God bless the screenshot. Ever since they were first invented, and then brought to consoles, the world has been a brighter place. Where would we have been in the Animal Crossing Pandemic of 2020 without the images of our homes and islands to share with others? Would Spider-Man be less of a good game without that photo mode?
Granted, the Nintendo Switch is not known for its ability to take super-realistic 4K screenshots (because it can’t), but a good screenshot is not defined by how many pixels it has — it’s defined by the memories it holds.
We’ve put together some of our favorite Switch screenshots, complete with little stories for each one, and we’d love to hear about your screenshots in the comments below!
Gavin: I’ve got dozens (in fact, my Album says I’ve got exactly 142) of Breath of the Wild shots I could have included, about 50% of them on Satori Mountain with that gorgeous cherry blossom tree, but I decided to imposes a strict ‘No-BOTW’ rule today for the sake of variety.
So, my first shot is from Blasphemous. I came late to this game but absolutely adored it. The Game Kitchen did an incredible job in every department, but the game’s violence and gore was juxtaposed with an incredible beauty that I still think about occasionally. The decaying architecture of Cvstodia and dappled light on the underside of the clouds in this sunset shot (sorry, I had to do one sunset shot, okay?!) highlight the game’s striking pixel art and palette. Unrelenting bleakness permeates the world and the lives of everyone you encounter, but it sure looks pretty.
kate: Super Mario Odyssey pretends to be a game about platforming and hat throwing, but it’s secretly a game about avian photography. The photo mode is brilliant, which makes it not only easy, but incredibly appealing and fun to take snaps of Mario doing stupid things.
This shot obviously took a while to set up — I was very interested in getting it more or less symmetrical, and I have to applaud the game designers for adding the ability for birds to land on you when you’re idle. It’s such a sweet touch, and as you can see, it makes for great photos.
Ollie: I don’t think I was ever really prepared for how playful some of the writing is in Disco Elysium: The Final Cut. There are countless moments of genius peppered throughout the game, but the first scene that really got in fits of giggles was when you first catch a glimpse of Harry du Bois’ face in the mirror. The entire scenario is utterly ridiculous and really demonstrates the impact that Harry’s hedonistic night in Martinaise had on him.
I had to take a screenshot of this moment to remember the details: the off-putting, yet beautifully painted depiction of Harry filling the screen; the absurd internal dialogue choices presented to you; the new avatar picture in the bottom left corner. It all works wonderfully in setting up the wild ride you’re about to face in the world of Disco Elysium.
kate: My first time playing Skyrim was on the Switch. My expectations were somewhat low — it was a five or six year old game by the time it came out on the Switch, and it’s not a console known for its high fidelity graphics — which perhaps is part of the reason I was so utterly blown away how gorgeous that game is.
Sure, Skyrim’s got its fair share of lovable jank and repetitive dialogue, and vast swathes of the map are either green forest or gray cities, but it’s screenshots like this one that remind me how breathtaking Bethesda’s worlds can be. When they’re not all blasted fallout landscapes, anyway.
Gavin: My second shot is from Animal Crossing: New Horizons. For an extended period in 2020 I would spend great chunks of time doing nothing but designing Star Trek costumes. Well, in between catching bugs and fish, that is. This is me rocking a serious Seven of Nine face with my pal Audie. good times
Show us your best Switch screenshots in the comments below!