Over the past couple of years, one of the most unexpected yet welcome additions to video games has been a rise in game developers utilizing pinball mechanics in non-traditional ways for exciting new takes on well established genres. Starting with the sublime marriage of pinball and Metroidvanias in 2018's Yoku's Island Express and further expanded in last year's dungeon crawler, Creature in the Well, the love poems to pinball may have reached their peak with the brilliant and addictive Peggle meets Slay the Spire magic of Roundguard.
If the past few years of having this blog have taught me anything about my gaming habits, it's that I tend to blast through games as quickly as possible just to get to the next in an ever-expanding backlog of titles I've convinced myself I absolutely must play. Without such a "gaming ethic", I never would have been able to get through the 70+ titles I have each of the past two years. As a result, everything feels a little rushed, and I never truly appreciate the marvelous works unfolding before me.
Just when I thought it wasn't possible to be any more charmed by a Zelda game following the incredible rhythm adventure of Cadence of Hyrule, along came the utterly delightful and adorable remake of the 1993 Game Boy classic Link's Awakening. Despite having never played the original and lacking any semblance of nostalgia, I was immediately in love with this iteration of Hyrule's greatest hero. With each swing of my sword and lovable hop, I was somehow still transported to feeling like the 8 year old I was when the original was released.
Untitled Goose Game is perhaps the greatest gaming achievement of the year. Sure, it's not the most technically advanced game or even the most fun one, but its surreal rise from a joke amongst a team of just 4 game devs to the top of the Nintendo eShop and the national consciousness is nothing short of remarkable. The biggest game on Nintendo Switch right now isn't the adorably recreated, big budget Link's Awakening; it's a prank game about being an asshole goose. The devs could have easily phoned it in and relied purely on the ridiculous premise to move units and provide them with success, but you can tell they truly poured their hearts into this absurd operation as evidenced by each hilarious puffing up of the goose's wings, every annoyed resident's reaction to a honk, and all the poor, damaged property left in the mischievous goose's wake. They didn't just create a meme-machine, they truly delivered on the promise of being an asshole goose. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time as our bird anti-hero from the start, the true glory of the world's favorite goose's low stakes carnage creating prowess fully crystalized for me in the game's fantastic third area, The Back Gardens.
Ever since the original The Legend of Zelda let you name your save file, I've been trying to live out some world saving fantasies by making myself in video games. I've prevented the utter destruction of humanity countless times in the Final Fantasy series. I've braved the barren nuclear wasteland of Fallout. Even the virtual sports world has been utterly dominated by the 5'4" wunderkind known as Terry Kennair - fearless, boring-ass, tiny, bearded white dude.
Thursday, July 25th was the first time I freaked out about becoming a dad. This was a most curious development coming at essentially the halfway mark of our pregnancy given that my MO as an adult has been swimming in a vast ocean of anxiety. Somehow for four and a half months, I had managed … Continue reading Learning Important Life Lessons From Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has no right to be as addicting and sleep depriving-ly fun as it is. At its heart, it's very much a mid-2000's game in the same vein as the previous entry in the series that released 13 long years ago with all its button-mashing glory. Thanks to a ton of charm and the ability to pair up the most popular heroes in the world like never before, the grind transforms from a chore into a pure delight. You'll find yourself spending countless hours running through Inifinity Trials to power up your favorite heroes, so you can unleash them on Thanos and the Black Order. It's all the best parts of those RPG character collecting mobile games like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes combined with the robust action of a Diablo taken to an unholy new level of corporate super hero synergy. Now, to help you figure out where you should be pooling those hours of character progression, here is my handy list of the Most Fun Characters in the game.