Can’t Stop Thinking About Nintendo Switch!

Hey folks, Matt here. I had the sudden urge to write about a few places that have written solid coverage of the Nintendo Switch and its launch day, which is rapidly approaching! We are 32 days until launch, March 3rd, and I am very excited to get my hands on the system. I’ve been reading system impressions, thoughts on the new control inputs, and have watched a few of the new game trailers numerous times; most notably Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s newest trailer, which I’ve probably seen at least 7 times by now. The music is so good!

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Anyway, I wanted to give a shout-out to a couple of sources that have provided me with ample information to satiate my hunger for Switch knowledge. First up is a NeoGaf user who attended PAX this year, and was able to get a thorough hands-on of the system and its upcoming games. I’ll link his blog post right here, it’s a great read and there’s a few pictures provided to break up each paragraph.

One of my most anticipated titles of this year is Splatoon 2, and as a big fan of the first game, the sequel looks to expand upon everything I enjoyed about the original Splatoon. Being able to see your teammate’s loadouts at the top of the screen during matches is a nice touch, and all of the new special weapons and maps that they’ve shown off look very fun. Also, the ability to change weapons mid-match is a long overdue but welcome addition. With this in mind, this post from a different NeoGaf user with extensive information on Splatoon 2 has got me thinking about the exciting possibilities that the game holds. I’ll link the post right here.

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Lastly, I’d like to mention a YouTube channel that has recently got me hooked. The channel, known as Spawn Wave, has posted some interesting videos about the Switch, as well as other gaming news, and it’s helped the wait for March 3rd feel a bit less painful. Definitely give this channel a shot if you’re interested in some casual discussion about recent Switch news!

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope you’re all having a great weekend, and an even better time waiting for Switch goodness.

Thanks for reading!

  • Matt

THOUGHTS ON: Nintendo Switch – The Lead-Up to Launch

Hey everyone, hope all of you are doing well. I have to admit, after writing my last blog post, I felt relieved to get some of my personal thoughts off my chest. I don’t often share that sort of stuff, and I think writing it down helped me a lot, so thanks to anyone who read it.

Anyway, let’s get moving on to the next topic! This one is all about the Nintendo Switch.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the huge blow-out event for the Nintendo Switch recently aired, showing off plenty of new information about the system. We got to hear about the launch line-up, system price, future software, and system features. However, I’m not going to go into the general specifications here, because plenty of other outlets have already reported on it. Instead, I’m just going to provide a few of my thoughts on the system and its potential in Nintendo’s future.

My first feeling after the presentation concluded could be described as disappointment. The launch day software was thinner than I anticipated, and the pricing of accessories to compliment the Switch appear more expensive than any of us had imagined. I still hold these same feelings of disappointment on accessory pricing, but the price of the system itself is pretty much what I expected. I’m still impressed at the sort of technology that Nintendo was able to cram into the device. My thoughts on the system overall have remained positive. If the software that Nintendo promised for 2017 remains on lock to release this year, then we have a strong first year coming to the Switch. Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Arms, Xenoblade 2, and more titles in addition to these making their way to the system in the first year would be a huge gain for Nintendo. I’m very happy with the software that has been shown to be coming soon, but it all depends on if Nintendo stays true to their word and releases these games on time.

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More than delaying these games until a later date, there is something else that worries me about the Switch. It isn’t the hardware pricing, the lack of free online multiplayer, or a drought of software; it is the potential that Nintendo will decide to create another dedicated handheld device. Until the presentation’s debut, the Switch had been marketed extremely well by Nintendo, and made many of us believe that this new system would replace both the home console and handheld system line for Nintendo’s future. This is a move that I’ve been waiting years for; no longer do people have to shell out money for multiple systems in order to play Nintendo’s newest software. All they would need is a Switch purchase, and boom, they’ve got a nice lineup of Nintendo’s catalog available. However, if Nintendo feels that the Switch is not selling well enough, they may feel tempted to come up with a secondary system, one that focuses exclusively on handheld games, as opposed to the Switch’s capabilities as a home console and a handheld system. In my opinion, this would be the worst decision that the company could make with the Switch. Although I still plan on purchasing a Switch day one, (I have a pre-order locked in) I would still feel annoyed if a new system were to be introduced, after Nintendo’s heavy messaging that this system is the best of both worlds. With all of Nintendo’s efforts focused on the Switch (and for some months to come, the 3DS) the company would be able to direct all of their team’s’ efforts toward developing games on that system, instead of dividing software between a handheld and home console. In theory, this would give the system a steady stream of new software, convincing more people that the Switch is worth purchasing, and reassure them that they don’t need to buy a second system in order to enjoy all of Nintendo’s offerings. It’s too early to tell if Nintendo will double down its efforts on the Switch, foregoing their traditional handheld offerings, but I certainly hope they remain solely focused on the Switch and bring even more compelling games to the system.

