Posts Tagged ‘Reaction’

What I Think of the Nintendo Switch

Well Nintendo, you’ve done it again. You’ve successfully, shall we say, been Nintendo.

It’s been an insane weekend for the Japanese videogame giant. The curtain is now (mostly) up on the tremendously exciting Nintendo Switch, the home console that can also be played as a portable (Not the other way around, as Nintendo seems very keen to emphasise). And the general complexion of the reveal event was very, very different to what the seemingly endless supply of corroborating rumours and prediction videos would have us believe. For all the credible leaks from credible sources about specific games and features that may very well still ring true, the big Tokyo event still managed to be an almost complete surprise both in its general content and where it decided to put its focus. If “Switchmas” had been right about what we were expecting, it wouldn’t have quite felt like a Nintendo show. We Nintendo fans as a general group have a habit of forgetting that, but for better or worse, the Big N was more than happy to throw us a few reminders. This is a company that does not like being predicted, but as it turns out, even the collective power of the internet’s most well-connected sleuths couldn’t quite spoil everything. And in true Nintendo fashion, said surprises have divided the internet right down the middle.

I could go through the whole presentation bit by bit and talk about my thoughts on each individual revelation (I’ve watched the whole thing twice now, plus the entire five-hour Treehouse stream that followed half a day later and countless YouTube hands-on reactions), but there’s a better way to do this.

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– Nintendo’s Modern Console –

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The raw processing specs of the Nintendo Switch remain elusive in any sort of official capacity, though I have every reason to believe that Eurogamer’s December leak will turn out to be a fairly decent approximation. That leaves us with a console that’s more capable when sitting in its dock/outputting through the TV than when played on the go, but only as long as we’re talking about display resolution and theoretically (though hopefully not) frame rate. In it’s weakest configuration, we can expect it to be more powerful than the Wii U – that much is supported by the impressions coming out of the public-facing events of the last two days – but even at it’s strongest, it’s almost certainly going to come off weaker when compared to the standard Xbox One and PS4 models. That means the biggest triple-A third party releases will probably be skipping the Switch, unless it really takes off sales-wise and it becomes worth the extra financial investment to port down. It also means Nintendo’s first party games will continue to look amazing, and just about every big indie hit you can think of should be able to make it over to the Switch, uncompromised and fully portable. Ditto for the vast majority of Japanese RPGs and such. Swings and roundabouts, time will tell etc.
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What’s much more concrete – and refreshing, it must be said – is just about every other Switch hardware detail that has come to light over the last few days. The system will not be region locked (there are no words for how happy this makes me), it has a 6.2 inch, 720p capacitive touch screen (i.e. multi-touch, like the PS Vita or a smartphone), supports the current standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec, allows up to 8-player local wireless interaction, charges via super-fast USB-C – which is only just now becoming widespread on Android phones – and supports expanded memory via the reasonably cheap and easy-to-find Micro SDHC/Micro SDXC cards (At least up to 256gb according to one moment during the Treehouse stream, which would have been more than enough to fit everything I’ve ever bought on the Wii U). Its battery life is quoted as being between 2.5 and 6 hours depending on the game you’re playing, which is about what we could have expected; certainly not enough to last an international flight, but coupled with that USB-C charging port, it should easily be juiced enough to cover your daily work commute no matter what you’re playing. This is all very good news if you ask me, especially when combined with the generally premium look and – based on what I’ve read so far online – the feel of the system. This is a sleek, modern device.

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Destiny Day One Impressions

Yes, the Nintendo stuff is coming. I’m trying to space out seven countdown posts over a few weeks.

So I just finished up an 8 hour long session with Destiny, Activision and Bungie’s gigantic videogame project that launched today pretty much worldwide. I very rarely play any game for that long in a single day, especially not a brand new one, so I feel like if I don’t write something about it I will be rather uncomfortable with myself. I played the whole time in a fire team with two friends, which if I understand correctly is the way the developers intended, and I’ve just hit Level 10 (half of the level cap) as a Warlock class. I hadn’t played the beta beforehand. I’m unlikely to ever write a review for such a gigantic, expandable title, so here are my scattershot, knee jerk thoughts on the game so far:
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WHAT I LIKE

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Dedicated Australian servers that haven’t yet crashed on me. That’s a fantastic start to any online-heavy game, let alone an online-only one. Installation and start-up were relatively painless. Bravo Bungie.

Gunplay. Most of Destiny‘s weapons feel really, really good to use, even if some aren’t all that effective. I’m particularly partial to fusion rifles and their concentrated laser barrage of destruction.

Visuals. Game’s damn purdy on PS4.

Mmm, moon rocks.

Mmm, moon rocks.

The game’s User Interface. Have you seen how clean Destiny‘s menus look? All big numbers and minimalist icons and right angles. Delicious. There isn’t a lot of unnecessary fat to be found anywhere.

