My Super-Late Nintendo Switch Review

Unless you have been either incredibly lucky in getting a pre-order or even luckier finding one in stores, you’re probably wondering if the Switch is worth all the buzz and attention it’s been getting. Hell, I’m sure that for some of you, you’re probably wondering what took Nintendo so long to make a new console, not realizing the Wii U has been around. Welp I was one of the lucky ones who not only got a Switch, but I also have had no problems with it. I can also safely say that without a doubt, this is one of the most important console releases in years.

When you look at the current state of gaming, it may not shock you that apps and smart devices are now being counted as game consoles as well. In fact, they are the reason many people wanted Nintendo to just give up and go third-party a few years back. I have never wanted to embrace smart devices as game consoles. I hate the Free-to-play model, and I loathe the luck-based bullshit surrounding these Gachapon-style RPGs. But then something interesting happened and that was Pokemon Go. Nintendo embraced the mobile device and made something that could really only exist on that hardware. Now, you might think I was pissed off, but to be honest, I realized that exposure to a Nintendo IP on a smart device could fuel interest in the rest of Nintendo’s brand. It’s actually a good thing. The smart device creates different experiences that you can’t really find on console, at little to no financial risk to the user. People embraced it, and it’s definitely here to stay. Now why am I mentioning all this? Well….

Thanks to the rise of the mobile game space, it’s a little less clear just what exactly is a game console. If you ask Sony, they feel it’s something to bridge media platforms in order to create all-in-one devices, sort of like a weaker version of a PC – only, this plugs into your TV and is dedicated to playing your games no matter what. If you ask Microsoft, they look at Sony and say “whatever they do, except with a green tint and better online functionality”. If you ask Nintendo, they don’t really seem to offer much of an answer. That is, until you actually play on the Switch for yourself.

The Switch looks exactly like a tablet. You can connect your controllers to the edges and make the ultimate portable console, or you can connect it to your TV and do some traditional gaming. The important thing to remember here is that it looks like a tablet. Nintendo saw that the smart device has changed gaming. Nintendo is asking the gamer, with the Switch, “What is a game console?” If you look at the start up screen, it’s very minimal. It shows your game library and a couple of icons at the bottom, one of which is for the E-shop, where you can obviously buy more games.2017031201232000-57B4628D2267231D57E0FC1078C0596D You can’t surf the internet on it. You can’t use different apps on it like you can on your phone/tablet, and yet it looks like a smart device….Why?

I believe it’s because Nintendo is reclaiming what it means to be a dedicated gaming device. They wear the smart device as a kind of mask to hide what lies beneath: Nintendo’s interpretation of what a game console should be. Let’s look at the games that Nintendo  launched (not the third-party ones): The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Snipperclips, and 1-2 Switch. These games were released on purpose to send a message. If you look at Zelda, it’s a game that has nothing but an open world to explore. This is something that has been done before, but it feels so amazing to be doing it in Hyrule. I’m dying more times than I ever have before in a Zelda game. I’m completely lost and unsure of where to go. I’m slightly overwhelmed by how gigantic the world is, and yet, it is one of the most sublime gaming experiences I have undertaken and it’s one I won’t soon forget. Snipperclips is a game that looks childish and stupid, but requires constant communication with the person you are playing with. You have to work together to solve the puzzles, and more importantly, you have to speak to illustrate your idea for what to do as a team. 1-2 Switch, despite its slightly hefty price tag of $50, will give you memories that you won’t forget because of how ridiculous you look playing these mini-games with your friends. With these games, Nintendo is saying that gaming is inherently a blank canvas, full of open ideas for the gamer to explore and see what they, as individuals, like and don’t like. However, Nintendo feels that one thing games should be is inclusive for all people and gaming skills, so it’s vital for Nintendo to create experiences that can only be had by playing next to the person and not just communicating digitally through the internet. That’s what I meant by the Switch treating its tablet structure as a mask. It’s using its tablet appearance to tell us that these devices have indeed changed our lives, but we may have lost how to communicate in person as a result. For Nintendo, it’s also never about graphical power or teraflops of their console; it’s about the unique memories and experiences that can be had with its hardware.

