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My view on the nintendo switch

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Well, I treated myself to a Nintendo Switch for a Christmas present to myself. As a gamer who has not purchased / owned a nintendo console since the Nintendo Gamecube I thought I'd give my own personal view on the Switch from someone who plays Xbox and PC.

The experience

To be honest, when I bought this baby home I was rather excited to say the least. I was reminiscing unpacking a silver GameCube which had Mario kart double dash installed that my brother bought me and my other brothers for Christmas, Sonic, Mario and Rainbow Six, those days of the GameCube to me were some of the best times I've had in my gaming life. 

When I was younger I didn't have a PS2 or a Xbox, gaming back then was GameCube and PC. Nintendo really holds something deep down. 

I didn't get a Wii because to be honest, there wasn't many titles on the Wii that interested me, sure there was mario kart, party style motion controls but the same magic I had with the GameCube just wasn't there.

Anyway, back to after I picked up the switch. I opened the box and was delighted on the size of this device, it to me is a brilliant size, not too big, not too small. Including the Dock, Joycon grip and everything needed to get going was a plus. I bought with the console, Mario Kart 8, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Pokemon, Let's Go Pickachu.

After attaching the JoyCons to the console I was sure that I was now ready to start playing. This unfortunately was not the case. The battery was dead, not a little dead. Fully dead, I had to attach the console to the dock and literally leave it an hour before it would even start up, Even when it was in the dock it did not power up till the battery had enough charge to power it up.

Well, okay. I work with electronics, I know sometimes they are in a warehouse and the batteries die, just generally most mobile devices at least power on and say you need to charge, this did not. Not that it's the end of the world but if a kid saw that they'd be pretty upset when it looked like the new shiny Nintendo isn't working.

Anyway, apart from that when I got it up and running putting in mario, having it load without needing to install anything and enjoying mario kart as I once did was a breath of fresh air. It was exciting, it was fun. Another thing which I haven't missed on the switch is an achievement system, I get so involved in trying to get all the achievements on the game I loose the actual fun of the game. I know it sounds stupid but it's true. There is no competition with your friends for gamerscore or trophies, it's just play and enjoy playing.

I love the fact you can be in the middle of the game and you can just pick up the switch and take the game away with you. While it does use a lower graphics clock rate and tones down the CPU the game still feels really nice to play, hat's off to nintendo for making it seamless and the joycon batteries, No more will I have to worry about plugging in a controller.

The bad

To be honest, there is not many negatives from what I have experienced so far. But alas, let me share a few disappointments so far with the console.

Nintendo Switch Online. While this isn't a big headache for me, it annoys me to think that being the little capable machiene the switch is that currently Nintendo still does not have a decent online service. Yes it's 3.99 a month, While yes the games do not lag while playing online from my experience. It's just missing a few things. The friends list is clunky and I do not really understand what the point of a friends list is if all it shows is if your best friends and the other players activity. There is NO messaging functionality even though the touch screen is more than adequate to type with (and the switch supports full keyboard support). There is NO voice chat (unless you use the phone app through certain games, seriously you have to download an App and it supports only like 5 games... Not what I was expecting in 2018 - 2019 which is especially annoying as when I look down the headphone socket it would suggest that it is capable of using a microphone / headset).

To add a friend you have to share a friend code which is basically a UUID, a string of numbers. (Unless you add your facebook / twitter account and find them that way). For those feature's I'd pay more but for 3.99 a month all you get is basically a free nes mini integrated in to your switch and online support for games that support online.

It's a shame not to have these features, but I can say, I do like not having raging kids shouting down my ear as I whooop ass on mario kart.

User profiles. Unless you use parental controls, there is no way to protect your profile, NONE! You can not setup a simple pin, or key combination to secure your game saves and to stop users purchasing items on the eshop (if you click remember my password). There doesn't even seem to be a way to forget your password in the eshop after remembering it. Weird. This is a small handy thing for people who share a switch amongst a family. Another issue with profiles is that when you start your switch if you have multiple accounts on it, it should ask who you want to sign in as and not ask constantly what account wan'ts to open the app / game you want to play. Currently everytime you open a game it asks who you want to play as. This is more than annoying. 

Pokemon Let's Go Pickachu, Cloud Saves and Multiplayer.

