jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I work for Bonobos as an Engineering Manager and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.

2358 Posts

I thought Anodyne was one of the coolest Indie games to come out in 2013 and was happy to hear Anodyne 2 is in development. Recently developers Analgesic Productions have released more details of the game and one big one featured in the linked video above, is the ability to switch between 3D and 2D game modes. The 2D game graphics are in the style of the original game and the 3D looks very reminiscent of early Playstation or Nintendo 64 games.

"Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is coming early 2019 for Windows and Mac OSX. Much like Final Fantasy, there's no need to play Anodyne 1 to understand Anodyne 2's story, but longtime fans will find connections to Anodyne 1! It's also available on Steam."

https://analgesic.productions/


https://i.imgur.com/rwagm0P.jpg
Bethesda recently tweeted that Elder Scrolls Blades isn't going to launch this year and that it's coming early in 2019. Elder Scrolls Blades is one of my most anticipated games (it looks awesome) and it's a bit unfortunate to hear it's pushing out a bit but if the game is better for it then why not?

"The Elder Scrolls: Blades will release in Early 2019 for iOS and Android devices. We are incredibly excited for you to play Blades and you can still sign up for Early Access at http://PlayBlades.com ."

https://twitter.com/ElderScrolls/status/1068225011163504640


If you frequent this site you know I love watching speedruns. I think a great speedrunner is not only skilled at the game they are playing but can also explain the history of the run as well as how certain strategies were discovered. Certain YouTube channels do breakdowns of Speedruns and their history and Summoning Salt is one of the best. Check out the historical breakdown of the Super Mario Bros. 3 100% Speedrun above and learn about Mitch Flower Power and the rest of amazing runners that have traded the world record over the years.

If this speedrun historical breakdown isn't enough for you, strap in because in a couple days i'm going to post my final 2018 GDQ Express wrap up series and one run features Mitch and Grand Poo Bear speedrunning Super Mario Bros. 3 co-op!


Half-life is a classic PC game that I bought to play Counter-Strike. I knew it was a fun game, but discovered that later after playing a ton of Counter-Strike. Truth be told I was never really good at LAN Counter-Strike but I was pretty good at Half-life as it was one of the first first person shooter games to blend puzzle solving with a first class sci-fi story.

"Few games have made an immediate impact quite like Half-Life. From the narrative, to the level design, to the numerous spin-offs and mods! The original 1998 PC gaming classic is well worth revisiting."


https://i.imgur.com/xAkgDlB.jpg
Looks like Valve isn't making any more of it's Steam Linux streaming mini boxes you can use to play your PC games on your TV. It's currently marked down to $2.50 on Steam right now and it looks like when they sell out you won't be able to buy them any more. Valve continues to be committed to it's Steam Link Android App but hasn't been able to release it on the Apple app store after they initially submitted it due to a violation of the App store policy. Hopefully Valve can work out something with Apple because I've recently replaced my Steam Linux under my TV with my Wii U. I always thought the Steam Link was a cool device but now that Steam streaming comes installed on some TVs and Smartphones it makes sense that Valve won't be making more.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/353380/Steam_Link/

https://steamcommunity.com/games/353380/announcements/detail/2533733726684325037


Super Metroid/ALttP Combo Randomizer by Andy and Oatsngoats in 3:16:22 One of the coolest parts of this years GDQ Express was Andy and Oatsngoats playing the Super Metroid and Link the Past Randomizer co-op. The Super Metroid & Link to the Past randomizer run is a super new speedrun and it was really fun to watch two of the best players in Zelda and Metroid play such an incredible co-op run. The randomizer seed isn't particularly kind to them and when one of the worst item spawns happens it's a very fun moment but Oats and Andy pull it out for a very fun run to experience.

Earthbound by Ultimoice in 2:15: 57 Earthbound is a classic SNES RPG that can be completed incredibly fast due to some really obscure game bugs. In this years GDQ Express Ultimo speedran the game under the all photos category to a crazy speed of 2:15:57.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IlknOBqSu4

Donkey Kong 5: The Journey of Over Time and Space by theboyks in 7:02 Donkey Kong 5: They Journey of Over Time and Space is a bootleg Gameboy cart that recreates the first five levels of Super Mario Bros using the Donkey Kong Gameboy sprites and music from games like Pokemon pinball. The game is pretty terrible and looks quite difficult but Theboyks runs it flawlessly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOjW1EVIPpE

Star Wars NES by Indy in 11:30 Star Wars on NES isn't a particularly great game and if you're not as familiar with it this run by Indy is a good way to get aquatinted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q7wKzdR81c


A couple months back I found a good deal on a Wii U and decided to buy it. I've wanted to buy one for a while now and felt the time was right with the Switch being very popular it seems people are looking to get rid of their old Nintendo hardware. The Wii U deal I found had the base system, extra Wii controller, Skylanders pack and a couple extra games included such as Nintendoland, Mass Effect 3 and Ninja Gaiden. All told not the best of games on the system but it did come with Breath of the Wild as a digital download. The unfortunate part of digital downloads is they only work as long as you keep the old owners account on the Wii U, something I wanted to change in favor of mine. Since I plan on playing that on the Switch it's not a huge deal, but a note if you plan on selling something, digital has zero value in a world where you want to resell your games.

