Thursday, February 1, 2018

2018 Portfolio

All my written pieces for 2018. See the first post for more details about the Mentonomicon. This year introduced a revolving Tuesday block, which hosted a number of features of variable length, as well as more coverage of TV and movies.

Indie Game of the Week 

Returning from 2017. Simply a weekly look at different games in the "Indie" sphere, or at least games of a sufficiently small size primarily sold digitally.

Indie Game of the Week 51: The Wolf Among Us (Telltale Games, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 52: SteamWorld Dig 2 (Image & Form, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 53: Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Young Horses, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 54: Escape Goat 2 (Magical Time Bean, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 55: Affordable Space Adventures (Nifflas/KnapNok Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 56: Bear With Me (Episode 1) (Exordium Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 57: Poncho (Delve Interactive, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 58: Chroma Squad (Behold Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 59: Odysseus Kosmos & His Robot Quest (Episodes 1 & 2) (Pavel Kostin, 2017-18)
Indie Game of the Week 60: Human: Fall Flat (No Brakes Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 61: Volume (Mike Bithell Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 62: Yomawari: Night Alone (Nippon Ichi Software, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 63: Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power (Frozenbyte, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 64: Infinifactory (Zachtronics, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 65: The Cat Lady (Harvester Games, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 66: Eschalon: Book I (Basilisk Games, 2007)
Indie Game of the Week 67: Snake Pass (Sumo Digital, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 68: Deponia (Daedalic Entertainment, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 69: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Yacht Club Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 70: Offspring Fling (Kyle Pulver, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 71: Kathy Rain (Clifftop Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 72: Super Time Force Ultra (Capybara Games, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 73: Hidden Folks (Adriaan de Jongh & Sylvain Tegroeg, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 74: Scrap Garden (Flazm, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 75: Glass Masquerade (Onyx Lute, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 76: Guild of Dungeoneering (Gambrinous, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 77: Fault Milestone One (Alice in Dissonance, 2013)
Indie Game of the Week 78: Kingsway (Andrew Morrish, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 79: Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition (Massive Damage, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 80: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (DONTNOD, 2018)
Indie Game of the Week 81: Puzzle Puppers (Cardboard Keep, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 82: Endless Legend (Amplitude Studios, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 83: Volgarr the Viking (Crazy Viking Studios, 2013)
Indie Game of the Week 84: Last Day of June (Ovosonico, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 85: World to the West (Rain Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 86: Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! (Daylight Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 87: Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island (Right Nice Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 88: Yoku's Island Express (Villa Gorilla, 2018)
Indie Game of the Week 89: Hollow Knight (Team Cherry, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 90: Shadowrun: Hong Kong (Harebrained Schemes, 2015)


The SNES Classic Mk. II

A new feature for 2018 to replace "The Top Shelf" from the previous year. This feature, running every other week, takes two SNES games from its immense library - one I've played previously, and one I've yet to spend any significant time with - and judges their suitability for a hypothetical second SNES Classic console. Not only does this feature look at each game's general quality, but also considers its originality and how well it has aged - two important virtues for any retro game released today.

The SNES Classic Mk. II: Intro and Contents

The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode I: Demons & Angels (Demon's Crest + ActRaiser)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode II: Time Bomb (Operation Logic Bomb + Chrono Trigger)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode III: Aeronauts & Crosses (Mario's Super Picross + Pilotwings)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode IV: Telling Tales (The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang + Tales of Phantasia)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode V: Isometric Exercise, Care To Join Me? (Monstania + Equinox)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode VI: Pop'n Zitz (Magical Pop'n + Battletoads in Battlemaniacs)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode VII: Hakkun Smash! (Sutte Hakkun + Sanrio World Smash Ball!) 
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode VIII: Goofs & Parodies (Goof Troop + Parodius)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode IX: Holy Grails & Holy Umbrellas (Holy Umbrella: Dondera no Mubo + King Arthur's World)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode X: Birdman of Alca-Blaz (Alcahest + Skyblazer)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XI: Cecil B. DeMup (Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun: Kunio-tachi no Banka + Final Fantasy IV)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XII: Guns N' Rodents (Gunple: Gunman's Proof + Lemmings)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XIII: Plok and Marty (Super Back to the Future Part II + Plok)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XIV: Soul-fége (DoReMi Fantasy + Soul Blazer)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XV: SinCity (Majyuuou + SimCity)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XVI: Too Easy (Ys V: Ushinawareta Suna no Miyako Kefin + Ys III: Wanderers of Ys)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XVII: Dream Bream Machine (Kirby's Dream Land 3 + Umihara Kawase)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XVIII: Jelly Boyz 2 Mega Men (Mega Man 7 + Jelly Boy)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XIX: Fiddle-Fodder (Hameln no Violin Hiki + Cannon Fodder)
The SNES Classic Mk. II: Episode XX: Sci-Fi B-Movie Double Feature (Robotrek + Secret of Evermore)


Rainy Days & Mundis

A mini-feature covering HOPAs - Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures - which have grown in popularity over the years. As an adventure game aficionado, I'm curious to see how rigorously these games stick to a blueprint. 

