May Save Point 2018: Technology is Amazing.

It’s May and I feel like I finally have a handle on things. Just the fact that I’m writing this post on time feels like a victory. So here’s what’s been going down this past month:

Wrapping up convention coverage

All good things must come to an end so here’s my last convention related video. In this one, I show off all the things I bought at the Midwest Gaming Classic.

Let me know what other conventions I should be checking out. After this year, I’m definitely hooked.

Roccat Tech Reviews

As part of my job with Nerd Much, I received two Roccat products for review: the Khan Pro headset and the Kone Aimo mouse. This was my first time doing any sort of tech review and I can’t tell you how exciting (and challenging) it was to take on new territory. One of my favorite parts of working in the games coverage space is how often I’m learning and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

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And since I’m early in my career most territory is uncharted. But unlike the overrated Naughty Dog franchise, this uncharted is one I readily embrace.

Definitely give my reviews a read because I put a lot of work into them and I think it shows in the quality, depth, and honesty I put forth.

GameCube HDMI Adapter Review feat. Edwin

My brother is back on my channel! This time around we’re taking a look at Eon’s GC HD (a $150 HDMI Adapter for the GameCube) and attempt to answer the question on everyone GameCube fan’s mind: is it worth it?

I decided to switch it up and include a blooper reel at the end. This video was a blast to film and I hope that joy/fun comes across to all of you. I’m looking forward to doing more collabs in the future, especially once I get a better camera/mic for filming outside/on the go. Let me know who I should have on!

E3 Predictions

The time is upon us. It’s E3 season ya’ll! I’m hyped but also preemptively exhausted. I kick things off by doing a predictions video for Nerd Much.

Be sure to subscribe to Nerd Much as well. My show on there is called The Bulletin and its a series where we delve into some hot topics and ideas around the wonderful world of gaming for short 6-8 minute bursts.

Patreon

I can’t emphasize enough how much I love my Patrons and how much this platform incentives me to work hard, be creative, and build community (all things I’d be doing anyway but this keeps me organized & on track).

I recently gained 2 new Patrons: Cody Spencer last month and ToNy this month. Welcome to the Patreon fam! For those of you who are unfamiliar with my tiers the $5 tier is letters from a video game world. This means you get snail mail from me, writing as if I’m from a random video game world. So far, worlds have been Mario + Rabbids, Celeste, and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime to name a few. It’s my most popular tier and a lot of fun. Cody actually read one of my letters on his IRL Stream which all of you should check out here. It’s one of my favorite streams to watch/interact with.

Check out my tiers on Patreon if you haven’t already.

Coming Up…

A bonkers amount of E3 coverage. I plan on doing a video reaction to just about every conference.

A room tour! I think I’m going to spread out my sub celebrations and just do 300 subs, 500 subs, 750 subs, 1,000 subs. I’m at 294 right now! Ayyyyy.

Hopefully a review of Detroit: Become Human! I just finished this game, totally marathoned it (was up till 5:30 am the other day). In short, this game is great and I definitely recommend it. Ps. I also finished Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze.

What I’m Playing

  • Still God of War // I’m over halfway done but I just couldn’t knock it out. I’ll get there!
  • Still Kirby Star Allies // Though I haven’t played all month I do plan on finishing that soon. I really didn’t like it so I’m not rushing to get it done.
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Save Point April 2018: My First Convention(s)

Holy convention Batman! This month I went from having never been to a convention before to having attended 2!

C2E2

I was at Chicago’s Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this year, volunteering with Chicago Loot Drop. We’re an organization of Chicago land nerds uniting to raise money for Comer Children’s Hospital. After a few hours helping out at their booth I was free to roam the show floor and wow, was there a lot to see. And you all can see it too via my extended vlog:

or if you’re looking for something shorter I have a mini vlog version as well,

I’m especially proud of this one (and all my convention coverage, really) because it was totally out of my comfort zone. I’m not used to vlogging in public and have never worked with this much footage. It was a trip.

MGC

Speaking of trips: I made my way over to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Midwest gaming Classic.

Check out the weekend here:

More feminist killjoy content

I wrote an article about how fighting for representation can’t end with Geguri as a written follow up to some things that have been weighing on me since that initial video.

overwatch

A Way Out is damn excellent

This is a game that has been on my radar since it’s initial announcement. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be (in terms of puzzles) which concerned me because I was planning on playing with my brother Edwin who is notoriously bad at puzzles. Fortunately it wasn’t very hard (but wasn’t so easy that it got boring). Anyway, A Way Out is absolutely brilliant. What shocked me the most was that the narrative was one of the best I’ve ever experienced in a video game. And while I don’t think it’s the best game of the year (Celeste is definitely “better”) it’s my personal favorite game of 2018 so far, although God Of War is quickly coming for that title.

