It’s been about 5 or 6 months since the release of the Nintendo Switch. They have been out of stock since then and finding one in store is like seeing a unicorn. Imagine my surprise when I went to Target for tortillas when I did my routine stroll through the electronics section and saw two Nintendo Switch Consoles locked up. Ten minutes and $299.99 + the cost of tortillas later, I am at home setting up my brand new Nintendo Switch. I chose the Gray Console because the colored one seems a bit juvenile to me and like I always say, I’m pretty basic. I know I’m several months late on this, but I think it’s safe to say that the majority of people are not as lucky as me and are still waiting to find a Switch of their own.
Since the release of the Nintendo Switch, I have watched dozens and dozens of video reviews and articles highlighting the good and the bad. They were so mixed I ended up still not knowing if I wanted one! That’s why I’m writing this Chill Review to go over the things I like, and the things I don’t.
First thing’s first: I am no gaming expert. I like to think I am above average with tech, but I am an average consumer in that regard. I am a normal guy with normal opinions and that’s what you’re going to get here. No fancy tech talk or snobby remarks. Just a guy who bought a Switch and wants to share what he thinks. So here we go. This is my review of:
The Nintendo Switch
Let’s get right into it. According to the majority of online reviews, Nintendo dropped the ball on quality. We all remember the reports of poor build quality and people immediately breaking things and so on. Let me just say that the build quality of the dock is not amazing. HOWEVER, it is not as bad as they say. Maybe Nintendo made some improvements and I have a later model. I don’t know. Or maybe it is because I take care of my shi*! Look people, your things are only as good as you make them. If you’re a rowdy, rough gamer, then yeah, maybe this isn’t the best fit for you. If you are a casual gamer then you will have no problems. My dock is just fine sitting on my TV stand and as I have no children, won’t be bothered, touched or knocked over. I have no fears of it breaking. If you break your dock then I’m sorry. That’s your fault buddy.
The Joy Cons are lightweight and feel a bit thin. They do feel like good quality to me, though. The buttons are very responsive and I have no reservations about them. And don’t believe what you hear on YouTube. The Joy-Cons, when attached to the Nintendo Switch Console, are not THAT flimsy. I saw videos where people were making them wobble. Pure exaggeration. That’s the first thing I tested when I brought my Switch home. They barely move, and unless you’re squeezing or pivoting the handheld Switch, it won’t bend.
The Touch Pad (or the console itself) is very good quality. It feels sturdy and is very responsive to the touch. The kickstand is very convenient and it’s actually quite satisfying to be able to play your games on the screen while removing the Joy-Cons to play from a comfortable seat. It does however, feel awkward since the kickstand is on the right side instead of the center, where it would probably have more stability. I have to assume there is a practical explanation for that decision. It does feel a bit flimsy though and if I played on the go often, I would probably be scared of accidentally snapping it off! Speaking of snapping, the click sound it makes when you open the kickstand is oddly satisfying and makes it as enjoyable as a kickstand can be.
The screen is beautiful and the image shows up very nicely. I do recommend purchasing a screen protector just in case you plan on doing a lot of handheld gaming with it. I bought a great quality screen protector from GameStop for $14.99.
The slot where the game cartridges go is conveniently placed but has an awkward tab cover that feels like it’ll snap off with the littlest amount of force. I have to watch out for that one.
Pro-Tip: Give your controllers and touch-pad a good clean after use. Just use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe them down. After a while, the oils in your skin will end up making your hardware look all smooth and glossy and not in a good way. Always take care of your stuff!
I have owned all of Nintendo’s consoles, except for the WiiU. This is by far my favorite and the most fun. In fact, I have all three major consoles currently and this is without a doubt the funnest and my favorite console purchase of the generation. There’s something about Nintendo’s brand that gives the Nintendo Switch such a fun and playful persona. It almost feels like a toy rather than a sophisticated piece of technology.
