Super Mario… Meh

Warning: This post may contain minor spoilers for the first hour-ish of Super Mario Odyssey.

boxAll aboard the freaking hype train, I mean – Bowser Controlled Airship Thingy! Like almost everyone else lucky enough to own a Switch, I picked up a shiny new copy of Super Mario Odyssey on Friday. Unlike everyone else, I played it for about an hour and had to stop because I was… I was… well, I was bored out of my damn mind. There, I said it!  What the hell is wrong with me? I have no idea… but I’ve been in a persistent bad mood lately, and Mario failed to pull me into his latest Bowser-bashing adventure. Do I hate it? No, not at all. It just didn’t click with me right away, and it sucks being the outcast, let me tell you. Anyway, I like it. I guess I just don’t like-like it. Maybe this first impression post will help me figure out why!

Is it the story?

smo fi ss1
This has happened so many times Peach just seems bored now.

This year I’ve had the pleasure of playing some awesome story-rich games like: Horizon Zero Dawn, Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice, and my latest obsession – Dragon Age Origins. What do these games have in common besides a deep plot? Let’s see. Protagonist wise, Aloy is a bow-wielding badass who’s fighting to determine the fate of life itself. Senua is a Celtic warrior pushing herself through an unimaginable hell on a quest to save the soul of the one she loves. Grey Warden Ellen is the Alistair-loving Archdemon-downing warrior goddess I always wanted to be. In Super Mario Odyssey, I’m the brave manly plumber man on a zany quest to save the pretty princess, again. Bowser cleans himself up good though – that suit is snazzy! Have I been spoiled by all the strong sheroes I’ve met recently?

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It’s off to save the helpless princess and her hapless tiara.

Nah. This is a Mario game! I was fully expecting Peachy to get grabbed by the determined Koopa King, as always. I rolled my eyes a tad at the whole forced marriage thing, but NO ONE plays Mario for the story. The googly-eyed hat people are cute and all (almost Banjo-Kazooie-ish), but the plot just boils down to silly humor that I wasn’t in the mood for on Friday. I’ve spent more time playing since then and I can now say my cold heart is warming up to the quirky characters and silly story elements. Hey! I’m trying really hard not to be a boring, depressed adult over here… give me some credit, maybe?

Is it the gameplay, then?

smo fi ss3
I should’ve been all “ZOMG!! It’s a dinosaur!”, but I wasn’t excited at all at the time.

The worlds are stunning, there’s so much to collect, you can take control of crazy characters using Mario’s Cappy buddy, amusing things happen a lot, the 2D platforming sections are neat… I was both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Using the T-Rex in the above screenshot as an example, I knew that was going to happen. I tried really, really hard to know as little about this game as possible, but Nintendo let the big dino out of the bag early in a preview. When I came across him in the first world proper, it was very meh moment for me. I know… I don’t understand me either.

So to sum up my gameplay experiences thus far:

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You get to search breathtaking worlds for cleverly hidden collectibles.
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Cappy can take control of pretty much anything you find. As a T-Rex (my favourite dinosaur) I got to stomp around the level breaking things.
mp fi ss2
Boss fights are so quirky! For example, I got to smash a giant Rabbid-ish looking lady in the face with her own pet Golden Chain Chomp that I took control of. Super fun!
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There are these neat 2D platforming sections you can find. The music even goes all retro Mario! My Mario is gold from scanning in my Gold Mario Amiibo, by the way.
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I can only imagine what other crazy lands are out there… I bet there’s a level on that moon too!!
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There are a plethora of outfits for Mr. Mario. I have oh so many Amiibo I can scan in for these too! And look how silly and cute the NPCs are.

All of that seems like it should be really fun. Right? Clearly, there is nothing wrong with the gameplay so why am I finding it all meh? Hm… well, I guess I felt rushed to get through everything and didn’t enjoy living in the experience at the time. Wait a minute!! Why did I feel rushed??

Aha! Social Media is my problem, maybe?

