Guilty Pleasure Games

Game of Pwns.


#578 – Make sure you watch to the end of this one – Simeon shares something super embarrassing and HILARIOUS!

Footage credit: cobanermani456, kngdmhrts3MvG, Super Best Friends Play

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Thumper Review (Switch)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Thump for Prez.


#566 – Thumper is a rhythm game unlike anything you’ve played before. Take control of a speeding scarab as you try desperately to stay alive. Crash through barriers, take the tightest turns, and fight back against giant boss battles… all in time with the music! This is an indie title that you DON’T want to miss.

Footage credit: Polygon

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The Story of Star Fox 2 (SNES)

Now you know.


#557 – Star Fox 2 is making a triumphant first coming this fall on the SNES Classic Edition! Wow, who would have thought? (Oh yeah; we predicted it.) It’s time to brush up on our SF2 knowledge and make sure we’ve got the history lesson straight before we play it. This video will set you right up!

Footage credit: ShiryuGL

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

SNES Classic: Big Unanswered Questions

The SNES Classic Edition has been unveiled, but not in enough detail!

On June 26th, Nintendo announced that it will be following up the popular NES Classic Edition with an SNES successor. At an MSRP of $80 and containing 21 games, this bundle of 16-bit nostalgia is liable to fly off shelves as quickly as Nintendo can stock them. However, there is still some information about this mini console that is shrouded in mystery and could affect gamers’ buying decisions.

Controller Cords and Ports (Answered!)
Immediately following Nintendo’s announcement of the SNES Classic Edition, questions of the controllers’ cord length and connectivity method surfaced. Thankfully, so did some answers! Nintendo confirmed that the controller cables will be about 5 feet long, an extra 2 ft. compared to the previous Classic console.

It also became clear that the SNES controller ports on the front of the unit are simply for aesthetic accuracy. Due to Wii Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro compatibility noted on the SNES website, it is confirmed the controllers will plug in with the same type of ports utilized by NES Classic Edition and Wii. So questions of the controllers can be put to rest!

Just How Limited is this Edition?
The NES Classic Edition was notoriously hard to find last Holiday season and through the remainder of its short production run. Nintendo cites a misjudgment of demand as the reason for that inconvenience, but it also came to light that the system was meant to be sold as a limited run (and actually got extended as its popularity became evident).

How many Super Nintendo units are going to be manufactured is unknown, but Nintendo insists that more units will be made available than its NES counterpart. Though they won’t commit to any production past the 2017 calendar year, they are making an effort to avoid shortages. Understandably so: with sales data on the NES Classic, Nintendo will try to leave less money on the table now that the market has now been proven for these throwback consoles. Additionally, the new system is going on sale several weeks earlier than the NES did, so Nintendo appears to be gearing up for more availability going into Q4.

Will Nintendo Allow Proper Preorders?
A missing piece of this puzzle is preorders. Fans of retro gaming were disappointed when preorders never opened up for the NES Classic Edition, and quantity was too limited on launch day and during the restocks that followed. Taking preorders would certainly alleviate much of this frustration, as Nintendo can gauge interest and adjust production accordingly. Allowing gamers to pre-purchase the console would also help avoid common issues with scalpers, and get the 16-bit console into the hands of true Nintendo fans.

Amazon may offer their own form of preorders (like Amazon UK did, and quickly sold out, for this very product), but whether they have actual shipment quantities to allocate remains to be seen. Unfortunately, Amazon has been known to cancel orders when they do not receive as many units from Nintendo as they hoped. Nintendo needs to have strong communication and systems in place with retailers for this product to be a true success, and avoid the frustration that their product distribution has become known for.

How Will the User Interface be Improved?
The NES Classic shipped with a perfectly serviceable user interface, allowing players to quickly scroll through the catalog of games, change visual filters, and create restore points while playing. It didn’t leave much to be desired, except one thing: the main menu was only accessible via the console’s Reset button. That is markedly less convenient than the Home buttons Nintendo fans have grown accustomed to since the Wii era. The Super Nintendo’s Reset button will probably retain this functionality as well, but a controller button-combination (like Select + Start) for quick access to the menu would be a welcome addition.

Will Nintendo Have a Different Stocking Stuffer?
Many fans expected Nintendo to follow up the NES Classic Edition with another entry in the Classics brand, but it came as a surprise when Nintendo announced its release date to be considerably earlier in the calendar year. The Mini NES was clearly intended to be a Holiday impulse-buy (which would have worked if the inventory was there), but now that the SNES will launch on September 29th, it raises the question of Nintendo’s Black Friday strategy. Will there be an alternate “stocking stuffer” to occupy Christmas lists around the globe, or will Nintendo opt to increase their marketing efforts for the system as Thanksgiving gets closer?

Do the Regional Versions Feature Different Games? (Partially Answered!)
The NES Classic Edition featured 30 games, and the list of titles differed from region to region. It was unclear if that would be the same case again until Nintendo of Japan officially announced the Super Famicom Mini. We learned that, yes, 4 different games made the cut (and 4 will remain exclusive to North America and Europe).

