What I'm Playing - Nintendo Switch Lite

With a lot of free time on his hands, Tom Moorcroft talks us through his experience with the Nintendo Switch Lite

Tom Moorcroft
31st March 2020
I don’t think I need to go into too much detail, but a certain national pandemic has resorted in a lot of people sitting at home, twiddling their thumbs, waiting for something to happen. For those people who are struggling to fill their days, and aimlessly walk around the house finding something to put their energy into, I have the answer for you: the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Don’t be fooled by the name, as the Switch ‘Lite’ actually packs quite a punch. With a sleek design dedicated for handheld play, it’s the ideal vessel to load up some games and watch the hours roll by. Having slowly fallen away from Nintendo games over the last few years, resorting mainly to Xbox exclusives, I saw this confusing time as an opportunity to relive some of the nostalgic games of my childhood.

Pokemon: Let's Go! flips the typical narrative of other Pokemon games, as training and tackling gyms are on the back-burner, and expanding your Pokedex is on the agenda

I’ve nabbed a couple of screenshots whilst I’ve been playing these games, which showcase their immersive nature and visual appeal . However, I haven’t actually found out how to share these, which I guess proves you’re getting a ‘first-impressions’ review of the Switch!

That’s actually another highlight of the switch, with the built-in ‘screenshot’ button, any gaming moments that you may want to relive can be at the press of a button.

Being somewhat of a Pokemon fiend in my formative years, I decided to go back to where it all started and pick up Pokemon: Let’s Go. A response to the success of the mobile app Pokemon Go, the narrative revolves heavily around catching and discovering new species of Pokemon, and exploring the vast landscapes in which they inhabit.

It flips the typical narrative of other Pokemon games, as training and tackling gyms are on the back-burner, and expanding your Pokedex is on the agenda. This doesn’t mean training and battling isn’t common, as after around 15 hours of playing, I’ve had my fair share of battles (something which will definitely go on my CV).

Image: IGDB

I didn’t think I’d get back into Pokemon, since hanging up my Gameboy Advance SP for an Xbox and a copy of Fifa a few years back, but with the amount of free time I’ve had recently, playing this game has taken me right back to the excitement I felt playing it for the first time in 2008.

However, I haven’t just devoted my time to the one game. As many people do, I checked out the free games, or the games that were incredibly low-priced. I was pleasantly surprised as, unlike the price-tags which Microsoft tend to add on to their games, the nature of the Switch allows Nintendo to release games at a much more affordable price. A couple games I picked up were Asphalt, and perhaps my favourite of them all, Old Man’s Journey.

Asphalt is the perfect game for the average gamer who might not want a highly-dedicated gaming experience. I’ve played it a couple times and, given that it’s free, it’s perfect for blowing off some steam. In a typical car-racing format, with customisation and different maps, it doesn’t require the utmost attention, and is a perfect distraction from those sudden waves of boredom.

I haven’t been able to drive recently, so I guess it’s the closest thing I’ve got. This is mainly because I’ve no-one to drive to, given we’re all hopefully staying inside. Also I haven’t passed my test...

Old Man's Journey
Image - Tom Moorcroft

However, that second game, Old Man’s Journey, has been a revelation for me. I didn’t really expect to be blown away by the aesthetic of a game, but the game developers of Broken Rules have knocked this one out of the park. It has a very rural and playful feel, with the narrative showing an old man embark on a journey which, although not clarified, seems to be of love. It probably explains why they seem to have won countless nominations for this game, such as 'Excellence in Visual Arts', the Media Choice Award and a showcase at the Day of the Devs 2017 event.

It seemed like a simple touch-and-go, but the unique game mechanics of shifting the environment around you, to create new paths for our protagonist to follow, showed that it was so much more than a typical puzzle-game. It’s narrative is incredibly addictive and, even though I’m only on level 3, I can’t wait to find all my questions answered.

After already developing a back catalogue of games to play, including the highly renowned Pikuniku, I should have the perfect method for tackling boredom these next few months. At £200, it's a significant chunk cheaper than the Nintendo Switch, and what it lacks in TV-play and Joy-cons, it makes up for in a commitment to handheld and a light-weight feel.

Even though we're all confined to our homes, I can't wait to play it on the go!

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AUTHOR: Tom Moorcroft
Head of Sport for The Courier. Current 3rd year English Literature and History student. Love writing about sports/music, playing the guitar and Everton FC!

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