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Welcome to the launch issue of Switch Player Magazine! Determining my thoughts on the Switch are hard based on potential alone. Is it genuine excitement I feel? Is it just misplaced nostalgia? My Nintendo journey over the years has certainly experienced a multitude of highs and lows, but there’s something about the systems and the games that the Japanese giant produces that constantly hook me in; and I know I’m not the only one. At this point, it's safe to say that the Nintendo Switch has me more excited than I have EVER been for a Nintendo product - and that's big. This first issue of our brand-new magazine venture tells you everything we know about the Switch ahead of that March 3rd release date. We give you the rundown on the system, previews of many upcoming games, and a list of over 60 titles that are coming to the Switch! We also cram in the views and opinions from many others across the gaming spectrum. Will you be getting a Switch? Or will you be, ahem, “switching over” from another platform? You can count on us to bring you all the information in a convenient format. I don’t know about you, but I loved a Nintendo magazine back in the day and we hope we can emulate some of the legendary publications from years gone by. We hope to entertain you with quality features, the latest news, and perhaps more importantly the reviews, which will start from our next issue! For now, grab yourself a coffee (or your hot beverage of choice!) and get cracking on what you can expect to see on this exciting hybrid console in March. This magazine will also come in print delivered to your door anywhere in the world, so head to our Patreon page to pledge your subscription and get future issues! I hope you really enjoy this first issue, thanks for reading, and we hope to see you again next time!
Executive Editor @PMurphy1978
ON! 12 Professional and community opinions aplenty!
06 COVER FEATURE
16 We get hands-o
44 Kinda Funny's Tim Gettys reacts to the presentation
20 Yacht Club Games tell us about Shovel Knight on the Switch
22 Chris Scullion highlights the Switch's messaging and power
24 We get hands on with
on with the Switch!
Flagpole 45 Laura Kate Dale's thoughts on the Nintendo Switch
47 Closing comment and analysis
THE EVOLUTION O IS NOW COM
PLAY NINTENDO'S VISION OF HOME ENTERT
On March 3rd The Nintendo Switch will release. Over the following pages we explain what
OF A SPECIES MPLETE. On March 3rd Nintendo will unleash its newest console on the world. After the relative disappointment of the Wii U, they needed to provide something new - and in just a few weeks you’ll be able to experience their vision of what a home console should be. Except it’s not a home console; it’s a handheld, dressed as a home console, and it’s the most powerful handheld console from a major player. One thing you can be sure of is that Nintendo know that portable market, as they’ve dominated it for almost thirty years.
We’ve managed to play it, and in the coming pages we will outline everything we know about the Nintendo Switch to help you to make the decision whether to buy one or not. There’s plenty to be excited for – this is an amazing piece of technology, you’d expect that for the price – but it is not without its caveats. What is the Nintendo Switch? What can it do? What games are coming out? All these questions (and many more) will be answered over the following pages. Whether you are a long-time (or suffering) Nintendo fan, a new fan migrating (or supplementing another system), or even someone that just enjoys playing games, you can count on Switch Player to bring you everything you need to know.
TAINMENT'S FUTURE, MARCH 3.
it is, what it does, and why you need it. Even sceptics are welcome!
The system can be played in three basic modes; Handheld, Tabletop, and TV. Handheld mode is controlled by attaching the Joy-Con controllers, which glide on the The Nintendo Switch will launch on March edges of the system; it's a mode designed for single player play, at least when it 3rd in many worldwide markets for £279/$299/€299. It’s described as a hybrid comes to local multiplayer. Table mode comes when you remove the controllers gaming system, and features a handheld console with left and right side detachable and pop out the kickstand, and will allow you to play local multiplayer much easier controllers called Joy-Cons. The core unit (especially with the Joy-Cons). If undocked can also be placed into a docking unit, play isn't your thing however, you can go which then exports a signal via HDMI to into TV mode by putting the whole core allow gameplay on the big screen. unit into the dock - transferring the image to the big screen via the dock's HDMI port, Speaking of the core unit, it features a 6.2-inch multi-touch screen with a 1280 x and using detached Joy-Cons (or the pro 720 resolution. This screen and its innards controller) to play from a distance. There are many ways to play the Switch, and are the heart of the console, and contain you can swap between them in just a few all the necessary processing power of the system in a package not much bigger than seconds. Choices are good. current generation handheld systems.
Looking to some of the other choices made, the Switch brings some good ones to the table when it comes to storage space. While the system is more of a hybrid, the games come much like you'd expect them on handhelds - arriving on small flash media cartridges. These cartridges are also what the retail games play off however, so buying physical will also save you some space. With space being a premium, it's a good thing that the Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage built in and always available. This 32GB is partially used by the system in order to function, and is also where ALL saves are stored - but you can also save downloaded game data (including patches and DLC) there too. Another option however, is expanding your storage via Micro SDHC/SDXC. The Switch supports Micro SDXC cards up to 2TB in size, but no matter how big of a card you get they will only store downloaded game data. You can not save to an external memory card, but thankfully saves are usually the smallest pieces of data overall. Moving past the storage bits to the other parts of the console, we'd like to remind you that we aren’t experts in system specifics - we’ll leave that for people like Digital Foundry. That said, reports suggest that the system has more power than the Wii U in portable mode, and approximately 2.5x more than that (not quite approaching PlayStation 4/Xbox One levels) when docked. For those looking to play on the go, the battery is stated to last 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the game and usage; for example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is said to run for around 3 hours on a single charge.
CONTROL METHODS As mentioned, the primary inputs for the system are the Joy-Cons. These might be small, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in technology and functionality. Available in two different colour sets, Grey or a Neon Blue/Red combo, they have four different ways to use them. You can attach them to the unit directly by sliding them on, use them separately in either hand, play a more traditional way with the Joy-Con Grip (to make a full controller), or even use them as individual controllers for multiplayer action. Each controller features four face buttons, a clickable analog stick, and a pair of triggers. Along the rail section (which attaches to the console) are two additional shoulder buttons labeled SL and SR, which come into play when the controller is held horizontally. The left controller has a minus button and a share button for capturing images (and later video), whilst the right controller has a plus button and a button to take you "home." The right controller also has a built-in NFC reader for use with Amiibo figures, and has an infra-red sensor in the bottom for measuring distance. The infra-red sensor
can also tell the difference between hand signals like rock, paper, and scissors making for some interesting possibilities. Both Joy-Con controllers have advanced vibration technology dubbed "HD Rumble," which Nintendo say is accurate enough to not only simulate ice in a glass, but also allow you to "feel" exactly how many ice cubes could be in that glass. The Joy-Cons also feature gyroscopic technology, and can be used in a similar fashion to the Wii remotes. Contrary to popular belief however, the Joy-Cons aren't powered by magic - and have their own battery life independent of the system, with reports of around 20 hours each. These will charge when the system is docked with the controllers attached, or via the premium Joy-Con Grip which is sold separately. The grip bundled with the system does not charge the controllers, so keep that in mind. Also available separately is the Switch Pro Controller for a more familiar controller set up. It looks remarkably similar to the Wii U Pro Controller, and includes a D-Pad which is notably absent on the Joy-Cons, as well as its own integrated "HD Rumble."
The Nintendo Switch will use your Nintendo Account - and we've learned that friend codes, Street Pass, and Miiverse will be discontinued. Miis will apparently still be a thing, although not as prominent in the UI and optional to use in select games. As for the account handling, reports are telling us that you can have up to EIGHT different accounts on a single Switch - and the system is NOT region locked.
Nintendo have announced that there are over 80 games in development. That said, the launch line-up in the West is rather light with six titles currently confirmed from day one. One of those titles is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild however, so it's not like they're offering nothing top-tier and by the end of May we should have a wideranging selection of titles to choose from. There's a huge list of games and previews in the following pages, and we have the most up to date information on our website!
Another thing to note is that Nintendo have finally caught on to charging players for online. Initially a free trial, the arrival of Fall will have the service go the paid route. You'll also be able to claim a NES or SNES title for a month; but after that month you'll either have to pay for it or lose access. Lastly, we'd like to note that it looks like most of the social functions (party chat, and possibly messaging and the like) seem to be relegated to the mobile companion app that's launching to support the Switch with additional functionality. Of course, Nintendo's pretty hush hush about how the app and the Switch UI actually lay out right now, so this is not confirmed... just likely. @_SwitchPlayer
I'm a full-time video games journalist for The Mirror, and my thoughts can also be found at MCV magazine, BBC Radio and other various outlets where I speak my mind about the latest game releases and the industry behind them. I have an interest in video games of all sorts (no console fanboyism from me!) across all mediums, and I'm usually found tweeting about the games industry in-depth, its culture and breaking game news.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? The name for Nintendo's next console succeeds where the Wii U failed: it's clear. When you see the Switch and hear its name for the first time, the entire concept of the console clicks together in your mind. With the Wii U, this was unfortunately not the case,
and the confusion surrounding what exactly it was supposed to be was largely responsible for why it failed to draw in the mass market. Everything is set for the Switch in terms of branding this time round.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? I, like many others, was instantly grabbed by the Switch following its announcement. Being able to immediately understand what it was, its purpose and who it was for during its announcement trailer had me doing mini fist-pumps, saying to myself 'they've done it'. Nintendo have really fallen short on terms of effective branding and marketing in recent years, but there are no such problems with the Switch so far. As someone that spends a lot of time commuting, so as long as the battery life is reasonable, the Switch is a day one purchase for me personally. The ability to play Nintendo's flagship franchises (and hopefully a vast third-party and indie library) both at home and on the go is something very appealing to me. I am sufficiently hyped.
