Product Provided By Microsoft
When Minecraft first released nearly six years ago, the public wasn’t sure how to perceive this new pixel-style sandbox. Would it be a hit? Would it be the next big title everyone was talking about? That would be true today, as here we are with yet another version of a game that’s sweeped the nation, this time optimized for the Nintendo Switch.
Almost every major platform available on the market today has some version of Minecraft running on it, but what makes this one the one to have? Well the answer could not be more clear: the handheld-console feature. Of course, you could always build a world on your phone or tablet, but it would be trapped there for as long as you have the device. This version is great because you can build a town on the metro and resume doing that on your television. Same thing the other way around, a kid could be building his master piece at home and continue it anywhere. That’s the whole purpose behind the Switch, with Minecraft being one of the best ways of showcasing this feature. It runs just as smooth from the handheld to the television, as I noticed it looks just as good on the Switch itself when playing.
Battery drainage is VERY minimal as compared to the other games available on the console, as playing an hour barely dropped the console to 85%. Each player requires two Joy-Con to play, which is unfortunate seeing the cost of the controllers, but that’s the only way playing as you would need two analog sticks to move the player. It runs at a very solid 60fps/720p on the T.V while also running at 720p while undocked. The best feature to me was the idea of using a single joy-con in each hand, as it’s even easier to control the character and place blocks. The Super Mario Mashup, even though included in the Wii U version, was an added bonus since I had not played that version. The music was clear and fantastic while playing undocked, and it was a very nice addition to the game. Also included with the game are the Plastic Texture Pack & The City Texture Pack, both which I’ve previously payed extra for, so it was nice to see those included within the cost of the game. However there are several other locked DLC in this game, which is a slight disappointment. Controls for the game feel very stable when playing between the Grip and the Pro Controller, even while playing with 8-player online and 4-player local multiplayer support.
There is endless fun to be had while playing Minecraft, as there is virtually anything to be built anywhere, and in any place. Both the Battle and Tumble mini-games are currently supported, with the Glider coming in a later update, but there was fun to be had with both of them on this version. This marks, by far, the most accessible version of the game yet as it’s easy to maneuver with and to jump right into. Use of the touchscreen to control your inventory is a nice addition, however I could not help but feel this was tacked on at the end. The functionality for the touchscreen is there, but it’s not near as good as the Pocket Edition. Noticeable differences between this version and the Wii U version are the World sizes. As the worlds on Switch are around 13 times bigger than Wii U (3072 x 3072) but the difference is not significant when compared to other console versions.
Third Party titles are exactly with the Switch needs to succeed as a platform, with this being the perfect entry for more to come. The appeal of this game will open up to anyone of any age, especially with the vast number of ways to play, and how quick it is to begin crafting.
Minecraft For Nintendo Switch is one of, if not the best, third party games currently available to the console. It’s a perfect game for anyone to pickup and play anywhere, and having the full Mario Mashup anywhere with all the charm it has is an added bonus. Does it have it’s flaws? Yes it does, like every game available there are still things I would’ve like to have seen differently. A better usage of the touchscreen would’ve been appreciated, the availability of all DLC packs from the start (considering it is $29.99) and various draw-distance bugs here and there, but overall complaints are very minimal. To any Minecraft fans on the fence of getting this game for another platform, it is entirely worth it. The whole portability to TV feature is worth the price. If you are not a fan of this game, give it a try, it’s a great price especially for the bonuses given to you. The game releases later today, May 11th, digtally at launch.
Shigeru Review Score – 9/10
As for me, it time to return to working on my Mario masterpiece at work, and continue it once I get home.