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A New Handheld War Begins

Switch vs. Smach

So it's a pretty safe assumption that you've heard about the Nintendo Switch by now. Nintendo is finally combining their handheld and console hardware into one risky gamble for their next platform. With this comes discussions on how it will compete with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile platforms to carve its own niche, but did you know there is also another dedicated handheld releasing in Spring 2017? Yes, even though Sony may or may not release another handheld, there is a new contender to take their place with the Smach Z, a handheld dedicated to playing Steam games, as well as other PC titles with some troubleshooting. So why not see what new ventures gaming on-the-go will bring us this next year?

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Remember that silly old trope in teen movies where the nerdy “plain Jane” character magically becomes super attractive just by removing her glasses? It was a bit like that with EarthBound- an RPG that was largely ignored when released on the Super NES in its twilight years. Nintendo’s ill-conceived ad campaign telling the player that “this game stinks” didn’t do it any favors either. The game’s overtly humorous kid-friendly facade was unusual for its time and quickly written off as ugly and boring by all but the most accepting of RPG fans. But thanks to the positive praise in gaming forums years later, it picked up steam and eventually became lauded as one of the best on the Super NES. Much like the bespectacled character in every 90s teen comedy, it was as if EarthBound removed its glasses. Nothing was different about it- just our perception of what was already there.

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