Official Nintendo Switch Event at Manchester Central

Guest article by Wing See Li.

The Way We Play


Play Anytime,
Anywhere, With Anyone
” – Nintendo Switch UK Slogan.

Originally, I would’ve attended the Manchester Big Geek
Meet – Valentine’s Special event as Elsa from Disney’s Frozen (Ratchet
& Clank are taking a backseat this year seeing as 2016 is all about Ratchet
& Clank, cosplay wise) on Saturday 18th February but as the
weeks or months sped by, apparently there’s been a change in plans at the last
minute in favour for the Nintendo Switch. Therefore, it’s too difficult to pass
up. Sadly, it’s impossible for me to be at two places or events at once.
Cosplay just can’t compete with the Nintendo Switch. My recent buddy and I
booked for 5:30pm on Saturday 18th February.


1: This display presents the console and the controllers in
three combinations.


2: The Pro Controller is used to play games such as The Legend
of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I knew about this event when I’m minding my own business
scrolling through my Twitter feed until I immediately stumbled upon a tweet
posted by Nintendo UK about them hosting Nintendo Switch hands-on events at
three cities across the UK: Birmingham, Manchester and London. When I realised
there will be an event at my homecity, I knew I just HAD to be there,
regardless of my current neutral mindset with Nintendo and the console.
However, this means I couldn’t make it to the Manchester Big Geek Meet – Valentine’s

Here are my opinions of how I felt about the Nintendo
Switch games:      

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Alongside Splatoon 2,
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of my most-wanted Nintendo Switch games.
However there isn’t much of a difference between the original Wii U and the
Nintendo Switch versions except a few changes and additions such as returning
veterans (Dry Bones, Bowser Jr. and King Boo), two new characters (Female
Inkling and Male Inkling), the character selection screen is different (the
background looked like a garage akin to the Mario Kart 7 character
roster screen) and there are two circular item windows (The right spherical
window is larger in comparison to the left, small spherical window) instead of
one. This implies racers can hold two items at once, similar to how they can be
utilised in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! These aforesaid windows are
located at the top left corner of the screen during a race.

In the demo only a
handful of racetracks are available to choose from ranging from the
ever-changing, seasonal Animal Crossing racecourse to the chaotic, but frantic,
Baby Park (first appeared in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!). Unfortunately,
battle mode isn’t included in the demo which means I couldn’t try out the
revamped and new-fangled battle courses, much to my disappointment.


3: Most noticeably, King Boo, Bowser Jr., Female Inkling and
Male Inkling are now added to the roster.

Splatoon 2 

Besides Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 is
one of the reasons why I attended this event. There isn’t much of a difference
between the first and second game but the fact I haven’t played Splatoon
in a while, it felt like I’m playing this game for the first time which
literally is, regarding the sequel. Splatoon is pretty much Nintendo’s
family-friendly, paintball-styled answer to Activision’s Call of Duty

The only noticeable differences in the sequel are the
brand-new graphics, new weapons, the down button which allows me to pick my
spawn point and the right arrow button which brings up the current stats of the


4: TV displaying the controls and how many players are joining the match.

My gripes with this game are the shoulder
buttons aren’t responsive when I attempted to switch between my paint-filled
firearms and I’ve noticed a little dip in the framerate during the match.
Granted, the framerates suddenly decreasing can become distracting sometimes.
On the other hand, it’s hard to spot when I’m extremely immersed in the
fast-paced, chaotic action taking place right before my very eyes.  

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

To almost every Nintendo fan, The Legend
of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
is most arguably one of the most
highly-anticipated games of the year. To a few gamers like me, it’s a game I’m
not interested in and want nothing to do with it.

One of the surprises is the game nearly have full
voice acting, identical to Super Mario Sunshine, which is a first for a Legend
of Zelda

The instant I exited the darkened cave or
dungeon after opening each treasure chest in order to pick up the items with
the intention of adding them to my inventory or getting dressed into my attire,
I skid to a halt on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the scenery which took my
breath away.

