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By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Jun, 2017 At 09:19 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch is getting a good amount of fighting games, with Ultra Street Fighter 2 having come already, and Arms having just released, with Pokken and BlazBlue coming. As well, there have been several great Neo Geo fighting games that have come to the Switch via Arcade Archives.  However, there is another fighting game coming to the Switch that people should not overlook, and that is Pocket Rumble.

Pocket Rumble is retro-inspired throwback to the Neo Geo Pocket Fighting games, and it has a lot to offer on its own, as seen in recent builds of the game. Pocket Rumble feels like it will be right at home on the Switch. It has a control scheme with a perfect setup and according to those who have played the Switch port, the game plays well the analogue stick.  Speaking of the analogue stick, this is another game that has built-in multiplayer via the Joy-Cons and that helps increase its value even more.

Pocket Rumble has a unique charm that will make it a perfect fit for a game on a Nintendo system. It combines the nostalgic feeling from a retro game along with the excitement you get from modern twists in fighting games. Some have said they feel that the art takes a little too much influence from the SNK games, but I do not feel that is a bad thing. Not too mention, you can alter the scan lines in the game, which does make the art look a lot more unique and offer more visual variety

The game’s simplified yet still intense controls are made even better with the fact that HD rumble is planned for the game to help create a more immersive experience. The multiplayer in the game promises smooth online with GGPO and the local multiplayer opportunities with the Switch will help make this game a fighter that feels like no other. Given the numerous additions since the game was shown in the Nindies direct, I feel this will be a truly epic experience.

I honestly feel this has the chance to help show that there is room for more creative and unique fighters on the Switch and I would like to see some tournaments for this game on the system. Nintendo is building up a roster of games that are outside of their usual titles for their systems and this only helps create more variety for themselves. This game is a match made in heaven.

 

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The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff

 

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RPG games are amazing and Nintendo and Camelot made one of the best series ever with Golden Sun. This is a series I have fond memories of playing, as I first played it after a relative rented it for me when I was sick. It was so different from other RPG games to me and it had such an amazing charm that others didn’t.

The series has a massive amount of fan support behind it, even more now than ever, and I feel it is the right time to revive the series. Nintendo needs a good RPG series for their library, as while Xenoblade is amazing, Golden Sun will be better for more traditional JRPG fans. That style of gaming still has a lot of support and Nintendo and Atlus did come out with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on Wii U which was in the classic style of gameplay. Golden Sun would be perfect for Nintendo to revive on the Switch, and it should remain like a the classic games but take influence from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.

Besides the fan support behind the game, there is also another reason the game would be great to revive. There is a very detailed battle system that would transition very well to modern gaming and HD resolution.  The use of summons, and stacking your attacks for more offense was a great system and the psyenergy used outside of battle to interact with the world game a strong puzzle feel to the game as well. Golden Sun has an epic scale to it, and the summons alone were enough to put this on a high level. There was also a plot that actually has a lot going for it and there were  likeable and engaging characters.

, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, ended on a cliffhanger and there is a strong demand to see where the series would go after that.  Considering that each game became more epic in scale than the last one, a Golden Sun game in HD on the Switch would be absolutely amazing.  Camelot has been somewhat low-key as of late and their last game, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash,  was a greatly  stripped down experience from their usual sports game standards. It felt like a rush job made to familiarize with HD gaming. Perhaps  it was a test to see how well to do a full HD game.  If that is the case, then hopefully a modern Golden Sun game is not an impossibility.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 May, 2017 At 01:20 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch is  a few months old now and we have still heard little about the virtual console, although we can expect to hear more at E3. I have recently realized, that the Switch has a major ace up its sleeve when it comes to the virtual console and that is a unified virtual console. The Switch is in fact the successor to both the Wii U and 3DS and will likely have a virtual console library consisting not only of games from consoles but also handhelds. This can lead to playing N64 and Gameboy games on the same system, and if Nintendo makes the right moves, Sega Genesis and Sega Game Gear games on the same platform.