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The slow trickle of information since the presentation’s conclusion has made the wait for March 3rd all the more difficult, but it won’t be long now. Despite some of the negativity in this post, I am looking extremely forward to launch day. Right now I’ve only got Zelda and Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + planned for purchase, because, well, the other launch day offerings don’t cater to my interests. Still, if there’s any game that I’ve felt is worth buying a system day-one for, it’s Zelda. Binding of Isaac is also a nice plus, because I never got around to playing the latest two expansions. Having sunk many hours into both original Isaac as well as Rebirth, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new.

How do you feel about the Switch? Plan on picking one up soon, waiting for the game software to grow, or never plan on buying it? Feel free to let me know! Thanks for reading, guys.

  • Matt

About Me, Nintendo Switch, and What I’ve Been Playing

Hey folks, Matt here. I realize I’ve been absent from here a little while now – that appears to be becoming the norm! Hopefully that won’t be the case this time. However, I wanted to elaborate on why I tend to disappear from time to time. In a bit of a selfish way, it’ll also be a cathartic experience for myself writing about my past and present.

 

I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I’ve visited multiple therapists, each one providing a growing experience for me as I’ve found it easier to talk about my personal thoughts and feelings. I think a lot of people underestimate how difficult it can be for others to open up about their personal issues – it isn’t always a simple thing to do, because people are complex. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in our minds; some of it is triggered by external events or difficulties in life, and other times, people just feel upset or stressed out for seemingly no reason (myself included). These are difficult things to deal with, but therapy and prescribed medication has brought me a long way since I first started seeing my most recent therapist.

 

My lowest point was a few years back, with what feels like a lifetime ago. In 2014, I lost nearly every friend that I had made during my time spent away from home at university. I had worked hard to maintain friendships that I thought would last for years to come because of how strong they felt, but it all came crashing down in the early months of 2014. Without going into detail, to put it simply, I felt I had been betrayed by the people I spent many days laughing and confiding personal thoughts with. I began failing my courses, consumed with an overwhelming feeling of dread and sadness in the state I found myself in. Where I once felt I belonged in a community of people who accepted me, I felt isolated from nearly everyone I had come to know.

 

There were a couple of people who stuck with me, despite my low point, and I won’t soon forget what they did to help me. I wish I could again express my appreciation to them for their support during my rough point. If you’re reading this, I hope you know who you are!

 

A quarter of the way through the Spring semester, I decided to drop out of university, because I did not want my grades to suffer. My family was very supportive of this decision, and I have lived at home since then, slowly gaining a stronger feeling of confidence and working hard at giving myself a better mindset. I have accepted that the people I once knew will most likely not show up in my life again, and embraced it. Making new friends is challenging, but I know there are assuredly people out there that are willing to get to know me, as I would for them. It’s all about finding the people you can connect with, and sticking with ‘em.

 

Anyway, to wrap this up, I still deal with anxiety and depression, but I have significantly improved since my days away at school. I’ve held a couple of stressful jobs that have built character, dealt with loss and betrayal, and grown in more ways than I expected. All I hope is that the coming days will provide even more growing experiences with plenty of opportunity around each corner.

So! Moving that personal stuff to the side… I watched the Nintendo Switch presentation last night. It started at 11PM EST for me, as I live in the tri-state area.

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Some quick thoughts: Overall, I feel a bit disappointed. The Switch still looks to be a compelling piece of hardware, with some solid hit games on the horizon (Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2 are some of my biggest anticipated Nintendo titles) but I’m concerned about the lack of compelling launch software. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild almost makes up for other compelling games at the system’s release, and I’m very surprised and pleased by the March 3rd release date, but I was hoping we would see Mario Kart 8: Deluxe show up alongside Zelda, or possibly Arms make its debut sooner than Summer of 2017. Despite this, I still feel somewhat tempted to grab a system Day One, and thankfully I was able to secure a system pre-order at my local Best Buy earlier today. I don’t yet know if I’ll go through with the final purchase, but we’ll see how I feel leading up to launch.

