Before the release of the Nintendo Switch on the 3rd March 2017, Nintendo decided to take a few units and wheel them around the United Kingdom. Birmingham, Manchester, and London were the choice locations, and with a few dates, a few bookings, people could taste the Switch experience, though not the cartridges. Sure this would have been a great piece to post before the Switch launch, but sometimes people (me) just have a thing for being a little (very) late.
Here we have a friend try out the brand new Nintendo IP, Arms. Motion control is now a thing again, so I watched as he curled his Joy Cons (the name of the controller which can hook onto the system, a dock or be played with one in each hand) to lay a smack down on his opponent. He lost.
Not that I did any better when I had a go, motion control turning is a little tricky when you’re flailing.
If you can make out the blurry image on-screen you will find yourself looking at Splatoon 2. This online third person ink em up hasn’t changed all that much from before, but new specials and duel wielding fun add some extra spice. Not that I had much luck in using them as I fought with the motion controlled camera. Everyone else in the team did though, and talked about how much fun they had. I simply enjoyed the colours.
Our group also managed to try out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is a bit of a ‘meet the new, same as the old’ kind of thing. There are extra racers, a revamped battle mode we weren’t allowed to try, and the addition of double items, leading to two single banana combos more often than not. In an eight player race through Hyrule I enjoyed holding the Switch in my hands, appreciated how unlikely this eight player local multiplayer set up will ever be much of a thing for myself again, and groaned as the demo attendant made mention of how great it is to play as King Boo, continuously throughout the two hours there.
The main event for many was the chance to play The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild a few weeks early. Time cards were handed out to avoid pandemonium, and it was the perfect way to finish off the day. Though ten minutes wasn’t much time to get much of a feel for it. I spent five minutes trying to get out of the opening cinematic, then five minutes admiring how pretty the fields looked before having the Switch snatched away.
I guess it was alright.
Snipperclips and 1 2 Switch were also available to try out, but an hour-long Arms queue took that opportunity away. Playing the two games a few weeks later I can say that the former is a great way to fall out with friends, and the latter is a great way to alienate them. Milking a virtual cow, it just isn’t for everyone, no matter how much I beg them to.
As the day ended we’d fought, raced, inked, and murdered the Switch’s pro controller plus button to skip all the Zelda cut scenes. It was free fun, not fun free, though a dummy toilet positioned in the middle of the room with a demo Switch would have been ideal, offering the ‘true’ Switch experience the event promised. I mean, isn’t that how we’re all going to play in handheld mode?
I wash my hands.