Joined 01/23/2012

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

2408 Posts

The jolly old Loot Elf gifted me with the Nintendo Switch for the holiday this year alongside Mega Man 11, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as well as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. After I opened the Switch and started playing games on it I was in love because for where I am in my life, it's just about the perfect game system.

The Biggest Strength Of The Switch Is The Hardware

Nintendo knows how to make a kick ass console and the Switch continues the tradition set with such greats as the Super Nintendo, Gameboy Advance and Wii. The Switch build quality is solid and the default mobile joycon setup feels good in the hand. The Switch isn't too heavy at about 10.6 ounces which is a bit under a pound making it easy to hold for long periods of time. The only situations where holding the Switch becomes a thing is when I'm laying in bed and holding it up and my hands cramp up a bit(this also happens with my 3DS).

I'm very happy Nintendo decided to double down on standard hardware as the Switch connects to the TV and charges via USB C. What this means is that if you have USB C docks and chargers for your Android or Mac, they should work with your Switch. The only thing to consider is that the Switch NEEDS quite a bit of power in docked TV mode (15V/2.6A) and you must have a powerful enough charger if you use it with generic USB C HDMI docks. The reason why you might want to get a generic USB C HDMI dock is that they are MUCH cheaper than the Nintendo released dock and are much smaller in footprint. If you just want to trickle charge your Switch I use a generic USB C cable to my usb quick charger I use for my iPhone.

Another aspect of Nintendo building on open hardware is that the Switch pro controllers support normal bluetooth and USB C making them incredibly easy to connect to your PC. For a long time the "best" controller on PC was the XBox 360 PC controller but now with the Switch pro controller I think the 360 controller is now beat. Firstly the Switch pro controller feels better in the hand but the included d-pad is much improved over the 360 controller. Plus you can get going on PC with the Switch Pro controller without drivers making it a win over the XBox 360 controller for PC. Valve also added native support for the Switch Pro controller in Steam and I can see why, it's a fantastic controller.

The Switch Interface Is Simple

I've heard some critique of the Switch user interface in that it didn't feel refined enough for some gamers. I'm not sure I understand that criticism as the Switch UI is very simple and gets out of the way to make playing games easy. I thought that it would be annoying to install a microSD card and install software on that by default but it was easy as the Switch started using it to install everything right away.

The Nintendo Switch eshop is also quite simple to navigate but if you want to find demos you need to do a search and select "free" to get it. It's not a huge deal, but an option some people might not know is available if you don't click the search button.

I Hope The Switch Has a Long Life

I love the Switch and due to it's relatively open hardware nature, great experience and incredible selection of games I'm going to be playing it for a long time. My hope is that Nintendo supports is much longer than the Wii U and the dream scenario would be getting a Switch 2, 3, etc over time. As with the DS to 3DS Nintendo kept backwards compatibility my hope is Nintendo does similarly with the Switch. That said, if they don't I imagine the Switch will see me playing it for a long time.

The Dance Between Digital And Physical Games

My preference is to buy Switch game carts. That said, when I got the Switch it came with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe digitally and having the game available to play without switching a cart is really nice. With games I'll play exclusively for a long time such as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze buying the cart makes sense but for smaller indie titles getting digital is a good way to go. I also enjoy collecting games and loaning them to friends and so far, physical is the best option for that.

Sorry I'm a bit late with this BUT Awesome Games Done Quick is still going strong and you should watch it and donate to benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Right now Mitchflowerpower, Jabem and Gaiden are doing a race of Super Mario Bros. 3MIX which is a fun ROM hack mashup of all the Mario Games. At around 8pm PST they will start a run of Super Mario RPG where they estimate the run to take about 3 hours and 30 minutes. As always, Awesome Games Done Quick is an incredible charity event and afterward i'll be creating a few wrap up posts that highlight my favorite runs.

If you watched and saw something you want to highlight, drop it in the comments!


Many companies make TV streaming boxes such as Apple, Google, Roku and Amazon. Typically they are really just used for streaming video or listening to music but a few companies have a raft of games available and Apple TV is such a device that has access to quite a few. Metal Jesus reviewed the recent release of the Sega Collection on the Amazon Fire TV stick and it looks like the games work really well on it. It seems Sega is aiming to release all its classic games on all of the devices it can and the Amazon Fire Stick is the next platform to get them. Jesus suggests you get a controller that works with the device as the remote just doesn't cut it and from playing a few games on these devices, I agree.

I know it's not quite Christmas anymore but LGR dropped this review of Jazz Jackrabbit Christmas game and I thought it was fun and wanted to share it. If you're not aware, Jazz Jackrabbit is a classic DOS released back in 1994 by Epic MegaGames (later renamed to just Epic Games, the creators Fortnight). Jazz is a fun sidescroller that is one of the best of breed on DOS and Jazz Jackrabbit 2 just made everything more than a little bit better.

Metal Jesus has a new video out where he asks his crew what systems they have hooked up to their TV. The answers were pretty interesting coming from a bunch of avid collectors and at one point John Hancock had 32 systems on 3 TVs! The systems hooked up to my TV are the NES Classic, Wii, Wii U & Switch and I'm planning on removing the Wii at some point. The Switch is the latest system that's attached to my TV and I recently put my SNES Classic back in it's case because I'm not playing it at the moment.

What gaming systems do you have hooked up to your TV?