Speaking of the scenery, it felt expansive
than ever before, complete with more lush greenery extending for miles and miles
into the distance and there is so much to take in as the camera pans and sweeps
around the abovementioned area and I. This sense of freedom implies there are
so many things to do and explore ranging from pushing a massive boulder down
the cliff to dispatching enemies with a long stick or an axe with ease if I’m
itching for a battle. Judging by my inventory, I’m assuming I won’t be able to
obtain a sword and shield in the demo. To put it simply, the place is a beauty
to behold and the world is my oyster. In spite I never give a hoot about
graphics (hence why I’m a retro gamer from time to time); I can’t deny the
graphics are outstandingly beautiful and how much attention to detail is
compacted into one location.      

In spite of the admittedly breathtaking (no
pun intended) experience, it still doesn’t change the fact I don’t see myself
buying this game.


5: At the start of the demo, a cutscene is played prior to the


Out of all of the games I tried out, ARMS surprised me the
most. Initially, I didn’t like it but when I finally have the opportunity to
test it, I soon regret judging it in the first place. It’s unexpectedly
competitive, compelling and engaging, especially when I won in both rounds on
my first go. Choosing the right character and weapons can make or break the
game. In other words, deciding on the right characters and weaponry determines the
outcome of the match.

Before training starts, I’ve been given the chance to
select the character I desired to play as. Every male and female character have
their own strengths, weaknesses and attributes. Training felt like a tutorial,
teaching me the basics and fundamentals before the match truly commenced.  

Prior to each round, I’m prompted with the chance to equip
a weapon for each Joy-Con controller: one weapon for the left Joy-Con and
another for the right Joy-Con, before a round begins. In the demo, the matches
consist of two rounds.  


6: Spring Man dukes it out with Ribbon Girl
in a head-on match.  

In the heat of the battle, I tried using everything I
learned from training at my disposal and every single trick in the book in an
attempt to throw my opponent off guard and land blow after blow at the weak
spots and when he’s wide open for attack. The damage I dealt reduced the health
bar of my adversary with each powerful hit. When I threw a curve by punching in
a curvy motion, this resulted in the character I’m playing as to do the same. I
soon come to the realisation that flinging my arms in random directions will
not suffice. But that is not the case when I unleashed my special move. The
first person to unleash their special ability has the chance to fling a flurry
of punches. It turns out that I need to be strategic in thrusting my punches.
Luckily, doing this never broke the Joy-Cons unlike the Wii remotes when I
shook it in frenzy while playing Mario Sports Mix on my Wii back then.
This confirms the Joy-Con controllers are much sturdier than the Wii remote.
Just the slightest turbulently violent motions can reduce a Wii remote unusable
and put it out of commission.

The objective of the game is to deplete your opponent’s
health bar to zero in each round. If you win in two rounds, you’re declared as
the winner. However, if one person claimed victory in the first round and your
foe did the same in the second round, it will become a sudden death until
someone become the victor in the final round.

Though, I don’t see myself playing this game for numerous
hours on end, considering it’s essentially a multiplayer game, particularly
when it’s fun with a friend.  

1, 2, Switch 

I’m not going to lie, 1, 2, Switch felt
like an assortment of tech demos (or rather mini-games) and it’s not rocket
science to realise this game is designed for people to test out what the
Joy-Con controllers are capable of in terms of showcasing the controls and how
the gameplay is implemented to the aforementioned controls.

Though, only three mini-games are available
to play at the event such as Quick Draw, Milk and Ball Count. Quick Draw tests
people’s reflexes, Milk tests how many times you can shake a Joy-Con controller
up and down rhythmically and repeatedly in a slow motion whilst paying
attention to your hand and last but not least, Ball Count assesses how well you
can guess how many balls are inside the rectangular box which is presented on
the TV screen by tilting the Joy-Con controller left and right whilst listening
to the sounds of the balls rolling by grasping it near one of your ears.      


7: Tensions arise when my friend and I dared not to move an


8: Milk requires my friend and I to hold the side buttons
while moving the controller up and down rhythmically.


9: Tilting the Joy-Con controller left and right felt like the
balls were really in it.

