Joined 01/23/2012

Web developer and all-around geek.

473 Posts

Black Panther’s claws are tearing it up the box office making this recording setting movie a main event in this review episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio!

T'Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T'Challa's father's mistake.

Directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa

Excitebike is a Motocross racing game developed by Nintendo as part of the original NES launch lineup. In Excitebike you can choose to race Solo or against other computer players and you can qualify for the Excitebike championships by coming in at first or third place time. In Excitebike there is also a design mode, allowing you to build and race your own tracks.

In season two of Cheerful Ghost Radio we are doing bite-sized NES Classic review episodes. We want to make you all part of these episodes, so comment below if you have ideas for more of these, and head on over to the Cheerful Ghost Events section to join in on the discussion for our next NES Classic review, Donkey Kong!

Ice Climber was released Jan 30th 1985 by Nintendo R&D1. Nintendo R&D1 made other games such as Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Mario Bros., Metroid, Kid Icarus and Tetris. In Ice Climber the characters Popo and Nana head up 32 different ice mountains to get an eggplant from a huge thieving bird vulture thing. In season two of Cheerful Ghost Radio we are starting out doing NES Classic reviews and being things with Ice Climber. We are thinking these reviews can be a more bite-sized episode format and are interested in what you think and if you have any ideas for future episodes!

Nintendo announced their DIY cardboard addon recently, and Dami Lee from the Verge dug into how it all works. The video is a great primer on all the tech involved. Very simply put, it's an IR camera and some stickers for most applications.

Seeing how this works makes me want to buy some, but the responsible adult in me knows I'd barely touch it after I was done, and my plastic Rock Band/Guitar Hero controllers would have some company in the closet. Anyone with curious kids, however, may consider this as a way to kickstart other creative and fun DIY projects.

As we begin season 2 of Cheerful Ghost Radio we pause to reflect on the 6th anniversary of Cheerful Ghost by talking about some of our favorite memories. Since the new year in gaming is here we talk about some of the most exciting games coming out this year.

Show Notes:

Travis interviews Ryan Gordon:

FarCry 5:

Mega Man 11:

Project Octopath Traveler:

Super Meat Boy Forever:

God of War:

Red Dead Redemption 2:
Cheerful Ghost Games Club is back with Excitebike!

You may remember this semi-regular CG event where we pick a game and invite everyone to come play it with us and discuss what we think. This time, we're changing things up a bit. We will do one game a month (or maybe more!) and tying the events into a Cheerful Ghost Radio series about classic games.

We'll review the games in an episode following the event, and include opinions and commentary from people who joined and chatted with us about it.

This month's game is Excitebike! Excitebike is an NES racing game that has been a fan favorite since its launch with the NES. In addition to the main tracks, Excitebike lets you build your own tracks and save them back to the cart. It has spawned a few sequels and references in other Nintendo titles over the years. Join us as we talk about the first racing game on the NES!

You can join the event and the conversation here:

Where is the future of Star Wars going and what do we want to see from it? We talk about everything from the upcoming Han Solo film to the rumored Obi Wan movie. If after our last two hour The Last Jedi special you wanted even more discussion here it is!
Hi all! We're working on a post about all of our gaming predictions for 2018, and we need your help! We're reaching out to CG users to get 3 predictions (or less) they have for 2018 in gaming. Please try to keep each prediction to a paragraph or less.

Making this fun is encouraged. If one can be particularly wild, odd or bold without being offensive that would be great. Or they all can be, whatever.

Sorry for the short notice but we need these in by this upcoming Monday the 8th @ Noon PST/3PM EST and will subsequently post the list that night.

We will group the predictions in the post and cite who made what in a style similar to our interview format.

You may have gotten an email from Jon about this. To participate, you can email your responses in a reply to that email or PM me with the link below. Please DO NOT post your predictions in the comments below. We want these to be a surprise when we release them.

PM Travis here:
Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for helping make the last year on Cheerful Ghost amazing. We're starting things off in 2018 with our 2017 Game of the Year Awards results. If there's a clear runner up, we'll share that as well.

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This should come as no surprise. Breath of the Wild has been topping Game of the Year lists all over the place, and with good reason. New game mechanics and a sprawling, sometimes intimidating open world breathe new life into the Legend of Zelda series.

Runner Up: Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo had something to prove with a new console launch, and have they ever! This one is my personal GotY (but I'm playing Breath of the Wild now, so that may change) because of how it effectively brings fresh ideas into the Mario series and left me immediately wanting a sequel.

Best Indie Games (tie): Cuphead and Thimbleweed Park
Cuphead's charming sights and sounds coupled with intense platforming and Nintendo-hard boss fights seem to be a winning formula. If you could imagine the direct opposite of that game, it might be Thimbleweed Park, a game that seems like the LucasArts adventure game team made a game based on Twin Peaks or the X-Files.

Best Update/DLC/Expansion: Hearthstone's Kobolds and Catacombs
With 135 new cards and a new single-player Dungeon Run mode, this expansion is getting a lot of love from Hearthstone fans and has a well deserved spot on our list.

Best Mobile Game: Metroid: Samus Returns
One of the reasons I really want a 3DS, Samus Returns takes the series back to its side-scrolling roots in a reimagining of Metroid II from the Gameboy era. It expands on that formula with new abilities and, of course, much better visuals and sounds.

