I’ve had a few weeks now with my Switch and that included a trip over to Boston. It is hard for me to separate my feelings about the console from Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So far the Switch has really just been a Zelda machine for me. With that said I still feel like the Switch might end up being the ultimate console for me. I don’t know how your house is set up, but we have a family room where we spend most of our time. It’s got the big comfy couch, all the video game consoles and the nice TV. It also has all the boy’s Legos and toys so it’s where we all hand out. If my wife is watching shows or the boys are playing a game I can still be in there playing Zelda on my Switch. I’m not playing a portable game or a different game. I am playing the real deal and when it’s my turn for the TV I can just pop the Switch into the dock and pick up right where I left off. This was already awesome even before I took my trip to Boston.
The flight to PAX and the stay there really sold me on the Switch. Having Zelda on the flight made the 6 hour trip feel like no time at all. I’ve played my 3DS before and I’ve watched movies but this felt different. This felt like having a real console on the plane and other than the uncomfortable seat, I might as well have been at home. Again, I wasn’t playing a portable game that I had picked up for the trip. I was playing my actual game that I am obsessed with at home, only 40,000 feet up in the air. Then when I got to my hotel room it was a simple matter of hooking up the dock and plugging in the Switch. Each night after the show I was back in my room playing Zelda on the TV like I had never left home. Since then I have taken it with me to all sorts of places. Waiting to pick up the kids at school, car trips and just back and forth to work. The Switch is perfect for how I want to play games.
Again, a lot of this has to do with how great Zelda is. If I didn’t have something I wanted to play everywhere I went, the ability to do so wouldn’t really matter all that much. As it stands though, Zelda has quickly become one of my favorite games of all time. The fact that I never have to stop playing it thanks to the design of the Switch is just icing on the cake. Breath of the Wild is an open world game that really doesn’t give a shit what other open world games are doing. They built this incredible space and filled it with puzzles and adventures that they don’t really tell you about. In most open world games they seem to feel the need to hold your hand and make sure there are clear goals and signposts to guide you along. They spent a lot of time building this world and they don’t want you to miss any of it. Zelda doesn’t give a shit if you miss something. Someone in my Twitter feed told me that “everything in BOTW feels like an easter egg” and I don’t think there is a better way to describe it. Every time I discover something in Zelda I feel like I’m the only person to see it. You are consistently rewarded for exploring or trying weird ideas. I feel like I am discovering this world, not just revealing it on a map.
The Switch doesn’t seem to track hours played in a very precise way. Right now it just tells me that I have played “more than 60 hours” of Zelda. I still feel like there is so much more for me to do in this world and I can easily see my play time going into the 100+ hours. That’s a rare thing for me (especially with single player games) as I tend to jump from game to game pretty quickly. I also have the attention span of a small bird and I am always distracted by the latest shiney game to hit stores. I had planned on playing Nier Automata after checking out the demo, but as it stands I have not even purchased it yet. I enjoyed the previous Mass Effect games but Hyrule is just too beautiful to leave right now. I had even intended to go back and play more Horizon: Zero Dawn, but I just discovered how to bake cakes in Zelda.