That’s right, I bought a Switch. For a time, I had no idea when I was ever going to buy Nintendo’s newest console. I mean, while Super Mario Odyssey looked amazing, I couldn’t really justify spending $300 when I would only buy one game. As was also the case with the Wii, I wasn’t truly motivated to get the Switch until I heard more news about the upcoming Super Smash Bros, particularly the fact that King K Rool was going to be a playable character! And then along came news of Luigi’s Mansion 3, which was pretty much the icing on the Kremling-shaped cake.
Fortunately, since I had waited a while, the Switch was no longer sold out, so I had no trouble getting it at my local game store. I was happy to be able to procure the Switch with the neon blue and red controllers, along with a new copy of Super Mario Odyssey, and then I was on my way back home, excited to finally try out Nintendo’s amazing handheld-console hybrid!
Initial impressions after that were…mild confusion. I had set up plenty of consoles in the past. It’s always as easy as: plug this wire into the TV and plug the other into the power outlet. More or less. With the Switch, there’s the dock, and I didn’t know where you plugged anything into it, and there were very few directions… So I looked online and was able to follow along with Nintendo’s instructions to get the console set up to the TV and charging. Though I waited probably an hour before remembering that I needed to charge the controllers, too! Woops!
Well, let me clarify things for anyone who doesn’t yet have the Switch, but plans to get one soon. Just plug the Switch in and charge it like the box says. Once it’s charged, the Switch will walk you through the steps of setting it up on the TV. Sheesh, I guess I got a little ahead of myself!
Once the confusion subsided, other thoughts on the Switch were as follows. The Switch is…so tiny. It’s kind of adorable how small and light it is. Also, being able to attach the controllers, place the Switch in the dock, and let everything charge at once is very convenient. I had my doubts about having two controllers to charge, but it’s actually no problem. The controllers also last a long time. I think I read that they last 20 hours, which is amazing considering the Wii U gamepad probably lasted…3 hours? And then took just as long to charge. Thus far, I think I have reached 15 total hours of gameplay without charging my controllers. I could have done more, but I wanted to charge them before they got too low.
Aside from a good battery life, I have mixed feelings when it comes to the Joy-Con controllers. When I was first watching commercials about the Switch, I thought the controllers looked really tiny and cramped, and this is indeed the case. Yes, you can connect them to that…bigger controller base to have a more normal controller to use, but then you miss out on motion controls, which were required for some of Mario’s moves in Odyssey.
When the Joy-Cons are separate, you can add the wrist straps to make them just a tad larger for your hands, but these straps are really tough to get on and off. And after hearing stories of people who couldn’t get the wrist straps off when they accidentally put them on upside down, I wasn’t taking any chances. I mean, if the wrist straps got stuck, you could never charge your controllers again!
After many hours with Odyssey, I’m slowly getting used to the controllers, and I find my hand to be cramping up less now. Even so, it’s still a bit tough getting a good grip on the controller, making some actions rather hard. For example, whenever I try to make Mario crouch, it’s really hard not to also hit the control stick, making it rather easy to backflip in the wrong direction.
I also don’t understand the “capture button” on the left Joy-Con. Instructions online say that taking screenshots or short video clips is as easy as clicking the capture button, but…it doesn’t seem clickable. Maybe I’m missing something really obvious, but the capture button seems too flat to be a button and pressing it results in nothing whatsoever happening. So…can anyone tell me how this button works?
Despite some trouble with the controllers, Super Mario Odyssey has been incredibly fun and is easily the best Mario game I have ever played. And this is a good time to mention that this is the first time I have ever…ever…ever played a Nintendo game and thought, wow, these graphics look really good. (Okay, not since Donkey Kong Country on the SNES, but those were something special back in the day.) Bravo, Nintendo. You’ve done it. You made me play one of your games without having to ask, why can’t this look as good as PlayStation or XBox!
After a great first month with the Switch, I’m really looking forward to what the future holds for Nintendo’s most innovative console yet. I can’t speak for the online service (which I will never use unless they decide to offer a library of games comparable to the Virtual Console) or what it’s like using the Switch as a handheld (I know, gasp!), but the Switch is really shaping up to be the best thing since the Wii. Or the GameCube. Because Nintendo is finally catering to its fans again. Once again, it’s good to be a Nintendo fan.
And of course, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below, dear readers! If you own a Switch, what were your initial thoughts? What game really motivated you to buy one?