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Game questions from a newb

Old 10-13-21, 12:07 PM
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Game questions from a newb

I have never ventured into this forum before, I did look at the stickies to see if there were rules that I should not break, so please go easy on me...

I am looking to buy a gaming system for me and my 10 year old daughter. I am new to all of this. Based on what I have seen and read, I think it will be a Switch (though if you want to convince me I'm wrong, go ahead, since I am a newb). I have two questions:
.
  1. How likely is it that the Switch goes on sale for Black Friday? I have been waiting because it seemed like the type of item that would, but with supply chain issues I definitely don't want to wait if that is a silly idea.
  2. It looks like the system comes with no games. What games should I get that we both will enjoy? Cost is an issue, because I'm broke, so cheaper games are a plus. I know she likes racing type games (and I would too), and I think she would dig adventure games.

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by LurkerDan; 11-02-21 at 03:56 PM.
Old 10-13-21, 12:27 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

First off, I think a Nintendo system is definitely the way to go at that age.

The new Switch OLED just came out and will be tough to get but the "regular" Switch should be plentiful, though I'm not sure about what kind of deals you'll get... the most you'll probably get is a bundle or maybe 10-20 off if you want to wait. Do not get a Switch Lite because it is portable only if you want to be able to play with her on the big screen.

Nintendo published games generally don't go on deep clearance like other systems, so if you want like the Mario stuff the biggest discount you'll get new is like 15 bucks or so. But they are for the most part fantastic games.

If money were no object, I'd suggest:
Mario Kart 8 deluxe(racing)
Zelda Breath of the Wild (open world adventure, she may need some help with it but it's still one of the best games on the system)
Super Mario Odyssey (there is an easy mode which even my 6 year old had fun with, and a limited coop mode where you can help)
Super Smash Bros Ultimate (fighting, but tons of characters and you can button mash on a very basic level. Also you can set the AI down to pitifully easy)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (slice of life/relaxing)
Pokemon Sword or Shield if she likes Pokemon
Splatoon 2 if you're going to play online. It's an FPS but with paint balls basically. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you're only able to play solo for that price, unless it's dirt cheap, but it's my daughter's favorite game so I thought I'd mention it.

All of these won't get a gigantic discount unless you can find them used but I think all of them are fantastic for kids and are well worth the price especially if this is the first console in a while. There are others like Luigi's Mansion, Kirby: Star Allies, Arms, Captain Toad and Yoshi' that are cool for kids but probably not as worth full price IMHO.

Other non Nintendo published games that do get deep discounts:
Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Yes this is a mario game but published by Ubisoft so it's always on sale. It's actually an Xcom-like game.
Minecraft (if you have a PC this version is inferior but my kids love it. plus you get mario skins for free)
Minecraft Dungeons (think Diablo for kids)
Lego games (these go on deep discount digitally all the time)
New Super Lucky's Tale
Snipperclips
Puyo Puyo Tetris (both go on discount)
Stardew Valley
Scribblenauts
Yoku's Island Express

I'm sure there's a whole bunch of cheaper indy titles I'm forgetting too.

Last edited by fujishig; 10-13-21 at 12:39 PM.
Old 10-13-21, 12:35 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Switch is the best system for a kid who hasn't gamed before, unless they are expressing interest in some title that isn't available on Switch.

The best games to play on Switch though are the first party Nintendo ones, and as fujishig already said, they pretty much don't go on sale.

If your daughter is expressing any interest in anything that isn't a first party Nintendo title, the other systems are better (unless you really want to play on the go).

Also, as much as it might be tempting to buy a licensed title with a property that she recognizes, don't do that without checking out reviews. Most licensed titles are crap.
Old 10-13-21, 12:37 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

The problem with the other systems is that they are in high demand and are much more expensive than the switch; also, the majority of the games developed for those systems skew way older than 10. That's mainly why my kids have basically stolen both switches away from me and barely touch the Series X or PS5.

If you're really on a tight budget, though, I'd almost recommend getting an older console: the games will be much cheaper (though probably used) as well.
Old 10-13-21, 12:56 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

The portability plus playing on the TV are the huge selling points for me. I think I'm pretty committed to getting the Switch.

Do you buy physical games or just download? Or both? Is there any advantage to one or the other (I see fujishig mentioned used games).

She has a Kindle Fire kids edition so plays games on that, but she doesn't even know I am getting this so hasn't asked for any particular game. Her best friend has a switch so I know she has played some games on that. After buying a few (and thanks for the great list!), I will probably just get (and encourage family members to get) gift cards so she can just buy what she wants.
Old 10-13-21, 01:07 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

So there are a few differences between physical and digital. Many of them have to do with if you have more than one switch (since the digital titles are tied to a user) but if you only have or plan to have one, I won't go over it in detail. The main thing is that digital takes up space, and while the games are naturally smaller than other consoles, space is still at a premium. You can get a microSD card but for some of the larger games, that goes fast (also note that even buying physical, you will have to download updated and stuff so you need space for those). Because of that, the switch is the one console where I haven't switched entirely to digital for everything.

