Joined 01/23/2012

Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I'm an Engineer and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.

2432 Posts

Super Mario Maker 2 dropped last Friday on the Switch and I'm not going to mince any words, it's one of the best games I've played in years. Nintendo clearly had a hit with the original Super Mario Maker on the Wii U and now that Switch has an even larger following, it's awesome to see Super Mario Maker 2 come out to such an excited set of fans. I don't typically play many video games where I try to fit play sessions in any few minutes block of time I can find during the day, but Super Mario Maker 2 is a perfect game for that. Which is why if I had to rate Super Mario Maker 2 it might get a perfect score. That might sound like hyperbole but the game is firing perfectly on so many levels. It's a game that has creativity as it's signature element as you can create whatever kind of Mario level you want and share them with anyone. That feature alone makes it an incredible game, but Super Mario Maker 2 also includes a fun Single Player mode where you play some of the most creative Mario stages I've seen Nintendo create. For another game the level creation and sharing tools and full single player campaign might be enough but Mario Maker 2 also includes online co-op and head to head multiplayer too! I've played a bit of co-op and while it takes a bit to start a match it's fun playing with other people and I hope to spend more time in this mode. Nintendo has also said that they will bring the ability to play with friends in a later patch and that sounds like an incredible edition to an already amazing game.

As I've said already, Mario Maker 2 might be the perfect game on the Nintendo Switch and right now, it's the top contender for my game of the year.

Let's Share Our Mario Maker Levels

To-date I've created four Mario Maker 2 stages and if you're interested, you should play them.

Bowser's Invitation: (1PP-NGF-VDG) "Bowser's invited you for tea. But what is he really up to?" This was the first Mario Maker 2 level I created and my goal was to learn how to create a level and also make something where you feel like you almost have to brawl Bowser to win. I really love Kaizo Mario levels but wanted to make something that a human could complete, so to me, this feels like a Kaizo Mario level for normal people. It has the lowest clear rate of any of my stages at 4.5%. Not gonna lie, kinda proud of how hard it is but if i'm honest it's really a bunch of hidden blocks positioned to troll the player.

Currently Gills has the World Record with a clear time of 27"337

Mario's Choice: (C4J-PP2-1WG) "What would you do to win?" This level has two paths you can take to complete it. It's a fun one because the whole name of the level and description are a hint to the fastest way to beat it. The current clear rate is 18%.

Currently Wuddle has the World Record with a clear time of 5"417

The Drop: (F3W-Y65-KTG) "Boom BOOM's secret factory has been causing problems. Can you stop him?" The Drop is an idea I've had for some time that was fun to work on but needed a bit more time to bake. I like the early platforming elements and the boom boom fight but the actual drop isn't as interesting as it could have been. This one might be a bit more experimental that I wanted it to be, but I think it's fun which is the point of all of this. The Drop has a clear rate of 45%.

Currently someone with a name entirely in Kanji that I can't easily copy to paste here has the world record of 1'10"721.

Night Time Koopa Shooter: (H89-F13-SGF) "Take Bowser's fire clown car and shoot down as many Koopa's as you can." When I realized Mario Maker has a kind of plane you could fly around and shoot things with I had to make a shooter auto-scroll level. It's a bit short, but I can't wait to see what other kinds of shooter levels people create! After seeing so many people complete The Drop I felt I was getting a bit soft so upped the difficulty of Night Time Koopa Shooter and it has a clear rate of 11%.

Currently SideTilt has the World Record of 29"483.

If you have made any levels, please share them here, I'd love to play and let you know what I think and if you want to do likewise that sounds like fun.

This years Summer Games Done Quick came to a close and as they wrapped they did so raising the most amount ever in 3 million dollars for Doctors Without Borders! This was the best SGDQ yet and I really enjoyed all the runs I watched. One of the more impressive runs above is a Blindfolded Punch-Out!! (Wii) by zallard1 in 1:10:21. Zallard is a great Punch-Out runner and the hardest part of the run seems to be the Wii menu blindfolded!

As with previous GDQ's I'm going to wrap up some of the best runs over a few posts to strap in and watch some awesomely quick Speedruns!

Borderlands 2 coop by Amyrlinn, Shockwve and TheFunCannon in 2:48:04: How fast can you run Borderlands 2? Could you do it faster in Co-Op? This is a fun run and is made even more interesting because some Gearbox devs join them.


