jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

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

2434 Posts

The Humble Bundle has released a lot of great game bundles and the latest Playstation Indie Games bundle is a must buy if you own a PS4 and wanted a few more games to play. It's a pretty wide mix of titles such as Grim Fandango Remastered, The Bards Tale remastered, Inner Space, Broken Age, The Talos Principle, Wasteland 2, Layers of Fear, Shadow Warrior 2 and Killing Floor 2 and is $15 to get them all. $15 is a great price for just one of these games and considering some of the proceeds go to charity, even better.


I've only recently discovered The Gaming Historians channel and wanted to share one of his new videos covering the Super Mario Land trilogy on Gameboy. Starting with the offbeat Super Mario Land the Mario Land trilogy is unique and nothing Nintendo has quite replicated recently. I'd love a new take on these old games with the strange mechanics and new characters as Wario was first introduced in Mario Land Six Golden Coins and later featured as the protagonist in his own game.

"The Super Mario Land series was Nintendo's attempt at bringing the Super Mario franchise to the Game Boy. But it was also the first time Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto would not be involved. Learn all about the history of this series and the impact it has left on the Mario franchise!"


In Oregon we are all lucky to have the Portland Retro Game Expo which is a fun event in the later summer for everything awesome in retro games and trading. Cheerful Ghost has a booth each year, which is something you should check out if you haven't yet. In the new year the Video Game Swap Meet is held at the Portland Double Tree and put on by the Portland Retro Game Expo and The GameFather and I wanted to write a bit about the event and some of my pickups. Spoiler alert, Will got quite a few more games than I did.

The Portland Retro Game Expo is a very large event with a wide reach including a huge free to play arcade, game tournaments, retro game vendors, toy collectables, geek swag (think Yeti style shirts) and various game creators and game sites and podcasts like Cheerful Ghost. The Video Game Swap Meet is more focused around vendors selling and trading games and it's a really focused one day event. I really enjoy it because it's easy to take in and go through each booth a few times to make sure you've picked up anything you want. The swap meet had a lot of people there but less folks than PRGE which is a nice change of pace.

I wasn't coming to the Swap Meet with anything in mind to get, I really just like hanging out with the Retro community and I also wanted to handout some of our new Cheerful Ghost branded 1UP cards. If you don't know, 1UP cards are a great way to clean your old retro NES, SNES, Genesis, 64, etc carts without blowing into them. Think a simple two sided cleaning card that has no downside of spitting into your carts, which you should never do to clean them. I've seen branded 1UP cards in the wild and have wanted some Cheerful Ghost cards printed so I contacted 1UP and had some made up. If you want to see what they look like hit the image link below.

https://i.imgur.com/qIN8dfv.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/UGtTWN3.jpg

Will and I were one of the first people in line and as such I was able to hand out the cards, some stickers and a podcast handout to the first 10 or so people easily. People seemed to dig the new 1UP cards so I'm going to do a similar giveaway at Portland Retro Game Expo this year as well as sell them at our booth. I'd like to get some Cheerful Ghost shirts printed this year too, but we'll see how it goes.

As to the stuff I picked up this year I finally was able to round out my collection of Just Dance games on the Wii with the original Just Dance 2009 game. I've got the others and it's a fun series and one reason I still have my Wii hooked up to my TV. I also picked up two DS games in Plants VS Zombies and Zoo Tycoon. Both are PC ports that landed in various forms and I've only played a bit of Plants VS Zombies DS so far. I want to do a more formal review of Plants VS Zombies DS but i'd say if you were a fan of the game and wanted to collect a version of it on DS, get it. I aim to collect all the Zelda games and finally added Oracle of Ages and Seasons on Gameboy Color to my collection after finding them both for a good price. I also saw Link to the Past in box and in great shape but I think i'm going to save that pickup for this years Portland Retro Game Expo.


The official teaser for Spider-Man: Far From Home dropped today spoiling Avengers Endgame... a bit. But then again did anyone think all of the snap was permanent? Looks like Spider-Man is back and this time IN EUROPE! Originally I thought Far From Home would be a story where Spider-Man was out there in space somewhere trying to get home. You know, a cosmic "road trip" movie but apparently it's Spider-Man in Europe. Which is... kind of neat but if you consider where he goes in Infinity War, Europe isn't really that far from his home. More like Spider-Man: At Least We're On Earth This Time So It's Cool.

All that said, trailer looks fun, same tone as Homecoming which is a treat, Jake Gyllenhaal looks great as Mysterio and should probably never shave that beard.

Thoughts?


The classic Don Bluth animated video game Dragon's Lair Trilogy is coming to the Switch eShop January 17th! I had a love hate relationship with Dragon's Lair as I really enjoyed playing it but found it was of the more punishing arcade games I've played. Playing on the Switch without having to pump in quarters sounds like the best way to play it and I hope the Dragon's Lair Trilogy does well and gets a physical cart release (it got a Wii physical release).

"In Dragon's Lair, you play the heroic Dirk the Daring, a valiant knight on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon!

Space Ace will have you take control of Ace - Defender of justice, truth, and the planet Earth! Ace is being attacked by the evil Commander Borf. Struggle with Dexter to regain his manhood. Destroy the Infanto-Ray. Defeat the evil Borf! Be valiant space warrior, the fate of Earth is in your hands!

Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp once again has you leading Dirk on a perilous quest! Spirited away to a wrinkle in time by the evil wizard Mordroc, Princess Daphne will be forced to marry the wicked Mordroc unless Dirk can save her. Once the casket of doom has opened, Mordroc will place the death ring upon Daphne’s finger in marriage, and she will be lost forever in the Time Warp.
"


New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe is out on Switch and the reviews are coming in that seem to indicate its another great Wii U release. I love the New Super Mario Bros games and plan on picking this up as soon as it makes sense (not at the moment as I'm playing a few other Switch games). New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe comes with the original game PLUS New Super Luigi U and allows you to play as Toadette and Nabbit in both games. There has been some controversy that Nintendo wouldn't include blue Toad but it seems Nintendo did include him. The problem is that Blue toad is a color option and you HAVE to select one of the easy characters (Toadette and Nabbit) if you play 4 player mode. I can see why this may upset some but I have a few thoughts on it.

Firstly, everyone with the Wii U version still has it and you can play 4 player without the easy characters. Secondly, how often to people play four player? It's possible some people play this mode all the time, but even so if I did I wouldn't mind playing as Toadette. If you play 4 player all the time, again, you still have the original game.

It's also possible Nintendo might patch in four player with blue toad.

All that said, New Super Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe looks great from the reviews I've read (including the Digital Foundry video review above) and the addition of Toadette and Nabbit makes the game more accessible to people that might not mind playing with you but would get frustrated dying a lot if they aren't hardcore gamers. For instance I could see my young son playing as Nabbit as he gets better over time and can play as the more traditional characters.


LGR has a new video where he builds a NES themed Retro Pie out of Legos! It's a really fun hack you can build yourself from a kit that doesn't seem to be too expensive.


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!

https://gamesdonequick.com/


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.


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