My Pre-E3 2018 Post

by Matthew Thompson

I haven’t found myself as excited this year in the lead up to E3 as I usually am. Part of that has just been being busy in real-life and not thinking about it as much as I once did. Part of it is me preferring to go into game experiences more blind these days. And part of it I think has to do with the diminished importance of the expo to publishers. Sony and Nintendo in particular have been announcing their games throughout the year as opposed to saving them for the E3 stage. So I guess I’m not expecting as many surprises as normal. But with less than a week to go, I find my anticipation for E3 rising and I’m here to do my usual mix of pre-show expectations, predictions and wishes. Here it goes Continue reading

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Celeste Review

by Matthew Thompson

I died over a thousand times before reaching the summit in Celeste. It speaks to the impeccable design of this new 2D platformer from the makers of TowerFall that despite perishing over and over again, I never became frustrated. Checkpoints are plentiful – you are typically only tasked with completing a single screen without dying – and respawns instantaneous. This makes repeated attempts – of which you will need many – at the game’s tricky traversal segments relatively pain-free. And your persistence will be rewarded. Nothing in gaming outside of the rare competitive multiplayer moment gives me the satisfaction that besting a challenging section in a platformer can. Celeste delivers the most rewarding feeling I have gotten from the genre in this manner since Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst’s exhilarating time trials Continue reading

Little Nightmares Review

by Matthew Thompson

I like to think I keep myself fairly well apprised of upcoming video game releases and yet somehow Little Nightmares slipped past my radar. It actually appeared on my Most Anticipated Games list a couple of years back when it was known as Hunger, but between the name change and the passage of time it eluded me on release. Late in 2017, I spotted the familiar cover art while browsing GameFly and was able to put the game through its paces early on in 2018. In the process, I uncovered one of the underrated gems of last year Continue reading

My Most Anticipated Games of 2018

by Matthew Thompson

I always like to follow up my look back at gaming in one year with what I’m looking forward to in the next. 2018 doesn’t seem to have quite as much for me to be excited about as 2017 had, particularly early on, but there are still quite a few standout titles. For my top five, I decided to only include games that are officially announced and that I believe will actually release in 2018 (delays have a habit of making these annual posts a bit redundant otherwise), but I’ve mentioned a slew of others in the bullets that follow. Well, here they are: my most anticipated games of 2018 Continue reading

My Top 15 TV Shows of 2017

by Matthew Thompson

2017 was another strong year for television. Despite there being more shows than ever, I can’t say I have kept up with as much this past year. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a wealth of high-quality series to choose from for my year-end list. I have pared down an ample list of choices to my top fifteen TV shows. Here they are Continue reading

My 2017 Gaming Awards

by Matthew Thompson

Hey everyone! I ran a little behind on this, but I finally put together my post looking back at gaming in 2017. My original intent was to do a top five and then some other awards in a separate post, but I couldn’t decide what to pick for my fifth game and I found a way to squeeze the big four games I wanted to touch on in this post (my GotY, my two runners-up and my late to the party GotY of sorts). Well, here it goes Continue reading

My Five Favorite Albums of 2017

by Matthew Thompson

Music is a huge part of my life, but I don’t break it down in the same critical way I do games and TV, nor can I pretend to write about it in the same way. Still, I like to share some of my favorite music from the year every December and I’m here to do just that. Without further ado, here are my five favorite albums of 2017 Continue reading

Super Mario Odyssey Review

by Matthew Thompson

I have always preferred my Mario platformers to be of the linear variety. As much as I loved the 2D titles growing up, I didn’t really become enamored with the 3D series until they returned to the plumber’s more straightforward roots with Galaxy and the subsequent games since (Galaxy 2, 3D Land and 3D World). I wasn’t exactly enthused to see Odyssey going back to the 64/Sunshine style and after playing Odyssey, I think my lack of enthusiasm for this return to a more adventure-slanting 3D Mario was warranted Continue reading

A Blog Update

by Matthew Thompson

Hey everyone! I recently transitioned to a new job and decided to take a little break from the blog while I settled into my new work life. But I wanted to let people know I will be back soon! I was planning to do a little gaming update of sorts this week, but my writing muscles are a bit cold I guess, so I have decided to just focus on my year-end posts which should start going up in the next few weeks. Doing these is one of my favorite parts of having this site. My plan at the moment is to do a top 15 TV Shows of the year (I had a top ten I was happy with, but a couple late additions shook things up so I plan to expand to 15 to show more 2017 series some love) and a couple posts about gaming in 2017 (probably a GotY list of either five or ten plus a supplemental post that will let me shine some light on certain specific aspects I loved from games in 2017). I’m also hoping to throw up a top five albums of the year list along with sharing My 2017 Mix on Spotify like I usually do, but I don’t really write a ton on music so that will just be a small post.

In the new year, I plan to revamp the way this site works. Part of me would like to start making smaller posts, so I can share my impressions of things more often. But the truth is I have always wanted to do that on here and never seemed to make it happen. I have become accustomed to making a certain length of post and it is hard to break that habit. Maybe my new time constraints will make it a necessity though. I’m also considering perhaps just focusing on one lengthy post a month. I enjoy the art of writing and this would probably let me still scratch that itch without trying to do too much. Or maybe I can find a nice balance of both.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has checked in on the site during this time and throughout the year. I really appreciate it. I hope to start rolling out my year-end posts in the next couple weeks. I’m still hoping to finish up a couple shows and play some more games for consideration as a part of those posts, so it will likely be closer to the end of 2017 and perhaps even bleeding into early 2018. As always, thanks for reading!

By Matthew Thompson Posted in More

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