Once you get used to swapping the handheld gameplay to the docked gameplay, it will become easier for you to eyeball where to insert the console into the dock. Once docked, it’ll automatically pop up on your TV in about a second or two. Leave it to Nintendo to get so much interactivity out of an otherwise stationary device. There is no downgrade in gameplay performance when switching between modes. Both are great.
I have not been able to test the motion control of the Joy-Cons since none of the games I have utilize it yet. I plan on purchasing Arms at some point but I’m having too much fun getting some side scrolling gameplay out of the way with the recently released Sonic Mania.
The Joy-Cons are a lot smaller than I thought they would be. If you ever played the original Nintendo Wii, then you’ll be familiar with the button layout, just on a smaller scale. It was a bit awkward to get used to the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons and I have to admit, when attaching the controllers to any of its counterparts, I almost always have to button mash to get them on. Maybe I’m just not skilled enough to transition smoothly. The Nintendo Switch comes with Joy-Con Straps for both the right and left controllers although they aren’t exactly necessary as they Joy-Cons come with built-in SL and SR buttons, but they do make two player gameplay more comfortable when using half the controller. The straps sort of get in the way when you’re playing a stationary game and not swinging your arms around like a madman as I’m sure I’ll be doing when I get my hands on Arms. The full controller attachment will work well with roleplaying games such as the new Legend of Zelda game, but would be just as
comfortable using the Joy-Cons as separate halves as well.
Note: These Joy-Cons are pretty pricey at $79.99 so be careful with the ones you get! Although you may want to invest in a second pair at some point as I believe the Switch’s enjoyability will double when doing anything multiplayer!
As of now, there is not much to say as far as software goes. Nintendo has always been notoriously bad at having great hardware but crappy software. As far as the user interface goes, it’s good. Easily navigable and short load times. I’ve spent most of my time searching the very tiny Nintendo Store game selection.
Creating your Nintendo Account [or linking your account] was very hard for me. I could not for the life of me figure out what my Nintendo Account was that I am using on my 3DS. I know I have one as I’ve made purchases on my 3DS in the past but I ended up just making a new one anyway because I was so anxious to get started.
Right now, Nintendo is offering free online play for Switch owners until the beginning of 2018. That’s when they will roll out their entire online experience. Let’s just hope they give us a reason to actually use it.
As always, Nintendo shines best when playing classic games and visually stunning games on the Nintendo Switch. I am currently playing Sonic Mania and after also purchasing it for my Playstation 4, I have to say that the Nintendo Switch version is just so much more satisfying! I can’t explain it. There’s something about playing an old school game with an old school format on a console made by an old school company. I am loving the fact that I can play at home on my 55″ TV as well as take it along with me to work to play on the tablet screen.
Where it lacks in game selection, the Nintendo Switch makes up for in accessories. It seems to be very customizable, offering multiple colors in Joy-Con straps as well as skins. They offer cases to keep the console in, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to keep it basic to preserve that stock look. Other than the screen protector I mentioned earlier, I recommend buying a carrying case for the screen and Joy-Cons so you can take it around with you. I bought one from BestBuy for $24.99 and I carry my Nintendo Switch with me to work and on my errands in case I get bored.
Fun to use.
Seamless transition from handheld to TV play.
Fun for everyone.
Very small game library.
Awkward kickstand placement.
Annoying sign-in process.
Score: 4.5/5 Slices
Is the Nintendo Switch perfect? No. Is it a lot more interactive and fun to use than the other current generation consoles? Yes. Look, you won’t see me playing Call of Duty or any first person shooters on the Switch but that doesn’t mean it won’t offer a different type of enjoyment. You WILL see me playing Sonic Mania, Ultra Street Fighter II, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 and I can’t even begin to explain my excitement for Super Smash Bros. when they inevitably make it available for the Switch. When comparing my console purchases of the Playstation 4, Xbox One S, and the Nintendo Switch, I am certain that I am most satisfied with the Switch. It just offers a level of enjoyment that the others do not. The Switch is perfect for parties and get togethers and offers hours of fun. Once Nintendo catches up with their library of games, I’m sure Nintendo will see continued success.
Check out more about the Nintendo Switch here.