When I bought this game, I couldn't wait to play and while I do enjoy playing it, I hate a few aspects about this game. 

Cloud saves, you can't save your progress to the cloud, while nintendos take on this is to avoid duplicating items etc. What happens if you loose your switch, or it breaks. The game save is lost with that save and there is NO way to back it up, not even to Micro SD. This is ridiculous. I can not believe this, I can just imagine an unlucky sole getting a bad console, spending hours on pokemon (maybe even the only game the play) and it breaks, get's sent to nintendo who replace it and you loose everything and have to start from scratch. What a bummer that would be. I wouldn't play it again for sure. This isn't just a problem with Pokemon though, a lot of nintendo switch games do not support cloud saves and it states it on the game box.

Let's GO Together! Share your adventure with a second player. 

Now, this is stated on the box and I bought it due to the fact me and my girlfriend love pokemon, what a thrill it would be to be able to play together! And while yes, you can play together. It can be a drag, Why? (You might be asking) Well. For a few reasons. 

I thought that this mean't you'd be able to roam the same portion of the map together (whether splitting off into split screen or staying within the bounds of each other, picking up items, reading stuff etc. But no, this is not the case. Player 1, can play as normal and player 2 just wanders. That's it, you can not pick anything up for player 1, you can not read signs, go through doors, hit pokemon to catch, you just wander! WTF! 

In battle's you fight together yes, which is cool, it's really good to be able to battle together, it makes the matches easier yes but it is entertaining to take on gyms and people together. Catching pokemon is fun too and you get bonuses catching them together too!

Just the annoyance of not being able to help the main player collect things and do small things is annoying, it really is. My girlfriend gets bored and we switch who's the main character because she wants to be more involved. Multiplayer pokemon is a great idea, but it really isn't implemented in the best way. 

No internet browser and limited media support

Nintendo wanted to develop a games console and this is why it isn't a huge problem for me, but the fact that there is indeed a limited web browser to login to wifi access points, to login to facebook and more is a weird one. You can't use the browser but for those abilities. Just why nintendo? Allow users to use the damn browser already coded and on the switch, it works great! 

There is no real way to watch films / music apart from the YouTube app, don't hold out if you want to use this for media content. (even though you can put a big micro SD card in to the console)

Don't get me wrong

The switch is a great console, but Nintendo have a lot to learn in my view and need to work on these kinks. If you want to buy the switch and like the idea of it, BUY it! If you're buying it as a travelling multiplayer game console / tablet, don't hold your breath.

All of these views are mine, if you have any queries, message below and I'll answer honestly. If I'm wrong about something let me know as I'd love to have a better experience with my switch!

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I also have a switch and one thing that always confused me is the system itself is only protected by pressing any button 3 times. Maybe in the future they'll add more features to give you more security but at the moment i agree that it's much too open.

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I really like my Switch. I think a lot of the issues you have raised are typical Nintendo issues. Nintendo have always been really bad with online services, it's the weakest aspect of the console. While I only personally use my console, I imagine parental controls would allow you to lock out users from the eshop or restrict their access in another. Switch Online is better priced than PS and Xbox online services, so it has that going for it. I don't use my console to play online though. The friend code system has carried over from the 3DS although it's a lot better than it was on the 3DS. Pokemon 2 player is still very much in it's infancy, and I doubt it will be carried over to the main series game releasing later this year. Let's Go was purely aimed at getting people who play Go to also play the games on console. I actually really enjoy Let's Go as it makes some refreshing changes to rather grindy systems if you want decent pokemon, or shinies.

Some games run better in handheld than they do in docked, Skyrim does because of the reduced resolution of playing in hand held mode. Mario Kart, is one of the best games on the Switch for performance always runs at 60FPS as long as you aren't playing with more than 2 players.

The 3 button presses is merely to stop accidental sleep wake ups.

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I don't believe though you should have to setup parental controls just to setup a password for your profile. 

Pokemon 2 player while in it's infancy just really was a bit of a let down. I do enjoy Let's Go, don't get me wrong, playing with pickachu still makes me chuckle and I do hope they improve and add the two player to the next game as it is fun to battle with friends rather against them. 

As for 3 button press, you can disable this feature from what I have found, it's in the settings! :)


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