Out of all of the mini-games, Quick Draw is
the mini-game I have the most fun out of. My hand is quivering and sweating
with anticipation while my eyes and my friend’s eyes were locked on to each
other as if we’re engaged in a staring contest. Whilst we couldn’t take our
eyes off one another, we both felt the tension as if either of us dared not to
hold each other at gunpoint. The second we heard the word, “Fire”, blaring out
from the game, we immediately draw out our Joy-Cons at each other. For me
personally, it’s nerve-racking, but enjoyable, at the same time. I never felt
like this since Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, minus the fun.


Unfortunately, my new friend and I have missed out on
trying out Snipperclips, which means I don’t have an opinion about it.
By the time we finished testing 1, 2, Switch, we were too late to queue
up for Snipperclips since the aforementioned queue is closed off seeing
as the Nintendo Switch event is about to finish.


10: From what I’ve heard, Snipperclips requires




I’m a little disappointed my recent friend
and I missed out on trying Snipperclips but on the bright side, we
played the games we wanted such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2.

Booking wise, this event is the PlayStation
UK The Future of Play Tour all over again since I have to book online by
choosing a time and date to best suit my schedule and my new pal’s schedule.

As it stands, my opinion still remained
unchanged. Since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Super
Mario Odyssey
are going to be released in the future further down the line,
it’s not worth purchasing the console on the launch day, considering I’m not a
fan of The Legend of Zelda series. Not only that, but my neutral
opinions about the said console are kind of the same as how I feel about Crash
Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy
. Just like Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy,
I like AND hate the Nintendo Switch.


  • 1)  
    Nintendo Switch is comfortable and accessible to
  • 2)  
    Fairly quick-to-learn and simple controls
  • 3)  
    Multiple methods of using the console
  • 4)  
    Depending on which game I’m playing, the
    controls are responsive
  • 5)  
    Slipping the Nintendo Switch into the dock felt
  • 6)  
    The Joy-Cons and the pro controller fits
    perfectly in my hands
  • 7)  
    The motion controls of the Nintendo Switch
    seemed to surpass the Wii and Wii U
  • 8)  
    The Joy-Cons, the console itself and the pro
    controller are lightweight
  • 9)  
    Just like the previous Nintendo consoles,
    Nintendo Switch proved that graphics aren’t everything and the other aspects of
    gaming are more important
  • 10)  There’s finally a screenshot button for taking
  • 11)  The screen of the console is bright and crisp
    but not obnoxiously bright
  • 12)  Joy-Con controllers are more robust and stable
    than the Wii remote during intensive gaming sessions  


  • 1)   Lacklustre,
    underwhelming launch line-up
  • 2)   Paid
    online service and subscription
  • 3)   Mario
    Kart 8 Deluxe
    , Splatoon 2 and Super Mario
    aren’t available on the launch day
  • 4)   My
    current, conflicted opinions about Nintendo have affected my perspectives about
    the Nintendo Switch
  • 5)   Adding
    up the prices of the accessories, the games and the console altogether, people
    are spending an estimate of over £200.
  • 6)   The
    console, accessories and the games are expensive
  • 7)   I’m
    still a bit jaded/sceptic about the Nintendo Switch
  • 8)   There’s
    still not much information about the Virtual Console, specs, paid online
    service, applications etc
  • 9)   No
    internet browser
  • 10)  Online chat is via an app on a smartphone
  • 11)  Lower battery life if the console is removed
    from its dock
  • 12)  The console doesn’t come with a few games in a
    bundle compared to previous Nintendo consoles
  • 13)  Yet another console featuring motion controls
    taking centre stage
  • 14)  No Virtual Console on the Nintendo Switch on
    the launch day  


Verdict (Continued)

Did the Nintendo Switch met or exceed my
expectations? Well… yes, sort of.

Maybe if I booked a time and a date earlier
instead of waiting for my friend to decide for us then we would’ve played all
of the games, despite there were games I’m not too keen in playing (The
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
, ARMS, 1, 2, Switch and Snipperclips)
but these were my initial perspectives.  

