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GoNintendo Thought: What are you playing this weekend?

Hope you had a great week, my friends. I also hope you have lots of gaming fun ahead of you this weekend!
As always, thanks for reading.

Through work, chores, and other obligations, we made it. The weekend is here, my friends! That means it's time to play some games! I hope you have a lot of great stuff lined up for yourself this weekend. Here's what I'm planning on spending time with.

I can honestly say that at the start of this week, I had no idea I'd be playing Fortnite again. I played the game for roughly 2 years when it first came out, and then I eventually shelved it. This was because I played online with friends, but our schedules fell out of sync, and we couldn't find the time to meet up online anymore. Playing online alone was still fun, just not as much fun.

It took a bit of time, but the stars have aligned, and now we can all jump in again on the fun once more. The game has certainly changed over the last couple of years, but the core gameplay remains the same. I've slipped right back into the action and have been having a blast!

I honestly think that's all I'll be playing this weekend! Something else might pop up, but I don't have any other titles in mind right now.

What are you playing this weekend? Hit us up in the comments below and share your plans.

GoNintendo Thought: A thank-you to YOU!

Reader appreciation day!

Been awhile since I've done one of these posts, which means it's about time I got to one! Always important to share stuff like this. As always, thanks for reading.

Those who have been with GoNintendo for a long time know that I really value the community here. At least I hope they know that! I always make a point to put together something to show my appreciation for you guys and your support of the site. Sometimes that's a podcast discussion, a Facebook post, a Tweet, or so on. Today it's a good, old post right here on GoNintendo.com.

I've been running GoNintendo, in one form or another, for roughly 18 years now. That's nearly half of my life! I've been working away on this site to bring you the latest Nintendo news, videos, reviews, and more day in and day out. While it's certainly time-consuming, it's been an absolute honor and privilege as well. Without a doubt, I owe that honor and privilege to each and every one of you.

Some of you have been here since day one, and others just popped in a month or two again. No matter what the case is, I want to thank you for your support. Thank you for visiting the site, retweeting our stories, liking our posts on Facebook, supporting our Patreon, and so on. What I do every single day is only possible because of you guys. What I do for a living simply wouldn't be possible without you guys at my back. Somehow I managed to get lucky enough to fall in with you wonderful group of people, and you've been supporting me and what I do all along.

I want to stress that not a day goes by where I'm not appreciative of what I get to do for a living. I went from being a Nintendo fan as a kid to covering Nintendo as an adult. I get to follow Nintendo more closely than ever, work with them on projects, and bring you all sorts of info every single day. It's just as mind-boggling today as it was when I first started. I could have never dreamed anything like this would happen. As a matter of fact, I never did! I had a completely different plan for life in my mind, but GoNintendo swooped in and took things over.

I'll never be able to thank you enough for your support, kind words, patronage, and so on. I've never been able to fathom just how lucky I am. Every time I think about it, I start to tear up. You guys are deeply tied to almost everything I do in a day. From my work to my personal life, you guys have impacted it in some way. That's an unbelievable feeling to experience, and equally overwhelming in a million different wonderful ways. There aren't enough words to express just how much you guys mean to me.

I could ramble on forever, but I don't want to waste your time. Long story short, thank you for everything. Thank you for following me on this journey, and for making it possible. As long as you guys are still here, I'll keep pushing ahead, doing what I do. It's my pleasure to be here running GoNintendo, and I can only hope that our coverage puts a smile on your face like the one you all put on mine every single day.

GoNintendo Thought: Seems like the 2 month+ schedule for Nintendo game reveals might be the standard for near future

Nintendo's new approach to releases

Today's feature definitely delves more into the opinion side of things than usual, and in a number of ways at that. I hope it doesn't come across as annoying or pretentious. As always, thanks for reading.

Back in May 2020, Nintendo surprised everyone by revealing Paper Mario: The Origami King. Equally as surprising as the game's reveal was its release date. Fans wouldn't have to wait a year to get their hands on the latest Paper Mario game. Nintendo confirmed that it would be launching just a bit over 2 months later. Seeing such a major game announced and having it so close to launch was a one-two punch that most Nintendo fans loved. It was nice to see something revealed while also knowing you didn't have to wait terribly long for it.

Now here we are in August 2020 and Nintendo has done it again. While there were rumors of Pikmin making a return, Nintendo hadn't shared anything official. Then, out of the blue once again, Nintendo announces Pikmin 3 Deluxe for Switch. There's no doubt Nintendo chose August 5th, 2020 specifically for the game's reveal date, as the original Pikmin 3 celebrated its 7-year anniversary just yesterday. People have been talking about Pikmin coming back for awhile now, but chatter surrounding the 7-year anniversary picked up considerably yesterday. Nintendo followed that fan discussion up with their announcement of the game, alongside a release date of Oct. 30th, 2020.

That makes for the second big-name game reveal from Nintendo that will see launch in a bit over 2 months. While two game reveals in a similar style isn't quite enough to qualify as an official tactic going forward, it does seem like Nintendo is leaning this way. Obviously Nintendo has surprise-revealed games in the past, but it's not too often we hear about them so soon before launch. While not confirmed, it does appear quite obvious that Nintendo's approach to game reveals in recent months has been tied to the pandemic, and how it has shifted the company's usual efforts. They can't disseminate details how they usually do, so this new surprise-drop approach looks like it'll be the new normal for a short time.

