Minecraft Nintendo Switch Review -- Building On The Go
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition by 4J Studios is one of the best versions of the mass-popular franchise you can buy.
Review copy provided by the publisher
Minecraft is like a fine wine — it only gets better with age.
Seriously, there are so many clones that try and achieve what Minecraft perfected nearly six years ago. Albeit most developers are looking to do it differently. I encourage them to continue, but no game has felt as good as Minecraft did and still does. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition is no different.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition arrived early on the fledgling console and quickly reminded me what I had always loved about the game back in its heyday. I’ve seen almost everything Minecraft has to offer over the past few years; and yet the game still manages to constantly give me a sense of discovery that few games can consistently do. Even with its dated graphics, Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition remains an incredibly rewarding, fun video game.
I’ve seen almost everythingMinecraft has to offer over the past few years; and yet the game still manages to constantly give me a sense of discovery that few games can consistently do.
It had been a few years since I had actually played Minecraft. The game’s “Survival” mode has always been my go to game mode. Naturally, that’s what I started with.
Starting the game, I went with my default strategy: building a pretty big tower coming out of a mountain. I’ve always like doing that in Minecraft because I feel like it’s the best form of protection, and it’s easy to create tunnels.
Whether it’s with friends or by yourself, survival is still a ton of fun and a very rewarding endeavor. Survival involves players surviving for as long as they can, or until they can reach the end of the game. Minecraft has always given players a lot of leeway in customizing their survival experience. You can control the difficulty which in return can make for a more relaxing experience, or a more difficult one depending on your preference. I tend to stick to normal. The higher your difficulty the more enemies spawn, and your stamina bar depletes faster.
There were multiple times where I’d be thrilled to find rare materials underground but also other times where I would cringe in defeat because I got greedy and accidentally released an entire pool of lava on top of myself.
Minecraft is filled to the brim with these moments. There’s something really cool about having complete control over manipulating your world and adventure as you see fit. Minecraft capitalizes on this and the enjoyment of building, crafting, and digging never really goes away. Having that ability on the go makes it all the better.
The soundtrack still acts as a great addition to Minecraft’s world. C418’s blend of ambient sounds really give Minecraft a sense of peacefulness and scale. A quiet, ambient world waiting to be explored.
Creative mode is an entirely different kind of approach — giving players the ability to place whatever blocks they want, wherever they want. It’s always cool seeing the things players create in creative mode on the internet through other versions of the game. It’s such a great way to pass some time too, especially on the go. Whether a few hours or a couple of minutes, there’s always something to work on or do in Minecraft.
The game runs at a smooth 60 frames-per-second with a few small hiccups every now and again. Minecraft also outputs at 720p in the Switch’s docked mode and also handheld mode. 1080p may be added later in a future patch, but due to Minecraft’s dated visuals, this isn’t necessarily a huge deal to me personally.
Two to four player couch co-op is also available on Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition. Whether you want to play with friends on the go or at home, co-op is available docked or in tabletop mode. The Switch’s tiny 6.2-inch screen makes tabletop mode pretty difficult to play with more than one player. Docked co-op is definitely the preferable way to go here.
Nintendo Switch owners can also play with their friends online. Unfortunately there’s really no conventional way to communicate with other players on the Switch version of Minecraft. It’s a little ridiculous that features like text or voice chat are missing in a game coming out in 2017. Instead, we were forced to go through Skype and other third party apps when setting up games. Other than that, playing online with other players was seamless and fairly easy to set up for me. Nothing can really beat building your own house or base alongside some friends.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition also has two different mini-games — “Tumble” and “Battle.” Tumble is a simple game mode revolving around players using shovels to try and make other players fall off a giant platform. Battle is basically a tiny PvP game mode, pretty straightforward. Players start off on a unique point in an arena and the objective is to defeat the other players with the items provided throughout each map. Neither mode is too interesting, however I definitely prefer Tumble over Battle. Neither mode really stacks up in terms of depth when compared to the main game; but they’re both fun distractions nonetheless, especially with friends.
On top of all of the content Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edtion already offers, the game comes with a ton of free downloadable content. From various character skins to textures that change the entire aesthetic of Minecraft’s world. A lot of the included downloadable content is based on Nintendo IP — notably Super Mario characters. The game even comes with a cool texture and world to explore based on the Mushroom Kingdom.
It’s a little ridiculous that features like text or voice chat are missing in a game coming out in 2017.
These tiny additions can make for fun distractions. And while the new Mario addition is cool, I still definitely prefer some of the other textures included in the game over the Mario one. For instance, I’m a sucker for the fantasy texture pack.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition is arguably one of the, if not the best way to enjoy the game. The only thing missing is some online features that would make the game all the better with some friends online. Although having Minecraft on the go doesn’t add much to the base game itself, having access to my creative worlds and survival worlds on the go was really cool. It did take some adjustment to get used to the Switch controls, everything feels fine but some buttons work differently when compared to the game’s other versions.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition is a worthy addition to any Switch owner’s library, young or old, core gamer or casual. It remains one of the most accessible games in recent memory and it’s just as good as you likely remember it if you took a long break from the game. For $2o dollars, Minecraft on Nintendo Switch should not be missed.