NOT CONTENT WITH OUR V WE ASKED SOME OTHE WHAT THEY THOUGHT
Laura Kate Dale @LaurakBuzz /LauraKBuzz
Co-host on the Jimquisition Podcast, as well as splitting my time between critiquing serious emotional video games and recording YouTube shows about butts. I also run Let's Play Video Games with Joe Parlock and Vikki Blake. I've written about video games for lots of places such as Destructoid, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Kotaku UK, The Guardian, Polygon, Vice and many more. letsplayvideogames.com
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? My gut reaction to the Switch name was that it was too generic to pick up steam. It was a generic word that seemed like it could be a fan created name when 12
I heard it pre announcement. That all changed when I saw the branding and heard the clicking noise. That simple graphic and click noise brought the branding together impressively. Sure it generally needs the word Nintendo before it in certain contexts, but it's a memorable visual and audible brand tied together well.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? A lot of my feelings on the system will depend on information we don't know yet. I love the concept of a handheld and home console being rolled into one for development and lifestyle purposes, but I need to know that it's going to have the raw power as a home system and the battery life as a handheld to make the idea of console gaming on the go versatile. I think the execution on the concept seems very strong but the devil will be in the practicality details.
Tom is the Deputy News Editor at Eurogamer, and in addition to writing lots of news and puns for the site has also been prominently breaking news for the Nintendo Switch, including the Joy-Cons, Hybrid Nature and more! Follow him on Twitter!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? I love it - its snappy, memorable, and it isn't going to confuse anyone with being an extension of existing brands. I also like that Nintendo is back in the full name. I think that's vital when the brand remains so strong. switchplayer.net
VIEWS ON THE NINTENDO SWITCH? ER LEADING INDUSTRY EXPERTS T ABOUT NINTENDO'S HYBRID!
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? It's difficult to go on the little we have, but the ability to take Nintendo games on the go and play them on the big screen is an enticing prospect. For parents or gamers who don't want separate game libraries on handheld and a home console this is a convenient and attractive USP. For Nintendo, it means all of its development might focused on a single, continuous release schedule. Everything depends on the games, of course, but Breath of the Wild really is as good as it looks, and the prospect of a new Mario at launch will always sell hardware. @_SwitchPlayer
Manuel Stanislao @ManuelStanislao
Born in the early '80, Manuel has spent most of his life playing videogames on any platform, listening weird instrumental music, building mechs with LEGO and serving espressos at a cafeteria. After five years working at Eurogamer Italy, has decided to go freelance and conquer the world writing videoludic bits here and there. You can follow his thoughts and opinions on Twitter searching @manuelstanislao!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? When I heard the name Switch for the first time I immediately liked it, it's short and easy to remember, just like the Wii. I think that it gives you an idea of the console's main feature, which is
Chris is a freelance games journalist best known for his work with CVG and Official Nintendo Magazine. You can find him on various publications and on his own site, Tired Old Hack, sharing his extensive gaming knowledge.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? I like it. My biggest fear was that Nintendo would stubbornly stick with the Wii brand, which sadly is more of a curse these days, but thankfully it's done what I'd hoped and gone with something completely different. It's the sort of name that also works well as a suffix for game titles: Mario Kart Switch, Smash Bros Switch etc. Of course, at the time or writing we don't know of any announced game names so by the time you read this we might know the
very important when talking about a company that is always trying to evolve itself in the video game industry.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? The Switch has a lot of potential, but as always the games will decree the success or the failure of a console. I already know that is not powerful like the PS4 or the Xbox One, but Nintendo doesn't care anymore about this. I really hope Nintendo will use a different strategy with third party developers to ensure a long-term support, and to achieve this goal needs to launch the Switch at a reasonable price. Finally, and most importantly, the Big N should send dev-kit for free to anyone interested to develop on this console. My biggest hope anyway, is that the battery of the portable unit will be slightly better than the one inside the Wii U's GamePad. With that big screen is hard to think that will ensure more than 4 or 5 hours of gameplay.
Switch's launch line-up and there's a chance none of the titles go down that route. If that happens, let's just forget what I said and don't bring it up again. Cheers.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? I'm massively excited for the Switch. I can't wait to play console-quality games in bed â€“ my Wii U's GamePad doesn't quite have enough range â€“ and unlike others I'm not hugely fussed about how powerful it is. From what we've seen the it appears to be as powerful as a Wii U at the very least when it's in handheld mode, and I'm more than happy with that. The real test will be how easy it is to develop for it: getting third parties on board is more important than ever because even some people who are dedicated to buying certain series on specific platforms might double-dip: there are gamers who'd kill for 'proper', non-diluted handheld versions of Dark Souls, FIFA, Madden, Tomb Raider and the like. Switch Player
Michael A Cunningham
Editor-in-Chief at RPGamer & Pocket-Console, Founding Member of #TeamHandheld, Lover of RPGs, & Video Game Music Enthusiast.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? I believe that the Nintendo Switch is a name that makes way more sense than anything else Nintendo could have come up with. It easily describes how quickly it is to switch between playing
on the TV and taking the system with you. Anything is better than the Wii U name, but regardless I think they nailed it.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? My initial impressions of the Switch is that it's exactly what I want from a system. It does what I wanted from Wii U's off-screen play and PS4's remote play, but much better. There's no tethering to a console, because the console IS the portable. If given the option, I'll take the Switch version of multiplatform games any day just because of the portability. #TeamHandheld for life!
If you've been enjoying and following video games for a while you must have heard of Colin Moriarty and Greg Miller. These long-standing video game journalists quit their IGN jobs a couple of years back to venture out on their own and cover things their own way over at Kinda Funny
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? Greg: The name "Switch" didn't do it for me when I first heard it, but I think by the time we were done with the Kinda Funny Reacts video, I had come around on it. Listen, do I wish it was called "The Nintendo?" Of course, but the power of Switch is switching between your TV and handheld. Colin: I'm super excited about the Switch, and I really hope that Nintendo delivers on its promise. But I'm also of the mind that it's a poor name, one that may not have significant market resonance, and one that I think doesn't truly differentiate the machine, or make it stick out. I understand what they were
Andy Robertson Meg Bethany Read @triforcemeg
Meg is an avid gamer with a particular affection for The Legend of Zelda and is currently studying games journalism at university. She writes for the Daily Star and can be found on Twitter via @triforcemeg
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? Ever since the Nintendo Switch’s formal announcement back in October, there’s been a fair amount of debate from fans about the name, with a lot of people preferring its development codename. It’s understandable why fans would adopt “NX” as the console’s name as opposed to “Switch” considering the agonising 18 month wait for the official 14
reveal. Old habits die hard I suppose – even I find myself slipping up and calling it the NX. But in reality, the name hardly matters if it’s a great console.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? A hybrid console is a huge move for Nintendo and combining both handheld and home gaming certainly doesn’t come without its risks but with features such as detachable Joy-Con controllers and the ability to take it anywhere, the Switch is definitely looking like an immense upgrade from the flop that was the Wii U. Not to mention the promise of titles such as a new Super Mario and Pokémon titles, Dragon Quest X and XI, and Project Sonic 2017. Personally, I cannot wait to finally get my hands on it so I can retreat to my bedroom for days while I sink myself into everything the Switch has to offer.
Andy is a freelance family technology expert for broadcast and national newspapers. He's grown the FamilyGamer channels to 10 million views/month on YouTube. He also contributes to a range of online media on the topic of video-games and family - Forbes, The Mirror, Telegraph, BBC TV & Radio, The Guardian.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? I think it’s good to include Nintendo in the name itself as that’s a strong brand with parents. I’m not quite as convinced about Switch, but at least this focuses on the mobile-console cross over feature. In many ways the name is irrelevant (just look at the poorly named Wii), what really counts if offering games on the Switch that wouldn’t be switchplayer.net
(and are) going for with the name, and I understand the logic of how they arrived there, but it just doesn't pop to me.
Kincl is the Editor of Hyper Play RPG, a fanzine dedicated to RPG gaming and heavily inspired by magazines from the 1990s, one in particular. You can order yourself a copy from www.hyperplayrpg. com
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME?