This method of revealing games hasn't been everyone's favorite, though. A subset of fans have been up-in-arms with Nintendo's lack of reveals for the rest of the calendar year. All Nintendo fans want to know what's next from the Big N, but a few of those followers were getting quite enraged over Nintendo's barren calendar for the rest of 2020. Unfortunately, the kind of situation we're in breeds that kind of thinking. Nintendo is almost always quiet, but they've clammed up even more due to recent events that forced them to shift things around. Nintendo is clearly still trying to figure things out, but the radio silence has only ruffled more feathers.

We'll never really know what Nintendo's full plan is behind the scenes. What we do know is that Nintendo doesn't like to announce things until they're ready. With the pandemic causing commotion, Nintendo had to rethink things on the fly and take it from there. Could it have been handled better? Could Nintendo have shared some statements to let fans know there's more in the pipeline for the year? I think the answer is yes in both instances, but I also think it's important to give not just Nintendo, but all game companies the benefit of the doubt right now. Schedules, development work, and reveals for everyone have been thrown out the window, and companies have had to throw away months, if not years of planning. Some companies have handled the shift better than others, but I think it's fair to say that everyone is working hard to get a grip on things.

Now we might have some sort of rough idea for how Nintendo will let things play out as we slowly get back to normal. If Nintendo does have more titles for release in 2020, and I'm certain they do, we can most likely expect to see them announced roughly two months out from their launch. That means we should likely hear about something coming in November 2020 either extremely late this month, or sometime in September 2020.

There have obviously been rumors of all sorts of Mario content to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.. We've heard rumors of Super Mario All-Stars 2 and Super Mario 3D World Deluxe. Some of those games were mentioned in supposed leaks that also named Pikmin 3 Deluxe being in the works as well. With today's reveal, there's certainly a bigger reason to believe some of those rumors. Obviously nothing is official until Nintendo says so, but with the Pikmin announcement today, we can at least expect when we'll have confirmation on those rumors if they are real.

Now does all that mean that Nintendo doesn't have anything planned for September 2020? Of course it doesn't, as there's no set rules here. It's just a bit of speculation based on how Nintendo has been revealing things since the pandemic hit. Nintendo could surprise announce a new game and launch it on the same day for all we know. Obviously it most likely depends on how big of a hit Nintendo expects a game to be, and how much time they think they need to spread the word to a potential audience. If games are coming from Nintendo in September and December, Nintendo clearly has unique plans for them.

As 2020 rolls on and we see what Nintendo has laid out for the year, I think it's important to keep one thing in mind. While it might not be fun having a blank slate of months ahead of us, we have to remember why that happened. There is some very serious stuff going on in the world right now. It's important to understand that the times we're in have caused all sorts of chaos in a million different ways. Nintendo is dealing with that chaos as well, and they're navigating the situation just like everyone else. This is something very, very few planned for, be it on an individual level or company-wide. We all need to make adjustments and hang in there.

I think we're all eager to get back to normal, see Nintendo do traditional Nintendo Directs, and spend months analyzing the latest trailers and reveals. Those times provide a lot of fun and excitement, and make it that much better to be a Nintendo fan. Those days will be back again, and we'll have a whole new bunch of silly Nintendo stuff to applaud, complain about, and generally discuss. Until then, let's all take a deep breath and chill as we do our best to ride this unprecedented time out.

GoNintendo Thought: Does losing repeatedly in a game compel you to play more, or push you away?

Challenge accepted?

Bit of a different approach for today's feature. It's a topic I've been thinking a lot about since last week's podcast, and I thought I'd open it up to all of you. As always, thanks for reading.

On last weekend's podcast, an interesting conversation came up about challenge in games. Obviously all games provide some sort of challenge, but our discussion was focused on online competitive games. I happen to be a big fan of the genre, even if I'm not capable of winning even a quarter of the time I play. Another podcast member finds the experience to be an extremely frustrating one, so much so that they're not capable of having fun. Two people having completely different experiences from the same game.

Whenever I'm playing an online game, or any game for that matter, I always appreciate a bit of challenge. I can certainly enjoy a game that's smooth sailing from start to finish, but having something to make me struggle a bit enhances the experience. You certainly get that when you play online competitive games. You're going to square off against real-life players, which means you have a potential base of millions of people who are easily better than you. You never know what you're going to get, and it makes for a much more intense experience.

I think we all know that you can have bad nights and good nights in online games. Sometimes you rack up the kills, score a bunch of wins, and feel like you're really contributing to the team. Other nights you can't seem to get anything together, and you're nothing more than fodder for the other players. Now it's not fun to lose over and over again, but those losses are what push me to keep playing. I want to work to get better, take on the challenge, and hopefully end the night on a win. Sometimes that doesn't happen, but I still have fun pushing to try and improve.

