Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Video Games”

Book Review: The Art Of Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 is one of the most wildly popular games for Nintendo Switch. And at Nintendo Philly Meetup, a group I founded and run, we play Splatoon 2 all the time at our monthly meetups at TAP Esports in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Why? Because the multiplayer modes in Splatoon 2 are highly addictive. There’s something about the crazy art style, whacky music, and frenetic action of this game that keeps us, and millions of Nintendo fans worldwide, coming back for more. With this in mind, Dark Horse published a book, The Art of Splatoon 2, that is dedicated to providing fans with a deep dive into the art and design of this instant classic.

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Nintendo Switch Review: 198X

198X is a new arcade epic for Nintendo Switch. It’s a coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres. It provides players with the opportunity to experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting, and role-playing in five full-blown arcade stages, combined with cinematic pixel-art storytelling. For $9.99, you get access to the first installment of this game on Nintendo Switch. This consists of 90+ minutes of intense gameplay and pixel-art storytelling. Speaking of which, it took nine expert pixel artists to deliver the larger-than-life old-school sprites present in this game. 198X also features 20+ music tracks from the likes of Yuzo Koshiro and Swedish hit-duo Sinephony. The second and final installment for 198X is coming, but the release date is TBD.

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Nintendo In The 2010s

The past 10 years have been some of the greatest in the history of Nintendo, which is pretty incredible considered what the company has accomplished throughout its existence. The Big N kicked off the decade in 2010 with one of its greatest games of all time: Super Mario Galaxy 2. The following year, in 2011, it launched the Nintendo 3DS, and in 2012 the world was introduced to the Wii U. 2013 saw the Nintendo 2DS, followed by the wildly popular Amiibo that debuted in 2014. In 2015 we got the New Nintendo 3DS XL, and Pokemon Go took over the world in 2016. The NES Classic was also released in 2016, demonstrating how much demand there was for retro content and kick-starting a wave of additional mini-consoles in the future. If I had to pick one year from the decade as Nintendo’s greatest, it would be 2017. This year saw the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which has sold more than 40 million hardware units and more than 250 million software units (as of September 2019). The Nintendo Switch was home to major game releases in 2017, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2. In addition to all of this, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Classic the same year. This mini-console, like its predecessor, went on to sell millions of units and took the world by storm. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby Star Allies, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, among other games, came to the Nintendo Switch in 2018. And this year, 2019, brought us Yoshi’s Crafted World, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and more. This is also the year that the Nintendo Switch Lite and Ring Fit Adventure made their debut.

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Nintendo Philly Meetup: January 26

Our next Nintendo Philly Meetup is taking place on January 26 at TAP Esports! The cost to attend is $10 per person. If you want to stick around after the event, which will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., TAP is happy to offer you discounted pricing.

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Review: Super Street Racer for Nintendo Switch

Released on November 7, Super Street Racer is available digitally and physically for Nintendo Switch at the price of $39.99. It’s an enjoyable, attractive looking game filled with numerous customization options, as well as a substantial career mode with a variety of challenges to overcome. I’ve enjoyed my time with it and keep coming back for more. Let’s take a closer look at what this game has to offer.

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Review: Untitled Goose Game

When I heard about and saw a video of Untitled Goose Game for Nintendo Switch, I knew I had to check it out. First off, the name is great. Second, you get to play as a goose that causes all kinds of trouble for humans. What’s not to love?! Think of it like Hitman but with a goose, and you’re not killing people – you’re just driving them crazy! You get to pull pranks, steal people’s items, honk at them, and much more. The art style is beautiful, and the music is a character all its own. Untitled Goose Game is a charming experience that everyone should play. Whether you’re playing alone or laughing along with a friend as one of you causes havoc, Untitled Goose Game is a unique breath of fresh air that will stay with you for a long time.

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Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered

It’s October and there’s no better way to celebrate the Halloween season than by firing up Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered for Nintendo Switch, which is an updated version of the original game that was released 10 years ago. One thing to keep in mind is this is a remaster, not a remake. So, the only major improvement is that the graphics have been given a facelift. Everything looks great in HD, and the developers continue to work on updates to improve the experience. Since Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, fans won’t get a true Ghostbusters 3 movie featuring the original cast. However, this game is just as good as Ghostbusters 3 because it was written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd. Better yet, it’s set in the early 1990s and it features all of the original Ghostbusters, as well as some memorable supporting characters voiced by the original actors, including Annie Potts and Max von Sydow. When you start the game, you’ll see that it’s dedicated to the memory of Harold Ramis, which is a nice touch, and it is filled from start to finish with fan service. If you love the Ghostbusters, you need to get this game. We’re not going to get Ghostbusters 3 with the original cast, but this is an excellent substitute.

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Review: Marble It Up!

Marble It Up! is the newest 3D platformer from the minds behind the Marble Blast series. World-class level design, buttery smooth controls, outstanding visual fidelity, and unmatched rolling physics are just the beginning of the best marbling experience yet! Available for Nintendo Switch and Steam, this excellent game is both easily accessible and challenging to master, making for a compelling gaming experience that provides players with countless hours of entertainment.

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Book Review: SNES Omnibus Volume 2

As I’ve previously stated, the Super Nintendo is my all-time favorite video game system. Last year, author Brett Weiss released The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 and I said how it was “an excellent tribute to an iconic system and video game library.” The same holds true for its sequel, which is coming out very soon. The SNES Omnibus: Volume 2 covers games N through Z, along with various essays about different aspects of the Super Nintendo, such as The Super Game Boy and The Super Scope 6. If you’re a video game fan, love Nintendo or simply want to take a deep dive into the golden age of 16-bit gaming, The SNES Omnibus: Volume 2 is a must-buy. It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion

Dark Horse is back with another beautiful hardcover book celebrating The Legend of Zelda. Entitled Creating a Champion, this oversized tome is the ultimate companion to the award-winning video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and includes material from both of its DLC packs. This book features nearly fifty pages of sketches and official illustrations from Takumi Wada, two-hundred and ninety-six pages of design artwork and commentary about the making of the game from the creators, a fifty-five-page historical section that divulges the history of Hyrule as it is known in-game, and interviews with key members of the development team, including Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Satoru Takizawa, Takumi Wada, and Eiji Aonuma.

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