I arrived home from the Nintendo Switch event in London yesterday, but half of the day was spent traveling across almost the entire country so my ass was beat. What an awesome ride! Thanks go out to Nintendo for inviting me. It was a lot of fun and the staff on the show floor were totally awesome.
Okay, we'll get the big one out of the way first. Zelda.
I was sat down infront of a crowd, handed a Pro Controller and I was told to do anything I wanted. I had no restrictions. If I wanted to start the story and follow it, I was told I could. If I wanted to just explore and see the scenary, that was also an option. What did I opt for? Let's go hunt some big bad boss monsters!
My guide was kind enough to point me in the direction of some sweet weapons to get this monster hunting quest underway. Within 5 minutes I had an awesome spear (which as seen in the trailer does the stabby stabby when charged up a-la spin attack), a set of Fire Arrows (arrows deal 2x the damage on headshot), a sturdy shield (which I did use to surf down a hill!) and a giant spiked club. Weapon switching is quick and easy. I was told you can do it through your inventory screen but one press on the Left or Right D-Pad rings up a quick switch menu. Right for weapons. Left for shields.
I quickly found the area I'm sure you've all seen in a few gameplay videos, a giant hollow skull which is emptied out in a beautiful firey explosion. If it had FPS drops or lag I certainly didn't notice it. Everything ran smooth for me. I thought it was beautiful.
I switched over to the tablet view at this point. I'll give my thoughts on the smaller screen and controllers a little further down. I was steered towards the big boss battle I was so excited for. I thought it would be the big rocky golem boss I'd seen in the E3 videos. It wasn't.
You remember this guy from the initial launch trailer right? I was up against a grounded version. I quite liked the laser sound effect it puts off. It sounds vicious and that's because it is. Whilst talking to the guy and him explaining a few little things that I won't spoil, my shield was taken out in one shot shortly followed by me also in one shot After a quick continue I figured out the pattern to vanquishing my foe but before I could finish it off my demo came to an end. Yes, I let out an audible Darth Vader style "Noooo" to which the staff replied "Sorry bro!".
Everything feels so polished. There are a couple of things I wasn't feeling. I'm still not 100% sold on your weapons breaking. The stamina gauge is so/so too. It depletes FAST. Obviously they want you to grab a horse (Down on the D-pad whistles, which I did ask about only to be given a "Who knows!" reply), but for the demo you could only run. If you're climbing and jump up to speed your ascent you lose a pretty sizable chunk of your meter. If you deplete your stamina climbing, you'll fall and if the same happens whilst swimming, you guessed it, you'll drown.
I'm not one for the "open world" genre. I've never enjoyed huge open world games like Skyrim, Fallout or The Witcher. It was always a worry for me ever since Breath Of The Wild was announced. With that said, I REALLY enjoyed my time playing. It's so bright and vibrant. It looks like it's going to be a fun and exciting new direction to the series. One that I can't wait to play through in full.
What a nice little surprise this turned out to be. The second most popular game at the event after Zelda. The demo was only a few levels long but it's a very cute fun little game. The cartoony expressions turn ordinary shapes in to cute lovable little characters. The levels shown off were pretty basic and easy but still fun. I can only assume it's set up that way to let you get a feel for how things work and what future puzzles will be like. It'll be interesting to see some of the more complex puzzles later on in the game.
Splatoon 2 a.k.a How to make Shinkz look like a C rank player at a public event feat. Motion controls.
Motion controls were on by default and couldn't be turned off for our play session. It was confirmed by staff that they can be turned off in the full game just like the first Splatoon. So no worries there everybody!
It's.... Splatoon. It's fast, it's messy and it's fun. There's not too much different to the first game. Rollers are still rollers, Snipers can now hold on to their charge to Squid away and let off a full charge shot at any time and the duel wielding guns are.... different. The new dodge mechanic attached to the duel shooters is a little cumbersome and awkward at first but it's easy enough to get used to. You're a sitting duck if you trigger your special though!
It's still the very bright and vibrant (Our team was a very loud electric blue) game you know and love.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
What a great session! 8 of us sat around a table all using the tablet controller for a multiplayer race. I had an internal conflict between Squid Girl or King Boo and Boo came out on top. Sorry Inkling fans! No surprises here. It plays just like Mario Kart 8. Item blocks seemed to be in all the same places except each row now has a double dash double box for, shockingly, double item pick up.
Battle Mode has returned and it's glorious! Why Nintendo decided not to include this in Mario Kart 8 originally I don't know. It plays how you expect.. 3 people battling while one hides somewhere for a cheap win! But seriously, it's pretty much what you expect. It's Mario Kart's battle mode!
I'm going to be completely honest about Arms. I went in to it with low expectations. I wasn't feeling it at all from the promo stuff... but I left smiling. It was a lot of fun. The control scheme is a little weird at first but you can pick it up quick. The motion controls are accurate and pick up almost everything. Every punch I threw or curled was registered. Could I recommend it for $60? Eh... I couldn't. At $40 I think it's a solid buy though!
