Friday, 13 January 2017

Nintendo Switch Presentation [Gaming]


So let me just say this. In reality, I knew this presentation would be just a recap and new stuff. How could it not be when the main focus was on the business side of things. What we did get was some interesting stuff. And teases galore.

It began with a recap of the central idea, before going into more detail. Right from the off we got a release date and price, with a worldwide release of 3rd March, and the price being $300 [Europe as usual will probably mark as close to that number as possible, what with retailers given free reign]. The online services will start out free, but will change to a paid service at a later date. Region locking has now been stopped, so imported games can now be played. I'm happy about all this. Sure, I don't import a lot of games, but there has been plenty of people who have wanted to do so. The price is roughly what I was expecting, and the release date did come as a bit of a surprise. I was expecting middle of March. As for paid online, considering no other details were mentioned with that, I'm going to wait it out and see exactly how much this is going to be and exactly what we get for our money.

The console got a focus, with it having a full touchscreen. The battery life of it is between three and six hours, which is unsurprising really. A 3DS lasts as long, and the Switch is more powerful. The anologue sticks of the controllers are clickable, and both Joy-Cons have the ability to scan amiibo. The left 'Con has a share button on it. Pictures can be shared, but will move into video clips. Yeah, the features on both PS4 and Xbox One are making their way to a Nintendo console. Slowly, but surely. The Joy Cons have gyroscopes inside, so motion control is once again part of a Nintendo system. The right Joy Con has a camera in it, and the left one has an HD rumble. Both get strap attachments, and as well as the black standard colour, there's also red and blue Joy Cons. Having straps on these things is a good idea, especially with motion gaming. And talking of motion gaming...

1-2 Switch seems to be another of those tech demo mini-game collections Nintendo likes to release at launch for its hardware. I struggled to see what exactly it is from the trailer, and I'm still none the wiser now. From what was shown, it looks as though you need to watch the other person's reactions carefully and - as given in the trailer - be the first to out-gun your opponent. Funnily enough, it requires not looking at a screen to play. Also showing off what the motion of the Joy Cons can do is Arms. Yes, that's the name, and that is the concept of it. A boxing-esque game, the characters have super stretchy arms that can punch at opponents from far away. The idea still remains the same - knock your opponent out before they can you. But since fighting is no longer close-quarters, it opens the field up more. Out of the two, I feel I'd have more fun playing this one. While 1-2 Switch is a launch game, Arms is just tagged as Spring.

Of course Splatoon was going to feature. And not just a port, but a new game. It introduces dual-wielding weapons, more interesting special weapons, and new moves to help traverse the battlefield. There's the roll to dodge, and the dash to slip by. Then there are also jetpacks, powered by your ink supply. New stages, new fashion, new modes [though Turf Wars remains unchanged], it pretty much is a new game. And just like the original, extra content will be released after the game has launched. I found the original to be a great game, and had fun playing it. My only real concern, and reason I stopped playing, was needing to use the Gamepad at all times. With Splatoon 2, that's no longer a worry, as the Joy-Cons are the controller or choice [or Pro Controller]. As I had expected, the map features have been placed onto the X button, with the D-Pad allowing jumps to other members of your team or your base. Just like the original game, Splatoon 2 is coming this summer.

Mario jumps for joy in... New York? Yup, Super Mario Odyssey is a jam-packed adventure where Mario's hat is a weapon and helpful platform, and he's travelling all over the world to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser, who appears to have gone for a fancy getup this time around. Returning to the likes of Super Mario 64 and Sunshine, this game is an open sandbox game. This looks stunning. There's really nothing more I can say. The real world environments look great, as do the humans who inhabit them. Then we get to more Mario-like world design, and even that still looks great. While nothing much was given away in terms of how the game will play [except for a snazzy roll that Mario now has], it does show several areas, a smattering of enemies, and some hints at what we'll be doing. There's no playable demo as yet though, and the game won't be ready until the holiday this year.

Xenoblade 2 got announced, as did Fire Emblem Warriors. Both will probably be getting more coverage at E3 this year, as I doubt either is ready for the launch window. Square-Enix is treating the Switch with not only Dragon Quest 10 and 11, but also Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2. As well as that, they have a new game called Project Octopath Traveler. Skyrim is confirmed for the Switch at last, though considering it was in the initial reveal trailer, it's nothing new. A new No More Heroes game is also coming. Once EA had their say of bringing FIFA to the Switch, a sizzle reel played out showing lots of games. Too many to recognise all of them. I did see Steep among them, Street Fighter, Bomberman, and Rayman were up there too. To give a rough idea, it was said there are 80 Switch games in production from third parties. 80. How many of those are launch window, we'll just have to see in the coming days as developers announce those projects.

Of course, we need one last game to round all this out with, so what better than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A new trailer and confirmation of it being a launch day game, and the presentation comes to an end. However, the presentation might have ended, but Nintendo's Youtube is now flocked with all the trailers. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for example, is coming April. The trailer shows off the new battle mode, with actual arenas [and returning ones, as I'm sure I spotted the Luigi's Mansion arena from Double Dash in there], and Spltoon content. The squids are in the game, with their own battle arena and I guess a kart set as well. It was pretty blink and you'll miss it. That wasn't the only thing though, as returning items. The feather, only featuring in Super Mario Kart [it let you jump over things, handy for shortcuts], and the boo from Mario Kart DS [that made you invisible to others]. There bound to be plenty more in the trailer, and there's more trailers just waiting to be found.

So, overall? The presentation was decent. It was clear that we weren't in for a huge amount of games being shown off in detail when the first one didn't even show until fifteen minutes after the start, and it didn't need to go into detail. Just like the initial reveal, this was to give a taste. It did that quite well. So in my eyes, it was almost a success. Almost, as it did seem to drag in places, and perhaps one or two more games could have been placed in there.
Now all that's left is for me and Hayden to get to London on Saturday morning and hope the snow doesn't disrupt the trains. Then we'll get our hands on the Switch, and I can give some more in depth thoughts into how I feel. That's all for now, so bye for now.

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