As the one-year mark quickly approaches for the Switch, it’s time to look back and see just how Nintendo has handled their new console. With a low price point and high-quality releases, it seems Nintendo was looking to silence naysayers from the very start.
To begin, let’s talk about the console itself. For anyone unfamiliar with the Nintendo Switch, it can be played as a handheld or hooked up to a television, so you can take it on the go or relax with it on the couch. This is executed flawlessly. There’s nothing like popping the two Joycon controllers onto the smaller screen and taking some of the best games of the year with you to play on the bus, or during a particularly boring class (we won’t tell).
In terms of graphical fidelity, it leaves a bit to be desired. Still, Nintendo has a knack for hiding their weak points quite well, stylizing graphics and adding game mechanics to make it seem more powerful than it actually needs to be. The battery life becomes a factor as after three hours the console needs to be recharged. Priced at $299.99, it hits an extremely accessible price point for a console, yet a bit pricey for a handheld, which makes sense.
Now onto the big game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This was a release title for the Switch, debuting simultaneously, and to put it bluntly, may be one of the best video games ever made. From start to finish, Breath of the Wild is beautiful in every way. It’s very different from every other Legend of Zelda game, but Nintendo somehow threw out a tried and true formula and found something even more special.
The world of Zelda is massive and filled with things to do, but never feels overwhelming since you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Your main objective could be completed after leaving the starting area if you wanted. But the sheer difficulty of doing so incentivizes players to explore, strengthening themselves, finding better weapons and armor and finding other objectives to make the final boss easier to handle.
You won’t fair well missing that advice, this game is really tough.
The game is visually stunning, using every bit of the Switch’s power and stylized visuals to make the world look fantastic. The sound design is generally subtle, but this is also an advantage, letting you revel in the sights and sounds of the world before swelling into a crescendo when fighting bosses or getting into sticky situations.
All in all, it’s a five-star game, no question. The Nintendo exclusive game is best experienced on the Switch console. It can be played on Wii U, but the best possible experience is via the Switch.
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With the year in sales the Switch had (hint: it may be the best-selling console of all time, over 10 million units worldwide in under a year) and the lineup of games it has seen so far, this is Nintendo’s redemption after the failure of the Wii U. This console looks to be cementing itself as a must-have. Plus, 2018 and beyond promise releases of Bayonetta 2 and 3, new game releases for Kirby, Metroid, Pokémon, Mario Tennis, Yoshi, Fire Emblem, No More Heroes, Dragon Quest and more.
The past months have been great for the Switch, but the future is even brighter.