Having just finished university for the year, I’ve found myself with a lot of free time. I haven’t bought a new games console since the 3DS and the PS3, so I’m a little out of the gaming loop, really! I decided to treat myself to a Nintendo Switch, and I’m so glad I did!
I’m sure you probably know what the Switch is, but if you don’t, it’s a hybrid console. It has a touchscreen tablet-style main unit which doubles up as the screen when in portable mode. The screen is very high quality, perfect for modern gaming. But not only is it a portable – just slip it into the console dock and it becomes a TV-based console on the big screen! This flexibility means you can play anywhere and change up the experience depending on what the situation asks for – super cool.
The reason I chose a Switch is, as you’ll probably be able to tell from my review of Animal Crossing New Leaf for 3DS, I love all things cute. Nintendo products are the embodiment of cute. Also, the flexibility and versatility is very appealing to me. I’m often on the go as part of my university projects and as part of my work with Student Life, so something portable but powerful and exciting is a must.
I bought three games – Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 and New Super Mario Bros. U. My favourite of these is definitely the Mario Brothers – a modern take on the classic from the 1980s, with new levels, play mechanics and playable characters. With options to vary the difficulty by choosing a character with different characteristics. The game is essentially a port from the Wii U version of the Mario Brothers series, but as the Wii U didn’t take off quite as Nintendo hoped, it will likely be the first time you’ve come across this excellent title.
Mario Kart 8 brings the almost 30 year old Mario Kart series bang up to date. The graphics in the game are crisp and the motion is smooth. New gameplay characteristics include the ability to have two items at once – this way you can lob a Bob-omb at your opponents and launch a shell at them – double attack! The best way to play Mario Kart is, and always has been, by local multiplayer. Luckily, the nature of the Switch’s dual controller design means you can have two controllers out of the box. By rotating one of the JoyCons horizontally, you’re able to give one to a friend and battle against each other. The best thing about the console just has to be its innovative design, you can play with a friend on the train, at home, or really anywhere else!
Now it’s time for the downsides. Firstly, the Switch is the most expensive of the three main consoles on the market today. With an RRP of £279 vs prices hovering around £200 for both the PS4 and Xbox One, it’s quite a considerable extra outlay. Whilst you’re definitely paying for the flexibility, the innovation and the convenience, an extra £80 could be spent on two games for either of the other two consoles.
Staying with the drawbacks, the JoyCon controllers are £70 for an extra pair. Whilst that does give you two extra players on Mario Kart, it’s a huge amount of money to spend for a controller. However, there are wired, more traditionally shaped, controllers on the market, so all things need consideration. It’s definitely possible to buy more controllers for less, but if you’re looking for legitimate Nintendo merchandise, you’re certainly going to pay for it.
What am I most excited about for the Switch? Keep your eye out for the new Animal Crossing game, New Horizons, in March 2020. The game looks incredibly exciting and delivers a beautiful new experience for the Animal Crossing fans among us. If you go onto YouTube, there are videos from the Nintendo event at E3 2019 explaining the newest features of the game.
My verdict, the Switch is a masterpiece. Yes, it’s expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for with things like this. The premium build and innovative approach to gameplay are total wins, and it’s quite possibly my favourite console to date.