NFC Goes to the Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience 2018

Nintendo is doing another holiday mall tour this year, the Nintendo Switch Holiday Experience 2018, and luckily one of the 11 locations they’re setting up residence in is just about an hour from where I live in Schaumburg, Illinois (just outside of Chicago). We needed to make a trip to Whole Foods for some vegan Thanksgiving food anyway and it’s right next door, so we decided to not kill any birds all with one stone and make a day of it.

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The event was really cool, but also today was probably not the best day to check it out. There was a celebrity make-up artist doing a signing of some kind at the Woodfield Mall today and the place was PACKED. Plus today was the launch day of the Switch Holiday Experience (which runs from now until December 16th), so it was maybe the busiest day of the event’s entire run.

Still, once Ryan texted me and let me know it was happening in my area, I had to go and I’m definitely glad I did. The primary attraction is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and that’s actually the only game I played. We waited in line for probably 90 minutes to get less than five minutes of game time, but that’s roughly what I expected and it was super cool. I played as Simon Belmont, my son Owen played as Incineroar, and he actually finished in second place in our four player battle. Every character was unlocked and available to play, and I’d imagine if you’re able to check out the event on a Tuesday afternoon or something, you could spend plenty of time checking it out.


Other games being demoed include Overcooked 2, Super Mario Party, Just Dance 2019 and the Labo Vehicle Kit. Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Evee will be playable too, but not until November 16th which is when they launch anyway.


As an added bonus, My Nintendo members can check in with their QR codes and receive a gift like stickers, bags, posters, or even $20 eShop cards. I walked away with a sticker set and Owen bagged a MyNintendo pop-socket, so while the giveaways aren’t terribly exciting, they’re still worthwhile.

Check out Nintendo’s site for a list of Switch Holiday Experience locations; if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby it’s definitely worth stopping by, though I’d recommend learning from my mistakes and waiting for a less crazy day at the mall to check it out for yourself.

Nintendo World Championships 2017 – Chicago Qualifier Event

Nintendo fans from across the country will be competing in the Nintendo World Championships once again in October and I was lucky enough to attend one of the qualifying events today just outside of Chicago, one of the eight cities hosting preliminary competitions this month and next leading up to the main event.

Chicago’s event is happening at a Best Buy in Evanston, IL this weekend (August 26th and 27th), so my friend Rich and I decided to make the trip in and meet my brother Jason for the second day of qualifiers there. We showed up at about 9:45 for the 10 a.m. start time and I’d guess we were somewhere between 50 and 75 in line. All the Nintendo fans we talked to in line (including Ness!) were in good spirits and even offering one another helpful tips for scoring their best possible times in Mario Kart 7. After waiting in line for roughly 30 minutes after the store opened, Rich and I were ushered into Best Buy’s Magnolia room to tables hosting five New Nintendo 2DS XL systems and given the opportunity to complete two time trials on GBA Bowser’s Castle in Mario Kart 7. I finished with a (possibly?) respectable 1:31 time, but considering the leaderboard already hosted numerous times under 1:20, we turned our attention toward our real reason for attending: the Samus Returns and Mario Odyssey demos!

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Nintendo Switch Event – Chicago February, 2017

UPDATE: Now with video!

Nintendo’s Switch and Play hands on tour continues making its way through the country as we approach the system’s launch on March 3rd and I was lucky enough (thanks to some help from Jeremy of Qoopa Klub) to attend the Chicago stop on February 18th. Ryan and I recorded an episode all about it (listen here), so check that out for hardware and game impressions. Check out the photos below (click on one to scroll through them one at a time). I’ll probably update this post soon with a little video too. The event was super fun and everything ran really smoothly, so props and thanks to Nintendo for a great time and for the Switch-branded pretzels, goldfish, and cookies!  If you live in San Francisco, LA, or can make it to PAX East or SXSW, definitely try to make it out to play some Switch. Either way, it’s not long now until we all have the chance milk virtual cows and play Breath of the Wild in every conceivable venue or location. Can’t wait!