2020 has been rough on all of us and for some reason, it hit me in a weird way. I’ve had this overwhelming feeling that if I’m not working on something that’s going to better my future, I’m wasting time. Really this means, I was focusing on this zine, work, and studying Chinese… and to be honest, I just don’t relax. Everything feels like there’s this urgent need to produce and not consume. Around the start of issue 4, I was starting to burn out. I needed something that didn’t feel like the world was ending if I wasn’t working.
I’m not the biggest gamer, again because it feels like wasting time. All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy, right? Well, I thought if I was able to skateboard for an hour outside, at least I was getting away from the computer but with winter around the corner, there’s only so might light after work to keep myself sane. I struggled really hard with deciding if I should or not, but ultimately, I folded and bought myself a Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch is the first console I’ve bought in my life, seriously. So this was a big step for me. Of course, I owned a PS2 as a child but my parents bought me that launch year for Christmas. I wasn’t even a teenager yet. I did buy myself a Nintendo 3DS, which was wonderful but I’ve never been a sit in front of the TV gamer. To say I’m a handheld gamer would be more fitting, so even thought the PS5 and Xbox something just came out, I know I’m going to be under my covers in my lonely apartment keeping warm playing with a screen glued to my eyes.
Pulling the trigger and buying it wasn’t nearly as painful as the wait for the FedEx guy to bring it to my apartment. After 3 delays, my brand new from GameStop Animal Crossing Edition Nintendo Switch arrived.
From my days of pirating, I know having 1000s of games on a single flashcard only leads to feeling overwhelmed and not playing any games at all. So I bought a single game, Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, to dip my toes into the new generation of Nintendo. From what I had read one could easily put 100+ hours in the game, that’s more than enough time to keep me entertained. So as I write this, it’s been my full experience with the Nintendo Switch and what an experience it has been.
LoZ: BOTW in short is incredible. That initial moment of exiting the shrine and seeing the wonderfully rendered barely fogged landscape from on top of that cliff my mind was blown. See the last real video game I had played was Pokemon Ruby remake, screens on the 3DS only gave you so much viewing angles. Literally, from the second I started playing the Switch, I was thinking in the back of my mind how am I ever going to go back to playing the DS with such a small screen. It blows me away that even as an adult, I played on such a small screen size. The Switch has already spoiled me. From the 15 hours I’ve put into BOTW, there are a few outstanding experiences I want to share.
First, thunder scared the crap out of me yet felt very peaceful as I waited it out. I couldn’t believe how realistic that moment felt and the sound of rain gave me goosebumps. That same oddly cozy feeling I’d get if there was one outside my apartment. Which actually is a welcoming sound as San Francisco has yet to really rain since I moved here 4 months ago.
Next, I am in love with the sound design and subtle use of music. Everything has sound in BOTW, from the trees in the wind to my footsteps or my foes, the world completely captivates me better than any video game I’ve played before. I remember playing a 3DS game called Attack of the Friday Monsters! And being blown away at the fact the environment used spatial audio but then with Pokemon Omega Ruby not even having footsteps, I was feeling rather disappointed. Idk, I must be an audio guy or something but BOTW has tickled that fancy fantastically.
Lastly, I love climbing. Again, I haven’t played console games in so long but from what I remember, games are not really that open world. GTA 3 was the biggest experience I had like that. So when everyone was saying BOTW will ruin climbing for future video games for you, I now understand it. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, just understand literally, if you can think it, you can climb it. I don’t even mind the complexity of rain added. I’m in love with the sound of the rain, so I’ve never felt irritated at the difficulty it adds to climbing.
Overall, I am very much excited to own a Nintendo Switch. I am grateful I am able to afford one and that the first game I’m experiencing is BOTW. I rarely if ever splurge on myself, but for once I am happy I did. I hope if you’re asked for one for Christmas, or you wanted one starting off the new year, you get one. It’s worth every moment.