So what has my time with the Switch been like? Magical. Mesmerizing. Incredible. Not something I will forget. I think it goes without saying (but I’m gonna say it anyway) that if you have even the slightest interest in gaming, you should buy one. It’s probably the greatest game console to come out in a long time.

Do you own a Switch? Is there anything else you would like to know? Feel free to leave comments!

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Nintendo’s E3 2016

Now that E3 is officially over and I have collected my thoughts from what Nintendo has shown I can safely say that once again they have reignited a passion within me with what the have done with The Legend of  Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I always thought it was a bit risky focusing so much on just one game but it seems to have worked out. Breath of the Wild for all intents and purposes looks to be the game that I have wanted to play for along time. I am so excited to play it. Go check it out if you have not already!

My only gripe is that I’m not too crazy with the voice telling Link to wake up. Now I am open to Zelda characters having voices I’m just not crazy about this one voice. But aside from that this game looks incredible. The scope of it is just overwhelming and I know i have used the word “creativity” in previous posts but this game has it. Remember how enraged I was with Microsoft for talking teraflops and graphics? Nintendo has shows with this game that even without flopping you can make a game look so beautiful without having the latest tech. It’s something that I value in my game. I will always value the creativity in an art style over realistic graphics (though that is not to say I hate realism. Some games make it work beautifully).

I am also convinced that this game is somehow gonna be The Legend of Zelda’s Phantom Pain. I say this because I can’t stop seeing parallels between the two games. Link can sneak around to get the drop on enemies. Also look at Link’s hair! Doesn’t it look familiar??

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Yeah I know my shit!

MMHMM! Still think I’m crazy? Alright well guess what? Link can use his shield to essentially snowboard on mountains right? Welp you know who else could slide down mountains?

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I cannot unsee the “links” (pun intended, sorry!)

Not to mention of course that they both awaken after a long time has passed get dropped into a massive open world and are expected to make the legend come back to life. Plus you can make both Link and Punished Venom Snake shirtless and can’t they both climb pretty much anything? Well Snake couldn’t climb on everything sadly, but Link can! He makes Spider-Man look like an idiot.

As you can probably tell I’m beyond excited for this game. It’s coming out on both Wii U and NX in 2017. Apparently both versions will be identical. I could say more about Zelda but honestly you’d be doing yourself a favor scrolling up a bit and watching the trailer some more. This game is going to be amazing. I CANNOT WAIT!

Nintendo also showcased a plethora of other games including Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, which look good as well. I’ll be buying myself Sun when it comes out and will more than likely take Popplio.

However there were two 3DS games that I’m also looking forward to. The first is a New IP called Ever Oasis

All I know for sure is that I get to make an oasis in a desert with the most adorable little characters ever. I should also mention that I’m really glad that the main character is a little child of color. You can choose the sex too! It sorta reminds me of Secret of Mana a bit which makes sense given that Koichi Ishii (Director of Secret of Mana) is heading Ever Oasis  as well.

The second 3DS game I am highly anticipating is Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. Aside from having the coolest title I am also a huge Dragon Quest fan.

I’m really happy that this game comes out on September 16th. That way I don’t have long to wait! I just realized that although I love Dragon Quest, I have yet to beat any of them. I know I know it’s bad but I have this habit where I make it really far in a game and then life happens and I end up not going back to finish it. In my case this has happened with like 4 Dragon Quest games. So I guess I better get off my ass and finish a few right?

Anyway that about sums up my E3 impressions. Overall this was not a particularly exciting E3 for me but what Nintendo has done with Zelda saved it. I love Nintendo and as a hardcore fan of theirs it’s great to see that despite the internet and 3rd Party developer’s hating them, they can still make an incredible game that makes every other game look crappy. OOH shots fired. But yeah ZELDA IS COMING WOOOOOH!!!!!!! Ok I’m done now.