A Year in the Life of My Nintendo Switch

Today marks the one year anniversary of finally achieving my life’s dream of being able to play some of the greatest games around from the comfort of my bed. I truly have come a long way from being forced to sit 3 feet away from a giant cathode ray tube TV to enjoy video games. There are a lot of people to thank for helping me get here. First, I’d like to thank my mom for taking me to Toys”R”Us endless times as a kid to blow my allowance. I’d like to take my dad for realizing at a young age that I would never achieve success in the sports world. Perhaps it was my blindness or my complete lack of coordination, but, whatever it was, you saw it in me. Lastly, I’d also like to thank my beautiful wife for never giving up on me no matter how many hours I spent playing video games and how many times the blue light from my Switch has disrupted her REM cycle.

In the spirit of Kotaku’s wonderful feature about the state of each writer’s Switch one year in,  I thought I’d add my story because I just love the thing so damn much.

Date Acquired: Despite somehow managing to snag a preorder on target.com within minutes of them being available, fate had other plans for me on launch day as my Switch was delayed 3 days to the following Monday, March 6. I’m sure Robin hated me that entire weekend while I waited and insufferably lamented the loss of my big plans to only play video games for 72 hours. To make matters worse, we had family coming in town the following weekend, so I couldn’t even guarantee solid playing time for two weeks. To make matters better, my brother-in-law quickly became obsessed with the Switch and wanted to see more.

screen
My current homescreen

Usage: At first, my play on the Switch was limited to long sessions of Zelda in docked mode. On weekends or when Robin was away, I would sneak in some play sessions in bed. The only games I played consistently in handheld mode were pixel-art ones like Shovel Knight, Golf Story, and Stardew Valley. Thanks to some marathon gaming sessions in handheld mode while on long plane rides, I was ready to abandon docked mode completely by the time Super Mario Odyssey came out, and I haven’t looked back since.

My most common Switch playing occurs in bed typically 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep or for a few hours before officially getting up on the weekends. I will go weeks at a time where I don’t touch another system other than the Switch. Now that I’m finally working on building my own game (more on that to come soon), it’s great to be able to spend my nights focused on that and get in a few minutes before bed as a reward.

Condition: I did not bother to put any sort of protective screen on the Switch, so it is often quite smudged but relatively scratch-free, which is impressive considering how it typically just sits on my bedside table. I do have a cheap protective case for it that has gotten the trick done for the many plane rides I have taken it on.

mario
Even after all these years, the plumber has still got it.

Games: In all, I own 27 games on my Switch with 4 on cartridges (bigger titles that I only bought physical copies of to get the Amazon pre-order 20% discount) and 23 digital versions taking up ~75 GB between the system memory and a 128 GB Micro SD card I added.

My most played titles are:

The Legend of Zelda: BOTW – 90+ hours
Stardew Valley – 90+ hours
Skyrim – 60+ hours
Super Mario Odyssey – 35+ hours

Currently Playing: Bayonetta, Night in the Woods, and Bridge Constructor Portal

bayo
My current time sink the hyper stylized and absurd Bayonetta

Best Games (in no particular order): Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Stardew Valley, The Legend of Zelda: BOTW, and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Biggest Surprises: Steamworld Dig 2, Gorogoa, Blossom Tales, Golf Story, and Celeste

Worst Purchase: 1-2 Switch (should’ve just been included with the system like Wii Sports)

Weirdest Purchase: Mom Hid My Game where you solve one puzzle by performing a Hadouken on your grandfather.

mom
This probably isn’t even in the top 5 weirdest puzzles involving your grandfather in Mom Hid my Game

It’s been perhaps the best launch year for a system ever with several all-time great titles  and a wealth of fantastic and cheap indies already filling up the Switch’s impressive library.  I can’t wait to see what the future brings with the addition of a game streaming service, the virtual console, sequels to classics like Metroid, and much more to come. Hell I’m even excited for the expensive cardboard known as the Nintendo Labo.  Congrats, unstoppable Nintendo nostalgia machine, you’ve completely won me back over.

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