Welcome to our review of Skyrim for Nintendo Switch! A game that first saw the light of day 6 years ago.
I admit, I never played the game before. I think my reasons for missing out are quite valid, not being released on a Nintendo platform before and well, it came out the day I got married! Originally released on the eleventh of November in 2011, I had other plans that day. I was actually in Hong Kong that day to marry the love of my life, Cary. Soon after, we went on our honeymoon to Tokyo, our very first trip to Japan. Despite always having loved Role Playing Games and Action Role Playing games, I ended up missing out on this one the first time around.
But I got a very amazing second chance to try out this game. It was brought over to the Nintendo Switch, while actually featured in the Switch reveal trailer back in October 2016, it was only on January 13, 2017 that this version was officially announced. Bethesda has proven to be an early supporter of the Nintendo Switch by bringing several heavy hitting games to the console, DOOM released a few days ago, now Skyrim and Wolfenstein 2 is still to come! As a Nintendo fan and physical collector, I adore the dedication and I will support them by buying their games!
Now, on to the review of this version.
For others like me, who are not familiar with the game, you start the game as a captured man, being led to your death in a carriage together with three other prisoners, where we learn all about the Stormcloaks. As the story develops, you are about to get killed by the executioner when suddenly a dragon appears and starts attacking the village you are in. I managed to escape with the help of Hadvar.
Following him through the village, inside the keep, through enemies that I needed to slay and eventually learning how to sneak past a bear. Eventually getting to Riverwood.
Along the way, I was able to pick up tons of items, upgrade my weapons and run the personalization option to make my character a Red Guard. It was just one of many options, but I liked this one the most. Sure, I could have picked being an elf or an orc or one of the others, but once I was done, I felt like this was the right choice for me.
During my first few battles, it became clear to me that I would need better weapons to get rid off smaller enemies like wolves more quickly. I ended up equipping a new but more sluggish weapon. A lot about this game appears to be trial and error, which is not a bad thing of course!
When I entered the town of Riverwood, I got my first sidequest. I was asked to get a golden claw in Bleak Falls Barrow. I set out to perform this side quest, a movie of which is up on our MyGamingBoulevard YouTube channel right now. Itsidetrackedd me so much, I had to go back into the quests menu to get back to the main story line. While this is all awesome and such, I feel like this game will keep me busy for the next year or so. The fact that Skyrim is an open world game became very clear to me when I just kept delving deeper into this barrow and kept encountering new enemies and more and more loot.
Sadly this game has a clever way to limit the loot you can find, it is all about weight distribution with a starting level of 300 to carry around, disabling your ability to run around and just walk when you grab too many items. I usually dropped weapons that I got several pieces of.
All other standards from the genre apply, potions exist and are incredibly valuable. You can switch out weapons and well, just look up “arrow to the knee” if you are not familiar with that meme. That one is straight from Skyrim. Solving puzzles is a fixed part of the game as well, frankly speaking, I can see why this game was big when it first came out.
Did it stand the test of time?
This is a question that everyone needs to answer for themselves, I am not in the right position to make such a decision as I never played it before. I do love this version on Switch. It keeps baffling me that games like this, like DOOM, like Mario Odyssey and Zelda can actually be played portable.
Skyrim also supports amiibo and joycon mode, which is very nice for the fans of these options, personally I play about 90% handheld mode, I did play with the Pro Controller for the previously mentioned video up on our YouTube. But hot damn, this game is nice!
As I never played the original, I am unable to comment on whether or not the graphics are nice or not, I personally like them, the game itself is quite responsive and with a few minor glitches like dropped weapons that float up in the air, it is far from perfect. When you compare it to that other big open world game on Switch, it does have some smaller issues worth noting, where Zelda is basically a perfect blend of nature and enemies, Skyrim does come up a little bit short, but let us not forget there is a 5 year gap between the original release dates and for its’ time, Skyrim was a gem.
The controls are also worth mentioning that for an action RPG, they do work out quite nicely. Despite taking me a while to get used to them, because, let us be honest, games like this are usually performing better with a computer mouse, Skyrim on Switch did not disappoint. Smooth at most times, not always fast enough or precise to my personal liking at first. But after a while, I got more and more fluid with the controls and it added a new layer of fun, no longer having to think which button to press in order to achieve something…
Full disclosure, being a reviewer makes you play a ton of different games and it is not always easy peasy to switch from one control scheme to another. Today’s button for hitting someone might be the tomorrow’s jump and vice versa. Skyrim’s controls were a little complicated at first, but it did resolve itself quickly enough.
In conclusion, Skyrim is here and it is here to stay! I loved Skyrim so far and I am sure I will spend several more hours playing it every day before I eventually move on to the next big thing on Switch. The game is easy to start and it is far from a hassle to play. I loved how this game is still relevant 6 years after and well, my hat off to the makers! Despite being an “older” game, it never felt old to me.
My rating is 85%