“Dear, Nintendo Switch”

Dear, Nintendo Switch,

First of all, happy birthday! Congratulations on all your success! I can’t believe it’s been one year since you came into my home on March 3rd, 2017. Since then, I’ve watched you grow up from a fledgling hybrid with a stellar launch to a robust competitor. I’ve spent a lot of time with you. Almost an entire year to be exact. You gave me a lot of memories and a lot of great single player and multiplayer experiences. I stretched my legs with you and made relationships with developers through you. You went almost everywhere with me, and you still will. Sorry you didn’t have Monster Hunter: World… That was enough to pull me away.

In one year, these were:

10 things I loved about you and…

10 things I hated about you

No hard feelings. Journalistic integrity, you understand.

Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #1. I never thought I’d appreciate your portability as much as I do.
You now know that I only have one TV in my house. Yeah the one you sit next to. Sometimes when Kal wants to watch Sesame Street or when it’s a nice day out or if I know I’ll have time on my lunch break, I can take you with me so we’ll never be apart. I initially thought that was just a gimmick. I’m sorry. Turns out I get more use out of it than I suspected I would. Now I wish I could do the same thing with my PS4.

#1. Poisionnnnnn
I think your kickstand is stupid. It’s off center so it can be hard to stand you up on weird surfaces. You’re stable enough if someone doesn’t bump you but God forbid there’s an earthquake in California. That’d probably send you hurtling through the stratosphere.

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March 3, 2017. “Day One”

Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #2. When I got a Pro Controller for Christmas, I instantly fell in love with it.
It felt like the right size and weight in my hands. Much more so than with the Joy Cons, the Pro Con seemed as if it was tailored for my palms and fingers. I like that it holds a charge for quite a while. It’s super reliable!

#2. Poisionnnnnn
There are a few things about the Joy Cons themselves that bother me.
They’re a really cool concept and all, the idea that you can use them as one or two separate controllers on the fly. They’re stylish too, but I’ve had de-syncing issues with the left Joy Con for a while now. I haven’t had the motivation to send it in for repair, either. Maybe that’s because it’s a new controller and I shouldn’t have to. So I’m stuck with it occasionally leaning my characters to the left or disconnecting entirely. How could you let this happen?

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Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #3. “There’s nothing to play on the Switch!”
I tell those people to “get out”. That’s silly. Your first year saw a steady stream of very well-received exclusives, which we both know is the reason why people buy Nintendo at all. Imagine if they didn’t have all those innovative IPs??? I didn’t even have time to play all of them but what I did play I thoroughly enjoyed. Everything else is icing on the cake but that icing itself is incredibly rich, the Nindies and hidden gems.

#3. Poisionnnnnn
I had to pass on some of your exclusives because, let’s face it, some of them were hideously overpriced. I still think Super Bomberman R was a stinker and I resent having paid so much for it. C’mon… you think $50 for 1-2-Switch was a fair price??? Who knows if this was a matter of corporate aloofness or the unfortunate side effects of sticking with cartridges. Either way, you taught me to be frugal and that big name games don’t always equate value (I’m looking at you with my big, clichéd anime eyes, Xenoblade Chronicles 2).

bf8

Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #4. What about that icing?
Nintendo embracing indies with you was genius. Another complaint I hear from people (typically those who don’t own you) is that owning a Switch means playing games everyone else played years ago. Has everyone really played all of the ports coming to your eShop? I doubt that. The average adult player doesn’t have a ton of time to play so many games. I certainly don’t and being able to finally have a chance to play these diverse and varied games I missed upon initial release has been really satiating my inner retro gamer. I shouldn’t have to be shamed online for not having played these earlier. Axiom Verge, amirite? Or Shovel KnightSteamWorld Dig 2VVVVVVWulverbladeGolf StoryGoNNER not to mention double-dipping on Stardew Valley.

#4. Poisionnnnnn
I thought you were handpicking these things? Some Nindies aren’t worth the title. Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas was one of the worst games I played last year and when I visit your eShop there are a lot of titles that are all too easy to pass on. Because why get worked up about that dumb-looking snake game when you could’ve had some really incredible indies like Hyper Light Drifter?

Switch-Indies

Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #5. You were the best-selling product on Black Friday 2017 and you outsold indisputables Sony and Microsoft’s consoles in December 2017, despite the release of the “X.Xbox One-Two XXX HD4kREMIX1.1 .hack//box pi”. To top it all off you outsold the Wii U’s entire lifespan in less than a year! That’s a lot to be proud of coming from the underdog company!