Classic gaming is an increasingly big draw these days and having access to classic handheld games like the Mario Land/Wario Land series on the same platform as Majora’s Mask and Donkey Kong 64 is a major attraction.  Nintendo is actually in a  position they have never been in before when it comes to virtual console, and that is to unify their entire retro library for one system’s online service.  If they do this and also market it correctly, it will be extremely attractive for gamers who haven’t yet picked up the Switch.

Nintendo should go all out for this, they should get Sega systems like the Game Gear as mentioned but also Neo Geo  handheld systems. After all, they already have Neo Geo games on the Switch now.  By expanding the service to have as many systems as possible all in one, Nintendo can corner the market for retro gaming. I am speaking of getting Turbo Grafx-16 games at the beginning instead of the end, of getting MSX games and bringing them to a worldwide audience, and maybe getting commodore 64 games back on the system like they had briefly on the Wii. if anything else I would suggest getting classic computer games onto the service as well. Bother keyboard games and point and click games would work, especially since the Switch has a touch screen.

I truly feel that the Switch can in fact be the ultimate system for classic gaming and have the best of modern gaming as well. This is something Nintendo must look into, because it can guarantee ongoing success for the Nintendo Switch.

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does nit necessarily reflect the views of ROG or its staff.

 

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Castlevania is one of the most beloved series of all time, but has been allowed to lie in neglect for far too long. However, recent events have caused me to wonder if there is a chance to revive the series still. Nintendo worked with Konami to bring back Bomberman for the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which ended up as a major success for the two. This made me wonder if nowthat Bomberman has seen successful opening week numbers, Konami might try to work with Nintendo to revive Castlevania as well. However, there is still the issue that without IGA at Konami, a metroidvania take on the games wouldn’t be the same as before. After all, IGA is now working on Bloodstained, and I doubt he is on good terms with Konami still.

There are some possible good ways to revive the series, such as by licensing it out to Platinum Games.Hideki Kamiya and other developers there are major fans of the series, and a Castlevania game made by them would be an amazing action game, that would finally avert the nature of the 3D games to be lesser games in terms of quality. It could be the next successor to Bayonetta even, much like Bayonetta was the successor to Devil May Cry, which was influenced by Castlevania.

However, there option for who to make the game and it might be an even better choice. From Software’s Souls series is often considered the spiritual successor to the Castlevania games. In fact, it is considered the successor to both the classic and metroidvania games, and for them to get to work on the series itself would be a chance for a fresh new take on the series that would attract a new audience. From could give it a unique feel and identity,  one that merges the  feel of the souls series with the lore and feel of Castlevania. Plus they would be able to create a truly punishing game, similar to the NES games.

I feel this is a way to create a new Castlevania experience that doesn’t just retread past territory, and both of this paths offer a bold direction for the series. Either a strong action series, or a atmospheric and challenging game. This could be what Castlevania needs and I hope Nintendo and Konami agree to do something like this. It is our best hope for the series’ future.

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 26 May, 2017 At 06:48 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Switch has been out for a while now, and two of its biggest games were ports from the Wii U, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There has also been a port of Lego City Undercover and there has been speculation on more coming. Some have started complaining and feel they do not want Wii U ports as they would rather have new games and new experiences. as they see the large amount of ports on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as a bad route for Switch.

This however, somewhat misguided. The Wii U did not sell well, and most of its game have not reached a wide audience. Ports to the Switch would be an opportunity for more to experience games like Pokken Tournament, like Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, like Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze and so on. Games like Fatal Frame Maiden of Black Water and  Bayonetta 2 would be given a wider audience this way, and we could potentially see new sequels because ports do well. The fact is, the games did low numbers and they can be saved by ports.

