The last few months have been packed with exciting new blockbuster games — yet here I am, playing a pair of titles that originally came out six years ago. This week, two of the biggest games from 2011 are launching on the Nintendo Switch: Rockstar’s 1940s detective drama LA Noire, and Bethesda’s sprawling fantasy epic Skyrim. Both are games that don’t look especially impressive up against current titles like Star Wars Battlefront II or Horizon Zero Dawn. But in the shift to the Nintendo Switch, they’ve gained something notable. It turns out that being able to take a huge game on the go can help you look past its flaws. The two games are very different, and on the Switch I’ve found myself playing them in very different contexts. Skyrim is a massive role-playing game, which by their nature necessitate a lot of busy work. In your quest to find and defeat an ancient dragon and save a magical fantasy realm, you’ll spend lots of time fussing about in a menu upgrading your magical abilities and finding just the right armor to wear. There’s lots of repetitive combat as you delve into dark dungeons and underground crypts, clearing them of undead soldiers and giant spiders. Getting the most out of Skyrim means paying attention to the small details, and not being afraid to get your hands dirty. This structure is a great fit for playing on the go. RPGs are about incremental progress, as you slowly complete smaller goals in order to become stronger and capable enough to tackle challenges later in the game. This means that, while a game like Skyrim can take dozens of hours to complete, you can still make progress in short sessions. Over the past week I’ve spent real-world train rides exploring quaint Skyrim towns and chatting with their residents, and slowly chipping away at dungeons while waiting for my kid to get out of dance class. LA Noire, meanwhile, is a much more straightforward, story-driven game. As a new detective in 1947 Los Angeles, you’ll solve a number of grisly crimes. Each one is divided into multiple beats. Sometimes you’ll investigate a crime scene, searching for clues and talking to witnesses. After that you may need to chase down a suspect, and there’s
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Bob Ross, eat your heart out
Thus spoke Pikachu
It’s time for the holidays and Will Smith fighting with orcs
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