Nintendo Switch: Some glitches, lots of awesome

By: Ashley Rivas

The Nintendo Switch has been out for a little under two weeks now.  Mine got a lovely little pep talk when we took it home.  I told it that it’s got a lot on its tiny little Joy-Con shoulders.  People are waiting for it to fail, for it to be another nail in Nintendo’s modern console legacy coffin.  “You’re launching with so few games, with a strange hybrid style that seems unnecessary in the face of the 3DS, with console specs that can’t possibly match up with the bigger systems,” I whispered to the little system.  “But you can do this.  We believe in you, and no matter what your big brothers and sisters did in the past, you’ve got the future.”

Surely enough, the peppy cutie has impressed.  It’s now the bestselling system in the United States, and while the huge appeal of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is surely an enormous part of that, how does the console hold up on its own?  After a little over a week, I can tell you that my console is the dear baby of the house, and I’m smitten.

The System

Switch Time!
It’s so preeettttyyyyyy.

I’m not going to get too into specs or hardware: I want this to be a quick glance at the system in the immediate aftermath of its release.  To that end, the system is slick.  It consists of a touch screen tablet that can have a Joy-Con on either side, and has a small dock that connects it quickly to the TV.  The tablet can detach from the Joy-Con controllers and sit in the dock, or it can be propped up on a kickstand.  Or you can get really wild and play the whole thing on the go, which is part of its main selling pitch. 

It’s not heavy, and it doesn’t get warm.  Taking it on the road is a little terrifying since it’s admittedly large, but with a case and a screen protector, it’s not so intimidating.

The Controllers

The glitch
The glitch.

You can use the Joy-Cons (what an adorable name) by themselves with separate black clips to make them “operable”, or you can attach them to the console.  Alternatively, you can use the Joy-Con controller and slip the two into the device to have a more traditional controller set up without paying for the Pro Controller.

Here’s where the brunt of the complaints lie with the Switch.  The left Joy-Con loses connection from time to time seemingly for no reason, and there’s no real solution to this problem yet.  You can void your warranty and solder it, or you can wait patiently.  Buying a Pro Controller isn’t an option right now, since most places are sold out at the time of this writing.

The gripe is a big one, sure; watching my husband fight a boss in Zelda five times in a row because the controller kept locking him in a forward motion was pretty frustrating.  But I can’t consider this a deal breaker.  Consoles have bugs, usually big ones, at launch.  This is the first generation of this console, and it’ll take patches and hardware fixes to make it work, just like the PS3 or Xbox 360 before it.  For now, mail your Joy-Con in to Nintendo, take advantage of that warranty, and fix that buggy little brat controller. 

The Games

I’ve only played two, full disclaimer, and Zelda is worth every penny.  This isn’t the place for my glowing recommendation for the game in detail, but I can that I generally don’t buy a console for a singular title.  It’s a pretty firm rule, and I’ve only made exceptions in two cases: the Xbox for Halo: Combat Evolved, and the Switch for Breath of the Wild.  It’s a transcendent Zelda experience, well worth the Switch (though you can get it for the Wii U too).

We also have 1, 2, Switch, and it’s a very cute party game.  I enjoy the weird dynamic you feel when staring the other player in the eye, and there are a lot of mini games to enjoy.  But this isn’t a full price solo game.  It should’ve come with the console, or at least be cheaper than $50. 

The Overall

Two smiles
Verdict: Two smiles!

It’s worth it.  It really, truly is worth it.  If you’re going to play Zelda, this is how you’ll want to play it.  You aren’t going to want to stop, and you’re going to want to take it on the road.  That alone is a huge selling point, but when you look at the future of this console, it’s even more compelling.  The “Nindies”, Nintendo’s jump at indie titles, is exciting.  The future big name launches like Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem Warriors, Splatoon 2, or even Skyrim are going to be so fun on this quirky little console.  If you’re going to wait for titles because you’re not jumping at Zelda, I don’t blame you (but I also don’t understand you), but I can say that this Zelda is probably one of the most mainstream-friendly incarnations of the series.

It’s an attempt to get back to roots.  It’s not a lot of innovation for the company that has the dominant grip on the handheld market, but it’s there.  It’s a beacon, a signal that they’re listening and working on trying something new while giving players what they’ve been asking for.  And it’s working.  

About The Author

I'm a big ol' nerd, and I want to effuse that nerdiness for the rest of my life. I spend as much time as I can drawing and playing video games, and I've taken that to the career level now since I'm back in school to be a game designer. I'm the mom to three puppies and a fat kitty, and the wife to a fellow nerd.

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