Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Video Games”

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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Book Review: Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia

Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia covers the first 30 years of the most well-known video game franchise ever. This book was originally released in Japan three years ago and it is now finally available in an English translation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover any Super Mario games beyond it’s original publication date: 2015. So, you’re not going to get any info about Super Mario Odyssey or any other recent titles in this 255-page tome. Another strange omission is there’s no essay from Shigeru Miyamoto, the visionary producer and director of the original Super Mario Bros. game and a constant creative force in the franchise. Instead, we get an introduction by Takashi Tezuka, one of the designers from the original game. Sure, his insight is interesting. But I would have preferred an introduction by Shigeru Miyamoto and an afterword by Takashi Tezuka, since Miyamoto is more important and well known. Aside from these gripes, there’s plenty to enjoy in this book. It covers all of the major games from the original Super Mario Bros to Super Mario 3D World. This beautifully bound book will let you track the evolution of the Goomba, witness the introduction of Yoshi, and relive your favorite levels. It also includes tips to help you find every coin, star, sun, and mushroom, and it even provides explanations for glitches. Overall, Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia is an excellent book that fitingly pays tribute to my favorit video game character of all time. It’s a reminder and celebration of the magical characters and games that only Nintendo can create.

Review: FullBlast for Nintendo Switch

With an art style inspired by the 80s and the 90s, FullBlast is a vertical-scrolling shooter that brings a dose of nostalgia to all gamers who spent many an hour at their local arcade engaging in Shmups. It features a modern and vibrant presentation that is the perfect way to introduce a new generation of gamers to this genre.

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