Nintendo Is About To Do To The Fighting Genre, What It Did To The Online Shooter

Back in May 2015, Nintendo released a game for the Wii U by the name of Splatoon. This is primarily a 4v4 online shooter, but instead of the main goal being to just kill as many people as possible, your objective is to paint, or “ink” rather, as much of the map as possible with the use of paint buckets, guns, paint brushes and rollers. There are a ton of weapons as well as gear, which boosts your abilities.

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The most unique part is your character can turn into a squid and move quickly through the cover of your own ink. Sounds pretty original, right? Well that’s because it is absolutely one of a kind. And it is easily the most fun online game I have ever played. I hate online shooters, I really do, but the moment I saw this, I couldn’t wait to play it, and I still play it all the time, two years later. It’s unique take on the genre, colorful art style and superb gameplay has really revolutionized the genre in a way.

Now here we are in 2017, the Switch has been released, and on June 16th, we are getting a brand new ip from Nintendo once again. Again it is for a genre I am not very fond of…fighting.

But Nintendo has given this genre their own bit of flair and have produced something that looks to be quite extraordinary, colorful, unique, content packed and extremely addicting. I of course am talking about Arms, the game where a bunch of unique and interesting characters with extendable arms beat the crap out of each other with a wide variety of…boxing glovish things called arms.

Needless to say, nothing has ever been done remotely close to this game, and it looks absolutely amazing. Again, a game in a genre I show little to no interest in has me barely able to contain my excitement! I am sure this is going to be the best fighting game ever, (in my opinion) just as Splatoon is my favorite shooter.

Nintendo just keep proving that they can take any genre, especially ones they really have never dabbled in before and produce something unexpected, unique, and most important of all, fun.

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But don’t take my word for it, especially since the game is not even out yet and I am really just making an awful lot of assumptions. But check out this Nintendo Direct. It will show you practically everything you need to know.

As a bonus, this summer Splatoon 2 is coming out, and that looks to do nothing but take the perfection of the first game and make it better. Be sure to check that out as well!

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Nintendo Switch-First Impressions

So this past Friday was a pretty relevant day. In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo’s newest console, the home/portable hybrid called Switch was released. Today, I just want to talk about the system itself. What I like and dislike, etc. And I must say, while it is exciting for any company to come out with a new system, it is a whole lot more exciting when it happens to be a Nintendo console, strictly because they offer something different, new and exciting. It gives gamers a chance to experience something they really haven’t before. It isn’t all about graphics. It’s about the experience, about the gameplay. I seem to be in the minority when I say, I buy video games to play them, not look at them.

Any who, let’s get back to talking about the Nintendo Switch.

To start off, I was amazed how small it is. Even though I knew how small it was from videos and such, I was still completely shocked, for it is much smaller in person than you would expect. The whole console is a screen slightly bigger than the screen of the Wii U Gamepad. I’ve actually seen some of the ridiculously large cell phones come close to the size of it. Once you slip on the Joy Con controllers, that adds like 2 inches (if that) to each side. That is your entire console. By far and away the smallest home console ever made. Placing it in the dock, which connects it to your TV, only fattens it up by another inch or two. So the whole console is roughly 9 inches long with the controllers connected, four inches high, and about 2 inches wide. Those are some nice dimensions.

It is welcome news for someone like me, who has an entertainment stand a bit on the small side. I’ve already got a Ps2, PS3, PS4, SNES, N64, 2 Wii’s, Wii U and a DVD Player hooked up to the TV and I’ve more or less run out of space to put anything else in there. The small size of the Switch couldn’t have come at a better time. I can easily fit it anywhere. It makes me pray that every console in the future should downsize. While the Switch isn’t the most powerful machine out there, it is mighty impressive how small they made it nonetheless. Microsoft and Sony should follow suit, downsizing the technology before throwing out these clunky machines, only to resell them smaller years later. But those slimmed down versions are monstrous compared to Switch.

Now I just talked about how small the console itself is, but what really is shocking is how small the controller is. And I’m talking about when you slide the Joy Cons on the controller dock to play it like a normal controller. It is this tiny little guy! It took a bit to get used to using it, because the buttons are closer together than normal. But after a minute or so, you get comfortable with it. Even playing with one tiny Joy Con becomes comfortable after a short while.

While there are many ways to play the Switch, my personal favorite is having the console docked to play on the TV and just holding each Joy Con in each hand, without the controller dock. It gives you a satisfying feeling of freedom. Imagine it is like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but without the wire tethering them together. You are not restricted to one space like you are using any other controller in the world either. You can rest your arms anywhere, have each hand in different positions and still play normally. This is especially welcome, since I have two cats that love to sit all over me when I play games, thus forcing me to move my controller to an awkward position to play around the cats, or having to adjust them so I can still play. Now, thanks to the freedom of the Joy Cons, I can have my arms where ever I want, and the cats can lay however or where ever they want.

