So, I’ve only played a few games so far just to test it out. Some general thoughts:
- It’s thinner (in the middle) than I expected, almost Switch thin. Somehow I was expecting a huge solid Game Gear-like lump. Even though the thing is pretty huge, it feels surprisingly reasonably sized.
- I’m very happy with the sturdy case that was provided
- The controls feel pretty good overall, though my fear that the d-pad and face buttons are too awkwardly placed (wayyy out on the corners) was well-founded. The natural resting place for my thumbs is on the two haptic touchy things and I really wish that was where the d-pad and buttons were placed.
- The sticks feel ok, but the tops are a little too smooth/slippery and the stalks are a bit too tall for my tastes.
- The interface is pretty good, but has some of that Valve jank that I was expecting. One little annoyance is that it’s pretty unintuitive how to navigate all of these EULAs that pop up when installing games…I just frantically press the joystick in every direction and hear it bonk, bonk, bonk a bunch of times before it finally settles on the accept button.
- For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to take screenshots (it turns out you hold the STEAM button and press R1). I’m surprised there isn’t a dedicated share button like pretty much every console has these days.
- The angle of the grips is just a hair too vertical for my tastes (not as bad as the DC and Saturn 3D controllers, but that’s the general idea). The fact that your hands are so far apart lessens the strain, but I do wish they were angled outward just a bit more.
As for the games:
Ys II Chronicles
I jumped right into my early game save from playing on the PC and it seemed to work great at default settings–I felt like I was playing a gigantic PSP! After hearing about the issues with Falcom FMVs I decided to check out what starting a new game is like and, sadly, I get the color bars instead of the opening cinematic. Would love to find a fix for this so I can play this and Trails in the Sky without issues.
Chrono Trigger and FF1 Pixel Remaster
My first time playing these Steam ports and they both seem to work flawlessly. I’m not as bothered by the FF font as I was expecting to be, though I would still like to figure out how to mod a replacement in on the Steam Deck
I didn’t have the FPS counter running, but this felt extremely playable, barring some occasional hitches (although even on an overspecced desktop I get these occasionally). I managed to defeat an Erdtree Avatar in my short play session, but I had a heck of a time timing dodges for some reason…hard to say if it’s owing more to the performance or the somewhat awkward-feeling controls. Bottom line is that I would probably stick to more exploration and light combat in games like this and save scenarios that require more skill for playing on PC.