In PAL territories, SNES titles were originally made with a slightly lower frame-rate to match the local television sets of the time. On modern HDTVs, this difference is noticeable and can be bothersome. We don’t know which software versions Nintendo of Europe will implement in this new collection, and these are the types of technical specification questions Nintendo tends to leave unanswered.

Will There Be an N64 Classic Edition? What About Handhelds?
Rather than just a one-off run of NES systems, the Classics label is now a brand of products for Nintendo. And with two consoles being remade in as many years, it begs the question: “What’s next?” Nintendo 64 follows, but introduces more controller ports, polygonal 3D graphics, and more complicated control schemes that vary from game to game. Nintendo won’t be able to release a Classics console annually for much longer before they catch up to the Nintendo Switch, or the scope outgrows what is reasonable for an impulse-buy product.

An alternate course of action would be to release Handheld Classic Editions, starting with the GameBoy! Grab some Pokemon games, Tetris, Metroid, Kid Icarus (maybe throw in a backlit screen and wireless multiplayer if we’re getting really crazy) and you’ve got yourself an affordable chart-buster.


Clearly, there is a lot that we don’t know! As we wait for answers, let’s take a step back and anticipate all the great things that have been confirmed: Dual controllers in the box? Check! Unreleased Star Fox 2? Check! September release date? Check!

What information are you desperate to know about the SNES Classic Edition? Sound off in the comments below!

The Problem with Mechanics-First Development

Star Fox Zero was kind of a disaster.
Miyamoto was tasked with leading the development of a game that would prove the Wii U GamePad’s worth—a controller that featured dual analog sticks, NFC, all the face and shoulder buttons you could ask for, and… oh yeah, a second screen.

The master chef was given an armful of ingredients and told that he had to use them all, and what we got was not very tasty. The result:
Complicated controls. Star Fox games used to be played with a single analog stick that controlled the vehicle’s movements (in all directions) as well as the aiming at the same time. In fact, the SNES accomplished this with only a D-Pad before the 64 version! The Wii U sequel(?) suffered from too many input methods when controls were spread out across both analog sticks and the gyroscope motion controller. It was simply too many leaps at once.
The game was built around its “unique” control scheme and the types of puzzles that accompanied. Some interesting new ideas were birthed, and yes, players could overcome the learning curve and pilot effectively using the GamePad… even enjoy themselves… but for everyone who mastered the game, three other players were turned away by its obtuseness.
Rehashing of story & scenarios. The developers under Miyamoto (with help from Platinum Games) put so much effort into the mechanics of this new Star Fox entry, that they neglected the storytelling and presentation aspect, opting yet again to return to the tired tale of Fox moping about his Dad, Peppy insensitively bringing him up, and killing Andross. The title “Zero” was meant to convey that this was not a true prequel or sequel, but a reimagining of the original.

The developers put so much effort into the mechanics of Star Fox Zero, that they neglected the storytelling and presentation aspect.

And at the end of the day, the gaming industry talked about Star Fox Zero for a few weeks. It got some good reviews from those who put up with its controls, got some bad reviews by the people who did not get it, and then people moved on. It had “zero” staying power, so to speak.
Nintendo fans had been asking for more Star Fox, but we didn’t like the game that we got.

A deeper problem becomes clear: Sometimes, Nintendo will not make a game until they have a concept that uses their controllers in an “interesting” way.
Don’t believe me? This is exactly what is happening with games like F-Zero right now.
An unfortunate quote from the mouth of Miyamoto: “If we create a new type of controller interface, and we find a controller interface that’s particularly suited for F-Zero, then maybe we’ll do something with it in the future.”

This is a problem.

Mechanics-first development lends itself to some glaring issues…

Gimmicky games. There is only so much you can change about how video games are controlled over the span of a few decades. Sure, there is more than one way to skin a cat, but there are not unlimited ways. Analog sticks and buttons have become a mainstay in gaming for a reason: they’re good. Standard controllers have reliable, fast, easy methods of input that do not require huge learning curves. Sticking with the status quo allows players to forget that there is a controller in their hands and become immersed in the game itself. That immersion could manifest in a sense of awe at the world around their character, or even within the game’s story (if the game has a decent story worth paying attention to, that is).
Abandoned franchises. Keeping a control scheme is no reason not to create a sequel. It is absurd.

Nintendo has one of the most valuable stables of intellectual properties and franchises on the planet, yet they historically do not give proper franchise care across the board. Games like the aforementioned F-Zero have not seen a sequel in a decade, and games like Metroid were experimented on so hard that the resulting explosion left the series locked away (until this year’s miraculous E3).

I appreciate Nintendo as innovators. Their foray into the early days of motion-control on Wii paid off with interesting new physical mechanics, and mixing up the Mario formula in Galaxy 1 & 2 resulted in some mind-bending gameplay mechanics.

