Kieran Fifield’s brave new world
Dawn of the final day
March 3rd, 2017. Every detail of that morning is embedded in my brain, every memory as vivid as if it were only yesterday. My significantly better half was seven months pregnant, our first child imminent, as she entered the final few weeks of work before her maternity leave began.
On the morning of Friday 3rd March however, I was awaiting a new arrival of an altogether different nature. Nothing creates excitement quite like the launch of a new console. After months of hype and anticipation, the Nintendo Switch was finally on it’s way. My phone was in a constant state of refreshment as I meticulously tracked it’s trajectory. I had actually ordered two units, along with two collectors edition of Breath of the Wild- one for myself and one for a friend. He arrived around 9.30 AM and in his own inimitable style, had brought all the ingredients required for Tacos – because who doesn’t like Tacos for brunch!!
We sat down with my faithful Wii U, also a launch day pick up; albeit from a much darker time, and engaged in a few rounds of Mario Kart 8. By 11 AM, there was still no sign of either the mail lady, or the cumbersome brute from Amazon, so we set about making our Tacos. Half an hour later, just as the impressive and utterly gluttonous spread had arrived on the dining room table, there was a loud knock on the door. I’m not ashamed to say, I audibly yelped as I opened the door, signed for package and headed back to the dining room – package in hand.
No sooner had the box been opened, and the contents confirmed my friend enquired as to which one of ours it was. I responded that it didn’t matter, and by the time the last word passed my lips, he had the contents of the box in hand, made with the usual pleasantries and was on his way, not a single Taco consumed. I myself immediately consumed three Tacos before the doorbell rang. This time I didn’t yelp, instead I smiled the widest, stupidest grin. Again, I answered the door, signed for the package and hastily cut along the tape sealing in my godlike goodies.
As I alluded to earlier, I remember the details of that day as clearly as I do the birth of my daughter seven weeks later. I didn’t admire the packaging, I didn’t check out the contents of the Breath of the Wild CE (I still haven’t to this day 😬), instead I set up my Switch, loaded my Neon Red and Blue Joy Con into the included grip, tore the cellophane surrounding Breath of the Wild, removed the cartridge, gave it a lick and loaded it into the Switch console. With the bitter taste of the cartridge still lingering on my tongue, I hurriedly set up my profile and loaded what would turn out to the unanimous GOTY for 2017.
I didn’t leave my sofa again that for the rest of the day. When my lovely lady returned home from work shortly after 5PM, the tacos were still present on our dining room table, having been neglected completely. I had long since left the Great Plateau and found myself approaching Evertide Island as I paused the game for the first time in over five hours.
After providing food and a little, admittedly somewhat distracted company, the aforementioned pregnancy had taken it’s toll on her delicate disposition and she headed up to bed for an early night. I immediately returned to Hyrule and never joined her in bed, instead my next respite taking place as she came down the following morning. She simply assumed that I had been to bed and woke up early to play more.
The parallels between first time parenthood, and THAT Hyrule
In those first few days, I never even took my Switch out of the dock. Eventually I played around with it a little, but felt that this desolate, despairing version of Hyrule deserved every one of my TVs 50 inches. It was only when our beautiful daughter arrived that I discovered the sheer excellence of the Switch’s multi faceted functionality. Once again, I found myself neglecting sleep and once again I was exploring a new unknown, seemingly terrifying world, however this time it wasn’t a far flung future Hyrule, but instead parent hood. While I found myself utterly useless in those first few month, with Mumtendo doing the majority of the work – my own role seemingly to make sure there was food in the house, gas in the tank and she was nourished, in order to provide for our little one. Despite this, I felt incredibly anxious at night.
While mum rested and baby slept, I would often sit by her crib – just in case. Just in case she woke up, in case she was restless. Whatever the reason, I felt the need to be right there. While I did spend a ridiculous amount of time simply watching her sleep, I also took these moments to further get enraptured in Breath of the Wild, and with this, discovered the sheer unparalleled joy of both handheld mode and sleep mode. As I traversed the majestic and vast world of Hyrule – one headphone in, one ear free to listen to my daughter sleep, I couldn’t even begin to fathom how I would be able to enjoy this medium I love without the hybrid hubris that the Nintendo Switch provides. And should she wake up, I could simply pop my game into sleep mode, and carry her to her mother’s waiting bosom, before instantly picking up my grandiose adventure, exactly where I’d left it, often hours later.
The Nintendo Switch arrived at a time in my life where everything was about to change, and with it, afforded me an opportunity to experience the stellar line up of games Nintendo brought, and continues to bring to the party. These three years have been as wild as the launch title that came with the console. Here’s to the next three!
Brett Hill’s home away from home
It was a cold Thursday evening waiting in line with a bunch of like-minded people for the release of the Nintendo Switch, my third midnight Nintendo console launch. A lot had changed personally since the Wii U mainly ticking off the adulting checklist. I bought a house, got married and welcomed my daughter into the world. This all meant that life started to get in the way of my love for gaming and Nintendo. It may sound like I am complaining – far from it – I wouldn’t change it for anything. My Job also meant I had to travel quite often, some times abroad, so being able to play they latest releases was getting rarer.
I reluctantly traded in my Wii U and collection of games to afford the Switch but oh boy there has not been a moment in the last three yeas that made me regret the decision. My love for gaming was reignited. Being able to play on my travels and in hotel rooms to keep me company, the switch was quickly becoming my favourite console of all time. It has helped me through some tough times when I am thousands of miles away from home and just want to see my family, being able to take my mind off it by exploring the beautifully crafted world of Hyrule or jumping around collecting moons in New Donk City has been a god send. Thank you Nintendo.
Also, I wanted to take the opportunity whilst I am on the subject to say thank you to Nintendad and the team. It has been a massive part of my life recently and has given me the platform to express myself about all things Nintendo and being able to play through and experience games that I would not normally choose but have become some of my favourite games like Cuphead and New Super Lucky’s Tale.
Taking a page out of, um, Paige’s book
When the Switch came out it was the first console launch I’d been to. I was most excited for it as at the time I had a job which involved being away from home for a couple weeks at a time. With the Switch I could play big games like Zelda while away and back home. Since then I’ve mostly gotten use out of it as a home console, but being able to place it in the Switch dock at my parent’s place to play co-op games is extremely convenient.
The greatest changes the Switch has brought to my life include a near total end of my game collecting, since unlike the WiiU so many good first and third party games come out on a frequent basis, I don’t have the budget for anything else. Just a year after the Switch came out I started writing game reviews (and eventually put some onto my own channel), in this “Switch year” I’ve joined Nintendad and keep quite busy with reviews between different outlets. I certainly beat a lot more games than I ever did before.