So, the Friday has come and gone - I've had some time to mull over what the Switch means for Nintendo, so I'd thought I should share my thoughts to keep the journal alive~
For context - I've grown up loving Nintendo since the Game Boy Advance, and my first owned device was the Nintendo DS. However, I've had my gripes with Nintendo since the later years of the Wii - particularly because the Metroid franchise suffered a lot of indignity since Other M soured the direction of the IP. For now I'm seeking refuge in Pokemon and Fire Emblem, which don't seem to be losing momentum any time soon.
Overall the presentation re-adjusted my expectations of the system - things like the pricing and paid online certainly were let-downs, but I'll elaborate on that below. There were high points though.
I'm going to split my thoughts into two parts: Hardware
: I really love the look of the Switch as a whole! It's sleek and a far cry from the terrible shiny gloss of the Wii and Wii U with its matte finish! A couple of photos have shown it to be reasonably sized when undocked and portable - just a little larger than a New 3DS XL!Battery
: This one isn't too great at a minimum of 2.5 hours when playing something taxing like Zelda BoTW - HOWEVER...who really plays on the go for more than 3 hours at a time with out taking a breather? I can see myself playing in bed for about 2 hours before I dock it for charging again. A lot of people complain about this, but I don't think it's that big a deal, especially because our own mobile phones don't fare much better in comparison.Joy-cons
: There were a number of complaints about the small size of each individual Joy-con (as they're calling it) - but I don't think it's going to be THAT much of an issue. If you were handing a joy-con to a friend to play some spontaneous co-op, it's likely to be such a casual moment that one won't notice it. The plus appears to be that you can get two playable controllers right out of the box, which is neat. It definitely sucks that the controllers are so expensive to buy, however.Storage
: I prefer physical media, so I'll most likely be buying each game as a cartridge instead of downloading it. Many of the people complaining about the 32 GB storage appear to be PS4 and Xbone owners who have gotten fairly used to having to install 90GB games from the physical game discs (at that point, why wouldn't someone just get a PC, anyway?). Not a deal-breaker for me.Processing Power
: This is the BIG one. I've seen MASSIVE outrage that Zelda BoTW will be 900p 30fps on the Switch. I have to admit that I'm similarly disappointed that we won't see BoTW in a silky smooth 60 fps either - but should that RUIN the experience? Many people also have to accept PC rigs that can only run The Witcher III at 30 fps, and it still gets lauded as one of the best games of all time. Plus, the switch can run Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at 1080p 60 fps - so it's definitely more of an issue with BoTW itself. Limitations can be a breeding ground for innovative art design - let's not discount what developers can achieve (if they so wish).Overall
: The hardware is beautifully finished, and it has pretty crazy power for a HANDHELD. The price, however, is not too hot at 400+ SGD (300 USD). I'll personally be waiting for 6-12 months to save up, and also waiting to see if Nintendo will push out a more competitively-priced bundle (or drop the price of the base bundle).2. Games
: I'm with the majority on this one - who is this MARKETED towards? I get that it's supposed to showcase the possibilities of play that the joy cons can offer, but why would you want to play a game with no visual feedback?? I've taken game design classes before, and the lack of visual feedback (i.e. whether you're winning or not) erases the "drama" of the game - no adrenaline rush when you realize both you and your friend are neck-to-neck, no reversal of fortunes at the flick of the wrist. It'd just be haphazard and nonsensical...but not fun.ARMS
: THIS should have been marketed and prioritized WAY harder than 1-2-Switch. From early demos and impressions this looks like it has great potential to be more than just a tech demo for the Switch! If we end up with more than the 5-6 characters revealed so far (maybe 10-12 in total), this could become a hidden gem for the system. This has so much style and flair. Get your priorities straight, Nintendo.The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
: That new trailer. THAT TRAILER. Any reservations I had about this game being hands-off with its narrative were blown away threefold. EVERYTHING about the story scenes we saw just oozed a sense of desperation and ruin - a battle against the odds for poor Link. To see them portray Zelda as fragile and human, as opposed to royal and disconnected from the world (in Twilight Princess), just makes me SO much more interested to see how she's caught up in the middle of all the chaos. Shark Zora were amazing! I might actually get this for the Switch at launch BEFORE getting a Switch, just so I won't lose out on the opportunity to play this potential masterpiece in the future.*On an extra note, the 30 fps for BoTW isn't a deal-breaker for me - it's meant to be a cinematic experience, and movies are traditionally 25 fps. Having 60 fps can sometimes make games (and movies) feel plastic and false, in my humble opinion.Fire Emblem Warriors
: YES YES YES. I'm so hyped to see this happen! You might hear more from me after the Fire Emblem direct on 18th January (this week!). Personally liked Awakening as an entry point in the series (Fates was a little 'meh' but I liked the character designs). Transforming the series into an open-brawler has LOADS of potential moveset fanservice - as we saw with Hyrule Warriors!Super Mario Odyssey
: Oodles of style and fun. 'Nuff said - I'll be watching this one with bated breath.Super Bomberman R
: Yes it's KONAMI...but seeing Bomberman being revived as a franchise is heartening! The 30-second trailer was brief, but it oozed quite a bit of personality! I feel like this one is kind of a "safe" release because the series is so timeless - and that's fine.Overall
: The launch line-up does look very poor - but as a Nintendo fan I'm able to forgive the company because Zelda BoTW will be AMAZING! I'll be waiting until E3 2017 for Nintendo to surprise us with more.3. Future Titles I'm Hoping to see on Switch
A Metroid platformer
: Metroid Fusion was my first foray into the series - needless to say, I REALLY miss the sense of gradual empowerment and exploration the series offered.The Metroid Prime line of games is fine...but when that was distilled to a core FPS aesthetic, we ended up with *cough* Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Metroid platformers have an unmistakable charm that defined its own genre -
can we go back to doing that, Nintendo? Please?Freedom Planet 2
: This one is probably a shoo-in, given how accessible the Switch is to develop for. What I'm hoping for is a PHYSICAL RELEASE (just like The Binding of Issac Afterbirth is getting for the Switch). Owning indie games physically is another level of cool. The character designs have been great since the first Freedom Planet, and I have no doubt the sequel will look great, too!Azure Striker Gunvolt
: Nothing more needs to be said - another series I love for its style and tight gameplay. This series needs to explore another sequel and wash away the foul taste of Mighty No. 9 FOREVER.Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5
or Kingdom Hearts III
: This is a PIPE DREAM and probably NOT HAPPENING given how polished the latter game is shaping up to be. I unironically love the terrible space-opera that the series has become, and I'll lose my head if it somehow lands on the Switch (even at 30 fps).
All-in-all, I'm going to take the same cautious approach I did with the 3DS: wait for about a year to see how well the system is supported. However, I have quite a bit more confidence this time, because the Switch is getting 4 juggernauts drip-fed in 2017: Zelda, Splatoon, Marion Kart, and Mario Odyssey!So, what do YOU guys feel about the Switch?