Metroid by metroidmcfly in 11:26: Metroidmcfly is the best Metroid NES Speedrunner in the world and this SGDQ run in 11:26 shows you why. It's incredibly fast and the couch commentary quite interesting.


Season 3 of Stranger Things drops on Netflix on July 4th and as a compantion to it Stranger Things 3: The Game will come out on XBox One, PS4, Steam and the Switch for $20. BonusXP partnered up with Netflix to come out with the FIRST mobile Stranger Things games you can play for free, which is pretty fun. The new one costs a twenty and apparently plays quite a bit like a Super Nintendo game.

According to Polygon:

"We had a chance to play the retro-style game on Nintendo Switch this week during Nintendo’s indie game event at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. Visually speaking, its pixelated isometric world resembles 16-bit classics like Zombies Ate My Neighbors. But its creators say the game’s design borrows more from the classic Sierra adventure and exploration games of the 1990s, which prioritize storytelling and puzzle-solving above combat.

The game features local split-screen co-op, but no online play. It can also be played solo. The player navigates familiar Stranger Things environments, like moody woods and sterile laboratories, solving environmental puzzles and fighting baddies. Each character has a unique combat ability. As new characters are unlocked, the player can switch between the roster in real-time.

In the demo, we played as Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper. Joyce can spin around like a tornado, breaking boxes and stunning enemies. Jim bullrushes, clearing lines of foot soldiers. Certain characters’ skills will allow them to access additional areas and items.


One game I was very excited to hear more about out of E3 this year was Age of Empire II: The Definitive Edition. Age of Empires II and its expansion Age of Kings was one of the best real time strategy games out of the tail end of the 90's and its follow up Age of Empires II: HD took the old game and rebuilt its tech to be playable on Steam and modern PC's in 2013. Microsoft released a 4K remaster of the original Age of Empires in 2017 and are working on the follow up 4K remaster to Age of Empires II! Originally the 4K remake of Age of Empires was only playable on the Windows 10 store but Microsoft is going to release it on Steam as well as the upcoming Age of Empire II 4K remake!

Recently Microsoft wrapped up all the news about the Age of Empires II 4K remake including a new video showing off how the game looks in the new engine as well as a list of new features coming. Excited to hear that they are adding 4 New Civilizations (for a total of 3) as well as 3 Brand-new Campaigns. It's also gonna launch for $20 and if you already own Age of Empires II: HD you can get a discount on Age II 4K!

So far there are not release dates for Age of Empires Definitive on steam or Age of Empire II: Definitive but when there is, i'll let you all know.


The Summer Games Done Quick 2019 charity speedrun that’s benefiting Doctors Without Borders is happening now. It will be running all week 24/7 with runners playing everything from Aero the Acrobat to Zelda!

Games Done Quick is a highlight of the year in gaming so if you have some time head over and check the schedule to watch a run. Also consider donating because Doctors Without Borders, a fantastic charity worthy of your support!


For me, the biggest game hype to come out of E3 was for the Link's Awakening remake. The Gaming Historian recently dropped a very well made historical retrospective on Link's Awakening due to the new interest in the game because of the remake. It's a very timely look back and if you are a fan of the original or want to know more about why this game is so well loved this is something you need to watch!

"Learn the complete history of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. What began as an after-hours passion project turned into one of the greatest Zelda games of all time. Learn how the development team at Nintendo went outside the box and created The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening!"

One thing I've heard pretty strongly from the people that played Link's Awakening at E3 was that the game is incredibly beautiful BUT they haven't quite got the game performance to deliver and the game lags a bit during certain scenes. Grezzo is the company that is creating this new version and they've ported/created some of the best Zelda titles around including the Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora's Mask 3D and Luigi's Mansion on 3DS. Clearly they have the ability to make the game fluid, hopefully that comes together in time for launch on September 20th of this year.

"John takes a look at the E3 demo of Link's Awakening on Switch - it's looking really good with a remarkable level of fidelity to the original, but there is some room for improvement on this early build."

Hey everyone. It's been a quick few weeks since we first dropped the first details of Tale of the White Wyvern and it was fun to see people in the community excited about playing it! As we put the finishing touches on the game for the upcoming beta I wanted to let you know a few more details a bit at a time to give you a taste of what to expect when the game launches.

