Proof I have not written anything in a very long time. I am writing in what is apparently the old-school editor, that is about to be replaced by a new one. I guess I shouldn’t get too used to this. I miss the old-old editor…but I am old, and I like the things I am used to I guess. I have no idea why I am writing this specifically; I have just felt the need to write for about a week now, but never indulged the urge. I guess I miss putting my thoughts down on (virtual) paper and just letting whoever have access to a small part of my idiot brain. Once upon a time, when I was much younger I thought I could do this a lot; write, and write, and write some more, get something of an audience, and maybe make a go at writing about games full-time. I’m old now, and I know there is never any way that would happen now, especially in this era of video and personality-driven content. I don’t know how to do video stuff, and I really don’t have much of a personality. Continue Reading
Nintendo has completed its abandonment of the Wii U. I got my Switch in the mail on Friday, launch day. I had the chance now to tinker around with everything, kick the Joy-Con tires. I have to say, coming out of the gate, the Switch is pretty much the exact system I was hoping Nintendo would make. It may not be the most robust thing at the moment, and it is lacking in some areas, and apparently busted in others, but for what I am looking for? It’s damn near perfect. Let’s go into why it is really a Ray system.
First of all, it’s powerful, but not too powerful. The Legend of Zelda on the Switch looks amazing, on both the TV and handheld. This has so little to do with the horsepower of the Switch, which I am sure is really just handling the draw distance; of which I actually find quite impressive. Nintendo has always gotten around the lack of power in their systems since the Wii with their fantastic art direction. The Wii wasn’t even an HD system, but I would offer up the graphics of Super Mario Galaxy in a direct comparison contest with almost anything from the 360/PS3 era, maybe excluding The Last of Us, and in almost every case, the mustachioed hero would triple jump his way past anything. Nintendo has some of the best art direction hands down. To me it is basically them and Blizzard.
Sure, the Switch is not as powerful as the PS4 or Xbox One, and is further left in the dust as the revisions two those systems make their way into the market. But Nintendo has always proven capable with a less is more mentality, at least with their own IP. While they should not think it is okay to squeak by on their own steam anymore; because it isn’t, the power level is certainly at a fine point. Should it be able to run the newest Call of Duty, or Mass Effect? No. There are already 3 options (PS4, XONE and PC) for those games. Nintendo is still insisting on being on its own track, and that is fine.
Independent games are going to feel so at home on the Switch it is silly. While Mass Effect won’t be coming to the Switch, Stardew Valley is. I would say I spent just as much time in Stardew as I did in ME2 or ME3. Maybe more. I am not one of those people who think Indies are the end all, be all of gaming, but Shovel Knight is a game that evokes that Mega Man level of fun that has not been seen in a long time, and it runs just fine on a Switch. Plus it is good on the TV or handheld. That is a unique plus for those games, a definite edge over the XONE, and the PS4, assuming the game isn’t cross-buy with the Vita. But the Switch is one system, the Sony solution is two.
Lastly, I am someone who can passively multitask usually. I have found myself playing games on my PC, or handhelds lately at home, while my TV is playing something on Netflix. While I will pause the TV for the real moments during a handheld game, I can usually keep up both with no trouble. I love my Vita, and have a ton of games for it, but the initial promise of console-quality games on the go went largely unfulfilled. Instead the system was populated with more niche games that I loved and still love. However, the Switch seems to be the harbinger to that initial promise. Breath of the Wild, as little as I have played seems to be what the Vita’s attempts at Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed so wanted to be, console magic held in your hands.
And sure, while some compromises had to be made in things like battery life, and the sheer size, the Switch delivers. The software will come, and while it definitely isn’t good enough for everyone yet, it is exactly what I wanted to see from Nintendo.
I am actually someone lucky enough to be getting a Nintendo Switch on launch day. I have had my pre-order into Amazon since you were able to do that, and for the first time in a long time, I am excited for a Nintendo platform. I skipped both the Wii and the Wii U, they never felt right to me, but this does. However, the opening month of the console seems really dry, unless you plan on putting crazy Skyrim time into Breath of the Wild. I have a mental wishlist for what I want to see coming around on the system short-term, let’s go over them.
- The Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console (including your past purchases) carries over to the Switch: Nintendo has been less than stellar with their treatment of the Virtual Console, which is odd. If anything, it is their greatest strength, if only they leveraged the properties available to them. People had to deal with a rocky transfer from the Wii to the Wii U, either using the sub-par Wii U emulation of VC games (and paying a small fee to transfer compatible games), or dealing with the Wii U emulating a Wii emulating old games. Completely inelegant in execution, Nintendo has a chance to finally make this right with the unification of their profiles and sign-ins to one account. While I may own no games from those VC’s, I have a ton on the 3DS I would like to play on the new system, and I would gladly take advantage of this library, spending more money on these games than I would on anything new coming out immediately.
- Nintendo realizes no one will pay 50 dollars for 1-2-Switch and makes it free with the system: One of the biggest strengths of both the Wii and the Wii U was the pack-in titles. Despite the fact that pack-ins being standard largely died with the 16-bit generation, Nintendo’s consoles have since been out-of-the-box enough to sort of need something that proves why they’re not just making a powerhouse machine. Wii Sports was probably the main reason for the console succeeding on the level it did. Nintendo Land, while not as insanely popular as Wii Sports was a compelling enough show of the Wii U’s potential. While 1-2-Switch seems even less compelling than Nintendo Land, something is needed to show the broader audience why Nintendo is taking this system and loading it with so many gimmicks. While the thing exists, very few people would be willing to pay 50 dollars for it. The sooner Nintendo realizes this, the better.
- Allow for External hard-drives: While I plan on treating my Switch as primarily a portable system, many people will not. I purchased a 128gb micro-SD card for the system and knowing Nintendo file-sizes, that will be fine. However, for people who want to go nuts, you can get something like an 8tb passport drive for around 200 dollars. With the PS4 finally coming around on the idea of external drives, it seems silly for Nintendo to not have support for them.
- Pokémon: Nintendo should really leverage their largest properties as fast as possible on the system. Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey are great starts, but Pokémon probably cuts across the largest segment of people with wallets/people who are in the care of people with wallets. People have wanted a proper Pokémon game on consoles for ages, and the third version of the Sun/Moon combo would be a great place to start.
Will any of these things happen? Probably the last one, if any. In any case, I am finally giving money to Nintendo for a console, and I hope to holy hell they do not disappoint me.