Colin: Say what you will about Wii -- I wasn't a huge fan of the moniker -- but everyone knew what that was and what that meant. Say "did you get the Switch?" to a casual gamer in the spring, and they'll probably have no idea what the hell you're talking about.
Nintendo Switch is an excellent name. It signifies a change in how we game, as well as the more obvious connotation that you can now switch between gaming at home and away very easily. It also signifies a big switch in target markets by Nintendo - although The Big N has often sought to blur the boundaries of home/portable consoles (3DS XL, GB Players etc) this is the first time they've properly targetted the 'disposable income' 20-something age group. Let's hope it works!
Greg: As a man who travels far more than anyone should, I'm INCREDIBLY excited about the Switch and the possibility of having one machine that does everything I want in a gaming console. If I can take amazing games on the road and then plug them in when I get home, I'm in. I love Trophies and pretty visuals, but if Nintendo doesn't screw this up -- I'm writing this before Nintendo's January event -- I could see the Switch being my go to machine for third party games. That is, if third parties flock to Switch.
possible elsewhere. The Wii U never really had its Wii-Sports moment. Here’s hoping for something like that this time round.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? Another console from Nintendo is always a good thing. I’m more than happy to have an excuse to play more Zelda, Mario Kart and Splatoon in a new format. I was a big fan of the Wii U, which for families was a huge success — although less so financially for Nintendo. To my eye it aims squarely at a young up and coming market of players who mainly game on tablets. Of course at launch the console will also need to target core console gamers as these are who are likely too be early adopters. But make no mistake the Switch is aimed at a younger demographic. And that’s no bad thing, in my eyes at least. That will be it! @_SwitchPlayer
@foxy_glen pocketgamer.co.uk Glen is the Editor at Pocket Gamer and also the host of the Royale Mumble Podcast. A Nintendo fan as well as a NUFC supporter, Glen plots to live in a fantasy utopia of his own creation. He 'researches' by playing an endless supply of video games and compiles notes on his findings...
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SWITCH'S NAME? I dig it for two reasons. Firstly, I'm pleased they've finally dropped Wii from the title. It was confusing initially - I bet you didn't know it was supposed to resemble two people standing next to each other - and that problem was exacerbated when they added the U in the title of its latest console. Though that was mostly down to the fact consumers thought it was just a new pad for the Wii. Secondly, it makes complete sense right away - with no space for ambiguity. The Switch can be Switch-ed to a handheld or home console by simply popping it out, or in, its dock. Brilliant.
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? HyperPlay's initial impression of the Nintendo Switch is positive. It's undeniably exciting and *could* be the fabled "game changer" many believe it to be. But questions remain. Is the screen too bulky to be truly portable? How's the undocked running speed and battery life? Most importantly, there's the ageold question: how good is the thirdparty support? Sure, there are lots of interested developers, but will that translate into a plethora of Triple-A titles by the biggest and best names in gaming? In short, we demand all the major Final Fantasies, and the very best that BioWare, Bethesda, FromSoftware and CD Projekt Red have to offer. And that's just for starters! (Well, we can dream...)
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE SWITCH? While I do have some reservations, the Switch is exactly what I wanted Nintendo to do next - a handheld and home console in one. The major upsides of this are the ability to take any game with you on the go, more first party releases due to the various teams no longer working across Wii U and 3DS, and a controller that functions as standard, as two separate controllers, and a Wiimote and nunchuck. My reservations aren't founded on the system then - but rather its ability to attract a large audience and third party support. The former relies largely on the price - which is rumoured to be very affordable - but also more than a tad on the line up. That's a key issue. Nintendo needs to strengthen that with third party support from major publishers and indies. The catch 22 is, support will drop if the user base is small while the user base won't grow without developmental support. To tackle this, the Switch needs a very strong launch, then continue to gain momentum throughout the first few years of its lifecycle.
I really didn’t know what to expect as I waited in the rain outside what used to be the Hammersmith Apollo. Many of the journalists in this very magazine had already managed to get their experiences with Nintendo’s newest system, and some of them had even fed back their thoughts but as I was still awaiting my turn, I didn’t quite know what I’d find. Much of the optimism which was fuelled by an outstanding teaser back in October had been replaced by a mood not too dissimilar to the weather accompanying me, hanging over me whilst I waited for the venue to open. A lacklustre launch offering, a less than stellar overall lineup, and some extortionate pricing hasn’t painted a particularly enthusing picture of what could be the make-or-break product for Nintendo (especially on the back of the Wii U’s failure). 16
As I walked in through the corridor – which was filled with every system that Nintendo have released – I was trying to taper both my expectations and my nostalgia. Nintendo have always managed to feed from the long-time love from their fans, and it is no different for me. Every time I think that I am done with supporting them, they somehow manage to reel me back in. I suppose that this was a fitting way to introduce you to their latest creation. It was then, at the end of the row, that I got my first look at the Switch - encased in glass with the multiple controller set-ups that you can experience. My first reaction? This thing is beautiful. And small. Of course, it isn’t that small, but it’s smaller than you think in person. The Joy-Cons seemed incredibly twee, and the Joy-Con grip had neither the width or girth (now, now) that I expected from looking at static images on the internet.
After a brief delay, Nintendo let us loose and I made a bee-line for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I only had four hours to get through as much as I could, and I didn’t much fancy my chances later. After a brief wait – exacerbated because I wanted one of the consoles with the removable handheld unit – I finally got to sit down with the system. Playing first with the Switch Pro controller I was soon running amok in The Great Plains of Hyrule. You'll find my impressions on Breath of the Wild on page 24, so much of the focus of this piece will centre around the system itself - and where better to start than with the controller. The pad was incredible comfortable, fitting, and moulding around my hands with ease. The buttons were all logically placed, and I had no problem navigating around my environment. There was also some very satisfying feedback through the pad, though only when appropriate. @_SwitchPlayer
A few minutes into play came the moment I’d been waiting for; the removal of the unit from the dock. Carefully holding this thing by the Joy-Cons and easing her (yes, I’m calling the system her) out, I noticed as immediately the signal from the television was lost and the screen on the handheld ignited. I was prompted to press the left and right bumpers followed by the A button, and then BOOM: instant transition. One of the things I was most worried about was rebuked and dealt with in a heartbeat. I spent the remainder of the time with Breath of the Wild, utterly mesmerized with how amazing it all looked. Every blade of grass, every branch, the draw distance, the environment; all of it was reproduced beautifully on the stunning 720p screen. If anything, I’d even go as far to say that it looked BETTER on the handheld’s screen than the TV. Switch Player
The control method with the native JoyCons took a few seconds to get used to however, mostly because of the slightly different alignment, and the larger gap between the two halves of the controller than I'm used to. Whilst trying to concentrate on Link’s latest adventure, I was also trying to take in everything about the hardware that was in my hands. I've seen a few things mentioned on the weight of the system, but for me it was perfectly balanced. The unit itself is manufactured to a high standard; this feels like a premium product, which is not something you can say about Nintendo’s recent handhelds while maintaining a poker-face. The feedback filtering through the Joy-Cons was very impressive, and the Joy-Cons themselves have a robustness about them despite their diminishing size. This is something that feels like an expensive gaming console, which is handy since it is.
new IP from Nintendo and is a fighting game which sees you holding a Joy-Con in each hand. These little controllers then serve to act as your fists, responding as you gesture accordingly to defeat your opponent. It was certainly one of the more fun things to do and is genuinely interesting in action, as well as a lot of fun. Various gestures were played out on screen; with punches, grapples, and blocks all executed with precision by the little controllers. I also learned (after the event) that it can also be played more traditionally with manual controls, saving those with aching limbs from flapping their arms around like Kevin and Perry. Sampling some of the third-party offerings allowed me to experience the Joy-Cons in their grip holder, and I was amazed with how comfortable it was. It’s a lot smaller than you may think, and personally I felt it was much easier for you to hold and use
than the more expensive (and sold separately) Switch Pro Controller. Playing Super Bomberman R also gave me the opportunity to use a single Joy-Con. It was here, playing the multiplayer game featured in the original teaser, that the first hint of disappointment arose. I was using the “Right” Joy-Con (the one with the analogue stick in the middle) and I found it to be a little uncomfortable if I'm being quite honest. I’m sure it’s something you’d get used to with regular play, but the awkward placement - combined with my tiny hands - means that my explosionobsessed little buddy didn’t always go where I wanted him to. It was also my first opportunity to play the Switch in Tabletop Mode, and once again I’ll be completely honest; with the small characters, and so much going on, it probably wasn’t the best example for the feature.
