Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I'm an Engineer and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.
The Biggest Strength Of The Switch Is The Hardware
Nintendo knows how to make a kick ass console and the Switch continues the tradition set with such greats as the Super Nintendo, Gameboy Advance and Wii. The Switch build quality is solid and the default mobile joycon setup feels good in the hand. The Switch isn't too heavy at about 10.6 ounces which is a bit under a pound making it easy to hold for long periods of time. The only situations where holding the Switch becomes a thing is when I'm laying in bed and holding it up and my hands cramp up a bit(this also happens with my 3DS).
I'm very happy Nintendo decided to double down on standard hardware as the Switch connects to the TV and charges via USB C. What this means is that if you have USB C docks and chargers for your Android or Mac, they should work with your Switch. The only thing to consider is that the Switch NEEDS quite a bit of power in docked TV mode (15V/2.6A) and you must have a powerful enough charger if you use it with generic USB C HDMI docks. The reason why you might want to get a generic USB C HDMI dock is that they are MUCH cheaper than the Nintendo released dock and are much smaller in footprint. If you just want to trickle charge your Switch I use a generic USB C cable to my usb quick charger I use for my iPhone.
Another aspect of Nintendo building on open hardware is that the Switch pro controllers support normal bluetooth and USB C making them incredibly easy to connect to your PC. For a long time the "best" controller on PC was the XBox 360 PC controller but now with the Switch pro controller I think the 360 controller is now beat. Firstly the Switch pro controller feels better in the hand but the included d-pad is much improved over the 360 controller. Plus you can get going on PC with the Switch Pro controller without drivers making it a win over the XBox 360 controller for PC. Valve also added native support for the Switch Pro controller in Steam and I can see why, it's a fantastic controller.
The Switch Interface Is Simple
I've heard some critique of the Switch user interface in that it didn't feel refined enough for some gamers. I'm not sure I understand that criticism as the Switch UI is very simple and gets out of the way to make playing games easy. I thought that it would be annoying to install a microSD card and install software on that by default but it was easy as the Switch started using it to install everything right away.
The Nintendo Switch eshop is also quite simple to navigate but if you want to find demos you need to do a search and select "free" to get it. It's not a huge deal, but an option some people might not know is available if you don't click the search button.
I Hope The Switch Has a Long Life
I love the Switch and due to it's relatively open hardware nature, great experience and incredible selection of games I'm going to be playing it for a long time. My hope is that Nintendo supports is much longer than the Wii U and the dream scenario would be getting a Switch 2, 3, etc over time. As with the DS to 3DS Nintendo kept backwards compatibility my hope is Nintendo does similarly with the Switch. That said, if they don't I imagine the Switch will see me playing it for a long time.
The Dance Between Digital And Physical Games
My preference is to buy Switch game carts. That said, when I got the Switch it came with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe digitally and having the game available to play without switching a cart is really nice. With games I'll play exclusively for a long time such as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze buying the cart makes sense but for smaller indie titles getting digital is a good way to go. I also enjoy collecting games and loaning them to friends and so far, physical is the best option for that.
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This Isn't Mega Man 2 But That's Ok
Beyond the 3D graphics at first blush Mega Man 11 looks and plays like the classic games we love. It's hard because the game feels just like the classics but under the covers are a slew of new mechanics. In fact, these new mechanics I found annoying at first but after clocking about 3 hours into the game are finally working for me.
The new stages are much longer than any Mega Man stages I've played so far which is to say, they are much longer than the stages in Mega Man 2. At first this seemed odd to me, how can you have a Mega Man game with super long stages and get through it and then I realized that Mega Man 11 is aimed a much more modern audience. The stages in NES Mega Man were short due to cart limitations and password saves states and replay-ability. Mega Man 11 sticks It's flag firmly in the save state world and expects you to complete a stage one time and move on. Gone are the days where the game expects you to turn it on and replay each robot boss battle on your way to beating Dr Wily. Mega Man 11 expects your gonna pick a difficulty and play each stage until you complete it until the end of the game.
This focus on stage length, difficulty and your game progress is all tied together through a new mechanic i'd not seen in a Mega Man game focusing on an in game currency, screws. Fear not, this isn't tied to any micro-transactions and screws are something you can collect easily in each stage by finding them or killing enemies. Collect enough screws and you can visit Dr Light and buy a ton of items such as E-Tanks and Mega Man enhancements like the ability to get a wider buster shot, lessen your push back when you take damage and increase the amount of energy that drops from enemies. These power ups unlock at certain points in the game and each one is a different amount of screws to unlock. Say you are having a particularly hard time in the Block Man stage? Collect enough screws to max out on E-Tanks and other items to make the stage easier. The screw currency gives the game focus in that you can unlock abilities and power ups making subsequent playthroughs easier. If you want the game to be more difficult you can avoid all this entirely but I'm working my way through it the first time and it's nice to get a bit of help.
Block Man Down, Acid Man to Go
After about three hours I finally defeated Block Man. The Block Man stage is quite punishing and once you complete a section it tosses it back to you in a harder form until you master each section to finally confront Block Man. Turns out Block Man isn't too hard, or isn't if you use the Super Guard power-up and some E-Tanks (which I recommend) and as such is one of the best stages and bosses to take on first. According to some searching, Acid Man goes down smooth with the Block drop weapon so I'm now working on that stage.
Another part of Mega Man 11 worth a series of accolades is the level design. So far the Block Man and Acid Man stages are quite different and contain very clever puzzles that are hard but fair. I've taken a peek at a few other stages such as Bounce Man which feels like a level designed by people that love crazy bouncy castles.
So far Mega Man 11 takes the best elements of the series and solidly moves the game forward for a new audience. If you like Mega Man games and don't mind coming back to the same levels and slowly getting better a bit at a time, Mega Man 11 is for you. You can download a demo of the Block Man stage on PC, Switch, PS4 and XBone to give it a shot if you're not entirely sure if this is something you might be into. I've heard Mega Man 11 looks better on the PS4 and XBox One and all I can say is the game looks great on the Switch. It's a bit jaggy in handheld mode but once it pops to the TV it looks fantastic.
Pictures get you a bonus accolade!
"Lemmings: A cute, clumsy and clueless species of green-mopped creatures on a journey home, in desperate need of help. For over 25 years, players have answered their call, with millions playing the puzzle game that became a pop-culture phenomenon.
We cheered when we saved them, cried when they died and as a schoolkid back in the ’90s, my classmates and I seemed hell-bent on killing the poor things in the most barbaric way possible. Kids were cruel in the ’90s. We had no internet.
Now it’s time for a whole new generation to save/slaughter those adorable critters once again, with a brand new Lemmings game out today, designed specifically for your mobile device."