My thoughts on the 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation

My thoughts on the 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation

Like many other geeks around the world last night, I spent an hour or so on Twitch watching Nintendo’s Presentation on their upcoming new console, the Nintendo Switch.  Would’ve written up something about it last night, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling 100 percent, and lethargy typically isn’t great when it comes to being productive.  I haven’t talked too much about the Switch up until now mainly because I haven’t admittedly been extremely excited about it.  Sure Breath of the Wild has always been high on my interest radar, but that was about all it had going for it for a while in my view.

There were some interesting things revealed about the Switch last night.  The fact that the system won’t be region locked like others have been in the past, for example.  The Joy-Con controllers also seem interesting, boasting some more complex and possibly immersive capabilities from what I can tell.  Plus, they come in multiple colors, even if I prefer the plain grey to the pink and blue combo (would’ve been much better if they came separately if you ask me).  I also like how there are so many ways to play on the Switch.  Not only can you play on the TV screen, you can use the controller as a screen much like the Wii U, and because that’s mobile you can take your system pretty much anywhere you go.  It’s an awesome sounding mix of things that I’m sure will go pretty well.  Plus, on top of all that, it seemed like lots of third party companies were interested in creating games for the Switch, which bodes well for a long life cycle.

That being said, there are also a few issues I had just out of the information we learned.  The fact that you have to pay for internet connectivity for some games kind of blows, even if it’s the same kind of model that’s used for things like Xbox Live.  There also aren’t a huge amount of launch titles, meaning the Switch might not even necessarily be worth it until the holiday season of 2017… Though the fact that that list includes the new Zelda game practically balances that point out if you ask me.  I’m also not a fan of the fact that it isn’t backward compatible, which means I wouldn’t even necessarily want to trade in my Wii U for the potential to buy it earlier.

The presentation as a whole also wasn’t great.  To put it bluntly, when one of the things people remember most from your even was a translator that seemed to be half asleep as he talked… Well, you probably could have done better overall.

However, with all of that out of the way… The game trailers were obviously the most important part of the night.  For me at least.  I don’t know if I’ll be getting the console when it launches on March 3 (Internationally – a nice touch), but there are plenty of titles I’m excited to see when they come out.

The full presentation is up on Nintendo’s YouTube account, as are a variety of the major trailers that were shown over the course of the night.  That playlist can be seen here for anyone interested, since it will probably be good to at least see the game trailers before I go into talking about them.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Going in order from the bottom of the uploaded trailer list to the top, our first new game coming down the pipeline is Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

I should preface this segment of the looking-at-trailers part of my post by saying that I’ve never played Xenoblade Chronicles, and I haven’t really seen a lot of the game being played as a matter of fact.  It’s not so much a lack of interest, since the inclusion of Shulk and all the incredible music from the game into Smash 4 got me very interested in trying the game out.  It’s been more a concern of time if anything, as most of my game playing hasn’t left me the chance to pick up Xenoblade, even if there’s a version for the 3DS.

So, I may not have a lot of background with the series, but I still enjoyed watching the trailer quite a bit.  The art style and graphics are gorgeous and honestly remind me of Monster Hunter quite a bit.  Of course, those parallels only got more concrete as massive beasts as big as mountains showed themselves wandering the world, with a shot at the end of the trailer over the game’s title drop boasting a particularly spine-tingling skeletal whale creature of sorts just breeching through the clouds.  Seriously, that’s super rad.

Will I be getting Xenoblade Chronicles 2?  Probably not.  Not unless I play the first game sometime soon and become a diehard fan.  However, I can pretty greatly appreciate how much care was put into the product by the looks of things.


Fire Emblem Warriors

Now this was a hell of a tease.  As a huge fan of Fire Emblem (like I gushed about a little in my New Year’s post), I got very excited when I saw the first bubble pop up on my screen with the legendary Falchion blade, used by Marth, Chrom and Lucina. Then, other blades used throughout Fire Emblem games of the past flashed by in a similar manner, with all the bubbles coming together as the orbs in the Fire Emblem crest used most notably (in my recollection at least) in Fire Emblem Awakening.