Soon, I moved on to Splatoon 2 - and played purely on the Switch handheld itself. By this point I’d really managed to nail the system, but - as existing Splatoon players know - the game also utilizes gyroscopic aiming... and that was here in all its glory. I set off with seven other attendees alternated between docked and undocked systems, and immediately fell in love. The aiming worked perfectly, the game ran fluidly, there was no evidence of lag, and my team managed to win. What wizardry was this? After a brief soiree with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which is fantastic, but more on that later) I found myself with Arms, which is one of the more unique of the announced Switch titles. Arms is a brand 18
The next game I had to tackle was 1-2-Switch. One of the most compelling examples of a title that should have been a pack-in, 1-2-Switch is a series of ludicrous mini-games themed around using the Joy-Cons and experiencing the HD Rumble. There were quite a few to tackle, but I only managed three in the end...so I’ll start with the best. In Quick Draw you're encouraged to face your opponent. You hold the Joy-Con by your side, as if your pistol was holstered, and wait for the signal to draw. Upon hearing the command, you must lift and then “shoot” your opponent by pressing the trigger. The result will then appear on the screen, with your reaction time and angle. Next up was Safe Crack, and the aim is to beat your opponent to the safe combination. By rotating the Joy-Con you are feeling for the vibrations to change
when you find the right pin, and then holding the position to lock it in before repeating. The last one I got to try was Milk, which was completely ridiculous. My misspent adolescence with the likes of Razzle and Escort served me well as you need to rapidly move your arm up and down whilst squeezing the triggers alternately. Basically, you feign milking a cow, whilst the game’s audio constantly encourages you to “fill that cup”. Maintaining eyecontact with the chap sitting across from me was quite awkward… As an introduction to how well the technology in the Joy-Cons work you can’t fault 1-2-Switch, but it smacks of something that should have been free in the box. From what I’ve seen there’s little to justify that £40 price tag now. It was at this point that a voice came over the PA system, announcing that my time was up.
What I had learned about the Switch in this short time? I learned that it is an awesome a piece of technology, that the screen is luscious, and the whole thing is a polished piece of kit that feels incredibly expensive. The Joy-Cons work very well overall, and the technology behind them is rather impressive. The weight is balanced well, and the system overall is smaller than you probably think it is. It’s bigger than a Vita, and the screen unit is around the size of a closed 3DS XL. Just add the Joy-Cons. Or for another comparison; it’s slightly wider than a Wii U Gamepad, but not as tall. The Joy-Cons worked well in the grip addon, and are arguably more comfortable in that than the Switch Pro Controller was, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you want to avoid paying silly money for one of those. The docking wasn’t as natural as I’d hoped, but that could have been because of the chain attached to stop people thieving the units. It seemed to me that the fit was very tight, however lifting it out was easy and the screen instantly sprung to life on the portable system. I had already pre-ordered my system before the event, and my limited time with the device has made me want the thing even more. We can talk all day about what games this will have (or not) at launch, but all I really want to talk about is how much I want it. Now.
YACHT CLUB GAMES ARE A CALIFORNIAN GAMES DEVELOPER COMPRISED OF MANY INDUSTRY VETERANS. YOU'LL ALMOST CERTAINLY KNOW THEM FROM THEIR HIGH-PROFILE, Yacht Club Games AND CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED RELEASE; SHOVEL KNIGHT. yachtclubgames.com WITH THE NEWS THAT THEIR GAME - NOW KNOWN AS @YachtClubGames SHOVEL KNIGHT: TREASURE TROVE - IS HEADED TO THE NINTENDO SWITCH, WE THOUGHT WE WOULD CATCH UP Hello Yacht Club Games! Thanks for WITH PROGRAMMER DAVID D'ANGELO TO FIND OUT MORE. talking with us. Can you tell us a little bit about your studio? We're an independent studio interested in creating fun and challenging gameplay. We want to both tug at your heartstrings and delight you with levity and charm. We want to make games that you play together with friends and family. Most of all, we want to give everyone the same collective types of game experiences that have defined our generation.
valley with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. He wields a ShovelBlade; a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly!
What made you want to bring the game to the Switch? We love Nintendo and the Switch hardware! We think the game plays superbly on the system, and we can't wait to get the game in people's hands.
How have you found developing for the Switch? What was the inspiration behind the game It's been a really great, smooth process. We had the game running on the device in and what do gamers encounter when You have just announced that Shovel a matter of days. playing? Knight - now known as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove - is coming to the Nintendo We were inspired by all the NES games The next update for Shovel Knight: Switch. For those that don't know, what is we played in our youth: Mega Man, Treasure Trove will bring the Specter of Mario, Castlevania, Metroid, Zelda, and Shovel Knight all about? Torment add-on. What is new? Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action many more. Gamers encounter all kinds Specter of Torment is a new playable adventure game with awesome gameplay, of things! Tough enemies, villainous campaign featuring Specter Knight, the bosses, lovable characters, engaging level memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro leader of the Lich Yard. Additionally, we've design, unique armors and weapons, and aesthetic. You play as the eponymous reworked all the bosses, environments, engaging gameplay! Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge levels, armors, weapons, subweapons, and quest. Shovel Knight has come to this 20
more! It's a completely new game set in the Shovel Knight world, that takes place before the events of the original game. You are also bringing Body-Swap mode, as well as the previously Amiibo exclusive co-op to consoles. Can you explain a little about them? Body Swap mode lets you alter the body type of each of the main 8 Order of No Quarter Knights. Additionally, you can swap Shovel Knight, Enchantress, Black Knight, and Shield Knight. Co-op let's you play as two Shovel Knight characters in Shovel Knight's main campaign. You've been supporting Shovel Knight for a while now and have even more content planned. What happens after that? How do Yacht Club Games follow Shovel Knight? First, we will be finishing our 4 player Battle mode for Shovel Knight and King Knight's campaign. After that, we would love to make a sequel to Shovel Knight or try our hands at creating a brand new IP. @_SwitchPlayer
Is there anything that has you excited from the Switch's line up? Personally, I'm very much looking forward to the new Mario game. I'm a big fan of Super Mario 64, and it's exciting they are returning to that type of gameplay.
Our final question - The Nintendo Switch: Handheld you plug in or a Console you take out? It's both! That's the fun of it! It isn't Nintendo not-switchable, ha! Snap!
Sometimes we can be our own harshest critics. Is there anything in Shovel Knight you don't like? At this point, we've addressed a lot of the issues we've had with the game through patches! I do wish we did a better job of teaching Plague Knight's mobility in Plague of Shadows so people could better understand how fun and unique the character's movement set is! When will Shovel Knight release on the Switch? Will there be any cross-buy/ discount for those that previously purchased it on a Nintendo platform? We will be announcing the release date soon. There will not be a cross-buy or discount available.
We would like to thank both David and Yacht Club Games for their time talking with us! Will you be picking up Shovel Knight on the Nintendo Switch? We will bring you more news and a release date as we have it! Switch Player
Chris Scullion tiredoldhack.com @scully1888
Have a read of these two statements and tell me which one you think sounds most effective: "The Nintendo Switch is the most powerful handheld console in the world, and you can play it on your TV," or "the Nintendo Switch is a home console you can take on the move"? As far as I'm concerned, it's the first. When I held the Switch in my hands for the first time, the initial thought that came to my mind was "wow, this thing's an absolute beast". And when you play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on it while sitting on your loo, enjoying its flawless 60 frames per second gameplay, you'll come to exactly the same conclusion. To think that Nintendo's made something here that's a little more powerful than a Wii U, but is somehow smaller and thinner than a Wii U GamePad, is just incredible. It's clear as soon as you start playing it that you're looking at the most professional, technologically advanced system Nintendo has made in a long time.
CHRIS SCULLION IS A VIDEO GAMES JOURNALIST, PROBABLY BEST KNOWN FOR HIS SIX YEARS AT THE OFFICIAL NINTENDO MAGAZINE. THESE DAYS YOU'LL FIND HIS WORK ON MANY DIFFERENT PUBLICATIONS, AS WELL AS ON HIS OWN WEBSITE - TIRED OLD HACK. HERE HE EXPLAINS WHY HE THINKS THAT NINTENDO SHOULD BE FOCUSING MORE ON THE HANDHELD ELEMENT OF THE SWITCH. Nintendo isn't usually associated with graphical power: that's usually the domain of its competitors, even when it comes to handhelds. But if we lived in an alternative reality where you weren't yet aware of the Switch, and someone came over to you and told you it was Sony's latest handheld, you'd believe them. After all, the PSP and Vita were graphical powerhouses when they were released, and I'd argue the Switch is even more jaw-dropping when how consider just how big a leap it is over the 3DS.
of all time. It may not have a hefty release schedule on the horizon, but it's clear that it's still in a relatively healthy state and isn’t ready to bow out. Nintendo is not in a massive rush to derail the 3DS gravy train, and telling everyone "hey guys, there's a new handheld out" would be one hell of a fallen tree on the tracks.