I felt rushed, because as an avid Twitter addict, there were a total of one bajillion and one screenshots of #SuperMarioOdyssey being posted, per minute, on launch day (I may have made that statistic up). These screenshots were of all the cool things people discovered, and the race to get to the fabled New Donk City, ASAP. I get it. I like posting screenshots of cool things too (hell, I’m doing it now in this post), and it makes me all warm and fuzzy whenever people “like” my Tweets. BUT, those screenshots from other excited gamers were ruining the entire game for ME. I don’t want to see what’s ahead because frankly, half the fun is in the exploring it for yourself thing. I didn’t want to shun Twitter completely so I discovered this nifty setting:

twitter mute
I feel so anti-social media… sorry people.

With all the Super Mario Odyssey related tweets banished from my feed, I relaxed knowing I wouldn’t be blindsided by pesky spoilers of the cool things I want to discover on my own. The crowd seems to be all “NOW!!” but I want to take my time with the game. After silencing the excited masses, my own enjoyment increased, but it was still not at the hype level is should be…

You know what? It’s-a not Mario, or anyone else. It’s-a me.

Ultimately, I was in a bad mood on Friday, and a cheerful game was having the opposite effect – making me feel more miserable than I already was. Also, seeing how happily everyone else was rushing through Mario just made me realize how much of a sad lonely failure I was/am. And for crying out loud – Wolfenstien II and Assassin’s Creed Origins were released on the same damn day! Yes, I want to freaking play those too, but I don’t have time.

mp fi ss7
The answer to my question – this game was just too fucking whimsical for my cranky ass to deal with on Friday.

Today’s video game industry is moving too fast for me. I’ve accepted I won’t be able to play everything I want, and I’m focusing on the few games I have time to play. That’s why I’m having a blast slowly inching my way through the Dragon Age series, while writing posts about each step of my adventure. That’s also why I’m going to take my sweet time with Super Mario Odyssey, exploring every nook and cranny along the way. I’m feeling like much less of a bitter bitch now, so I’m starting to apprecaite the game more and more. It won’t be long before I love it for being the masterpiece that it is.

Overall Goals

I want to collect EVERYTHING, at my own slow pace, and I don’t care how long it takes, or how many other great games I NEED play right now. There’s a list tracking system… my weakness. I’m only in the chilly Sand Kingdom now, so it’s gonna be a long and glorious adventure!

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Must… complete… collectible… lists… 😍

Wannabe Writer’s Notes:
-I beat (and Platinumed) Hellblade on Saturday (instead of going back to Mario right away). That incredibly depressing, yet powerfully inspiring, experience actually cheered me up a lot. Senua has been officially added to my growing list of sheroes!
-Never underestimate the power of having true friends to talk to, and a badass pink haired shero, let me tell you!
-I also wish I had time to get back to Breath of the Wild too… sigh. Oh well. At least Dragon Age freaking rocks, eh!!

⚡Thanks for reading!⚡

46 thoughts on “Super Mario… Meh

  1. I merely like it and do not love it like most seem to. To me Mario should be more about linear platforming and this game leans more on the exploration/secret-finding side of things. There is too much dead space in some of the worlds. And too many of the moons either aren’t fun or rewarding to get. You just sort of get them. There is still plenty I like. Very creative. Interesting world themes. Lots of nods to the rest of the series. The moveset is incredible and fun to play around with. When it does give you linear platforming it is still really good. Some of the boss fights are great. I’m just not smitten with it like most people seem to be. Oh well. Still fun. Hopefully your future sessions will continue to go better for you. More importantly, I hope you are feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s your opinion, madam, and you is entitled to it! Although well done for backing up your points. “itz crap lol” doesn’t cut it with the 0/10 reviews on Metacritic, I’m afraid.