Then it was over.  Cue title: Fire Emblem Warriors.  End things off with what looked like who I assumed to be Marth picking up the Falchion.

Honestly, I was surprised to see any Fire Emblem at all during this presentation.  Fire Emblem Fates is still a relatively recent addition, and that came three years after Awakening before it, so I figured there would be a dry spell for longer than this.

As another spin-off in the Dynasty Warriors series, another series I unfortunately have very little experience with, I can’t say a lot about my excitement for this game as a whole.  I wanted to play Hyrule Warriors as well, but it just wound up being another game in which time was not on my side to play.  However, with the prospects of playing as characters like Lucina and hopefully more important heroes going all the way back to older titles, there’s some part of me that really feels like it’s a game I’ll try harder to pick up this time around.

All I know is I’m excited for it.  This will be the first game I’ll have the chance to play Fire Emblem on a home console system rather than a mobile system, so it should be interesting.

Bring on more Fire Emblem, Nintendo.  As long as we don’t have another Conquest situation in terms of obscene difficulty, I’m all for it.


Splatoon 2

My friends and I poured hours into the first Splatoon.  It’s probably one of my most played games on the Wii U, perhaps only surpassed by Super Mario Maker.  By the end of our time with it, I even reached S rank in multiplayer, the highest rank you can achieve.  As a brand new IP, it was undoubtedly a huge success, both in sales and in just how enjoyable it was as an experience.  It’s hard to go wrong with a well-polished Nintendo title in any genre, shooter included as Splatoon taught us all.

Now, Splatoon 2 is on the horizon.  While I might say it seems a little too early for a sequel to be rearing it’s head (especially considering it will be coming out during the summer of 2017), the trailer made it hard to argue with the game’s arrival.

Nothing looks particularly new about Splatoon 2 right off the bat.  It seems Nintendo is more aiming to put the highly acclaimed title onto their new system with more of an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.  However, while nothing particularly broken seems to have been fixed with Splatoon 2, a hell of a lot still seems improved in this title.

The game looks as pretty and the animations look as smooth as ever, if not more so than the previous title offered.  There seem to be more maps to play on, the older returning maps have improvements and the hub world looks like it’s going to give us more of the quirky punk-marine-life action we know and love.

Probably the biggest change in this sequel appears to be the weapons – which makes sense considering the series is first person shooter based.  Dual pistols and more specialty weapons like highly pressurized ink cannons, multiple ground-to-air missile launchers and an ink raincloud summoner have been added.  As have jetpacks much in the spirit of Super Mario Sunshine’s F.L.U.D.D. from what I can tell.

There also seems like there could be a larger focus on a story mode in Splatoon 2, as I can stipulate from some of the shots in the trailer showing menacing Octolings and a mysterious angsty figure (who is more than likely Marie, but still) standing turned away from the camera in front of a sunset, classic anime-trope style.  Can’t help but think of Gladion since Pokémon is still so fresh, but that’s another story.

My overall verdict?  A definite yes on Splatoon 2.  It won’t be out until the summer, like I said before, but as I said I’m also probably not going to be buying a Switch at the beginning of it’s life cycle either way.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

I don’t remember if this was in the presentation or not, actually… I may have blanked out when it showed up if it was, because I don’t remember seeing it until I looked through all the trailers individually.

That won’t stop me from talking about the game, however!  It’s hard to go wrong with a Mario Kart game honestly, it’s one of those top tier party games up there with Smash Bros.  I will say it seems odd that they’re just repackaging and selling an improved version of Mario Kart 8 rather than coming out with a  whole new title, but Mario Kart 8 was a real good game so I suppose I can’t complain.

The only real things of note in the trailer were some new items like Boos and the Splatoon-based content, new race tracks and music and such.  An odd choice I’d say, particularly since the trailer itself even played around with the idea of Mario having to take the game back from the Inklings, but I guess this is just Nintendo’s way of incorporating their popular title into the fun Mario party spin-off that never necessarily took itself too seriously in the first place.