Certain games like Fortnite, Rogue Company, and Call of Duty: Warzone can create a pretty quick cycle of death. If you're jumping into these games and landing in hot spots, you could find yourself up against some serious opposition less than a minute after you land. If you're not ready for it, you could be dead before you even have a chance to get something going. Have that happen over and over again, and you can see how the frustration builds. You're not really playing a game, so much as you're sitting through a loading simulator.

With Rogue Company in particular, this feeling can be overwhelming. Matches are extremely quick, which leads to even more intense competition. With Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, you have massive maps that you can hide out on for awhile and hopefully avoid major confrontations. You might not have an action-packed experience, but you're in the game playing nonetheless. Rogue Company's maps are very tiny compared to those titles, and you're going to be thrown into the action no matter what you do. If you're having a rough night in Rogue Company, your total playtime might amount to 10 minutes or less.

Again, I can see how this would be an extremely annoying experience for a player, and I wouldn't blame someone for turning off their console and calling it a night. That said, it's not the way I operate. When I get caught in a loop of doing really poorly, it just makes me want to play more. I want to go one more round in the game. I want to change things up and try a new plan of attack. I want to prove to myself that I'm better than the poor gameplay I'm putting up. This kind of situation actually makes me even more invested in playing.

The same could be said for traditional games as well. If you're playing a brutally difficult single player experience and getting beaten down time and time again, you might not be so eager to continue. Sure, there might be difficulty sliders and other options, but sometimes it's not enough to make the entire experience more manageable. If every step of the way is an arduous journey, it can be extremely hard to find the fun. Some people take this as a motivator to train in attempts to get better, and others look at it as a sign to walk away.

Obviously neither side of the conversation is wrong. If frustration in games leads to you playing more and trying to better yourself, that's great. If that feeling makes you step away from the game, that's understandable too. If you're playing a game and not getting any enjoyment from it, why bother pushing ahead? Take a break for a bit, regroup, and return to it another night to see how things play out. You might find a new way to approach things, or you might find that a specific game or genre isn't for you.

What kind of player are you? Do you stay away from online competitive games because they get you too frustrated, or do you like the constant pressure? Do you turn the difficulty slider down in traditional games, or do you crank it all the way up?

GoNintendo Thought: I returned to Fortnite after over a year away, and its been a strange experience

It's like Fortnite, but not...

Here's a feature for GoNintendo I didn't expect to be writing! The weekend brings about mysterious opportunities! As always, thanks for reading.

Back when Fortnite's Battle Royale mode first hit the scene, I was instantly intrigued. A game where you're plopped down into a match against 99 other people, and you're vying to be the last one standing? I absolutely love that kind of mechanic! We all know that Epic wasn't the company to invent the idea, but they certainly innovated upon it. Epic took the battle royale idea, streamlined it for mass market appeal, and watched Fortnite set the world on fire.

Fortnite, which released in 2017, is still going strong deep into 2020. Millions of players continue to enjoy the game every day, and records are being shattered thanks to virtual concerts and more. Whether you love the game or hate it, Fortnite is very much alive and well, and has a long lifetime ahead of it. Much like Pokemon GO, Fortnite hit an insane wave of popularity out of the gate, eventually saw some of the player base fade away, but kept things going strong by constantly evolving and wooing in new/lapsed players.

When Fortnite launched, I was all about it. I hopped in on the game via PS4 and gave it a whirl, and became instantly enamored. I couldn't get enough of the idea of being a one-man army against the whole world. There's just something so thrilling about going up against that many real-life players and hoping to come out on the other end. So many different types of players, so many ways to win. No two games will play alike, and you've got just a good a shot as anyone else when the round first kicks off.

I'm of the mindset that any game is more fun when you have friends along for the ride, so that's just what I did. I reached out to friends and had them join in for the action. That made the experience better in a million different ways. Sure, it was tougher to get a win when you're in a group of four rather than running solo, but it was still a blast to try and eek out a victory. When those wins did come in, they were that much sweeter. Celebrating with your buds after a hard-fought battle definitely ranks as one of my favorite moments in gaming.

As time went on, I eventually moved over to playing Fortnite on the Switch. That option allowed for gyroscopic aiming, which made me enjoy things on a completely different level. Now I had a way to play that made me feel even more proficient. I am not a top-tier player by any stretch of the imagination, but I can definitely get more done when I have gyroscopic aiming as an option. This lead to me using Switch as my main platform to play Fortnite from its launch until my last game.

I can't quite pinpoint the moment when I last played Fortnite, but I did eventually pull away. My friends couldn't find the time to play as often, and there were other games coming out that I wanted to give a shot. When you go from playing online with friends back to playing solo, things just don't feel the same anymore. You don't have the same sort of excitement if you win, and you really don't have anyone to share it with. Not being able to set up times to play with friends was the end of the road for me with Fortnite. Even though I would continue to cover the game for GoNintendo and hear about all the things happening, my personal experience with the game was over. Or so I thought...

Living life in a pandemic has lead to a lot of different experiences. People are staying at home more often, working from home, and finding themselves with a few more hours to spare when it comes to free time. This has paved the way for connecting with friends online a lot more. I've been hanging out with friends a ton virtually through various apps, and we've all been playing games together. We've spent time with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Friday the 13th, Golf With Your Friends, Uno, and so on. As of last night, Fortnite got added to that list.