#5. Poisionnnnnn
Almost anything could outsell the Wii U…

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Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #6. Fair enough. Well, you recently added Hulu to your capabilities. I do hope that this is a sign of more to come in regards to streaming services. Why? Because while I have Hulu on many other devices, it seems you stream it pretty dang well. Not sure why but it’s better quality and faster than trying to peep anything on YouTube on my PS4. So though I’m not too much of a fan of Hulu (only enough to use free trials), I’ve been using you a lot to watch X-Files!

#6. Poisionnnnnn
And when I’m watching X-Files, I’m thinking “man, I wish this wasn’t just on Hulu”. That’s not your fault, but you know what is? Not having the other streaming services. If you had YouTube, you’d be ineffably indispensable considering you’re the most reliable streaming device I have connected to my TV. Even more so than dumb Chromecast. So where’s my Netflix and chill, huh? Don’t lie to me again.

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Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #7. As a father of two very young children, I appreciate the way you’ve set up some of your online multiplayer. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe really shined in this department because I can’t type custom messages or send images to the people around the world that I play with. That means they can’t do the same to my children which eliminates a lot of predators and trolls right off the bat. Thank you. We need more of that in gaming, just the game and less the pretense that being called racial slurs by anonymous strangers is “social gaming”.

#7. Poisionnnnnn
But I was fooling myself by thinking I’d ever be able to play multiplayer on your tiny screen when in tabletop mode. I can’t even see the turns on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe like that! So while couch co-op is back thanks to you, I need to ensure that I’m on the couch looking at the TV.

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Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #8. Piggybacking on what I said above. It’s refreshing to see you and Nintendo make more than a dent in the gaming industry today with your approach to games as fun and games for the young and young at heart. I’m old enough to remember a time some two or three years ago (heh) when it seemed like absolutely everything was gritty realism, depressing storylines, hard-edged action heroes, zombies, zombies, zombies, more zombies, and the eternal obsession with “lookit thuh graphix!!1” It’s nice not to have to buy into any of that and still enjoy great games that are about having a good time.

#8. Poisionnnnnn
While that’s true, I wish you were doing more. I really do. Your first year saw a good amount of exclusive games that brought back the fun but what’s coming down the pipeline next? Kirby, Yoshi, Metroid Prime 4 that we’ve not seen any footage of? I know Nintendo likes to announce things last minute… You have the eyes of the world on you now. You’ve changed minds nowNOW is the time to take action. NOW is the time to announce “Smash Bros. Switch”!

smash-switch-1056856

Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #9. An SD card can hold a ton of games and help with transferring the screenshots I need for reviews!

#9. Poisionnnnnn
I had to buy an SD card.

Retro-Mushroom-1UP-3-icon #10. If I only owned two consoles, it’d be you and my PS4. Don’t ask me who I love more. You’re both my children. Daddy will always love you and that’s that. There are still so many more reasons why I think you’re awesome but it really comes down to the Nintendo games you feature. Super Mario Odyssey was pure joy, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was a surprise delight, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one I am still coming back to play with friends, and of course… I will never forget The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What a breath of fresh air in open-world game design that our world will now take its cues from. Way to make Nintendo an influence again with that Game of the Year.

#10. Poisionnnnnn
“hashtag notmyGOTY”… I have to put up with hearing that now. Thanks.

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*Share your personal grade for the Nintendo Switch’s first year in the poll below!*

 

Dream on,
Well-Red-Mage-Black-sm.png
-The Well-Red Mage

 

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34 thoughts on ““Dear, Nintendo Switch”

    1. Hey it’s Reuben! Long time no see, man! That’s a pretty fair score! Mine would be around the same, maybe as high as an 8/10. I never owned a Wii U. Only Nintendo console I never owned. Maybe someday! There are a few fans of that system out there, you’re not alone!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The thing is, a fair few of the Wii U’s best games have been or will be ported to the Switch, so it’s being made a bit redundant which is a shame. There are a few brilliant exclusives I recommend, though, such as Smash Bros. and Wonderful 101.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s really just a term to explain why games are more expensive on Nintendo systems than elsewhere. I get the cost of the SD cards, but it doesn’t make sense when the digital versions are more expensive too. That and Nintendo games seem to retain their value for years

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m new to the Switch club and enjoying it quite a bit so far. My only major complaint is the complete lack of any way to copy or transfer saves. That’s an inexcusable missing feature for a modern system. I hope they really are going to rectify that soon like they’ve claimed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooof! I’m still using my 3DS so I haven’t researched the Switch that much. I have to admit this has really opened me eyes to the negatives. Some of the stuff it’s missing… I just assumed they would be fundamental. Ah well, if I know Nintendo they will be releasing an improved design in the future so it’s all good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for reading! Which negatives were specifically deal breakers of sorts for you? It’s far from what we think of as a standard console but it was almost entirely my gaming diet for 2017 and it was a great year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh they’re not dealbreakers 🙂 But having a controller that doesn’t always work properly sounds potentially very annoying to me. Also not having streaming services like YouTube and Netflix is also like “wha?” for me since this is the only console you can take away from the TV (the Vita can’t remote play those services). I just assumed it could do that… but again I haven’t really paid much attention to it. It would be a huge plus for me though, as the Switch is way bigger than a smartphone screen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. With the controller, that’s probably the biggest dislike here. Nintendo has offered free repair if you send it in, but then again it’s like “why should I be bothered?” I know several friends who HAVE repaired theirs and now they work well, also this was apparently an early hardware issue which has since been fixed. I bought it at launch but I doubt a new console will have the same issue.

