Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
The biggest news in this week’s IRL wrap-up is that I caved and bought a Nintendo Switch. I had read a few tweets saying that GameStops nationwide received a new shipment, so I gave my regular store a call. Much to my surprise, they had a few in stock!
I traded in NieR: Automata, The Last Guardian, Gears of War 4, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and picked up the gray model Switch and a physical copy of The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ for $250 total. Since its reveal, I’ve been dead-set on getting the neon model, but my willpower is garbage.
I’ll save my impressions for a separate post, but the TL;DR version is that I’m really enjoying myself and think it’s an incredible piece of technology.
I started The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild yesterday, which I didn’t really care for during the first hour. Weapons are basically made of glass, which was incredibly frustrating, but it eventually became something I could cope with after finding a steady supply of more durable armaments.
5 hours in, though, I think it’s absolutely incredible.
The world design, aesthetic, and sheer sense of exploration is something I haven’t felt in a Zelda game since the original on NES. Everything you need to progress is unlocked within the first few hours, and the world becomes your oyster from that moment forward. I love it.
I am struggling a bit with the button mapping, though. Nintendo has always done their own thing, so I’m not surprised at Breath of the Wild’s lack of modern button placement and the inability to change them. When I want to dodge I accidentally hit sprint. Even after swapping the two (which is the only customization option) I still forget which is which. It’s not just learning a different button placement than I’m accustomed to, but learning to use a brand new controller.
Right now I’m just exploring, hunting for shrines (which are like bite-sized mini-dungeons), and getting acclimated with the Switch’s Joy-Con controller grip. The right analog seems to be in a weird place if I play Zelda undocked from the television. I’ve played it that way for about an hour and it just never felt comfortable. I could see it being great for games that don’t heavily rely on the right analog stick, and it may even feel more natural as time goes on, but right now I definitely prefer Zelda either docked on the TV or undocked, propped up with the Switch’s kickstand, and the Joy-Con detached and used as a traditional controller via the grip handle.
Outside of Breath of the Wild, I spent about 5 hours with Mass Effect: Andromeda this morning. I’ve already gone in-depth about why it’s been a struggle to remain invested so I won’t repeat myself here, but man, it’s incredibly dull. That pains me to say as a fan of the original trilogy. The narrative is delivered in this emotionless tone and it’s accompanied by some of the most awkward facial expressions I’ve seen in a big-budget AAA title.
Like I said in my post, it reminds me of that feeling you get when you watch a modern remake of one of your favorite childhood films. It never truly feels like a part of the series, but rather something created by a group simply inspired by the source material. Andromeda has yet to brush on what made the series so special, and that’s unfortunate.
I don’t think I’ll give Andromeda much more time, either. 2017 is completely stacked with interesting releases and I just don’t have time for mediocrity. I should start getting Switch review keys here shortly, I’ve barely scratched the surface in Breath of the Wild, recently picked up Horizon: Zero Dawn and Tales of Berseria before finding a Switch, and Toukiden 2 is currently in transit via GameFly. I’d much rather be doing something else.
My weekend is already occupied by school work, so I’m not sure how much gaming I’ll actually get in, but I look forward to revisiting Breath of the Wild as soon as possible.
What about you folks? What are you getting into this weekend?