Here are two games that have my personal stamp of approval for the Nintendo Switch.
Although these are my two favorite Nintendo Switch games so far, I felt that it was necessary to review them systematically. I will be judging them based on these three factors. Ease of play, story/ adventure-mode, and endurance. Ease of play is how comfortable the game feels to play. Whether the gameplay and controls feel smooth or not. Story is essentially the main playing point of the game, multiplayer (or lack thereof) aside. Endurance? Yes, Endurance. By endurance, I mean the how long the gamer will typically play the game for. Will they become utterly addicted or will the title become a benchwarmer in your TV cabinet? Hopefully somewhere in between. To make sure I'm being as fair and just as possible I went ahead and played both of these games again for a duration of 30 minutes to refresh my memory.
1. Yoshi's Crafted World
I'll admit, this game took me by surprise. I hadn't even heard of the title until my wonderful roommate Aaron came home with it one night. Since my not so very distant youth I have always been a fan of Yoshi. I don't know what it is about him, but he seems like a really cool guy. Knowing nothing about Yoshi's Crafted World, I sat down and played for about 10 minutes until I realized I was hooked. The game is visually stunning and endlessly creative. The concept of the levels being constructed of primary school crafts is well executed and works well with the mechanics of the game. Although side-scrolling platformers aren't my favorite, Yoshi's Crafted World goes down in the books as one of my favorite switch games. Here's why:
Ease of play:
This is the first thing I noticed about the game. It was unbelievably smooth. The controls felt very effortless and satisfying. Whether converting enemies into eggs or controlling an airplane with your mere weight, it flows extremely well. This level of fluid gameplay made the game all the more enjoyable and comfortable.
The story here is very simple. Kamek and Baby Bowser steal these things known as "dream gems" from the harmonious community of Yoshis and you, as the player, are sent on a quest to retrieve them from a series of worlds. Although simple and generic, the story of this game is charming and perfectly represents the whole vibe that is Yoshi. What I really enjoyed about the story mode itself is how unique the stages and gameplay were in each world. While never too difficult, the complexity of the stages slowly increases making the game anything but redundant. The layout of the adventure mode is comfortable and rewarding ultimately doing the title great justice.
Unfortunately, this is the one downside of Yoshi's Crafted World. The playability of this game is somewhat short-lived. Once I beat the game, which took me around 12 cumulative hours, I wasn't left with much desire to go back to previous stages in the game. To be fair, the game presents a wide variety of unlockable items and the ability to replay stages until completed perfectly, but I wasn't left with a burning desire to go back and do so.
-Total Score 4.3/5
2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Oh man. Let me mentally prepare myself to review this one… Alright, here we go. When I first bought the Nintendo Switch, my roommate and I only had Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and the Crash Bandicoot Trilogy. While both great games I found myself craving a game with more substance to it. My Nintendo Switch guru and roommate Aaron suggested Legend of Zelda so I went ahead and bought it. The only prior experience I had with Zelda games was when I was around 10 years old on my Gameboy, so I didn't exactly know what I was in for with this game. I threw the game in thinking this would be a rather simple RPG and boy was I wrong. I admit that I didn't enjoy my first hour or two of gameplay because I felt that all odds were constantly stacked against me. Every enemy I initially encountered in the massive Kingdom of Hyrule killed me with one or two strikes of what is known as the "Boko club" aka the weakest melee weapon in the game. This was extremely frustrating. As I continued to play I realized that this game has a serious learning curve to it, which is part of its vast beauty. After months of playing here is my breakdown of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
Ease of Play:
The controls for this game are complex, yet rewarding. As smooth as they are, they are not immediately "easy" to use. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn these controls down to the T, you will have an extremely pleasant and enjoyable gaming experience. The mechanics and physics of the controls are outstanding. Throughout the game you learn a series of combo moves that will help you fend off enemies like a pro. I loved how you essentially have to earn your stamina and health points in the game rather than just starting off them. This allows for an unusually dynamic gameplay experience.
( Score: 4.5/5)
The plot is essentially the same as every other Zelda game. Princess Zelda has been captured and Link must save her. Pretty straightforward. In this particular version, the kingdom of Hyrule has been subdued by an insidious antagonist Ganon. Ganon is essentially this evil reddish goo that manifests itself in different forms. Your specific role is to regain control of four massive steam controlled animals known as divine beasts which in-turn help you defeat Ganon. Before I played the game, I assumed it would follow a normal adventure mode structure that possesses linear missions leading to the final stage. I was wrong. Instead, these four divine beasts essentially take up the bulk of the story mode. You complete a series of tasks leading up to each divine beast mission and finally enter the divine beast, which itself is a shrine. The true beauty of Breath of the Wild is the open world aspect of it. The map is enormous and gives you the liberty to explore every inch of it. While the vastness of the world can leave you feeling somewhat lonely at times, there is always something for you to do in the Kingdom of Hyrule.
The only game I can think of that is more time consuming than this one is The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim. My roommate and I collectively logged in nearly a weeks worth of gameplay in the course of four months. There is so much content in this game that it can almost feel overwhelming at times. Aside from the main quest, there are a plethora of mini-missions as well as these puzzles called "shrines." There are 120 shrines in the game, each one taking a minimum of 15 minutes to complete. Combine that with the four divine beasts and you have yourself an extremely long game. Since there are always things to collect and unlock, even after beating the main quest it's safe to say that this game has a long shelf life.
-Total Score: 4.8/5
Mario Tennis Aces, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe