The Switch and porting games over to it

This is a short article, but a quick note on why some games that appear to require a lot of power (such as the latest versions of Doom and Wolfenstein) have been ported over to the Switch, despite its lack of power compared to the PS4 and Xbox One:

The Switch may be under-powered, but it is not under-featured. It actually has all of the graphical features of the other consoles, it’s all just scaled back because of the Tegra chip it is using. Because of this, most ports are able to just scale back on the detail level, draw distance, texture quality, etc to run on the system. No game running on current-gen consoles actually has to undergo major changes to the rendering code to accommodate the Switch.

My top Switch games

So with E3 around the corner, SwitchForce pushed out their list of top 25 games for the Switch. So here is my list – it’s much shorter because I haven’t played as many games, but I still had a lot of fun.

My top played games according to my Switch:

  1. Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  4. Stardew Valley
  5. Super Mario Odyssey
  6. InnerSpace
  7. Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)
  8. Overcooked!

InnerSpace, Super Mario, and Dragon Quest Builders are tied for 2 hours, and Overcooked! is “a little while.”

I’d say that list is actually accurate for my personal tastes. Zelda is such an excellent game, no contest really. I love exploring Hyrule as an open world.

Mario + Rabbids is also an excellent game. I love it, and don’t let the inclusion of Rabbids fool you: Ubisoft fit them in nicely and they actually don’t ruin the game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a very strong contender, and is great as a split screen party game.

Stardew Valley is a great farming sim, and something I like to play if I want something more peaceful. If you liked Harvest Moon or Farmville, you’ll love Stardew Valley.

The placement of Super Mario Odyssey is a bit odd, so let me explain: It’s a great game, but I’m terrible at platform games. I just don’t have that kind of motor control and sense of timing. Ironically enough, I’m thinking of getting Donkey Kong, but that’s because I know somebody who would play that with me.

InnerSpace is a nice chill game with a lot of promise, but it’s also very disorienting. Stardew Valley became my chill game of choice instead.

Dragon Quest Builders is a great Minecraft-like concept with RPG thrown in, but I wasn’t really completely sold. I still had some questions that were never quite answered by the demo.

Overcooked! sounds like a great game, but you seriously need somebody else to play it with, and I don’t know anybody who will play it with me.

Here are some games that are on my wish list that I think could be my top games:

  • Rocket League (still need to find other players, looks super fun)
  • Splatoon 2 (again, need to find other players)
  • Steamworld Dig 2 (but I’m a bit wary of it being a platformer)
  • Kirby Star Allies (not the most highly rated game, but probably a platformer I can actually handle)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I’m in a bit of a financial tight spot, so right now my library is pretty set, but some exciting stuff to look forward to, not to mention there will be even more when E3 comes.

Be very careful when following this advice

So Nintendo Life made an article on how to speed up your internet. But be very careful with this advice! In many cases, yes it can speed up your connection. But it can also slow down your connection.

MTU is basically how big “packets” can be when sending around the Internet. Bigger is often better for downloads, but there are a couple of problems that can crop up if the MTU is too big: Packets can be split, or packets can be dropped.

Packets can be split (or worse, dropped) when whoever you are communicating with has a lower MTU than you have. This is especially common with DSL connections, which often have an MTU of 1492. If packets are constantly getting split (as would be the case with a download), you will actually get a drop in performance, rather than a boost.

Packets can be dropped when you are on a poor connection, and if a lot of packets are being dropped, a higher MTU will mean you’re dropping larger packets and potentially losing more bandwidth.

This is likely why the Switch defaults to 1400, because it is a much safer number and ensures you’ll almost never suffer from a loss of bandwidth due to split packets.

That’s not to say you should never increase the MTU: If you’re at home you know you have a solid connection and your ISP’s MTU isn’t likely to change, so go ahead and try to bump up the MTU. But it’s unlikely to be worth it to change the MTU on public WiFi.

A few small thoughts on Mario + Rabbids

So a few small thoughts on Mario + Rabbids:

  • It’s a great game. I love the turn based tactics and the amount of thought I need to give each battle. I intend to play it all the way through, and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who is into turn based tactics.
  • It’s rather amusing that I see the occasional article asking about AAA third party games, but this one slips under the radar. I think some people forget that Mario + Rabbids is an Ubisoft title, not a Nintendo title 😆.
  • There are a couple of things that kinda limit how the game can be played: the way weapons are bought and having Mario be a permanent party member.

Continue reading “A few small thoughts on Mario + Rabbids”

About the power of the Nintendo Switch

So I’ve read a couple of articles from Techradar and The Verge, both claiming the Switch is about on the same power level as the Wii U. But I think this is a rather simplistic view, and I’d like to discuss a bit more about how much power the Switch has, and how it compares to similar products.

Continue reading “About the power of the Nintendo Switch”

Why Microsoft and Sony won’t make a “Switch”

So I’ve seen it suggested that Microsoft and Sony should make handheld consoles, perhaps as powerful as their regular consoles, or perhaps Nintendo make the Switch as powerful.

Unfortunately, I’ve got some bad news: The chance of the recent versions of the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 going portable are virtually nil. Microsoft or Sony may push new mobile devices, but they won’t (and probably can’t) be their mainline systems in a tablet form factor. Continue reading “Why Microsoft and Sony won’t make a “Switch””

Moved to new hosting!

I don’t know if I’ll be serious about this blog in the future, but I’ve always had some ideas for it. That said, I’m actually making an announcement: I’ve moved hosting from GoDaddy to A2 Hosting. GoDaddy was not keeping up with what I wanted to do, and would have been expensive to move to an encrypted connection. I wanted to try my hand at more modern technologies such as Node.js as well.

A2 Hosting is different. Thanks to having support for Let’s Encrypt, encryption is free. Node.js should be available as a server side language. And it’s just plain cheaper overall.

I had also moved the DNS records to Hover some time ago. They are also cheaper than what GoDaddy was charging me, and it wasn’t worth it to stick with GoDaddy.