Runner up: HQ Trivia. A new take on trivia games, in which half a million people play for a pool of money by testing their knowledge of trivia. Technical issues aside, this game is a lot of fun to play. Just hide the chat.

Thanks for voting in this years awards, and here's to a great 2018!

Travis gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Travis gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
This game is bonkers. In the best way possible. It's trying to edge out Super Mario World to be my favorite Mario game ever, and it's easily the best game I've played in years. It reignited my love for gaming. When I think of labels for myself, "gamer" is definitely one of them, but for the past year or so I haven't been prioritizing gaming like I once did. It wasn't because of a lack of time, but a lack of motivation. I'd get excited about a game and give it a few hours, and then just kinda drift. They were all super fun games, I just ... drifted. All that changed as soon as I finally got my hands on this game.

The premise is pretty simple. Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser (go figure, right?) and you have to save her. The game takes place in a world with many varied kingdoms, but you start off in the Hat Kingdom, a kingdom populated by sentient hats. Makes sense. There you meet your trusty companion for this game, Cappy, who can be thrown onto many enemies, NPCs, and some objects to take control of them, with their abilities. Everything from manhole covers to dinosaurs. This leads to some of the most inventive and unique gameplay I've ever seen.

To put some misconceptions aside, this isn't Mario in a modern, real-life setting except for one kingdom. Much of the pre-release coverage was from the Metro Kingdom, and with good reason. It's probably the best part of the game for me. But it appeared to many (myself included) that the game may take place in a more real-world setting, or at least have a real-world overworld with the ability to travel to others. That's not the case. It's just one of many unique areas you can visit. It's actually the home of Pauline, the damsel in distress from the early arcade Donkey Kong games, and she's come a long way since her being-captured-by-a-giant-ape roots. She's now the mayor! The story there culminates in one of the game's best set pieces with an homage to DK and Super Mario Bros.

Speaking of which, another game mechanic is 8-bit sections that fit in seamlessly with the 3D world. Hop into a pipe and you might be in an 8-bit Mario stage that plays out on a cliffside, allowing you to scale to higher places. I love seeing how Nintendo continues to reference their history while keeping things fresh.

Overall, the graphics are exactly what you'd expect from a Mario game, just with some more shininess and polish, but the music is the real MVP here. The soundtrack is full of songs that will get stuck in your head, especially Jump Up Superstar from the aforementioned Metro Kingdom. But look closer and you'll notice that little NPC animations are in time with the music. Listen as you dive underwater and you'll hear the song seamlessly transition to a version of the same song without the higher-pitched instruments and a softer EQ. And every song transitions to an 8-bit version when you enter those sections. Incidental sounds change key to match the music currently playing. The level of attention and detail here is astounding and very appreciated.

The mechanics keep a lot of the same platforming actions from previous 3D Mario games, and they still feel the same as ever. But some new hat-assisted techniques spice things up. You can take the long way around, or do some crazy hat parkour to take a shortcut. And each creature you take over with the hat gives new abilities that elevate the gameplay. Stack some goombas, throw some hammers with a hammer bro, jump into lava with a fireball, curve around corners with a caterpillar. Like I said in the first sentence of this review: bonkers. In the best way possible.

And if you're a couch co-op aficionado, this game improves on that from the Galaxy titles. I'd say about 95% of my playthrough, my wife was playing Cappy. If you remember Galaxy's co-op, player two controlled the star you kept in your hat and could influence the world a bit while also collecting star bits. Cappy has far more to do in this game, and it adds to the fun factor significantly. Cappy can take care of some enemies or hold others, and can allow player one to focus on other things.

One criticism the game has received is that it's too easy. It may be true that it's easy to get to the end credits, but as with all recent entries in the series, things really get going after you beat the game, and that's where the true challenge lies. There are a total of 836 moon instances in the game. Some of those, especially from boss fights, give you multi-moons, which drives that total up to 880. You can also buy moons for a boost, so you can rack up to a grand total of 999 moons with that. You only need 120 to beat the game, and yeah that's pretty easy to do. A secret area unlocks at 250 moons with some of the hardest platforming challenges I've ever experienced. Another unlocks at 500 that's basically a marathon of tricky but not punishing sections-- the trick here is that there are no checkpoints, so one mistake sends you back to the beginning. THEN after that there's a secret version of the final boss battle that's much harder. So yeah, if you're just playing for the credits, it may not be that challenging, but the challenge is there if you want it.

But it's not all rosy and peachy. A few minigames throughout the game are just not fun at all, and require kinda ludicrous scores to get a moon. Some moons out of those 836 are just uninspired. But the few bad things are a drop in the bucket, all told. The game is truly magical.

This is the game I needed to revitalize my gaming interest. After finishing it, I notice myself wanting to play other games in my backlog and games I have started but walked away from. It's pure, unbridled fun. All told, I racked up every single moon, every purple coin, every costume, and every collectible in around 75 hours. I wish I had 25 more. Or 50. I'm currently playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and that game is winning Game of the Year awards like crazy, and seems to be on track to winning ours as well. If something can unseat Super Mario Odyssey for the best game of 2017 then I'm very interested.

I normally hesitate to give scores for games, but this one needs no hesitation. Super Mario Odyssey is a perfect 10/10, easily. There are issues and annoyances, but those are very easy to look past when a game is this fun. It's an absolute must play.

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