The Nintendo Switch: 3 Years Later

The Switch is already 3 years old. Remember back in October of 2016, when it was just an idea? Pretty soon it'll be old enough to go to preschool. And then before you know it, your Switch will want to go to rock concerts and it'll believe it knows everything... When the console launched, it … Continue reading The Nintendo Switch: 3 Years Later

Ranking Smash Ultimate’s First Wave of DLC Fighters

Normally I feel weird reviewing DLC, but I'll make an exception for Smash. It's been a while since I dissected something in this game, and I've had the itch to get out my video game scalpel. I need to come up with better metaphors. I gotta hand it to Sakurai, he always keeps us on … Continue reading Ranking Smash Ultimate’s First Wave of DLC Fighters

Sakurai, Part 5: The Kirby of Game Developers

In his beginning years, Sakurai made it a point to learn game design by playing games. Each game was a textbook of mechanics filled with ideas to analyze. Since then Sakurai has taken a unique position in the games industry where he can observe gaming as a whole, sample and borrow mechanics, and make them … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 5: The Kirby of Game Developers

Sakurai, Part 4: Designing Immortal Games

Overwatch, Anthem, Destiny, Fortnite, Call of Duty... In the short time I've been back into gaming, I've seen several publishers push their games into being subscriptions, trying to get their players to keep paying for content for extended periods of time, whether that's a schedule of DLCs, events, updates, season passes, or lootboxes. One of … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 4: Designing Immortal Games

Sakurai, Part 3: Designing Games with Variety

Eight games in one! That was the tagline for Kirby Super Star, Sakurai's third game, and the first one to include smaller games with widely different styles. This has become a staple of his design philosophy ever since. Opening up a game and seeing a sprawling menu has become his calling card. Sakurai flirted around … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 3: Designing Games with Variety

Sakurai, Part 2: Designing Complex Games

Let's imagine video games as theme park rides. Many of the intense ones have a height requirement in order to protect young kids from getting hurt. In a similar fashion, most video games, in order to get much enjoyment out of them, have a "height requirement" in skill. It's true that many games teach you … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 2: Designing Complex Games