    I absolutely fell in love with it, though, it’s just so much fun. The further you get into it, the more opens up – you can breeze through the initial stages but there’s so bloody much going on, and so many surprises to find, so don’t give up just yet and enjoy the silliness. Heck, it’s one surreal game.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve played it a lot over the last week and it’s quite an unusual one with real hidden depths. You get around courses in the Breath of the Wild way, just trying all sorts of random moves and by being curious. Failing that, just blast through it and beat it as the last level is good fun. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s okay to feel how you feel 🙂 Ultimately that’s all that matters. I play the stuff I like playing and I’m perfectly happy with my gaming diet of (mostly) Final Fantasy games 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey, don’t worry Light, I’m in the same boat as you: too many great games, not enough time to properly play them… I agree with you tho that the gaming industry moves way too fast.

    I hope you’re feeling better! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ellen, I had the exact same reaction to Odyssey! In the midst of a write-up of similar vibe myself, in fact, and it’s great to know I wasn’t alone. I had just gotten off a 20 hour flight and was not in the best mood ever, and the cheeriness was a little lost on me. By the next morning though I felt rejuvenated (albeit at 4am, thanks jet lag) and the game played wonderfully. Hope it goes the same for you!

    Side note, I don’t know why people rush these games. It’s super strange to me as well. My oldest buddy whom I played through SM64 with back in the day already 100% completed it! I have no idea how people find the time.

    I’m playing Mario the same way you are – finishing as much of each level while having a blast and enjoying it. Some play for the destination, I say, enjoy the journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m not alone either, and I’m glad you enjoy it more now 🙂 Good luck dealing with that jet lag, too!

      And wow at your buddy’s speed! I still haven’t got past the Sand Kingdom yet, haha.

      That’s a great point. I’m turning into more of a journey gamer lately. To each their own playstyle 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading your write-up on the game!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on the Hellblade plat. There’s nothing worse than been the one who doesn’t enjoy the new hotness that everyone is raving avoid. Social media is a minefield when it comes to avoiding spoilers (or so my TV watching friends tell me.) Guess the same applies to games.

    It really is impossible to play every good game that comes out these days. First world problems haha. The quantity of games is so vast that some people are known for creating blogs were they comment about their backlog 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You know, I haven’t played this game yet, but at lot of what you’re describing here I felt when I started playing Breath of the Wild. I felt very much like I should be feeling more warm fuzzies than what I was given my love for the franchise, and even now as people are starting to put Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild up as games of the year in their posts, I’m a bit skeptical about what I’m missing here. I hope I don’t feel the same as you when I finally get around to Odyssey, but I have a feeling I will.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m still disappointed I can’t seem to get into BoTW yet. I guess I wasn’t expecting a “survival Zelda” where weapons break (my least favourite mechanic.

      Anyway, I hope you love Super Mario Odyssey when you play it! Since you’re one of us Amiibo addicts now, I hope you also like the Bride Peach Amiibo when you cave and buy her, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The breaking weapons is definitely one of the things I really hate about the game. That and the lack of music. I need that heroic overworld theme to keep me slugging along or else things just feel too empty and boring. The landscape in BotW reminds me of Canada… very sparsely populated!

        Your words about bride Peach are like a beautiful venom, spreading slowly through me. Soon I will be completely overcome with the Amiibo-buying disease (I think of this as a zombification of sorts where I lose my free will to avoid buying Amiibo.)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. L.E.! You took the words right out of my mouth. I felt the same way a few hours after I got it, and I even picked up the bundle so it’s also my first game for my brand new switch(post about that coming soon). I don’t wanna rush this game either, even though I’m up to the Wood Kingdom I went back to Cascade Kingdom to collect all of the power moons and even the purple coins. I just don’t feel complete unless I have everything, and something tells me you’ll get something special when you collect everything and beat the game. I think if you take your time with it you’ll enjoy it more than you did when you first picked it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always good to know someone else shares my opinion! I’m looking forward to reading your post about it too. I want to get as many moons/purple coins as possible before moving on to the next kingdom. Then I’ll go back and 100% it after Bowser is downed. That’s my plan anyway. I don’t care how long it takes, I gotta find them all 🙂 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved reading your thoughts about Super Mario Odyssey! I think Nintendo has been a bit overzealous in what they show. On the one hand, I know they want to get us excited, but on the other hand, the element of surprise is lost. I still had an amazing time with it, and part of it is I absolutely love Super Mario 64. I’ve always wanted a game like it and Sunshine for the longest time, and the sheer amount to do in Odyssey dwarfs both of those experiences. I’d say definitely keep going because the moments past what was revealed are both amazing and extend past any postgame length you could be imagining. I’ve been playing for a long time and I’m maybe only halfway done getting everything. Seriously, this game is massive. Not Breath of the Wild massive, but very densely packed. Anyway, excellent post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would agree the element of surprise of the t-rex was lost. I saw it and was like, cool!!! here it is, but once i took control, i agree it wasn’t anything special.