Its home console side of things, however, has flat lined. The Wii U is about as successful as Hull City at the moment, and Nintendo is probably desperate to draw a line under its four and a half As a handheld, then, the Switch is a underwhelming years and move on to its phenomenal technical accomplishment. successor. As something new and exciting If Nintendo was to sell it as one, it would which – at first glance, at least – is much raise bar of the handheld gaming market easier to explain and therefore sell to so high that it could take years for anyone the public than the Wii U was, the Switch else to reach the same level. There's looks like the ideal system to draw the just one problem: Nintendo already has public’s attention away from Nintendo’s a handheld, and it's doing perfectly fine, big flop. That’s why, following the Switch thanks very much. presentation on 13 January, Nintendo released a statement telling the press: The 3DS is still shifting. Nintendo sold “Nintendo Switch is a home gaming millions of them last year worldwide, and system first and foremost. We have made the 3DS-exclusive Pokémon Sun and Moon no announcement regarding the future were the fastest selling Pokémon games of Nintendo 3DS.” The message from switchplayer.net
NINTENDO IS SELLING THE SWITCH AS A HOME CONSOLE, BUT IT'S THE HANDHELD SIDE OF THINGS WHERE IT'S MORE IMPRESSIVE.
Nintendo is clear: the Wii U is dead, long live the Switch. Breath Of The Wild will be the last big Wii U release and then the Switch will take over as Nintendo’s main home console. The problem is, when treated as a home console, it isn’t actually hugely impressive. After all, it’s only slightly more powerful than the Wii U, and many of the big games released in its first year – Zelda, Mario Kart, Splatoon 2 – are either on Wii U as well or very similar to Wii U titles. On paper there’s not a lot there, at least in year one, to justify a £279 upgrade. Being able to take your home console on the move is undoubtedly a cool selling point, and that’s obviously the angle Nintendo is going with. The big drawback with that angle is that, by referring to it in that way, it’s putting across the message that the main play style is through your TV and the handheld stuff is a bonus. Whether Nintendo likes it or not, identifying the Switch as a home console immediately raises comparisons with the PS4 and Xbox One, and in that contest it’s a distant third in terms of power.
Were I in charge of marketing the thing (give me a shout, Reggie), the alternative angle seems like the most obvious choice to me: the Switch is a handheld that’s so powerful you can plug it into your TV as if it was a home console and play games that are even slightly better than the Wii U could manage. I brought up this way of thinking recently on my website and podcast and the number of people who have got in touch saying it changed their opinion on the Switch in a positive way was genuinely surprising. Without a word of a lie, at least 25 people got in touch to tell me that they either weren’t interested in Switch or had pre-ordered but were slightly regretting it, until they saw it from my “it’s a beast of a handheld” point of view and are now excited for it. And I’m a lowly Scot with a minor level of influence: imagine how many people Nintendo could convert with its big advertising budget.
I get it: the 3DS isn’t dead yet, and I know Nintendo has to say it has “no announcement regarding [its] future”. But let’s face it: the Switch is the successor to the 3DS. It has to be. By making a massively powerful handheld that can be played on your TV, Nintendo’s made sure that any other type of 3DS successor is impossible. If it made something less powerful than the Switch, people would just say “no thanks” and continue to take their Switch on their travels. If it made something more powerful, people would demand a TV-out for it and stop caring about the Switch. At some point Nintendo will start to wind down the 3DS, and chances are at that point it’ll become a single-system company like Microsoft and Sony are (sorry Vita fans, it’s time to let go). When this happens it’ll have to decide: should it stick with the “Switch is a home console you can take on the move” message, or change it to a “Switch is a powerful handheld you can plug into your TV” one? Given how its handheld division has traditionally been more successful every generation, I hope it’s the latter.
If you have enjoyed this feature, you should definitely check out more of Chris' work at tiredoldhack.com Chris is also on Patreon! Head to patreon.com/chrisscullion if you want to throw him a fistful of dollars. @_SwitchPlayer
Once inside the recent Nintendo Switch event, there was only one place I was going first. With just four hours to play as much as I could, and a twenty minute limit on how long you can play, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was going to have to be the priority. Not only that, but the demo pods were alternated between units you could play with the handheld and those you could not. Seems a little redundant, but it was their party; so I waited. As my turn arrived, I sat in the comfy chair and picked up the Switch Pro controller - asked a variety of questions on my Nintendo/Zelda experiences. Then it began. “This is based off the E3 Wii U build” the Nintendo chap told me. "It runs at 1080p and 30FPS in the demo and 720p 30FPS on the handheld, but the full release will be 60 for both”. The game begins with Link awakening and floating in a pool of water, clothed only in what appears to be a pair of tight denim shorts. A disembodied voice explains a few things about the game and directs you to a futuristic control panel. You are then equipped with the “Skeikah Slate,” which allows you to keep track of the weather, map, and locations, as well as acting as your key to access shrines. Upon activating the console and leaving the chamber, I found some chests which adorned me with some more suitable clobber (I couldn’t have Link running around in his pants!) before making my way out of the shrine. I made my exit by climbing over the obstacles, something my helpful Nintendo commentator told me “could be done on almost every surface.” I found myself overlooking the entire world from atop 24
a ledge. The scope, size and scale of everything became immediately apparent. This world is enormous, and absolutely stunning. Anything you can see can apparently be reached in what is described as an “Open-Adventure” experience.
“Have a look at the mountain” I was told, and a whipped out my telescope to look towards what appeared to be Death Mountain. A gigantic shadowy creature was scaling the peak in the distance. “I’ve not seen that in the demo before” he exclaimed. I didn’t know what it was either, but with only twenty minutes to play I was unlikely to find out. Instead, my eye was drawn to a scruffy old fella just down from me, which appeared to look like a clue, so I jaunted over to him. I didn’t really listen to him, and instead decided to make the most of my surroundings and very quickly found an axe, followed by some Bokoblins and some ChuChus (which I made some very short work of). I think I was supposed to be chopping down a tree or something, but this seemed much more satisfying. At this point my play changed; the Pro controller was put back, and I was told to lift the Switch out of the dock. The screen on the handheld instantly ignited as the television lost its HDMI signal. I was prompted to press L and R together, and then A; instant transition. Everything that was on the display in 1080p was now in my hands, yet despite the drop in resolution it looked… sharper, clearer, and arguably even higher in detail. It took a few moments to adjust to the Joy-Cons on the unit (with their wider grip), but soon I was away. Before long, I found a bow and some arrows, and was targeting enemies with ease. I discovered an abandoned shrine with the remnants of some Guardians. Some bad shit must have happened here. As I went to investigate further - collecting an ancient screw in the process - the game told me that my time was up. Those twenty minutes had flown and I hadn’t even done anything. I was informed that the demo build has many hours of gameplay in it, and even that only scratches the surface of the game. You could lose yourself for twenty-five hours investigating the Great Plateau before even starting on the dungeons and everything else there is to do. It seems huge. Even with my limited time and what I’ve seen online, this game has sold the Nintendo Switch to me. It looks amazing, controls exceptionally well, and certainly feels like a positive new direction for the series to go in. I’m a long-time fan of the Zelda series, with a particular preference for the handheld adventures – Link’s Awakening is probably my alltime favourite game – so the potential for me to have a more impressive experience to discover is too enticing. It usually takes a while to show what your new hardware is capable of, and it’s worth pointing out that this is actually a Wii U title; one of the most ambitious titles on the Wii U starts on the Switch. This is exactly where I’ll start it. @_SwitchPlayer
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER NINTENDO NINTENDO EPD
AT A GLANCE
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd
Super Mario Odyssey
Teased in the original Nintendo Switch reveal trailer and confirmed in the Presentation, Super Mario Odyssey is an open-world sandbox platformer reminiscent of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. Embarking on a journey across new world, including the New York City inspired "New Donk City", traveling across the lands in his airship. With many classic Mario moves demonstrated in the trailer, such as wall-jumping, ledge climbing as well as the ability to swing and throw his cap - using it as a spring in the process - many are hoping that this could be the best 3D Super Mario experience yet. With a release not until the end of the year and an appearance scheduled for June's E3 expo, we should learn more about our favourite plumber's newest adventure in the coming months. PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Nintendo Nintendo EPD
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NA: Out 2017 EU: Out 2017 switchplayer.net
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Hinted at in the first Nintendo Switch teaser back in October, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a re-mastered version of arguably the finest Mario Kart title, and is said to run at 1080p/60 FPS on a docked Switch and 720p/60 FPS on the handheld for a fluid racing experience. Packaged with all of the DLC from the Wii U version, five additional new characters and the inclusion of a new battle mode (more reminiscent of the classic balloon based mode) as well as the return of classic items, the Boo and the Feather, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also features the ability to hold two items similar to Mario Kart: Double Dash. Could this be the definitive version of Mario Kart? We will let you know in issue 3! I managed to get some time with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at the recent hands on. I played a single race with 7 other players all wirelessly connected together, and it was absolute carnage. I finished a disappointing 10th place, mainly because I was hit by all manner of weapons on that final lap (not at all because I was rubbish!) but it was immense fun and left me longing for more. Thankfully there isn't that long to wait... @_SwitchPlayer
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Nintendo Nintendo EPD
AT A GLANCE
NA: April 28th EU: April 28th Switch Player
Splatoon was something of a sleeper hit for Nintendo. Considering the struggles of the Wii U, the game has sold close to 5 million copies worldwide, an amazing attach rate for something that sold so poorly. If somehow you don't know what it is, Splatoon is a third person team-based shooter where you control characters called "inklings" who have the ability to transform into a squid, and who wield weapons capable of dispensing ink. Splatoon 2 will arrive this summer, and is styled as a fully-fledged sequel with new stages, weapons and much more. You'll be able to take on your friends in 4-on-4 battles locally and online in a game that continues to get new content long after launch.