I've always been an armchair fan of the Mega Man games but never played any of them regularly until I got an NES Classic. I latched on to Mega Man 2 and haven't let go since (expect an upcoming Cheerful Ghost Radio NES Review episode in the new year). As such, it was fairly natural that I took note of Mega Man 11 and then found it totally awesome that Travis got it for me this year as a gift on the Switch! I wanted to write down some of my early thoughts on the game and will check in regularly as I make progress with it.

This Isn't Mega Man 2 But That's Ok

Beyond the 3D graphics at first blush Mega Man 11 looks and plays like the classic games we love. It's hard because the game feels just like the classics but under the covers are a slew of new mechanics. In fact, these new mechanics I found annoying at first but after clocking about 3 hours into the game are finally working for me.

The new stages are much longer than any Mega Man stages I've played so far which is to say, they are much longer than the stages in Mega Man 2. At first this seemed odd to me, how can you have a Mega Man game with super long stages and get through it and then I realized that Mega Man 11 is aimed a much more modern audience. The stages in NES Mega Man were short due to cart limitations and password saves states and replay-ability. Mega Man 11 sticks It's flag firmly in the save state world and expects you to complete a stage one time and move on. Gone are the days where the game expects you to turn it on and replay each robot boss battle on your way to beating Dr Wily. Mega Man 11 expects your gonna pick a difficulty and play each stage until you complete it until the end of the game.

This focus on stage length, difficulty and your game progress is all tied together through a new mechanic i'd not seen in a Mega Man game focusing on an in game currency, screws. Fear not, this isn't tied to any micro-transactions and screws are something you can collect easily in each stage by finding them or killing enemies. Collect enough screws and you can visit Dr Light and buy a ton of items such as E-Tanks and Mega Man enhancements like the ability to get a wider buster shot, lessen your push back when you take damage and increase the amount of energy that drops from enemies. These power ups unlock at certain points in the game and each one is a different amount of screws to unlock. Say you are having a particularly hard time in the Block Man stage? Collect enough screws to max out on E-Tanks and other items to make the stage easier. The screw currency gives the game focus in that you can unlock abilities and power ups making subsequent playthroughs easier. If you want the game to be more difficult you can avoid all this entirely but I'm working my way through it the first time and it's nice to get a bit of help.

Block Man Down, Acid Man to Go

After about three hours I finally defeated Block Man. The Block Man stage is quite punishing and once you complete a section it tosses it back to you in a harder form until you master each section to finally confront Block Man. Turns out Block Man isn't too hard, or isn't if you use the Super Guard power-up and some E-Tanks (which I recommend) and as such is one of the best stages and bosses to take on first. According to some searching, Acid Man goes down smooth with the Block drop weapon so I'm now working on that stage.

Another part of Mega Man 11 worth a series of accolades is the level design. So far the Block Man and Acid Man stages are quite different and contain very clever puzzles that are hard but fair. I've taken a peek at a few other stages such as Bounce Man which feels like a level designed by people that love crazy bouncy castles.

So far Mega Man 11 takes the best elements of the series and solidly moves the game forward for a new audience. If you like Mega Man games and don't mind coming back to the same levels and slowly getting better a bit at a time, Mega Man 11 is for you. You can download a demo of the Block Man stage on PC, Switch, PS4 and XBone to give it a shot if you're not entirely sure if this is something you might be into. I've heard Mega Man 11 looks better on the PS4 and XBox One and all I can say is the game looks great on the Switch. It's a bit jaggy in handheld mode but once it pops to the TV it looks fantastic.

Wanted to send everyone a special Holiday greeting and hope that today is a fun and restful day. As we open our IRL loot boxes please drop what you got from the Holiday Loot Elf in the comments to share!

Pictures get you a bonus accolade!

Sony just released a brand new Lemmings free to play game on iOS and Android which is a interesting turn as just yesterday I pined for a new mobile release. It's a classic franchise that deserved an updated version and after I heard the news this morning I downloaded it and gave the first few levels a try. So far, the game is fine, it uses energy that slowly refills over time or you can purchase an instant refill for money. That energy is what you use to activate your Lemmings abilities to float to the ground, build up and dig. It lacks some of the polish of the DOS original but as I've said, so far it's a fine port. I'll do a more formal review later but I wanted to let you know that it exists and that you can pick it up for free on Android and iOS now!


"Lemmings: A cute, clumsy and clueless species of green-mopped creatures on a journey home, in desperate need of help. For over 25 years, players have answered their call, with millions playing the puzzle game that became a pop-culture phenomenon.

We cheered when we saved them, cried when they died and as a schoolkid back in the ’90s, my classmates and I seemed hell-bent on killing the poor things in the most barbaric way possible. Kids were cruel in the ’90s. We had no internet.

Now it’s time for a whole new generation to save/slaughter those adorable critters once again, with a brand new Lemmings game out today, designed specifically for your mobile device.


Lazy Game Reviews is a YouTube channel about game reviews, retro reviews as well as retro PC hardware reviews. It's one of my favorite channels and I wanted to share one of his latest videos that was seasonally appropriate. Holiday Lemmings started out as a few level demo and got a full fledged release later on. I had all the Lemmings demos I could get my hands on but never was able to buy the full versions. It's not a hard game to find now but I wish Sony would do more with it and release a new Lemmings game on all platforms including mobile.

Recent Activity...

What do YOU think is going to happen in Avengers: Endgame?

(Both of my "predictions" ended up being reasoning...

What do YOU think is going to happen in Avengers: Endgame?

Travis, I think you have a pretty sold list of...

What do YOU think is going to happen in Avengers: Endgame?

I will come back and read your predictions after the...

What do YOU think is going to happen in Avengers: Endgame?

It will end with Star Child from 2001.