So I managed to get a nintendo switch a month after release after scouring stock checking sites. Eventually one came into stock on Argos that could be delivered to my local store so I grabbed one with a copy of zelda:BOTW to become my handheld console. With no TV in my flat I have only been able to use this as a handheld console and it has treated me well so far.

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My switch wasn’t perfect when it arrived, the kickstand wouldn’t lock closed. Not a deal-breaker as the console still functioned fine but still unwelcome considering how hard it was to just find a console in the first place. Phoning nintendo support in the UK was a mixed bag, stories of the US support sound excellent but the UK support was somewhat lackluster. I initially asked to simply get a replacement kickstand to which the support rep told me he would contact HQ and get back to me, I never heard back. The next guy I eventually phoned told me I would have to send the console back. The afternoon after this happened I get an email reply from the initial ticket I had submitted a month earlier that fortunately fixed the issue (I had to remove the kickstand and reseat it).

While this experience with Nintendo customer support was not thrilling the Nintendo Switch is. BOTW is an amazing experience and the graphics this thing can pump out are really amazing for its size and weight. Some of the initial titles of the other launch titles weren’t so pleasing on the eye however the Nintendo Switch is the first tablet sized device I have used with decent input for games that still makes these games excellent to play in whilst in handheld. Then I had to have some dinner, but after dinner I picked up my switch, pressed the power button, and suddenly I was back into Zelda exactly where I left off in seconds with zero battery drain. This is where the switch shines most. the ability to take it out of your bag when you are on the bus for 10 minutes and play full console for 10 minutes without waiting for it to start up or turn off.

Talking about the inputs the joycons are incredibly well made. I am 5ft7 with average sized hands for my height and am neither skinny nor fat. Where I have seen others complain about them being too small and cramped I found no such issue with them strapped to the side of the console. The rest of the Nintendo Switch hardware is good quality as well. The screen is beautiful, the device is weighted very well (not too heavy but it has some mass to it so as to not feel cheap), the inbuilt fan stops it getting too warm and the size feels about perfect in the hand with joycons attached.

I am gamer without the free time I once did so Zelda:BOTW kept me busy for a long time. However July came about and with it so did my completion of the masterpiece that was BOTW. I needed a new game, I decided on two. My girlfriend had been really excited about the release of Mario kart 8 with neither of us playing Mario kart since the Wii. Mario kart 8 is a blast, online play is fun and the graphics are really good compared to what I remember the wii looking like.  It was at this point though where the handheld feature both shined and disappointed slightly. Playing the game in two player would certainly be better on a larger TV as it is a bit cramped on split on the Nintendo Switch screen. I AM PLAYING SPLITSCREEN MARIOKART ON A TABLET. While it isn’t the best way to play it is still perfectly playable and a fun experience. Nintendo didn’t have to enable this way to play but they did because it still allowed people to have fun.

The next game I got with disgaea 5. It looked to me like a final fantasy tactics like game with some weird anime stuff ontop of it and that about sums it up. The game is ridiculous with you entering large battles because someone stole some curry. 15 hours in I am still finding this game fun but I am not sure I am finding it £50 of fun. This is something that Nintendo Switch adopters are going to have to deal with as well, inflated pricing relative to other ecosystems. This will hopefully change as the switch proves itself successful but there is currently a ‘tax’ to take games you have been playing on consoles or PC out and about with you.

So in conclusion the Nintendo Switch is an excellent handheld console. It is well made, powerful, convenient and inspires fun. The sales figures, if they continue, should secure it a bright future with many games announced at E3 (I can’t wait for mario/rabbids XCOM). Where others have been worried about joycon size or battery life I have never found an issue and for multiplayer games it still functions very well. If you are on the fence about using this solely as a handheld console you should buy one.

 

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