I have some friends who say Fortnite sucks and they refuse to play. You know how it is with some people. I have others who have tried the game and never figured things out, but they want to dive back in and give it a go. Some of those friends started up a discussion yesterday, and I said I was down to hop back in. Its easily been over a year since I played Fortnite last, but I'm always willing to give any game a go, even if it's one I put down years back. I jumped on my Switch, downloaded the game, and dove headfirst into the world of Fortnite once again.

I will say that the overall goal of Fortnite is still there. You're still gunning to be #1 when all's said and done. I know some people play Fortnite and focus on how many kills they get, but it's never been about that for me. I always strive to be the last man standing, and I use a lot of stealth to get that done. I'll get into multiple shootouts when I play, but I never want to take on more than I have to. I have no problem hanging back and collecting helpful guns/items, and then making my way to the action when I feel like I'm prepared.

While how you 'win it all' remains the same, everything else around Fortnite feels quite different. Right off the bat, I was surprised by just how much more fleshed out everything feels. The Fortnite I remember had a huge map with a handful of notable locations, but much of the surrounding areas were sparse. A couple of houses/shacks here, some trees there, and a few mountains in the way. Now the game's map, while still just as big, is overflowing with things to do and see. The amount of built up locations is pretty staggering, and their size/scope is beyond anything I recall. Fortnite's map now goes out of its way to make sure no matter where you are or what you're doing, there's always something to explore.

To be honest, I'm not sure I like this better. One of the reasons why I love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild so much is because there was a beauty to the vast openness of it all. Something felt so good about traversing the landscape to see what was around the corner. Sometimes it was a town bristling with people, other times it was nothing more than a beautiful vista. That kind of design made me really appreciate the special spots that popped up on the map. That was the same kind of feeling I used to get from Fortnite.

The map in Fortnite now feels like it's stuffed to the gills. There's just so much going on...so much to do and see that it feels like an overcrowded amusement park. When every single area of the map is made to feel special and exciting, it starts to make everything feel bland in a way. It sounds strange, but when everything tries to stand out, it feels like nothing stands out. The player is given too much to do and see, and it all becomes a bunch of noise. For the type of player I am, Fortnite having a few standout locations mixed with more open areas gave me a feeling of excitement and a desire to explore that I don't quite get from the new map.

On the flip-side of things, I will say that I like the weapon variety that I've come across. Again, I know that Fortnite is always changing, but what's in the game now feels like a great mix of classic weapons and new stuff. My favorite guns are still alive and kicking, with some getting a few tweaks that I appreciate. There's new guns as well that help keep the action fresh, and give you more choices depending on the kind of firefight you're in. Then there's silly stuff like the harpoon gun or flare gun that are made to cause chaos and really switch things up, and I truly appreciate those as well.

I also enjoy the variety in new ways to heal and grab some shield. When I was in the thick of it with Fortnite, you had small shield potions, large jars, med kits, and chug jugs. That was pretty much it when it came to your choices. Now there's a whole bunch of different ways to heal and protect yourself. I don't know the names of things yet, but I love the idea of the shield pack that you can throw on the ground, which then explodes with a burst of 'shield juice' that's dispersed among everyone in the vicinity. There are items on the map that you can break open and get an explosion of shield as well, or even some water you tread through that'll give you shield protection. The mix of new items and organic options to heal/shield up is definitely a welcome change.

While all those differences are certainly sizable, there's two elements that have changed in a major way since I last played. One of those is tied to how matchmaking is handled. Back when I was playing regularly, Switch players were going up against Switch/PS4/XB1 players all the time. That's not how Fortnite on Switch works nowadays. Epic changed things around awhile back, and now Switch players face off against other Switch players, and mobile players. That's all you're going to get from matchmaking, unless you're joining a friend who's on another platform.

The second change is the addition of bots, which remains a hotly-contested topic. Epic wanted newcomers to feel like they had a chance in Fortnite, so they decided to throw in some computer-controlled players alongside the real-life ones. Give new players a chance to get into some firefights without certain death, let them build up their skill and confidence, and then hopefully they'll stick around a bit longer. I really do get the logic behind the decision, but there's no doubt that those bots fundamentally change the experience.

My favorite part about playing Fortnite, outside of joining up with friends, was taking on other real-life players. When you're going up against that many real people, it makes the action feel so much more intense. Every fight you get into could end up being your last. When you square off against a bot, I see very little chance for them to cause you any trouble. Having gone head-to-head with multiple bots since I played last night, I can say that they offer very little outside of a minor annoyance. They're no doubt invaluable to newcomers looking to learn, but for those who are used to these type of games, they end up making any victories you have feel a bit hollow. Coming out on top after taking out 10 real-life players feels amazing. Getting a first place finish after beating 5 bots and 5 real players doesn't feel the same.

Now I'm not sure how sophisticated the matchmaking process is in Fortnite, but I would imagine that Epic has poured a ton of time into making sure players get the best experience possible for their skill level. Last night, I was playing with someone who had never played Fortnite before. It was their first experience ever, and they didn't even know much about Fortnite to begin with. Now having them in my party no doubt impacted matchmaking, and the games we were being thrown into were more geared towards them. As we played, I could see the natural progression of things. Games started out extremely easy and we got quite a bit of wins. As the night went on, you could see that we were getting thrown into the mix with more skilled players and less bots. Nothing overwhelming, but certainly more engaging and challenging.