    I do like the game still, I think it’s great and cute and so many great things to discover. The Moons are easy to find sometimes but i think that’s fine and it’s to cater to be more accessible. Miyamoto did say once about Galaxy that the game can be as hard as you want it to be, and i think that’s the case here to.

    Although I think the game is great, i don’t feel it’s a 10/10 game, but i still do like it alot. It hasn’t captured me the same way as say Breath of the Wild did. The sense of discovery was so much greater there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Too bad the game had to be spoiled like that for you. Everyone is certainly talking about it online quite a bit. It took me a little while to beat the game so most people had the ending up beforea me too. The gameplay is just so solid though that I still had a blast with it. The story is certainly lacking compared to basically every game you’ve played in the last year though. Mario’s plots are basically just stale at this point and I know quite a few people are bothered by the ending. I think it’ll grow on you as you keep playing and maybe turning into a ball of lightning in some of the levels coming up will help. Maybe taking a break and playing some of your other games will help the spoiler memories of the future to fade and then it’ll feel fresh again. I usually take a break from a game if I’m stuck on a puzzle or something and get back to it in a week or so. Sometimes breaks really pay off.

    And if you never end up liking the game all that much, then that’s cool too. You can’t always agree with the mainstream opinion and I can definitely say that from experience. Sometimes a game just doesn’t click.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tis a problem in this age of social media, that’s for sure. This ball of lightning part has me very interested!! I’m sure that will help, haha. Thanks for the advice!

      I’m going to give it another shot this weekend. Hopefully it’ll click with me more.


  12. […] Mario’s last adventure in 2013, the superb Super Mario 3D World, was more restrictive in its setup. A masterpiece in its own right, the imagination on display still dwarfs what most AAA developers cover across several games – we’re not trying to be sycophantic Nintendo fanboys here, this is simply an impartial consideration made by video game fanatics of going on 30 years (you can read a well-considered counter argument from our arch-nemesis LightningEllen: Super Mario… Meh). […]


  13. Aw, I hope your weekend has taken a turn for the better and that you wind up enjoying the game more. ❤ I definitely know what you mean about how your mood can affect how much you like something. I read a comic recently when I was in a crappy mood and I feel like I just didn't enjoy it as much as I normally would have. I couldn't really give a reason either for why I didn't like it. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been having a bombing time with it. I’ve been pretty successful at staying away from social media and stuff like that about it since some of the early trailers, and I think that really has helped. So much seems so new and exciting to me, and I’ve been finding a lot of new stuff with exploration.

    But nothing’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and with games, there is going to be a lot of things that you just aren’t going to be in the mood for when you’re down. And it’s ok to not like the things everyone else does. Opinions are a pretty great thing, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad you’re enjoying the game a lot! I took a break and will be trying it again soon, now that I’m in a better mood.

