Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Nintendo Switch - One Year On...

It has now been one year since Nintendo first revealed details of their new console, the Switch, and eight months since its actual release. To be honest, I had largely forgotten about it for many of those months, partly on account of seeing/hearing almost nothing about it in social media and the like. Chatter has recently picked up a little owing to Super Mario Odyssey's release though, so I figured I'd take another look at it and see if there is yet justification for me to get one.

Since my last post on the subject I've actually had the chance to play around with a Switch a little and it's definitely a nice bit of kit. I found the detachable bits of the main controller a little small for using on their own but apart that it's real nice. As expected, Mario Kart 8 is a lot of fun, especially when racing against a friend, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is absolutely stunning and will almost certainly go down as an all-time great. I've already been hearing similar things about Mario's new adventure too. I thought it looked a bit stinky from the early shots/videos (I don't like that there are parts set in the 'real world') but it's great to hear such glowing reports so far. I have only had the chance to sample the two games though, so what else is there?

I haven't heard about much that's for sure. I know all about Super Bomberman R and it's an attractive proposition as all Bomberman games are, and I was keen to give Ultra Street Fighter II a go, but both games cost way too much, and I only have a passing knowledge of any other proper full retail releases. A few Facebook friends have briefly mentioned the likes of Splatoon 2 and Arms, and I believe there's some sort of 'Rabbids' game but I don't actually know much about any of them.

Subsequent research reveals the existence of a few other possibly-interesting tiles such as Rayman Legends, Disgaea 5, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, Sine Mora EX, and a handful of sports games and licensed stuff, but the Switch's software library is apparently as small as I thought. Even Skyrim isn't out yet! To be honest, aside from the two big guns, the only games I might've been interested in buying are some of the few indie titles to have received physical releases such as Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, Shovel Knight, and Sonic Mania, but... I've already got them on Steam! I'm sure there will be others over the months and years and it would be nice to have physical copies of some, but c'mon man - is this really what owning a current-gen console is about?

Back when I wrote my previous post on this subject I was worried about what kind of third-party support the Switch might receive (or not), and it looks like my fears were well-founded. Both the Wii and WiiU suffered in this regard in my opinion. It didn't affect the sales of the former, admittedly, but it still would've been nice to see some of the big name releases on Nintendo's consoles. It seems like they've become all about hardware gimmicks and first-party titles and little else nowadays.

I guess it's better than them going the same way as Sega but they still need to have a decent range of games for their systems surely? What are your options if you want a proper driving or fighting game? Or one of those pesky first-person shooters that are so popular these days? A quick look at the release schedule doesn't look particularly promising from where I'm watching either, aside from new Kirby and Yoshi games next year. There is undoubtedly some enjoyment to be had from owning a Switch - two games from its thus-far-meagre library are stunners - but for any serious gamer it's surely a system to sit beside a PS4 or Xbone, not in place of one. Then again, what do I know? A guy at my work has one and loves it; maybe quality really is better than quantity.

So what do you guys say? I'm sure a few of you own Switches - are you happy with your purchase? Do you own anything other than Zelda, Mario, or Mario Kart? Have I neglected to mention any top quality games? I was actually hoping that might be the case - I was kind of looking for a reason to get excited about the Switch, perhaps even buy one, but I can't help feeling even more disillusioned than a year ago. Oh well, I guess it is still early days yet, huh?


  1. At least the Switch launched with Zelda, unlike the poor WiiU that had to wait until the end of it's life to get this astonishing title. Switch owners at work say the Switch is worth getting just for Zelda alone, and only one of those is a Ninty fan! Zelda, Odyssey, Kart & Splatoon are all top quality. Having access to Skyrim on the move is wonderful! Better than the alternative of spending 4 figures on a gaming laptop!

    It's true there are almost no FPS/Racing/Fighting on the Switch. I see no need for these on the Switch, given that these genres are available in abundance on every other platform!

    I agree that some of their titles are too expensive. Ninty have always charged too much, so nothing new here! Ninty should be more generous to their customers: they can start by bundling 2 decent games with the Switch, and including a power adaptor and a decent game with the aging 3DS!

    However, in Ninty's defence, it's not reasonable to expect indie games to be the same price as the PC platform, which has an established user base of about a billion more units! Yes, Ninty do have lots of failings, but what they get right they are the best at: Ninty provide gamers with an experience that provides an unmatched level of joy :D So give Ninty a chance!

    1. Crikey, you write as though I savaged the poor little Switch! I'm just pointing out that it's suffering from the same problem as the Wii U (and the Wii, perhaps to a lesser extent) - namely, bugger all decent 'proper' games, especially from companies other than Nintendo themselves. Yes, Zelda is fantastic. So is Mario, apparently. Perhaps I'm strange but I generally want more than two games if I'm going to buy a console though, even really really good ones.

      Yes, there are FPS, fighting, and racing games on the other platforms in abundance. That's my whole point - if you're a serious gamer you can't JUST have a Switch, you have to have one along with another system. This does not apply to any other current system. It's an issue that could've been easily addressed by Nintendo, thereby potentially earning them a bigger share of the market in the process, but they are apparently happy being the 'gimmick console' company now.

      As for the indie games - again I understand why but that doesn't make it okay. How many people will buy them when they're cheaper and easier to have on the PC? I agree Nintendo consoles provide gamers with unique experiences but it IS possible for them to do that as well as the stuff that Sony and Microsoft do. Their failure to address the issues of their previous consoles is just disappointing to me, that's all. I still might get a Switch one day, but two reasons are currently not enough for me...

  2. Good grief! Are people still prepared to go into a shop and pay £50 for a cartridge the shape of an after dinner mint. Seriously? cartridges in 2017? Seriously, £50? And yet Nintendo hasn't gone bust so someone must be paying for these, perhaps its people who grew up with Nintendo products and pay way over the odds out of nostalgia. But there's a whole generation who have never seen a cartridge before and have never paid for a game (or not more than £0.99 anyway) and I just can't imagine how Nintendo is going to survive much longer by just pretending its 1985.

    1. I think Nintendo's apparent longevity in recent years has been down to their handhelds and sales of their first-party games. I guess it's given them the space to try and be creative/original with their home systems but it has seemingly come at the cost of third-party support.

      I don't mind the games coming on cartridge but the cost of some of the games is too high. Fifty nicker for Zelda or Mario is probably well worth it but for things like Bomberman and a rehash of Street Fighter 2? I mean, I love both games but... no way man :|