I'm interested to see where things go from here on out when I play. Perhaps I need to get in on some solo games to see what the bot experience is like, as well as the real competition I'm put up against. What I can say for sure is that the bot situation lead to me not having as much fun, but seeing my teammate learn the ropes and really enjoy the game was extremely rewarding. I got to see both sides of the coin while playing, and it definitely lead me to a deeper understanding of why Epic made the bot decision. Now how that scales along with the overall matchmaking for other skilled players will be the real make-or-break point for me going forward.

Fortnite in 2020 is very different from what it was back when I played regularly. The game is much more polished, without a a doubt. It's also bigger, louder, and exploding with content. It's a more bombastic experience that aims to give you a bazillion things to do on top of trying to survive to the top spot. I certainly miss the simpler days of Fortnite, and I'm not sure how the bot situation will adjust going forward, but I still had fun. If I throw in some more friends and we put in more time, I'm guessing the experience will grow and change into something that I appreciate even more.

I don't know that 'Fortnite feeling' will ever get back to where they were for me, as Epic's goals for the game are different now from what they were years ago. I may miss what things were, but I can still appreciate the expanded reach. As long as the game learns what type of player I am and the challenge I'm looking for, I can respect the changes. It'll certainly be interesting to see where things go from here.

GoNintendo Feature - Goosebumps Dead of Night review from Any Austin

Truly a scary experience

Any Austin is back with another review, and this one is his greatest test yet. Can he manage to survive the utter horror that is Goosebumps Dead of Night on Switch?!

If you like what you see, we'd love to have you subscribe!

GoNintendo Thought: How's your Switch holding up?

Like new or old and busted?

This should be a fun and interesting piece! Looking forward to what you guys have to share, and I hope it's good news! As always, thanks for reading.

It's hard to believe that the Switch has been out for nearly 3 and a half years now. Time sure flies when you're having fun, and that's exactly what I've been having with the Switch. While the system still has years to go, I would definitely put it in my upper echelon of Nintendo platforms. The system has been a phenomenal portal to new games and titles I missed out on, and its been fantastic for the local multiplayer fan in me. I obviously can't offer my final word on the system until it rides off in the sun, but so far so good when it comes to entertainment!

While the Switch has been top-notch in offering gaming goodness, some other aspects of the system haven't been as high-quality. There have been numerous complaints over the years of some hardware hiccups and issues, with some users having a really rough time of things. Obviously the biggest complaint over the years has been the dreaded Joy-Con drift, which Nintendo themselves have acknowledged, and are currently in the middle of a class-action lawsuit over. That's another story with its ending yet to be written, but there's no doubt the problem exists.

With the Switch having a decent amount of time under its belt, I thought now would be a good time to check in with those who've grabbed the platform and put some time in with it. Obviously I'm more interested in hearing from those who picked up a Switch in its first year, but all are welcome to share their stories. I'm out to see how the hardware is holding up for everyone, and if any major issues have cropped up. Of course, it's only fair that I kick things off by sharing input on how my own Switch is hanging in there.

I've had my Switch since the system launched back in March of 2017, so I've definitely put in ample time with it. There hasn't been a week where I don't fire the Switch up at least for a little bit. More often than not, its seen heavy usage over the 3+ year span that I've had it. Thankfully, I can say that I haven't experienced any Joy-Con drift issues. I used the Joy-Con heavily for a long time there, but then I switched over to a Switch Pro Controller, and that's been my go-to for most of the time since. Joy-Con are passed off to others for multiplayer, and they've definitely gotten a fair share of action, but remain perfectly fine for the time being.

While the Joy-Con are good, there are definitely some other minor issues that have cropped up throughout the years. Nothing that impacts my use of the system in any way, but stuff that is definitely worth bringing up. I'm curious if anyone else out there has experienced these issues.

First up is a problem that I'm sure a few Switch owners have dealt with. My Switch kickstand has pretty much given up on life. While it can still hold the system just fine and I play somewhat often with the Switch propped up on my desk, the kickstand itself loves to jump off the Switch when I touch it. That never happens when in use, but if I ever go to pull the kickstand out or push it back in, it usually just falls off in my hand. I can snap it back into place and it'll stay there until the next time I go to fuss with it. It's clear that the little nubs that hold it in place have been worn down, and they aren't doing their job anymore. Considering I switch out microSD cards multiple times each week, I'm guessing my kickstand sees more use than most. I can understand why its become so loose, but that doesn't make the situation enjoyable.

Then there's the much bigger issue with my Switch. Again, it hasn't caused any problems and the system still functions just fine, but it's scary nonetheless.

One day I went to power on my Switch and I noticed that a small chunk of plastic was missing from around the power button. I looked on my desk and found it sitting next to my dock. I'm not sure how it happened, but part of the 'shell' of the Switch decided to expel itself from the unit. That gives me a bird's eye view down into the Switch and its inner workings. Not exactly something I want left open to the outside world! Just seeing that happen has had me worried that the rest of the shell is going to start to flake off, but so far so good. I just used the piece of scotch tape you see in the image above to hold the plastic in place, and all's well.