Playing Splatoon 2 on the handheld portion of the Switch felt completely natural. Taking part in a turf war with 7 other connected players, I was soon at home firing the new dual pistols and covering the arena in my team's colour. The gyro controls worked incredibly well, and the experience wasn't compromised at all by the screen. I definitely can't wait to get some more time with this. 28
I've only recently experienced Splatoon and it's become something of a guilty pleasure. Definitely one to look out for. PUBLISHER Nintendo
AT A GLANCE
NA: Summer 2017 EU: Summer 2017 switchplayer.net
Super Bomberman R
The formula of Bomberman hasn't changed very much over the last 33 years, but that hasn't detracted from the sheer fun that the game provides. In this Switch exclusive - the first new Bomberman game in 7 years - you'll control the titular character across 50 stages, placing bombs and defeating your enemies in a completely new world. Of course, the main draw of Bomberman has always been the classic battle mode which is here in its explosive glory where up to eight players can fight it out and to be the last player standing. Essential multiplayer action for all, and it launches with the Switch! Will you be picking it up? Playing the game instantly evoked memories of my youth, in particular Super Bomberman 3 which I consider a high point for the series. It was incredibly fun and plays exactly as you'd expect, drop a bomb, hide around the corner and wait for it to explode before repeating as you aim to eradicate your foes. Playing with the Switch separated and with the kickstand out was tricky for my old eyes but it was incredibly fun. @_SwitchPlayer
AT A GLANCE
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd Switch Player
Just Dance 2017
If you are the type of player that enjoys a little bit of music in your games as well as getting active, you probably already earmarked Just Dance 2017 as a must-have. With 40 tracks and five game modes as well as the promise of updated content all year long, you'll find yourself dancing anytime - and anywhere- to "Cheap Thrills" by Sia Ft. Sean Paul, "Lean On" by Major Lazer Ft. MĂ˜ & DJ Snake, and "Sorry" by Justin Bieber. Relive classics including "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, or if J-pop is your thing, get down to "PoPiPo" by Hatsune Miku! With more than 200 extra songs available with a Just Dance Unlimited subscription, which you'll get a three month trial of with the game - this could keep you moving and grooving for a while! PUBLISHER Ubisoft
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DEVELOPER Ubisoft Paris
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd switchplayer.net
If ever there was a game that screamed to be the pack in title, it's 1-2-Switch. Designed as a party experience to showcase the functionality of the Joy-Con controllers, 1-2-Switch is a series of minigames where you are encouraged to avoid looking at the screen and instead listen to the prompts, focusing on your actions. With safe-cracking, cow-milking, quick-drawing (think Westerns) and samurai training among the many experiences, these games all do a good job of demonstrating how incredible the Joy-Con controllers are. Is it worth ÂŁ40 though? It seems that this definitely should have been bundled with the Switch. Check back next issue for our verdict on this! PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Nintendo Nintendo EPD
AT A GLANCE @_SwitchPlayer
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd Switch Player
Skylanders Imaginators is officially set to be one of the Switch’s launch titles in the West, and will be headed to the system day one on March 3rd, 2017! If you’re unfamiliar with the title/series and need a refresher on what to expect story-wise in this toys-to-life adventure, we’ve got the official explanation from Activision’s initial Imaginators press release for you to have a read through below. The story of Skylanders Imaginators takes place long ago when the Ancients used a mysterious power known as “Mind Magic” to create everything in Skylands. With it, they conjured into existence anything that they could imagine! However, they soon learned that in the wrong hands, it could be very dangerous, and so they sealed it away so that it could never be misused. After discovering this ancient secret, Kaos has unleashed the power of “Mind Magic” into Skylands once again – and he is using it to create an unstoppable army of Doomlanders, the likes of which have never been seen! Now it’s up to Portal Masters to create Skylanders Imaginators from their own imagination and stop Kaos and his evil Doomlanders before it is too late. And to help train them, Eon is sending the greatest mystic warriors of all time – the Senseis! Sound good?
Also coming to Skylanders Imaginators in March will be a new package called the “Cursed Tiki Temple level pack,” which brings a whole new adventure with over 100 unlockables, a brand new Sensei character – Wild Storm, a life Creation Crystal, and an Imaginite Mystery Chest. Then, the Spring will bring another new Sensei; Grave Clobber. Once a great pharaoh who ruled over the Golden Desert, Grave Clobber was buried alive (in his sleep!) by his seven jealous brothers. Rising from the watery tomb they buried him in soon after, he took to clobbering each of his brothers for their misdeeds – becoming the perfect choice for a Brawler Class Sensei trainer. 32
Well it’s important to note here that in its journey to the Switch a new mechanic will come into play, allowing you to truly take your adventures on the go. The Switch version of the game will support storing more than 300(!) toys from the Skylanders universe in a digital library, allowing you to take them on adventures without bringing all those toys with you. PUBLISHER Activision
AT A GLANCE
DEVELOPER Toys for Bob
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd switchplayer.net
A fighting game like no other, Arms has you equip yourself with your preferred style of extendable arms – pitting you against an opponent with their own style as well. Using quick hand motions and button presses, you’ll take the fight to your opponent and bash them into the ground… or get your butt kicked trying! According to Nintendo’s you’ll have to “throw punches and guide them mid-flight to hit agile fighters, avoid incoming attacks with dashes, or trampoline high into the air to rain down fists from above.” While that seems fun in its own right, they’ve revealed that you’ll also be able to “fill up your special gauge to dish out devastating combinations and finish them off.��� This game is shaping up to be a hell of a way to brawl, isn’t it?
Fight via simple motion and button controls Grab onto your Joy-Con with a unique “thumbs-up” grip and use simple motions and button presses to outthink your opponent. Toss and curve punches when you find an opening, and dodge a flurry of incoming attacks. It’s fast-paced fun for everyone! Select from a variety of fighters Select from brand-new fighting superstars like Ribbon Girl, Master Mummy, and more! Each fighter has their own special attributes to learn and master. Fight in arenas with unique obstacles Throw punches around (or through) mysterious liquid-filled columns in a spooky laboratory, or in certain arenas, toss fighters onto trampolines for epic aerial skirmishes. Choose your arms carefully Each weapon has its own strength. Some are slow and do tons of damage, while others are fast as lighting, but will only serve to set up larger combinations. It’s up to you to mix and match your arms to fit your play style. Outside of Breath of the Wild, Arms was one of my highlights. Invoking memories of Boxing from Wii Sports, using a combination of surprisingly accurate punches and grappling motions (albeit attached to spring loaded fists) to defeat your opponent was incredibly fun. Using the Joy-Cons you can also dodge, tilt and move around the colourful arena, all the while trying avoid the flurry of attacks from your opponent. It definitely has potential and show that Nintendo can still produce a unique and interesting title. Whether it has the legs as a single player experience or not or whether it's worth the silly money to get an extra pair of Joy-Cons to play with a friend remains to be seen. @_SwitchPlayer
Arms is out this Spring. We will bring you more news on the game next issue!
AT A GLANCE
NA: Spring EU: Spring Switch Player
I Am Setsuna
Looking for something else to bolster up that Switch launch? We have just learned that Square Enix's frosty JRPG, I Am Setsuna will also be making the cut in the west as a digital download. Set in a land with a perpetual winter, the game follows a party of mercenaries tasked with taking the titular character on a journey in which she must make the ultimate sacrifice. Described as a great homage to JRPG masterpieces of yesteryear, I Am Setsuna features a new battle system inspired by the one from Chrono Trigger and is said to feature beautiful character designs and location in the game, with an â€œemotionally impactfulâ€? story. Will you be picking this up on launch day?