That is just about all there is to say on the matter.  The game looks pretty, and with an April release date it looks like Switch owners on launch day won’t have to wait a huge amount of time before new games start to pop up.


ARMS

An unexpected entry in the list of reveals tonight, ARMS is the Rockem-Sockem Robots simulator I’m not sure anyone knew they wanted until now.  Granted, the name is a little weak, but that’s not the only indicator of a good game.

After Splatoon exploded with so much high regard in the gaming scene, it was inevitable that Nintendo would be trying more new IPs sooner or later.  So, what better time is there to try new things than with the inception of a new console?

I’m not totally sure how much there is to say about ARMS, honestly.  It looks like a fun game, even if it’s more than likely a sort of gimmicky showing-off-new-console-mechanics experience.  The trailer has some weird and admittedly sort of unsettling body morphing right off the bat as two strangers grow spring-loaded boxing gloves to beat each other up with, which does convey the idea of the new Joy-Con controller being more immersive pretty well.

The art style of the game looks pretty, conveying some strong Smash 4 and Pokken Tournament feelings, and the variety of playable characters makes for an interesting looking experience that I’m sure will be fun to play during parties.

Though I would say that it might be a missed opportunity for ARMS to not be a sequel of sorts in the Punch Out series, I would still say it looks like it should be worth the time when it comes out in the Spring.


1-2 Switch

In the same vein as ARMS from what I can tell, 1-2 Switch is a Switch launch title that’s clearly meant to show off the mechanics of the Joy-Con controller.  Like I’ve said multiple times in this little write-up, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good Nintendo party game.  1-2 Switch seems like it’ll fill the niche quite well, encouraging gameplay that forces encourages a group of friends of family to come together and let their imagination run wild.

Would I enjoy playing this game?

Yeah, I’d say so.

Do I have a lot more to say about it?

No, I do not.

Let’s move on to the big stuff then, shall we?


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Here we go, the true bread-and-butter of this presentation.  The one title so hyped up that it could only end the presentation off on the highest of notes possible.

If you weren’t excited about Breath of the Wild before, THIS is the trailer to do it.

First of all, every piece of promotion that comes out about this game just continues to floor me with how gorgeous it looks.  Yes, Zelda games have a history of being gorgeous, but they also have a history of being self-contained in a general path for you to take.

Unless you count the first Zelda, which was pretty open-ended.  And the second, which is kind of the black horse of the series in how different it is.

Okay, so the 3D Zelda games, almost everything past Ocarina of Time, all have a history of being self-contained.  However, this is the first expansive Zelda title that’s going to be open world, and the fact that it’s as beautiful as it is while feeling more real than ever is almost mind-blowing to imagine.

I gushed a lot about graphics and that sort of thing in the last post I wrote talking about Breath of the Wild last time we got a major information dump, so I’ll just leave that here and talk more about why this particular trailer soared to the top of my time-to-watch-fifty-times-in-a-row list:  Story.

We haven’t gotten a lot of clues about just what’s going to fill the world of Breath of the Wild until now.  Now that we do have a clue, it looks like this particular iteration of Hyrule, set some hundred years after an event(?) that’s called the Calamity Ganon, will be filled with the Gorons, Great Fairies, Zoras, Bird people and more that we’ve come to expect from a Zelda title.  On top of the interesting scattered dungeons, it also seems like there will be towns to explore as well, meaning Breath of the Wild won’t be entirely about being in the wild as we previously were led to believe.

But of course, what Zelda game would be complete without Zelda.  Yes that’s right, the namesake herself finally makes an appearance, and what an impression she leaves.

Not only is this game’s appearance gorgeous, it’s princess is too.  Plus, it seems as though a page is being taken out of the Skyward Sword book in terms of making Zelda a character that accompanies Link more than just on occasion, making her more of a real person in the world with emotional arcs to overcome rather than just being a damsel that’s been locked away and in need of saving.  If I had to guess just by watching the trailer, there’s going to be a period in the game where Link and Zelda get to bond over some tragedy and perhaps become friends before she’s stolen away, giving Link more of a tangible reason to go after her then he’s ever had before.

