Well, we finally did it. Finally joined the Switch club. After the ridiculous Wii U (I know it has its fans and defenders, but aside from Bayonetta 2 it didn’t have anything of any interest to me), I wasn’t expecting much to come from another gimmicky new Nintendo system.
Then Zelda – Breath of the Wild came out and it looked amazing, but I told myself “ok, but it’s just one game”. Then Mario Odyssey trailers started coming out and I thought “oh shit, are they actually doing it right this time?”. Then there was news of Metroid Prime 4 coming someday, and Bayonetta 3, and re-releasing the elusive Bayonetta 2…and all of the sudden there was this relatively large pile of high end indie games on their digital service. Then we knew, we were gonna have to get one of these things. Surprisingly, Mrs. Fotchenstein was actually the one who ran out and bought it as soon as she could afford it. I guess she wanted to play Mario Odyssey pretty badly!
Now that it’s here, I have to admit that it’s a pretty impressive little piece of hardware. All the complaints I’d heard about the physical quality of the controllers and the “confusing” way they disassembled and reassembled were clearly massively exaggerated. The controllers feel very solid and responsive. It’s all very simple and effective.
While there isn’t an enormous library of full-sized titles, there are enough high quality ones to make it feel worthwhile, especially with the large amount of good digital indie games that are prefect for a portable system. I think my Vita might be gathering some dust for a while.
It’s not a perfect system though (is any system?). The way saves are locked to your physical device and not able to be backed up or moved in any way is inexcusable. Nintendo claims that they’re working on “fixing” this, which I imagine will conveniently involve having to sign up for their paid monthly online service. That seems to be the secret dark side in general. As cheap as the base system is compared to others, Nintendo makes up for it by hitting you hard on peripherals and other add-ons. For example, extra controllers are bizarrely high-priced, and the whole amiibo thing, where some games have content that’s locked unless you own certain figures, is pretty disgusting. Oh well. I’m too busy having fun with it to care much about that stuff right now (but they really, REALLY need to fix that save problem. Really).
I have to wrap up a few things already in progress before I can get started on Mario Odyssey, but I have been checking out a few downloaded games in portable mode on the side, which you’ll hear all about soon enough…