 

The price of new joy-con and the pro controller is disappointing, and the news that Nintendo will begin charging for online multiplayer is something that I was most afraid to hear. I fear that Splatoon 2’s online community will suffer because of the forced paywall to access the online portion, but only time will tell if people are willing to cough up more money to play online.

 

Thankfully, other Nintendo games like Mario and Zelda don’t appear to require online multiplayer capabilities to be enjoyable, so they won’t rely heavily on the online connectivity as much as Splatoon 2 most likely will, from early indication.

 

So, to summarize:

 

Pros:
– Cool future software (Mario, Splatoon 2, Arms)

– Earlier release date than I expected

– Zelda hitting Day One

– $300 price point is about what I expected

 

Cons:

– Eventual online multiplayer paywall

– Lack of compelling software beyond Mario, Splatoon 2, and Arms (where is Pikmin, Metroid, Retro Studios’ new game, or other new IP?)

– High price of additional peripherals ($70 for a pro controller $80 for a new set of joy-con sounds a bit absurd)

 

Overall, it was an okay presentation, not as great as I was hoping. At least we have a city in Super Mario Odyssey named New Donk City. I enjoy the silly names that Nintendo gives their in-game locations and characters.

 

Bye for now! I hope to post again this weekend.

 

Oh, almost forgot to mention. I’ve been playing a lot of Final Fantasy 15. The music is super good. Fun game so far, I’m on chapter 11, and look to finish it very soon. I’d like to write a review upon finishing it.

Oh yeah, and I continue to be engrossed by Titanfall 2’s multiplayer portion. I’m up to my eighth regeneration. Help. All right, bye now, for real!

lego-titanfall

  • Matt

Black Friday 2016 Pickups!

Hey everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great Thanksgiving and found yourselves some sweet deals this holiday – I know I’ve found a few solid sales on games I’ve had my eye on, which I’ll talk about here.

Oddly enough, I haven’t actually bought any hard copies of games or anything – all of my shopping so far has been digital and been worth much less than what I’ve spent in previous years. This is a bit of a change of pace for me, so I usually hop for physical media. Anyway, let’s get into it!

  1. Mad Max (PS4)

    mad-max

I’ve had my eye on this game for what feels like ages. The only reason I didn’t pick it up sooner was due the game releasing on the same day as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain from last year, and at the time, my level of excitement for MGSV was through the roof. As a huge Mad Max fan, and after having watched Mad Max: Fury Road about six times, I’m looking forward to seeing what the game has to offer; and at $7.99 on the PlayStation Store, I couldn’t resist.

  1. Mega Man Legacy Collection (PS4)

    mega-man

I’ve been looking at this one for a while, in addition to Mad Max. Having never fully beaten Mega Man 2, I knew this was my best chance to finish that game and experience the other classic games in the long-running series. The only other Mega Man games that I’ve played and completed are Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, so I’ve got some experience in the blue bomber’s field of platforming.

  1. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 (PS4)

    pac-man

I played the demo for this game when it launched, and absolutely adored what it has to offer. The rapid speed of Pac-Man and the ghosts sprinting across each stage gave me a feeling of adrenaline that nowadays few games can achieve, which is why I’ve questioned until now why I didn’t download this game sooner. Despite this, the game is very solid, as I expected. After playing about an hour or so the other day, I only have one gripe – so far, it seems as if the only notable music track in the game is the first track, with the others sounding rather bland. I could be wrong, as I have yet to finish the game, and I’m hoping the rest of the music can reach the high bar that the first track achieves.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (3DS)

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Okay, okay.. When I said earlier that I was waiting to play Mad Max for what felt like ages, that is nothing compared to how long I’ve felt waiting to play this game. Link’s Awakening has always been in my backlog, but for some poor reason or another, I kept pushing it off and forgetting to start the game up. Well, I noticed on the Nintendo eShop that it was offered for just a couple of bucks, and I couldn’t say no. After playing a little bit of the game, I can already tell that I’ll enjoy this one. I’m a bit of a sucker for Game Boy titles because I grew up in the era of Gameboy Color games, and fondly remember the simple graphics and pixel music.

