The Internet is a landmark technological and social achievement. For the first time in human history, large swaths of the general populace have been granted the tools necessary to participate in mass communication, a level of interaction that, prior to the proliferation of smartphones and computers, had only been accessible through gateways of influence, geography, and social status. In a very short amount of time huge portions of humanity have been given a platform through which to express their individual voice to the world at large.
To paraphrase Kevin Smith via Holden McNeil: evidently everyone has chosen to use that voice to bitch about video games.
Look at that; I’ve already lied. People also use the power of mass communication to bitch about politics, television shows, celebrities, and just about anything else you could think of. To paraphrase (again) a common meme: if something exists, then somewhere on the Internet there’s someone complaining about it.
Which brings me to the Nintendo Switch.
I’ve no interest in railing against the Switch’s naysayers in this space. That’s a fool’s errand. People are free to feel however they like about whatever they like. Hell, I EXPECTED people to flip out over the motion control game Arms and the party game 1, 2, Switch, precisely because they belong to the category of, “That is different from what I already know. I do not like that.” (Or because they’re sick of Wii games. Either/or.)
I have seen some stuff I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect people to flip out about the price tag attached to Switch peripherals, but I’ll be fair: they’re pricy. A Pro Controller will run you $70-$80, and a set of extra JoyCons will be in the same ballpark. But here’s some of the OTHER things I’ve seen people on the Internet get all bent out of shape about: “Breath of the Wild is coming out on Wii U so I can get it there and so it doesn’t count as Switch a launch title!” Yeah, suddenly everyone loves the Wii U. That’s a new development, huh? “Switch might not have Netflix?! FAIL!” I have about a dozen devices I can watch Netflix on. I’m willing to wager most people who would drop $300 on the Switch have a few of their own. “1, 2, Switch should be a pack-in!” Okay, I can see that, but — “Arms should be a $10 digital download!” Wait, that’s pretty cheap, and you don’t know — “Splatoon 2 isn’t an actual sequel!” Okay, hold it. They said it has Turf War, new Inkling fashions, and a new weapon, and that’s all we know; how can you make the assessment — “I’m sick of SNES games!” … okay, what? (Literally saw that one as a criticism of the Switch. I don’t get it either.)
Finally, and without fail, comes the all-time, forever-favorite: “Why can’t they go back to doing things the way did them in (insert time of your childhood here)?!”
Oh, did you love how things were in the hazy past? Was the world a much better place when it, and you, were simpler and younger? Did you know that overrating times gone by is such a common behavior that there’s a specific term that describes the human tendency to do just that?
I sometimes wish the Internet existed back in the 80’s and 90’s to the extent that it exists today. Not because it’s a fantastic, useful piece of technology, but because I really want to be able to look up the ridiculous complaints people had about things they now claim were utterly perfect. I can only wonder what NES and SNES Twitter would look like… so let’s wonder together, shall we?
(Public Service Announcement: in the spirit of Nintendo, I’ve censored the saltier language. Use your imagination.)
- “$199? Overpriced. I’ve never even heard of Nintendo. I’ll just get the new Atari. Thanks anyway.”
- “A TOY ROBOT? What, does Nintendo want everyone to think the NES is for LITTLE KIDS?!”
- “Who makes a gun for their system and just gives you a game where you shoot DUCKS?!”
- “They should have made it so you can shoot the <bleep>damn dog.”
- “You can’t scroll the screen back? What if the mushroom goes back past you? More like STUPID Mario Bros! #NintendLOL”
- “Don’t buy that <bleep>; it was obviously in the deal they made that Mike Tyson isn’t allowed to lose. <Bleeping> dumb.”
- “How am I supposed to kill Dracula IF I CAN’T CHANGE DIRECTIONS WHILE I’M JUMPING?!”
- “They took a WHOLE STAGE out of Donkey Kong. I’M NOT PAYING FOR THIS!”
- “It’s ridiculous there’s no map in Metroid. They just want you to buy their Player’s Guide! Total rip!”
- “Holy <bleep>, The Legend of Zelda is amazing!” (Some things can’t be turned negative, as it turns out.)
- “This Pac-Man game only has ONE BOARD?! Pass.”
- “Why the hell am I throwing vegetables? I don’t want to play as the little mushroom guy! THIS ISN’T WHAT SUPER MARIO IS, NINTENDO!”
- “I finally finished Metroid and SAMUS IS A GIRL?! WHAT THE <bleep> IS THIS FEMINIST AGENDA BULL<bleep>?!”
- “Magic spells? Side scrolling? EXPERIENCE POINTS?! THIS ISN’T WHAT ZELDA IS, NINTENDO!”
- “How many <bleeping> ogres do I have to fight? And if I’d known the thief was useless I would’ve picked the guy with the <bleep> red hat. <Bleeping> horse<bleep> game.”
- “Black and white? They made it BLACK AND WHITE?! Oh my god Nintendo is doomed.”
- “I don’t get it, am I supposed to shoot the falling bricks? And what the <bleep> is a tetris, anyway? Pass.”
- “<Bleep> THIS DAM LEVEL!” (Okay, that’s a legitimate complaint.)
- “He hops around on his cane? What kind of Disney Afternoon bull<bleep> is this?”
- “Whose idea was it to make all the graphics red and black? #VirtualBust” (Also valid.)
- “OHMYGOD Super Mario 3 is EVERYTHING!” (Again: some things don’t go bad.)
- “What is this thing? A cloud? A marshmallow? A blob of snot that sucks and blows? #<Bleep>”
- “I’ve GOTTA catch ’em all? What a scam.”
- “Holy <bleep> Nintendo. If I wanted to ride a dinosaur I’d get a Flintstones game.”
- “Uh… Sim series games don’t work on a console. #PCMasterRace”
- “This future racing game looks cool, but it’s way too fast. How am I supposed to steer? #Broken”
- “Holy <bleep>, A Link to the Past is what I’ve always wanted!” (See? Can’t ruin this one!)
- “So ‘Super’ Metroid just looks like Metroid with kinda better graphics. Pass.”
- “I’m supposed to use a MOUSE with my console? Stupid. But the bazooka light gun is AWESOME.”
- “Wait: I can’t name the people in my party? THIS ISN’T WHAT FINAL FANTASY IS, NINTENDO!”
- “Holy <bleep>, why are Mario and Luigi driving around in go-karts like some dumb<bleep> bobblehead dolls? LOL Nintendo is out of ideas, everyone!”
- “A cartoon fox flying a spaceship? LOL <bleep> that kiddie <bleep>. Pass.”
- “Super my <bleep>. Where’s Mike Tyson?!”
- “Uh… if this is a MARIO game, then why the <bleep> am I playing as Yoshi?!”
And so on, and so forth. You get the idea. God <bleeping> bless us, every <bleeping> one.