The Switch Captures Everything I Love About Paperback Books


#1

Over the holidays I got a Nintendo Switch, which was perfectly timed for a week of travel to various family gatherings, sleepless nights on unfamiliar beds, and sudden attacks of introversion. The Switch was the perfect thing to turn to after hours of catch-up, small-talk, and holiday traditions.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/paqzny/the-switch-captures-everything-i-love-about-paperback-books

#2

The Switch has replaced my 3DS for the time being for gaming travels. So far what helps is that games like Mario and Zelda that have features to be portable like auto and manual saving at any time.


#3

The standby feature of the Switch is a revelation. My phone can’t even resume a game that fast. I think it’s worth noting the Vita did this really well, too, but it was never able to build the library of must-haves that the Switch already does, and it hasn’t even been a full year for that console.

As much as I enjoyed my 3DS, DS, and game boy devices before them, they were always a backup. Something to take when travelling, or play while working my high school after-hours receptionist job. The Switch has become a primary gaming device for me like those portables never did.


#4

That “home” button on Switch has become the equivalent of placing a book face-down on an open page

You monster


#5

I’ve always found that handheld systems lent themselves to more intimate gaming experiences. Growing up with a Gameboy and Gamegear, I would often spend my time on the couch lost in Mario Land or Shinobi games while my parents watched primetime dramas.

When I got a DSi about a decade ago, I was amazed by the impact created by the small-screen intimacy of those earlier systems paired with advanced hardware capabilities. Having the worlds of Chrono Trigger and Resident Evil literally in my hands, glowing in a darkened room, allowed for uniquely engaging gaming experiences that had only been hinted at before. I’m now convinced that the DS is the ideal way to play Resident Evil–the small screen lending to the feeling of confinement.

More recently I was able to finally dive into Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor II, and that became a lovely wind-down game at the end of the night. What I enjoy most about the platform is the ability to lie in bed and get lost in beautiful little worlds.


#6

While I do use my Switch in docked mode I’d say it probably accounts for about 25% of its use. That’s mostly couch multiplayer (e.g. Overcooked and the Jackbox games) when people are visiting. The remaining 75% (these percentages aren’t super accurate, by the way) is typically spent lying on my bed while the cat naps with me and my housemates are downstairs watching some garbage on TV.

Hands-down the best (and first) accessory purchase for my Switch was a second AC adapter, which is plugged in by my bed.

Perhaps much like you, I spent my teenage years curled up in my room with my Gameboy and playing Super Mario Land 2. There’s a heavy sense of nostalgia that now some 20-odd years later I’m able to do pretty much the exact same thing. All conventional wisdom suggests that I - as a grown-ass man of almost 40 - should not enjoy this as much as I do. Seriously, it’s bordering on criminal in terms of enjoyment.

This past week I’ve really enjoyed playing Oxenfree in the dark with a set of headphones on. It was as you describe your Resident Evil and Chrono Trigger experiences to be; intimate and thoroughly enjoyable.


#7

The 3DS shifted how I game. I was fresh out of college and learning how to become a working adult with limited free time. It turns out a handheld system with a seamless sleep function and a library of games designed to be played in short bursts was exactly the right system at that moment. I happily chipped away at games like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Animal Crossing: New Leaf day by day and I didn’t have to clear my schedule to do it. I just played when I felt like it for as long as I wanted to. Today, I’m happy to see the Switch continue that legacy and thank goodness the PS4 has a rest mode! I game on my time now.


#8

Yeah, during my down time in College I would grind away in Pokemon X and hatch eggs. In the library as well. If the Switch came out during my College years boy that would had been a blast.


#9

Ironically, what the Switch did for Rob, getting a decent android smartphone did for me, at the expense of portable gaming. Prior to switching to Android I had fairly behind-the-curve, crappy phones, usually an iPhone 2-3 years behind. After years of dealing with iTunes nonsense, I decided to move to android, as well as take advantage of my new job’s corporate discount to score a fancy Samsung flagship phone.

Android, and its ability to conveniently sideload apps that weren’t being offered on my region’s app marketplaces (via alternative stores like QooApp) allowed me to join in various Japanese-style, gacha-driven mobile games like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Fate/Grand Order, and Granblue Fantasy. Those games, with their emphasis on short, daily play sessions over long binges fit my time in a way that not even portable stalwarts like my 3DS, Vita, and Switch could.

For a newly minted salary-chaser, playing mobile means you can grind out your dailies in the bathroom, finish story quests while having lunch, or even sneak in a quick pull at the gacha machine while standing in line for the elevator to your office.

