It's already shaping up to be an amazing year for games, with hits like Horizon Zero Dawn, Yakuza 0, Resident Evil 7, and Nioh keeping players entertained for dozens of hours on end. However, the biggest news of the year so far has been Nintendo's new console, and the only game you should buy it for: 1-2-Switch.*
Kyle has been busy posting additional content for the Switch's other dumb launch game, but as our official reviewer of 1-2-Switch, I feel duty-bound to carry through with more post-release content for the game's dedicated player base – which I assume is staying at or near 100-percent of everyone who bought it, but that obviously can't be verified because they are all too busy playing the game to respond to any sort of poll or survey.
…Look, can I be honest? 1-2-Switch stinks, and while I'm enjoying this best-game-ever charade, I'm afraid our post-truth world is going to take it seriously. I mean, we live in a world where Dane Cook sells out stadiums – we can't take anything for granted when it comes to humor.
If you read my 1-2-Switch review, you know it already contains as many jokes as one of these asinine columns. However, that doesn't mean I took the review process lightly; while testing 1-2-Switch, I not only took studious notes for every single minigame, I also ranked them to help form an overall opinion of the collection. So, for today's column, please enjoy this rare, behind-the-scenes look at my review process, which includes the full ranking, my original review notes, and my refined opinion of each game after weeks of further consideration.
#28: Dance Off
Review Notes: "total farce"
Forget the further consideration – I nailed this one! Dance Off encourages you to bust out your best dance moves, but flopping your controller around like a dead fish is enough to earn you an "A" in rhythm. I know I don't have any rhythm, Nintendo – you don't need to patronize me. Just Dance has been championing this cheap charade for years, and is considered the bargain-bin tier of dance games. And yet it's still better than 1-2-Switch; not only does it include actual licensed songs that people want to listen to**, you only need your phone to play it. All in all, not a great demonstration of the Switch's tech.
Review Notes: "crap, pose doesn't matter"
Hey, I nailed this one too! Another "game" based on smoke and mirrors, Runway really hopes you'll get swept up in the hysteria of making wacky, exaggerated poses with your friends – because if you don't, you'll realize the game is only vaguely registering the orientation of your controller. But guess what? You can play Runway right now! Just stick your ass out at your friend/co-worker/fellow bus passenger and make a funny face. I guarantee it's just as fun.
#26: Copy Dance
Review Notes: "also crap, pose doesn't matter"
What? I said I was including my original review notes – not that every review note was original. In this case, the copy-and-paste job was wholly warranted; Dance Off, Runway, and Copy Dance are all slight variations on the same underwhelming tech demo. Copy Dance, indeed – they just did a palette swap on the background, FFS!
Review Notes: "a conceptual mess"
I guess I could've gone with some kind of baseball-themed criticism, like "a fastball to the groin!" But "conceptual mess" is still an accurate, concise summary of Baseball's problems. The minigame wants you to pitch imaginary balls at your opponent, who must time their swings to hit them. Since there are no on-screen indicators, however, you feel like a mime stuck in some weird radio play. Also, it doesn't take into account how far you're standing from your opponent, so the timing is completely disconnected from the action. Also also, the speed, strength, and angle of your throws and swings don't matter, making it hugely inferior to the 11-year-old Wii Sports incarnation of the sport. Yay!
#24: Eating Contest
Review Notes: "designed to look like a huge ass"
If you've seen the trailer for 1-2-Switch, you know this statement is 100-percent accurate. I also felt like a huge ass while playing it, but only slightly more than all the other games. Fun side note: I originally listed this mini-game as "Eating Sandwich" in my notes, which I still contend is the better title.
#23: Air Guitar
Review Notes: "vague rhythm, just shaking"
That summary is still true, but I could've also called out that the minigame accurately captures just how obnoxious people who "play" air guitar are. Learn a real instrument, you losers! Like air drums.
#22: Sword Fight
Review Notes: "Wii Sports reject"
This quip turned out to be more accurate than I meant it to be; I didn't realize at the time that fencing was a Wii Sports Resort minigame, so it probably was a rejected Wii Sports offering – and Sword Fight is even worse than that! Regardless, this is one of the games that insists you stare into your opponent's eyes, while simultaneously displaying the number of lives you have on the screen…for you to not look at. The video tutorial is also one of 1-2-Switch's most obnoxious – so much so that I'd rather sit on my imaginary sword than watch it again.
#21: Beach Flag
Review Notes: "shake like an idiot"
You're technically supposed to be running in place, but shaking gets the job done. You also have to hold your controller up at the end, as if you're raising your hand and saying, "I am the fastest idiot who regrets flushing $50 down the toilet!"
Review Notes: "lunge and counter not worth it"
This might be as close to actual game-mechanic observations as my ranking notes got. Wizard allows you to perform lunge and countering moves, but the whole thing still feels like a really lame, reverse Tug of War. Also, the indicator of whether you are winning or losing is on the damn screen again! Even Harry Potter cosplayers would be embarrassed to be caught playing this.
Review Notes: "confusing rhythm crap"
You can see a clip of Cork and me trying to play this one during the G.I. Show segment, but if that's too much work, here's the long and short of it: Gorilla somehow makes pretending to be a giant monkey NOT fun. Part of the problem is it contains multiple fakeouts before the action starts, even if you skip the tutorial. Just let me beat my chest like an idiot already! Not that I need 1-2-Switch to do it…he said about practically every game in the collection.
*This isn't so much a joke as it is Time's review headline for 1-2-Switch, which was nevertheless the funniest thing I read all month and made me laugh green tea out of my nose. (back to top)
**I assume. I have no idea what dancing-inclined people want to listen to. I'm confident it's not 1-2-Switch's music though. (back to top)
Coming Up Next: Are we to the good games yet? No we are not…