Two weeks ago, I was ready to list my worthless video game collection on eBay and self-destruct this terrible blogger site. Now I truly feel blessed to have two glorious games in progress. I’m having loads of fun doing whatever the hell I feel like, and I laugh as I hear my powerless backlog monster clawing in vain at the seal on its cage. I’m going to enjoy this emotional high while I can, for what goes soaring up, usually comes crashing back down.
Oh and I’m trying really hard not to do this:
— TGN Gamers (@tgnTV) March 3, 2017
Welcome to My Family, Nintendo Switch!
First off, I’m going to add my noise to the buzzing professional internet chatter and ramble about my experiences with the Switch thus far. If you’re looking for a professional review, go check out the far better bloggers out there.
The setup process was a breeze:
- Re-box dust covered Wii U console
- Carefully un-box precious new console
- Connect two wires that can only fit where they are suppose to go
- Turn console and TV on
- Obey the console’s simple instructions
- Try to remember what the hell my WiFi password is
- Download & install small update
- Create a new Mii with pink hair and badass sunglasses
- Register 5 shiny new Amiibo figures
- Insert bitter tasting game cartridge
- Get filled with a sense of wonder while Zelda opening plays
Done! The whole process took about a hour.
The console UI is clean and easy to use – Just like the epic Final Fantasy XIII, the Switch’s menu system is pretty straightforward and impossible to get lost in.
The Joy-Cons are very responsive and feel light in my hands – For my style, I’ve been playing with a Joy-Con in each hand, and no controller part in the middle. I find this very comfortable. It almost feels like I’m not holding a controller device at all. I’ve heard people were having sync issues, but mine have been working perfectly so far.
Switching to portable mode is slick (OMG, the name finally makes sense to me!) – I have been mostly playing in TV mode (I don’t like going out into the cruel real world unless I absolutely have to), but the few times I have un-docked the screen, it worked flawlessly. I have heard this switch can scratch the screen, but I splurged and bought a screen protector, avoiding this dire issue.
The screenshot feature is fantastic – With the touch of a button, you instantly capture a precious photo of the game screen to cherish forever. Sharing through social media is also very quick. If you are unfortunate enough to be following me on Twitter, you may want to stop. I’ve been resisting the urge to tweet a picture every time I see something cool, but I’m not sure how long I can hold off.
I’m both impressed and underwhelmed by the construction – My first thought when I opened the box: “D’aww!! It’s so tiny.” After setting it up, the base seems a little cheap to me, but the screen is really stylish. I can see the constant sliding in and out of the Joy-Cons becoming a fault down the road. Anything that moves a lot is prone to breaking.
I’m extremely annoyed by all the “add-ons” being pushed – I’ll share a bit of the conversation I had with the overwhelmed retail employee when I picked up my loot:
“Would you like to buy a Pro Controller? We only have a few left!” No thank you. They’ll be on sale soon enough.
“Would you like to purchase the extended year warranty? It’s a new console so there will likely be issues with it.” Uh, no thank you. If this breaks, I’m never buying another damn console again. Clearly even Nintendo has no concept of quality anymore.
“Would you like to buy the season pass DLC for Zelda? There is some great stuff out today that you can get with it!” Are you kidding me?! It’s day damn one and there’s paid DLC already? I have a staunch no DLC policy, and not even dear old Nintendo can’t change my views. I hate the concept of paid DLC and I will NEVER buy it, ever! Truthfully, I considered canceling my Switch preorder when I heard Nintendo had jumped on the greedy season pass DLC bandwagon. My rage subsided though, and I’m just going to ignore it (like I do with every other modern day game.)
Same old tired stock shortage issues – Oh would you look at that. There are a bunch of resellers flipping the Switch. I guess Nintendo didn’t make enough of a launch product. I’m shocked… NOT! Very disappointed though.