Advantages of physical are the ability to resell, doesn't take up as much space on the console itself, you can use the cart on any switch (if you have more than one).

Advantages of digital are more convenient and a ton of games, especially the smaller titles, are digital only. And if you have multiple switches there is a way for two switches to play with a single license, which isn't possible with a cart.
Old 10-13-21, 02:33 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

For me personally... PC gaming is where it's at. So with that said my recommendation would be to build a nice gaming PC. If you want the portability, the Steam Deck seems like a good offering, otherwise there are alternatives already out in the market. This way you can share your entire PC library between yourself and your daughter. Besides this will also give you the largest library of games possible as there really aren't that many games these days that don't make it to PC.

Otherwise if you're just stuck on going strictly console: Switch is likely to offer the best library of games a new young gamer such as your daughter would enjoy most.

My daughter is 8 and her favorite games tend to be Pokemon related... which the Switch has. Pokemon Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu, Pokemon Sword/Shield, Pokemon Brilliant Diamon/Shining Pearl, etc. Other games she'd probably enjoy: Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, etc.
Old 10-13-21, 02:41 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Switch is the way to go.
When you create her Nintendo account, don't create a child account. In my opinion, it's better to just create a regular adult account because it doesn't look like there's any way for Nintendo to let you change that once she's older. If her gaming history ends up mattering to her... that'll be important.
Old 10-13-21, 03:59 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Definitely the Switch, and Mario Kart is great if you like racing games. You might be able to save 10 bucks here and there on Nintendo games, but it’s generally not worth waiting for sales like with other game publishers. Because cost is a factor, you could explore getting a couple major games like Mario Kart and Animal Crossing (not coop but hugely popular) then add a cheaper casual game like Untitled Goose Game, and that’d last you a while.

Prepare to have your ass kicked by your daughter in any quick-twitch-reflex game.
Old 10-13-21, 04:38 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

It's nice to see a few familiar "faces" posting in here, I feel so lost outside of Sports and Otter.
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Old 10-13-21, 05:17 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

I wanted to mention that if you have a Costco membership, you can get $50 Nintendo eshop credit for $45. In my state, there is no sales tax on digital purchases so buying digital games at full cost saves nearly 20% vs physical copies.
So that is definitely a consideration.
$50 eShop Credit
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Old 10-13-21, 05:51 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Also keep in mind that WalMart normally sells the Nintendo games for $10 cheaper in store.
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Old 10-13-21, 11:35 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Originally Posted by Maxflier View Post
Also keep in mind that WalMart normally sells the Nintendo games for $10 cheaper in store.
Good to know!
Old 10-14-21, 12:39 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

I don't anticipate a sale on the system at all this year. In fact I might go ahead and pick one up while you can due to supply chain issues. In years past there have been bundle deals that include a game but I just don't see it happening this year. There should be some deals on the games themselves. That being said I see deals on the games somewhat frequently so you don't have to wait until BF. I follow slickdeals.net and you can set up a deal alert for whatever you want. There have been several first party titles on sale for $40. Since you mentioned racing I think Mario Kart is a must pick up. I would expect it to go on sale anywhere from $30-40. One of the most brilliant ideas is they have a setting where you can race the same courses but turn on auto steering/acceleration so you can still play with your lesser skilled family members at the same time. If the budget allows another first party game I would HIGHLY suggest Animal Crossing. I guarantee you that your daughter will love it. As a bonus Target has these Animal Crossing cards that have built in RFID chips that you can use with the system to unlock certain things. They are only $6/pack of 5 so they would make a nice little stocking stuffer. I would suggest a Nintendo Shop gift card of whatever amount you want to do so she can pick out some digital cards. I might also reserve some money for an extra controller. You can play two player out of the box with the Joycon but it's pretty cramped. The official pro controller is great at $60 retail, $50 on sale but you don't have to get fancy, you can get a pretty good wired controller for $20. Stick with Hori or PowerA brand and you should be fine. Also don't forget Nintendo Online. It's only $20 for a single membership $35 for family for a whole year and you need it to play online. But it also includes a collection of games like Tetris and Pacman 99, and old NES and SNES games. So it's a pretty good way of getting a bunch of games in your library pretty quickly.

If this is for Christmas or a birthday I've hear a lot of parents go ahead and open it up and set everything up so it's good to go as soon as she opens it.
Old 10-14-21, 12:56 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

I don't think any first party game has gone down to 50% off officially, at least not the mainline ones. The joke is that even Donkey Kong Country won't go down below 40.