If I had to guess, this issue probably popped up because of how I use the Switch. I never put my Switch to sleep. I always go for a complete shutdown, which has me holding the power button for 8 seconds. The Switch is almost always in its dock when I'm doing this, so I'm using a considerable amount of pressure to hold the button down. After three and a half years of doing that, I would imagine that I ended up weakening the plastic around that spot on the Switch. Obviously things shouldn't be this way, and I wish the Switch was a bit sturdier at this point. That said, I can see how my repeated strain might have lead to the issue. Again, something I understand, but I'm not happy about.

Outside of those two issues, my Switch is alive and kicking. It works just like it did on day one, the Joy-Con still slide on and off without issue, and everything else is in tip-top shape. I'm thinking that's how things will continue on from here on out, as long as I haven't jinxed myself by saying that!

What issues have you had with your Switch? Has it been in pristine shape since day one, or have you been plagued with issues? Share your stories and let's see how things are holding up!

GoNintendo Thought: Will Nintendo's recent leaks cause the company to be more secretive than ever?

Lockdown

Not exactly a fun topic to cover today, but an important one nonetheless. As always, thanks for reading.

Nintendo has had a very rough 2020 when it comes to data leaks. While the specifics of how data was obtained is still a bit unclear, the end result is undeniable. There has been an absolute deluge of sensitive information disseminated online without Nintendo's blessing. Source code for games, beta projects, cut content, demos, and so much more. It seems with every passing week, another huge block of Nintendo's internal documents and more make their way online.

While Nintendo hasn't really commented on the situation, we don't need to hear from them in order to know how they feel. There's no doubt many within Nintendo are absolutely devastated that this content has made its way online. Seeing people pick through this content to discover secrets and more must be supremely frustrating. Nintendo has said that sometimes they'll shelve ideas for decades before they find a way to utilize them, meaning nothing is ever really abandoned. You never know when a piece of content could be taken off the shelf, and reworked into something new.

Take a look at StarFox 2, for example. For years and years, many thought that game to be dead. A nearly-finished ROM had floated around the internet for years, but Nintendo still held a ton of unreleased content close to their chest. That eventually paved the way for StarFox 2 to see an actual release through the SNES Classic. Something almost all Nintendo fans figured would never be possible actually got the green light, and StarFox 2 saw release.

Now with fans and dataminers alike digging through Nintendo's leaked information, all the secrets for some games are out in the open. Ideas that didn't make the cut in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a prototype demo for Yoshi's Island, unused sprites for Super Mario Kart, and so on. All of these things that Nintendo were keeping under lock and key have made their way out onto the worldwide web, and there's absolutely no way for Nintendo to fully turn off that leaky spout. Even if they crack down legally, much of the damage is done, and content will continue to spread in various corners of the internet.

Pretty much since the SNES days, fans have known Nintendo to be an extremely secretive company. It's always hard to know what's going on behind-the-scenes at the Big N, as they always keep quiet until they're absolutely 100% ready to share details. When that time does come, Nintendo usually turns on a drip-feed of news for their games. Sometimes you have to wait months, if not years to learn juicy details about a game. Then just a couple months before, Nintendo lets loose with a flood of information. Those couple of months before launch are great, but the years before can certainly be frustrating.

This is why leaks like the one Nintendo is experiencing are such a big deal. After putting up with an extremely reserved Nintendo for decades now, a ton of their cards have been laid out on the table. Sure, this might be content tied to games that are years, if not decades old, but we're still getting juicy tidbits that we may not have otherwise known. A look behind the curtain...a showing of how Nintendo crafts their masterpieces. This is something we very rarely get to see from Nintendo themselves, so having all of this come out at once is unbelievably overwhelming.

For years now, Nintendo fans have been begging Nintendo to be more open about their games. People want a more steady flow of information, rather than having to wait months and months for the tiniest tidbits. No matter how many suggestions for a better back-and-forth between fans have been shared, Nintendo continues to keep quiet and do things their own way. That's certainly not a surprising outcome, but is still disappointing at the same time. Nintendo no doubt loves their fans, and Nintendo fans love Nintendo as well, but it would be nice to have something that connects us a bit more.

This is why Nintendo's leak is one of the biggest talks on the internet right now. Fans are getting unprecedented access to Nintendo in ways that have never happened, and most likely never would. Even those who are against the rather dubious nature in which this content hit the internet are finding it very hard to resist peeking at what's out there. A sneak at a sprite here and a watch of a prototype video there. It's something we simply don't ever get from Nintendo, and the allure is absolutely undeniable.

Unfortunately, it seems this even is going to end up driving a wedge even further between Nintendo and their fans. Even if Nintendo doesn't blame fans for diving into the content to snoop around, you can bet they're going to make sure they lock the doors tighter than ever before. That goes for Nintendo's own vaults, as well as the many partners they work with. It's hard to imagine how Nintendo would be anything but more closed off going forward. You don't suffer a leak like this and decide to open up more.

