Brand loyalty is a term thrown around constantly when discussing the differences between consoles. Mainly used to rag on Nintendo supporters (considering their history of lacking release-date libraries), I shocked myself when I started to justify buying an entire console for just two exclusives. So, why did I do it and do I regret it?
*This is a personal blog post and not a console review. My points are specific to my situation and not everyone will agree with them. More qualified gaming personalities can give you a better idea of the technical stuff – this is why *I* bought a Switch.
Now, for context, I have only owned one gaming console in my life – the Xbox 360. Before the death of the 360 and the release of the Xbox One, my older brother had his first gaming PC. Following soon after, one Christmas landed me my own computer and I’ve preferred towers over consoles ever since.
As a family, we owned a mixture of Sony and Nintendo consoles throughout my childhood. Noticeably impactful were the PlayStation 2, Gamecube and later on, the Wii. I don’t deny that being surrounded by predominantly Nintendo consoles swayed the franchises I get more excited about now. However, if the right games popped up at the right time, I’d have no problem picking up a PS4 or X-Bone for the same price.
(I almost did so with Valkyria Chronicles on the PS3 but my high school buddies loved Halo so what can you gonna do.)
We’re many years further on now and I’m using a below-average gaming PC for everything. I think the most modern game it can run (only just) is Monster Hunter World but it can stream my favourites and that’s all I need. Alongside this, I have been a strong supporter of Nintendo’s handheld consoles: picking up a DS Lite and 3DS XL as they came out.
Playing local multiplayer on PC can be a pain
A big difference in how I view games now compared to my high school self is down to living in a student flat. Most prominently, if I can play with my girlfriend then the value of the game just doubled. That being said, I have over 300 games in my steam library and some of them must be great multiplayer experiences so what’s the issue?
My PC is so old that only one of the USB ports work consistently. When a multiplayer game requires two controllers, one of us (usually myself) has the play the game with inputs that decide when they do and don’t want to work. I get that this is really personal and specific but this was a big factor in my interest of buying a console. But that doesn’t explain why Nintendo over the competition so why?
Smash Bros. and Pokémon Let’s Go
Super Smash Brothers is the only mainstream fighting game I can enjoy for hours on end. Since discovering the series on the Wii (wouldn’t have been my first choice in hindsight), Smash Bros has played a huge part in how I enjoy competitive gaming now. Although I passed on the Wii U, Smash for 3DS was one of the few games that kept me entertained in a time where my commute consisted of a 40 minute walk and a train journey in the middle. With all of the hype surrounding Smash Ultimate and the ability to play with flatmates the remarkable character roster was the icing on the cake. The Isabelle reveal still gives me chills.
Pokémon Let’s Go (Eevee in my case) is not a fantastic game. Let’s Go never promised to be the best game in the franchise; and yet it still felt lacklustre. If I played this game by myself I would have been bored to tears. Thing is, I didn’t play this game alone. My girlfriend didn’t grow up with Pokémon the way I did and this game allowed me to share that experience with her. Although now I have to get her caught up to speed because…
New Pokémon and Animal Crossing for Switch
The further into this article I get, the more I realise how much of my gaming childhood is down to Nintendo. Like most kids, the Pokémon craze grabbed hold of me and hasn’t let go. Although newer releases haven’t impressed me much, the purchase of a Switch was with the hope of a new non-remake Pokémon game for the system. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to wait very long as trailers for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield popped up one day.
One promise I did know about was of a new Animal Crossing. I have played Animal Crossing: New Leaf to death: maxing out houses on three characters, perfecting my town layout and still not getting Maple after the 50th time. I have been dying to start fresh in a new town and can’t justify buying New Leaf again or wiping my save. Even if this new Animal Crossing is terrible (which it better not be), I’ll still be waving goodbye to every other commitment and saying hello to a bunch of new villagers.
What’s the verdict?
So this turned into more of a pro-switch article than I initially intended but I suppose that’s the influence the console has had on me. Rather than being brand loyal to Nintendo as a console manufacturer, I’m loyal to their franchises. If I could get Pokémon and Animal Crossing on PS4 I’d probably have a PS4.
I don’t regret the purchase for a minute, my playtime in Smash Ultimate alone has justified the purchase in my eyes already. With blockbuster sales in the UK finally making some of the maddening £59.99 pricetags more affordable, I’m sure that I have made the right choice. I mean what does the PS4 have that the Switch doesn’t, Persona 5? Well yeah, I guess that is a pretty good one…
*Edit* Welp my ending doesn’t exactly work now seeing that Joker is in Smash Ultimate but until I get a confirmation I’ll stick to my guns!