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Oscars 2014 Reactions – Kinda Live!

By some fluke of scheduling I actually managed to watch the live broadcast of the Oscars this afternoon (though I was multitasking at the time), so like last year I have written my thoughts on the big awards here as I saw them happen, before giving them some editing and posting them up. Yay for timeliness! Please enjoy.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto

I can’t deny that Jared Leto is a talented actor, at least from what I’ve seen of his limited celluloid work in the likes of Fight Club and Requiem For a Dream. He gave a politically charged speech (meaning anyone playing a drinking game like this would have been off to a good start) that was also deeply personal. The first of a number of indications for the night that Dallas Buyers Club just might be worth seeing.

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When it rains, it torrents

So if it isn’t already apparent, I should probably take this opportunity to point out that this November has been a pretty barren month for Vagrant Rant. Aside from an all-out assault on my free time by a number of work commitments, there has been one primary reason for this: I have just returned from a 10-day trip to Japan with my Mega Ultra Blast Cast colleagues. And it was awesome.

Just about as soon as I touched down in Sydney once more, however, I had to hit the ground running with even more work commitments, even though there is a veritable feast of content to write about right now. This puts me in a bit of a pickle, as I highly doubt I will be able to cover everything I was planning to around this time of year. Here’s what I would love to do in the next couple of weeks, in a perfect world:

  1. Write up my many, many thoughts on the excessive quirkiness, wonderful culture of respect and otherworldy efficiency of Japan, based on my brief experience there;
  2. Write a handful of proper album reviews for the first time in a very long while, potentially focusing on the recently released Linkin Park remix album, two Capsule albums and perhaps more;
  3. Post a terribly low quality episode of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast that we recorded in our hotel room late in our trip, while a little, erm, under the influence;
  4. Write a proper review of the much-anticipated Hunger Games sequelCatching Fire, which releases in Australia very soon and has big shoes to fill;
  5. Do decent justice to the two next-generation gaming consoles, the Xbox One and the PS4, launching in a matter of days, with some first-up impressions and coverage.

There’s definitely a lot of exciting stuff and I am not terribly optimistic about getting it all done before my Best of 2013 series gets up and running. I will try my best and if even half of it happens | will be a happy man. In the meantime, here is roughly what the rest of my year looks like in terms of movies and games, more or less in order of release:


Need less to say, “I am keen” doesn’t quite cut it here.

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Gentlemanly Centenary Behaviour

And that was Vagrant Rant‘s first-ever guest week! I’ve already received some great feedback about it, including a handful of ideas and writing requests, so that probably won’t be the last you see of the concept on this here blog.

I just wanted to mention a few things that happened while the seven guest posts were going up:

  1. First of all, I definitely want to thank the talented, opinionated people behind each guest post, ZaonTheFirst, Dazidia, Foxtale, EraofShamus, Sean0graphy, deldog30 and DeathOnStilts.
  2. Dazidia’s review of the Bop Alloy record was actually the 100th post on Vagrant Rant (no, he doesn’t win a prize), so I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has ever taken the time to read something on the site, especially all of my lovely followers. To 100 more!
  3. I’ve gone back and re-adjusted all of my album reviews on the site to match the new, slightly tweaked, video-inclusive format used for Dazidia’s and Sean0graphy’s reviews.
  4. A pretty big deal for YouTube happened this last week as well, namely the release of PSY’s Gangnam Style follow-up, Gentleman. It has already claimed the record for most number of view in a single day and has 150 million views overall, but that was arguably a foregone conclusion. What wasn’t a foregone conclusion is that people actually seem to like it. Call it similar to Gangnam Style if you will, but it has a catchy rhythm, it’s actually funny and it has successfully thrust an older K-Pop dance move (and the group who first performed it) back into the spotlight on a much bigger scale than ever before. Credit where credit is due.
  5. The latest in the line of quirky, short-notice Nintendo Direct online presentations happened two nights ago. I was tweeting along with countless other Nintendo fans as the stream was happening and I have to say I am quite excited about the ongoing offerings of the company’s 3DS console. I’ll be talking a lot more about it when that 3DS vs Playstation Vita comparison piece I’ve been talking about finally goes up.

Oscars 2013 Reactions – Almost Live!

So I missed the live broadcast of the Oscars this morning on account of work, but I’ve been pretty successful in keeping a media blackout going, so I shall now watch the recorded version and write my thoughts on the big awards here as I see them, then post them tonight. How exciting!

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz

This one was arguably pretty open but I was still surprised that the favourite, Tommy Lee Jones, didn’t win. Very pleasantly surprised, that is, because Christoph Waltz was AWESOME in Diango Unchained and I had pretty much assumed that the Academy would ignore his turn because he had already won quite recently. Two wins from two nominations!

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