And you know what else is small? The game cartridges. The cases are tiny, smaller even than a PSP game, or thinner, but taller than a 3Ds game case. And the actual cartridge is about half the size of a 3DS cartridge!

Now I haven’t had too much time to play around with the Switch, but I will talk about what I’ve noticed once the system is on.

Firstly, just connecting it was a problem because the included HDMI cord is too small. It’s about maybe three feet long, but when you have to weave the thing all over the place, it ended up being a few inches short.

So what’s it like when you turn it on? Right off, I don’t like how they set up the app selection in the main menu of the console. It is now like the PS4 or 3DS where everything is just lined up in one long line. I know in the 3DS you can change this to have multiple apps appear on screen in 4×4 blocks or more. I don’t know if you can do it on PS4 or not, but it’s really annoying to have to scroll through 20 different things to find an app or game you haven’t used in a while. I loved the method the Wii U and Wii used. There was like 16 apps or so on the screen. One button scrolled to the next page, where 16 more things would show up. I have a lot of digital games on my Wii U, and they are all confined to 3 or 4 pages. That’s close to 100 apps you can choose from in no time. With the Switch, it looks like you would have to scroll through each one, one by one until you find what you are looking for. I despise doing it in PS4, and I will here. You may be able to change this though, I haven’t looked into it yet.

Another thing that bothered me is there is no music in the main menu or on the eShop. The eShop itself is rather pitiful. You only have the option of buying 9 games, but hey it’s brand new, so I expect both the menu and especially the eShop to drastically improve once more games and updates come out.

Now speaking of games, how did the Switch do with launch titles? Well, I’ve got to say, it’s terrible. Zelda is the best launch title you could hope for, but other than that, there is nothing particularly a must have. There isn’t really anything at all. 1,2 Switch looks pretty cool, but the other games aren’t really my cup of tea, so whatever. What makes it worse, is Zelda isn’t even actually a true Switch title. It’s just a more advanced version of a Wii U game that was supposed to release almost 2 years ago! What were they doing this whole time? We’ve been hearing about the code name NX for like four years! They couldn’t make some good games for it by launch?

Lack of launch games don’t really bother me though. Games will come and when they do, I’ll get them. I don’t need to have everything right out of the gate, but it’s important to most people, so I thought I’d mention it.

But speaking of launch titles, this whole argument you can find between gamers on the internet with the importance of launch titles really cracks me up. Most anywhere, you will find someone say “I won’t waste $300 on a console with no games. I’ll wait until they come out with more before I buy it.” Or they’ll say things like this… especially pertaining to Wii U, “there aren’t enough games to justify buying the console.”

This argument really makes no sense. I understand what they mean, but it honestly translates to “I can’t waste $300 because it doesn’t come accompanied with 5-10 $60 games I can buy alongside it.” The other example with Wii U translates to “I don’t have money to waste on the console because there isn’t enough money for me to spend on it after I buy it to justify it.”

What sense does that make? If you aren’t going to jump into the console immediately, then yes, it is smarter to wait for a good bundle or price drops in games, but if the argument is you don’t want to waste money, that is just stupid. If you know you are going to buy it eventually and there are games you want, then you might as well get it. But to each his own. I don’t really care what people do, but don’t bash a console for stupid, nonsensical reasons.

Well, I’m getting off topic here. That is everything I have noticed with the short time I’ve used the Switch. It can only get better from here! If you are one of the people who want tons of games, then I would suggest waiting. If you don’t care, then pick one up, you won’t be sorry.

But remember, the more support for a console, especially early on, the more likely more games and support from developers there will be!

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Nintendo’s Switch Secrecy-Could This Be Bad Thing?

I have been worried for the past year at how secretive Nintendo has been about their new console, the Switch. Confirmed to be in development like 2 years ago as  codename “NX,” that is all that was basically said about the new console until a couple weeks ago (other than a release month).

In that long silence, about a thousand rumors were built up, every one was creating wild stories because we had nothing else to go off of. As with all rumors and hype and the like, this tends to get people thinking what it might be, and how it should be in their own personal preference. After a few months of rumors, a person could have a whole idea of what the console is going to be.

That being said, I was relieved to see that the system is in fact a portable/console hybrid, which was the central rumor. But it will more than likely not live up to all the other rumors that have spread or “leaked,” thus most likely leaving a lot of people disappointed, and just like that, said people immediately hate the console, because they bought into so many false claims that they were brain washed into thinking it was something it wasn’t, or at least hoping that it was going to be something other than what it was.

