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Editorials

December 13, 2018

More Curio Than Modern Classic, Sega Ages Phantasy Star Is A Must for Sega and RPG Fans Switch

by Neal Ronaghan - 12:00 am PST

The best way to play a classic yet dated '80s RPG.

If I had come across Phantasy Star when I was younger, I think my recent visit to the Algol solar system would have been a lot rosier. Originally released in America on the Master System in 1988, Phantasy Star was one of the better console RPGs of its era. The turn-based combat was solid, the first-person dungeon-exploring was engaging, and the story was good even though it suffered a little bit from the limitations of the Master System.

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November 27, 2018

The Poké Ball Plus: Cumbersome Yet Charming Switch

by Neal Ronaghan - 4:35 am PST
Total comments: 1

Maybe the Poké Ball Plus is a bad controller, but if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

The control methods of Pokémon Let’s Go deserve to be called out for being limiting and restrictive. Little to no customization exists here and the only way to play the game without any motion controls is handheld-only. All of these controls seem to be in service of the gimmicky addition to Let’s... Read more...

November 2, 2018

Diablo III: Fresh Eyes For The Devil Switch

by Neal Ronaghan - 7:53 am PDT
Discuss in talkback!

A Diablo neophyte gets taken in by the action-RPG wiles of the Switch port.

It’s not that I wrote Diablo off over the years, it’s that it wasn’t really convenient for me to play. I dabbled with Diablo II at some point in the early 2000s, but after a few enjoyable hours, my non-PC-playing preferences dictated attention elsewhere. I’d hear exuberance over the forthcoming Diablo III but it wasn’t something I paid any mind to. I was fine in my game-playing existence without Diablo in it.

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February 28, 2018

Sumo Lounge: A Perfect Switch Companion

by Neal Ronaghan - 8:44 pm PST
Total comments: 1

Looking for a chair to accompany your Switch playing? This comfy bean bag chair might be it.

Losing my first Sumo Lounge was heartbreaking. I’ll spare you the long and sordid story, but suffice to say it involved a big move and a pest problem. It’s been in the back of my mind as I bought my first home recently. I would see a corner or an empty spot and say “Sumo would fit perfectly... Read more...

January 23, 2018

Neal's Top 30 Games of 2017 Switch3DSClassic

by Neal Ronaghan - 6:19 am PST
Total comments: 5

The top game might not be surprising, but maybe the other 29 are?

For the past few years, I have kept a running tally of what my top 20 or so “Games of the Year” are. It first started as a way to keep tabs on what I played but has since evolved into something I pull out and labor over multiple times a year. This year, the list got very hard to handle as the... Read more...

October 10, 2017

Ten Takeaways From the 2017 Nintendo World Championships

by Neal Ronaghan - 5:33 pm PDT
Total comments: 3

From a ringside seat, we report back on the experience of the latest Nintendo sporting event.

Last weekend, Nintendo held their second modern stab at the Nintendo World Championships in New York City. Some of the staff were on hand to watch it live and after a fun evening of excitement, laughs, and taking pictures for the site Twitter while leaning over a balcony, I’m here to lay out some of the neat things I took away from my first-ever live viewing of an eSports event (however weird and offbeat Nintendo does it).

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September 29, 2017

Neal's Personal SNES Classic Game Ranking WiiUClassicWii

by Neal Ronaghan - 7:41 am PDT
Total comments: 5

The list is subject to change depending on solar flares and stuff, but here's one version of it.

I've spent the last week with the Super NES Classic. You can read about it here. The little SNES is adorable and filled with merriment and fun. Additionally, it's filled with 21 different games spanning the life of Nintendo's second home console. As of the days before the Super NES Classic is available to all, here's my personal ranking of all 21 games, as they are presented on the Super NES Classic.

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September 12, 2017

Where Does Samus Returns Fit In Metroid's Legacy? GBA3DS

by Neal Ronaghan - 5:02 am PDT
Discuss in talkback!

After finishing Samus' latest journey, Neal ponders where it might fit in the 2D Metroid hierarchy.

As I’m writing this, I finished Metroid: Samus Returns several days ago and have messed around with harder difficulties while trying my best to 100% my initial save file. As you can read in my review, I adored Samus Returns and I think it’s a brilliant game and remake that is a worthy entry in... Read more...

July 24, 2017

The Woes of Salmon Run's Time-Restricted Design Switch

by Neal Ronaghan - 9:55 am PDT
Total comments: 3

Blink and you'll miss the chance to play Splatoon 2's new mode, as it's available less than half of the time.

Well that was a fun weekend of Splatoon 2. I got some Turf Wars in, dabbled in Ranked, and fell deeper in love with Salmon Run, the brand new horde-style mode. Now that the weekend is done and I head back to the weekday grind, I'm looking forward to coming home from work and sitting down with some... Read more...

June 26, 2017

Super NES Classic: Instant Game Analysis Classic

by Neal Ronaghan - 1:20 pm PDT
Total comments: 3

We break down the 21-game lineup of the Super NES Classic.

In three months, we’ll all be walking into an open minefield trying to get a Super NES Classic as, even with the foresight of the supply issues of the NES Classic, the stock of this new mini console will likely be challenging to find on its September 29 launch. So, as we await the reckoning of this system’s launch, let’s break down the lineup.

