The Nintendo Switch: one year on

When I first laid eyes on the Nintendo Switch I had no idea that I’d be just as obsessed with it a year later, as I was the day it arrived on my doorstep. I was late to the party in terms of deciding to buy one. For the longest time, it wasn’t even on my radar. All of a sudden I started seeing it everywhere I went. Like some kind of sign. Or really good marketing. So I looked into it, fell down the rabbit hole, and that was the end of that: I had to have one.

I’ve always been somewhat of a gamer, which is often a surprising thing to learn about me: I don’t look like your typical gamer girl. I’m nearly 34 years old, for a start. I don’t have colourful hair or a YouTube channel. And, I’m terrible at combat. But, I love getting lost in alternate worlds, which is exactly what gaming gives me.

A gamer is born

My grandparents used to own one of those consoles that had hundreds of games on it. Simple games. But addictive games. My brother and I would spend ages trying to get frogs to cross rivers, or people to cross the road. There were point and shoot games, and bouncing balls off walls games. And I think that’s where my love for gaming kicked in.

During my high school years, our parents bought my brother and I a Nintendo 64. It came with two games, one of which was 1080 Snowboarding. I don’t remember the other one. We lost our little minds over that console, and borrowed games from our friends to build up our collection. He managed to score GoldenEye 007 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; while I borrowed Banjo-Kazooie from my best friend for longer than I should have! We eventually also got and loved Bomberman and Mario Kart as Christmas presents.

When adulting takes over

Gaming took a bit of a back-seat once I finished high school and moved to a new city to further my studies. I couldn’t afford to spend what little money I had on a new phone, let alone a gaming console. But whenever I went home for the holidays, I would play with my brothers’ PlayStation: Jak and Daxter, or Ratchet and Clank. Although I do remember my flatmates and I playing Crash Bandicoot for hours instead of studying or doing our assignments, at one point! I’m pretty stoked to hear that the trilogy is coming to Switch later this year.

When the Nintendo DS Lite came out in the mid-2000s, my interest in gaming was peaked yet again. I got a Pink one for Christmas, and my partner liked it so much he got one for himself, in black. We’d play Mario Party for hours on end. We’ve also always had at least one variation of a Wii, PlayStation, and/or Xbox in our house, so there has never been a shortage of gaming options at my disposal.

Enter, the Nintendo Switch

And now I’m firmly back on the Nintendo bandwagon. The Switch is life! I love how portable it is. You can literally be playing at your desk, or on your tv, and then back to portable mode without losing your place. Sure, the battery life isn’t ideal, but if you’ve been playing for 3 hours straight, you probably need to take a break anyways. On release, there weren’t many games to choose from, but now the collection is huge! The Nintendo Switch is here to stay, and I’m not mad about that.

So, I thought I would share some of the Switch games in my collection.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

By now you know how much I adore this game. One of my reasons for getting a Nintendo Switch in the first place was so I could play Breath of the Wild. I’ve been on and off for over a year now, and there is still so much for me to do! I’ve only cleared 3 of the 4 Divine Beasts, one of which I did all by myself (I’m looking at you Windblight Ganon). But, to be honest, I’m not overly concerned with beating the game. Clearly. Sometimes I spend a couple of hours just running (yes, running — I always forget to grab my horse) around Hyrule with no purpose. I constantly get distracted by Korok seeds, new locations, or characters who need my help. But that’s the beauty of this game. Yes, there is a main quest that you need to complete. But, there’s no time limit or real urgency to do so. And the landscapes are so varied and beautiful to look at, perfect for exploring.

Mario Kart: Deluxe 8

One of the best things about this version of Mario Kart is that you get access to all of the tracks, right off the bat. Amazing. It’s a lot of fun to play, and each of the tracks are so different, in terms of the landscape and difficulty. There are a lot of drivers to choose from, and you can customise your kart, getting new parts as you complete each game. I really like how they integrate characters and settings from other Nintendo games, too.

Pan-Pan

Pan-Pan was my first purchase from the Nintendo e-Shop. It’s an open plan adventure game that gives you no real instruction about what you’re supposed to do. You have to use your brain a little, and really look at what the environment gives you, in order to figure things out. I’ll admit, I found parts of this game quite challenging, and did have to refer to a walkthrough once or twice. But, when you do work something out for yourself, it’s super satisfying! Plus, the soundtrack is soothing and the graphics are so interesting. It’s a relatively short game, but one I’ll definitely try again.

October Recap

Yooka-Laylee

As a huge Banjo-Kazooie fan, I was so excited to hear about Yooka-Laylee! It first came out on the PlayStation, with a few issues to its name. The release date for the Switch wasn’t advertised for the longest time, as they worked to fix faults and get it ready for a new console. I watched Chris play on his PlayStation, but found the camera angles too awkward and uncomfortable. It made me feel seasick! So I was a little nervous to get this game for my Nintendo Switch. I read a few reviews and watched some Switch gameplay online before finally purchasing it a couple of months ago. I’ve only played it once so far, but I will say the camera is so much better than on the PlayStation. And, it’s certainly got the charm that Banjo-Kazooie held. The jury is still out on whether it will be as good, though.

Old Man’s Journey

I’m not sure if I would call Old Man’s Journey a game, so much as a story. All you really have to do is move the landscape so the Old Man can get from one place to the next. Once or twice you do have to think outside the box, but overall it’s pretty simple. And quite short. However, I loved almost everything about this game. The graphic design, the soundtrack, the Old Man’s story: all so beautiful and charming. I just wish there was more of it!

Kirby: Star Allies

I’m going to put it right out there and say that I am now officially obsessed with Kirby! I’d never actually played a Kirby game before, but I downloaded the demo on a whim and was instantly hooked. I literally went out and bought the full game the very next day. That’s the beauty of waiting until the last minute to get on board: I just so happened to play the demo the night before launch (#nailedit). I think I’m only halfway through the game, but it’s just so much fun.

What’s on the horizon?

I’d been playing Breath of the Wild for so long, that I’ve only recently started looking at what else is out there. Next on my wishlist are Mario Odyssey, Fe, Mulaka, Stardew Valley, One Eyed Kutkh, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. So, you know, my birthday is just around the corner…

On another note, I’ve been connecting with some wonderful and inspiring gamer girls on Instagram lately. There’s such a lovely and welcoming community on there, which I didn’t expect. So, you’ll probably start seeing more gaming shots show up in my feed and around these parts. Consider yourselves warned!

What about you?

Are you a Nintendo Switch user? If not, have I made you consider getting one?
What games do you like to play?

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Author: Michelle

Michelle Harvey is a kiwi traveller, writer, photographer, list-maker, coffee drinker, and wanderer. Winter holidays are her favourite kind.

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