An excellent resource to track sales is dekudeals:
https://www.dekudeals.com/

Tracks both digital and physical sales, and price history. It's a much better resource than the actual eshop to see what's on sale.
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Old 10-14-21, 05:30 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

There have definitely have been quite a few that have hit $30 before. Paper Mario, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart, Zelda BOW, New Super Mario U Deluxe, Pikimin 3, Luigi's Mansion 3, Cpt Toad TT, Mario Tennis, Splatoon 2, Pokemon Lets Go, Yoshi's Crafted World for sure have all been at that price. They regularly go on sale for $40. I'm sure most of them will be on sale for $40 at some point during the holiday season and hopefully even lower.
Old 10-14-21, 09:18 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Oh, you're right, there have been like spot sales here and there (though some of those titles like . But I had looked at Mario Kart, and not that this is flawless but dekudeals shows that Mario Kart never went below 40:
https://www.dekudeals.com/items/mario-kart-8-deluxe

In any case, I'd wait for Black Friday if you're not planning to play it yet anyway but I wouldn't necessarily count on the 30/half off price point.
Old 10-14-21, 09:35 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Picking up a refurbished or used Switch (non-OLED model) should be super easy between now and Black Friday. You could buy new as well, as they're still around, but refurbished should also be fine. Plus you can put that extra cash towards a game.

Old 10-14-21, 09:39 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but the Switch also has a thing where you sign up for their online service and you can get a bunch of NES and SNES games for essentially free. There's a few shovelware titles but also top tier Mario and Zelda titles too.
Old 10-14-21, 09:46 AM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

^ Yep! $20/year for a single person, or $35/year for a family.
IMO, it's worth it for getting your game saves in the cloud (not including Animal Crossing!), but those extra NES and SNES games are a lot of fun. I just wish you could remove the sidebars from the emulator interface! Ugh!
Old 10-14-21, 02:10 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
So there are a few differences between physical and digital. Many of them have to do with if you have more than one switch (since the digital titles are tied to a user) but if you only have or plan to have one, I won't go over it in detail. The main thing is that digital takes up space, and while the games are naturally smaller than other consoles, space is still at a premium. You can get a microSD card but for some of the larger games, that goes fast (also note that even buying physical, you will have to download updated and stuff so you need space for those). Because of that, the switch is the one console where I haven't switched entirely to digital for everything.

Advantages of physical are the ability to resell, doesn't take up as much space on the console itself, you can use the cart on any switch (if you have more than one).

Advantages of digital are more convenient and a ton of games, especially the smaller titles, are digital only. And if you have multiple switches there is a way for two switches to play with a single license, which isn't possible with a cart.
Returning to this because I want to make sure I understand. If we only have one system, and, say, we're going on an airplane (so not taking the whole system, just the handheld part), do you just bring a bunch of physical games along with you and pop them in? I assume they are really small. Can you take a physical game and load it and not have to bring the actual physical game with you? Can you do that for multiple physical games? Or if you buy physical games you're committing to carrying around that game (cartridge-like, SD card like?) with you?

Also, a friend suggested I buy something like this:
Amazon Amazon
and I have seen people talk about getting some kind of controller, but since I don't really know anything, is this what I should buy, or something different?

Talk to me like I'm an idiot.
Old 10-14-21, 02:15 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

If you buy physical games, you're committing to swapping the cartridges any time you want to play. You can't do any kind of "load the game and leave the cart at home" sort of deal. You have to have the cart in the system.
If you buy digital, that doesn't matter, though I think you do need to 'go online' every so often to confirm you own the digital game you're trying to play. Though I could have that part wrong...

The controller to buy is the Pro Controller. This guy:
Amazon Amazon
Those controller-holders you linked are ok if the games you play are setup for that sort of thing (one joycon per player). I think many are.
Old 10-14-21, 02:21 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

If you want to carry it on the go with just the handheld part, I would suggest a carrying case, that will store the system and several games. Something like
this this
. You can also see the size of the games in relation to the system here.

The thing your friend suggested is just a grip for the joycon to make it easier to hold. Most kids don't have a problem holding one, but lots of adults do. If you want a full size controller, there's the
Switch pro controller Switch pro controller
, which is best for bigger hands, but can obviously only be used when the switch is docked and plugged into the TV.
Old 10-14-21, 02:32 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

I bought my first Switch in a Costco bundle that included a case, a microSD card, and a year’s subscription to the service. Fortunately the cartridges are very small so it’s easy to carry a lot of them in a case.
Old 10-14-21, 02:50 PM
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Re: Game questions from a newb

You guys are great, thanks for humoring my utter lack of knowledge.

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I bought my first Switch in a Costco bundle that included a case, a microSD card, and a yearís subscription to the service. Fortunately the cartridges are very small so itís easy to carry a lot of them in a case.
I have my eye on Costco, hoping something like that pops up.

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