Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Video Games”

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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Book Review: SNES Omnibus Volume 1

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is my all-time favorite video game console. I have fond memories of playing Ken Griffey Jr. baseball, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, a variety of WWF pro wrestling games, and more. I’d play these games solo, as well as at my cousins’ house during sleepovers or down the shore in the summer. It was a fantastic system, which is why I was eager to check out The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 by Brett Weiss. This beautifully produced hardback book is 416 pages and it’s the first in a two-part series that analyzes all of the games you love or, perhaps, hate from the SNES library. This tome alphabetically covers games A through M and its sequel will be comprised of the rest. At least a page is dedicated to each game, including box art, screenshots, a synopsis, a review excerpt, and insights. It can be read cover to cover or as a reference book where you jump from game to game however you like. I chose to jump around, looking up games I owned and reading about ones I always wanted to play or was curious about. It made for a highly enjoyable read and I plan on revisiting this book many times, as I’m sure you will too. The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 by Brett Weiss is an excellent tribute to an iconic system and video game library, and I can’t wait to read Volume 2.

Review: Tetra’s Escape for Nintendo Switch

Tetra’s Escape is a platforming puzzle-game all about blocks. Blocks named Tetras and it is up to the players to do all that they can to save them and make the most out of their special ability.

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The Legend Of Zelda Encyclopedia: Deluxe Edition

Dark Horse is back with another epic tome paying tribute to The Legend of Zelda, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises. The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia: Deluxe Edition honors the game that started it all by recreating the original gold cartridge as faithfully as possible. The book comes with a black polypropylene sleeve, lined with velvet flocking, and a scale instruction booklet with fun, theme-appropriate material inside.

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Devious Dungeon for Nintendo Switch

Devious Dungeon is a medieval action platform title now available for Nintendo Switch. It features five worlds, 68 levels, level randomization, and much more. If you enjoy slaying monsters, collecting loot, leveling up, and upgrading your armor, look no further. For less than $10, this game has a lot of content to offer, and it’s easy to pick up and play, while still offering a decent challenge. If you’re in the market for a fun indie game with a cool retro aesthetic, check out Devious Dungeon.

Book Review: The Crash Bandicoot Files

Crash Bandicoot is one of my favorite video game characters of all time. The original trilogy of Crash Bandicoot games, which I played for hours on end on my Playstation back when they were originally released, is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer in the N. Sane Trilogy – a remastered compilation I can’t wait to dive into. If you need even more Bandicoot goodness to satiate your marsupial mania, you may want to pick up The Crash Bandicoot Files, a new publication from Dark Horse Books.

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Review: Midnight Deluxe For Nintendo Switch

Midnight Deluxe is a golf-like game set in perpetual darkness, where you fling Midnight, the square-shapped-shaped protagonist, through a series of obstacles in the hopes of making it to the beacon of light at the end of each level. As with the game that preceded it, 36 Fragments of Midnight, this is a charming video game with beautiful music and bite-sized levels that are perfect for the grab-and-go nature of the Nintendo Switch.

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Twin Robots: Ultimate Edition

Twin Robots: Ultimate Edition is a new indie game for Nintendo Switch. This game was developed by Thinice Games and it was published by Ratalaika Games. It’s best described as a collaborative platforming game that features puzzle-based elements. It reminds me of Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash for Nintendo 3DS because it’s a platforming game that features robots, and I mean that in the best way possible.

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One More Dungeon for Nintendo Switch

Being a nameless adventure seeker, your job is to reach the final level deep within the dungeon and destroy the obelisks that are used by forces of evil to invade the world. That’s the premise of One More Dungeon for Nintendo Switch, which currently retails on the eShop for $7.99.

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