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May 5, 2017

Brothers In Arms: The 3DS and Switch in 2017 3DSSwitch

by Neal Ronaghan - 7:00 am PDT
Total comments: 9

The 3DS and the Switch are standing side-by-side in Nintendo’s plans, but for how long?

A lot of the discourse around the reveal and release of the Nintendo Switch has been focused on what exactly is the young system’s future legacy. Is the Switch a home console or a portable? Is it the successor to the Wii U? The 3DS? Both? Both sides have staked their claims in what they think Nintendo’s plans are, whether it’s using past precedent, reciting Nintendo’s own recent words, or because they believe in a one-console future.

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March 16, 2017

The Spirit of Fighting Games Is on Switch in Arms and Street Fighter II Switch

by Neal Ronaghan - 4:41 am PDT
Total comments: 2

Arms and Street Fighter II are the odd couple in some respects, but the pair have more in common than I thought.

I played two games at PAX East 2017 one right after the other that were more similar than I would have guessed. One was Ultra Street Fighter II, the retro-stylish Switch port of the classic fighting game. The other was Arms, Nintendo’s weird motion-controlled fighter. Now it’s not crazy to come... Read more...

November 29, 2016

Gigantic Piranha Plants Set The Tone For What Nintendo's Universal Parks Could Be

by Neal Ronaghan - 7:59 am PST
Total comments: 1

Specifics are still scarce, but the vision is becoming clearer.

While we’ve known about Nintendo’s plans to work with Universal Parks & Resorts to make Nintendo-themed attractions for the Universal Studios parks for a while now, today we got the first concrete information of the intention to bring that Nintendo magic to the parks in Florida, California, and Japan. And that’s about all the concrete information we know.

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November 15, 2016

Pokémon Sun and Moon Finally Changes Up The Formula 3DS

by Neal Ronaghan - 7:57 am PST
Total comments: 1

By refining and redefining what makes a Pokémon game, Game Freak seems to have made a truly fresh entry in the series.

For 20 years, the main Pokémon games all followed a very familiar structure. Start in a quiet town, pick a starter Pokémon, and then travel the world to defeat all eight gym leaders and the Elite Four. That tried-and-true structure certainly produced some absolutely fantastic games, but after six... Read more...

October 26, 2016

Nintendo's Mobile Apoc-Go-Lypse

by Neal Ronaghan - 11:35 am PDT
Discuss in talkback!

We portend the future with startling results.

The latest Nintendo investor meeting showed that Nintendo’s profit-focused financiers aren’t too plussed by the Nintendo Switch and really want Nintendo to go full mobile, especially on the heels of Pokémon Go and the celebrated reveal of Super Mario Run. We decided to go our future-predicting machine - The Future Go Plus - to gaze into the coming years of Nintendo’s Apoc-Go-Lypse.

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July 19, 2016

The Social Wonder of Pokémon Go Mobi

by Neal Ronaghan - 1:12 pm PDT
Total comments: 2

After two weeks exploring, catching, and battling, here are Neal's thoughts on the mobile sensation.

I’ve spent the past two weeks of my life in a haze of Pokémon. I’ve barely touched any other games. Almost anything social I’ve done has involved catching Pokémon or capturing gyms. I went on a bike ride - that involved stopping every mile to catch a Psyduck or a Slowpoke. I went out to dinner... Read more...

July 8, 2016

Fighting for Team Mystic in Pokémon Go: A Tale of a Quiet New Jersey Town Mobi

by Neal Ronaghan - 12:04 pm PDT
Total comments: 6

A night of Pokémon Go that involved new friends, cop cars, and victory.

“This will last two weeks,” I told my friend Billy as he downloaded Pokémon Go, the new mobile game from Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Niantic Labs. “It’ll be the best two weeks of gaming in years, but Pokémon Go will last just that.”

Two weeks was more than I lasted with Ingress,... Read more...

June 24, 2016

Ever Oasis is Grezzo's Chance to Prove Their Worth 3DS

by Neal Ronaghan - 7:03 am PDT
Total comments: 6

After a half-decade of Zelda, Grezzo gets to make their own thing and that’s awesome.

E3 2009 feels like a lifetime ago, especially as Nintendo’s presence at the events and in the industry has morphed and evolved since. But back at E3 2009 in a corner at Nintendo’s booth, I played this weird little game called Line Attack Heroes. I knew nothing about this weird eventually-Japanese-only... Read more...

June 23, 2016

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (ESRB) Review WiiU

by Neal Ronaghan - 10:45 am PDT
Total comments: 1

So the game is pretty great but how about that ESRB rating summary?

Sometime in the past week or two, I fell in love with the new Wii U RPG Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE in a wonderful way. Yea, it is a totally rad game, but this love didn’t fully come from the stellar combat system, over-the-top fun world, or winding and mind-bending dungeons. Nope, it was because... Read more...

June 20, 2016

Nintendo’s Weird E3 Succeeded Solely with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild WiiU

by Neal Ronaghan - 1:31 pm PDT
Total comments: 10

Rightfully earning the last laugh at E3 2016, Nintendo’s Zelda show wound up winning the day.

Let’s start this off by eating some crow. I didn’t track down any exact quotes of mine, but back in April when Nintendo confirmed that the new Zelda would be the only game playable at E3 2016, I likely guffawed. I might have said something like “well, they sure as hell gave up this year.” It seemed like yet another arrow to the heart of E3 following EA’s split, Disney’s demise, and Activision’s lack of booth.

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