Posted by: seanmalstrom | January 14, 2017

Email: Second Impressions of the Switch

Yes, I’m giving you second impressions.

Looking at the bigger picture, I think my outlook for the Switch is more positive.

First, Zelda looks awesome. I actually skipped the trailer yesterday, since I was annoyed that the grand finale was Nintendo showing off the same game they’ve showing for the last year. However, it was a great trailer. I love that it so focused on the world and the action. Even the story elements, which I thought would be annoying, were well done. It feels like they’re going for less “quirky anime” and more for a grand mythological story, if that makes sense. Also, Zelda crying into Link’s shoulders will piss off feminists (why isn’t Zelda a strong independent womyn who don’t need no man?), so that is also a plus.

Second, it’s important to remember that the Switch will be consolidating Nintendo’s development efforts. Just imagine a console that has both the libraries of the 3DS and Wii U – it’d probably have done better than either of those two. We will likely see way more games from Nintendo for the Switch, since their attentions towards the console will be undivided.

The price of the console itself is okay, but the accessories are way too high. The Dock is the most offensive thing. It is literally a piece of plastic with an HDMI and USB ports. There’s no reason for this thing to cost $90.

The paid online is terrible. Nintendo better offer dedicated servers fit for a king if they are gonna charge for online. If it’s just P2P, there’s no way I’m paying a dime for online.

The big problem is the games, or the lack of them. Zelda is good, Mario Kart and Bomberman are okay, but beyond that? I do think this problem will disappear in the long run, but for now, it’s weak. Nintendo should have at least shown some ports of Wii U and 3DS games. Some ports of Wii U games like Donkey Kong, and enhanced versions of Smash 4 and the new Pokemon would have gone a long way to placate people.

In fact, the big reason I was disappointed was because I imagined there’d be more games to show off. Nintendo basically abandoned the Wii U, presumably to focus on the Switch. I thought they’d have more in the pipeline, possibly former Wii U games transferred to the Switch (like Zelda).

I agree with your prediction that the Switch will likely follow the DS trajectory. Weak early on, but once the games start coming out, things will get rolling.

So, the only question for Nintendo is this:


Speaking of Zelda crying, Nintendo is incredibly doing tragedy. What is tragedy? I will explain it in such a way that your Literature Professor will love.

Imagine a girl with cute pig tails skipping across the road. Then, a nasty semi-truck comes hurtling down and runs over the girl. The mother holds the girl’s body in her arms and screams.

“A tragic thing occurred today,” the news will say. But this is wrong. This was not tragedy. It is bad. But that is not tragic.

Now let us say the same thing occurred. The mother holds the girl’s body and blames herself. “I should have been watching! It is all my fault!” NOW you have tragedy.

Most of the tragedy in video games come from the player. “Why did I not go through the short cut pipe instead of going the hard way and dying stupidly? Why!?” cries the player dying in Super Mario Brothers. There is much tragedy in Civilization. “Why did I build my city there? What was I thinking!?”

It is unusual that the game content to be tragic. Usually, the destroyed world is a setting. Characters are not fleshed out enough to truly be tragic. They are pieces of the setting. One of the reasons why I love the Ultima games, especially VII Part I and II, is that the many of the NPCs become tragic figures. In this way, they truly become 3d.

This Breath of the Wild’s Zelda is the most 3d, most interesting Zelda ever made.



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