I’ve only owned the Nintendo Switch for two weeks now, but I’m already smitten. This is easily my favourite piece of new tech in 2017, and my favourite Nintendo console ever.
It’s not perfect by any means, but this unusual piece of hardware has already changed the way I live, and it’s brought me closer to my fiancée, who, prior to the Switch’s arrival, was never really into modern video game consoles. What’s more, this little system has tremendous potential to do even more in the future.
Here’s what I mean:
When I got home with the Switch on that first night, I couldn't wait to set up the console. My fiancée was less excited at first -- she doesn't play video games nearly as much as I do, and hadn't heard much about the Switch -- but that changed as soon as we turned on the console.
Being able to create your own customisable avatar changed my fiancée's mind on the Switch almost immediately.
Everything about the Switch experience is user-friendly. My fiancée loved being able to create two separate accounts -- she customised hers to her liking, with her own avatar and background colour -- so we could each play certain games at our own pace.
In all honesty, she wanted the two of us to create a single profile on the Switch, but since I really wanted to have my own 'Zelda' adventure, she was nice enough to accommodate my selfish desires.
As soon as we set up our two user profiles, I handed my fiancée the controller and told her I wanted to play the new 'Zelda' first.
In my world, this is the purest expression of love I can give.
I've always tried to get my fiancée into video games, especially 3D ones with complex controls like 'Destiny' and 'The Last Guardian,' but 'Zelda' is the first game to really break through to her. She absolutely loved playing 'Zelda' that first night, and has not stopped playing since. She is hooked, just like I am.
Here's my fiancée playing through the beginning of 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.'
The best part is: My fiancée is playing this game completely differently than I am. When 'Breath of the Wild' opens up after the first area and you can fully explore the massive world, I headed east, while she headed west. We're both exploring totally different regions of this beautiful, fantastic world, and sharing our experiences and tips with one another.
We're also helping each other along the way. I'm woefully bad at finding nearby shrines, but my fiancée always somehow knows exactly where I need to go and helps me get there. On the flip side, she really prefers puzzles and exploration to the game's combat, so I'll assist if she needs help fighting a difficult enemy. Teamwork!
But our enjoyment of the Switch hasn't been all about 'Zelda' -- trying out the new hardware has been an equally great experience.
My fiancée has been playing 'Breath of the Wild' exclusively on the TV, but on nights where she's fallen asleep on the couch, I've removed the Switch from its dock, plugged in a pair of headphones, and played quietly on the couch next to her.
I don't feel like I'm getting a diminished version of the Nintendo Switch when it's in portable mode -- in some ways, the game performs even better, and it feels like a more intimate experience.
That first full weekend with the Nintendo Switch, my fiancée and I hardly watched any movies or shows -- any time on the couch, or in front of the TV, was spent playing 'Zelda.'
That's been many of our nights lately, too.
My fiancée taking to the Nintendo Switch is the ultimate endorsement -- not just because she doesn't normally play video games, but also because she doesn't 'recommend' something just because she likes it. For example, earlier that same week when the Switch came out, my fiancée and I went to go see the excellent movie 'Get Out' for my birthday. We both had a great time, but when I asked my fiancée if she'd recommend it to friends, she said 'not necessarily.'
Her rationale: While she enjoyed the movie, she wasn't sure if the experience was worth the ticket price, or rushing to go see it. It will be just as good when it's available to stream online. (I disagreed, but respected her opinion.)
I challenged her on this: 'You really believe everyone should buy the Nintendo Switch, even though the only game worth buying for it right now is 'Zelda'? You wouldn't recommend waiting until later in the year for more games and a potential price drop?'
And so, you can see why I'm a fan of the Switch. 'Zelda' alone is worth the price of admission -- it's a timeless game anyone can enjoy -- and the Switch hardware is extremely viable both as a living room console and as a portable device.
It's also brought me closer to my fiancée in a new way -- we're going to play 'Zelda' for a while, and we cannot wait for 'Mario Kart 8' to drop next month, since I never tried it on the Wii U.