      We do all have our own gamer tastes and opinions though. I mean, I love FFXIII so I already know I’m weird, haha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh man have I been here before. When everyone is on the hype train and you’re wild about the bus. It’s frustrating because you WANT to be into the same things your friends are and you’re not trying to be petulant, nor are you doing the “I’m too cool for mainstream” thing 😎, but you just don’t see the hype appeal. My friend had the same problem with Thor Ragnarok. She was expecting a serious movie and it was much more tongue-in-cheek. And it’s especially terrible when it’s a popopular thing. Almost all of my IRL friends are obsessed with Hamilton, which I haven’t seen yet, and I honestly don’t want to watch with them, because when I did that with the Buffy musical episode, they wouldn’t shut the hell up so I could enjoy it on it’s own merits. Same thing happened with Wicked. I don’t know if I’m contrarian, but when people won’t stop talking about how awesome something is, I become less interested. There must be a name for this phenomenon. I’ll have to talk about it in a post…

    I, too, was annoyed about the Peach kidndpping/forced wedding thing. Come on Nintendo (though the Amiibos are amazing and hell yeah I want them #noshame)! You can come up with Cappy, a ghost that lives in Mario’s hat, but you can’t give my girl Peach, the RULER of a kingdom, another story besides the trite one?! Even Zelda got to be a phantom/ghost in Sprit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass plus she has that bow. Peach has…a parasol 😑😑😑

    I think my enjoyment of SMO stems from the stellar platforming and ease of access. I’m not GOOD at it per se (So. Many. Deaths.), but the game doesn’t punish ineptitude.

    Also you went from Senua, Aloy, and your forever bad ass base Lightning to the super hackneyed kidnapping victim. The Big N needs to update their style. Not saying Peach should do the Yuna in FFX-2 turnaround *shudders*, but make her a character instead of plot device.

    TSN out! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, it’s the mighty TSN!! How have you been? I missed you, haha.

      Anyway, thank you for the understanding! I’ve felt this way about many “popular” things in my life so it’s good to know I’m not alone. There has to be a name and I am REALLY looking forward to this post of yours 😀

      I know, right?? Seriously Peach… Zelda is a much more useful damsel in distress, haha. She helps Link A LOT in many Zelda games. I’m not a huge fan of Peach’s character, but she definitely deserves a better story.

      I’m more into SMO now though! I got to New Donk City and the first Bowser battle was so much fun!!! 😀

      Yep, I’ve been spoiled by badass sheroes, I think, haha. It’s nice to see women having a better role in most games nowadays! Seeing Peach as the same ol’ tired plot device kinda felt like a setback. And shudder is right for X-2 Yuna… 😦

      I’m picturing you doing a mic drop, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been an interesting month I’ll say that. I am NOT going to make my NaNoWriMo goal, but I knew I was going to be okay with that contingency, especially since I realized why I was having so much trouble writing (besides my normal tired complaints). I’m still not quite sure what I’m going to do about it, and I’ve been thinking of breaking one of my fundamental rules about NOT starting at the beginning, but I do something new with every story so why not. I miss editing The Broken Rose terribly, even though I’ve been diligently working on my FF Collab project and it involves a particularly beautiful general *ahem* I also may need to ask for an extension on that *le sigh*

        *goes back to the comment to figure out what the hell I was talking about* Copy and paste is a god send for my notes 🙂

        Yeah, Peach just comes off as the typical, trite damsel in distress, though I do get annoyed when people blame her for being kidnapped all the time grrrr. It’s not really HER fault she’s useless, and there are games where she isn’t useless at all.

        I just make it to the Lake Kingdom! I think I’m going to have to look up how in the hell to get up to the main boss fight, and I can’t find that last little moon to get a big moon to save my life. I haven’t been doing much with strat guides, because I really haven’t needed to yet. I will when I want to go for completion, but I was “scared” away when I wanted to see what the deal was with the weird grey blocks you can’t do anything with. MAJOR story spoilers lol.

        It’s just…with Zelda she did start out as the damsel in distress, because (as annoying as it is) that’s how games were back then, but the Princess of Hyrule has evolved, and while she’s still not the main character in any of the games with her name (as in she’s not who you control as the player), you can’t just replace her with a sexy lamp.

