Opinions: 2017 – A Dual Life Perspective (Part I)

Well, it’s July, so it’s time for me to reflect on the first half of 2017 both in the real and in the virtual. The real has been…well…fascinating? Certainly surreal. And hard. Where to even begin? Well, I suppose I’ll start with the biggest elephant in the room, which has been learning how to adapt…

Opinion: Shovel Knight is AMAZING and here’s a brief synopsis why!

Let’s talk about Shovel Knight. It’s SUCH an amazing steal. Yacht Club Games has made the best overall product in terms of breadth and diversity of content right now. With three separate game modes (with a fourth on the way) with a core game and challenge modes, alongside the original game featuring co-op play, body…

Music: Lame Genie Strikes the Earth

I recently revisited Shovel Knight (it’s marvelous) and after my initial pick from this post’s cover band Lame Genie didn’t pop up on Youtube (their sublime StarTropics cover), I decided to go for my #1 pick, which is their take on “Strike the Earth”. SO GOOD. I just discovered that the band has their music…

Opinion: My Top 111, #18-19

19) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Good: Gorgeous spritework; some of the best ever put in a game. Alucard has a huge moveset and inventory, giving him multiple approaches to combat and exploration. Splendid music and backgrounds merge to create spectacular atmosphere. Great bestiary. Poor: Inverted Castle is neat at first, but wears itself thin…

Opinion: Five Great “Level 1” Tunes

Sometimes a game puts its best musical foot forward early on, launching the first stage with an amazing song that gets the player pumped for the challenges ahead. Here are five of my favorites (again from my Top 100): Batman – Stage 1/5 (NES, Sunsoft, Naoki Kodaka, 1990) For my money, nobody has been able…

Music: Strike the Earth! (Shovel Knight)

Jake “virt” Kaufman has become one of America’s finest composers in the past decade, and this may very well be his magnum opus. Such a loving homage to the NES days, but so much more technical than a soundtrack of that vintage, Shovel Knight is a tour de force of gaming music. “Strike the Earth!”…