1 2 Switch
- Quick Draw
- Samurai Training
- Lock Picking
- Copy Dance
Okay, I'll say it first... It should be bundled in with the Switch. From what I played I can't justify the outrageous $60 price tag at all. It's a very cool tech demo of what the joycons can do though. The Nintendo staff made the entire 1 2 Switch booth extremely fun! From the sheriff and bandit hats we got in Quick Draw to the cliche bank robber masks at the lock picking side.
Shout out to the cute enthusiastic Asian girl staff member who pulled me in to play Copy Dance! Unfortunatly all footage and photographs of said event were heavily damaged in a freak accident involving Jojo poses.
He doesn't feel floaty or weird. The controls are tight and responsive. Sonic feels like Genesis Sonic. Both levels had a lot of verticallity to them. They're pretty large with various paths towards the end. Giant ring bonus rooms were disabled for the demo so I didn't get to experience one. I didn't notice any slowdown at all even when losing 90 rings or picking up the invincibility box, which funny enough is right at the end of Green Hill so you can mash the Robotnik boss. If the full game is like the demo then it's going to be awesome.
Street Fighter 2 - Disgaea 5 - Super Bomberman R - Fast RMX
I put these together because they're all what you expect.
Street Fighter 2 looks beautiful and plays like Street Fighter.
Disgaea is Disgaea.
Super Bomberman R is, you guessed it Bomberman. I'm not really a fan of the art style they went with and camera constantly bobbing like you're on a boat irritated me.
Fast RMX scratches the F-Zero itch but c'mon Nintendo!
I've never played a Skylanders game before. First impression? Oh god will the loading ever end! I swear it must have ran for at least a minute in the loading screen before I got to actually play the game. Had the cute Nintendo girl not been there I think I would have bailed before the game even started. Once it finally loaded... It's okay. You run around smashing things, solving puzzles, beating up monsters, opening chests and collecting pieces of equipment to wear. You have various attacks at your use from a normal spammable punch to some specials. I had a Water monster thing who had a wave gap closer that he surfs in to an enemy. I spent around 15 minutes with it until I completed the level. It's not a bad game at all. This was also the first game where I got to try the Puppy Dog Controller!
~ The Tablet, Controllers & Dock
The Pro Controller
I had three sessions with the Pro Controller. One with Zelda, one with Splatoon and the other with Street Fighter 2. It still has the translucent plastic shell that so many people were cautious about from the reveal trailer. I understand what Nintendo are going for but it does look a little cheap. I prefer it over the shiney glossy plastic used for the Wii U controllers but eh, everybody has a different opinion on asthetics.
Size is hard to judge because we're all different. I don't have little girly hands nor do I have giant meat sausage fingers. I liked the feel of it in my hands. It's a nice size and weight for me. It's comfortable like an Xbox 360 controller and it's not bulky. The triggers feel good, analog sticks have a nice click to them when pushed in and the buttons aren't spongy.
JoyCons Boizzz and the Puppy Dog
I think I played with these in almost every position. Connected to the tablet, the full joycon controller, NES style, mastur milking a cow, shooting a gun, going full Jojo, you name it I did it. I couldn't use one without the attachment because they had to be clipped on for health and safety. I'm not sure how comfortable they'll be without the strap but they come free in the box so that's a pretty moot point. Build quality is great. They're surprisingly comfortable to hold in pretty much any position and feel good in the hand. The HD Rumble is amazing. It's hard to really get across in words. You need to try it to understand. It feels like something is in a little box in your hand.
The Puppy Dog controller looks awkward being a large square but the back is molded with standard grips. I found it to be really comfortable to hold and play with and I think it makes a completely fine replacement if you're not willing to drop cash on a Pro Controller.
The Tablet & Dock
The tablet feels incredibly well made and it's got some weight behind it. There's no Fisher Price plastic anywhere like the Wii U. It's like comparing a PS Vita and a 3DS next to each other. One of them just feels like a good well built piece of hardware. That's how it is with the Tablet. Even with the weight behind it, it's comfortable in the hands with the JoyCons. The screen quality is nice and bright. Zelda, Mario Kart, Sonic, they all look gorgeous in portable mode.
The dock is just okay and that's fine.
I got to try the Tablet out with Zelda. Switching from full screen to portable was instantaneous when pulled from the dock. I don't know if this will be the same for other games, but when it was popped back in to the dock a pause like screen is on the TV. It was a translucent white screen that said "Press L + R". Once both were hit, gameplay resumed right where I left off.
So that was my time with the Nintendo Switch. I'm excited for it! Big thanks go out to Nintendo for inviting me and letting me keep the sweet ID lanyard.
Feel free to ask any questions.