Progress marches ever-forward, and with the Nintendo Switch, we have a whole new generation of vibrational technology. Say hello to HD Rumble. Perhaps you've heard that it's actually pretty cool, but you've felt underwhelmed thus far.
To get a good feel for the all-new rumble, you could play 1-2 Switch, but let's all go ahead and be honest with ourselves and admit that it's not much of a game (certainly not at the price point it carries now). Instead, let's take a look at a few of the other games that take advantage of the super detailed vibration abilities of the Switch:
Originally released in 2016 for the PS4, Thumper is a "rhythm violence" game, which has recently been ported over to the Nintendo Switch. When the multi-award-winning game arrived on the Switch, developer Drool made sure to make full use of HD Rumble. They even made the technology their own by calling it "Rumble Violence". The addition of this super detailed vibration technology manages to add more depth to Thumper. When HD rumble is at its best, that's what it does. It adds to the immersion without distracting from the overall experience. If you love rhythm games but you are looking for something a little different, then this might be the HD Rumble experience for you.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
The first iteration of the platformer Shantae came out 20 years ago. Developer WayForward Technologies released the most recent offering in the series in 2016. This year it was ported over to the Switch and they did one heck of a job in the HD Rumble department. The developers coded over 150 custom-made HD Rumble events throughout the game. Some of the effects on display are mind-bending. It's difficult to describe how impressive the rumble is here. There are so many unique and subtle feedback effects that really support the game play in a fun way. The only way for you to understand it is to pick up a copy for yourself and give it a spin.
There's rolling. It's a roguelike. It's a rolly roguelike. Let's not make any bones about it, Tumbleseed is a tough game. Unrelentingly tough. Sure it's chock full of well-designed and cute visuals but its difficulty level sure isn't pretty. Essentially the entire thrust of the game is to control a seed which you have to roll up a massive procedurally generated mountain while doing your best to avoid holes, creatures, and various other perils. Tumbleseed is a pretty fantastic entry into the brave new world of HD Rumble. As you playing the game it really feels as if you are actually rolling a seed around in your hands. The relatively seamless integration of feeling what you are seeing is actually pretty impressive. If you like punishing roguelike games and have a bit of a green thumb then maybe Tumbleseed is the rumble you're looking for.
Mario Kart 8
Look, we all know that Mario Kart 8 is awesome right? Don't we? Mario Kart 8 is awesome. It's a pitch-perfect entry into the racing franchise that started off with a bang in 1992. It has everything you would expect from a fantastic Mario Kart game. One of the things that it adds, however, is an impressive implementation of HD Rumble. Just like all the other games listed in this article, Mario Kart presents the gamer with a multitude of different and unique sensations to encounter as you blast around the track. Once you feel what it's like to pick up a coin you're going to want to pick up more!
Super Mario Odyssey
If you've already beaten Super Mario Odyssey and somehow didn't notice the incredible HD Rumble in this game, turn yourself back around and give it another go. Super Mario Odyssey integrates HD Rumble in the best way possible--by using it so immersively you may not even notice it. HD Rumble is everywhere in Odyssey, from the zipper walls in the Lake Kingdom to the fizzy, bubbly soda water of the Seaside Kingdom. There are so many interactive bits and bobs throughout Odyssey that are accompanied with a precise and appropriate rumble to draw you further into the action. Odyssey is an incredible showcase of rumble's capabilities to engage your sense of touch as well as sight and sound.
Rumble HD isn't going to revolutionize gaming by any means. What it can do, however, is shake a little bit of special sauce into a game to give it a little more depth and hopefully a little extra fun to the experience.
Have there been any HD Rumble moments that wowed you?
Updated May 2018: Added Super Mario Odyssey.
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