Ports to the Switch would help by giving more games that can fill out the release scheduled and avoid droughts. Ports will likely be handled by outside parties and not Nintendo themselves, and there is nothing stopping Nintendo from releasing both new games and remasters on the Switch. I would even say that it comes off as rather selfish to not want ports and remasters, because while you may have played these games on Wii U, others may not have because of the Wii U’s sales numbers. The Switch is bringing a large new audience to Nintendo, these new players  may want to play games they may have missed on the Wii U. It just makes sense to have ports, and not doing it would be leaving money on the table. I hope you can understand where I am coming from with this. It feels elitist and reeks of snobbery to hate ports this way.

 

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The above was the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect ROG or its staff

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 May, 2017 At 09:53 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Opinion, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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LJN is one of the most reviled names in retro gaming. The publisher put out some of the worst games on the NES, SNES and other systems, but not all their games were bad. One game that tends to get a lot of hate is Back to the Future on NES but I feel this hate is unwarranted, and the game is actually nowhere near as bad as is claimed.

Back To The Future admittedly does have a bizarre way of adapting the game, and it seems to have nothing to do with the movie at first. I was one of many people who thought this until it was made apparent what I was missing. Back to the Future on NES plays much like an arcade game more than anything else, and its various levels and styles all play like something out of an 80’s arcade game. While we may remember the big names like Street Fighter, Final Fight and Smash TV, the truth is that there were many arcade games that were just like Back to the Future. When looked at in that context it becomes a lot easier to see what the developers were going for and I can appreciate it. Indeed, the levels on the streets are the most reminiscent of this style, especially with getting power-ups like skateboards and weapons. It is clear what the developers were going for, even if they didn’t hit the mark.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this is an amazing hidden gem for the NES ( though I would argue another LJN licensed game, Nightmare on Elm Street, actually is a hidden gem), and there is a difference between “not a bad game” and “a great game”. I view Back to The Future on NES as more middle of the road, nothing too bad but not anything great. I actually managed to have fun wasting time with it, and even the side levels like catching hearts or catching notes were fun. Arcade games would often have hard segments like this to guzzle more quarters, so again, I get what they were going for.

Now, I will address the major complain people have. The music is atrocious and cannot be defended as it is. The thing is, the music was not supposed to be like that. The music as composed, was a faithful 8 Bit rendition of the music from the movie. Now I have heard two explanations for what happened with the music to make it what it was. One explanation was that the music had to be licensed separately and when this was found out, it was sped up to hide it. The other explanation is that it was programed into the game wrong and it was sped up and not fixed due to the game being rushed out.

If you do not believe me about the music then listen to this

 

 

 

All in all, Back to the Future on NES cant really be called a terrible game. Its just kind of there. It can be enjoyed and for all the complaints about Marty looking weird, even faithful licensed games like Batman made strange choices in character appearances. I don’t understand the hate and I thank people like 8-Bit Eric for helping make me aware of the game’s good qualities . I encourage you to try the game again and consider it from this perspective. Just avoid Back to the Future II and III on NES, as that game is truly horrible.

 

(Thank you to Larry Bundy Jr for sharing the video above. You can check out his youtube channel here , I highly recommend it)

(Check out 8-Bit Eric’s channel here.)

The article was inspired by Cygnus destroyer ( Check him out here)

The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Real Otaku Gamer and its staff

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The Nintendo GameCube era was a time of experimentation for Nintendo. It was during this time that we got games like F-Zero GX via a collaboration with Sega, Metroid Prime and Eternal Darkness. All of these are classic games still loved by players, but there is one game that Nintendo published for the GameCube that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Geist was developed by n-Space, who were under contract with Nintendo at the time. The game went through a period of development hell and was delayed numerous times, as well as undergoing numerous revisions. What started out as a horror themed sci-fi FPS eventually became a first person horror adventure that was a bit of a disjointed mess. The game had some great ideas, such as possessing characters in order to interact with the world, but it was badly handled and was a deeply unsatisfactory experience. The thing is, some of the great ideas the game had, have been used by other games since in some form or another, including Prey to an extent, and these were handled extremely well.

