Nintendo Switch: First Impressions

Nintendo Switch: First Impressions

Hands-on with Nintendo Switch and "Breath of the Wild"
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I was the first in line at my local GameStop for the release of Nintendo’s latest console. What started out as a duo quickly turned into a handful and then into a decently sized crowd. By the time the doors opened and we were ushered into the store, people passing by had begun to stop and question the assembled queue. I led the procession of excited gamers and bewildered parents, purchased my Nintendo Switch, a copy of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," a protective carrying case then quickly left the store and headed home.

After several hours spent setting the new console up, playing games, and just fiddling with the system and its peripherals, I found myself extremely impressed. As much flak as Nintendo tends to get for their less-than-mainstream ideas, the Switch succeeds as the first console/handheld hybrid. From the outset, everything just works. Each Joy-Con controller snaps into place on the unit itself or onto the controller grip with a satisfying click, and they just as easily slide off for further rearrangement. I have repeatedly jumped between various control figurations and playstyles and not a single one has been uncomfortable or unwieldy. The true power of the Switch is its unprecedented versatility and ease.

The Switch’s flagship title, "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," is a wonder to behold, whether in handheld mode or on the television. The breadth of the world in this game can feel truly magical with its grandiose ruined kingdom and beautifully populated natural vistas. It is a deceptively hard game, forcing you to do everything you can to survive in the monster-infested landscapes of its world. It is triple-A gaming as only Nintendo can make it, exuding personality even in its most intense moments. "Breath of the Wild" is at once nostalgic and exceptionally new, acting as the perfect launch title in an admittedly minuscule lineup of mostly decent to sub-par games. "Zelda" is the perfect counter to this problem and is more than enough to occupy early adopters of the Nintendo Switch for quite some time.

In the Nintendo Switch it is easy to see Nintendo’s knack for experimentation and their tendency to work outside the norm to try and give players fun, unique experiences. It is also not hard to find the past elements of their work and design philosophy in each and every aspect of the Switch. The Joy-Cons evoke the Wii Remote and its Nunchaku peripheral, yet when turned sideways each one becomes its own pseudo-SNES controller. The main console’s tablet design and touch controls come from both the Wii U and the DS handhelds, using their qualities to inform the construction and versatility of their latest oddball invention. Nintendo has certainly solidified itself as the mad scientist of the video gaming industry, concocting strange, wonderful ideas in the name of fun and technological curiosity. While the Switch may not be the graphical powerhouse of PS4 and Xbone rivalry that some players had hoped for, that misses the point entirely. What this machine accomplishes is versatility, the idea of allowing gamers to play how they want to, where they want to, when they want to.

Cover Image Credit: Taylor J. Beck

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21 BuzzFeed Quizzes To Take When You're Trying To Procrastinate

Why study when you could be on BuzzFeed?
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According to my previous article, 12 Things That Are Only Acceptable In College, spending 2.5 hours taking BuzzFeed quizzes is completely acceptable if you're in college. With it being that time of the semester when the list of things to do is never ending, sometimes it's easier to just ignore your problems and spend your studying time procrastinating. If this sounds like something you need to do, here's the ultimate list of quizzes to waste your time on.

1. Reply To Your Crush's Texts And We'll Reveal Your Future

Wondering what you're going to do with your life since you're probably going to fail that exam that you have tomorrow? After all, you are taking BuzzFeed quizzes right now instead of studying. This quiz will answer that question for you.

2. Which "Gossip Girl" Character Are You Based On These Random Questions?

This one's a classic that you just can't possibly skip.

3. Build A School Uniform And We'll Guess Who You Were In High School

If you're like me, you always secretly wished you had a uniform in high school so that you didn't have to pick out an outfit every morning. Now you can live out that dream and find out what it says about you.

4. We Can Guess Your Age After You Build Your Own Dream Home

If I got 70's, does that mean I have timeless taste or terrible taste?

5. Pretend To Go Shopping And We’ll Figure Out If You’re More Ann Taylor Or Ann Taylor: Loft

Ladies, this is an important one.

6. Plan Your Day And Find Out Which "Grey's Anatomy" Girl You Are

Maybe if whatever you're doing right now isn't working out, you could become a doctor...

7. Create A Makeup Look And We'll Tell You Which Hogwarts House You Truly Belong In

Or you could become a wizard.

