I’ve been thinking this for a while but haven’t had the intestinal fortitude to say it out loud since it’s like saying I hate puppies or kittens or something.
I regret purchasing the Nintendo Switch.
I’ll credit Scopique at Levelcapped for giving me the courage to say it out loud! He’s in danger of feeling the same thing.
I’m not faulting the hardware or the software. I’m not saying the Switch sucks or the games suck. They’re just not a good fit for me personally.
Reason 1: I didn’t buy the Switch to use it as a handheld and really that’s what it is. When you connect it to a TV it just doesn’t stack up to the PS4 Pro or even the Xbox One, in terms of horsepower or features. That’s OK though since it is primarily a handheld system and it crushes other handheld systems. I just don’t do much handheld gaming.
Reason 2: I can’t find a game I like. I bought Arms and played it once. I guess I need to give it another chance. It was fun to play until I hit a chokepoint I couldn’t get past even on the easiest level. I had a Skillshot challenge I just couldn’t beat. Still I haven’t written Arms off completely yet.
Then there is Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Before I bought the Switch it seemed like EVERYONE loved this game. I mean like “best game of all time” levels of love. I was skeptical initially but all the good will finally converted me and I was really curious to see what this game was all about.
So really, I bought the Switch to play Zelda.
And I don’t like Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’m not saying it’s a bad game: clearly many many people LOVE it. It just doesn’t do very much for me. Whenever I play it, I roam around aimlessly, don’t feel like I’ve progressed much when I’m done, and set the game aside feeling bad that I’ve wasted my time playing it for no reward. Progression is the key word here and I’ve already talked about it at length on this blog. People who love Zelda seem to love exploring and finding the next vista over the hill is reward enough for them. For me it isn’t, at least in a game.
And the rewards SUCK.
Here’s an example. Someone told me to always use my Magnet Rune to check lakes for chests. So I opened the game one day and I was near a lake and did that and low and behold there was a chest at the bottom! But my rune’s ‘magnet-ray’ couldn’t reach it. However there was a raft nearby. I got on the raft. You power rafts by waving a palm frond at their sails, and fortunately I did have a palm frond. So, saying FU to physics, I propelled myself out into the lake until I was over the chest. Now I could “grab” it with my Magnet rune. I lifted it out of the water but couldn’t seem to place it on the raft..I couldn’t target the ground so close to me it seemed. And I couldn’t reach the shore with it. So I pushed it out as near to the shore as I could and dropped it. Then I blew myself and the raft over to it, this time fighting a current/cross wind. Repeated the process and almost got it to shore. Got it close enough that I could get off the raft and stand on shore and ‘Magnet-levitate’ the chest to the sand. Woohoo!
And I open the chest and… there are 5 arrows in it. FIVE FUCKING ARROWS! I know that the way I am SUPPOSED to feel is “How cool was it that I could use that raft and that palm frond and my magnet rune together to get that chest off the bottom of the lake! Emergent gameplay YAY!” but that’s not the way my brain works. My brain is all about compensation. I am a material boy. I did this work and my ‘pay’ was 5 stupid arrows. I shut off the Switch in disgust.
And that’s not a unique example. That happens ALL the time. See a camp of baddies guarding a chest? Let’s go slaughter them even though they’re not bothering anyone (monsters in BotW seem to exist just to be slaughtered). So I kill them all, open the chest and voila! A rusty claymore just like the one laying in the grass a quarter mile down the road that I didn’t even bother picking up. I guess I can collect the bones, guts and horns of the poor monsters I killed to get this piece of junk. Some psycho-villager will pay good money for monster guts.
Anyway I’m ranting about Zelda. Sorry.
The funny thing is, after I admitted on Twitter that it wasn’t grabbing me, there were a good few folks who admitted it hadn’t grabbed them either. I wish they’d said so before I bought the Switch!! LOL
Reason 3 I regret the Switch: The games are expensive since the system is still in such demand. There’s no reason to discount anything I guess. For instance I thought about picking up Disgaea 5 for the Switch since a turn-based tactical game seems like something I might play in handheld mode, but it’s $60 on the Switch and $40 on the PS4. Eventually this will change (I hope) and games will start getting discounted, the system is just too new/in-demand for that to happen yet, I guess.
So yeah, wish I’d held off on the Switch. I’ve considered selling it but I still hold out hope for 2 games. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn-based tactical game coming in August from Ubisoft and it looks good. Looks like Xcom if Xcom was Mario characters vs Rabbids. And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is coming this holiday and it looks really good too.
So hopefully by the end of the year my buyer’s remorse will be gone and I’ll be digging my Switch as much as the Zelda-fans love theirs. But for now I can’t help thinking the $400+ I spent on Switch, Pro Controller and Zelda could have been better spent elsewhere.