The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece. Despite some minor nitpicks and technical issues, the latest entry in Nintendo’s storied franchise has succeeded in revitalizing a tired formula while simultaneously pushing the open-world genre in a bold new direction. Games of this magnitude inevitably cause ripples through the industry, and developers will take notes in an attempt to learn from Breath of the Wild’s successes. While the game is a revelation on many fronts, the primary lesson it has to share is found in the way it respects its players.
As I consider the events that have characterized the past few weeks in gaming culture, the idea that continually worms its way into my mind is that of polarity. Because as incredible as the stream of quality releases has been, the grotesque underbelly of the community has repeatedly come to light. This contradiction has potentially smeared what could have been a defining season for gaming on a mainstream level. Instead of celebrating the masterpiece releases of Horizon Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild we are left screaming into our collective pillows at the hateful immaturity that radiates from corners of the internet.
Impressions of the Nintendo Switch are flooding the internet. While the hardware itself has garnered positive reviews, the thought that it is launching bereft of features has become pervasive. Entertainment apps, a web browser, a robust online experience and a strong launch lineup are but a few of the items missing from the Switch’s March 3rd menu. Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier summed up these feelings in a recent tweet, saying “Switch right now in a word: undercooked.” Many devout followers of the industry are wondering why Nintendo would release a seemingly unfinished console for what amounts to an early-adopter beta test. With the system’s heavy hitters not landing until later this year along with the full version of a new online system, why didn’t Nintendo wait until November and launch with a stacked lineup and a full sampling of features? The answer to this question is simple; The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Nintendo Switch is less than two weeks away from launch, and the flexible new machine has been a divisive topic of discussion that has dominated the community. While many, myself included, are incredibly excited for March 3rd, there is a massive contingent of gamers that do not agree, and are not afraid to share their opinions. In fact, given what we know, or rather, what we do not, many could not possibly understand why anyone would be excited about the Switch. The future early-adopters and I have been called morons, fanboys, Nintendorks, Nintentards and a number of other clever names and Nintendo puns. Despite these assaults on our intelligence, there is a passionate community who couldn’t be more thrilled for the console.
Season passes are the black sheep of the gaming community. They deviously pry into our collective wallets in search of our precious cash, often in exchange for content we don’t fully understand. This earns them a spot atop our hit lists, and whenever a new pass is announced we grab our torches and pitchforks and set out to pillage the internet with angry comments across the datascape. The only thing that rivals the ire that season passes draw is, arguably, Nintendo. And luckily for us, these two juggernauts of vitriol crossed paths when Nintendo announced a season pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo’s Switch presentation on Thursday was truly baffling. The missteps of the event have dominated the conversation that followed, but there was a lot to be excited about if you are interested in the Switch. Nintendo gave a glimpse into its first-party lineup, detailed the interesting features of the console and blew us away with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. However, despite my status as an enduring Nintendo fan who is sold on the Switch, I was left with an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach.
As we finally approach the end of the dark, twisted and maleficent tunnel that has been the Wii U era, the topic on everyone’s minds is the Nintendo Switch. While our mouths froth in advance of tomorrow’s livestream and following press events, it is only natural to scour the internet for any nugget of information to slowly peel back the veil of secrecy.