Despite their simplicity, WR64 and Blue Storm’s courses reward players ad nauseam for mastering the nuances of their layouts. They also feel like tangible settings, sewing rich identities from their vibrant aesthetics, distinct landmarks, and granular environmental details. So, the series’ locales are great fun to race around, but would I want to hang out there?Let’s rank them and find out!
Read More Ranking Every Beach in Wave Race by How Much I’d Rather Be There Right Now
So what’s up with the economics of this whole thing? How do Pokémon Centers — which ostensibly provide trainers with full medical services to heal their injured Pokémon for free — manage to stay solvent? Assuming they’re funded by some sort of public and/or non-profit subsidies, just how does that structure work? Who pays for it? How do its policies inform how medical services are rendered? And how are providers incentivized to administer that care? In other words: Is Joy really a sociopath or is she merely adhering to the rulebook propagated by a broken Pokécare system?
Read More The Joys of Pokénomics and Quandaries of the Pokécare Industrial Complex
I continue to relish the pastimes of summer gaming. Granted, I’ve grown more cynical over the years and the mass of toxic fandom cesspits, uncritically regurgitated nostalgia, and insatiable hype cycles ring hollower than ever. Still, I’ll take simple joys where I can find them. By wading through several summer-themed and summer-adjacent video games, I’m finding my beach, as they say. Whatever the weather outside — be it heatwaves, wildfire smoke, oppressive humidity, or January in July — I can count on these titles to bring the breezy summer vibes in spades.
Read More A Virtua Vacation: My Top Summer Gaming Destinations
Beach Spikers is one of the most overtly summery games in Sega’s catalogue, which says a lot given the blue skies and seasides imbuing much of its work. Aesthetically, this game drips with sunny, summer vibes, with all the sandy beaches, palm trees, and rampant outdoor advertising that entails.
Read More Soaking Up the Sega Summer Vibes with Beach Spikers
It’s a tad inconvenient (and understandably frustrating) when your spear shatters into dust right when it’s needed most. However, at some point, I realized those moments of dread and panic are exactly what Nintendo likely had in mind when designing the game’s fragile weapons the way it did. In effect, the adventure truly begins when Breath of the Wild asks: “So now what?”
Read More Breaking of the Wild, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Runes
I thought it’d be fun to escape to that hopeful, hovercraft-filled future we once dreamed of. Naturally, I dusted off my Nintendo 64 and assembled my small collection of futuristic/sci-fi racers. I planned to indulge in pure anti-grav glee, blistering 900km/h thrills, and maybe a few yuks from their aggressively ’90s UIs. That all happened, of course, but it was only the beginning. In revisiting these games today, I wanted simple fun. What I got was a renewed perspective on — and appreciation for — the genre.
Read More Reliving the Grand Pastime of Futuristic Racing Games