Nintendo Dispatch

Nintendo fanboys Michael and James breakdown the latest news, game releases, and happenings in the Nintendo universe.

My First Three Months with the Nintendo Switch

Hello Dispatchers, I’m Christina (known as RUST1CA the mod on Twitch), long time fan of the podcast, friend, and stream mod of Nintendo Dispatch.

When I first saw the Nintendo Switch, I’ll be honest, I held a sense of pessimism towards it. Another console? I wasn’t interested. I was also never a huge Nintendo fan. The only positive Nintendo experience I had was Mariokart on the Nintendo 64. Other than that I just played Super Nintendo at friends’ houses and had a broken Gameboy Color I bought off a “friend”. But, after seeing how versatile the Switch was, the games available for it, and the fact that you could play them anywhere, anytime, swayed my opinion. I understood the appeal of the Switch and started to feel like I was genuinely missing out! I wanted one.

I was lucky enough to be gifted a Switch this past Christmas, and I didn’t put it down for more than a week. Three months later and I barely use my Xbox other than for Netflix from time to time. The Switch has become my main gaming console. If you’re on the fence about picking one up or just got your hands on one, below I share some thoughts about my Switch, along with recommendations that will hopefully help you make a decision or enhance the beginning of your Switch adventure!

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VERSATILITY

To start, I couldn’t and still can’t get over how versatile the console is. It’s like 1/5 the size of my Xbox One and fits in my bag easily with my laptop. It’s so easy to place in the dock to charge, and I can take it right out when I want to bring it somewhere. No waiting for anything to turn off or load. At first, doing this went against everything I’ve known about tech so it felt wrong how easy it was.

Right after getting it I was visiting family for the holidays and got to put my Switch to the test. My sister and I had fun playing co-op games both plugged into the television and just on the kitchen table. We even got my mother to play a little bit. I find myself mostly playing it in handheld mode because I like to play games in bed. I also travel for work once a week and don’t have to worry about packing the dock. I will say that using it in handheld mode for too long (3+ hours) starts to make my right thumb and hand cramp up and go numb. I do have a Satisfye gaming grip in my future, so hopefully this won’t be an issue anymore.

The fact that I can carry it around in my bag/purse and play high-quality games whenever, wherever, has been the most important game-changing part of the Switch so far.

GAMES & E-SHOP

Since getting a Switch, I’m way more interested in Indie titles which seems to be 90% of what is available right now for the Switch. I say right now because there seems to be more AAA titles announced for Switch releases which is great to look forward to ! I used to mostly focus on AAA titles because I thought (stressing the past tense) that Indie Games simply weren’t as good as AAA games and weren’t worth the money. I was mistaken, I know this now expecially after clocking in more than 70 hours in Stardew Valley.

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The E-Shop is loaded with Indie titles and releases new games almost every single day. They’re less expensive than AAA games, and they’re easier to play in small chunks of time. It’s perfect if you only have like 20-30 minutes available to play a game. Also, there are sales all the time so you can get tons of high-quality games for under $20, there are even some that go on sale for under $1. The E-Shop also makes it easy to filter through all the games available. I like to check out the best sellers from time to time (or wait to hear about them in the podcast).

One feature I wish the E-Shop implemented was some kind of notification system if an item on my wishlist goes on sale. Right now there isn't anything that lets me know, and I always forget to look. I'm picturing just a small red dot that shows up on my E-Shop icon when a wishlist item goes on sale. Any kind of non-intrusive notification would be helpful!

NINTENDO ONLINE

If you plan on playing Minecraft in a realm with a few friends or any kind of online co-op games, you may want to look into signing up for Nintendo Online. Right now there aren’t a ton of major perks besides cloud saving, Tetris99, and Classic Nintendo games for free. I am optimistic about the future of online though, but for now, it seems to be most important for online co-op. There is a 7-day free trial if you sign up.

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PAIN POINTS

As much as I have enjoyed my Switch there are things I have found frustrating. As I previously mentioned, before my Switch I primarily gamed on my Xbox. Switching from an Xbox controller to the switch controls made me crazy for the first few days. The A, B, X, and Y buttons on the Switch are flipped compared to Xbox controllers so I kept hitting the wrong buttons. Those first few days were rough. I did get used to it on my Switch, so now when I use my Xbox I have issues. I’ve come to accept that I lack coordination and my life is an endless cycle of not knowing what buttons to press.

Nintendo has made friending so complicated. In order to connect with a friend, you need to get their Friend Code which is formatted: XX-1234-5678-9012 which isn’t the easiest thing to get to. You have to go to your ‘page’ and then your profile. It’s also a whole other process if you’re trying to add a friend locally. It seems like it would be so much easier to search for a friend with their email address or gamer tag.

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A minor thing that won’t be addressed until the Switch has a hardware upgrade, but the console has limitations. The quality of graphics isn’t as high as Xbox, Playstation. Because of that it seems to be the main console for Indie games. That being said, Zelda Breath of the Wild is a gorgeous game, and a lot of Indie titles are beautiful too, but the more recent Tomb Raider games (my absolute favorite) won’t be coming to the Switch anytime soon. I’ll have to stick to my Xbox for those.

RECOMMENDATIONS

So you just got a Switch? Welcome! I have a few recommendations that might make the beginning of your new console adventure even better.

First of all, if you plan on bringing your switch out-and-about I can’t recommend the tomtoc case enough. It’s a hard shell waterproof case that snugly fits your Switch in soft-as-a-kitten fabric. There’s also a flap on the inside where you can store up to 6 physical games or memory cards. There isn’t a spot for a cable or your charger though so keep that in mind. I definitely advise getting a screen protector and a micro SD card right away for all those games you’re going to download from the E-Shop. I have a 100GB card in mine and it’s not even a quarter of the way filled yet.

For game recommendations, I will disclaim that I don’t tend to enjoy first-person shooter, battle royale, competitive types of games. If you do, definitely get Fortnite because it’s free and you’d be crazy not to! If you’re like me and tend to really enjoy RPGs, adventuring, or playing games that are more relaxing, I can’t recommend The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild enough! It was the first game I played with my Switch and it was, in my opinion, the best game to start out with. It’s definitely one of the more expensive Switch games out there but worth every penny! I couldn’t believe that a console so small could handle a game with such a large world.

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For Indie titles I would recommend Stardew Valley to farm, fish, or mine to your heart's desire. Also, Death Squared is another great starting game to take advantage of the extremely easy co-op functionality of the Switch and test your friend's communication or puzzle solving skills.

So there are my thoughts and recommendations three months into owning my Switch. Do you have any thoughts, advice, or games you’d like to recommend? Comment below!

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