8. Pick An Outfit And We Will Tell You What You Do For A Living

And if neither of those work out, this quiz will tell you exactly what you should do.

9. Spend All Your Money At This Drug Store And We'll Tell You What You Should Be Doing With Your Life

And in case you didn't like either of the previous suggestions, you can see if this one is any better.

10. Build A Dream Castle And We'll Tell You What Type Of Unicorn You Are

Since unicorn everything seems to be the rage right now, you'd better keep up.

11. This Reverse Word Association Test Will Uncover Your Personality Type

This one's for those of you who don't have the patience to get through the Myers-Briggs test.

12. Design Your Future Backyard And We'll Reveal How Many Kids You'll Have

If you're going to have more than 2 you better get back to work so you can support them.

13. Pick An Outfit From Patagonia And We'll Tell You How Long You'd Survive In The Wild

Find out if running away to the wild is really a better option than struggling through that 10 page paper that's due at 8 am tomorrow.

14. Which Character From "The Office" Are You At YOUR Job?

Let's hope you don't get Kevin.

15. Which Meryl Streep Character Is Actually Most Like You?

Are you as mean as Miranda Priestly?

16. Take This Picture Test And We'll Tell You Your Best And Worst Qualities

No need to prepare for your next interview, just give them these answers.

17. What Kind of Bathroom Guest Are You

Are you actually a terrible guest?

18. What % Gross Are You Actually?

Or maybe you're just gross in general.

19. Your Food Preferences Will Reveal Which TV Character You Are

Are you more Blair Waldorf or Michelle Tanner?

20. What Grade Are You Getting In Life?

Are you literally failing at life right now?

21. What Type Of Emoji Are You?

Instead of a signature scent, you can have a signature emoji!

And if these didn't take you long enough, you can always check out BuzzFeed for more.

P.S. Good luck studying for that exam. Maybe you can find a quiz that tells you how to ace it.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Trouble In The Gaming Industry

The way consumers interact with games has changed dramatically over the years.

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Video games have officially become a part of popular culture. Whether one points to the viral sensation of Fortnite, or the success of various consoles and mobile games, it is clear that gaming has become a part of our everyday culture. Video games have been around for quite some time now and always enjoyed some level of popularity among the youth. However, today's levels of gaming have reached unprecedented levels. Approximately 64% of American households hold someone that plays video games once a day. Furthermore, Fortnite boasts a registered playerbase of over 200 million players, and continues to climb everyday.

As the industry grows larger however, it is beginning to shift and change from what it once dealt in. I grew up with classics ranging from Mario Kart to the Jedi Knight Series. Many of the games I used to play were created with an unprecedented level of soul and creativity. The industry grew to treat games like an art for a while. That has begun to change in recent years as major companies like EA have turned into massive money-making machines. First of all, many of the games I grew up with were not lacking in content. I could have played Star Wars Battlefront I and II (the original early 2000s versions) for hours on end, and there was NO DLC. Today, it is rare that you see a AAA game release that does not include a season pass or DLC. Why relase a game and force the customer to pay extra when there is more to be added on? Second of all, loot crates and other forms of in-game gambling plague the market. Of course, EA, Activision, and other major companies have been a part of this disturbing trend. It has caught enough media attention now that some governments are even considering regulating video game loot crates.

However, the most disturbing trend of all is mobile gaming. Mobile gaming has sucked in the young rich children of America. These are cheap, simple, and uninspired games meant to rake in money. Essentially, these games will benefit from in-app purchases through what they call "whales." These "whales" are typically young, rich, gamers who have the money to make large purchases. These customers provide the bulk of the influx of money leaving other gamers with little to no content to enjoy, or the inability to play against pay-to-win gamers. This is causing greater harm to the industry as a whole because it is making companies lazy. Rather than spend millions on a AAA game, companies are making apps that bait the customers into buying in-game currencies or extra lives. The days where games had soul and inspiration are dying out. A clear example of this was the Battlefront I and II reboot by EA which was boring and copied major shooters which had already been made.

Unfortunately, it would appear as though the gaming industry has turned into something dreadful. My hope is that enough people will grow bored with these dull cookie-cutter games that keep on coming out, but the unfortunate truth is that they're made to rake in the big-bucks no matter how boring.

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