Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Sidequest: Nintendo Switch Steals My Day

My Cybertavern patrons I have a serious problem right now. No matter where I went during my busy day, no matter how many appointments I had to attend and no matter what time of day it was, I was never far away from escapism and enjoyment as of Friday.

Yes... I am addicted to my recently acquired Nintendo Switch. There will be more thoughts on the machine, its launch and all future games coming to the system but for now this week's Saturday Sidequest will be a purely emotional and cursory observation of the Switch from its purchase to its set up and to how it has become natural to use.

First and foremost, yes I did lick the cartridge I had, it was genuinely disgusting and the taste lingered in my mouth for like five minutes. Absolutely gross.

Moving on, I picked up my Nintendo Switch from my usual go-to provider for consoles, Play N Trade. I got my PS4 from them, got my Wii U from them, got my New 3DS from them, they are reliable. Because screw Gamestop and their nonsense. I don't care if they continuously provide me with the plastic heroine that is my Amiibo collection, they can go die in a fire!

Either way, I set up the machine, took some photos for scale for a console overview at The Game Fanatics, slotted the surprisingly small Joy-Con controllers into the grip to make it feel more like a real controller, inserted my copy of Zelda: Breath of the Wild into the machine and started playing. I also downloaded Snipperclips and Shovel Knight. The former because I wanted a cheaper way to test the co-op that wasn't a fifty dollar investment like 1-2 Switch, and the latter because I absolutely love the game and am totally okay with basically triple-dipping.

So I started playing Breath of the Wild and I really found myself enjoying it. I enjoyed getting wrapped up in Link's latest adventure through Hyrule, I loved the focus on exploring and scavenging. Cooking food to heal. Taking my sweet time and being clever with combat. I even found amusement in falling off a tower to my death. No salt to be had in a failure state, truly Nintendo magic at work.

And then life got in the way. I had to get out and run errands, take my car into the shop to get it fixed, and got to meet some old friends together for the first time. Which is why this installment of Saturday Sidequest is basically rushed to get out before midnight so I don't have to commit seppuku on myself with a sharpened pencil.

So I thought to myself: take the Switch with me. Take advantage of its portability and use it to test the thing's battery, see how versatile this machine really is. So I took the machine in a carrying case and got on with my day.

It was minor at first. I played some Shovel Knight while waiting for my car to get fixed, otherwise the machine sat covered with a rag in my car. It's a brand new machine that's hard to find, I'm not crazy. 

Then I met my friends. Things started off normally with a lot of food and a lot of catching up. A particular friend was one I really don't have a lot of time to know better but he mentioned he had a great amount of fondness for the old Super NES days. And that was all the incentive I needed to take out the Switch from my car, pop off the Joy Cons, and prop the tablet up on a kickstand and show him the co-op mode of Shovel Knight.

From the second the title screen came up he was ecstatic and the entire meeting turned into an impromptu gaming session. It was like we were five years old again enjoying video games for the first time in its purest form instead of a bunch of adults huddled together in a car looking at a tablet screen.

And that is the biggest thing I wanted to express when it came to Nintendo's newest machine. For all of the reports of the machine's hardware specs, the odd design decisions, the bare but functioning UI and OS, the small amount of titles at launch and some odd glitches here and there, all stuff I have to report on and criticize by the way, I really do think the Nintendo Switch is something truly special. It helped make what was an otherwise busy day into something a little more special and innocent again while still also being a solid addition to a console line-up.

So yes, I am the head of the Cybertavern, and I am addicted to the Nintendo Switch. And I regret nothing.

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