the official Blog of the Vorpal Beats Podcast

How Rob Got His Console Groove Back

More than once in my life I have been accused of being a bit fickle when it comes to video games and especially when it comes to video game consoles. Just in the last 10 years I’ve owned a PSP, 2 XBox 360s, 2 Nintendo DSs, a Playstation 3, and a PS Vita. All consoles I desperately wanted at the time of purchase, and all consoles I ignominiously consigned to trade in shelf at GameStop. On a side note, is there any sadder place in the modern mall then the used console case at a GameStop? Maybe the immediate vicinity of a Cinnabon, but that's not sad funny, that's just sad sad. Anywho, the point is I've loved hard and fast and then tossed a bunch of consoles aside.

In the past the biggest reason for this “love’em and leave’em” attitude was pure and simple greed. Often I would get one console, get really into it and then trade in my other consoles for store credit to buy new games. A little over three years ago I built my first gaming PC and discovered Steam. So long PS Vita and Nintendo DS. This sort of short-sighted, mercenary attitude served to give me access to more and more games, but often left me regretful for my abandoned system. But as my Mom has oft told me, “The grass is not always greener on the other side.” Then again how will I ever know if it is greener if I don't go to the other side, Mom!

Despite all my regretful feelings, I'm mostly always comforted by my massive Steam library and my defiant self righteous side who stands proudly in my headspace and says “Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...isn't NBA 2K16 dope?”

(Full Disclosure: I'm not even really a basketball fan.)

A few years ago though, my jealous eyes beheld Mr. Shawn McNamara’s Nintendo 3DS and his absolute joy at playing Pokémon Y. Immediately that self righteous guy in my head went full Veruca Salt, and suddenly all I could think about was getting a Nintendo 3DS.

Now all my past console endeavors were done in spite of the protestations of my wonderful amazing wife. It got to be where her first words whenever I’d get a new console were “Oh wonderful, how long are you gonna play this one?” So when I made my feelings known about the Nintendo 3DS my wife's cry of “Not another console!” was so powerful and firm that it echoed through the fabric of time. Inexplicable writings in the Hindu Bhagavad Gita describe whispered words from Shiva about not having another console. To this day the Game Boy is universally disliked in India. In addition my wonderful, long suffering wife rolled her eyes so hard at my stated desire for a new console, that the noise registered with the National Geological Survey. And yet, despite all previous experience, my wonderful amazing wife went and got me a Nintendo 3DS. I was like a kid at Christmas. I tore into that console with an avarice and passion that was my statement of intent that this time, no matter what happened, I was never giving up this console. That was 2014.

As 2016 reared its Bowie slaying, Lemmy taking ugly head, my Nintendo 3DS sat abandoned on my night stand. Were it not for the lack of a Steam sale at that time, that little mother would have been GameStop bait. I learned, not long after getting the 3DS, that...uh, oh I'm not really that into Pokémon. Soon my time was consumed with anything and everything I could lay my Humble Bundle crazed hands on, and so the 3DS was all but forgotten. And yet, as 2016 began its long slow plod into ignominy (seriously 2016 can f**k right off) something strange happened.

It shouldn't have worked out this way, truly. Often a game will peak my curiosity, but if it ain't on PC then it can...well you can probably figure out the rest. One such non-PC game that really tickled my inquisitive side was Fire Emblem Fates. Now I'd like to sit here and tell you that the reason why I became interested in Fire Emblem Fates was because I'm a huge fan of a deep challenging tactical role playing experience -- and don't get me wrong, I am.

The real reason I got interested in Fire Emblem Fates was because of the relationships. Sue me, I'm a romantic. Yes, the real reason I got into Fire Emblem Fates was because I really liked the idea of having characters fall in love and get married and produce offspring who then joined your party. Because, "I'm all about family..." (cue photo of Fast and Furious Vinny D).

Much like the title of the game, the Fates conspired to bring me back into the 3DS fold and showed me how to love a console again. For the record, Fire Emblem Fates is a great game. It's challenging and fun with a great story. And yes, the whole relationship aspect of the game is fantastic. So with my hands firmly wrapped around my DS again, things got real serious real fast. By the beginning of fall me and the 3DS had declared our ever loving affection for each other and vowed to never let each other go. Then the *New* Nintendo 3DS XL came out…

Normally I'm not taken in by console upgrades (hell, as the record has shown, I'm not taken in by consoles really). It was a conversation with a guy at work that got me suddenly aroused for the *New* Nintendo 3DS. He swore it was a substantial upgrade on the venerable ole’ Nintendo 3DS XL. Normally I'm pretty level headed about things, but in this particular case I decided to throw caution to the wind and take the plunge. I went out and bought a *New* Nintendo 3DS XL and took it for a spin.

"Wow…"That was my initial reaction to handling the new console. It really was an upgrade in nearly every sense of the word. It looked better, felt better, played better than my previous 3DS. My head was swimming with possibilities as I upgraded the internal memory card to 32gigs and went straight up Jon Hamm on the Nintendo e-shop. Classics, new releases, indies...all downloaded straight to my console, no standing in line at the GameStop listening to the clerk try and sell the guy in front of me DLC. Just me and my black plastic beauty, together in gaming.

I can't imagine a world without my 3DS now. Even my PC is taking a hit as I curl up on the couch and boot up some Fire Emblem goodness. Heck I've even given Pokémon a second try, and darn it if it's not fun. The robust e-shop and ease of use make it easily the best console on the market today. Nothing could come between me and my 3DS- what's that? Nintendo Switch? What does that do-...oh...oh...uh oh...

us what you think!