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Nintendo Switch First Impressions

Nintendo Switch Booth PAX South Zelda

We got our hands on the Nintendo Switch At PAX South 2017

The Nintendo Switch makes a big impression at PAX South 2017 showing off several release titles including Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Switch 1-2. I played Arms, Switch 1-2, Splatoon 2, and Street Fighter Alpha 2 on the upcoming console.

The lines were long, elbows were thrown but in the end we all got to play the new Nintendo Switch. Even with Media passes to the show the first booth to fill up was for Nintendo and their Nintendo Switch. 

Nintendo Switch Booth at PAX 2017

Gameplay

Two of my fellow DVS Media Events staff bolted early for the Nintendo Switch booth as we knew it was going to be packed first. Everyone wanted to get their hands on the new console to give their impressions and play some classic IP titles as well as the new games that were at the show.

We run up and found that Nintendo had set up three separate lines: one for exclusively playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild a second line for Splatoon 2, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Bomberman, Switch 1-2, and Arms. The third line appeared out of nowhere for Mario Kart 8: Deluxe which was on the opposite side. We got in line and got to play Splatoon 2, Arms, Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Switch 1-2.

Splatoon 2

Image Source: Nintendo.co.uk

The first game on our Nintendo Switch Adventure was Splatoon 2. I had never played the game before but had some familiarity with the original title from watching my son play Splatoon on the Wii U. I was surprised by the fun our group had playing against a rival team. The controls were easy to learn and very intuitive once you got the keys memorized. We played the Nintendo Switch in TV mode holding the Joy Cons in our hands and devastated the enemy team. The game looked and ran great. I could see the family getting together and playing this for family night.

Arms

Image Source: ToysRus.com

At first glance and from what I’ve watched and read online this game didn’t look too impressive to me. That was before myself and my co-worker went head to head on a TV mode Nintendo Switch. With each Joy Con grasped firmly and wrist straps wrapped on our wrists we played the tutorial mode to get the controls understood and then the battle royal started.

We punched, dodged, moved side to side, and twisted our selected characters gloves until we emerged victorious. I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed the gameplay as well as the playstyle. Reminding me of the Wii’s Wiimotes the controls knew when I wanted to throw a twisting punch while jumping and dodging away. The haptic feedback when I was hit also brought a new level of immersion into the gameplay. I highly recommend it.

Street Fighter Alpha 2

The representative did let us know that the version of the game we were playing was a beta build and therefore could be unstable. However, during the gameplay we found the game played just like the other games in the franchise and was very fun. It did lag a little bit in some fighting matches but that was due to lack of optimization of the beta build. It’s nice to see a game normally not on a Nintendo console being developed actively and it gave me hope that the partnerships with big AAA developers will be strong and the game marketplace will continue to grow.

Switch 1-2

Switch 1 2 is an interesting game. It is reminded me of Wii Sports in terms of understanding the new controller features. Switch 1 2 capitalizes on the Haptic feedback from the controllers. Facing you off against an opponent in several mini-games. We tried the Quick Draw mini-game and dawned the foam covered cowboy hats. We played a mini-game where you both had to guess the number of metallic balls inside an enclosed box. You held one Joy Con and maneuvered it around to feel the balls bouncing against the “virtual” side of the box. You then guessed based on this motion and feedback how many were inside. Lastly, we played a samurai sword catching game in which one opponent swings a virtual samurai sword with the goal to slice his opponent who tries to catch it.

The mini games did a great job of showing off the Joy Con haptic feedback but replay value at least for me wasn’t there. Considering it’s a stand alone game I personally would not buy it. If it was bundled with the Switch then I potentially would use it to introduce my friends to the feature of the Joy Cons.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Image Source: Nintendo.com

We didn’t get a chance to play it ourselves but from the folks we talked to we heard they liked the look and feel of the game. It was an open world and let people learn at their own pace. We have covered in other articles What we already know about Zelda and that it will have an Art Book for hardcore collectors. I am an avid player of the Zelda Series of games. I just did not have the time to sit through the two and half hour line to play it. I do look forward to playing Links new adventure when my pre-ordered Switch Arrives.

Final Thoughts

Nintendo does look to be coming out of the gate with this new console launch swinging. I found the controls and the gameplay of the games I played to be engaging, fun, and intuitive with the new features and controls of the Joy Cons. With the new Nintendo Game accounts linking the games to the accounts and not the user account as with the Wii U Nintendo is showing it’s listening to it avid fans about it past consoles. We can all hope that the Nintendo Switch will be the best console ever. Below are several shots of the switch and both from PAX South 2017.

About the author

Derrick Fischer

Derrick's focus is on the PC hardware and software industry. He is the Director of Operations, PC hardware reviewer, programmer, writer, geek, and father. When not writing he can be found engaging with the DVS Gaming Community in our Partnered Discord or playing the various games in his vast library.