Confessions Of a Playstation Fanboy: I love the Nintendo Switch
The last Nintendo console I owned, and was genuinely excited about, was the GameBoy Advance. Having a handheld to carry around wherever I went and being able to pop in games like Super Mario World 2 and Metroid Fusion, provided some of my fondest gaming memories to date. Due to my unabashed love for all things Playstation, I didn’t have the need nor the desire to purchase consoles like the Gamecube, Wii, or the commercial failure that was the Wii U. Upon the initial release of the Nintendo Switch I was still very skeptical about it being a console that was worthy of a purchase; early reviews were largely positive, but there were concerns about the actual portability of the console (which was sort of Nintendo’s entire marketing play?) raised some serious red flags. During the initial release wave, supply of Switch consoles didn’t meet the demand, echoing Nintendo’s ongoing problems with the NES and SNES Classic systems - and you should all know by now how I feel about that debacle - but the tide turned as the year went on. Finally it seemed Nintendo was listening to their consumers. They upped the output to meet the ongoing demand, and the Switch became the must-own console of 2017. So I decided to jump on the Nintendo bandwagon, and picked one up last week.
What was it that made the Switch so much more superior than the Wii U? Let me break down a few of the reasons, the first of which is how well it performs as a handheld. The Wii U was unnecessarily clunky and the lack of actual HD graphics gave it the feeling of a retro console in the worst possible way. The Switch is slim and the Joy Con controllers are comfortable and respond terrifically while attached to the screen. Nintendo finally making the decision to upgrade their display output to true HD graphics is another welcome addition. While games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey still have the cartoon style they’re notorious for, they’ve both never looked more crisp and vibrant than they do on the Switch. I’d recommend spending the extra money to purchase a Pro controller as it gives you more of the next gen feel that console gamers are now accustomed to. The Joy Cons are definitely usable and the ability to use only one as a controller for games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe help the consumer limit spending on additional controllers while still being able to enjoy the fun that comes with the multiplayer experience.
Speaking of multiplayer, there is something truly exciting about Nintendo consoles in that just the name evokes memories of playing Goldeneye and Mario Kart with friends for hours. No other console really brings that universal excitement because they focus so much on online multiplayer that oftentimes they neglect local multiplayer modes. The first night I brought the Switch home my housemates and I immediately fired up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and it was like we were all transformed into child versions of ourselves. We almost forgot how fun it is playing games with people in the same room after you’ve been playing online for so long and the Switch succeeds in recreating these experiences that you can share with people who are sitting right next to you. Needless to say, I’m already looking forward to the inevitable release of a new Super Smash Brothers.
What makes the Switch such a worthy investment is how Nintendo continues to show their commitment to games. In the same year the system released Nintendo came out with new Zelda and Mario games, both of which received unanimous critical acclaim. It was a genius move as both are staples in the Nintendo lineup that can draw in both new and old gamers. Not only were they giving us new installments of classic series, they also ported over The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Telltale Games Batman: The Enemy Within, and LA Noire. Focusing on bringing all styles of games to the Switch gives owners the chance to experience some of those next gen releases on a Nintendo system, which wasn’t the case with the Wii U. As of right now, four days into Switch ownership, my only gripe is their refusal to allow us to create an online gamer tag. The hilariously-long “Friend Codes” are almost as ridiculous as Playstation still not letting people change their PSN ID. Despite this, the Nintendo Switch has been worth every penny. I’m happy I was very wrong. If you’re a fellow Switch user (Switcher?), hit me up on Twitter @sbastek12 with your Friend Code, so we can game on!