Reviews - Updated on April 15, 2022

Almost immediately after the announcement of the release date, the launch line of games and the retail price for the Nintendo Switch, the console was brought and shown to journalists. The situation was moderately secret: they were not allowed to enter the event without a passport, the guards placed in dense rows looked suspiciously at the “iPhones” of the press and bloggers. Although the consoles themselves, located in the three halls of the restaurant where the presentation took place, could be taken out of the docking stations only with the permission of the assistants assigned to them.

Fresh The Legend of Zelda clearly will not disgrace the legacy of its great ancestors.

“Ladder” in the open world

The first hall mainly showed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Behind her, I spent the most time – after all, the most important project of the starting line. The first part of the series in the open world has become more realistic: the main character, Link, must be dressed to improve performance, hearts to replenish energy can no longer be mowed down in any clearing, after a good sprint, the guy needs to rest, and a test fall from a high tower opened up great screen opportunities for me with Game Over.

Strictly speaking, this is not quite the usual Zelda – around is not a semi-open world where you can not visit a significant part of the locations (Final Fantasy XV, I’m looking at you). Here you can climb different ledges, swim in ponds and go deep into the jungle, and the environment helps in battles with monsters – for example, I managed to finish off a couple of goblins by pushing a stone on them. The only thing was that it was impossible to understand the level of story missions in half an hour of demonstration – but when were they bad in the main series?

In Zelda, you could also try the Switch system itself, separately from the TV. In the hands it lies well, it feels much more modern than the Wii U gamepad, and the display resolution does not cause bloody tears. True, in terms of severity, it is not comparable with Vita or 3DS, but rather with a good tablet. But to say that the device shows some miracles is impossible. With nice art design, Breath of the Wild was embarrassed by the “ladders” on the hero, squirrels disappearing into the grass, and the fact that the grass itself did not always appear as quickly as the ground on which it grows. However, if you remember that the game was developed primarily for the Wii U, you can understand and forgive.

Another “switch” in the corner alternately demonstrated the “bomberman” for two people, then the futuristic races from the FAST series. Both looked fun, but not too advanced in terms of graphics. And everyone knows perfectly well what to expect from Bomberman and the Wipeout clone.

I played Zelda using the Pro Controller, which will need to be purchased separately. He, as always with Nintendo, is firmly assembled and fits comfortably in the hands – there was almost no need to look at the buttons. The FAST session was completed with the bundled joy-con controllers docked into the docking station, making it look like a single arcade controller from a classic console like the Sega Saturn. In general, it is quite convenient and can replace the “pro” version.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe should draw a huge army of fans online.

Farmer’s dream

But in the second hall of the game, it was already assumed that the “joy-con” should be pulled out and used separately. In Mario Kart Remake, everyone can pick up one controller and control the car. There are few fundamental differences from the version for Wii U, but the fact that there are two remote controls at once for at least some of the games is already pleasing. The “joy-con” itself sits normally even in a man’s hand, and, despite the small size and weak travel of the end buttons (“shifts”), it is quite convenient to control it.

We also managed to try the exclusive ARMS fighting game. It is controlled by two joy-cons and most of all resembles a very advanced box from Wii Sports in the style of Hollywood sci-fi films of the 60s and 70s. Movement recognition is very good, due to the tilt of the body, you can move the hero, and real punches in the air allow you to hit the enemy. It is unlikely that ARMS has the depth of any Tekken, but it is suitable for drunken entertainment.

Finally, the third hall was devoted to 1-2-Switch, a collection of mini-games for a couple of people at once, where third-party viewers look at the screen, and people with joysticks have to look into each other’s eyes. Most often, natural hell was turned on when it was necessary to milk a cow by moving the joy-con up and down and pressing its end buttons. People around laughed, and, perhaps, it is 1-2-Switch that should be promoted for parties. Sadly, this farmer’s dream isn’t bundled with the Switch. Why is impossible to understand, because Wii Sports and Nintendo Land were very important for driving innovation and 1-2-Switch should do the same.

Of all the things shown, I didn’t catch on only the strange “paper” Snipperclips – a puzzle where you need to cut out shapes. In general, the starting line is not distinguished by any hits, except for the next parts of Zelda and Mario Kart. At the same time, she demonstrates that the console can be used in very different ways: in the classic style on the TV, and with motion controllers, and with a pair of joy-cons, and in general as a portable device. This is an important signal for developers – they will be able to come up with a lot. But whether the Switch hardware will allow third-party studios to create what they want is the big question, and there is no exact answer to it yet.

ARMS does not pull on a big exclusive, but it allows you to wave well.

***

If we perceive the Switch as a home system, then it has not yet taken a significant step forward compared to the Wii U. But there has not yet been a portable gaming device of the same Wii U level, with a library of large projects, exclusive releases and its own ecosystem. Therefore, I would recommend that you perceive the new Nintendo prefix in this way – as a thing that will be in the same ring not with the PlayStation and Xbox, but with tablets and phones. In this sense, the gadget acquires an additional dimension and becomes truly interesting.

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