Yeah I caved in haha. This will be a hybrid post of an ‘unboxing’ and a quick look at the system. I’m certainly a year late on doing a little review on this console but maybe it’s better to hear it from an ‘otome’ consumer’s point of view (if that makes sense).
Hopefully this post will be useful and maybe even helpful now that I’ve had some first hand experience with a Switch.
The tipping point that helped my decision to get the Switch now was EB Game’s bundle lol. The bundle was simply the console plus one game from this selection of games: The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 or Splatoon 2 at a price of $484 in Australian dollary doos, may be expensive to Americans and other countries but this is the price Australia pays for almost everything, especially luxury goods like vidya gaems (New Zealand has it the worst as their dollar is weaker than the Australian dollar). Another thing that made me cave in was that I just really wanted to play some Switch games like Breath of the Wild and Bayonetta 1 & 2. I have a really weak will so it was only a matter of time… until I caved in. So goodbye saving up for a new laptop 😆 (don’t worry, my laptop is still strong after 8 years so I’m safe for now).
Usually just the Switch console (in Australia) is $469 and a Switch game (be it new or a best seller) is usually around $79~$89 so in my mind it may have been a good deal, considering in May the only bundle they had was the console with a Monopoly video game lol. However I would advise to wait for either Holiday sales or a big sale and if you’re going for bundles maybe get a good bundle with at least 2 good games (I regret getting my PS4 with the two Watch Dogs games when two years later after I got mine, the other day I saw a PS4 bundle with God of War and two other games so my loss there). But if you can’t wait like me maybe get at least a one game bundle or at least find a store that sells the console by itself for a lower than usual price. Usually the Grey Switch Console is sold cheaper than the Neon Switch Console (which I got), so that might be the best buy, especially if you’re interested in getting custom skins for your Joy Cons and console.
I also got some accessories totally to about 49 bucks, most of them being on sale on the same day I purchased my Switch so lucky me. If you’re tight on money then I’d suggest at least invest in getting a screen protector for your Switch because you’re really going to need it. So here’s what I got (I’ll go into more detail of these products later in the post):
■ Switch Play Stand (Nintendo Seal of Approval) – Was $24.99 but got it for just $19, this stand is pretty handy for when you want to charge while in table top mode
■ Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Switch – Was $14.95 but it was on sale for just $10
■ Deluxe Travel Case for Switch (Nintendo Seal of Approval)- Was either $25 or $29.98 (in other stores) but got it for $20
I suggest to shop around when looking for accessories. I got my Switch bundle in one store and as I was shopping around I found accessories that were cheaper than the ones offered in the store I got my Switch, so be smart when shopping if you want to save.
It was a good haul, except the only thing I forgot to purchase was new earphones because mine had gone kaput on me after a couple of months, tho they were dirt cheap.
I’ve been playing with the Switch for over a week so I’ll go a little bit more in-depth with the console.
Starting up the console after taking it out of the box is prettying simple and easy, there are no user manuals in the box except a little health warning pamphlet but the side of the box does have instructions on how to power it up and from there you follow the on screen instructions.
When I first booted my Switch up I didn’t expect it to be so loud omg… Its at full volume when you boot it but it does impress me how the speakers are great in terms of delivering a clear sound.
One problem that occurred during start up was the fact that the Switch has a hard time detecting internet via wifi from a long way, though it’s kinda reasonable as my PS4 has a hard time getting a strong internet connection in my room–heck my PS Vita and 3DS can’t even get a connection. If I had to guess the distance between my room and the internet router it may be 10 meters or more, if I moved closer by 5 meters from my room I can get a steady connection on my Switch. If this was a home console I’d be seriously disappointed, but seeing its a hybrid console, if I ever need to get a strong internet connection I can just move to the router with ease… unlike my PS4 where I have to lug it all the way to the lounge room. Though it does make me wish it had better internet access, similar to a smart phone or tablet (both my phone and iPad usually have a solid connection with the internet even in my room).
Funnily enough the wireless reach of the Joy-Cons is almost infinite (when I tested it). I placed the console in my room which is the furthest room of the house and walked to the lounge room while moving the left stick of the Joy-Con while on the home screen to hear if the console is responding and interestingly I could hear it even up to the front of the lounge room. If only it had this kind of reach with wifi.
There were some neat start up tips in the “News” section of the Switch’s home screen but once I finally connected to the internet it disappeared before I could read all of the tips which made me a little sad but it was interesting to see that you’ll find eShop news/sales and game tips and other info provided by developers in this news tab. You can also access youtube videos here but only videos that are Nintendo approved (game trailers etc).
