Can you guess which?
I do some freelance work (when I’m not restauranteering) as a writer on a YouTube channel that reviews video games. While I love being an assistant manager at a trendy Mexican place in LA, I’d rather be playing video games, and am working towards being in some facet of game development myself someday. Recently, my boss from my freelance job pulled me and another coworker aside and said “we’re going for a drive”.
Not always what you want to hear from your boss, but we piled into his car and drove off. As we got on the road, we started talking about goals and plans for the future. We’ve all known each other since college, so it was a good chance to catch up and check in. Next thing I knew we had pulled into the parking lot of a GameStop.
We got out of the car and went into the store. I assumed this trip was to purchase a game for the office, something like that. We were chatting about games, talking to the people who worked there, just kind of browsing around. My boss says “If you could have one Switch game, what would it be?” and I said “well it’s got to be Smash, right?” and my other friend and I kept browsing the store. Next thing I know my boss is at the counter and calling over to us “what color do you want?”
Turns out my boss had taken us out to buy my coworker and I a Switch each. “You need one for your job!”, he told us. And hey, I wasn’t about to argue with him.
My boss is a generous man. It’s still difficult for me to accept the selflessness. It was really one of those gestures that’s not huge for him, but a windfall for me. Because, yeah, getting a new system is a huge expense, and trying to do anything in this industry is difficult if you aren’t at least tuned into what else is happening on the latest Nintendo hardware. Now I’m able to experience those games firsthand, thanks to an incredibly kind act.
But enough about how awesome my boss is. Have you heard of the Switch? Console with a handheld mode? No, it’s just a small thing that isn’t very popular at all. It’ll never catch on.
This system. I’ve been reading about it since before it came out, been following some of the games coming to it. I’ve read a dozen articles about “I hope such and such game comes to Switch!” and heard Kirk, Maddie, and Jason talk on Splitscreen about what makes a game perfect for the system. Experiencing the thing for myself, I can finally say I agree with all of that.
Being able to play a full-fledged Zelda game anytime I want for a couple minutes at a time is absolutely mind-blowing. Going to a bar and waiting for a friend of mine, I unlocked two Smash characters, just because I could. Got to work early? I’ll stay in my for an extra fifteen minutes and see if I can clear a mission in Into the Breach. It’s just... so good.
There’s certainly a level of Nintendo nostalgia at play here, perhaps something I’ll write about another time. But at the moment, I’m enjoying my shiny new console, and eagerly awaiting Super Mario Maker 2.