A look at the Nintendo Switch launch and the bar set by Breath of the Wild

The gaming industry has been abuzz this weekend with the launch of Nintendo’s much anticipated new console, the Nintendo Switch. Included among the launch titles for the new system was the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is currently the 4th highest-rated video game of all time. 

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The Nintendo Switch, launched March 3, 2017. (BagoGames, Creative Commons)

The Switch has launched with high hopes, looking to bridge the gap between Nintendo’s home console, the Wii U, and the company’s portable console, the 3DS. Even Nintendo’s biggest gaming competitors, Sony and Microsoft, offered their congratulations to the new console via Twitter.

Video game news organizations even hosted livestreams of the new console, such as at Gamespot and GiantBomb, testing specs and getting the first look at many of the launch day titles.

One of the launch day titles was a little game known as 1-2-Switch. Designed entirely to show off the new Joy Con controllers unique to the new console, 1-2-Switch is a party game designed in the style of Wario Ware and Mario Party. 1-2-Switch features an assortment of 28 unique minigames for players to try, ranging from calming a crying baby, winning a wild-west style shoot-out, and shaving a virtual beard. Although criticized for its lack of depth, the game has received some compliments from IGN, stating that:

“1-2-Switch offers an oddly personal competitive experience that’s tailored to your own social setting.”

The star of the Switch launch, however, was indisputably the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Originally announced in the January 2013 Nintendo Direct (29:21), Breath of the Wild is the first completely open-world installment of the Legend of Zelda series, since the first game. Not only is the game beautiful to look at, it manages to  implement a variety of new features, such as a crafting system and weapon durability meter, while keeping the charm of dungeon delving, puzzle solving, and world saving classic to the Legend of Zelda franchise. In a review for Polygon, Arthur Gies writes:

“In an open world full of big changes, Breath of the Wild also almost always feels like a Zelda game — and establishes itself as the first current, vital-feeling Zelda in almost 20 years.”

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the most anticipated launch titles for the Switch, and with a near perfect score across reviewing platforms, it seems to hold up to the expectations. (BagoGames, Creative Commons)

Despite the shipping delays faced by companies such as  GAME, Walmart, and even Amazon, and some compatible issues faced with the Bluetooth Joy Con controllers, the launch of the Nintendo Switch was relatively successful. President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé tweeted out a letter thanking the Nintendo fans for all their support.

[Above: a letter from Reggie Fils-Aimé, president of Nintendo of America posted on the Nintendo of America Twitter. It reads:

“To our incredible fans,

The launch of any new Nintendo system is a special day. But in particular, we can’t wait for you to play Nintendo Switch in the comfort of your living room, on the your commute … or, really, anywhere you want! That’s what makes Nintendo Switch so unique.

Over the course of the year, you can play a new game in The Legend of Zelda series, a sequel to Splatoon, and a massive new Mario adventure–not to mention the face-to-face fun of 1-2-Switch, the intense racing action of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the surprise that comes from new franchises like Snipperclips – Cut It Out Together or Arms. And you can also look forward to Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem for Nintendo Switch, and all the great content coming from our third-party partners.

I hope you fully enjoy the journey that you’re about to begin. Here’s to taking console gaming in new directions–and to new places–never possible before. Thanks for being the best fans. Have fun today!”]

 

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