Ah, it’s good to be writing about video games again!
So ninety-five days ago, I wrote up a little piece fueled by excitement for the Nintendo Switch. Since then, we’ve had a more than slightly awkward presentation by Nintendo. If you’re into Nintendo Treehouse, then you’re used to it anyway. There have also been several announcements for upcoming projects, first- and third-party titles. Just earlier today, I read an article about three more games which will be made available for launch: Human Resource Machine, Little Inferno and World of Goo.
That makes for a more robust launch but then again, it’s just more ports and re-releases. The Switch isn’t free of naysayers and Donald Doubters (See how I used the masculine for a typically feminine nickname? Did you see that?), I at least was enthused enough for Nintendo’s
gimmicky innovative new handheld/home console thingamajig. Just don’t get me started on 1-2 Switch.
Someday I’ll try to address the negatives surrounding the Nintendo Switch, particularly those I agree with (confirmation bias!). There are several things I do not appreciate about the way Nintendo has handled aspects of their business, marketing, and development. Like the NES mini… But today I thought I’d keep it positive and fuel some of the excitement. These are the things I’m looking forward to from the Switch. This way I won’t need to answer everyone individually who asks me why I pre-ordered the system.
As a small disclaimer, I grew up with Nintendo and have indeed been a longtime fan but I passed (easily) on the Wii U and the DS line. I spend most of my gaming time with Sony. Why did I utterly reject Nintendo’s previous console but embrace their upcoming one? Well…
1. The Hardware
I don’t know about you but I was impressed by the singular vision of the Switch, the world’s first home console handheld. I was not impressed by the return of motion controls. But hey, this is a device which can be taken anywhere within range of its battery life and its charger. I no longer have to stop gaming once I leave my house.
I hesitate to use the word gimmick because the entire system is built on this. It’s its purpose. Nintendo hasn’t aimed for the best graphics but for the most accessibility and I hope it pays off. I also hope it will also narrow Nintendo’s market. I’m not a handheld gamer at all and wouldn’t conscience buying a 3DS but with the Switch it seems like there could be a wide range of games developed which are more home consoley and others more handheldey, though ultimately the difference will be irrelevant since I can play them however I like. Could it replace the 3DS?
While I don’t care about the extra accessories, I do love that I can easily split one controller into two with the joy-cons.
2. The Price (?)
Notice that (?)? Yeah, that’s because some of the additional controls and accessories have ridiculous price tags. The Nintendo Switch itself is gonna be $299.99, though.
I already paid for it. Compared to the prices of the PS4 and Xbox One at launch, that’s pretty great. I couldn’t ever afford those at launch but $299 was actually the exact amount of a recent bonus I just received, so… perfect! I was counting on Nintendo putting out an affordable system and they did. I could wish they’d made it a bundle with an included game, though. This one would’ve been perfect:
3. Return to Cartridges
Let me put it this way: I’ve got NES cartridges, heck, Atari 2600 cartridges which still work on their respective systems. Ask me how many PlayStations I’ve been through with worn out laser disc readers. I’ve had to buy multiple copies of the same game because of measly scratches on the underside of the disc. With the Switch’s emphasis on portability, tiny cartridges that hold more space, have better loading times, and so on are just the better choice. Like will I even have to wait several hours after buying a new game for it to download the other 80% of itself onto my system anymore, or will the whole game be on the cartridge?
Need I say more? What is this, the most anticipated game of 2017? People won’t shut up about it. And for good reason. It’s gorgeous. It looks spectacular. It’s everything we’ve wanted from one of the most beloved video game series of all time. Breath of the Wild alone is good enough reason to buy the Switch, for me. Saying it won’t drive sales because it’s also going to the Wii U is like saying nobody is going to Disney Land anymore because a Chuck E. Cheese opened up next door. The newest Zelda could just be the game of the year. It’s one of only a few launch titles. I don’t buy new releases too often, so that’s just fine by me.
5. Big Franchises
Besides for Zelda there is of course the return of Mario with Super Mario Odyssey, which looks like the much needed return of 3D Mario whimsy. I was also surprised to see Sonic, Tetris, and Bomberman coming back to the fore. This is just a wish, but who wouldn’t love to see a new Metroid, Kirby, Pikmin, Pokémon, Star Fox, Earthbound/Mother, Luigi’s Mansion, Super Smash Bros., Animal Crossing, or frickin’ Duck Hunt all on one system? If that doesn’t titillate your jibblets, then you probably don’t have jibblets.
6. RPGs and JRPGs
My gaming bread and butter. I don’t have so much time for them nowadays but I have loved RPGs for as long as I’ve learned to read. Even with Xenoblade and Dragon Quest titles in the know, I’m most excited about Project Octopath Traveler. Seeing some hefty role-playing games on Nintendo’s new system is a delight considering it seems like they built their past two consoles on dumb sports simulators and party games. It’s nice to see that there will be plenty of games which don’t intend to prey on motion controls, ‘least so far as we know. Keep it traditional!
7. Indie Titles
I’ve come to love indie titles more and more over the past few years. I think they appeal to someone like me who’s got time for shorter games with less “filler” like trophy hunting, grinding, or fetch questing in open worlds. *cough cough* FFXV *cough* So that being said, I’m looking forward to the indie support coming to the Switch. Given indie games’ simpler presentations and shorter spans, they could be the perfect jelly to Nintendo’s peanut butter. Stardew Valley is something I’m already playing but Rime looks awesome.
8. Third Party Support
We’ve all seen this graphic. This is the real clincher, as it should be. Since the N64, Nintendo has taken steps toward exclusivity culminating in the terribly received Virtual Boy. Oh, I mean the Wii U. It hasn’t helped Nintendo’s image and they’ve come across as somewhere between pandering, kiddie, and arrogant. Ports of mature games to their systems like Call of Duty on the Wii were mostly disasters. Who the heck wants to play Arkham City on the Wii? I get that the Wii had its time in the sun and there were some hidden gems on it, but we’re all very excited for the possibilities on the Switch with third-party support. Of the developers who have pledged support, the ones I am happiest to see are ALL OF THEM?!
9. Emphasis on Couch Co-Op
Let’s forget for a moment that it seems like Nintendo doesn’t know what the internet is and recognize that the Switch lends itself to playing multiplayer with people in the same room. That goes back to the glory days before online trolls and memes and little snots cussing at you for being a n00b. It goes back to a time when people called up actual friends to come over for a new game. I dig.
10. No VR
Cuz I don’t care about VR! You wanna talk about gimmicks???
Taiko Drum Master! There are so many possibilities with this system. If it sells well and attracts developers and partners, it could usher in a golden age the likes of which haven’t been seen since the NES and SNES. What made those two so special, what made the NES the greatest system ever, in my opinion, is the fact that they both had incredible libraries with vast variety from both a first- and a third-party perspective. I can pass on Arms, Imaginators, 1-2 Switch, Fire Emblem, and Splatoon 2 and still be happy. It’s looking like a more diverse line-up than we’ve seen from Nintendo in recent years. Will the Switch be the next Super Nintendo? Well, I hope so. I just dropped 300 bucks on it.
Here’s a great video breakdown by whatoplay about currently known titles for the Switch!
So do you agree with my points? What are you looking forward to on the Switch or are you not excited for it in the least? Some one once told me “Have fun with your childhood” concerning my Switch affection, to which I retort: “Have fun with everything that sucks about modern gaming”.
-The Well-Red Mage