Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Nintendo”

Classic Home Video Games by Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss has written countless books about retro video games, including the SNES Omnibus Volume 1 & Volume 2, as well as The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987. His upcoming NES Omnibus: Volume 1 was a runaway success on Kickstarter, and I look forward to checking out the final version in the months to come. Brett’s Classic Home Video Games trilogy of books is one of his most popular. Covering 1972 to 1990, these books take a look at some of the most influential systems and games that defined numerous generations.

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The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987

Gamers like myself love to debate what should be included on lists of the greatest video games of all time. Various media publications capitalize on this by creating lists, mainly to get people to click through and engage. But sometimes a slideshow on a website or a YouTube video isn’t sufficient. Sometimes you want to take a deep dive into a top-100 video game list, immersing yourself in the experience in a more satisfying way. Moreover, many of these lists completely ignore anything from before 1985, which is when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) rocked the world with its accessibility and plethora of great games. For these reasons and more Brett Weiss’ The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 is a book you should read.

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Nintendo Switch Review: What The Golf?

Do you hate golf? Great! Then you’re going to love What The Golf? for Nintendo Switch. Made by Triband, I first played What The Golf? as part of my Apple Arcade free trial in 2019, and it was easily one of my favorite games among the available offerings. The quirky music, charming art style, and one-of-a-kind premise is something to behold. This game will make you smile, laugh, and say, “Just one more round!” It’s addictive, casual gaming at its finest, and I’m thrilled that it has come to Nintendo Switch.

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Book Review: The Art of Fire Emblem Awakening

Fire Emblem is a series of fantasy tactical role-playing games, starting with the first entry in 1990 released on the Famicom in Japan. Since then, the series has grown in popularity and it is approaching nearly 20 games in total. One of those games is Fire Emblem Awakening, which came out for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012. The game was met with universal praise from critics, and it has since sold more than two million copies worldwide. This game is the first time I ever heard of the Fire Emblem series, and it’s an entry that people continue to recommend and revisit. The beloved nature of Fire Emblem Awakening is one of the reasons why Dark Horse decided to create The Art of Fire Emblem Awakening book. I spotted this book at Nintendo New York the last time I was there, so I decided to check it out.

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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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Book Review: The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is my favorite game on Nintendo Switch. Why? It’s quite simple. I was born in 1985, which is the same year the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the U.S., and I have fond memories of playing every entry in the Super Mario Bros. series. Some of my favorites include the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and, my all-time favorite, Super Mario World. Super Mario Odyssey continues the innovative evolution of Nintendo’s signature character, while simultaneously paying tribute to the entries that preceded it. It’s a fantastical journey that can be enjoyed by those young and old, and The Art of Super Mario Odyssey by Dark Horse takes a deep dive into how this masterpiece was made.

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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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