If only Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon
and Super Mario Odyssey were released earlier, then I would’ve
bought the console in a heartbeat. Though, I usually buy the games before
purchasing a console these days. The method worked before with the PlayStation
3 and PlayStation 4, so why not the Nintendo Switch (IF I’m going to buy it,
that is)?

If Nintendo eventually decides to decrease
the prices of the console, the games and accessories, all the more reasons to
purchase them. For now, I’m satisfied with my PlayStation 4 Slim and I’d rather
wait until the games I desired have come out before making a decision. Funny
how I’m more psyched for Yooka-Laylee, Skylar & Plux: Adventure
On Clover Island
, Rad Rodgers, Fox ‘N’ Forests, Clive ‘N’
etc than the Nintendo Switch. Huh, go figure.

In light of number four in the Cons
(negatives) list, I don’t know how to say this but this kind of conflicted
feeling have been going on for quite some time, if not in recent years. I want
to get this off my chest but the thing is I don’t hold Nintendo in high regard
and I don’t put them on a pedestal compared to back then. It might be due to
the fact I’m growing older or ever since Nintendo disappointed me in the recent
years (what with the Wii U failed to meet my expectations and Nintendo or
Intelligent Systems ruined the Paper Mario series due to Paper Mario:
Sticker Star
and Paper Mario: Colour Splash. Thereby, me jumping
ship to the PlayStation 4 which marks as the first console I bought in the
current console generation and I completely skipped the Wii U following suit)
and Ratchet & Clank is my current obsession, I’m starting to drift away
from Nintendo. Therefore, I don’t play as much Mario and Kirby games as I used
to. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Nintendo and I worship Shigeru Miyamoto as
much as the next fan but times have changed and well, people change. Speaking
of him, I begin to realise he’s becoming a detriment to the company what with
him being responsible for the downfall of the Paper Mario series and the
mistakes he and aforementioned corporation have made. If I didn’t know any
better, I’d reckon he’s losing his touch and he’s obviously out of touch with
his fans, the video game industry, Nintendo’s customers and Nintendo itself. I
know it pains me to say this but I reckon he should retire from Nintendo or the
video game industry altogether. Besides, what good is he these days to
aforesaid company and abovementioned industry? Regarding the Paper Mario
series, I still believe it should stick to its RPG roots and this is coming
from someone who never plays RPGs. Story = Motivation, reason and motive.
Without a story, there is no reason for you to go out of your way to do things,
do battle with your enemies, collecting objects and so forth. To add insult to
injury, a lack of story means scuffling with your opponents are meaningless
etc. You get the point. I meant every word with all my heart and I don’t regret
saying them at all. I know the truth may be harsh but this is what I’ve been
feeling towards Nintendo lately.  

Now back to the subject at hand, some of the
downsides of the Nintendo Switch event is there’s a black woman (she’s one of
the event volunteers) who ruined my experience and everyone else’s experiences
of Splatoon 2 by talking down on us in a negative manner as if we were
stupid, we can’t make our own decisions and we’ve been told what to do and what
not to do. To make matters worse, I weren’t allowed to take photos of the game.
It doesn’t make sense when I’m allowed to take photographs of the other game
demos but not the Splatoon 2 game demo and the extremely long queue for
entering the reasonably large room (I can’t remember the name of the room) and
lining up in the queues to play the games. Sure, I have to queue to have my
ticket scanned before entering the room where the PlayStation VR games are
located at and then join another queue near the entrance and exit of the
aforesaid room and wait until my timeslot and the name of the chosen game is
called out at PlayStation UK The Future of Play event last October but unlike
this event, there were so many queues at the Nintendo Switch event as far as
the eye can see. It felt like an eternity waiting in the queues. Some lines are
longer than others; it depends on how many people were waiting in line in front
of a game demo.  

Despite my somewhat negative criticisms, I
enjoyed the event immensely but I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy the console
on Day 1 unless you can afford it. If you’re into The Legend of Zelda:
Breath of the Wild
, Super Bomberman R or any of the launch games,
then go ahead and purchase it. If it were me, I’d wait for a price drop or wait
until the games I desired are launched.

By Wing See Li for Tomb of Ash

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