As someone who grew up with Nintendo, it really warms my heart to see the company doing so well once again after the struggles it experienced with the WiiU. Lately, I’ve been fitting the late adopter mold, grabbing the WiiU and now the Nintendo Switch outside of its typical release window. While the WiiU never really struck a chord with me, my time with the Switch has been a revelation thanks in large part to the most unique thing about it: portability.
I’ve always really liked the design of the Switch, ever since it was first shown off but it takes on a whole new meaning once you actually get your hands on it. This summer I’ve gone on a few trips and facing some downtime, it was the perfect time to actually try out the Switch on the go.
Frankly, it was an amazing experience. The small nature of the system, in general, made playing on an airplane a breeze, regardless of the game. It’s compact, adaptable (thanks to its removable joy-con controllers), and can be used even when mobile devices are still frowned upon. Ultimately, it really helps me pass the time on those long boring flights and for that, I am thankful.
With the new “play anytime” mentality, it’s really made me reconsider where I buy my games. While I’d still call the Xbox or PlayStation my “mains” I’d be lying if I said the portable nature of the Switch hasn’t caused me to pick up a game or two on that system instead. Darkest Dungeon, an already pretty fantastic indie title, has been made even better on the Switch thanks in large part to its touchscreen. Being able to manage my inventory, check out the map, and see valuable stats has been made much easier thanks to the Switch. I’ve also downloaded games like Fallout Shelter, Paladins, and Fortnite to see how these experiences differ from their other platform siblings.
Much has been said about Nintendo’s reliance on ports and I’m all for it. The biggest reason is that the WiiU just didn’t have the audience that the Switch does, so a good portion of these consumers has likely never played these before. These games which are admittedly fantastic, are now getting a much deserved second chance.
The other big reason is that the majority of these ports add in new content. Take a look at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is almost an entirely new game. Not only does it include all of the previously released DLC, but it adds in a couple new racers as well as the highly requested Battle Mode. In my opinion, the thing that is likely overlooked but is a well thought out addition is an option to turn on driver assist which basically prevents players from driving off a course. For small kids who may not be great at driving, this is a huge addition and lets them play and succeed.
If there was one area where I feel the system comes up short, it’s with the internal hard drive. Unlike its competitors, the hard drive is minuscule, unable to hold many games. It’s a bummer, especially if you plan on downloading most games. Zelda comes in and takes up nearly half of the space, forcing players to basically pick up a memory card to hold other games. It’s not a deal breaker by any stretch, but it’s unfortunate that Nintendo didn’t bother adding a bigger HD.
Overall, I’m a very happy Switch owner. While it’s a solid system in its own right, being able to easily take it and play it on the go is really making me re-think where I purchase many games. Still, with amazing first party games like Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, the Switch is a no-brainer must have in my opinion.