          So there’s that. As for the streaming services, it’s annoying but I have other devices that stream. Still, the Switch streams very, very well! I use its Hulu all the time. Further, the services were promised prior to launch and now we only have Hulu. Nintendo has still said those services are coming, so there’s that as well 🙂 All in all, it’s a pretty great system!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The biggest knock against Switch is the fact that you can’t transfer saves or data. If your Switch bites it you lose everything. Why is this a thing in 2018 Nintendo?

    I love the console dearly though. Last year it was pretty much all I played. Mario and Rabbids was such a delightful surprise. I cannot wait until they add DK.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, I completely forgot about that! I usually play across retro systems (well except for last year) so I never thought about it. They should really get a cloud going or something. I dunno how that technical stuff works haha…

      Oh yeah, I was blown away by Mario + Rabbids. The terrible thing was, nobody believed me when I told them how great it was! I tried selling it as a “dynamic and complex tactical RPG” but a lot of folks couldn’t get past the Rabbids themselves. There’s an analogy there somewhere. Lots of scoffers at the Switch being “for the kids” but man does it have some fun gaming on offer.

      Like

  4. I really like it but, like most Nintendo devices for me, it has become my secondary machine. I don’t prefer playing it over my Xbox One (or even my PS4 or PC) but I love the different library it has and that is enough of a draw for me. Actually, I don’t know who I’m fooling, Mario itself would be enough of a reason for me to own it but I’m happy with the other games I’ve purchased as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We definitely need them to announce Smash already! I’ve been waiting so long for that one. I think the Switch will definitely go down as one of Nintendo’s better consoles. I already consider it to be better than the Wii U and the Wii. Purely from a console perspective I would give the edge out to some of the older ones like the Super Nintendo or the N64, but counting the software library then I think the Switch will likely be second only to the Gamecube. It’s cool that you’re a big fan of the PS4 as well. Similar to Nintendo, I consider it to be Sony’s 2nd best console behind the PS3 and if we don’t count software then I consider it to be Sony’s best console.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had my fingers crossed for some kind of announcement today for the Switch’s anniversary. Maybe they just don’t know what kind of gold mine they have in the Smash franchise. I mean everybody who’s played it adores it. I agree that the system is better than the Wii U in many, many ways. It’ll probably never beat the Wii’s insane numbers but it succeeds in a lot of other ways. SNES remains undefeated even just on the basis of third party exclusives 😀 I’m a big fan of quite a few consoles and I play across as many of them as I can going back to the 2nd generation. My favorites include SNES, PS1, NES, Vectrex, PS4, N64 and I like some hidden gems on the Wii.

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  6. Love this piece. I hadn’t realised it had been a year already! By this point, the Switch has enough titles on it that i’m interested in, now all I need is the money to give it a proper crack. I’m glad it’s doing so well though. Nintendo just hasn’t felt the same since they moved on from the GameCube for me, but this looks more and more like it would work well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think with the Switch you have Nintendo really being true to form, emphasizing their exclusives and beginning to work with third parties again, albeit on a small scale relatively. Whether that return to form is going to appeal to you or not is likely dependent on your past experiences and favor with the company. If you believe they haven’t been the same since after GameCube (and keep in mind I dropped out from them before even that) then I’m pretty sure you’ll find a lot to love on the Switch. Even if you just played the first party exclusives. Those are stellar.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. My mind was blown by that initial trailer and the concept of the device but yeah, to be honest, I was worried about it being too gimmicky as well. Nintendo still has some uphill battles to fight to get over that misconception (which Labo hasn’t helped) but there are some really great games, exclusive games, to be enjoyed on the system. For a lot of folks that equates a secondary device at best and at least.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I do think they’ll shake that misconception. When you look at it, Sing Star microphones we gimmicky, but people don’t automatically assume Sony are just putting out gimmicks. I know that the Wii probably doesn’t help, but if Nintendo continue to release quality games the view will shift and it’ll be the odd have that get seen as gimmicks rather than the console.

            Liked by 1 person

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