Went to a bar, came home with a Switch...what do I do with it?

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Nodima

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As a kid, the maxim was always: own a Nintendo, figure out the rest later. Then the PS2 came along, ate the Gamecube's lunch and I...well, no, I didn't never look back, but I could never compel myself into Nintendo's arms for a handful of games.

Except now, thanks to a dear friend's gambling winnings, I'm here, setting up a Switch so he can play Mario Kart remotely! But, other than fulfill his request of installing Mario Kart (does the Switch have more than one? about to find out!) and the gaming world's mandate of playing Breath of the Wild...what am I supposed to do with this thing? I guess I finally get to play Hades?

I've largely ignored Nintendo products since Resident Evil 4 was announced for Sony's console, and other than Breath of the Wild the one thing I hear reverberating around my head is that paying for Nintendo Online might not be worth it...? I'm an absolute blank slate - paint me like one of your Italian plumbers!

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bigsocrates

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The Switch has literally thousands of games on it. What you should do with it depends on what you like. Mario Odyssey is utterly amazing, 3D World + Bowser's Fury just released and is spectacular, obviously there's Animal Crossing etc...

There's lots of other stuff. Mr. Driller Drilland is a superb port of a Gamecube classic we never got in the U.S., now localized for the first time. Dankey Kang Country Tropical Freeze is arguably the best 2D platformer ever.

It's really hard to encompass everything the system has to offer without more direction.

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navster15

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I’m a bit confused about setting up a switch for remote play, seeing as it’s a portable console and I don’t know of a way to stream out games to another device with it.

But for recs, if you haven’t touched a Nintendo console since the N64, then there is a ton to get caught up on. There’s the Mario 3D All Stars with Sunshine and Galaxy, the latter of which is a masterpiece. There’s Mario 3D World which just got re-released and is fantastic, and of course there’s the most recent Super Mario Odyssey which is incredible. For 2D Mario, New Super Mario Bros U and Mario Maker 2 are worth getting (Maker will need Switch Online to maximize enjoyment).

For non-Mario, the new Animal Crossing is worth checking out, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze is a new take on DK Country, and Smash Bros still rocks.

For Switch exclusive third party, Golf Story is highly slept on, Bayonetta 2 is great for fans of the first game, and Mario+Rabbids remains a top tier tactics game.

The list goes on, but that should be you started. Oh! And for non-BotW Zelda, the Link’s Awakening remake is dang charming.

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imhungry

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Step 1 - Purchase and play any number of Nintendo 1st party titles according to your genre interests since they're all quality pretty much. There's quite a few of them at this point.

After that, looking at exclusives - Part Time UFO and BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! are both fantastic games, as is Cadence of Hyrule although YMMV depending on your feelings for Zelda music. Good Job! is a wonderful exercise in chaos.

Beyond that, there's obviously a lot of great indies that you may or may not have played elsewhere. In particular, I found the portable aspect of the Switch made playing Baba Is You way better for me. And oh my word yes, go play Hades.

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Nodima

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I might've worded that weird in a pre-coffee haze. He wants to play Mario Kart online, safely and remotely, with eight real people. He owns his own Switch, and bought seven to hand out to others in order to do this thing. I assume it's possible? I feel kind of funny knowing as little as I do about this situation - hell, I woke up, looked at my desk and went "wow, I really do own a Switch now!"

I’m a bit confused about setting up a switch for remote play, seeing as it’s a portable console and I don’t know of a way to stream out games to another device with it.

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bigsocrates

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@nodima: It's not possible without paying for Nintendo Online, so unless you plan to just take his Switch and tell him to screw on what he wants to do with it it'll have to be worth it for you (though you may be able to get in on a family plan with others in the group.)

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navster15

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@bigsocrates: TBF, Switch Online is $20 USD for the year and it gets you a pretty decent NES and SNES library along with cool experiments like Tetris 99. I say it’s worth it for the cost.

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Nodima

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@bigsocrates: I fully own the goofiness that goes into setting up a fully free $300 console, pulling up the app store and balking at $60 for Mario Kart and whatever Nintendo Online costs. I'll square it soon enough. The full SNES DKC trilogy is almost enticing enough on its own...

As Breath of the Wild downloads, my primary wonder is circulating around two things: how often do I need to return these Joy-cons to the stand, and should I be re-buying certain games I own on PS4 because now I can play them in bed? I can already see the dollars depleting...how exciting!

