I’ve just woken up from some of the most amazing hours of my life. I’ve got my Switch, set it up, played some games and I thought I’d write some impressions while they’re hot and I’m sleep deprived. Firstly, I’m extremely grateful that Australia was part of the worldwide launch, as it basically meant we got the console first after New Zealand. Pretty exciting.
When I got there at 11pm there was about 15 people, and I paid off my console, games and Pro controller. People rolled in until midnight and eventually I’d say there was about 50 people (I was quite high up in the line in this pic). I wasn’t surprised to see people there, but the type of gamers surprised me. I brought my 3DS and nobody else had one, what’s wrong with you people?! I didn’t get a single StreetPass either. These were new gamers, tech enthusiasts and PS4 gamers, and one Nintendo fan in a Skyward Sword shirt. Rock on, dude. It just felt weird to me, but maybe that’s an indication Nintendo has marketed the thing brilliantly.
Anyway, I got the damn thing and went home like an excited kid on Switchmas. The box was awesome and the games were tiny. I set the thing up so quickly and was surprised at a lot of things. Firstly, it’s so quiet! I wasn’t even sure if the thing was on properly at first. I slid the Joycons onto the screen and heard the satisfying click sound. Oh my god it felt so good. The next generation of gaming, right here. Right now.
From there you just go through some very easy, obvious steps. I will try not to make this too boring and skip those. I was impressed how fast everything was. I was using the touch screen to input everything I needed and within minutes I had accessed the eShop, linked my account, merged my funds, had my Zelda cartridge in, with Fast RMX already downloaded and ready to go.
You can use the screenshot button to get a perfect image of the menu but I forgot it existed until later. The interface is really slick and cool looking, but also retains that playful Nintendo feel with cute sound effects and funny writing in the News section. The console also knew the exact time and date already.
Before my game impressions I’ll talk about Joycons. They don’t feel too small and I have giant hands, that was a huge relief. The analog sticks felt weird at first, they are smaller than Wii U’s, but satisfying to use. They have a solid lock to their directions, almost like the GameCube controller without ridges. Just Nintendo magic. It’s amazing how many buttons they jammed on something so tiny. I have a Pro controller but haven’t even used it yet, I forgot I bought it. That should say enough about how solid the Joycons are with grip, it’s just a normal controller when you put them together. No sync issues either, until I walked downstairs about 10 metres away. Completely expected. The light just starts flashing when it’s out of range, and you walk back and it’s fine.
Onto the games now, I’ve only played two and still plan on getting Shovel Knight and trying 1-2-Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I’m not posting any pictures here because I know people are wary of spoilers right now. That feeling when you walk out into the plateau for the first time is absolutely magical. I had feels, goosebumps, weird things happening to my body. That’s when you realise this game is the real deal. Screenshots, video, nothing so far can capture the feeling of this game besides playing it. The movement is way better than I expected, as Link runs around like a curious kid, interacting with things effortlessly. It has the responsiveness of a Mario game rather than TP HD. It also has gyro aiming and strafing with anything you can throw. If you have the Joycons split apart, it just uses the right gyro and it feels like you’re throwing with your arm.
I’ve managed to die a dozen times already just by jumping off cliffs and drowning. It feels so good to live in this dangerous but encouraging world. The graphics are outstanding, there’s little stuff EVERYWHERE like animals sneaking about, fish, bugs, and I kept getting distracted by sounds. I actually heard some bokoblins before I saw them with little grunts. The game is surreal and already has provided a feeling I’ve never felt in a game before.
This almost feels like a new game. It has brand new music in the menus and a new interface. I’m not sure if it’s the brand new crafts you start with, or if they changed the handling, but it feels different too. It feels grippier and the vehicle “catches” the track better with your adjustments making more of a difference. HD rumble can be felt when going over boost strips, and it’s quite insane like you’re falling and slipping. It’s not overly strong but it feels trippy.
The cups have 3 races now instead of 4, but there’s a lot more of them. I’ve only played 2 of the new tracks so far but they were amazing, and the music is amazing. The graphics have also been upgraded and it’s noticeable, the game just looks and feels perfect.
Online racing worked STRAIGHT AWAY, this is a huge contrast to the launch of the Wii U game which had many online bugs. After all their Wii U development, Shin’en have absolutely mastered this game and online is so smooth and perfect. I played about 5 races last night with no drops or problems, and already there are more players than Wii U.
I’ve even managed to use the screenshot button during online races. Screenshots are taken instantly with the screenshot button on the actual controller. It’s so fast, you can even mash the button to get the perfect shot. To view them you can just go to the Home menu and open the Album. You can do this WHILE in a game with no lag whatsoever, with the option of posting to Twitter, Facebook, or copying to SD card (I don’t have one in yet). I pulled the console out of the dock to type some tweets real quick on the touch screen. Amazing.
Another thing about Fast RMX, the game is a 900mb download which is basically the same size as the Wii U game with all the content. Incredible optimisation. Switch is also the first device I’ve owned that connected to my router’s 5ghz wifi output, and I couldn’t believe how fast the Fast RMX download was. This is going to be amazing for Splatoon 2 and I can imagine the controller working fine for that game too.
That’s all I’ve played for now. This post was very quick so if I missed something please ask. I have work the next few days so wanted to get my thoughts out now. The screen, Joycons, and even the dock are so cute and tiny. I love my Switch already and hope everybody has a great time at launch.