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Square EnixTokyo RPG Factory
AT A GLANCE 34
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd switchplayer.net
The Binding of Issac: Afterbirth+
Teased via a cheeky set of tweets from Nicalis' founder, Tyrone Rodrigez, not only do we now know that The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is hitting the Nintendo Switch, but it'll be there for launch as well. Well, for those in North America at least. Binding of Isaac is a procedurally generated rogue-like dungeon crawler where you play as the titular character (or other playable characters) as he explores his mother's basement, defeats monsters and ultimately tries to defeat his mother. He can use his tears as weapons to defeat the monsters that he encounters. Available for $39.99 at retail and on the e-shop, Afterbirth+ will release with the base Rebirth game and all of the add-on content released so far, and features new monsters, bosses, items and a new playable character as well as bestiary to keep track of the enemies that have been defeated over the multiple plays. We will keep you updated with news on a release outside of North America. PUBLISHER Nicalis
AT A GLANCE @_SwitchPlayer
NA: March 3rd EU: TBA Switch Player
Are you disappointed that there hasn’t been a new F-Zero for a while, or indeed a version for the Switch? You may be interested Fast RMX, a futuristic arcade racer from Shin’en! Described as a “non-stop adrenaline pumping” anti gravity style racer, Shin’en have reported that the game runs in 1080p and 60FPS across 30 different tracks which feature a variety of environments such as canyons, alpine peaks futuristic cities and much more! It’s also going to feature 4 player split screen multiplayer as well as eight player online, and you’ll have to master the art of boosting and switching to stay ahead of the completion and unlock the “Hero Mode” with new rules and challengers.
Fast RMX is currently slated to release in March, but not stated to be a launch title. Check back next issue for our thoughts!
Fast RMX plays an awful lot like WipEout, and handles incredibly well. I played on two different tracks with different mechanics and was able to speed and bank my way around the welldesigned course with ease. The game features a colour-coded boost mechanic which you control, and having the wrong choice when using the speed bars could have drastic implications for your chances of winning, as I found out a few times... The build was solid and looked impressive, and I'm hoping that all of the tracks looks as impressive as the ones we were shown. Fans of futuristic-styled anti-gravity racers should definitely keep an eye out for this. 36
AT A GLANCE
NA: March EU: March switchplayer.net
Imagine finding yourself shipwrecked on a strange and mysterious island, with the ruins of a long-forgotten civilization and the wild creates in your rugged surrounding the only clues to your survival. Following a torrential storm, the young boy you play as finds himself shipwrecked and needing to decipher the secrets and challenges from the expansive world around him. This colourful title was originally a PS4 exclusive before the rights reverted back to Tequila Works, which now means that many more platforms will be able to experience what looks to be an interesting title, with the Switch version expected in May.
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Grey Box/Siz foot Tequila Works
AT A GLANCE @_SwitchPlayer
NA: May 2017 EU: May 2017 Switch Player
LEGO City Undercover
A former Wii U exclusive, this well-received LEGO title is an open-world adventure game set in the fictional LEGO City where you play as Chase McCain, an undercover police officer as he goes hunting for criminals. Stylised as a sort of reverse GTA set in a LEGO world, Chase can use vehicles, equip disguises and build as you'd expect in a LEGO game as he explores the city, fights crime and tries to bring an end to the reign of the villainous Rex Fury. LEGO City Undercover is set to release in the Spring.
PUBLISHER Warner Bros
AT A GLANCE 38
DEVELOPER TT Fusion
NA: Spring 2017 EU: Spring 2017 switchplayer.net
World of Goo / Little Inferno / Human Resource Machine
Revealed just as we were going to press was the news that Tomorrow Corporation will be releasing their three classic award winning games on the Switch at launch. Available as separate purchases and bundled with the original soundtracks, you'll be able to re-discover 2D-BOY's beautiful and surprising World of Goo, you will also be able to reignite the dangerous and intriguing Little Inferno and re-engineers your corporate ascent in Human Resource Machine. Tomorrow Corporation have said that there is a new Soundtrack Mode exclusive to the Switch, where players can "explore Kyle Gabler's wonderfully bizarre music". All three titles will be available from launch. Will you be picking any up? PUBLISHER Tomorrow Corporation
AT A GLANCE @_SwitchPlayer
DEVELOPER Tomorrow Corporation
NA: March 3rd EU: March 3rd Switch Player
PUBLISHER Arc System Works
DEVELOPER Arc System Works
PUBLISHER System 3
PUBLISHER Bandai Namco Entertainment
DEVELOPER Square Enix
PUBLISHER Square Enix
PUBLISHER Square Enix
DEVELOPER Bethesda Game Studios
PUBLISHER Focus Home Interactive
DEVELOPER Omega Force TBC
DEVELOPER Square Enix
Autumn 2017 40
DEVELOPER Cypronia 2017
PUBLISHER Bethesda Softworks
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Nippon Ichi Software Nippon Ichi Software
PUBLISHER Square Enix
DEVELOPER System 3
DEVELOPER TBC 2017
DEVELOPER Giants Software 2017
PUBLISHER Electronic Arts
DEVELOPER EA Sports TBC switchplayer.net
DEVELOPER Intelligent Systems
PUBLISHER Game Trust
PUBLISHER Team Cherry
DEVELOPER 4J Studios
DEVELOPER Visual Concepts 2017
DEVELOPER Team Cherry
PUBLISHER Telltale Games
PUBLISHER Square Enix
PUBLISHER FDG Entertainment
DEVELOPER Game Atelier 2017
DEVELOPER Grasshopper Manufacture 2018
DEVELOPER Tokyo RPG Factory March 3rd
DEVELOPER Telltale Games
DEVELOPER Vertex Pop Spring 2017
PUBLISHER 2K Games
PUBLISHER Vertex Pop
DEVELOPER Frozen Byte
DEVELOPER Omega Force
PUBLISHER Koei Tecmo
DEVELOPER Koei Tecmo 2017 Switch Player
PUBLISHER The PokÃ©mon Company
PUBLISHER Square Enix
PUBLISHER SEGA Q2 2017
DEVELOPER Ubisoft Montpellier
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Zocrates Laboratories Zocrates Laboratories
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER Any Arts Production Any Arts Production TBC
DEVELOPER 34 Big Things Spring 2017
PUBLISHER Koei Tecmo
DEVELOPER Simplistic 2018
DEVELOPER Sonic Team 2017
DEVELOPER Sonic Team
DEVELOPER Square Enix
DEVELOPER Koei TBC
DEVELOPER Atlus TBC switchplayer.net
PUBLISHER Yacht Club Games
DEVELOPER Yacht Club Games
PUBLISHER Anuman Interactive
PUBLISHER Chucklefish Games
DEVELOPER Concerned Ape
PUBLISHER Image & Form
DEVELOPER Bandai Namco Studios
DEVELOPER Capcom 2017
DEVELOPER Monolith Soft 2017
DEVELOPER Ubisoft Annecy 2017
DEVELOPER Lizardcube 2017
DEVELOPER Image & Form
PUBLISHER Bandai Namco Entertainment
DEVELOPER Sonic Team Spring 2017
DEVELOPER Playtonic Games TBC Switch Player
What did you make of the Nintendo Switch presentation? The Nintendo Switch presentation absolutely crushed me. I was riding high on months of the best marketing decisions Nintendo has made in years, and while my expectations were admittedly through the roof, after years of standing up for their nonsense I did not feel like I was asking too much. It reminded me of the end of Carrie when she goes to prom thinking she is was finally the cool girl and then realizes everyone is playing a cruel joke on her. The presentation had great announcements, just not nearly enough, and was one of the most poorly produced conferences I’ve seen in modern times. At the end of the day, Nintendo can recover from this fumble, but this presentation was supposed to be the fix, not yet another problem. What are your thoughts on the system's prospects, and how does it differ from your feelings after that October teaser? I am absolutely stoked for the Switch and it’s potential to bring Nintendo back to being a vibrant part of modern gaming. In terms of the hardware and software, my interest and excitement has not changed one bit since we first saw the Switch in 44
WHEN THE NINTENDO SWITCH WAS REVEALED TO THE WORLD IN OCTOBER LAST YEAR, ONE MEMBER OF THE KINDA FUNNY CREW COULDN'T CONTAIN HIS EXCITEMENT, AND HIS PASSION SCREAMED OUT TO US. SO WE JUST HAD TO GET TIM GETTYS INTO OUR FIRST ISSUE TO HAVE A CHAT. October. This thing looks like a dream come true to me. The only way my views have changed is my confidence level in Nintendo to not mess up the messaging. What are your thoughts on the launch line-up? The launch line up has a Zelda game. Not only A Zelda game, but the most exciting looking Zelda game in years. I am definitely a quality over quantity guy when it comes to games and all I need is a reason to invest in a new console to take the dive. I don’t buy the “a little something for everybody” argument, that comes later. What about the 2017 line-up? What are stand-outs for you? The 2017 Switch lie-up looks like exactly what I would want from the Switch this early on. I fully expect many more announcements at E3, and if all goes how I predict, we will get a fairly steady flow of important ports and smaller titles leading up to Super Mario Odyssey, AKA Potential Game of the Forever.