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mellotronrules

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#9  Edited By mellotronrules

although the circumstances that brought a switch into my life are far less interesting than yours (i had a year with a lot of long bus trips. ha! remember travel?)- i had a similar history where i was a nintendo kid through the end of the n64, and then had a conscious decoupling. so i had a 20ish year gap to account for when approaching the switch. i'll say, aside from the obvious mariokart and BotW, i've had a lot of fun with-

Super Mario Odyssey (i mean, you gotta check in on the State of Mario; besides it has great Mario64 vibes)

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (my first FE game, but really good fun if you're in the mood for it; probably my favorite switch game)

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Eevee! (i never played the OG pokemon; this was a great way to do it)

...Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exactly the game you think it is, so YMWV (i had a great 80hrs and may never go back).

and then ports that were perfect for the switch are: Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, Ōkami, Dead Cells, Lumines, Undertale, Runner3, Ori and the Blind Forest, Bayonetta 2, Katamari Damacy, Pikuniku, and Ape Out.

aside from the odd 1st party title- i use my switch as my device to play games that i've always been curious about but never got around to (see: okami, lumines, undertale, katamari, and hollow knight)- and it's been genius for that purpose. have fun!

edit: i should mention- i have Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Final Fantasy IX, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy all on the backburner, so consider that more of 'stuff i've been meaning to get to'

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bigsocrates

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@navster15: I didn't say Nintendo Online wasn't worth it. @nodima said that's what he heard.

In my experience the only PS4 games worth rebuying on the Switch (maybe) are indie style 2D games. Now I personally don't love handheld mode for a variety of reasons, but I also think that a lot of games from PS4 look rough on the Switch, especially if you have a Pro. So while a roguelike like Downwell can be a great time, something like Doom just looks too rough for me. If that's the only version of Doom you have access to then I'm sure it's fine, but if you're used to the PS4 version...

Under no circumstances are you to get Outer Worlds on Switch. NO! NO!

But the Switch also has SO many games that aren't on anything else that it's super easy to find stuff to play on it. It's not just Nintendo published stuff. Obviously Hades is on PC but it's not on any other console, and things like Mr. Driller Drilland (which I mentioned earlier) often only come out on Switch. It's a great RPG machine if you like those kinds of games, and it has a lot of ports of older titles and more on the way.

Depending on what you're into the Switch has stuff for just about every type of gamer, and usually stuff you can't find on other platforms.

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OldGuy

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Also remember that a Nintendo online family membership is $35 for eight people. Less than $5 each a year is a very good deal.

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hippie_genocide

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What you should NOT do with a switch is try to play any AAA third party games on it, because those rarely turn out well. But indie stuff and Nintendo 1st party, whip it out and go to town.

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Y2Ken

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#13  Edited By Y2Ken

If you can stomach the cost, a Pro Controller is maybe the best single investment for the Switch if you're intending to play games docked (on your TV).

You're gonna have to get online but, as others have pointed out, you can get a family membership for eight people and so buying it as a group with your friends would be the most efficient way to go, presuming someone is happy being the "parent" account. Plus it'll give you access to all the NES and SNES games they throw on their as part of the service.

Games-wise, aside from the obvious picks like Mario Kart, BotW, Mario Odyssey - I'd highly recommend Splatoon 2 (campaign is great and given that you'll have online it's easy to get into), Bayonetta 2 (and 1 if you haven't played that) for action, Tokyo Mirage Sessions if you fancy a stylish anime-ass RPG in the vein of Persona, and Ring Fit if you want a genuinely compelling casual (but decent) fitness product.

And yes, definitely play Hades.

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Nodima

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This became obvious to me after less then 30 minutes with Breath of the Wild. I didn't gel with that game at all and it was entirely the Joycons' fault. I tried it both docked and mobile, the latter feeling a little better, but it just doesn't feel natural to me at all.

I'm doing fine with Hades, and I do like the weird man of the future feel I have holding these two little shingles in separate hands, but I'm going to be playing docked 90% of the time so I'm sure the novelty will wear off quick.

@y2ken said:

If you can stomach the cost, a Pro Controller is maybe the best single investment for the Switch if you're intending to play games docked (on your TV).

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navster15

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@y2ken: Cheaper option if OP has a Dual Shock 4 available, the 8bitdo Bluetooth adapter works great and is like $20. You can also use an Xbox controller with it, but you lose out on motion controls going that route.

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wollywoo

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#16  Edited By wollywoo

@nodima Are you aware of Nintendo's new "concierge program"? New Switch owners can make a free 30 minute appointment with a Nintendo rep to recommend games to you. You should try it and report back to us on what they said. Otherwise, if you tell us more about what kind of games you like I can recommend something. The Switch has one of the all-time best library of games among any console, so I'm sure you can find something you'll like.

