Will Nintendo be able to Switch it up?

At the time of writing, the Nintendo Switch (formerly known as the NX) is only 3 weeks away from being released (YIPPEE!) and with the majority of pre-orders now sold out will Ninty’s latest console live up to the hype?

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In January, I attended the premiere event in London (many thanks to Nintendo for the tickets!) and got to test firsthand the latest console. Hosted at Hammersmith Apollo, the event was a surprisingly quiet affair upon arrival, I walked down a corridor lined with consoles of gaming past – NES, SNES, Game boy etc right the way through to the ill fated Nintendo Wii U…

Going through to the main hall of the Apollo, there was a small viewing cinema, showing the launch trailer for Super Mario Odyssey (not happy about the lack of playable demo) along with a cardboard cut out of Mario you could take pictures with. Naturally, I had to give it a go…

The floor was set up with different games to try, the biggest space taken up by Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the back and as we stepped in, Arms was towards the front.

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We started by playing a couple of 1, 2 Switch minigames, the first being a sort of dance move pose copy idea – It was the first time I got to hold one of the Joy Con controllers and was surprised to find how small they were, but very durable with a nice grip. I wasn’t impressed with the game itself – it doesn’t really utilise what the Switch can do, but a good start nonetheless.

Next was a milking simulation game in 1, 2 Switch that have both partners staring at each other as they “milk” cow udders in unison. Strange, no? Still, lots of daft fun.

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The third minigame really caught my attention and showed the power of the small Joy Con Controllers – using the HD rumble feature, both players are asked to identify how many marbles are in a wooden box – using the controller flat in your palm to roll the balls around and count how many vibrations you could feel. It really was so simple, yet effective. It showcased brilliantly how well the controllers can pick up different rumbles, in different measures. By far my favourite game.

The final minigame we tried was an open the safe style of game… It involved twisted the Joy con controllers, pressing a button when you could feel a buzz before your opponent. It was ok, if a little dull.

Before I went to the premiere, I was determined to see what docking and un-docking the Switch console would be like – unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do this as each console was docked and behind a glass prison…!

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Still, Arms impressed me greatly – the fluid movement responding to your slightest touch or twist as your character’s arms expand & smash into your rival. It was one of the games I was least impressed with on video, but most impressed with after playing.

Splatoon 2 next but it was very similar to the original Splatoon for me – but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Screens were set up around a table, so two teams could battle it out. Some consoles were set up as just the screen, where as others were hooked up to a TV. Naturally, our team won…

We played Mario Kart 8, which apart from looking a little prettier than the Wii U version (and added King Boo) it wasn’t much different. I loved being able to detach the Joy Con Controllers and being able to play with a friend, but the screen did seem small to do this.

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I didn’t get to play Zelda, due to the queue being so long! But still, an awesome day all round.

Needless to say upon returning home I pre-ordered the Switch as well as Zelda.

Many people have criticised the line up of launch titles (hello, there’s Zelda!) yet, I think the line up looks ok. May need to release more games in the coming year, but it’s a great start!

Price maybe an issue, but come on, it’s not going to compare to PS4 or Xbox One in terms of power, is it? The console looks like it will be able to pull off what the console is about: Mainly being a portable gaming device with multiple ways of playing fun games.

Now, all I’d like is Animal Crossing for Switch (and not just the same stuff that’s been on DS for ages) I’ll be happy!

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