I had hoped to try the Pro Controller with Zelda; it was an option on some of the stations, but not mine. Luckily, the next game we tried out demonstrated the Pro controller style.
FAST RMX is another enhanced Wii U port. I have not played the original, and I m not particularly good at F-Zero, WipeOut, and the like. All I can say really is that it looked great at 1080p and 60fps. In addition, the Pro Controller is real improvement over the Wii U’s. I did not enjoy the Wii U’s Pro Controller; everything felt too in towards the centre and just out of reach for me. That is not the case here. Everything is just where it should be and properly proportioned. It is also pretty comfortable to hold. Not their best pro-style controller (my picks are the GameCube’s and the Wii’s Classic Pro), but still a very solid attempt, and hardcore gamers will prefer it.
Lastly, with the two hours coming to a close and Snipperclips and Splatoon 2‘s lineups overflowing, we hit the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe section of the floor. First, we experienced the Switch in tabletop mode. In a simulated airplane cabin, we played with the Switch on its kickstand sitting atop the airplane seat’s pull-down tray. It really looks great compared to the Wii U’s tablet, but we were playing with horizontal Joy-Cons again here, and they are simply bad. Actually, this time I used the Left Joy-Con (I held the Right one during Sonic Mania) and the control stick is positioned a bit better here, but it is still pretty bad overall. We also didn’t have wrist straps here, so no expanded shoulder buttons – which made sharp turns and firing items really difficult because I kept missing the tiny awkward buttons. It was incredibly unintuitive and uncomfortable.
Not terribly impressed, we gave Mario Kart another go – this time in TV mode. It looked great. It was the same course that we had just played (Wild Woods DLC), but it looked better than the Wii U’s rendition. Mostly, I noticed, improved lighting effects in addition to the resolution bump. The downside? We had to play with Wii Wheels (or whatever they’re called on the Switch). It is just awkward to hold and use. And there are double items – not a big deal. We didn’t get a chance to try out Battle Mode before leaving, unfortunately.
Overall, despite the long wait, the event was fun and worth it. I enjoyed experiencing the Switch in a wide variety of games and play styles. The hardware is solid; it feels well polished and professional – a far cry away from the cheap, plastic Fischer-Price aesthetic Nintendo usually launches with. The system, based on everything I saw and played, is the Wii’s true successor. The motion control feels good, as do most of the controller options. The screen is really high-quality, and it is all incredibly lightweight and comfortable.
The Switch is a promising piece of hardware, and as long as Nintendo can support it and keep it free of the software droughts that have traditionally plagued their systems, it has a lot of potential for success.