Like the Wii before it, the Switch has brought a lot of gamers into the Nintendo home console ecosystem, who may have little to no experience with the big Nintendo franchises. Seeing these can be intimidating to someone whose last Nintendo experience outside of handhelds was the NES, but I have jumped into the franchises to let you know if they are worth your time.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Before this game I had never played a Zelda game, I know I’m a bad man, but still. So naturally entering this series seemed a little daunting.
Fortunately, there is no important story line you need previous experience with. Instead the game drops you into Hyrule as Link, who has woken after being in a long slumber, and you explore the world, saving the champions spirits, so you can beat Calamity Gannon.
The story is self-contained, and more importantly, the game is an absolute gem. With a stunning design style that never ceases to be a treat to the eyes, simple and fun gameplay, and with a truly open world that lets you experiment with equipment and resources to complete environmental puzzles.
Sure, weapons being breakable is an unnecessary pain, but it’s easy to move past that when you are enjoying every minute of gameplay.
BoTW is literally the game that converted me from an Amiibo snob, to an Amiibo collector.
Super Mario Odyssey
The only thing you need to know going into Mario Odyssey, is everything you probably know from pop culture about Mario, and if you don’t know any of that, don’t worry, it’s still an absolute gem.
Prior to Mario Odyssey my last proper Mario smashing was the original game on NES. Since then I had seen other games, but never sunk me teeth in. Fortunately, this game has no prerequisites.
It’s a self-contained title, where Mario and his new friend Cappy need to save their princesses. They do this by exploring the world to collect moons, to power the ship named the Odyssey. Doing so lets you save them from the marriage to Bowser. There are characters that pp up from the franchise, but the real joy of the game isn’t related to any references, the joy from the game is the pure perfection that is the gameplay.
Kirby’s Star Allies
I went into Kirby Star Allies with absolutely no experience with Kirby in the past. What I found was a charming, sweet, albeit repetitive 2D platformer. It was a perfectly fun and inoffensive game, that would be perfect for a family, or anyone who wants to relax and platform without being challenged too much.
I suspect that it didn’t click with me on a deeper level without an appreciation of the characters, but I liked it plenty.
Fire Emblem Warriors
This is one game that I have experience with the franchise, namely with the 3DS Fire Emblem titles. As such I have been enjoying the hell out of this game.
Fire Emblem Warriors is a Dynasty Warriors game with a Fire Emblem skin, and a few more Fire Emblem references. The gameplay is repetitive but fine, as you hack and slash your way through huge hordes of enemies.
If you’re a big Dynasty Warriors fan, you should enjoy it. If you’re a huge Fire Emblem fan, you may enjoy it. If you don’t know either, I wouldn’t start either franchise here.
So, this is what it is like to tackle some of Nintendo’s biggest franchises on Switch for the first time. Fortunately, the two biggest hitters I absolutely adored with little and no previous experience, so if you own a Switch you owe it to yourself to check out Zelda and Mario.
If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for me.