  1. Battlefield 1 (PS4)

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So I have not actually began playing this game, because it hasn’t arrived on my doorstep quite yet. I saw Amazon was offering the PS4 version for $27, and after hearing a bunch of praise for both the campaign and the tried-and-true Battlefield multiplayer, I knew I had to dive in. I invested a lot of time into Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, so I was rather cautious leading up to this game’s launch. I decided not to spring for it at release, instead grabbing Titanfall 2 (which I think is for the best – like I mentioned in a previous write-up, that game is VERY good!) but now I’m looking forward to playing the newest entry in this long-running series. I’m still in awe that a World War 1 first-person shooter was created for the triple-A video gaming market in 2016; if you told me a few years ago during the modern military shooter craze that EA, of all companies, would be doing this in 2016, I’d have called you crazy. Doesn’t make me any less happy about this fresh territory for the shooter market!

Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Perhaps some upcoming deals on Monday will pique my interest.. We’ll see! Let me know if you picked up anything this past Friday or across the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Again, thanks for reading. Buh bye for now!

  • Matt

Tattoo Talk

Hi everyone, how’s your week going so far? I hope yours is going well, because I’ve been in a surprisingly positive mood the past few days. Classes are going fine, the family is doing well, and I’ve been playing some very fun games, so life is pretty okay right now.

I wanted to write today about something big that happened a while ago which I hadn’t previously mentioned. As you could probably tell from the title of this post, I got a tattoo! I’ve had it since March 20th of this year, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I didn’t mention this sooner because, well, I haven’t posted an update here in a while.

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Zelda is one of my favorite game series of all time, right next to Metal Gear, Mario, and Uncharted, and for the past year and a half prior to March, I had been thinking about how cool the Hylian Crest would look as a tattoo on my upper right shoulder. I took the plunge with a friend of mine, who also wished to get a tattoo (although her’s was in a different spot – on her ankle. Probably not the best first tattoo location!)

Overall, it was a great experience for the both of us. It was very liberating to decide for ourselves what we wanted changed about ourselves, and having a friend alongside while receiving the tattoo made the experience a little less stressful. I think the artist did a great job with the tattoo, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Side note: It took quite a long time for the hair on my shoulder to grow back, because they have to shave any hair that would be blocking the tattoo’s location. No problem with that, but I thought it was funny, considering I’m a rather hairy guy who’s hair usually grows back at a rapid pace.

In other more recent events, the new Overcooked additional levels released yesterday. I did not realize until their arrival that new DLC was going to be available, and upon downloading the new levels I immediately called up my friend and told him about the additional kitchens to cook within. He showed up at my place very shortly to play cooperatively! Suffice to say, the game is a great deal of fun, and while the add-on content is short, it offers even more Overcooked action, which I can’t get enough of.

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I’ll wrap things up here. I hope things are going well with all of you fine readers. Bye for now! Feel free to follow me on Twitter if you want to hear more of my dumb thoughts about video games, the industry itself, or general ramblings.

Once again, thank you for reading.

  • Matt

THOUGHTS ON – Titanfall 2

I was originally going to do an entire write-up of both the single player and multiplayer of Titanfall 2, spanning two written pieces each containing the best and worst things that each one accomplishes. However, after several days of being unhappy with what I’ve written each time I sit down at the computer, I think a change in the style of this write-up is necessary.

Instead of writing a traditional review of the game, I’ll just talk about the pros and cons of Titanfall 2 that stand out to me. With that said, I’m not entirely sure if this should even be filed within the “review” category or not… Maybe an opinion piece is more appropriate. Anyway, here we go!

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The shooting feels solid, running and jumping between walls makes you feel like a badass, and grappling onto titans to rip out their batteries is satisfying, both in single player and multiplayer. I was wary of using the grappling hook leading up to release, but the combination of sprinting, wall-running, double-jumping, and grapple-hooking makes for an exhilarating set of abilities given to you, with even more traversal options available aside from the ones I mentioned.

I think the best way to define the moment-to-moment gameplay of Titanfall 2 is to describe it as a mix between the solid shooting of Call of Duty, the parkour acrobatics from Mirror’s Edge, and throw in giant robots controlled by humans and robots alike for good measure. Obviously there are many mechanical differences than just the ones described, but if I had to describe Titanfall 2 in a single sentence, that would most likely be it. Throughout the campaign, you’ll pick up temporary gadgets or abilities that help define each level, and each one stands out well in my head, even after playing the campaign only once. I’ll be doing a second playthrough in the near-future.