Nintendo values their games, game ideas, and design process unlike any other gaming company other there. Obviously no game companies want to see their hard work leaked, but it happens. It just doesn't happen too often, and not on this sort of scale. It also doesn't happen to Nintendo, which is another reason why this leak is so shocking. Nintendo works extremely hard to keep their ideas from the competition, and the same goes for their creation process. Now that content is out there, and anyone can dig through it. For a company that has their developers work in a windowless section of a building to avoid leaks, this must be an absolute nightmare.

It really doesn't seem like there's any way Nintendo comes out of this with an approach that's more open. Nintendo fans who were hungry for info before will most likely have to wait even longer to get details. How Nintendo presents content to fans may change, and how they handle info dissemination could be overhauled as well. This is the sort of wide-ranging event that causes a major shift within a company. There's little doubt Nintendo is looking into how they can prevent something like this in the future, and it'll certainly impact reveals going forward.

Just how much more locked down will Nintendo get? I guess we're going to find out going forward. At at time when Nintendo fans are already hungrier than ever for Nintendo news, we'll likely see the Big N slink back a bit. You can't really blame them if they do, but that doesn't make the pill any less hard to swallow.

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GoNintendo Thought: Nintendo, it's time to give Virtual Boy Wario Land a second chance

This port is long overdue, Nintendo

While I love Nintendo, a lot of things about the company confuse me. This is one of those things, and it only confuses me more as time rolls on. I had to write about it to get things out, as the topic has been driving me nuts! As always, thanks for reading.

When you look back on Nintendo's history, there are a ton of major hits and a small amount of misses. When it comes to those misses, there might not be one greater than the Virtual Boy. Nintendo's black-and-red, pseudo-3D device seemed to stall right out of the gate, and never got anywhere close to recovering. The system saw just 22 games released for it, and only 14 of those made it to North America. While the Wii U might stick out in the minds of Nintendo fans for failing to find a market, the Virtual Boy was a far bigger disaster.

While the Virtual Boy's library was absolutely minuscule, there were still some fun titles in the mix. 3D Tetris proves once again that any version of Tetris offers up some fun, Teleroboxer gave us a new perspective on Punch-Out!!-style games, Red Alarm impressed with its virtual landscapes and shmup action, and so on. All that said, there's undeniably one title that stands head and shoulders above all the others. That would be the oddly-named Virtual Boy Wario Land.

When Virtual Boy Wario Land came around, the Wario Land series was actually quite new. We got introduced to Wario in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Gold Coins, and saw Wario take the lead in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. Outside of that, that was it for the Wario Land series. It was clear Wario was gaining in popularity with fans, thanks to the completely different take on Mario in terms of character design, as well as the new gameplay mechanics Wario offered. That's why giving Wario another outing made perfect sense at the time. That early wave of Wario momentum led us to Virtual Boy Wario Land.

Sadly for the Virtual Boy, Virtual Boy Wario Land wasn't ready for the platform's launch. It would show up November in North America and December in Japan, which put it 3+ months out from launch in the states, and nearly half a year after the Virtual Boy's release in Japan. Not having a heavy-hitting, more traditional platformer at the Virtual Boy's launch certainly hurt the system and its appeal. Would the Virtual Boy have been a success with Virtual Boy Wario Land alongside launch? Most likely not, but there's no doubt it would have gotten quite a few more eyes on the hardware.

Virtual Boy Wario Land never had a shot at finding fans on the Virtual Boy. The system just didn't penetrate the market, and was dead before it even got started. By the time Nintendo pulled the plug on the Virtual Boy, the system failed to hit a million units sold, moving just 770k since launch. That failure left us a small, but interesting library of titles that the vast majority of Nintendo fans never got to experience. Virtual Boy Wario Land is no doubt the gem of that collection, and it absolutely deserves a second lease on life. Truth be told, the fact that Virtual Boy Wario Land never saw a remake or re-release on another platform is one of the greatest Nintendo mysteries in my eyes.

When you strip away the 3D visuals of Virtual Boy Wario Land, you are left with another fantastic 2D Wario game. A line of titles that Nintendo seems to have forgotten in recent years, mind you. Wario sets out on yet another adventure to hunt down as much treasure as he can, unearthing hidden rooms filled with collectible items and more. Along the way you'll take advantage of unique Wario abilities that he gains through hats. Wario can get an Eagle hat for a mid-air dash, Bull hat for a super-charge, and a Dragon hat that lets him breath fire. Wario has to make use of these power-ups to hunt down a key in each stage, which unlocks an elevator that provides access to the next level.

Of course, Nintendo set out to make use of the Virtual Boy's 3D capabilities with Virtual Boy Wario Land. Levels are filled with special blocks that let Wario jump from the foreground to the background and back. This lets you access new platforming challenges hidden in the background, visit new areas of a level, and even find secret treasures. The 3D effect was also used during boss battles, which were combined with some pretty impressive sprite scaling. You would deal with baddies that were far off in the distance, including a fight across a flooded cavern, a creature that leaps between sand dunes, and more. Throw in some mini-games between stages that make use of 3D as well, and you had a real tour de force for the platform.