Geist’s problems can be attributed to the horrible development cycle it had, and if given a new developer with a proven track record for success, the game could be rebooted and given a fresh start. There is new tech available today for game design, people are thinking outside the box, and the game’s ideas can be made into a truly epic sci-fi horror game.

But what developer/studio could revive the IP in a successful way, and that Nintendo could trust? The answer is for Nintendo to look inward, as they have the perfect studio to work on it. Retro Studios works best on games that have a western focus/appeal more to the west, and if they are not working on Metroid or Donley Kong, this would be a perfect new project for them to handle. They have the pedigree for amazing sci-fi games and are masters of intricate game design. Moreover, they have the Nintendo design philosophy down pat and can be trusted to deliver a true polished game. People were skeptical about Metroid Prime at first but it is regarded as one of the best games ever made. Their Donkey Kong games are some of the best platformers ever made and have great attention to detail to the extent that they won people over, when they were upset at the idea of Retro working on that series.

Retro could make Geist their big epic project for the Switch and create a new experience for fans. It could be what the original was supposed to be, but on a bigger scale. Moreover, Nintendo is now more open to these kind of games and given the reception many of these games have, it would be amazing for Nintendo to have one of their own, designed in-house, with a top tier developer behind it. Geist had some amazing ideas that weren’t used properly and Retro Studios is the ideal studio to take this IP and turn it into a success.

 

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The Elder Scrolls is a beloved series that has been ongoing sine the 90’s. Each game since the first one has been set in one province of Tamriel, with the second game taking place in the kingdom of Daggerfall in High Rock, the third game in Morrowind, the fourth in Cyrodil and Oblivion and the fifth in Skyrim. There has been heavy speculation that the upcoming sixth game will be set in Valenwood and this wood be excellent, but I have a different idea. To me, it makes much more sense for the sixth game to be set in Hammerfell, the home of the Redguard people.

There are many reasons that this is the case. For one, Hammerfell is a unique setting and while parts of it are desert, it also has cities, plenty of ruins both Dwemer and Ayleid and areas like mountains, and areas similar to Skyrim, and a coastal region as well. In fact, the island of Stros M’kai would be the perfect setting for DLC with a pirate theme, as it is a base of pirates according to the series lore, much like Solstheim was for Skyrim and Morrowind. As well, the Alik’r Desert itself is described in ways that make it almost a living character in its own right, much like the terrains of Skyrim. It could have some survival elements that would make things tougher than in Skyrim which should satisfy those who felt the games have become too easy.

There are enemies that would be truly unique that are established in the lore for Hammerfell like Assassin Beetles and others. These would help establish the setting and its unique nature much like Skyrim and Morrowind did. But what would the plot be? Well, following on from Skyrim, we know that the Hammerfell is in conflict with the Aldmeri Dominion and is not on good terms with the empire. Hammerfell also borders Skyrim and there has been speculation that should the next game establish that the Stormcloaks won the civil war, the Alik’r warriors might see a connection in their struggles and seek to ally with the stormcloaks. Even if the next game establishes that the imperials won, the story could also have the Empire trying to get Hammerfell to rejoin again.

The conflict with the Thalmor would be a major plot point like before, but it doesn’t need to be the only one. Hammerfell is one of the three provinces of Tamriel where the Dwemer once lived, along with Morrowind and Skyrim. Fans have been wanting a resolution to the mystery of the Dwemer for a long time, and Skyrim confirmed the Dwemer are still out there somewhere. Interestingly, the character who reveals he has seen the Dwemer, is a Redgaurd himself. This could be the game that establishes the return of the Dwemer, and positions them as a major threat much like Skyrim was about the return of the dragons.

Morrowind had the protagonist be the Nerevarine (possibly), the reincarnation of Indoril Nerevar, and the following games also had the player character have a connection to older forces ( becoming a Sheogorath, and being the dragonborn respectively). So what would this game have for its protagonist? This is actually the easiest to answer as its established that the Redgaurd have among their gods, HoonDing, the make way god, who appears when the people need him. Instead of the Thu’um as in the previous game, this game could use Sword Singing techniques that the player can learn as you progress.