Not that he needs a serious reason like that to save the girl, but having more emotion added in is always a good thing.

Seriously, that scene where she falls into his arms crying?  That’s like my favorite part of the whole trailer.  I can’t get over it.  10/10 Nintendo, thanks for making me somehow fall in love with your game even more before it comes out.

Speaking of, Breath of the Wild has also been confirmed to be a launch title for the Switch.  On March 3, all new players will get the chance to venture into Hyrule for what promises to be the biggest adventure we’ve been given yet.  It’s really a beautiful enough thing to make me consider buying a Switch on launch day despite my better judgement.

The game may have been delayed over and over again, but I’d say the wait seems like it’s been worth it from the outside looking in.  Let’s hope it delivers.


Super Mario Odyssey

Now this was rather surprising to me.  For I believe the first time in possibly forever a Mario game is not the launch title for a Nintendo console.  Instead, Zelda gets to take the reigns this time.  Though obviously I can’t complain about that, it’s still an odd choice…

Especially considering the fact that this Mario game looks so incredibly incredible that it pretty much single-handedly sparked my excitement to life while watching the presentation.

Super Mario Odyssey, or Mario takes New York as I like to call it, is the next game in Mario’s “World” series from what I can tell.  You know, like Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U, which is still one of the best games on that system without a doubt.  In this adventure, Mario seems to be traveling more than he has in quite some time, going to places like New Donk City (referencing Donkey Kong being like King Kong in New York perhaps?), a very Mexican-inspired desert village, an Amazonian jungle and some kind of fantastical food land.  I can only assume there’s more that hasn’t been shown.

The game looks to be open world in the way Super Mario 64 was, with different areas having nice and huge sprawling areas to cover and explore as Mario goes in search of Pimp Master Bowser and Peach.  There’s a strong hat theme seeing as Mario travels around on a ship that’s shaped like a top hat, goes to Crazy Cap stores in each location he goes to.  Mario can throw his hat and let it hover like a platform for him to jump on, and he’s seen using close to any object – cars and streetlights alike – as platforms and such for the purposes of some sick parkour.

Oh also his cap is his companion.  Like that thing’s alive.  Don’t know what that’s going to entail but it does give off some strong Minish Cap vibes, so I’m A-OK with it.

It’s a little hard to express how fun the game looks without seeing the trailer, so really I’d just say watch it.  It’s hard to not have a smile on your face after it’s over.  Unfortunately, Mario’s adventure around the real world won’t be out until the 2017 holiday season, but I suppose that just gives us more time to play and wear out Zelda for everything it’s worth.

At least we have the original Mario Odyssey to keep us occupied as well.


While those are the trailers that went live last night, they weren’t the only games that were talked about during the presentation.  Probably the most complete list we’re going to get can be found up on the Nintendo website, and includes titles in the field of sports games like EA’s FIFA titles (though I personally question the viability of releasing a game based on soccer/non-American football on a system based around handed motion controls), Minecraft, a new Bomberman game, yet another port of Skyrim and more.  There are also plenty of other games in the works, and like I said before third party interest seems to be pretty high.

With a $299.99 price tag and a fairly small list of launch titles, I imagine the Switch will have a bit of a rocky start on the gaming market.  However, the system frankly looks amazing and has a large catalogue of cool-looking games on the way within the first year of it’s release.  Whether or not it will print money like the Wii is yet to be seen, but I get the feeling there’s a good chance that if Nintendo plays their cards right, it just might.

What did you think of the presentation?  Let me know in the comments below, and let me know what you think of the Switch as a whole!  While I likely won’t get it right away, and might not until the holiday season this year at least, I will say that the Switch looks like it’s going to have a long life from everything I’ve seen thus far, and I’m looking forward to getting to play it.

Especially Zelda.  I really, really need to play Breath of the Wild as soon as possible.

 

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