The release of the Nintendo Switch is right around the corner, so now seems like a great time to write about gaming again. Unfortunately, my Four in February was unsuccessful. Shortly after starting my endeavor I became ill with a nasty cold. The cold was bad enough to take several days off from work and instead of spending the time gaming, I spent it sleeping. Doing anything else was too much of a strain. However, I began to make some progress on Okami HD after I felt better. My progress wasn’t enough to finish the game, but I did manage to reach the final dungeon. I opted to finish up a few side quests before starting the end game aka the point of no return. Even if my grand backlog plans failed, I’m just glad Okami is on the verge of being taken out of my pile of shame.
So will I ever dig into my backlog? Maybe. I’ve given myself a new deadline. I want to complete a few games before the release of Persona 5 in April. Knocking a few games off my backlog in March is theoretically possible because Okami, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, and Bastion all hover in final dungeon territory. I just need to sit down and actually finish the games and avoid distractions—I’m looking at you Skyrim Remastered, Fire Emblem Heroes, and the NES Classic Edition. (Yes, I actually managed to get my hands on one at the MSRP price.)
Let’s talk about those distractions:
I did delve a little into Fire Emblem Heroes, as it’s one of the few mobile games I’m willing to try. The game strikes me as Fire Emblem Lite and doesn’t really grab me like other games in the series. I’m not finding the game to be a completely shameless cash grab like some FE fans are, even with the presence of orbs (which can be purchased or earned), a stamina bar, and other limits on how much you can play unless you pay. Given the smaller size of the maps, playing for 20 minutes at a time is pretty easy.
I do have one major annoyance– the quality of the heroes and summoning in general. Each hero is given a rating of one to five stars, with five stars being the best quality you can receive. At a certain point it doesn’t matter how much you’ve leveled up a low star hero, if they face a hero with a better rating they’ll always be at a disadvantage. You could always try to summon more heroes, but pulling a five star is rare and getting duplicate heroes is another risk. Additionally, getting the hero types you want (like healers, sword-wielders, etc) isn’t a guarantee. Since getting those heroes requires orbs, you’ll either have to grind for them, buy them, or hit a wall. It’s this part of the game that is a major turn off for me. I still play a few times a week, but I’m not longer taking Fire Emblem Heroes seriously.
As for my other distraction, the NES Classic, it’s actually not much of a distraction. I play it every so often, but having it makes realize I’d rather have an SNES Classic. Also, I’m glad I only paid $60 for it because paying any more for it would have felt like a rip off. The system does have cool merits though. I love how it just plugs into an HDTV and just works. No crazy emulation setups, no hunting ROMS down, no compatibility issues with an HDTV, it’s pure plug and play. As for the controller, the ridiculously short length of the cord isn’t a problem for me since I can put a chair right in front my TV, but it’s still a problem. Would an extra six feet of cord length have really added to the overall cost?
As I said earlier, the Switch drops tomorrow. I don’t have the system pre-ordered, nor do I buy systems at launch. However, my interest in the console/handheld hybrid has not waned. I’m still excited about the prospects of taking the system on the go and being able to play handheld games on the TV. My biggest fear is not being able to find a system during the holiday season. Given how Nintendo’s supply of hardware can be absurdly low at times (see the Amiibo and NES Classic shortage), my fears are not unfounded. I’d like to have faith in Nintendo, but they’re quite good at letting fans down when it comes to supply issues.