By comparison even exceedingly convenient, powerful portable consoles like the Vita or Switch carry an opportunity cost. Even beloved games like Danganronpa V3, Breath of the Wild, or Persona 4 Golden demand a conscious “I’m going to play this now” attitude. Though I still have them in my bag most days, most of my Switch and Vita playtime happens at home.

Ultimately, they’re not the same kind of games, and it would be disingenuous to imply that one would necessarily replace the other. Further, I would be less inclined to play a game as involved as Breath of the Wild or Monster Hunter on my phone. But right now there’s no question that it’s doing a better job at filling in the little gaps in my time than anything else.


#10

Over the past year it’s been heartening to see people finally getting woke to handheld play. I think my experience of playing near-exclusively on handheld games for 10+ years has conditioned me towards 15-30 minute bursts of play in between other things.

Also, yo Rob check out Diamond Trust of London for the DS. I know for a fact this is extremely your shit.


#11

I would imagine people on here are getting bored of my repeated declarations of love for my Switch, but I really have found it to be a godsend over this past year. I take it everywhere pretty much. I can use it in my lunchbreak to get away from the stresses of the work-day, I can use it in the middle of the night whilst trying to settle the baby down, and very (very) occasionally I hook it up to the TV and the wife and I spend an hour or two on MarioKart. It is pretty much responsible for 100% of my gaming now (I got Destiny 2 cheap and played a bit of that over Christmas but that’s the only action the PS4 has seen in months), in fact it has probably saved my gaming “life”, if you know what I mean.


#12

i kind of want to start taking the bus to work instead of driving so that i have more Switch time in my life.


#13

As a grown-ass man of a couple more years than you, I say screw conventional wisdom and love your games and game time. I say that as someone who mostly gets to play with my switch (my switch) when I can pry splatoon 2 out of my 7yo’s mitts, and is so taken with Zelda that I kind of think the solution is to just get another Switch.


#14

I think you should get another Switch :joy:


#15

As a fellow grown-ass man of, let’s say, 40+ years, I second this. I take my Switch to our office cafeteria at lunch almost every day now. The number of “Whoa, cool, what’s that?” or “Hey, is that a Switch?” comments, even from top execs 20 years my senior, is literally infinitely higher than any negative comments about a grown man playing video games.


#16

This coming out in the same day as the Marxist case for the Switch really left this take looking a little cool in the shade (Ryan L Cooper, go on Waypoint) (although another rousing plug for the standby mode function).

The Switch is really good. It fits really well into my sometimes-eclectic/movement-filled lifestyle. It’s a gaming experience that is just convenient for being able to be attentive to other people’s needs. Nintendo’s games for the platform both draw on this strength, as both are games that work well as bite-sized experience and can be played for long and solid sessions. It just works.


#17

I tried so hard to love my 3ds and Vita but always wound up not being able to enjoy it for very long due to something with their ergonomics and my larger hands and fingers. The Switch finally feels comfortable to me in handheld mode for extended play sessions, and now with a job with a regular lunch hour I look forward to that small extra window I have to game. Plus I haven’t been absorbed in one of their first party single-player games since Galaxy so I’m enjoying my slow playthrough of Odyssey quite a bit.


#18

Switch is great only thing that disappoints me is there’s no Monster Hunter game in English. I fell in love with my New 3ds XL for mh4u putting in over 300 hours and I hope to have that kind of relationship with a switch game here soon. In the mean time I’ll chip away at Stardew Valley and BOTW.


#19

I have never played a Monster Hunter game, but if it came to the Switch I would try it immediately. Heck I would try any game if it came to the Switch pretty much. The ability to pick up and play makes me introduced in way more genres of games (didn’t think I could play a big RPG anymore these days due to the time sink, but the nature of the Switch means I am quite deep into Xenoblade Chronicles 2.


#20

The first Monster Hunter game I bought was Monster Hunter: Tri on Wii, but I got frustrated with it early on and never played it again.

The one that I really got into was Monster Hunter: Generations on 3DS. Some friends of mine talked me into it on the basis that I was playing Monster Hunter “wrong” (i.e. solo, rather than with other people). Oh man, that game just shines when you’re playing with others…once you get over the initial difficulty.

The Switch is perfect for Monster Hunter, and I have my fingers crossed so hard that it’ll arrive. The bigger screen and tabletop mode seems like the perfect setup…especially if you’re playing in the same room as other people.