shifted towards the centre of the thing and I still had no problems.
Bomberman was just classic Bomberman, Grid gameplay, and great fun. I also played that directly off of the Switch itself, and although there was a lot going on with bombs going off all over the place, I didn’t find it too difficult to follow the action on screen.
The Sad Puppy also felt really good.
Camera 2: I forget which game I played with that now… think it was Skylanders actually.
Camera 1: It looks kinda bulky in the promotional shots, but given the size of JoyCons, it is, once again, really comfortable, and with it being packed in with the system, I’m much more relaxed now about not picking up a pro controller on launch day. It really did feel that good.
So yeah, the system looks and feels great. It’s got that classic Nintendo build quality to it, and the various configurations of the JoyCons are all really comfortable, despite their small size, and the wide array of different functions work great. I’m excited to see how developers utilise them.
Power wise we still don’t know specifically what’s under the hood. It’s safe to say that it’s not gonna be near PS4 levels of power, and it might be lagging a little behind Xbox One too.
But, going from what I’ve seen, it’s definitely a massive jump up from Wii U, and with Zelda, Mario Kart, Splatoon Two and Mario Odyssey all coming within the first 6 to 8 months or so, Nintendo’s first party IP should drive enough sales of the system to keep third parties interested, and developing software.
Speaking of games, I’ve kinda covered 1 2 Switch already, and there’s not a lot else to say about bomberman other than that classic gameplay was a big nostalgia hit for me, and I’ll likely pick that up to supplement Zelda at launch.
Camera 2: Not that it’s likely to get much of a look in in the first week or so.
Camera 1: Our time with Zelda was limited to just 15 minutes thanks to the huge queue, so I barely felt like I played it at all, but nevertheless I grinned like an utter utter loon the entire time. The sense of ‘wow I can go literally anywhere I want’ was akin to that first time you walk out onto Hyrule field in Ocarina of Time. I cannot, cannot wait to sit down and really sink my teeth into that game.
Splatoon Two basically picks up where the first one left off. The new map was cool, and the new weapon class
Camera 2: Named, much like my testicles, the duelies
Camera 1: Was a lot of fun. Shooting and jumping whilst using them will see your Inkling dive to the side, which got me out of a bit of trouble once or twice and allowed me to skilfully take out some opponents.
Camera 2: I was hearing Peppy shout ‘do a barrel roll’ in my head the entire time though.
Camera 1: The new jetpack special weapon I got to try out was ace too, firing me up into the air to rain down massive ink bomb fury on those below. The game will apparently be supported regularly after release, so I imagine we can expect a return of SplatFests, as well drops of new weapons and maps. I can’t wait.
I didn’t get to try out the new battle mode in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but 8 player local multiplayer was a lot of fun, and the second item slot is an absolute god send for those of us that get pelted by absolutely everything.
Camera 2: I was owning everyone and got blue shelled twice in two laps. Finished third. Hate that game.
Camera 1: Arms was pretty frantic, and the different characters all had unique attributes and special abilities that really added an additional level of subtlety and tactics to the fights.
Each fighter has a selection of different gloves they can equip too, which players can mix and match as they choose. I had a shuriken on one hand and three rocket type things on the other for example.
Still need to see more of it, but it looks like it could be a cool little brawler.
Street fighter was good, and the HD mode looks really great, but I hope that we get a custom JoyCon at some point with a proper D-Pad, because playing 2D fighters with an analogue stick… it just doesn’t work.
So after going hands on, I’m even more excited to get one of my own. Fortunately we’ve only about 7 weeks left to wait, roll on March 3.
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Thanks again, see you next time!