For the Love of God, Please Play Celeste

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I almost skipped Celeste. It’s just that I tend to get burned out of the lo-fi, retro-looking indie games that are always coming out, and I’ve been playing a bunch of those lately on the Switch. But Celeste was very highly recommended to me, so I decided to buy it, and holy crap am I glad I did. This is a very simple platformer on the surface, but there is a ridiculous amount of depth here, both in its gameplay and narrative.

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Monster Hunter: World Demo Impressions – This Could Be The Step Forward That The Series Needed

Yeah, while I’m really bummed that Monster Hunter: World is skipping the Nintendo Switch, I’m also extremely excited for this game. I’ve been a fan of this series ever since Monster Hunter 3: Tri consumed my life when it was released on the Nintendo Wii, and I spent the whole weekend exploring the game’s demo, which was available over the weekend.

While Monster Hunter has always been awesome, it has also been a relatively niche series due to its complex mechanics that puts the focus squarely on the gameplay and nothing else. While very similar to its predecessor, Monster Hunter 4 did take a small step forward by streamlining many aspects and improving the game’s multiplayer mode, but there was still room for improvement. World seems to be the game that finally goes the whole way, providing visual cues and quality of life changes that I think will end up improving the experience a lot.

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Rec Room Is One of the Best Games On PSVR

I’m sure I’m not the first person to draw this comparison, but Rec Room, originally released in 2016 for the PC and last fall for the PSVR, is essentially the Wii Sports of VR. It bundles several multiplayer mini games together in a wonderful showcase of what VR can bring to the table. And best of all? It’s totally free.

I’m not going to review the game at this point, since it is still in Early Access/Beta. However, I wanted to run through the game and encourage any PSVR owner who hasn’t downloaded this to give it a try.

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2017 in Video Game Music

Music is a big part of my life. I love listening to it, playing it and talking about it. Because of that, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most important aspects of a game to me. Last year was filled with some fantastic game music, so let’s quickly go through some of my favorite musical moments and memories. This is not a ranked list–instead, it’s going chronologically through the games I played throughout the year.

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DLC Impressions – Breath of the Wild: The Champions’ Ballad

Throughout December, I was busy with a certain other massive game, so I had to put the second DLC pack for Breath of the Wild on hold. The first pack, The Master Trials, was a romp that included a mixed grab-bag of new features, including the fun Trial of the Sword. However, its limited scope made me wary of recommending it for the full $20 it costs for the DLC pass. Does The Champions’ Ballad change that?

This will include spoilers for the DLC pack and the rest of Breath of the Wild.

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PlayStation VR Impressions

Although I was really enthusiastic about the potential of what VR can bring to games, I skipped out on buying a VR set when the first wave of consumer VR came out last year. I was an owner of the Oculus Rift DK2, but for my first true consumer VR headset, I wanted to be sure that I picked the right platform for me. This week, I bought a PSVR over the PC competitors for two reasons: first, it’s managed to build up a decent library of games over the past year; and second, the cost of entry is still much lower than with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which require high end PCs to work with. So how do I feel about the purchase a week later?

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Rest In Peace, Miiverse

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Nintendo’s Wii U console had a lot of problems. The controller was never used to its full potential in any games, the UI was rather bloated and slow, and the software library was sorely lacking. But Miiverse wasn’t one of those problems. In fact, Miiverse was its best feature, a platform that allowed communities to blossom around the Wii U’s various games. Seeing that community of Miis run around in the console’s home screen always gave you something to look forward to when booting up the console, and it was clearly an experience you couldn’t get anywhere else.

Last night, Nintendo pulled the plug on the service. I was really sad when Nintendo indicated that it wouldn’t be returning on the Switch, but it wasn’t surprising. Online communities can be a fleeting thing, more so when they are linked to a failing video game console. I’m still holding on to hope that Nintendo may do something similar in the future with their upcoming Switch online service, but it’s doubtful.

For now, let’s remember that Miiverse was more than just the platform, it was the people. Like the best Nintendo games, Miiverse was filled with really weird people, and that’s what made it so fun. Those people, the core of Nintendo fans, aren’t going anywhere. Splatoon 2‘s array of weird political and furry posts prove that a bizarre Miiverse-like experience is still possible, and can be even more irreverent than it ever was in the old days of the Wii U.

RIP Miiverse – 2012-2017