Nintendo Switch…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

I saved for months.  That’s something!  I never save money.  Last time I saved money, it was 50 dollars, that I used to purchase new cards for MTG Standard…I matched those funds from my regular account.

This time, I saved the $300.  Too bad.  I couldn’t even find one for sale!

So I kept saving.  Eventually, the SpartanWife said for me to go ahead and pull the trigger on a GameStop bundle.  But even then, they were scarce.  I kept watching the headlines, and pounced on GameStop Prestige in Gaffney South Carolina as soon as I had the chance.

My bundle included the Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition remake, Zelda Breath of the Wild, and Has Been Heroes, as well as two YOK steering wheel accessories, and the Switch, and it costed out at around $475.  I figured I would have gotten Zelda anyway, and I enjoy Mario Kart.  I never heard of the other game.

I have been playing the Switch now for two weeks.  Here are pictures of the unboxing, and my thoughts about the new system.

 

The box is pretty straightforward.  In fact, you can find a ton of these empty boxes at Wal-Mart, which are just placeholders for the actual product, which they don’t even have in stock!

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AHHH!  Angelic Choirs!  This is the most interesting part of opening the box.  I assure you, underneath is the dock, the JoyCon Grip, the power chord, the HDMI cable, and some paperwork…oh and some safety straps I probably will never use.

The dock has an access door that you open up, and track the chords through an access hole.  So basically, you get two unglamourous wires hanging out.  But who cares?  I don’t!

The Nintendo Switch console is kind of like a large smartphone, or a small tablet.  It’s bigger than my iPhone 6, but smaller than my iPad Mini.

The idea is that you can carry the thing around like a portable system, but at home you can hook it up to your TV and play like a home console.

The two controllers are called JoyCon.  They are not symettrical, as some might have thought.  One is labled “+” and the other “-“, which I eventually discovered were actual buttons  .  They are very responsive…they have a gyroscope function like the WiiMote has, and they are totally covered in ergonomic buttons.

The JoyCon connect to the sides of the console, or they disconnect, and you can play with the JoyCon propped on the table.  Or you can mount them on an accessory like the steering wheels or the included JoyCon Grip.   The Joycon can play for 13 hours on full charge!   (The Switch can only make it to 3 hours)

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I purchased the Zelda themed carrying case, and have been on the lookout for the Sheikah Slate Skin for the system.  It does have a multi-touch screen, but that isn’t really where the action is with the switch so far.

Carrying it around is pretty easy.  It can fit in a pocket, with the JoyCon attached.  You can set it on a table and prop it up like a separate TV screen and console all-in-one.  It truly can do what it is advertised to do.  This is where the success of the system will be, and why X-Box and Playstation will have to follow suit.

There has been some talk of this device being inferior in the power department compared to the X-Box and Playstation offerings…Maybe so.  But Nintendo seems to embrace their innovative playstyle over that power.  It has worked for them in the past with Wii, and seems poised to be a success this time as well.

I haven’t noticed a lack of power.  Zelda has been incredibly fun.  It is a beautiful game, and has an explorative quality that say, MineCraft has.  Mario Cart works excellently as well.  Though I’ll admit, I’m not as into that as I am Zelda.

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Notably Has Been Heroes didn’t come in a physical form.  I had to download it with a code, which I only got by calling the GameStop headquarters.

And I just can’t get into that game.  It is alot like an app on an iPhone.  One that I wouldn’t play.  (Or buy.)  Maybe I will get more into it later.

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The YOK steering wheels.  These are pretty crappy.  It takes wrangling to get the triggers to interact with the buttons on the backside of the JoyCon.  And that seriously hampers some Mario Cart fun if you can’t shoot turtle shells at people.

They DO work.  But it takes wrangling like I said.  They should “just work.”

The Nintendo Switch gets a 5/5.  There is a promising future for this device up ahead!

The YOK steering wheels get a 1/5.  I am thinking about getting NINTENDO BRAND steering wheels.  In fact, I thought that the first time I played with them.  BOO.

The games.

Zelda Breath of the Wild gets 5/5.  I have completed only a small part of the game, and have been playing about three hours a day, for two weeks.  I like the “cooking” that you have to do…this is something to do when you have your switch out on the go.  But plug the switch in to the TV to fight the bosses!  I just freed the “Divine Beast Ruta.”  I’ve already successfully raided a small section of Hyrule castle.  The game is a sprawling open world, and you never know what’s around the corner.  A thunderstorm to make you drop all your stuff?  A fortress full of goblins? (Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos).  A town.  A waterfall, a stable, a wild horse, some wild game, or a traveler who is an enemy in disguise?  You almost never know.  This is a killer app that sets the bar high for the system.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that many of the available games so far reach that level.

Mario Cart 8 Deluxe gets a 4/5.  This is a remake.  It’s a good remake.  But this is really the only Mario Title available for the switch right now, until October when Mario Odysee drops.  (The trailers look incredible!)

The only thing I am really disappointed about is the lack of classic gameplay.  Really.  The reason I even got this is because Nintendo has been doing so well honoring their legacy software.  NES Classic.  Wii Virtual Console.  I digured right out the gate the Nintendo library would be available.  

Nope.  BOO!!

Is the Nintendo Switch for you?   If you like Zelda, and the portability of a 3DS, and Wii.   Then this will do you well. 

If all tou want to do is casually play a classic game during your lunchbreak, as of July 2017 this device doesn’t do that.  You could play Zelda or other new games easily though. 

The SpartanNerd rates the Nintendo Switch 5/5.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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SpartanNerd Follow Up…Terraria

(This entry is a follow-up on an article you can find here!)

I’ve finally done it!  Beaten every boss and maximized my character, as well as earned all of the NPCs.  The problem with Terraria…there isn’t a specific goal.  You just…play….

