We at Nintendeal are all huge fans of the Nintendo Switch, obviously. We love the first party Nintendo titles, amazingly creative indie adventures and experiments, and also, we love (well I do, anyway) the plethora of arcade classics that have been ported to the platform.
There has always been one small caveat with ports or collections of a lot of classic arcade games to home consoles throughout the years… the orientation of the picture. Back in the heady early days of arcades, someone noticed that if the 4:3 aspect ratio tube monitors were rotated vertically, it would allow them to make slimmer cabinets, and save all sorts of space and costs along the way.
That was all well and good for arcade users, and during the era when most home televisions were horizontal 4:3 screens, it wasn’t that big of a change to rotate the games, and little space was wasted. In the current times, where monitors grow ever wider, this starts to cram the vertical image into smaller and smaller spaces. Playing Donkey Kong on the Switch in handheld mode is almost laughable, the image is so small.
Enter Jeremy Parish and Mike Choi. Jeremy, the founder of Retronauts, saw an opportunity with the Switch having removable controllers and many ports of favorite classic arcade games. What if an adapter could be designed to allow the Switch to be played vertically? He teamed up with Mike and FanGamer.com, Kickstarted the idea, and a few months later, the Flip Grip arrived.
I thought about covering the Flip Grip back then, when I received it from the Kickstarter campaign. However, I wanted to get some serious time with it, to see if it was actually worth owning if you’re a fan of games that happen to be vertical. Initially it was only supported by a handful of titles, but oh boy has that changed. In addition to Arcade Archives ports, we have collections from Konami, Atari, Namco, and SNK, as well as more modern shmups entering the scene, making this a must-have accessory for a large number of titles (here’s a link to an often-updated list of compatible games at Retronauts).
It’s a simple device; you can only insert the Switch in one orientation, and it feels super solid in the hands. It has a slot to use any wallet card as a kickstand for 2 player use, but I’ve only tried that once. It’s been ever-present in my bag since I got it. I travel for work quite a bit, and the Flip Grip has been all over the US and Japan with me, from Kansas to Kenosaki. It’s borne the travel extremely well, and there’s not a mark on it, which is incredible from being loose in my tech-disaster-area of a daily carry for over a year.
If you’re into the idea, and the games it supports, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s an inexpensive, light, small addition to my bag that truly improved the portable gaming experience of many of my favorite classic titles on the Switch.
Charlie’s first attempts at gaming did not go well. Repeated, failed run-ins with the first Goomba in Super Mario Brothers 1 plagued his maiden gaming voyage. Undaunted, he would go on to become an avid gamer of all platforms, with Nintendo always sitting atop the highest pedestal. Except for that Halo 3 incident in 2007. We don’t talk about it. It never happened.
Currently, Charlie enjoys playing games on as many platforms as he can get his hands on, with current favorites being the Switch, 3DS and Neo Geo. When he’s not playing games, Charlie is a live sound engineer and manager for his production company, Clear Harmonies, based in Washington, D.C.
Charlie enjoys talking about games nearly as much as playing them, and loves meeting new people, so hit him up!
Plays: All of them games. Seriously.