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

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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

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