Now do those features make it impossible for Virtual Boy Wario Land to exist outside of the Virtual Boy? They definitely don't, as they're little more than visual trickery to show off what the system can do. It might be a tad easier to judge distance on attacks during boss battles, but it's nothing that couldn't be easily handled in traditional 2D as well. The same goes for the background/foreground jumping mechanic. It definitely gave us a new gameplay mechanic that games hadn't used at the time, but it's not something where you need 3D to enjoy it. You can still see what's going on in 2D perfectly fine.

It's that tidbit that brings us to a rather interesting part of this whole discussion. There's another developer out there who felt that Virtual Boy Wario Land deserved to exist outside of the Virtual Boy. Jools Watsham, the head honcho at Atooi (formerly Renegade Kid), had a desire to see Virtual Boy Wario Land get another shot at finding an audience. Watsham was the perfect dev to handle such a project, as his own Mutant Mudds series enjoyed the exact same mechanic as Virtual Boy Wario Land. Mutant Mudds lets you jump back and forth using special blocks as well. Watsham new how to work with the mechanic, understood the intricacies, and even made the feature work on non-3D platform like the Wii U.

Obviously, there's another reason why bringing back Virtual Boy Wario Land made perfect sense. Many years after the Virtual Boy, Nintendo returned to the idea of 3D gaming with the 3DS. A portable platform that let you end 3D stereoscopic visuals without the need for glasses. Even better, it did away with the Virtual Boy's red-and-black visuals in exchange for full color. The 3DS eliminated all the struggles the Virtual Boy presented in order to bring 3D visuals to the masses. Whether you played with 3D or not, or even liked the feature, there was no denying that it worked.

It was the 3DS' existence that convinced Watsham it was the time for Virtual Boy Wario Land to return. Rather than just pining for a release, Watsham took on the project himself, working up the above revamped version of Virtual Boy Wario Land. According to Watsham, he pitched the idea of remaking Virtual Boy Wario Land for the 3DS to Nintendo, giving the game a color makeover in the process. Unfortunately, Nintendo had turned down the pitch and that was that. No reason was ever given for Nintendo shooting down the idea, which only makes the entire situation that much more frustrating.

Nintendo not giving Virtual Boy Wario Land another chance to shine on other platforms is one thing. Nintendo not doing a re-release of Virtual Boy Wario Land for the 3DS is an absolute travesty. How on earth do you create a new platform capable of glasses-free 3D and not bring over the true gem of your software library from the Virtual Boy? It seems like a no-brainer decision, yet Nintendo never bothered to make it happen. They didn't tackle the project on their own, nor were they willing to work with a third party to make it happen. It's an absolutely baffling choice that only gets more frustrating the more you think about it.

Some might say that Nintendo was probably eager to move on from the Virtual Boy, and they didn't want to revisit the failure in their new efforts. That would be a good excuse, if not for Nintendo referencing the Virtual Boy in numerous titles going forward. The Virtual Boy has famously become part of the WarioWare series, popping up in numerous titles throughout the years. It's not the only place you see nods to the Virtual Boy. You can find the device tucked away inside Tomodachi Life, the Virtual Boy is directly referenced/used in Luigi's Mansion 3, and so on. Even Nintendo of America's former President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime was spotted with the Virtual Boy in an official video released by Nintendo. While Nintendo may not be happy with how the Virtual Boy was received, there's little doubt they've since embraced that part of their history.

So what is it that keeps Virtual Boy Wario Land from getting another shot? I have zero clue, which is what makes the situation so anger-inducing. It stars a character that is important to Nintendo, it has only grown in praise since it originally released, and it never had a chance to find any sizable audience. Virtual Boy Wario Land turned out to be wasted effort on Nintendo's part, which obviously wasn't the plan. We saw that Nintendo wasn't willing to let that happen with their Wii U software, which is why they've brought over so many of their Wii U titles to the Switch. That decision lead to increased sales for almost every single title that got ported. Why hasn't Virtual Boy Wario Land ever gotten the same treatment?

Could you imagine if Nintendo announced a Virtual Boy Wario Land remake for the Switch? If Nintendo went with an eShop-exclusive launch for the title, I could only imagine how big it would be. For many, this would be a brand-new Wario game in a traditional style. I can't fathom it requiring a ton of work to bring over to Switch, and it seems like the title would be a surefire hit. Fans would absolutely jump at the chance to play this part of history they never had the chance to enjoy. No matter how many different ways I look at the situation, I see that all the pieces of the puzzle are there. Fans would be shocked and excited to see it, the digital distribution would cut down on expense, and the game's design is still solid rock-solid 25 years later.

Nintendo, it's time to do Virtual Boy Wario Land some justice. The game is a part of your history that so many never had the chance to play, and there's no doubt they'd love to give it a go. It's crazy to think that something like the never-released StarFox 2 actually saw launch so many years later, yet a game like Virtual Boy Wario Land can't get another shot. The fans deserve it, the character deserves it, and perhaps most importantly, your hard work deserves it! Virtual Boy Wario Land is a fantastic game that stands the test of time design-wise. Give players the opportunity to go hands-on with your diamond in the rough.

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