Best of 7th Gen: #10-Super Mario Galaxy 2

by Matthew Thompson

(I am counting down my 25 favorite games of the last console generation. I explain a little about how I put the list together in this introduction. And you can see a collection of all my articles on the Best of 7th Gen compiled here.)

In 1996, gamers were blown away by Mario’s first foray into three dimensions. It was certainly quite the sight to see him moving in 3D space after years of seeing him run and jump along 2D planes. The game’s use of the analog stick (or perhaps the Nintendo 64’s in general) was a revolutionary one that would change the industry forever. And yet for me – and this may seem blasphemous – Super Mario 64 just isn’t what I imagined from Mario in 3D. The Mario I grew up on was about linear platforming assault courses. Mario 64 is a good game in its own right, but it was more open than I expected, a bit more slanted towards exploration and adventure than I’d hoped, and not the point A to point B tests of my platforming prowess that I coveted. Fortunately that is exactly the direction Nintendo went with the Galaxy series and I finally got the 3D Mario game I’d always dreamed of Continue reading

Hands-On with Ratchet & Clank for PS4

by Matthew Thompson

If I was excited for a game this year, it was likely delayed to 2016. That was the case with Ratchet & Clank’s PS4 debut which will arrive alongside the series’ first animated film next spring. I was happy to at least get a small taste of the lombax and robot duo’s next adventure this year through a pair of short demo levels Continue reading

The New Shows of Summer: UnReal

by Matthew Thompson

Lifetime’s new drama UnReal peers behind the curtain of a fictional Bachelor-esque dating show called Everlasting. I basically checked this out on the recommendation of some folks on a discussion forum I frequent, only knowing that basic premise and that it was supposedly a good show. Perhaps because the only thing I’ve ever seen like it was Burning Love, I was expecting something a little goofier. What I found instead was a much darker, more interesting take on the subject matter Continue reading

The New Shows of Summer: Scream: The TV Series

by Matthew Thompson

I love the Scream movies. The first is one of my all-time favorites. Growing up watching slasher movies and being just the right age when Scream came out… I felt like a part of its target audience. Heck it felt made for me. Yet everything I saw and heard about the TV series adaptation before it aired had my expectations for this new MTV show about as low as possible. I feel the show hurdled that low bar I had set for it, but it remains difficult to recommend to anyone as something they need to watch Continue reading

The New Shows of Summer: Ballers

by Matthew Thompson

Ballers stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Spencer Strasmore. Once a defensive standout for the Miami Dolphins, Spencer has hung up his cleats and is looking to leverage connections from his playing days to kick-start a second career as a financial manager. This is the jumping off point for what has turned out to be one of HBO’s highest rated comedies in years. It is also the setup for what has been a boring and lackluster season of television Continue reading

Lara Croft Go Review

by Matthew Thompson

Lara Croft Go is both a follow-up to Square Enix Montreal’s 2014 mobile game Hitman Go and a new entry in the experimental Lara Croft offshoot of the long-running Tomb Raider series. Surprisingly it also feels like a love letter to Lara’s early adventures back in the ‘90s Continue reading