01
Feb
18

First Impressions

So… I caved. I bit the bullet and took a chance on Nintendo, joining the Switch legions.

IMG_0155

So far, I am reasonably glad I did; the pleasure should increase once BayonettaHyrule Warriors and Metroid Prime 4 come out.

But just a few things to comment on from my first few hours with the new shiny.

  1. If you are an averaged sized adult, for the love of God, get a Pro Controller. Pro-A makes some very nice ones, Mario or Zelda designed, for $30 and they make life far easier… at least so long as you’re playing the system docked. The Joycons are evil, especially if you’re playing something like Mario Kart, where you only use one of them.
  2. Enjoy the setup. Or not. I found it to be rather more complicated than it likely needed to be, and the fact that the instructions tell you to set everything up and turn the beast on, then the first thing it has you do is unplug the dock and do the setup in handheld mode was kind of ridiculous.
  3. It still uses bloody friend codes. (Goddamnit, Nintendo, let it go!)
  4. If you are not Japanese, and not used to playing Japanese imports and did not have extensive experience in the SNES or early PlayStation era where they didn’t bother to reverse the controls for our silly American brains, you will continually click things you didn’t mean to and cancel out of menus you meant to look at. This is due to the button on the right side of the diamond being defaulted to “Accept,” and the one on the bottom being “Cancel/Back” in the system software (and most games. They also tend to map “jump” to the right button, which has caused many deaths in The End is Nigh.) The three games I own (ZeldaEnd is Nigh and Fire Emblem Warriors) do not offer much in control customization, either; Zelda only lets you reverse a couple buttons – and A & B are not options – while Fire Emblem and Nigh don’t let you tweak them at all, so far as I can tell.)
  5. You will probably want a memory card. Sold separately, of course. In the era of 30+ GB digital games (and 10+ GB DLC for almost everything), the built-in 32 gigs just aren’t going to cut it.

All that said, it’s a decent enough system. I enjoy the games I have well enough – though Fire Emblem Warriors and End is Nigh were both extremely hedged bets, essentially reskinning games I already love – and there seems to be plenty on the way worth having… now if we can just convince Nintendo to port over Fatal Frame 4 & 5, or the Metroid Prime Trilogy, that’d be great.

But the biggest surprise here is Breath of the Wild. I approached with caution, as I have honestly pretty much hated every Zelda game since Ocarina, with the exception of the GBC and GBA ones.

Thankfully, Breath of the Wild is an absolutely awful Zelda game.

Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? What I mean is that, so far as the last 15 or so years of Zelda go, it’s terrible in doing the things its forebears did. Instead, it honestly feels more like a Witcher-lite, which I am totally okay with. I am prepared for it to eat my soul, though I lament that it may mean I will never get back to Persona 5 and may never move on to Xenoblade Chronicles 2, let alone actually start Star Ocean 3, 4 and 5, which I recently acquired for PS4.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a shrine to conquer.

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