Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Video Games”

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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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: 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: The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

I love thrillers and I’m a huge video game fan. The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver is supposed to blend the two together. The problem is video games aren’t referenced until over 100 pages in. To make matters worse, the first chunk of the book is rather boring. Even more puzzling, what appears to be the main mystery of the story is resolved within the first 130 pages. Not all thrillers need to follow a formula but they should be well structured and true to their description. As a video game fan, I was let down. As a thriller fan, my interest became non-existent after 130 pages. With this in mind, I can’t recommend this book. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to reading it.

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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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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