As mentioned, there is a lot of potential for DLC such as island of Stros M’kai, but DLC could also be set directly in Skyrim  or at least the parts of Hammerfell controlled by Skyrim and maybe even let you fight a dragon or two.  There is a lot of potential for the game if it is set in Hammerfell. We could get a full backstory for the Redgaurd’s beliefs ( unlike in Skyrim where they used the worship of the divines) and we could see the next step of the war with the Thalmor. It would let us directly see the fallout from Skyrim, and we could see the next step of the Elder Scrolls evolution.

I hope I have made my case for it to some of you at least.

 

Let me know what you think of this idea. I would love to find out what other fans think.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 Apr, 2017 At 04:42 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, Opinion, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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God of War for PlayStation 4  is coming soon and will be set not in Greek mythology but instead in Norse mythology. This is a great way to shake things up but I do have some concerns about this.  The previous trilogy was about Kratos’ vengeance against the gods, sparked by his vendetta against Ares, the Greek god of war. Given the way media often likes to make many mythological figures similar to ones in other cultures, it makes me concerned that the developers will try and give Kratos an enmity with the Norse god of war, Tyr.

In fact, many modern fictional portrayals of Tyr use him as a villain,, and this includes story arcs in the Marvel Comics Thor series. However, this is completely wrong, and usually is the result of writers using him as an Ares stand in. To be fair, the Romans did identify Tyr with Mars when they discussed the Germanic peoples and their beliefs, but there is another issue there. Ares and the Roman god Mars were not the same figure, and in many ways Mars is incompatible with Ares. Mars was the second most important god to many Romans and was a noble god of war, a protector god and a patron of farmers. Tyr is also incompatible with the myths of Ares, since among other things, in the original Germanic myths, he was king of the gods, and it was only centuries later that the cult of Odin got more prominent and Odin became the top god. The writings of the Romans about the Germanics clearly record Tyr, referred to as Mars, as King of the god, but did acknowledge, Mercury (Odin) as an extremely popular one, albeit  only among certain warriors.

Another key point is that Tyr wasn’t the only god of war among the Norse people actually. In fact, most of the Norse gods were war gods in some form, and Odin and Freyja were two of the other important war gods. Tyr had A domain in war, and that was as the patron of soldiers, the common warriors, and of personal combat. Tyr was god of a number of things besides this however, and these include wisdom, justice, law, honor, bravery, compassion. When it came to war, he was the incarnation of the noble and protective aspects of it, and in many ways was the Norse counterpart to the goddess Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom.

An actual evil god of war for the Norse would actually be Odin surprisingly enough. Odin is thought of as the king of the god, but in truth was only really important to the nobility of the Norse people and  this was only centuries after the Germanic people met the Romans. bear in mind, most of the surviving Norse myths are from Iceland, and were written for the nobility. Odin being the top god was a result of the Nobles preferring him and having stories written accordingly. these stories were later Christianized by later writers, and many surviving stories only come from Christian sources.

The common soldiers did not generally prefer Odin and actually preferred Tyr and would dedicate their weapons to him. The farmers in turn worshipped Freyr and Thor,  who were the fertility gods of the crops. Of course Thor was also the protector god for many. Another thing that isn’t widely known about Odin was that he had many names and one of them was Oathbreaker. The breaking of oaths was big taboo is Norse culture and many sagas involved this and the damage it brought. Furthermore, as mentioned Tyr’s domain in war was of the common soldier, and the protective aspects of war, but Odin’s domain was the berserkers and the destructive aspects of war . The goddess Freyja was also associated with destructive aspects of war and was noted for her blood thirst, similar to the Morgana.

Odin just makes far more sense to be the overall villain right from the beginning of the new series.. He did many bad things in the myths that he later suffered for and can be easily argued as outright villainous.  His actions, many of which were to prevent Ragnarok, actually caused it, and he often made life worse for many. It should be noted, that he was originally a death god, but his domain there was not of honorable death. Tyr was noted for being the bravest of the gods and did the things no one else was willing to.

