Nintendo Switch Event Manchester

I went to the Nintendo Switch event in Manchester on 18th Feb with my Dad. It was awesome, a great event, staff were friendly and helpful. We arrived 45 minutes before the start (advice was to arrive 30 minutes before) and just before allowing everyone into the event they scanned tickets at which point you were given a card with time to play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The switch is a great console. It has a good weight and plays nicely the graphics are good in handheld mode far better than the 3DS (undocked) and in TV (docked) mode the graphics are great on a large (i think they were 32 inch) TV’s I was up close and the graphics were still smooth and crisp.

Got to try: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (handheld mode), Splatoon 2 (docked with joycon grip), Arms (joy con in each hand), 1–2 -Switch (single joycon), Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (pro controller).

I first played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in handheld mode (undocked), the switch felt a nice weight in this mode and the joycon’s on each side of the screen were comfortable to play with. I didn’t place high (5th and 11th the two times I played) but I really did enjoy playing it. The graphics looked nice (720p/60 FPS) and a large improvement on the 3DS.

Splatoon 2

Next I played Splatoon 2 after a 5 or so minute wait. The demo was multiplayer Territory Control (cover the most area in ink). It was in TV (docked) mode, I playing right in front of the screen the graphics looked crips and smooth, it looked great. The controllers were in the joycon grip controller configuration (as pictured above and upclose of joycongrip below), it did feel small the first time I played but after the second time I didn’t even notice. It used motion controls and the right stick for aiming which was a little weird but I’m sure it is changeable in the options. I managed to play Splatoon 3 times it was really fun, I will definitely be getting it when I get a switch. It is a great multi player game and I’m sure fun to play on my commute to work, if there is a single player mode.

Close up of the joycon grip with both joycons attached
Arms screenshot (credit to apptrigger.com)
Arms controller configuration (credit to vg247.com)

I then played Arms which uses the TV (docked) mode again but with one joycon in each hand (pictured above). It was my favourite, didn’t think it would be half as good as it was and fun as it was to play. It played so well it was better than any motion games I have played on the Wii. I think the use of the controller’s to punch, block and move was just completely intuitive I was also dodging and jumping around (L trigger and R trigger respectively) and there are different glove types to be chosen from at the character selection screen. I feel like with the switch they might have motion controls right. It will definitely be one of the first games I get.

Breath of the Wild in handheld mode (undocked)

I was so excited to try all the games that I missed my slot to play Breath of the Wild but a very nice and helpful staff member got me in to play after the next two slots at around 6:20. Breath of The Wild was great, it’s one of the first open world games I’m looking forward to exploring. It was played with the pro controller which was very comfortable and I think will be a must buy for long TV gaming sessions (though I’ve still to try a joycon in each hand without the grip so that could be comfortable). I really enjoyed the 10 minute session and the visuals were beautiful when you first see the open landscape. After 7 minutes I decided to try “switching” to handheld (undocked) mode (pictured above) and it was instant, I was still excited even after seeing the January 12/13th presentation. It was so smooth and simple. Because I was using the pro controller to enable the joycon’s I had to press the A button and then to start playing the game it’s as simple as pressing L+R and away you go without missing any of the action or fumbling around.

1–2-switch box art

Next I tried 1–2-switch which is a game made us of a bunch of mini games, the three I that were setup to demo were: Quick Draw, Milk and Ball Count. All of the mini-games are played with 2 players and each has a single joycon in their hand which are used in different ways detailed below.

Quick draw

The first mini game I played was quick draw which is played by each player standing and facing each other then putting the joycon down by your side and then you wait for the switch to say draw and the first to lift their hand, point at the other player and click the ZL or ZR button (the one on that joycon) is the winner then the time is shown in seconds (0.n seconds) and then who was quickest. I lost 3 out of 3 but the person I was facing had gotten 0.4 seconds when facing his friend just before me and the staff member had never seen a time that fast before.

Milking

Next I played the milking mini-game which was a lot more fun than I had imagined. Again each player holds a single joycon but this time each player used the SL and SR buttons on the inside of the controller in an up and down motion with a 1 … 2 … repeat button combo. There was a straw hat to wear while playing. I played 4 games with a staff member, the first 3 were tied at 11 cups of milk each and the last was 12 to me and 14 her.

Ball Count

Finally I played ball count which used the HD Rumble feature which was better than I expected but I couldn’t feel all the balls each time. I think I’d like to try it out again in a quiet comfortable environment before I pass judgement. I played again against a staff member and had 3 rounds, I won the first but lost the next two.

My closing thoughts are that I think it will be fun console for the whole family, that will also appeal to the casual and hardcore gamer’s a like (if they can get the 3rd party support). I think the pro controller should be included to appeal to the more traditional gamer’s. I am looking forward to getting one and I can’t wait to be playing at lunch and on my commute to work which was what I was hoping I would have done with the Vita but I never really played it out of my home. As none of the games really had me hooked other than the MGS HD collection and Gravity Rush which required motion controls so I only played when sat still. I hope Nintendo has success with the Switch and lots of games come to it.