Nintendo was such an integral part of my growing up. I’m sure I’ve told this story no end of times, but fuck it. My first console was a Nintendo Entertainment System, and I got WWF Wrestlemania Challenge and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you know, the one with that hard as old hell level full of electric seaweed. I played the hell out of both of them; it was the first time I’d had proper exposure to video games, ignoring the occasional times I’d play Repton, Hades Nebula or Punch and Judy on my dad’s Spectrum. I was in love – enamoured, and I hadn’t even played Super Mario Bros yet.
Mario has always been such an important part of my life, and hundreds of hours later, I still get excited when I hear about a new game. I swapped my two games for the original Super Mario Bros and Ikari Warriors with my best mate, and well, the rest is history. And don’t even get me started on Mario Kart; if there was some huge database when I die that lets me see how long I spent doing stuff in my life, I’m fairly sure playing Mario Kart Double Dash would be at the top spot.
My daughter has started to become obsessed with Mario too, declaring ‘Mario was her life’ the other day. It’s this newfound love she has that has helped me to replay Mario, falling in love with Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Party, playing them together and sharing big smiles on our faces. Then, Super Mario Run comes along and shows just how addictive, colourful and fun the Italian plumber can be.
Since growing up, I’d much rather play on a PlayStation or an Xbox because I’m a lazy gamer, and I just want to sit there and sink a good few hours into something. Nintendo hasn’t released anything I’ve wanted to play for years, and their lack of games outside the general Ninty hierarchy hasn’t appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo make phenomenal games – it’s my problem. Pokémon Sun helped, but I was beginning to think it’s a little too late.
I think because I never owned a Wii U, or owned a Wii at the right time in my life, my love of Nintendo had started to wane. When they announced the Wii U, I felt nothing. I wasn’t excited by it, and I had no inclination to buy one. For me, the hardware just didn’t get me excited. It’s funny, because I’d class games like Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart and anyone of the original Super Mario Bros trilogy to be amongst my favourites of all time. What was wrong with me? I guess I stopped caring a little.
Then I started to pay attention to the Switch.
I own a 3DS (well, my daughter does, but don’t let her read this), but playing something like the new Zelda on the go is a concept that blows my mind. I can literally play for a couple of hours in the afternoon, take it on the bus to work, kill a bit of time outside of my kids’ school before I pick them up, and even on the loo (yeah, I’m one of those people that like to spend a bit of time there). I travel to London a fair bit, so this will be a lifesaver. I can play brand new console games from Nintendo anywhere.
There are going to be third party games by Bethesda, EA, Sega and Square Enix, too. It’s a new console, with all of these publishers wanting to get in on the action, so are we going to see exclusives for the Switch? I sincerely hope so. We’re also going to see new Nintendo games on the Switch, and I’m praying for Super Mario Galaxy 3! Please Mr Nintendo, PLEASE??? I think if I’d have had a bit more money when the Wii U came out, I might have purchased one. With the rumoured price circling around the £180 mark, it’s a steal. Even if we end up spending around £200, it’s still cheaper.
There are many reasons why I quite fancy one, but ultimately, I really miss playing Nintendo on the sofa. I miss the shit out of playing Super Mario in any form. I love every console I own, but there’s a magic in Nintendo that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I’ll be watching the conference, willing some great announcements and hoping for that Galaxy announcement. Regardless, I’m saving my pennies and refusing to buy those damn Americanos and Meatball Marinara subs so I can play the Nintendo Switch at launch, whether that’s on my sofa, or on the go.