Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2717 Posts

Starfield is out and seems to be doing well according to reviews.

Starfield Reviews on Platform:

Steam: Very Positive
Metacritic: Metascore 87 / User Score 5.6
Google Audience Rating Summary: 3.3
PC World: 5/5
IGN: 7/10
PC Gamer: 75%

It seems most folks seem to think Starfield is pretty great even though there are some critiques. Some mention the 30 FPS cap on XBox being a problem, some note that they expected Starfield to be a bit more like No Mans Sky and less like Fallout and some people just don't seem to like Bethesda RPG's. Originally I was going to buy Starfield on day one, but due to it not being a great experience on Steam Deck quite yet I am holding off a bit and playing a few other games until it gets a few updates.

If you are looking for a deep technical discussion about Starfield on PC check out the Digital Foundry discussion. I appreciate how Digital Foundry approaches reviewing games, focusing more on gaming performance and how gameplay works and less on meme based tomfoolery.

In 2015 Double Fine released the Double Fine Adventure documentary series that cataloged the journey for their latest point and tap adventure game Broken Age. Created in partnership with Double Fine and 2 player productions this deep dive docu-series really impressed me. So much so that I watched it start to finish on YouTube and then later bought it on Blu-Ray.

Double Fine recently released it's latest 2 player production documentary for free streaming online on YouTube without ads in 4K! Double Fine PsychOdyssey is available now and features 37 separate videos with a total runtime of 23 hours! So if you are looking for a long series to binge, this is the one to watch!

So far I've watched the first two videos and it's a great series. It starts out talking about Psychonauts and it's storied development from a very young Double Fine studio. In the second episode they immediately deal with folks leaving, as most big companeis do and I imagine at some point they will cover the Microsoft acquisition and (spoiler alert) launch of Psychonauts 2!


PsychOdyssey YouTube Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIhLvue17Sd70y34zh2erWWpMyOnh4UN_

After watching the recent Nintendo Direct that features 15 minutes of Gameplay it seems like Super Mario Wonder may be one of the more re-playable Mario games I've seen in sometime. Super Mario Bros. Wonder will release on October 20th and for me, it's a day one purchase.

Vampire Survivors is one of the biggest Indie games to go from rags to riches and Noclip recently released a documentary that highlights it's rise in popularity. How does an Indie game make it from humble roots to become a mega popular winner of many game awards? Apparently all you need to do is develop a new kind of genre that mixes retro elements with incredible game play!

All that said, Vampire Survivors is one of the most creative Indie Games I've played in a long time and I am happy it's done well.

Boomer Shooters are a somewhat new genre of video games that look to recreate the style of 90's first person shooters in all the pixelated glory and carnage. Metal Jesus recently released a video reviewing a few and talking more about the new gaming genre.

"Boomer Shooters are popular these days, but what exactly are they?! And what are some good examples of a boomer shooter? I give you my thoughts and share some boomer shooters that I am playing lately!"

Last year Will and I attended the Portland Retro Game Expo and went to the Night Dive Studios panel. During the Q&A at the panel I noted that the Quake remake might be the best video game remake of all time. I followed up that with a question about a Quake 2 remake. The CEO of Night Dive said he couldn't say about that but he did note that he just picked up a copy of Quake 2 at the Portland Retro Game Expo and was excited about playing it. Will and I took that as good news that we'd get a proper Night Dive port of Quake II and we were both happy to hear it recently released.

First off, if you had Quake II on Steam or GOG it will automagically upgrade to the new Night Dive remaster. If you don't have it, you can get it on nearly every platform such as Switch, XBox, PC, Playstation and Gamespass. Like all past Night Dive remasters they add a ton of stuff into the mix making it an incredible prospect such as...

"Experience the Military Sci-fi FPS, Enhanced
Get the Original Mission Packs: The Reckoning and Ground Zero
Play the All-New Expansion “Call of the Machine”
Get Quake II 64 for Free
Enjoy Online & Local Multiplayer/CO-OP
Play Together with Crossplay

The only suggestion I have is to play the game with texture smoothing off to see all the games gloriously jaggy pixels just like the Strogg intended. I've tried Quake 2 on PC and the Steam Deck and the game runs incredibly well on both.

As with all Night Dive releases you can get the physical version from Limited Run Games as well. https://limitedrungames.com/collections/quake-ii

With the incredible Quake and Quake II remakes I imagine folks are curious about Quake III. I've played Quake IV but it's not a game I plan to return to though a remake could bring it to a bigger audience. That said, I've hoped for some time that these Quake remakes would help iD get closer to announcing a proper single player Quake V. And now after the smash Success of Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal anything seems possible for iD and it's well time for us to hear what the studio is up to next.