I suppose I can consider that I have beaten the game.  I have already begun a few new worlds.

Here’s what I have learned…

It took me a long time to beat “The Wall of Flesh.”  But after I did, WOW, the game got a lot more fun!  My continual defeat to that boss had me put the game down for about two months.  My character could kill any other creature he would encounter or summon.  But in order to advance, killing the Wall of Flesh is very necessary.

The mechanical bosses are very difficult (Except for the coolest one, “The Destroyer.”)  “The Twins” beat me over and over.  And I had a hard time coming by “Lenses” late in the game…an item essential for building the “Mechanical Eye” needed to summon the Twins.  The way I eventually beat them was by rigging a transporter…I built a boss arena right in the middle of the Hallow, Purity, Jungle, and Crimson biomes in my world.  I preserved a single Crimson Altar right in the middle of the arena.  I rigged a transporter that would take me to the nurse…I would be healed, and then zip back to the arena!

The “Solar Eclipse” and “The Steampunker” are essential to getting the strongest and best items.  “The Clentaminator” is a very nice machine for shaping your world how you want it to be.

I found some very nice weapons and made some as well.  However, the strongest weapons and items aren’t necessarily the best.  I made “The True Night’s Edge” and “The True Excalibur.”  But the “Murderous Death Sickle” is the best weapon I found.  It launches copies of itself that spin through walls and hit any enemies around it.  And you can fire multiple copies..so you are surrounding yourself with powerful hitting energy!  Virtually no enemy on the game except the bosses can withstand this weapon.  And the bosses don’t stand long!

As for wings…I crafted both the Angel and Demon wings.  Neither seemed as good as the Fairy wings.  I also have the sparkly wings, and I haven’t decided yet if I like them as much as the fairy wings.

I still can’t mine the Jungle Temple Bricks.  I have spent minimal time finding spoilers.  I finally broke down and learned how to mine the “green stuff…”  I had a BEAST drill, but it just wouldn’t do it.  So I have the best drill now, the Drax,…which can.  (The green stuff is “Chlorophyte”.)  But even the Drax can’t bust the Jungle Temple block.  The internet says a “Picksaw” is required…a rare item drop from beating The Golem.  I have beaten him five times, and he hasn’t dropped the Picksaw.  😦   What makes Golem so frustrating is the rarity of the “Lihzard Power Cell,” an uncraftable item rarely dropped.  YOU CAN beat “Plantera” and take his jungle key to a new world, where you can unlock the temple and just steal one or two from the chests inside, then bring it back to your world.  But this feels like cheating to me.  Either way, I’ve done it in order to summon the Golem…and he always drops something really nice.  But he hasn’t dropped the Picksaw yet.

Following are a couple of pictures of my game!


My world is quite large and detailed.  Note that I have been “purifying” the world.   You can see my “Boss Arena,”  That square thing right at the underground level.  I designed the arena around a Crimson Altar, so that I could summon a boss here easily.  It is easy for me to see whether or not it is daytime or nighttime…most bosses have to be summoned at night.  Before I cleansed it, a little of the Crimson, Purity, Hallowed, and Jungle all converged at the arena…this caused a variety of enemies to always spawn in the arena.  I also have two machines.  One generates hearts so that my character can easily heal during a fight, the other is the transporter, discussed above.

Eventually I figured out that it was best to build the houses for the NPCs in the sky.  The Harpies and Wyverns are occasionally a headache.  But during Blood Moon and other events, the NPCs are always safe.  The most interesting part of this plan is that there is a Mushroom Biome incorporated into the Sky City…to accommodate the mushroom man character.  This biome eventually became a money generator.  I would harvest the mushrooms and sell them to NPCs and then buy stuff.


Here is a close-up of my Sky City.  Notice the transporter…If I had a mechanical item selected in the access bar, then you could see a long wire leading off to the arena, which is strategically a good distance from the Sky City.  It was challenging to build, though.

And the picture below is of my character, named “Teddie”, is fighting the Golem.  You can see I put the heart generator machine nearby so I could constantly heal.

Terraria has been a terrific romp into a kind of game I never played before.  The game designers evidently also push out special holiday bosses and biomes.  The two month break I took evidently had an Easter theme…but I missed out.  But I will keep my eyes pealed.  If the game designers do that, I will continue to be engaged in this deep, new, and yet nostalgic game.

SpartanNerd…”Terraria”…a New Addiction

I haven’t been shy about my indifference to “Minecraft.”  I really just don’t get it.

And when the SpartanKids were interested in Terraria, I showed about as much enthusiasm.

Then one day, I saw them playing it.  WOW.  An old school side-scroller.

Only, it’s not.

Terraria is a game I haven’t been able to put down.  The whole experience has had me glued to my iPad Mini.  And I am WAY out ahead of my kids in the game.  Because I just “get it.”

Terraria has an element of Minecraft, where you have to find certain pieces of a recipe and make certain weapons and things.  But there is a strong resemblance to NES style graphics.  The characters all speak in one sentence phrases, but they seem to always be telling you something different.

Something else…I have been approaching this game the same way as I used to approach NES games that I hadn’t beaten.  But in a way, with the “open world” style of the game, as well as the processing power of computers nowadays, a game with 8-bit graphics can seem endless….literally.  And I haven’t been looking at spoilers.  Same as when I was in fourth or fifth grade.  I would talk to my friends about how to do things on games at school.  But it was rare for there to be a guidebook, and the internet wasn’t open yet.

So, I know there are guides online.  But I don’t want to know.  The game has plenty enough spoilers in tips on the load screen.  I want to discover things.  For me, that is the fun of the game.  I have defeated three bosses already, and can’t wait to find out what else I can do.