My advice to Nintendo would be: “Hey—when you have a creative new take, act on it. When you don’t, that’s okay too! Still make games!”
Denying sequels without new mechanics is a double standard. Nintendo does not always adhere to this mechanics-first mantra… they will quickly break it, in fact, if a franchise is printing enough money. New Super Mario Bros. and its rapid accompaniment of successors, much? Fire Emblem and its similarly-played versions, anyone? The Big N did not hold those games back for innovative sentiment.

And I am glad they didn’t, because as Nintendo fans… sometimes we just need MORE of the SAME!
Like Advance Wars.
Like Pikmin (of the “not hey” variety).
The only reasonable conditions that I can see for creating a traditional follow-up are:

  • Include improvements over the last game.
  • Improve the PRESENTATION! (storyline, art style, you know… the things Nintendo usually recycles).

I will address one last thing here: If Nintendo gave us “more of the same,” we wouldn’t have Breath of the Wild.
Good point! This is different: Prior to the revolution of open-world Zelda, the series’ formula was perfected.

Nintendo, Make sequels with the same mechanics until the formula is perfected, THEN innovate!

You will know when the formula is perfected because fans will stop asking for more and they will ask for a change.

E3 2017 Bingo Predictions!

How long do we have to keep being right in order for us to become paid industry analysts that make snarky remakrs for a living?


#528 – Each year, before the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Simeon and Scott take a stab at a swath of predictions! Nintendo will be streaming some bombshell announcements during their press conference / Nintendo Direct, and we’ve created a bingo board to keep track of our correct predictions! Can we score 5 in a row? Middle space is free!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Top 10 TBC Episodes (#350!)

A sincere and genuine THANK YOU to our friends in the Crew!


Wow – just wow. Can you believe we have done this 350 times as of today? We’re going to take the time to relive and enjoy the best content that TBC has put out to date. Relax and enjoy some great times!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Crazy Amiibo Requests

Can we please just have amiibo chips in everything?


Can you ever have too many amiibo? NO! Especially if they are very unique, like the ones we are officially requesting Nintendo to produce. We will preorder promptly when they are announced!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Most Replayable Nintendo Games

Ten games you could play forever in a video that you will probably only ever watch one time.


Whether you are an intense completionist or you have a limited gaming budget, sometimes it’s nice to have those “evergreen” games that can be played time after time! We’ve got a great list of Nintendo games for you that just DO NOT get old!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Whisper Challenge: Nintendo Edition

Simeon cussed on accident, so we bleeped him. What a fob.


Two skilled gamers give their lip-reading abilities a spin as they undergo… the WHISPER CHALLENGE! Can they pick up the Nintendo-related references being mouthed to them?

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Are Stories Important to Nintendo Games?

*Plop*


Nintendo has a ton of fantastic games… but are their stories any good?

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

SNES Classic Edition 30 Game Wish List

One can only hope for Star Fox 2.


With the announcement of the NES Classic, it’s inevitable that the big N is going to come out with an SNES Classic sooner or later. Today we’re talking about its inevitable library!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Quoting Star Fox to Strangers

There was one clip that didn’t make it in because there was a tree between Scott and the camera, but he did his Arwing impression and flew right inbetween that Instagram girl and her poor boyfriend!


Join us for a trip through the Lylat system! We are speaking to strangers ONLY on Star Fox quotes!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The Great Genre Debate

How specific is “Open Air adventure”?


What do we call these things? What should we call them? Does it matter? It’s the great genre debate! … NOTE: Upon further research, Kyle Bosman was referring to Miyamoto’s words when he said that Star Fox guard “defied genre”. It seems as if he is as confused at Nintendo’s redefinition of genre as we are. So, basically, ignore anything we say about Kyle Bosman in this video, as it was under false pretenses. You’re great, Bosman. Keep doing your thing.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The Game We’ve All Been Waiting For (#250!)

Who would have thought that episode 250 would be almost completely pop culture references?


It’s episode #250! To celebrate, we’re facing off in a game we’ve talked a lot about: Star Fox Assault!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Star Fox Zero & Guard Reviews

$5 to anyone who can explain the Guard narrator for me.


Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard just dropped, and we want to get our two cents in!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Top 10 Games with 1 Glaring Flaw

Okami, Star Fox Assault, and Tatsunoko vs Capcom get frequent mention miles from us.


Ever play a game and think, “Hey, this game would be perfect if they just changed X”? Well, we have, and these are our top 10!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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We Want these Direct Sequels

Do you think we’re going to talk about Star Fox Assault? Of course we are.


When a game leaves you wanting more, it’s done its job well. These games have done that, and we can’t wait to play part 2!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Start HD Remaking these Franchises

Twilight Princess is on GameCube, Wii, and Wii U. Three consoles in a row… Let that sink in.


It’s high time that Nintendo started sharing the HD remake love with more of its franchises! Come on! Here’s what we want produced in high definition – comment your picks below.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Reformat” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/