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PanaMusica

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FE 3 Houses

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JamesB85

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My absolute favourite game on the switch is Stardew Valley. So perfect for a handheld. If you’ve not already played it elsewhere I’d highly recommend.

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Nodima

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So far I've been enjoying my time with the thing. I completely missed the weird little home for the Joycons while I was unpacking this morning and that's made Breath of the Wild go from nearly unplayable to quite fun. I see what people were saying about Genshin Impact reminding them of this game more than ever before now! That said...the combat in Genshin seems clearly, clearly more in-depth and interesting so far? But I won't rush to any judgements as it took me upwards of three hours to even come across clothing in this game. I'm sure there's a lot more to this game, it's just starting incredibly slow. I get the impression I need to just mainline the main quests for a while, but my Vinny-brain makes it hard not to check things off as I come across them and wonder where the hell I can find a fire rod.

Oh, one more thing on BotW - put me in the "hate the motion controls" camp, for sure!

Hades is everything I expected it to be and is really scratching the itch Dead Cells eventually got too complicated to scratch. I'd loved every iteration of Supergiant's boon/chaos systems to date and this is another fun variation on that mechanic. I wasn't sure I was fully clicking with the combat until I got the fists, though, and I'm now pretty regularly getting into the middle of Elysium. Pretty soul crushing to finally click into the "on what run did you escape?" thread on these forums and see most responses fall in the 10th-15th run range, but I know I'm thoroughly mediocre as a game player.

I don't plan on getting any other games for a long time since I don't plan on getting a hard drive expansion and these two games have me down to 4GB of space, but I'm sure Switch owners have been aware of the storage issue for years so I can't harp on that. Though, this does leave me in a tough spot re: the Mario Kart situation...speaking of storage, what's the best way to manage power in the Joycons? The system has been giving me low power warnings for both all day long, to the point it's a little annoying as I just played for three hours with constant warnings before they finally died. I sit close enough to the TV that I keep my Dualshock plugged into the console, is there some way to do the same if I upgraded to the Pro Controller? It's a bummer to be forced into handheld mode.

I will say I'm a little surprised how, um, rough Hades looks on a television? It's beautiful on the handheld but fuzzy and strange on TV. Similarly, Zelda can look rough in a way I've only maybe seen with the PS4 port of Cyberpunk, just really washed out and watercolor-like, especially in heavy rain. I suppose it is a WiiU game in many ways, though.

Appreciate all the suggestions, I'm definitely not planning to make this any kind of AAA machine but I've noticed a lot of sentiment that it's a great busywork/podcast game station so I'm keeping my eye on a lot of games I've passed up over the years that I could see myself rolling out of bed and putting in a couple hours with. Feels like the right system to finally give Stardew Valley a shot, and the child in me is screaming for my first Mario and Donkey Kong in over twenty (twenty!) years!

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Conalikont

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My favourite game also is Stardew Valley. I’d also recommend.

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bigsocrates

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@nodima: You...do know that you can just buy physical copies of games and plug the carts into the system, right? They don't need to install to memory so you can play them off the cart. Also the Switch doesn't take hard drives it takes Micro SD cards (of any kind.) You can add 128 gigs of storage for like $25. Memory should not be the hang up on getting more games. If you balk at buying a micro SD card (though you probably have some just lying around) then just buy physical copies.

You can play with a pro controller plugged in and it will power the controller just like a DS4. But the pro controller also has great battery life. Something like 40 hours. You can also get a charging grip for the joycons if you want that will power them while they're plugged in. I think the pro controller is great and I can't imagine not having one for my Switch. I haven't used joycons in years. The pro controller is more or less a rip off of the Xbox One controller, but the Xbox One controller is a very solid controller so...it's good.

Zelda combat is MUCH more complex than Genshin Impact combat....but you have to be more creative to see the complexity. Zelda is a systems game so you can use the environment and your slate powers to do absolutely crazy things. But you don't have to. If you just play it hack and slash style then Genshin is more complex but Zelda has a hell of a lot more depth if you want to seek it out.

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Justin258

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I just finished Baldur's Gate 1 on the Switch amd have started playing Siege of Dragonspear, that's been a great time. And yes, these mouse focused games do transfer to a controller quite well.

If you need a more modern CRPG, Divinity Original Sin 2 is on there and has cross platform saves with the PC version.

They put Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Switch. Octopath Traveler is great, too.

Portable Skyrim is a fun novelty.

Super Mario Odyssey is a lot of fun.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is well-liked.

Mega Man, Mega Man X, and Mega Man Zero games are all on the Switch.

You can get Civilization VI on the Switch and play it wherever you please.