I think it’s pretty neat and you can filter through different news channels and follow existing ones that pique your interest (you’ll automatically follow channels of games you’ve purchased and played). Though I found that after adding a Japanese Nintendo Account my news was bogged down with a lot of the Japanese channels (eshop, Nintendo official channel, I also had both Japanese and English Breath of the Wild articles under one channel), sometimes it was hard to find the English channels I was following but I guess I’ll live.
Another neat thing is the sound design for the home screen, sure the home screen doesn’t have much going for it as it has simplistic graphics but the audio feedback when pressing the settings button or eShop was pleasing (which may not be something exciting for others lol). I do wish that one day they’ll have home screen themes based on games, so far there’s a white or black theme option to choose from.
It’s pretty easy to make accounts, be it from different regions, on the Switch and anything you download from one country’s eShop will pop up on your home screen so you don’t have to constantly log out and log in to another account to play it (you just gotta log in to the eShop if you set it to ask for your password each time you access the eShop). Though if a game isn’t available in one of your account’s eShop then you can’t choose that account/profile to play it–e.g. If you have a Japanese account and get a game that’s only available in the Japanes eShop, you can only play as your Japanese profile as it’s only available there. Though with Breath of the Wild, I can play it on either my Australian or Japanese profile, which is all right.
Also achievements/trophy system does not exist on the Switch, which is a downer for someone who plays visual novels/otome games because achievements/trophies are one of the indications that you were on the right path of progress lol Bu I guess this means you don’t have to go through bad ends on a Switch just to get a platinum trophy.
Another neat thing is the ease of switching between languages when typing (just tap the globe icon on the keyboard when typing and choose your language/keyboard type), which makes it easier to look things up in the Japanese eShop. Here I nicknamed my Switch “Sui-chan”/ スイちゃん, just because.
You can also change your system language to anything that’s comfortable for you. The touch screen is pretty responsive too, I usually use it for typing on the keyboard which is faster than slowly moving between each letter with the controller as well as moving around in the homescreen when I’m too lazy to use the controllers. Breath of the Wild doesn’t use the touch screen as far as I know so I dunno how many games utilize the screen (unless they’re rhythm games ported from mobile).
The Joy-Cons are pretty enJOYable (eh, eh? *elbow nudges*) despite the worries of it being too small or too big it feels all right to handle and sometimes I barely notice the difference because I’m so absorbed in the game I’m playing.
My hands are pretty big for a gal lol, from the bottom of my palm to the tip of my middle finger my hand is about 17.5cm~18cm and despite that it doesn’t feel awkward to hold it. Even when held sideways for local co-op games it feels natural. Considering the distance between the X,Y,A,B buttons (plus the directional buttons) and the sticks, it may be no problem to play with smaller hands. The trigger buttons are all right, though the ZL/ZR buttons aren’t as satisfying as a PS4’s L2/R2 triggers as the ZL/ZR buttons have shorter distance to press down compared to the L2/R2 triggers that compress further like a trigger than the L1/R1 buttons. Sometimes the feel of the ZL/ZR buttons don’t feel any different than the L/R buttons (tho the L/R buttons are softer). This is just my opinion lol, it doesn’t really affect gameplay too much.
Interestingly enough the left and right sticks also act as buttons by pressing down on them just like a PS4 controller (something the PS Vita doesn’t have, along with L2/R2 triggers), so there’s more button options for a game to have. The controllers also have gyroscope sensor to support directional/movement control (the console/screen part apparently has gyroscope according to the Nintendo website).
There’s also a button on the left Joy-Con for capturing screenshots instantly as well as videos (only for selected games for a short while, not great quality). I really love how instant it captures in-game screenshots with just one button, with PS Vita you have to time pressing two buttons at once and PS4’s capture button you’d have to hold down the share button for a screenshot (with some delay).
The console also comes with straps for the Joy-Cons for games involving movement (e.g Just Dance) or games that have local co-op play where each player uses either the left or right joy con (makes the controller have added length to it when handling it). There’s also a lock on the strap to make sure it doesn’t fall off. Please make sure to line up your straps with your Joy-Con correctly, with the plus and minus symbols on the straps matching up with the Joy-Con’s plus and minus buttons because it is really easy to slip it on backwards/the wrong way and it’ll get stuck and hard to pry off forcefully. Here’s a How To video to fix it, if you ever make the mistake.
