Opinion: The day I switched off from the Switch

We recently asked a very popular question on SA Gamer – What is your unpopular gaming opinion? Sometimes it’s fun to have an unpopular opinion. We all have our own unique tastes. I, for one, have always had a fond love for anything and everything Nintendo. I mean, let’s be honest here, there’s absolutely no secret that I’ll generally defend the big N around every corner I can, but something has recently dawned on me… and it makes me a little sad. I’m just not gelling with the Switch as so many other players are.

Last year we saw the fantastic Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 launching on Nintendo’s very popular console. These three games were moulded and sculpted in the depths of Nintendo’s Japanese headquarters. There is simply no other developer that can touch the magic Nintendo possesses. It’s tough to put my finger on what exactly it is that makes their games so wonderful and fulfilling to play, but it took the GameCube in 2003 to reignite my love for the long lost company that never seizes to amaze. Those three specific titles reminded everyone just why they are so highly regarded and why you should just never count out Nintendo. It’s this second year that has turned into a bit of a wayward thought process for me. There’s just nothing that I really want or love. I was waiting for that huge reveal at E3, as they always do, and it just never showed up. Nintendo are, as they always have, banking on their past for future success. In this particular case, it’s the Wii U.

Unbeknown to many, many, many, many gamers – Nintendo had some of the most amazing games on the Wii U. I personally call it the GameCube 2, as I regard it to be one of the best things the Japanese giant ever released. Unfortunately, most of the world never caught on and thus sales plummeted with a history I’m not going to bore you with.

No one played those wonderful Wii U games… the problem is I did, and I played what was there to death.

The time I invested into Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, LEGO City Undercover, Splatoon and more was unequalled. I spent more time on my Wii U than just about any other console in my house. With the release of the Switch, Nintendo made a focused decision to re-release many of these greats for the console and with that, we have seen many of the above-mentioned games launching on the Switch. On one side I’m so grateful that many players get to play the wonderful games that they missed out on. There is a lot to choose from, which provides most players with a great sense of variety. These games, because they are ports, are being pushed out the door faster than any new IP can ever dream of. It makes great business sense. My dilemma is that I have zero interest in re-entering those worlds all over again. I’m not really in the mood to buy Captain Toad Treasure Tracker again at full price for a game with a few extra Super Mario Odyssey levels. Playing as Funky Kong isn’t enough to pay full price for a game I played to the full extent on the Wii U. I still own the Wii U hardware and all the software, so why double-dip? Taking it on-the-go wherever I please is the only reason to buy the games again, but that is unfortunately not worth R600-R900 for me. For you, who might have sold your Wii U or never experienced it, it’s the most amazing value for money. It’s just not the case for me. Instead, I can buy brand new experiences elsewhere. Of course, there are many other games to choose from.

Doom, Skyrim, WolfensteinCrash Bandicoot N. Sane TrilogySouth Park: The Fractured But Whole (and upcoming Stick of Truth), LA Noire, FIFA and many more top AAA games have made their way to the Switch. Nintendo have not enjoyed this type of third-party support since the GameCube days. It’s incredibly good to see these publishers backing Nintendo and it fills me with delight that Switch-only owners get to play all these gems. I have however played many of these third-party experiences elsewhere in the past. There’s no reason for me to play them again unless, again, it’s something I would like to take with me wherever I go. The list of Indie games is also incredible. If you’re after an Indie game then the Switch is likely the console to own. It’s the one silver lining that’s keeping me in the game, but it’s not like you need the Switch to enjoy any of these games. Okami HD, Lumines, Ikaruga and other classics I’m interested in have launched on other platforms in the past. It’s not unique, other than the mobile aspect. I’m sure you’re seeing the point here. Nintendo is banking on the portability aspect to engage with older fans. It’s a bonus for the rest.

I’m craving Nintendo’s own IPs. There have been new Nintendo games this year in the form of Kirby Star Allies and Mario Tennis Aces, but neither game set my world on fire. Octopath Traveler is another third-party exclusive game that just recently released. I’m considering it as a possible purchase, but there’s nothing else new that is grabbing my attention. LABO is a brilliant concept, but it’s not why I personally bought the Switch. It’s not like Nintendo are sitting on their haunches and doing nothing. It’s just that I think they put all their important eggs into one basket in the first year and now we’re dealing with leftovers until we get the next big wave. It baffles me that they’ve not made any plans to ensure a good flow, as they did last year, but I also sometimes wonder how big a part the absence of Satoru Iwata plays in this speed wobble I’m witnessing. He is after all the man that had the vision and I’m sure he played a big part in ensuring they nailed that launch year of the Switch. I wonder if that vision is now missing? Are those few months following his death rearing its head now and will we see next year return to form?

I want that Starfox racing game to be real. I want to hear more about Yoshi’s new adventure. Tell me about Metroid Prime 4. Take a chance on F-Zero. Will we ever see Mario Kart 9? I mean, is this going to be the first generation where we don’t have a new Mario Kart game? Are we not going to get a new Donkey Kong experience? Can we expect brand new IPs (*looks at the greatness that was Splatoon on the Wii U*) in this generation? Let the Japanese roots flow through your veins. I want to love the Switch as much as I did the Wii U. That there are more games being carefully designed somewhere in that big white building in Kyoto, I have no doubt. I just don’t want you to be as quiet about it, because it’s now starting to hurt your die-hard fans – like me.

I find myself returning to the Switch less and less of late. I’m battling to find games to play that I’ve not played elsewhere. There are some amazing games, but I’ve played it on my other platforms. I’m hoping the next Nintendo Direct instils the satisfaction and excitement that I was expecting from E3. I’m definitely in the minority and if you’ve not owned a Nintendo console before I can’t highly recommend the Switch enough. For fans who enjoyed the Wii U generation, well, that’s perhaps a different story altogether. Chances are good that Nintendo will come back swinging in the coming months. For now, I’ll be switching off from the switch until they’re back to their best. No, unpopular opinions aren’t always fun.

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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