Partner to Francesca and father to Finley. I'm an Engineer and built the video game site Cheerful Ghost.
"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!"
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
If you watched and saw something you want to highlight, drop it in the comments!