The E.A.R: Nintendo Switch Review

Banner design © TJ Edson

 

When I was a kid, the call of nature was an annoying thing during an epic video game session. It meant having to pause my game to do the doo. My first Gameboy Color was a magical experience. It was the first time I could take a video game on the crapper with me. Unfortunately handhelds were limited in power and experiences. Yes you could have an epic Pokémon session on the crapper but, you couldn’t bring Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64 or, Final Fantasy VII with you to continue on the toilet. I was left with much to desire at the tender age of 11. At the age of 28 going on 29, God has answered a prayer that has been on my heart for years; The ability to play the same damn game whether you’re on the couch, the crapper or, the comfort of your bed.

Just for the record that is actually me on the crapper; I tried my best to make a NSFW situation as SFW as I could. Anyways, the Nintendo Switch is a console/handheld hybrid that can be played either docked to a stand connected to the TV or, on the go in Portable mode.

This Joycons which are little tiny controllers can be pulled from the side of the tablet to be put into a grip shown below or,..

can be used as separate controllers for instant two player action on the go.

You can also so hold the two Joycons side to side for solo play without the grip or, certain games that require special motions.

The joycons all come with straps that can be slid on the side of the controller for comfortable use in horizontal mode and, in other games that require motion.

While these controllers look like your conventional controllers, they come packed with a lot of features for their price, primarily HD Rumble. HD rumble is an advanced version of the vibration feedback found in controllers. One example of this feature is the ability to simulate the shifting of contents in a box, cup or, container. One of the games in the minigame compilation 1 2 Switch has you shaking and, interacting with a box in order to figure out how many marbles are inside. I’m hoping this feature will get utilized more for other games. The controllers also have NFC for interacting with the Amibos from the WiiU era as well as any future accessories Nintendo plans on introducing. For those who want a more traditional gaming experience, Nintendo also manufactures the pro controller which can be used either in front of the TV or, on the go.

Hardware Review

As far as comfort goes, the Nintendo Swtich in portable mode was very comfortable to hold and, never felt heavy. I was able to play in portable mode for long periods of time (until my battery ran out that is). The tablet has a kickstand which allows you to sit the console on a table and, play with the controllers side to side. My only problem with this is that your charging port is underneath the console so unless you have a special stand, you’re out of luck if you need to charge the battery. You can also utilize the joycon grip or, the pro controller depending on what you have at the moment. While the Joycon grip is solid, I found that it brought my hands closer together than the average controller. For someone with small hands this grip will suffice but, for someone with larger hands like me who is used to larger controllers like the Xbox controllers then I highly recommend the pro controller. As far as using the joycons separately, if you’re using them side to side then they’re relatively comfortable depending on your hand size. If you’re youing them horizontally then I highly recommend you use the straps as they add depth to the controllers making them easier to hold for longer periods of time. The transition from docked to portable mode is as seamless as they made it look in the trailers save for a quick button prompt to let the system know which controller you’re using.

Being able to just sit in front of my TV but also having the option to take the system on the go when I needed to leave the house, move to my bed or, simply continue an epic Zelda dungeon on the toilet has truly enhanced my gaming experience. The amount of versatility the system provides out of the box is welcome in an age where we are getting nickel and dimed for accessories. The screen looks amazing but like many other screens of its type, it is prone to scratches and I recommend a good screen protector. Battery life is a mixed bag depending on the games you play. Smaller indie games with less graphical fidelity will drain the battery in about 5-6 hours depending on your brightness setting but, a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild will drain your battery in about 2.5-3 hours. As far as compatibility with portable battery packs, a lot of the packs on the market lack the power to charge the Switch fast enough. There are two on the horizion that will eventually alleviate this problem but in the meantime, I highly recommend traveling around with a power adaptor when for when you need to charge the battery.

Games

Games currently range from epic to meh. Nintendo launching the Switch with Breath of the Wild is the smartest decision they’ve made in years considering we won’t see any good games for a while. Zelda is phenomenal while 1 2 Switch can be hit or miss depending on which games you play.

Features

As with many console launches, the operating system while snappy and pleasing to the eyes is very bare bones. I anticipate more features to come a long in time. There are very few non-gaming apps and, there is no web browser just yet. Streaming apps will be really nice for this console down the road. The ability to take your Netflix show from the TV to the toilet will be a welcome staple in today’s households.

Final Thoughts

Overall the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic system and one I have been dreaming of for years. There’s a lot of versatility out of the box with as few accessories as humanly possible, something that plagued the Wii and Wii U line of systems. Zelda has been great to play on this console and hopefully, Nintendo will come out guns blazing with crazy game announcements at E3. My only major gripe with this console is battery life but, the addition of Nintendo Switch ready battery packs will solve this problem soon. I’m totally digging this system and hope to see what Nintendo has in store for us.

Grade
9/10

Stay classy people…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.