Looking Back at the Wii U

by Matthew Thompson

The Wii U’s swan song is nearly upon us, but for me – someone who plans to play Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch – its death knell has already tolled. I thought before moving on, I’d look back at the good times I had with the system and the ways it disappointed me Continue reading

My Tanooki Mario Jack-O-Lantern

by Matthew Thompson

Hey everyone! I love Halloween and my favorite tradition in recent years has been pumpkin carving. About a decade ago, I moved on from simple faces and pre-made stencils to creating my own designs mostly based on video games. Today I am back with my newest Jack-O-Lantern inspired by gaming’s most famous mascot Continue reading

Kirby: Planet Robobot Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

Kirby games generally come in two flavors. You have the traditional adventures that take after the 1995 NES classic and the more experimental outings and spinoffs. In the latter, you may find yourself controlling Kirby via the touch screen, racing or even playing golf. I find these to be a bit hit or miss, but it is easy to see why some would strike a chord with the right player. I don’t think a typical Kirby game has wowed me since I first played that aforementioned NES title – which remains one of my all-time favorite 2D platformers – but they are dependable. They are always good, solid fun. And there is comfort to be found in that Continue reading

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

My E3 2015 Wishlist

by Matthew Thompson

2015 has been a lackluster year of gaming for me. But E3 is only a week away and with it comes the hopes and dreams of a better gaming tomorrow. And hopes and dreams will take center stage in my annual Pre-E3 post. Sure I’ve added some of my typically inaccurate predictions at the bottom, but they are a mere footnote to the main attraction that is my list of wishes for E3 2015. Without further ado, let’s dive in Continue reading

Mario Kart 8 (Animal Crossing) DLC Impressions

by Matthew Thompson

Nintendo has delivered another swath of great new content for Mario Kart 8 this month. Just like the series’ first foray into the world of downloadable content last fall, MK8’s latest DLC delivers fresh new courses, remade classics and new characters that feature some crossovers from other Nintendo franchises, all at a very affordable price Continue reading

My First Quarter of 2015 in Gaming Plus a Look Forward

by Matthew Thompson

The first quarter of 2015 in gaming has been, in a word, lackluster. I remain a little surprised about how positive the impressions of Dying Light were as my time with the title left me unimpressed. Sure there was some fun to be had in free-running around the fictional city of Harran. But as is generally the case with open-world platforming of this ilk, the fun simply doesn’t last. Then you are left with a completely forgettable story, unimaginative mission design, and melee combat that ranges from boring and repetitive when fighting zombies to flat-out annoying when tussling with humans. My time with Dying Light didn’t last long, so there may have been some quality locked away behind a myriad of upgrades and level-ups (that grappling hook seemed pretty cool), but with such a mundane start, I’ll probably never find out Continue reading

Gaming Mini-Reviews: Shadow of Mordor and the New Kirby

by Matthew Thompson

It has been a while since I’ve done any gaming mini-reviews, but I’m back with a new pair. One for a popular 2014 Game of the Year choice and another for the newest entry in one of Nintendo’s long-running franchises Continue reading

Best of 7th Gen: My Top 7 Handheld Games

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.)

I decided to leave handheld games out of my Best of 7th Gen Countdown partly to remove one more difficulty from creating the list and partly because of the slightly different run times of the handheld generations. That isn’t to say there wasn’t plenty to love on handhelds last gen. With two great systems in the PSP and DS, it is actually my favorite generation for portable games. With handheld gaming in decline, that fact might never change. But it means there are plenty of excellent games to choose from. Here are my top seven games among them (I decided to stick to my one game per series rule for this too) Continue reading