New consoles are always an exciting, and frustrating time for gamers. The excitement of a new piece of hardware, and gaming experiences, mixed with the uncertainty, and debt. Almost every big console launch has had a comparatively small assortment of titles available on day one, and the Switch was not any different. Still, despite the lack of initial games, and even features, the Nintendo Switch has found it’s niche in my daily routine.
My son (about to turn 13) and I have been playing the crap out of Breath of the Wild. While I’ve beat the main game after pouring in over 100 hours, he’s still about 10 hours in, and loving it. This is really his first Zelda game, having known the character forever, he never could quite connect with any of the recent games, or the patience for any of the older ones. So being able to share differing stories of our adventures through Hyrul has been amazing. Showing him the similarities between this game and the first, has ignited his interest in the originals, and will hopefully lead to a summer play through.
Sadly though, the lack of other games to play will still be a bit embarrassing for a few more months. Seeing the rows of empty cartridge slots in my carrying case is a constant reminder of the lack of non Zelda related games. I picked up Snipperclips, and it’s been a big hit at home, despite some Joy-Con range issues due to the distance of our couch. I also bought Shovel Knight, for the 3rd time, 1-2 Switch, and a physical copy of The Binding of Isaac. These all get their time in the gaming rotation, especially now that my Zelda time is waning. The fact that we are a month+ into the launch and we still don’t have concrete information regarding the Virtual Console is disheartening. Optimistic me is hoping they are really trying to Nintendo it up, and provide a quality digital experience for their classic titles, but realistic me is bracing for re-purchases, and limited releases.
Speaking of realistic, there is a whole other elephant in the room, and it’s tied to HDMI auto-switching. I try not to just leave the Switch on the dock whenever it’s not in use, so as to not wear out the battery, but often in the evenings it will wind up on the dock to make sure it is good for me to take to work in the morning. Well, if I’m watching a movie, or playing on my PS4, invariably after 30 minutes, and hour, two hours, at the most inopportune time, the Switch will cycle on to check for updates I’m assuming, and triggers your TV to change from it’s current input to the Switch. I’ve disabled the “match TV Power State” option in Settings, to no avail. My Samsung TV won’t allow me to disable the feature on it’s end either, so, now I have to make a conscious effort to un-dock my Switch before settling in for a movie or a lengthy Persona 5 session. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s an annoyance that none of my other consoles/devices cause.
I hate hauling around a ton of stuff to and from work, and as such, if it won’t fit in my work bag, I won’t take it. For the longest time I would be bringing both a 3DS and a Vita to work for lunch time entertainment. As time went on, and I cleared through my Vita backlog, and the releases dwindled, it stayed home, and the 3DS came along. The Breath of the Wild SE case, while a bit loud for an office, fits just fine with my Surface in the bag, and stays tucked away until break time. The screen brightness works just as well indoors as outside enjoying some fresh air, and luckily I haven’t run into odd battery life/inaccurate readings like others I’ve seen.
All in all, life with a Switch right now is, ok. Breath of the Wild is amazing, and being able to play that on the road, or at work has been great, but most other offerings are titles that I’ve played on my Vita long ago. The showcase of indie developers on board right before launch was a pleasant surprise, and hopefully the follow through on that end will continue, and not just be lip service. 2017 would be a great time for a new Suda51 game on the Switch, but that won’t likely happen till next fall at the earliest. While I’m excited about a bunch of the indie games announced, it highlights an absence of NEW first party content, for their NEW first party console. Oh, and I’m still gravely disappointed that it doesn’t have some evolution of the Streetpass system like on the 3DS, and fruitlessly hoping that its integrated somehow with the Virtual Console. We know you don’t want to start cannibalizing the 3DS install base more than you are, but that’s just how people see the Switch, as mobile, and as a mobile device it should have more connectivity/social features in this day and age.
Well, if you’ll excuse me, it’s lunch time and there’s a shrine I need to clear 🙂