I've been a PC gamer since I was a wee lad starting out on a Commodore VIC-20. The VIC wasn't called a PC, but it had a monitor a keyboard and played awesome games. Fast forward to 2023 and PC gaming has evolved a lot and if you can afford the hardware, is the cutting edge of graphics and performance. All that said, my profession is Software Engineering so at the end of the day I don't want to spend a lot more time at my desk playing games. I've preferred the Switch or more recently the XBox because I can kick back on the couch. I was excited when Valve announced Steam Machines but I was waiting a bit to see how folks were using them and even though Steam Machines were a great idea, they didn't catch on. Apparently Valve didn't give up on Steam in the living room because even after the Steam box streamer they came hot to the market with the Steam Deck, a premium Linux handheld that has quite a bit of PC power. I didn't pick one up at launch because I wasn't sure what to make of it. The initial reviews were good, but who knows how well they'd hold up? Well after waiting a while when the Deck recently went on sale I picked it up.

For me the Steam Deck is a shot in the arm to PC gaming and bringing me back to it to play games in my back catalog. Plus the Steam Deck runs Linux so you can do whatever else with it you want. Want to play Nintendo games you've already bought from Nintendo 5 times already? They will run. Want to play those free games you got on the Epic Games Store? Most will run. Want to play your incredible Steam back catalog? Most will work too.

Since the Steam Deck is running Linux and using Proton as the Wine emulation layer I expected things to be janky and I'm surprised it's as seamless as it is. I've been a Linux Desktop user and gamer for years and nothing in the past is this easy to use. Valve has done a ton of work and them owning all the hardware, drivers and Proton stack really adds up to a magical device that just works. Now all Steam games don't work, but I don't care much about that because I have thousands of games I'll never get around to playing anyway.

I got the official Steam Deck Dock and that works great on my TV and am currently replaying Borderlands that way. Bouncing between the Deck and my TV is seamless and occasionally there are issues, but it's nothing game breaking. The Steam Deck is so great I'll most likely purchase most new games digitally on PC because this really seems like the best way to play games.

Back in 2008 Civilization games were complicated because gamers wanted the franchise to go deeper. The balance in turn based strategy games where you advance through the Ages is making the game deep enough for long time fans but accessible enough for new fans to get into it. When Civilization Revolution launched on XBox 360 and PS3 it was a stripped down and simplified game for a console audience. Some have argued the game is too easy or takes away too many things from the main series (which it does) but I'd say that Civilization Revolution is a more streamlined game that gets you in and out and makes the game easy to understand if you haven't kept up with each entry in the Civ franchise.

I played a whole lot of Civilization Revolution on my Playstation 3 and lamented the fact that it's hard to play Playstation 3 games (no backwards compatibility on modern Playstations). Once I bought an XBox Series X I was excited to try out the 360 compatibility and was really happy to learn Civilization Revolution was a game you could play. Recently I popped the game in and was off conquering the world again like it's 2008.

Some critiques of the game are valid though. The easiest mode is quite easy but that's also a great way to learn the game. Learning the mechanics of a game where it doesn't punish you mercilessly for your mistakes is handy. That said, I quickly upped the difficulty and keep doing that as I feel like I've masted where I am.

One awesome part of Civilization Revolution is that you can download a few free DLC map scenarios that can extend the life of the game. That said, if you simply want to play a few rounds and run through a Cultural, Military and all the other victories, you can do that too.

If you have the means to play Civilization Revolution and you are looking for a fun turn based strategy game, I'd recommend picking it up. I didn't pay more than a handful of dollars for my game at a Retro Game store or you can buy it on the XBox Store for way more money.

To date my favorite entries in the Super Mario franchise are the more traditional side scrolling platformers and Super Mario Maker. The New Super Mario Bros. games are thematically similar but different enough through each release to be a lot of fun. That said, after the New Super Mario Bros. achieved it's final form in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch and I wasn't sure what direction the game could go to keep things fresh. Then Nintendo announced Super Mario Bros. Wonder today and it made sense. The new direction is here and New Super Mario Bros. Wonder looks incredible. It also looks like it's not a proper New Super Mario Bros. sequel, it looks to be doing something different.

So after a zillion Mario platformer games how do you make a new entry in the series feel fresh? By making it look and operate in a totally unique and bonkers way such as entirely changing the level physics, mechanics and art style. Also what if Princess Peach, Daisy and all the Yoshi's were playable characters?

What's the most exciting about Super Mario Bros. Wonder is what Nintendo is holding back to tell us about as the game gets closer to launch. I appreciate that they are keeping the four player couch co-op and the game will be a day one purchase for me for sure.

Super Mario Wonder comes exclusively to Switch on October 20th!

Super Mario RPG is one of Nintendo's most beloved Super Nintendo Mario games and a classic RPG. The game is replayed by many fans and very popular in the Speedrun community as well as the retro game collector community. Since Nintendo seems hot to release remakes of their classic games the next game to join them is SUPER MARIO RPG! It's not a game I thought Nintendo would remake, but a welcome choice as it's a great game that deserves a new coat of paint and a fresh new audience. Plus many fans would love to come back and play this classic game in an all new way.

It looks like Nintendo is upgrading the battle system which fans think is a good idea considering the original wasn't very challenging. That said, I imagine Nintendo will hit the right mark for difficulty and fun.

The Super Mario RPG releases November 17th exclusively on Switch!