Nintendo Switch: hands on

With Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee and Super Smash Bros Ultimate coming out, I couldn’t pass any longer.

Handling the console

It’s quite wide. The joycons are not the most comfortable and need some serious getting used to, especially on games such as Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate!

The pro controller is not cheap at all, but since I didn’t buy it (yet?) I can’t speak about its comfort. It looks much better for using it while the console is standing or docked.

The triggers are awkward to use, the sticks are not placed ideally. It’s looks like a hot mess at first and getting used to it is part of the learning curve, not that it’s a good thing.

I’m a trained soldier though!

Get a glass screen protector

The screen glass is low quality compared to the smartphone glass, it will keep your fingerprint like the police just arrested you. It might scratch really easily too, especially if the dock is used a lot.

Any tempered glass screen protector should improve the screen durability, the biggest challenge will be placing it correctly with no dust or air bubbles. I have yet to master this skill.

No memory card included

As expected there’s no micro SD card included, I’d recommend getting at least a 32GB if you plan to screenshot a lot and purchase games from the eShop. Just to list storage requirements for a couple of games:

  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate: 14.7GB;
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 14.5GB;
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: 14GB + 4.5GB (DLC);
  • Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate: 12GB;
  • Mario Odyssey: 5.6GB;
  • Stardew Valley: 1GB.

No one is safe from storage heavy games anymore.

The Nintendo eShop

The eShop should learn from other stores. There’s no way to get easily a list of free games or demo without resorting to the search features and ordering by price.

Sometimes by going back through the prompt instead of pressing B will throw you back to the eShop home, not what I though would happen when I started downloading a couple of demos.


When saving screenshots and short clips of 30 seconds they are sent to the album which is the screenshot folder where nothing seems to be sorted. The only way to transfer these files is by ejecting the micro SD card, which is a fine option.
But there’s no way to upload videos to YouTube!

It’s possible to only share screenshots and videos through Twitter and Facebook, or you could buy a card reader and turn off the console then dump the micro SD card’s media onto your computer.

Not every screen can be screenshot and the output format is always JPEG, not the best quality.


The red joycon doesn’t look red like on the pictures. It’s closer to a neon red than a bright red color. I’m nit-picking because I really like red. The controls are not as comfortable when getting started too, it’s like there’s a break in period for your hands.

Accessing the other region stores, like the Japanese one for Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud (to get the Breath of the Wild items), requires adding another user. If you keep that user on the Switch you will be asked to select a user to launch at game… I’d prefer a default user in this case.

There’s no option to upload videos to YouTube as of right now.


As I have not had the opportunity to play a game online I can’t comment it just yet, same goes for cloud saves and any of the advertised features of the subscription. I just really hope that the sales won’t be lock behind the subscription since I don’t plan on paying until I get a game that can be played online (like Smash).

I’ve bought Super Mario Odyssey with the console and got Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu when it came out, for now I feel satisfied since they are both great games and the upcoming line up is great.

There have been talks of new Switch hardware, I’m not sure how to react to that but an upgrade might be coming.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu: review

No matter how old I get I still love these games. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee are the latest games of the Pokémon series. Everybody knows about Pokémon, it’s like the Coca Cola of the gaming industry, but healthier.
You will walk 10Km to hatch that egg!

The screenshots and video recording are all done through the Switch’s feature, thus we are working with low bitrate video capped at 30 second, low quality JPEG screenshots. PNG lives matter!

Mainline game or spinoff?

This game is like the 12th time we had the opportunity to visit Kanto but it doesn’t get all that old. The game is solid and definitely is a mainline game. It plays the story like Yellow with come additions.

It’s not even my first time


The capture mechanic is the same as Pokemon GO at the exception of the way you throw the Poké Ball. You feel like you have less control than on the mobile game and it doesn’t always feel rewarding because you don’t battle Pokémons to catch them.

The wild Pokémons roam the world, no more random encounters unless they spawn on you. You get what you see.

In handheld mode you just press a button, but it seems you can aim the view with the gyroscopic features of the Switch. In detached mode and Poké Ball Plus you swing to send a Poké Ball.

Of course if there’s no battle mechanic that means that you can make wild Pokémons sleep and make catching them easier and that’s really a shame.
This is the core mechanic from the series.

It’s simple

Starting with generation 2 we were able to make our Pokémons hold items, this is missing. Since forever we had PC boxes to store Pokémons, this has been replaced by the bag.

This game seems to start on something new with Combat Points showing a value that represents all the stats of a Pokemon.

Poké Ball Plus

The Poké Ball Plus contains mew. It’s a 50€ piece of DLC and game controller. As a DLC is easy to use, just get the mystery gift inside it and you are done. As a game controller it’s not the best at all… It tends to rotate in the hand and some menus can’t be access since there are only two buttons.
While it’s possible to shake it to trigger a “third button” you can’t get more details on your moves during combat with it.

Against wild Pokémons you can swing it to throw a Poké Ball, just like with the detached joycon.

It also has more features, you can place a Pokémon on it and use the pedometer to gain more experience and some reward for walking around. When it’s linked to Pokémon GO you can have it vibrate when it spots Pokémons… Depending on your location it won’t stop vibrating.

I took Pikachu on a stroll and played some Pokémon GO

What’s missing?

So much is missing… First of all there are much less tactile interactions. You can pat Pikachu with the touchscreen and that seems to be it. You can’t navigate the menus or send Poké Balls with the touchscreen.

The abilities from the 3rd generation are missing too. This is good to avoid some of the weird quirks you’d face when battling certain Pokémons (like heatproof).

The Global Trading System (GTS) doesn’t exist, that’s a shame because it helped completing the Pokédex. No Wonder Trade (WT) but it’s not a big deal for that.
Trading and all other online features are locked behind a subscription.

Not as expensive as the others, but do we need that?


The game is pretty well made, going back to Kanto feels good and the additions in the story are not bad. I regret not being able to battle wild Pokémons to make them easier to catch though.

The framerate of the game feels smooth enough, this was hard to achieve with Sun & Moon and is really nice to look at.

I hope that the next entries to the series will bring back fighting wild Pokémon.