        I did…I dropped it on my foot! D:

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m still at 0 words for NaNo so… *shrugs* My problem is that I can’t write within deadlines and my brain will only write what it wants to, when it wants to. I haven’t been able to write anything for the Final Fantasy Project yet either (the draft is due on the 27th right? Yikes…). Every time I try, my brain just wants to babble about Dragon Age on my blog, haha. I think events like NaNo are great for some people, but if it isn’t working for you, I wouldn’t worry about it. Writing is a creative thing everyone handles differently. When it starts becoming a chore to me, I don’t wanna do it anymore.

          It’s not Peach’s fault she’s useless – it’s Nintendo’s 🙂 Lake Kingdom was a fun time! Let me know what you think of New Donk City when you get there. I can’t wait to find out what the grey blocks do! I was scared to look it up for that reason so I’m glad I didn’t, haha. I also have the Collector’s Edition of the guide book. I’ll use it to find all the Moons after I beat the story.

          Ouch! Mic drop on foot would hurt 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve written more for the FF collab post than NaNo, so I wouldn’t even sweat it, and even though I started back in September, I was STILL having problems with the deadline of, er, I thought it was tomorrow o.O I almost asked for an extension, but I managed to finish tonight, even though I need to edit/proofread it tomorrow. I’m terrible with deadlines, too, and have no idea how I”ll manage that if I become traditionally published and have to make one lol, but I suppose that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I come to it.

            I wish I could count the FF Project for NaNo since I knocked out over 7k words, but did I answer the question? Not really lol. I just presented evidence for both sides and the readers can be the jury :p

            I’m REALLY thinking about buying all three Amiibo, because I want to see Mario in that wedding dress, plus I really love Bowser’s get up. I do like that he’s not the main villain in all of the games. If Super Paper Mario had been turn based RPG, I would’ve loved to have played through that. It may be my favorite Mario game in that genre. It’s certainly the ONLY one to make me cry, er, force water to come out of my eyes *grumble* Speaking of waterwork games, have you heard of or seen Ori and the Blind Forest. So before this Up had the record for how quickly anything had made me weep. This was less than ten minutes.

            Now I want to buy a SMO guide, and I’m definitely going to play some more!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m glad you got your essay done! I hope some words will come to me by the deadline. If not, the other person doing FFXIII is really awesome so I won’t feel too bad bowing out. Yeah, my shero needs a better fangirl, I think… sigh.

              You should totally count your FF post toward the NaNo goal. It is writing, right? Just take the “No” out of NaNoWriMo 🙂

              I still have all the Amiibo, including those ones, so help?? I have the Steam edition of Ori. I’m hoping to actually play it sometime next year. I gotta lot of BioWare to get through + Mario, RiME, and the new HZD DLC first.

              Have fun!! 😀

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Somehow I feel like Lightning would have trouble just writing off the cuff and keeping a deadline, mostly because she does what she wants, and Lightning can NOT be contained!

                That’s what Kat said, too lol.

                Oh it’s on Steam?? I might check it out on there, though I really should boot up my Xbox 360. I think I have Final Fantasy Mobius on there though so I need to check that out sometime. I’ve kind of been neglecting Brave Exvius. I’m kind of stuck in a cycle where all I do is cash in my friend points, summon characters, and kind of just do “busy work.” I haven’t proceeded in the game in at least a month.

                I so want to play RIME. The Goddess of Wisdom was singing its praises, and apparently it’s a tear jerker.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. It really seems like that, and that’s irritating. I think if I played regularly, it wouldn’t be like this, but I think I’m starting to lose interest which makes me sad because I love the story (and Lasswell is kinda of bae ♥), but I haven’t touched it in quite a few weeks. If they even have my lovely general as a summoned character, I’ll come back in full force!.

                    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey, we all get in those moods sometimes! There are days when everything makes me crazy for no reason and I just can’t help it! Hopefully by now you are enjoying Mario a little more! I haven’t played it yet… still don’t have a Switch yet either though, lol! I agree there are way too many games to play and a lot of pressure to just hurry up and beat them and go on to the next thing… I just play at my own pace 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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