Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Review”

Squareboy vs Bullies: Arena Edition on Nintendo Switch

Squareboy vs Bullies: Arena Edition is now available for Nintendo Switch! This $4.99 indie game is an old school beat ’em up by Rohan Narang that follows the titular Squareboy and his quest for justice. It features retro pixel art graphics and 14 different chiptune tracks. If you’re looking for a way to kill some time in between Nintendo’s epic first-party offerings, this game is worth checking out.

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Ultimate Nintendo: Guide To The NES Library

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 1985-1995 is an expansive and thorough look at one of the greatest video game libraries of all time – the Nintendo Entertainment System. This 450 page book covers all licensed and unlicensed games released during the system’s lifespan, and features information and reviews on hundreds of classic (and not so classic) 8-bit games.

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Stellar Cabaret At The Arden

The cast of Cabaret with John Jarboe as Emcee, Center. Photo by Mark Garvin.

The Arden Theatre is kicking off its 30th anniversary season in a big way – with a scintillating production of Cabaret! The show runs through October 22 and is one that shouldn’t be missed. It’s the 180th production by The Arden Theatre, and this version of the show uses the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 1998 revival script.

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Book Review: Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

On my honeymoon I finished reading the latest thriller by Lisa Scottoline, Exposed, and it was highly entertaining. As with many of Lisa’s books, this one centers on an ethical dilemma. It also spends a lot of time on interpersonal relationships, which many thriller writers fail to do. It’s one of the reasons why Lisa is so good at her craft – she takes the time to develop characters so readers are more invested in the outcome. By the end of the book, I was definitely fully engaged in what was going on, and the last twist was so surprising I read it twice. While Corrupted still remains my favorite book by this talented author, Exposed is absolutely worth reading – even if you’re not on your honeymoon.

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36 Fragments of Midnight for Nintendo Switch

36 Fragments of Midnight is a new indie game for Nintendo Switch, and it only costs $2.99. It’s a procedurally-generated platform game, where you have to avoid deadly lasers, as well as circular saws and spikes to collect all of the Fragments. It’s an enjoyable little game with a unique art style that is a good way to kill a few minutes.

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WWE Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

DK Publishing is back with another new hardcover WWE book. This one is called WWE Absolutely Everything You Need to Know. Watch my video review below to determine whether or not this book is worth picking up.

Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics

Yesterday the Super Nintendo Classic was released, as was its companion book: Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics. This book, published by Prima Games, is available in both hardcover and paperback editions. Watch my video review below for my thoughts on this retro read.

Melissa Manchester: The Fellas

Melissa Manchester is one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her velvety, soulful voice is unmistakable, and I always look forward to new music from this immensely talented songstress. More than 25 years after Melissa Manchester released Tribute, her 1989 album that honored the great female singers who influenced her, she turns the tables with The Fellas, a radiant encomium to the men, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin, and the iconic songs they made famous. The Fellas is available everywhere on September 8.

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Book Review: The Art Of Splatoon

Eleven days prior to the release of Splatoon 2 on Nintendo Switch, Dark Horse published The Art of Splatoon –  a 320-page book about the popular video game franchise, including character illustrations, concept art and more. This book is currently available in print and digital formats, and it’s a terrific addition to any video game fan’s reading library.

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Book Review: The Boss Always Sits In The Back

Like many people, I’ve seen The GodfatherThe Sopranos, Goodfellas, and other movie and TV adaptations of the mafia. But I’ve never read a book about this subject matter, until now. The other day I finished reading The Boss Always Sits In The Back by Jon D’Amore and it was excellent! It tells the story of his limited involvement with the NJ mafia in the 1970s – specifically how they were scamming casinos in Vegas. I found it fascinating to read about and the pages flew by. Everyone from Frank Sinatra to John Gotti make appearances in this compelling book. What makes The Boss Always Sits In The Back such an engaging read is that it’s funny, riveting and touching, all at once. While Jon D’Amore may not be a name you know going into this book, it’s one you won’t forget after reading it. I highly recommend The Boss Always Sits In The Back. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.

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