By now, the people who are interested in Titanfall 2 probably know most, if not all of the details surrounding the game, so I’ll just mention one more point here.

The addition of boss fights in the game’s campaign is, in two words, fucking awesome.

Each new boss shit-talks you, Jack Cooper, as well as your titan, BT-7274. I wish each boss was more fleshed out, especially due to some of them only having a few voice lines before being decimated by you and your titan. However, their addition makes each chapter more memorable, and made me look forward to what the next boss brought to the table. The only major complaint I have about the boss fights involves the second to last boss encounter, against a guy named Viper. This guy is my favorite of the bunch, but also the most frustrating. The difficulty spike between him and the other bosses feels a bit off, because the rest of the boss encounters is not too difficult. However, Viper required many tries for me to best him. Side note: my first playthrough of Titanfall 2 was on the hard difficulty mode. The game felt very-well balanced during this experience, aside from the boss fight that I just mentioned.

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All right, I have to end this write-up before I go mad. I’ve had difficulty over the past week writing up my thoughts on why I enjoy Titanfall 2 so much, but this is a quick summary of what I enjoyed. I’ll be writing another post this week on something that I’ve been meaning to mention for a little while now, so I’m looking forward to that! I hope that if you’ve made it this far, you’re looking forward to my new piece as well.

Well, that about does it. I hope your week is great, and take care! Thank you for reading.

  • Matt
im-back

I’m Back! Including Thoughts On the Nintendo Switch

Hi everyone! Long time, no see. After a long hiatus, I’m back and will be writing and uploading new blog posts on this page. I don’t know if anyone who previously visited my posts will still be here and have interest in checking out my new thoughts, but if you are, I appreciate your contribution.

To anyone new here, welcome! Thanks for taking the time to check out my WordPress blog. As you can tell from my profile biography, I enjoy talking about and discussing topics within the gaming industry, but occasionally I’ll post news about my personal life here as well. Enjoy!

Anyway, onto my main topic of discussion. The recently revealed Nintendo Switch, formerly known as the NX. If you weren’t aware, the long-famous video game company Nintendo announced their newest foray into the console (and handheld!) gaming space with their first-ever showing of the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console/handheld that looks to bridge the gap between people that enjoy playing games on the go, as well as those who prefer to sit on the sofa in front of a television.

n-switch

Although the Switch been discussed everywhere across the internet the past few days, I just want to give a couple of quick thoughts about the system and the potential it holds for the future. This is, if you ask me, the best direction Nintendo could have taken for their newest console. With this reveal comes the assumption that the DS line of systems is finished with the 3DS, and the Wii line of home consoles will be coming to a close as well. That means Nintendo will have one platform to focus on, developing all of their titles onto the home console and handheld hybrid, allowing all Nintendo fans to play every game they release (excluding the mobile-exclusive Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Super Mario Run games they have releasing for iPhone and Android). Actually, I could be wrong on that front; maybe Nintendo plans to release all of their mobile games onto the Switch as well. It’d make sense, given that the system can be considered a portable device, but the release of those games on other platforms remains to be seen.

Anyway, I think the shift in focus from two systems like with the 3DS and Wii U to just one gaming device, the Switch, marks a turning point for both Nintendo and its fans. No longer do fans have to justify buying one system over the other, and hopefully this means that the company can keep a steady release window of games on the system, avoiding software droughts that the Wii and Wii U have faced.

There are still a lot of details I’d like to hear, including battery life of the system, what games will be available on launch day, the extent of local and online multiplayer, and of course, the price of the final unit. All of this will come early in 2017, I believe, from Nintendo’s recent claims that the three minute trailer we’ve seen will be all that will be shown in 2016. This is a bit of a bummer, because we’re all excited to hear more about the system, but I trust Nintendo knows what they’re doing. The company seems very bullish about their new foray into the HD console/handheld space.

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In closing, I’m very excited to hear more about the Nintendo Switch, and although it isn’t a guaranteed sale from me quite yet, I’m very impressed by what Nintendo has shown off so far. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Thank you for reading.

  • Matt