How Player Leveling Works

In Tale of the White Wyvern you spend your daily turns per day fighting enemies in the forest to gain experience, gold and if you are lucky you may find some gems. Once you gain enough experience and feel you are powerful enough you can go to Tarbreth's Adventurer Training and spar with your Master to level up. Each level up grants you extra hit points, strength and defense as well as a level up in your class ability.

As you play the game you can find gems and use those gems to purchase permanent stat boosts(strength, defense or hitpoints) or gain a class level. How you spend your gems should line up with how you want to play the game so if you want to focus on damage dealing, sinking you gems into strength makes sense. If you want to focus on a defensive play style, spend your gems accordingly. If you want to level up your class for increased ability, you can do that too.

Tale Will Launch With Three Character Classes

Early on I had grand dreams of shipping Tale with six character classes but I decided to cut the games scope drastically so we could ship something people could play sooner and one of those things was shipping with three playable classes. I wanted to launch with classes that people could enjoy and also held a different approach per class depending on your play style.

Mage: I want to talk first about my favorite class in Tale of the White Wyvern, the Mage. The Mage is a magic user that on each level gain acquires another magic point & magic power point. As you level up you can unlock new spells and if you have enough magic points you can cast new spells.

* Magic Missile (1)
* Teleport (5)
* Healing (8)
* White (10)

The casting cost of each spell may change as we move into balancing the game more but right now that feels like the right cost for each spell. Magic Missile is a classic damage attack, Teleport quickly removes you from fights that you might not quite be ready for, Healing restores your HP during a fight and White is an ultra attack that does a massive amount of damage.


Rogue's are a sneaky defense based class for players that enjoy lurking in the shadows and striking their prey. Rogues have Stealth Points they can spend to perform sneaky attacks that deal massive amounts of damage.


Warrior's are masters of battle and specialize in dealing massive amounts of direct damage to foes. They are the perfect class choice for people that just want to deal as much damage as they can as quickly as possible. Warriors gain Battle Points as they level to spend on multiple critical attacks. The Warriors main power ability attack is Primal Scream that absolutely decimates enemies in your path.

Class Choice Effects Stat Boosts

As you fight in the forest you have a random chance to get a permanent stat boost and each class receives something a bit different that has the effect of making your class choice have a lasting effect on how you play the game.

* Random stat boosts in the Forest for Mages give them 3 extra hit points.
* Random stat boost in the Forest for Warriors give them 1 strength point.
* Random stat boost in the Forest for Rogues give them 1 defense point.

Depending on how you want to play the game, selecting the appropriate class will effect aspects of your ability.

Dual Class The Perfect Build

There is a secret place in the game where lucky adventurers can find to select a new class. So if you felt you have learned enough spells as a Mage you can switch over to be a Warrior and dual class. As the newly selected class the random stat boost encounters note your new class and grant you abilities accordingly.

As Tale of the White Wyvern launches I'd love to hear more about what you think of the classes and what dual class builds you plan to experiment with!

Nintendo just Tweeted out some more details of their upcoming free to play mobile game, Dr. Mario World that's coming to Android and iOS July 10th! It looks like a modern take on the classic gameplay made to work well for phones. Since it's free to play, it will be a day one thing I'll play. That said, the gameplay in the video looks fairly slow paced and its not obvious that the "upside down" gameplay of sorts will be fun. Makes sense they are doing it that way with touch controls but it looks like something I'll have to try to know for sure. For me, Dr. Mario is one of the best puzzle games somewhat in same league as Tetris so they have some of that to live up to.

Enter the Gungeon is a bullet hell rogue-like dungeon crawler where you pick from an assortment of different characters on your search for a gun that can kill the past. It's a campy premise and uses a chunky pixel art style that seems to be a mix of Secret of Mana and the more recent Nuclear Throne. If you haven't picked it up yet(like me) it's free on The Epic Game store until June 20th!

I've played a few rounds today and so far I really enjoy it. It's like a less frantic Nuclear Throne but it's pacing, art and style seem quite different. If you are looking for a new game to play, head over to Epic and get it for free right now.


Recent Activity...

Tale of The White Wyvern Launches July 28th!

I hope to get some horse armor.

Tale of The White Wyvern Launches July 28th!

Count me for playing on Sunday, July 28th.

Tale of The White Wyvern Launches July 28th!

I plan on playing on the 28th.

Tale of The White Wyvern Launches July 28th!

I plan on playing on the 28th.