A comfort grip came with the console as well, it’s essential for when you play on TV mode because the Joy-Cons can’t work when attached to the console when it’s docked (though you’re free to play with the Joy-Cons without attaching it to the comfort grip, just free style it lol). It’s nothing special, it’s just a grip made of plastic that you attach your Joy-Cons to so it can act like a normal controller. You’d think it’d feel awkward to play with but honestly it doesn’t feel bad to me, like I don’t feel compelled to purchase the expensive Pro Controller to replace the comfort grip option. The gyroscope/movement works normally when attached to the comfort grip, just like the PS4/PS3 controller’s 6-axis/3-axis motion sensing.
Now onto my complaints of some of the buttons. I dunno how often this complaint is but sometimes I find it hard to tap the minus button without the left stick getting in the way, having part of my thumb also touch the left stick when attempting to tap the minus button and me fumbling like the bum I am. I also find it hard to unlock and detach the Joy-Cons because the buttons to unlock them from the console is kind of hindered by the bumps underneath the ZL/ZR trigger buttons. The first time I had to detach them I was fumbling all over the place and pressing buttons I shouldn’t have in order to slip it off, but eventually I got used to it but I still can’t efficiently slip the off the console or comfort grips without fumbling for a few seconds.
The power button is another button I have trouble with sometimes, I try to hold it for the power off option but I almost always put it to sleep mode instead the first time I do it 😆 Its a pretty small button and I kinda wish that it was easier to turn off your Switch (the home screen has a button to just put your console on sleep mode which I’d rather have the power off option on the home screen).
Another problem that I came upon early on when using the Switch is that my right Joy-Con had some troubles when being attached to the console. When the console is on and you attach your Joy-Con’s it’ll have audio and visual feedback acknowledging the Joy-Cons are attached to the console (with a finger snap/click from the console), but my right Joy-Con didn’t do that and the console didn’t acknowledge it was connected despite it being attached and also charging on with the console. Maybe it was me being terrible with attaching it or that it really did have some sort of malfunction but eventually it did recognize it and so far I haven’t experienced that problem ever again.
Also, interesting thing I found out was that even if you get the audio feedback of a finger snap/click from the console that your Joy-Con is attached, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s locked into place. You have to press down on the Joy-Con until you hear a springy click from inbetween the console and the joy-con, which means its officially locked.
—Screen Protector & Carry Case
The screen protector I got was a tempered glass one, I was happy with the result of getting a tempered glass protector for my iPad so I decided to get one for my Switch… Which ended up poorly lol. My advice is to at least get a screen protector that has two sheets or more for a fair price because once you mess up your first try then say goodbye to your money. I messed up on my first try, I only had one sheet. I then failed the next three times trying to align it properly and getting rid of the dust that accumulated during my attempts (a pet owners fear of getting a stray strand of their pet’s fur attached to a screen protector sticky side). I eventually gave up and just left it as is. I’ll eventually get another one. A plastic/normal screen protector may be easier to put on your Switch than a tempered glass screen protector.
The travel case I got is pretty sturdy, sturdy and hard enough that you could prolly use it to protect yourself if you ever get into a knife fight. This case is only good for when you want to bring just your Switch console, though they sell backpacks and other cases that will fit your dock and other stuff but this is good for just safely carrying your Switch outside–you’ll need a medium sized back-pack to fit it in if you want to be not so conspicuous or you could just carry it around with its handle (just hope no one will notice the obvious Nintendo Switch brand on the catch and try to steal it). It comes with two cases that can hold 4 games each or 3 games plus a smaller case that can fit 2 microSD cards (there are 1 microSD cases per game case), they don’t necessarily keep your game cards securely in there so be careful when opening these cases in case the game cards fall out. These red cases fit into the indents below the console which is neat, there’s a pocket above where you rest the console where you can put your Joy-Con wrist straps as well as other game cards.
—MicroSD Cards/External Memory
The 16GB microSD card I had shown above in the Screen Protector & Carry Case section is actually corrupted (long story but I used it to hack my phone to extend it’s memory which worked all right until April Fools this year [the irony] when it was corrupted and my mobages went to shit). So I went out to get another one and surprisingly enough I found a 32GB microSD card for a very cheap price of $18.70 (AUD). I prefer purchasing SanDisk microSD cards, Samsung microSD cards are expensive (prolly because you’re paying more for the brand name than the quality of the SD card), SanDisk is pretty cheap and does the job pretty well.
Nintendo advises that if you do purchase a microSD card they suggest to get one with high transfer speed to improve gameplay experience. They define the right high speed microSD card as UHS-I compatible and a transfer speed of 60-95 MB per second, where the higher the transfer speed the better the gameplay experience.
