My Yoshi Jack-O-Lantern

by Matthew Thompson

Hello everyone! For about a decade now, I have taken to making video game-themed Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween each year. Cartoony platforming protagonists have become kind of my go-to for these pumpkin carvings. In the past, that has included the PS2’s holy trinity of Jak, Ratchet and Sly, the limbless wonder Rayman, and finally last year the legendary, mustachioed plumber himself Mario (in a Tanooki suit of course!). This year I tackled another platforming favorite of mine, Mario’s dinosaur buddy Yoshi. Now I am here to share some pictures of the carving. Here they are Continue reading

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm “Awake” (Episode 1) Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

I was very skeptical when I first heard rumors about Life is Strange: Before the Storm and even more red flags popped up when I saw its official reveal at E3. My big worry was whether or not a prequel to a choice-based narrative-focused game like the original Life is Strange was a good idea. Would knowing the fates of the major players here dampen the experience? And to be honest, I was never a big enough fan of Chloe Price to really want a whole game focusing on her past either. When you throw in a new developer and different voice actress for Chloe, I had plenty of reasons for concern. But after playing through this initial episode of Before the Storm recently, I am happy to report this new Life is Strange project is off to a very promising start Continue reading

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

I was very open to the idea of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, but had no idea if I would like it. Unlike most people, it wasn’t because of the Rabbids. I actually have some fond memories of the Rabbid games. I used to play the original Raving Rabbids title on the Wii with my mom and in the years since she has gotten me a few other entries in the series as gifts. The asynchronous multiplayer in the Wii U’s Rabbids Land was a particularly big hit with friends and family while some of the other Wii party games were a good time when I could gather more friends for game nights back in college. My worry was whether I could get into something turn-based. I’ve mentioned my aversion to this style of combat in the past. I’d avoided any RPGs like that since I was a kid and my only flirtation with strategy games of that ilk – Advance Wars and a similar game in the Prince of Persia series (yes there was a PoP strategy game and I own it!) – didn’t last all that long. Would this wacky Mario + Rabbids crossover leave me cold in the same way? Apparently not as I found myself hooked on this for a couple of weeks last month Continue reading

The Games of Fall 2017

by Matthew Thompson

Hey everyone! With a slew of Fall and holiday gaming releases coming soon, I thought I’d take a quick look forward to what I would like to play in these final months of 2017. Here it goes Continue reading

Game of Thrones Season 7 Review

by Matthew Thompson

The seventh season of Game of Thrones once again delivered the kind of spectacle and awe-inspiring moments I have come to expect from HBO’s epic fantasy series. Unfortunately as it heads toward the finish-line, the show is simply speeding between these big moments without properly building up to them, often leaving logic by the wayside in the process. The result is a very uneven season for one of my favorite series still on the air Continue reading

Madden 18 Longshot Mode Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

Madden used to be an annual Day 1 purchase for me. Due to a number of factors, I started getting the game less often until it became a rental the past couple of years. Part of it was me branching out into a lot of different genres and preferring my sports time be spent watching the real thing. The other issue is one often levied at sports games: a lack of substantial upgrades for each new entry. The fact that I was buying a glorified roster update started to grate on me. That is one reason I was excited to see EA announce the new Longshot mode for Madden 18 at E3 this year. After playing through it last week, it is safe to say that this new story mode is different from anything that has been a part of Madden in the past and a welcome addition to the long-running series Continue reading

My Favorite New Shows of the Summer

by Matthew Thompson

Before the Fall television season revs up and with it comes an influx of new TV series, I thought I’d take a look back at the new shows worth checking out from this Summer. Here are a handful of promising television series that debuted over the last few months Continue reading

Orphan Black Season 5 Review

by Matthew Thompson

I still recall watching the pilot episode of Orphan Black for the first time. I went in not knowing what it was about and found myself stumbling upon an intriguing new sci-fi thriller. The first season took me on a wild ride and was one of my very favorite shows that aired in 2013. It has never quite matched the heights of its daring freshman year largely due to some messy plotting and an ever-growing, overly complicated mythology with a conspiracy that always seemed to have one more layer. But it never ceased to entertain due to the amazing central performance by the series breakout star Tatiana Maslany. This year’s fifth season marked its final one. Despite a sometimes bumpy road to get there, it provided a satisfying ending to one of the best science fiction television shows of recent years Continue reading