As a history buff, and a mythology nerd, I hope the writers have properly researched the myths and don’t just take the easy route. Norse myth is very interesting and full of grey and grey morality. It had a very different value system than the Greeks, but at the same time, a lot of it is misunderstood. I hope I have cleared up some of it here.

By Jessica Brown On 24 Apr, 2017 At 09:52 AM | Categorized As Editorials, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch | With 0 Comments

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When the Nintendo Switch was first announced last fall, I thought it was a nifty looking device although I wasn’t sure that I’d rush out to buy one on release day. I made the decision not to pre-order the console, but as March 3 approached I decided I did want to pick one up. I stayed up until midnight Eastern refreshing the Walmart website and managed to snag a Nintendo Switch with Neon Red/Blue Joy-Cons and get it checked out within a couple minutes.

The new console arrived that next Monday, March 6, and it was here that my strange, frustrating adventure began.

Before I go into any more details, I’d like to point out that I agree with the Nintendo Customer Service Representatives that I spoke to who assured me that my issues represented less than 2% of customers and that the Nintendo Switch is a solid gaming platform. I’m sharing these experiences with you because they are interesting, but please don’t let them dissuade you from buying this awesome device!

Because I was busy most of the week that the console arrived, it took me several days to finally unpack the device and get it set up. Set up was actually pretty fast and went without a hitch, but not long after getting into playing around with the system I noticed that the docking station was acting up. While connected to the TV via HDMI, the signal would drop out every once in a while and refuse to come back. Also, the Switch would not consistently be charged while docked, sometimes running off of A/C power and at other times running off of battery. I also noticed that the dock was a very tight fit for the console, running the risk of scratching up the screen.

Thankfully, Walmart has a pretty awesome return policy, so I packed up the system and brought it to one of my local stores. Sadly, they didn’t have any Nintendo Switch consoles in stock and they were unable to order a replacement one for me, so I was forced to accept a refund. While I was originally set on getting a console that came with the neon controllers due to their uniqueness, I was able to come to terms with getting one with the grey Joy-Cons and eventually tracked down a second Switch.

Happy that I was able to get a second system while many were scouring the Earth just trying to get their first one, I soon set up this new Switch and started enjoying it…Only to discover that the console’s screen would randomly cut off while in tablet mode. Because the Switch would still output audio, I figured that there was something up with the display and this, too, ended up having to be refunded.

I decided to take a short break from trying to get a working system, having started to get burned out on the process. Eventually, though, I got restless and decided to take one more crack at it. I actually managed to track down two consoles this time at two nearby stores, deciding to sell one online at a very reasonable price and keeping the other for personal use. The one I kept worked out great for a week or so of playing it almost exclusively while docked, but once I disconnected the tablet for an extended period of time I noticed that it was unable to maintain a charge, going from 100% battery down to around 25% in about 20 minutes.

Nintendo’s Customer Service was profusely sorry the few times that I contacted them during this adventure and made sure to assure me that less than 2% of Nintendo Switch consoles had experienced any major issues like these. They said that it was probably a matter of stores in my area having gotten an unfortunate batch of products in and when I asked them if I should try to track down a fourth system, the last representative I spoke to said he would probably give it a few weeks or so to iron out any further problems.

I don’t believe that I’ve ever returned a game console in the past, let alone returned one more than once. I think the fact that I returned the Nintendo Switch three times is a testament to the fact that I think this game console has a lot of potential. Honestly, it’s the first home console that I’ve been excited about in over a decade and the first I bought on launch day since the GameCube came out back in 2001. I’d really like to get a brand-new, working Nintendo Switch that comes with the neon Joy-Cons, and I guess I’ll just have to be patient while I wait to find one.

Meanwhile, Link has gone back to his chamber in the Shrine of Resurrection and is waiting for that fateful day when I will return to set him free…