The one I got is SanDisk microSDHC card, 32GB UHS-I with speeds up to 98MB/s (read speed, write speed is lower). It works well and when I was transferring around 120 screenshots to it took less than 30 seconds to transfer, which is much faster than when I transfer screenshots from my PS Vita to my computer via cable. Make sure to buy a microSD card that comes with an adapter so you can insert it immediately to your computer (if your computer/laptop has a SD card reader slot).
I’ve seen a 128GB & 200GB SanDisk microSD card that’s prolly 80 bucks or more, but hopefully when they release more higher memory microSD card these 128GB+ cards can get cheaper. Nintendo allows up to 2TB microSD cards which haven’t even been created yet so they’ve got their bases covered. I’m also wondering that if you could juggle between microSD cards downloading different games to different cards 🤔 I think it may be possible but I can’t test it yet.
It is a bit bulky but for me it’s nothing noticeable especially when I’m engrossed playing games, though I can see a small child fumbling and possibly dropping the Switch because it’s too big for their hands (like, would you trust your young child to have a huge iPad in their hands? it’ll get dropped at least once). It does seem pretty durable though, the screen isn’t made of glass like most smart phones and tablets are these days so if you do drop it the screen won’t crack–though possibly get scratches if it falls on stuff like rocks and gravel. It’s bigger than a PS Vita but if you exclude the Joy-Cons which adds a lot onto the console, it’ll be just about the same size as a Vita.
Though when compared to a 9.7 inch iPad it is similar in width (when the iPad is on it’s side) but smaller in terms of length/height so it’s not exactly as handful as an iPad.
Once placed in a travel case the Switch becomes quite thick and bulky to put in a small bag, travelling with it in a medium backpack is your best bet.
—Table Top Mode
The console has a little kickstand built on it for when you want to play in “Table Top Mode” where you can set the console on a table and slip out the Joy-Cons and play away (it’s like having a mini TV on your table). However I wouldn’t call it sturdy, you can break off the kickstand if you apply too much pressure or an accident occurs but thankfully Nintendo thought about that happening so they made it easy to reattach it.
One time i was pushing a box of fish and chips across the table when I had my Switch in table top mode and just the slightest nudge from that paper box onto the left side of my Switch just made it fall over 😆
Which is why I invested in a collapsible stand, though another reason why I bought it is because the charging port for the Switch is located on the bottom of the console so you can’t charge while in table top mode unless you have a stand similar to this. I think any tablet stand would work but I happened to get the Nintendo seal of approval stand (which was discounted).
It’s more stable and supportive than the kickstand found in the back of the console and it works well on carpet surfaces (unlike the Switch’s kickstand that just tumbles down when placed on soft/sparse carpet). It also makes a good tablet or phone stand when you’re not using it for your Switch so its win-win.
When either tablet top or portable mode the resolution is pretty good, as it should be seeing it’s set at 720p. I have no complaints and I’m happy that Nintendo gives me a couple of play style options, instead of just being stuck in once place when playing games.
The dock is nothing special, in fact it’s pretty much a piece of plastic that charges your Switch while you’re in TV mode. It more or less converts the 720p gameplay to 1080p on your TV via HDMI cable but that’s about it. I found out I could charge my iPad using it’s USB ports when I was messing around with it but it only charges when the Switch is not docked and charging.
Big reminder that the dock is known for scratching the Switch’s screen if you do not have a screen protector or at least a cloth of some sort covering part of the dock where the screen touches. Some people even put socks over the front bit of the dock or stick microfibre cloths on the side of the dock that the screen will scrape against.
When in TV mode it looks pretty good, though I feel like your experience may vary depending on your TV. I’ve tried it on 3 TVs, the TV I own might be 1080p but it doesn’t seem to display video at 60fps (heck I don’t even know if my TV is 1080p) but other TVs (especially smart TVs) that support 1080p at 60fps video output, gameplay looks great and clear. I’ve yet to play a visual novel on a Switch so I’d like to see what it looks like when playing at 1080p (converted from 720p) at 60fps.
The dock and the Switch console are pretty portable and lighter to carry than other hefty home consoles so you can move it around the house and even outside of the house, like going to a friend/family’s house or when travelling overseas and you want to play some Switch games on your TV at a hotel. The dock does seem to cost a lot by itself though (last time I checked it was $100+ AUD for just the dock) so maybe treat it with care or else you’ll have to replace it if it gets lost or properly damaged.