It's Strange Coming Back To The Console World And I Didn't Miss It

I've been away from the console world for some time focusing on PC gaming and the 3DS. The Wii U is a good console but I didn't miss the install times, slow load times and general clunkiness of these kinds of disc based IO systems. I'm used to the quick load times of physical NES and SNES carts or blazing fast SSD drives on my PC, Mac or Phone. Heading back to the Wii U is fun but lots of that fun is slowed down by way to long install and load times. Now that most of the games I want to play are installed and updated, it's mostly fine, but that initial hit is painful.

The Wii U And The 3DS

The Wii, 3DS and Wii U share a similar user experience. The ideal of channels started on the Wii and moved to the the Wii U but the best realization of it is on the 3DS. The Wii U and 3DS were released around similar times but the 3DS user interface is smoother and to me seems better. The only real difference is that the Wii U is slower to load things and not quite as intuitive as the 3DS. This might be because I have much more familiarity with the 3DS but the 3DS just feels better as system to me than the Wii U. The Wii U is functional and also very pretty but the 3DS is just a better version of what the Wii U is trying to do, which is make playing games fun.

The Best Part Of The Wii U

The best part of the Wii U are the first party Nintendo games and I wish there were more of them on the system. The lack of awesome games was the big complaint about the system in general, not that people didn't like it, just that it disappointed people in terms of what you could do with it. This isn't a problem with the 3DS and seems to be fixed by the Switch as well and it's sad the Wii U couldn't overcome it.

Super Mario 3D World

One of the first games I wanted to get on the Wii U was Super Mario 3D World and I picked it up on the cheap at this years Portland Retro Game Expo along with a raft of other Wii U stuff. Super Mario 3D World continues the fun Mario 3D legacy but brings up to 4 players on screen at the same time making for some manic-fun gameplay. The first thing I noticed when I played Super Mario 3D World was how beautiful this game is. Nintendo games in full HD are an incredible sight to behold and the Wii U is flexing It's graphical muscles to deliver one of the prettiest games i've seen in quite some time. The only thing that took me a while to get used to in Super Mario 3D World were some elements of the platforming because you need to keep track of your position to not fall to your death. In the end it's not too hard but when you add another player it can get much more challenging.

With Nintendo bringing back the best of the Wii U games to the Switch I hope they do similarly with Super Mario 3D World. It has some overlap with Mario Odyssey but if people want even more Mario platforming, 3D World is a great game to play.

First Impressions Wrap Up

The Wii U is a very interesting Nintendo console and doesn't seem to get much love from gamers and not much more from hardcore Nintendo fans. Because of this I'm really happy to own a Wii U and it's been really surprising to collect for it as it hasn't been very expensive. The Wii U is a strange system with a lot of quirks that I really find endearing. It's the first Nintendo system to do true HD and has some fun elements like a tablet controller that seemed to be done better later as the Nintendo Switch. But since I love weird stuff, the Wii U feels right at home under my TV.


My family owned a Commodore 64 and as such I remember playing a ton of awesome games on it as well as learning how to program by reading code from included software and magazines. Some of the games I played on it were pretty fun such as Gauntlet, California Games and Nosferatu and remember playing Nosferatu for hours even though I never could kill Dracula. Recently the C64 Mini was released and I didn't pick it up because I wasn't sure how it would turn out but it was recently reviewed by Metal Jesus and seems to be fantastic. The C64 Mini includes a lot of games and some I remember playing but the coolest part is that it includes the ability to program it using C64 Basic and load up other Commodore games! He notes they might release another C64 classic with the old keyboard but until then you have to plug in a USB keyboard to use it fully.

Did you pick up the C64 Mini or is this something you're gonna skip for now?


Grim Fandango Remastered is available now on the Switch and Double Fine has a fun video out to celebrate that goes over 8 inspirations for the game. A couple of these were fun to learn, like The Beastie Boys inspired the game but i'll let you click play to find out how.

Grim Fandango is available on every platform such as PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, XBox and now the Nintendo Switch.


This years GDQ Express was awesome and I've been meaning to do a wrap up post with some of my favorite runs and now that GDQ has posted them on YouTube... here it is!

The Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure by The_Kov in 10.53 - Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure is a special homebrew NES game made to support the Cowlitz Gamers charity and a limited run of these carts were made. I was fortunate enough to buy one from John Hancock and was really happy to see it run at this years GDQ Express by The Kov. It's a fantastic game and an amazing run to watch but it's also been released on Itch for download! The game designer of Cowlitz Gamers' 2nd Adventure reached out to let me know that the game is now up on Itch with a recommended donation to Life Works Washington that benefits the Arc of Cowlitz. So watch the run, download the game and support a great cause!

https://mteegfx.itch.io/cowlitz
https://www.lifeworkswa.org/donations
https://www.lifeworkswa.org/arc

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze by SpikeVegeta in 1:28:56 Spike is one of the long time hosts and commentators of GDQ and also a great Speedrunner seen in his run of DK Tropical Freeze on Switch. He uses Funky Kong due to how brokenly amazing he is to run with and Spike makes the run seem incredibly easy. Plus it's fun because Spike is a very entertaining Speedrunner to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtA0Mr-dUKc

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds by TheLegendofZaheer in 1:25:23 Do you like Zelda? Do you like Link to the Past? Do you like watching the sequel to A Link to the Past run very fast? I beat this game last year and if you haven't played it yet I recommend watching the run by TheLegendofZaheer to see how you can break this game. Spoiler alert, Ravio will never be the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8pXaF0CrQI


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