The system is much more expensive than expected. What did you make of that? Man, I am shocked the price wasn’t $250. I would have bet anything it would be. $300 is not bad at all, and in fact it smartly places them in a position to have a price drop sooner than later to compete. The price of the accessories, on the other hand, is an absolute joke. We love Nintendo for local multiplayer. All the marketing for the Switch is focused on local multiplayer. Why would you make local multiplayer prohibitively expensive to invest in?!?!? How do you think 2017 will pan out for the Switch? I think 2017 will be very rough for the Switch as it goes on, but will be looked back on as a year full of amazing gaming experiences more so than as a console that bumbled out of the gate. Can you tell us anything about Kinda Funny's plans for Switch coverage? Kinda Funny will be covering the Switch hard on all our various shows and podcasts. I want nothing more than for Nintendo to succeed, and despite a few missteps, I still believe that X will give it to us. switchplayer.net
Laura Kate Dale
letsplayvideogames.com @LaurakBuzz /LauraKBuzz Hello Laura, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you got into game journalism? My name is Laura, and my work in the games industry is a pretty even split between serious games critique and discussions of video game character genitalia. I got into games journalism around three years ago in an attempt to stave off boredom during a boring retail job. You've had quite a journey in the games industry, with your work on personal projects, Destructoid and the Jimquisition podcast and now with Lets Play Video Games. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Sure. Destructoid was the first major gaming outlet to offer me regular, salaried work within the industry. Their particular brand of humour and content tone helped cultivate many of the sillier aspects of my writing style that have stuck with me long since leaving. I unfortunately had to leave Destructoid, alongside my UK editorial team, on very short notice in 2016, but the entire UK Destructoid team followed me over to Patreon, where we funded and formed Let's Play Video Games. We kept much of the silly humour intact, shifted our focus toward original content, and were able to more readily cover topics we wanted to as an independent outlet. The Jimquisition Podcast is by far the most successful thing I have been regularly involved with. A gaming podcast with a focus on silliness and vulgarity, recording with Jim Sterling and Gavin (Miracle of Sound) Dunne every week has been an incredibly fun challenge in outgoing expression. @_SwitchPlayer
IF YOU'VE BEEN FOLLOWING NINTENDO SWITCH DEVELOPMENTS OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS, THEN YOU'VE PROBABLY COME ACROSS LAURA KATE DALE'S WORK - OR AT LEAST HEARD HER NAME MENTIONED. WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF TIPS, LEAKS, AND DISCUSSION GENERATED BY HER COVERAGE, WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A CHAT WITH HER.
You have risen to prominence with your Nintendo Switch information. Can you tell us how you manage which information to "leak" and which not to? For me, the main focuses are on sharing information that would be important for a consumer to know when making a purchasing decision, and avoiding sharing any information that would effect a consumers enjoyment of a product upon release. Knowing the Switch would feature HD Rumble, a record button, and be powered by USB-C are all useful information to a consumer's purchasing decisions. Knowing spoilers for the ending of Breath of the Wild would harm the enjoyment of a finished product upon release. That's my two guiding lines. Your "bingo card" of predictions has yielded over a 50% strike rate with other things that may yet be true. Do you feel vindicated in your information release? I personally feel like enough of my information was accurate, and released early enough, that I can be proud of what I achieved. I understand that others disagree.
enough as to not feel impressive. I really feel like the choice to market it as a home console foremost may be to the system's detriment. What did you make of the system's reveal in January, versus the initial release trailer form October? The October reveal was concise and to the point. It's a console, it's a handheld, it has Zelda and it makes a cool clicking sound. The January event was cluttered, rambling, and not laid out in a way that easily told consumers what they would be playing on the system day one. It discussed ancillary features like motion control and HD Rumble at the expense of selling consumers on why they should pick up an overly expensive device at launch. Will you be getting a Switch on day one? Why? I will, mainly justified as a work purchase as someone running a games media outlet.
How do you think the system will fare, given the information and currently announced line-up? I think the pricing of the system, You got hands-on with the system in January, what are your early impressions? particularly of additional docks and controllers, is going to be a real barrier to The Switch feels far more well built than sales from month two onwards. I think previous Nintendo systems. It's light, third party support is going to be vital, as sturdy, robust, and feels more like a piece well as a strong showing at E3 2017. If E3 of high end consumer tech than a toy. It feels more like the build quality of an Apple sees the reveal of Beyond Good and Evil as a timed exclusive, a Rabbis Mario RPG and product than a Nintendo handheld. Mother 3 as I suspect, they may be able to recover some momentum. I generally feel like the Switch is currently far more impressive when viewed as Finally, you can only choose one of these: a high end gaming handheld that can connect to the TV than as a home console A handheld you can plug in or a console that happens to be portable. When viewed you take out? It's far more impressive when viewed as a as a home console successor the jump handheld you can plug into your TV. in power from the Wii U seems minimal Switch Player
ALSO: REVIEWS OF THE MAJOR LAUNCH TITLES! MORE DEVELOPER CONTENT! MORE PROFESSIONAL ANALYSIS! COMMUNITY CONTENT AND OPINIONS! ISSUE 2 IS OUT ON APRIL 14TH! Support us on Patreon by March 31st to guarantee your print copy of issue 2!
www.switchplayer.net Issue 1 | Feb/Mar 2017 Editorial Executive Editor Paul Murphy @PMurphy1978 Editor-in-chief Kyle Wakeling @teflontactics Art Editor Jhonatan Carneiro @JhoCarneiro Special Thanks Yacht Club Games @YachtClubGames Charlie Large @CharlieLarge Jenny Jones @Kitty_has_Klaws
Contributors Ryan Brown @Toadsanime Laura Kate Dale @LauraKBuzz Michael A Cunningham @FinalMacstorm Tom Phillips @tomphillipsEG Manuel Stanislao @ManuelStanislao Chris Scullion @scully1888 Meg Bethany Read @tricforcemeg Greg Miller @GameOverGreggy Colin Moriarty @notaxation Hyper Play RPG @HyperPlayRPG Andy Robertson @GeekDadGamer Dylan Simpson @squidgerydee Tim Gettys @TimGettys Print and Back Issues Subscriptions - patreon.com/switchplayer Back Issues - switchplayer.net/shop This magazine comes in print! Head to the Patreon link above and pledge either $6 (UK addresses) or $9 (overseas) to guarantee the future issues to your door! If you are missing an issue from your collection, you can head to our web store to see if the issue you need is in stock! This magazine in printed in and posted from the United Kingdom.
Coverage Are you a developer/publisher? If you are working on a Nintendo Switch title and want to get it covered for FREE in the magazine and/or website then we want to hear from you! Send an email to email@example.com and add us to your press lists. Whether your game is coming out soon or in the future, we want to help get that news out there so get in touch! Advertising To advertise in this magazine please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For a very low price we can promote your game to thousands of print and digital customers! Disclaimer Switch Player is an independent Nintendo Switch enthusiast website and magazine. All content featured is used with permission, or is considered fair use by our access to official channels and is used to promote existing and upcoming content for the Nintendo Switch. We are not endorsed or affiliated with Nintendo or any of the companies featured. ÂŠ 2017 Switch Player
Flagpole SO, SHOULD YOU PRE-ORDER A NINTENDO SWITCH?
It’s a tricky call to make. Being an early adopter for any product has its risks, however with gaming consoles you don’t get to see the finished picture. The launch line-up IS lacklustre overall with what we know, but we are learning more every day about what’s coming in the next few months. By the end of the summer we will have many games to choose from including Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Sonic Mania, RiME, Arms, LEGO City Undercover, Fast RMX and many more, and don’t forget Breath of the Wild. The Switch itself is an amazing piece of technology, and, when looking at it like I do – that it’s a HANDHELD – then it’s going to be an essential piece of equipment for my gaming needs. That I can plug it into the television if I want to is an incredible bonus. It’s a premium piece of kit that carries a premium price, which unfortunately extends to the peripherals too. I had already pre-ordered the Switch before I got my hands on it, and following the presentation and the hands-on I want it even more; but the immediate decision comes down to whether you think it’s
worth buying initially just for Breath of the Wild. To many it will be the only big title until at least the end of April, and if you've got a Wii U maybe it won't even be that. My biggest concern with the system overall is that I am not convinced that the third parties are truly on board. You know you can count on Nintendo to bring their big guns to the table, and there will be no shortage of developers that do want to bring their games here, but the bigger third party publishers are understandably wary. This system will need to shift units to convince them of its viability. Speaking of shifting units, you know this thing is going to sell out. The NES Mini was woefully under-stocked and underanticipated and with a speculated two million Switches for the worldwide launch audience, failing to get one at Launch could mean a while before they are back in stock. It’s a tough call at this early stage, but it’s one that either as a Nintendo or a handheld fan you should most certainly make.