Also you can’t plug in earphones into the comfort grip when playing in TV mode as the comfort grip and joy-cons have no audio jack, you can only plug your earphones into the docked console limiting your space to move around and being far away from the TV/console. You may need to get bluetooth headphones or other wireless headphones that is compatible with the Switch (I heard you can use the USB ports for the bluetooth transmitter/receiver). The pro controller sadly doesn’t have an audio jack either.
Quick look inside the Switch
Getting different nintendo accounts for different regions is pretty easy, as shown in the video below:
Though it’s a bit tougher to get the games without paying extra for Nintendo eShop gift cards. I’ve heard of an option to create a paypal of the region you want to purchase from (our example would be Japan) but I found out in the long run that yes, you can make a Japanese paypal account but if you attach a credit/debit card to that account that’s attached to your main account it won’t work as you can only have one credit/debit card per paypal account. So it’s possible but you may need either get a new credit/debit card for this account or to detach your main credit/debit card from your main paypal account and add it to your new paypal account.
Hopefully I’ll get around that obstacle and manage to get an otome game so I can review that.
There’s also a neat feature when purchasing games on the eShop, you can gain these coins that will amount to real currency (kind of like how CD Japan gives you points after each purchase which you can use towards your next purchase as a discount). You could also earn points/coins from purchasing physical copies of games but you can only claim during the first year of the game’s release, if you claim after one year it’ll say that the offer is expired.
—Otome Games in the eShop
Right now there are only a small handful of otome games in the eShop, many of which can only be obtained digitally and have no physical release.
The English otome games currently in the eShop are:
■ The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya
■ The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya
■ The Charming Empire
The Japanese otome games currently in the Japanese eShop are:
■ The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya
■ The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya
■ The Charming Empire
■ Buddy Collection if -Red String of Destiny-
■ Ayakashi Koigikyoku
■ Dandy Shot (Coming to Switch in June 14th)
Most of these are ports of games that were originally on the mobile (which then got ported to PC and now that is porting to the Switch)
Screenshots are quick to take and have zero delay, you can edit these screenshots within the console to add captions and post it on social media to create a shitpost. You can only upload one image to a social media post.
One bummer is that you can only save in jpeg and even when in docked mode your screenshot will always be at dimensions of 1280 x 720. If you have screen capturing hardware (like an elgato) you can easily take up to 1080p screenshots, save it as png and you can also record unlimited video (depending on how much storage space you have).
Funnily enough I pressed the screenshot button first on my elgato and then went to take a screenshot on my Switch, but seeing as my elgato lagged a bit it took a screenshot after the Switch.
Saving in jpeg means that the Switch will save storage space as opposed to a png that has a lot going on in it. Still, with a jpeg image you lose some details and the grain/noise/artifacts a jpeg gives off doesn’t make for a good wallpaper of a beautiful in-game scenery if you’re into that.
Only saved the Switch screenshot as a png after adding zoom ins in photoshop as to no add more jpeg noise
But if you’re not fussed over a 720p, jpeg screenshot then more power to you.
Gameplay is aight, sometimes I experienced huge frame drops when starting a huge fire in Breath of the Wild but overall its ok. Sometimes I would see textures load in or see really bad textures on mountains when I’m climbing so it’s not exactly PS4/Xbone level of current gen graphics and processing but it’s much better than 3DS’s potato graphics and it’s very amazing how a portable device like the Switch can run games like Breath of the Wild pretty well (that game is huuuuge). So there’s nothing to worry about visual novels looking weird on this console.
It hardly makes a sound like a smart phone or tablet, unlike my laptop and PS4 that has that constant fan/ventilation sound. Breath of the Wild looks pretty good (despite some of the bad textures I’d find), especially with its art style that makes it work and it’s pretty smooth to play and just do whatever you want to do–have your own adventure, who cares about defeating Calamity Ganon I’ve need to create my horse and doggo army.
I’m excited to experience visual novels/otome games on the Switch, hopefully I’ll get around playing one and do a review for you guys.
I’m quite impressed with this console, considering its size and hybrid type. I can see some improvements it will need in future revisions of the console, it’s not quite on the same level as a PS4 or Xbox One but its getting there.
I’m sorry this post ended up being so long. I hope it wasn’t terrible to read through.
Again, my best advice for you if you’re interested in getting a Switch is to wait for it to go on sale or for a good bundle to come along or a sale on a good bundle. Another option is to wait maybe 2~3 years for price to go down but if you’ve got no self control like myself, try to be money smart with your purchase. Also, please at least purchase a screen protector or else you’ll regret getting scratches on the screen.
Thanks for reading!