This immediate negativity could be avoided by not waiting so long without a single confirmed detail. And after countless months of waiting, what does Nintendo give us? A teaser trailer for the system, showing only its basic function and what it is officially called. A few games were teased as well.

Now keep in mind this trailer was released with only five months to go before the systems own release. Kind of cutting it short with advertising and all that, aren’t they?

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But after this trailer, we have got nothing since, and are now told to wait almost 3 more months for them to go into details with the Switch, January 12 being the exact date, a date in which the console will be released two months from! And in the short time since the reveal video, hundreds of rumors have already started flying around, adding to more false hype and confusion.

That gives the company only 2 months of solid ads and hype build, (which as hype is concerned, that’s probably a good thing, so it doesn’t get out of hand) and only allows a short time for people to decide if it is something they want to buy. If they decide they want it after seeing all the facts and don’t have the cash, now it is going to take some time to save up for it.

And then there is all those claims that people got confused about the Wii U being anything different from the Wii. This one blows my mind. It was made perfectly clear that it was a brand new console, how it was different and what it was capable of. If there are dummies like that who can get confused so easily, then shouldn’t advertising be a long drawn out thing, not a last minute revelation?

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Now you may be thinking, “Big deal, people will have plenty of time after it is out to decide to buy one or not,” which is true, but Nintendo needs a strong first year for the system to encourage third parties to continuing developing for it. Wii U had plenty of support at first, but due to lack of sales for the console, (plus being difficult to develop for) many of the third party devs decided it was not worth it at all to make games on it. And Nintendo can not afford lose that support again. Though they have said that third party support is one of their priorities for the new Switch, so that’s a start.

We’ll see what happens I guess, I just think it isn’t a great decision to keep consumers in the dark for so long.

 

My Nintendo Account: First Impressions

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The new My Nintendo account, replacement of the old Club Nintendo rewards program has at last been launched. I’d like to talk about the differences between the new and old, and see if this is an improvement or not.

Right away I must say I am rather disappointed by My Nintendo. The whole thing is a nonsensical mess. You can receive three types of points. The first being platinum points, which can be used for a 15% discount off select games designated by the site.You can get platinum points by completing missions, though the only ones I’ve seen so far are just linking my Nintendo network ID to My Nintendo Account and logging onto Miiverse or visiting the eShop.

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Gold points, which for some reason, are better than platinum, thus reversing what Club Nintendo’s points used to be…and well…every single other type of awards in the history of medals and trophies. These are obtained by actually purchasing games. What aggravates me, is only games purchased off the eShop are eligible. That’s right. With Club Nintendo,  physical copies of all first party games, and even some others provided buyers with a code you could enter to get points. Not anymore. It’s all digital only now, and its bull poop.

The amount of points you get varies on the amount of money you spend on eShop. For example, one mission is spend $40.00-$49.99 for 50 points, the next would be $50.00-$59.99 for 60 points.

And what can you do with these points? You get a 30% discount off some bigger games, like Splatoon, or even some free virtual console games. The good news about these rewards is that they don’t require too many points to obtain them, but the issue here is that you likely are going to be buying all the big Nintendo games off eShop just to get all the points anyway. I, for one, already have literally every single game available for free or discount on the site except for two of them, which I would have already if I actually wanted them. So unless you plan on buying a ton a cheap indie games, which I do often enough if they go on a good sale, you will not likely ever get to use these gold points on anything you really would want to. There are no fun physical rewards to be seen either, another thing Club Nintendo did better.

The third and final type of points are the Miitomo points, obtained for doing things on Nintendo’s first ever mobile app (game?) that launched alongside My Nintendo.There are a bunch of missions related to Miitomo for account members to complete, and a few rewards that I am not sure what they do, due to the fact that I do not own Miitomo, though it is a free app, so if I wanted points that badly, I suppose I could always download it. But obviously, the rewards are usable in the game. You can also combine Miitomo points and platinum points to get the platinum rewards as well, so maybe it is worth spending time on the free app…you know… if I didn’t already own all the games that are discounted via spending earned points. And you can also use platinum points on Miitomo rewards too. So they are basically the same.

Each type of point comes with its own bank and keeps track of them separately for you, which is nice.

My Nintendo feels like it is just a tool to help push Miitomo, with enough junk on it to keep people interested, however so slightly. Does it compare to Club Nintendo? Not even close, this new rewards program falls way short. But I guess it is nice that they do this at all, and I must say it is really quite easy to get platinum points, and by the sound of the Miitomo missions, they seem pretty easy to.

To be fair, the site is brand new, so I am hoping more and more missions and rewards become available as time goes on, and then maybe, just maybe, My Nintendo will become a worthy successor of the missed but not forgotten Club Nintendo.