Gaymer’s First Impressions: Nintendo Switch

The day has finally arrived and the video gaming gods have smiled upon this humble gaymer once more. Ladies and gentleman, I have in my possession, my very own Nintendo Switch.

Cue heavenly choirs.

Heavenly choirs, go.

Of course I also purchased The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild, and not pictured are the screen protector and cute little traveling case I included with my swag.  (Though I’m not sure that’s the correct use of the word swag)

Right off the bat I will have to let you all down easy and say that, no, I will NOT be tasting the game cartridge. I’m sure there are plenty of videos you can find and my pessimistic self truly believes my toxic saliva would somehow destroy my precious copy of Zelda.

But boy is that cartridge TINY!

My six year old, Super Nintendo addicted self simply does not believe this old man’s eyes.

Right out of the box you can tell Nintendo’s Switch is an incredibly solid and sexy piece of technology. Clearly seeking forgiveness for their cheaper, clunkier, kid friendly predecessor, the Switch feels like it deserves to be showcased right along side the likes of Apple or Sony. With crisp, streamlined edges and a weight that says, “I’m not meant to be held by any children you don’t trust with your own life”, it’s obvious Nintendo finally understands that it’s most LOYAL followers have grown up a little bit and are finally allowed to play with big kid toys.

It took me no more that three minutes to have my system plugged in how it needed to be and booted up.  Nintendo’s clean set up screens and start menu feel more minimalist than ever, but again, this just reiterated to me that Mario’s maker is ready to get down and dirty with the grown ups.

I navigated my way through all of this using the Switch’s joy con controllers, untethered from their Joy Con Grip, which comes included with the system. Individually, both controllers feel amazing. Small. Incredibly small, actually, but none the less delightful. I haven’t spent any time at all trying to play an actual game like this, but I can safely say my big clunky hands had no problem using them to find my way around the Switch menus.  Something about them being completely individual from each other in my hands without some wire connecting them, like the Wii’s controllers and nunchucks, make this experience fresh and new. Which is good, considering that is precisely what Nintendo has promised us this go around.

After an update which took another minute and half I was ready to insert my copy of BOTW into the nearly unnoticeable slot in the top of the Switch.

One of my biggest “oh wow” moments came from just how quickly the system recognized there was a game there at all and I could select it almost instantaneously. Although there was yet another update needed in order to begin play, this too only took a few short minutes before the breathtaking first moments of Breath of the Wild began.

I’ve been playing for a solid four or five hours today using the Joy Con Grip to hold the two controllers together and I’m quite pleased with how this, too, feels in my hands.  I was reluctant to leave my local Gamestop this morning without buying the pro controller Nintendo is offering separately, in fear that the tiny Joy Cons would wear down hands over time, but I’m happy to report no such fatigue.  In fact, as soon as I’m done typing up this report you can bet your cute little tush that I’ll be jumping right back into the world of Hyrule.

These are just my first impressions of the Switch. My only negative marks about the console so far is once again, Nintendo has released it’s product without nearly enough of a game line up.  Hoping on the Nintendo Store app, it appears there are only a total of nine options to even download at the moment, BOTW being the only one of significant appeal.

However, something feels better about this experience than my first moments with the Wii U.  Sure, there were more options available out the gate with the U, but all of it felt like if Apple had named it the released product would have been dubbed “The Wii S”. Just a slight upgrade, with a big clunky handheld screen, from the original Wii.

The Switch feels good. It feels new. I feel at this moment very similar to how I felt when I opened the N-64 and held its bizarre M shaped controller in my hands for the first time.  Or when I opened a GameCube game box to discover the mini discs inside. Or even, how it felt to play Wii Sports back in November of 2006.

Friends, I am truly excited for the future of our beloved Nintendo franchise.

Keep us close to check out our full reviews of the Switch and The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild, right here with The Gaymer.

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