Rainy Days and Mundis: Episode 1 
Rainy Days and Mundis: Episode 2
Rainy Days and Mundis: Episode 3
Rainy Days and Mundis: Episode 4
Rainy Days and Mundis: Episode 5
Rainy Days and Mundis: Episode 6


A Randomized Link to the Past

An LP series for a "randomizer" run of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for SNES. Inspired by a Games Done Quick speedrun on a version of A Link to the Past that shuffles the contents of all the treasure chests of the game, giving certain items away early and hiding others in secret locations, I wanted to see how far I'd get with only a baseline knowledge of the core game.

A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode IV: Odie the Dog: Last Theft? Kennel Plaza!
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode V: Egad!, PhD: Little Fez Hat on a Skeleton
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode VI: To Fat Knight Zone: Help Delete Salad
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode VII: Please, God, No: The Zealand Kilt Theft
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode VIII: TalkFleet: An Elephant-Sized Hotdog
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode IX: The Fattened Ilk: A Gonzo Death Spell
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode X: Old Hazing Poll: Taste The Naked Feet
A Randomized Link to the Past - Episode Ys: Fleshpot Glitz: Needed a Tenth Koala


Mento Gear Rising

A brief two-parter to continue the "Mento Gear Solid" reaction blogs from previous years. This time, we cover PlatinumGames's 2013 franchise spin-off Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. 

Mento Gear Rising: Revenge Jests (Part One)
Mento Gear Rising: Revenge Jests (Part Two)


May Maturity 2018

May Maturity has been left intact from last year, where each of its subjects - all PC games from the 1990s - are afforded an "intro" blog that explores a game's systems and concepts in a screenshot LP format, and an "outro" blog that works more like a summation or final review.

May Maturity 08: Might and Magic: World of Xeen (Intro) (New World Computing, 1994)
May Maturity 08: Might and Magic: World of Xeen (Outro)
May Maturity 09: The Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm's Revenge (Intro) (Westwood Studios, 1994)
May Maturity 09: The Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm's Revenge (Outro)
May Maturity 10: Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds (Intro) (Looking Glass, 1994)
May Maturity 10: Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds (Outro)
May Maturity 11: The Feeble Files (Intro) (Adventure Soft, 1997)
May Maturity 11: The Feeble Files (Outro)
May Maturity 12: Anvil of Dawn (Intro) (DreamForge Intertainment, 1995)
May Maturity 12: Anvil of Dawn (Outro)


Mento's Alternative to E3

An annual blogging series that takes place across the six days of E3 (that is, the three days when the event is open and the three days prior when all the developer press briefings occur). This year's theme was randomizer hacks, following from "A Randomized Link to the Past," above.

Mento's Alternative to E3 2018 Day -2: A Randomized EarthBound
Mento's Alternative to E3 2018 Day -1: A Randomized Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Mento's Alternative to E3 2018 Day 0: A Randomized Super Mario World
Mento's Alternative to E3 2018 Day 1: A Randomized Final Fantasy Tactics
Mento's Alternative to E3 2018 Day 2: A Randomized Pokemon FireRed
Mento's Alternative to E3 2018 Day 3: A Randomized Secret of Mana


Mega Archive

A Giant Bomb Wiki-focused feature wherein I research and update, in chronological order, the game pages for everything released on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It's the third and final major 16-bit console to tackle, after having completed Wiki Projects for the other two (SNES/Super Famicom and TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine), and I'm looking to make a significant effort towards ensuring a comprehensive database on the system.

(This year's Mega Archive covered the system's releases between 1988-1990 before going on hiatus. I plan to continue it in the future.)

Mega Archive: Part I: From Space Harrier II to The Revenge of Shinobi
Mega Archive: Part II: From Truxton to James "Buster" Douglas Knockout Boxing
Mega Archive: Part III: From Darwin 4081 to Cyberball
Mega Archive: Part IV: From Super Monaco GP to Burning Force
Mega Archive: Part V: From Tel Tel Stadium to Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
Mega Archive: Part VI: From Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel to Trampoline Terror!


Saturday Summaries

A weekly review show, taking in all the week's blogging as well as rundowns for other games I've been playing. This year also sees the addition of TV and movie appraisals.

Saturday Summaries 2018-02-03: JRPG Phoenixes Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-02-10: Giant Appraisal Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-02-17: CRPG Check-In Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-02-24: Legends of Legacies Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-03-03: Glitzy Oscars Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-03-10: Generic Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-03-17: Made and Remade Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-03-24: Games-To-Movies Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-03-31: Q2 Preview Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-04-07: Redefining Indie Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-04-14: Angler Wrangler Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-04-21: ProcGen Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-04-28: Randomized Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-05-05: YesterplayStation Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-05-12: Odds and Ends Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-05-19: Millennial Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-05-26: Prepare to Die Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-06-02: Dream Features Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-06-09: Pre-E3 Jitters Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-06-16: Post-E3 Jitters Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-06-23: Speedrun Summer Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-06-30: Q3 Preview Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-07-07: Eternal Switch Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-07-14: The PS3's Not Dead Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-07-21: Decennial Anniversary Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-07-28: Already Long Enough Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-08-04: Confluence Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-08-11: Franchise Frenzy Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-08-18: Evergame Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-08-25: The Last of The Last Remnant Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-09-01: "Shame Old, Shame Old" Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-09-08: Roundtable Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-09-15: Ranking of Fighters EX Turbo Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-09-22: Saves Takes Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-09-29: Jumbo Q4 Projection Edition
Saturday Summaries 2018-10-06: Soundvenirs Edition

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