This past Christmas, my parents surprised me with the gift of venerable game company Nintendo’s newest gaming system, the Nintendo Switch. The Switch, which was released last March, has become a massive success for Nintendo. The system is both a home console and a portable. Half of the time I play mine, I’m just blown away by all the ways one can play and interact with it, not to mention how they manage to get full games into cartridges the size of my thumb.
When I was surprised with this amazing gift, I did what anyone who grew up with Nintendo as part of their childhood DNA does. Freak out and suddenly become my seven-year-old self once more for a few seconds. I have been playing my Switch heavily, and frankly, it’s the most I’ve played video games since I was a teenager. I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed a gaming system so much. Because of this, I find that I am playing my Nintendo Switch a lot. As in, a great deal. As in, quite frequently—thanks to its portability.
One game, in particular, the open world epic “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” appears to have endless play options. In addition to the main quests in the game, there are side quests, and then you can even just go off and explore without doing any quest in particular if you like. This is the game that I tend to play the most out in the wild with my Switch. Sometimes at moments when it might not be the most appropriate.
During a recent conference with my child’s teacher, I found myself playing my Switch. The teacher told me this looked bad on my part. Here I am trying to find the best educational option for little Lemuel, being an adult, and I said to the teacher when she tried to speak to me, with much intent in my voice, “I’ll discuss his grades as soon as I save these truffle hunters from a group of monsters! I am the champion of Hyrule!” Perhaps I’m playing too much Zelda, and perhaps my enjoyment of it is going to my head a little.
During breakfast with friends the other day at the IHOP, I ordered a rather large order. Since I made it clear that I was serious about losing weight this year, my friends expressed some concern about the large number of pancakes I ordered. I shook my head and sighed “Don’t you understand I am trying to bring peace the kingdom of Hyrule!? There is great terror about and I am the only one who can stop it!”
Another part of “Breath of the Wild” is that you forage around for food and other provisions. The game will place a small twinkle light on an item you can pick up, to show you where it is. Well, with all the cold and snow we’ve had lately, sometimes in the evening light of a car’s headlights have a similar twinkle. I was out with a date and taking them back home after a wonderful evening. As I turned onto a road near where they lived, I stopped the car and got out.
My date, justifiably confused and worried, watched me walk into an empty lot with a “for sale” sign the only thing present. I returned empty handed and looking dejected. “Are you OK?” they asked. “Yeah. I just thought I saw an Ironshroom over there.” They still looked confused. “You know, the magical mushroom that gives me the power to help defeat the great calamity that fell upon this land?” They won’t return my calls.
Perhaps my enjoyment of my Nintendo Switch is bleeding over into real life just a bit too much. I know Nintendo loves to make games that keep people engaged, but maybe I’m throwing it into a little overkill. Either way, I’m still having a grand time playing the system and it’s been a great way to spend these frozen nights. I’ll see you all next week, I gotta go and raid this camp of monsters to save a farmer’s stolen sheep. Where’s my broadsword?