Same old tired lack of games – There’s honestly just Zelda going for this now, and you can get that with a Wii U. Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem Warriors are coming soon. That’s awesome! Then what? (Please say Metroid Prime 4… Please!!)
Fancy Plastic Statues
So overall, the console is nice! Now I’m going to ramble about the Breath of the Wild Master Edition. I lucked out and managed to score a preorder for this elusive product by using a work break to stand in line at a game store. I solely wanted it for the plastic Master Sword statue, and I was pleased with it. The base is solid, the plastic flower is very detailed (kind of fragile though), and the legendary blade looks beautiful. It also came with a Sheik style case for the console that resembles the slate Link carries in the game. A cute collectible coin I have no use for, a nice ancient style map, and the game’s soundtrack were also included.
That nagging voice in the back of my head that constantly howls for “MOAR AMIIBO” was also satisfied. A whopping 5 new Amiibo were launched with this game. I know I say this for every Amiibo, but these are the best looking ones to date! The Guardian is very massive and just looks so terrifying. Its legs are bendable and it feels really sturdy. It almost looks likes its could crawl away at any moment. The Links are so finely crafted that my words can’t do them enough justice. Zelda and the Bokoblin are cool too.
Wow that was a lot of swag! After all these beautiful material goods were sorted out, it was at last time for me to play this game. I tried to avoid reading any reviews before I played it, but everyone kept telling me this was the best Zelda ever. I was prepared for a catastrophic hype train crash, but I was delivered an epic experience as promised.
There is quite a hefty story that gets introduced off the bat. This is much more than the typical go save Princess Zelda plot line. I won’t spoil anything, but Zelda is actually doing something useful in Hyrule, for once. I still prefer the art style of Twilight Princess, but the cel shaded graphics in BoTW are truly magnificent. A few minutes into the game, Link gets an item called the Sheikah Slate that resembles the Switch console (cute Nintendo!). This is your map, inventory tracker, equipment manager, quest tracker, etc. Link’s equipment system is also radically different from the previous games. You can equip him with various pants and shirt ensembles (if you want), and there are tons of different melee weapons/shields/bows you can acquire by killing things. The weapons do break after using them enough times, but I’ve always had a full inventory of pointy objects. Oh and add in a cooking system for some fun times!
Zelda is known for legendary gameplay, and I can say this title continues that great tradition. In addition to the shiny new inventory system, the Sheikah Slate also has abilities called Runes. I’ve acquired a magnet, remote bombs, time halt, and water freeze abilities so far. These are all very innovative and I’m looking forward to solving many dungeon puzzles with them in the future. The environment also has some nifty mechanics. There is a new temperature meter, and Link takes damage if he gets into places that are too hot or cold (what a wuss). You can chop down trees, and harvest plants from the world too. There is a sort of annoying stamina mechanic to deal with. Link gets tired when climbing things, running, etc. When his meter is depleted the poor guy needs to rest for a few seconds. If your meter runs out while climbing, Link will fall (usually to his death in my experience)
Combat is simple and fun, but also challenging. I’ll admit I have been slaughtered by certain Guardians several times already (I need to learn when to run). There is also a stealth mechanic that makes this feel Assassin’s Creed-ish to me. Link can crouch and slowly approach enemy camps to get the jump on them (or you can just throw bombs at them like I’ve been doing). I could ramble about many more things, but I’ll close this post out by saying this could very well be the BEST ZELDA EVER! I haven’t even left the starting plateau yet and I’m already in love with the game.
Wannabe Writer’s Notes:
-If anyone from Visa comes looking for me, I was never here.
-I’m still loving Horizon Zero Dawn! I’ve been sort of successfully switching between Aloy and Link’s adventures. Unfortunately, the control schemes are almost exactly the opposite so I usually need to watch them die horribly while I adjust.
-Lightning has reestablished herself as my badass idol. I was listening to the FFXIII battle music the other day, and “the feels” it triggered reminded me why Lightning is so important to me. Aloy is a very close second though!