Friday, January 13, 2017

My cockles!

I should write about how Life is Strange is four episodes of build up to a wet fart of an ending or about Watch Dogs 2 being the epitome of the 'Ubigame' in that I played for about two hours yesterday and did nothing but motorcycle race mini-games but neither of those are what I am thinking about.

Watch Dogs 2 was abandoned last night to watch the Nintendo Switch press conference, at the end of which I was stoked enough to start calling in favors from old friends who still run Gamestops. I wanted one even though, of all the games that were shown, only Zelda, Xenoblade 2, Octopath Traveler and a new Shin Megami Tensei (!!) actually excited me.

The SMT trailed got me out of my seat. Seriously. I stood up and went 'oh my' to no one in particular.

There are a litany of problems with the system. To sum up, online play will require a subscription fee (not a problem in itself but Nintendo's track record of supporting online play is spotty at best), voice chat requires a companion cell phone app, the joy con harness that comes with the system does not charge the actual joy cons, no ethernet connection, the pro controller is currently not available for preorder anywhere, the online subscription comes with one virtual console game each month that is only playable for that month and, as far as anyone knows, digital purchases are still tied to the physical console instead of an account.

A lot of forehead smacking bullshit in that list. Nintendo is still years behind what Sony and Microsoft offer. I migrated both collections to new systems last year and lost nothing. Doing that from one Switch to another would most likely have cost me all of my digital downloads.

But I still want one and I am not sure why. The Zelda trailer did things to me. It warmed parts of my cold gamer heart that have not been touched since I was a child. Zelda has been absent from my world since Wind Waker because I refused to jump on the waggle train with the Wii. That nonsense is still there, in fact Nintendo seems to be doubling down on motion control with tech demos/launch titles 1-2 Switch and Arms, but it also will allow me to play a Zelda game as god intended: sitting on my ass with a beer on the end table and chips in my lap.

Internet reaction has been mixed. Understandable - Nintendo burned a lot of good will with the WiiU. I can be excited because I have skipped the last 11 years of their silliness. The console's failings, of which there are many, are for me nostalgic reminders from a company that shaped my youth, not the doddering attempts of an out of touch toy manufacturer trying desperately to be hip and relevant.

I will get there. I am sure that, after the damn thing has sat unused for months or been farmed off to my filthy children in favor of the grown up consoles, that I will rue the day that I in weakness threw money down on this venture. But that is not today. Nor will it be March 3rd when I get to play a Zelda game again.

Now where the hell can I preorder a pro controller?

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