I wrote about how the mandatory co-op element truly drives the experience which you can read about here.

And I did my first video review:

Kirby was not

I absolutely adore Kirby but Kirby Star Allies legitimately sucks. If you haven’t picked it up yet, don’t. It’s an adorable game with some good ideas but it’s way too easy and monotonous. I detail the experience in this article.

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Coming Up…

  • Midwest Gaming Classic Pickups video
  • Gamecube HDMI Unboxing/Review
  • E3 predictions video (for Nerd Much)
  • Some tech reviews (for Nerd Much)
  • That inevitable God Of War related content (hopefully!)

What I’m Playing

  • Kirby Star Allies // is it over yet? (sort of on pause rn)
  • Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime // love this but I’m moving through the campaign quite slowly (sort of on pause rn)
  • FIFA 18 // back on my tournament grind! This one is Bitch Planet 3. The theme is all women’s teams.
  • God Of War // My #1 focus going into May. I’m loving it so far but I’m sad I can’t marathon through it since hearty campaigns can end up taking me a month (at best).
  • I’m ignoring Doom and Dishonored until further notice; too many games on my plate and Funky Kong is almost here!

 

Save Point March 2018: Collaboration is King

Hey all, it’s been a while. Rather than try and encapsulate 2 months into 1 I’m going to mainly focus on March.

A few things from February though…

I had an article go up on Kotaku: My Grandiose Quest To Play (and Love) FIFA’s Most Underappreciated Teams. Which involved me breaking down those elaborate region based FIFA tournaments I do with my brother Edwin and explaining the beauty of FIFA (18): it connects us with those around us and the world at large.

I had another article go up on Nerd Much: The Value of Finishing Video Games You Don’t Like where I shared my experiences finishing games I’m not crazy about, what I got out of that, and how this doesn’t mean I finish every game I start (an important distinction).

I GOT A GAMING PC

That’s right; that’s right. It finally happened and wow this has already drastically improved my life. So many more video games are available right at my finger tips and (perhaps more importantly) editing/video recording is so much smoother.

I bought a Cyber Power PC AMD Ryzen 5 1600X which you can watch me unbox on my channel. I linked everything I purchased, in detail, in the description.

Speaking of YouTube

Things have been going great. I’m almost at 250 subscribers so make sure you’ve subscribed if you haven’t already.

I finally got around to doing my 100+ subs celebration (an ask me anything video):

For 200 subs I’m doing a room tour. I already recorded the footage: I just have to edit it together.

Lastly, I had my first ever guest on the channel! My brother came through: he gifted me a surprise gift from Kickstarter. The Brawler 64 Gamepad aka a N64 controller with modern updates. We open it up, give first impression, and play it to get a feel for how it actually controls. I loved doing this collab. We got almost 500 views on this video, 23 likes, and a lot of comments so I’m happy to say the community loved it too.

Speaking of Collabs

I guested on Nintendo Domain Podcast again. This Nintendo podcast has such a great cast of guys. Conversations always feel relaxed and well balanced so if you’re a Nintendo fan definitely check this out.

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This time around I talk about Kirby.

I also featured on We The Nerdy’s Gamer Cast for the first time.

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Sean Capri, the host of this podcast, reached out to me to collab. That’s when I went through the archives of his show and I have to say: WOW. He has so much energy. He’s a quirky passionate person and his podcast is definitely a must listen. I was so inspired going through the archives and hearing him talk to other creatives. You can check out my guest feature here.

Lastly, I guested on The Bad Bit Show podcast

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and talked about what it’s like being a woman trying to make it in the industry (among other things).

Website Updates

Logos

You may have already noticed but I completely updated this site thanks to some work from my friend Katherine and my Ally Almore. Katherine does 2D art for fun and Ally is a professional photographer in Chicago, IL.

Katherine designed some logos. Here is the one you can find on the website.

cropped-cropped1.jpgAnd this one is used for other platforms:

Gameonysus Banner

 

Headquarters Beercade photshoot

You can see those photos across my platforms online but here are a few you might’ve missed/that I may not have used yet. For more of Ally’s work you can check out her website.

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JanetFinal-11

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Patreon is going strong

I gained 2 new folks on Patreon and one of my Patrons raised their pledge! If you’re not familiar with my work on Patreon you can watch this video:

I’m about $22 shy from doubling my video output. Yay!

Coming Up…

  • 2 videos for The Bulletin, a series I’m running on Nerd Much’s YouTube channel
  • More articles for Nerd Much.
  • My first ever convention! The Midwest Gaming Classic
  • Reviews on my channel

What I’m Playing

  • Kirby Star Allies
  • Dishonored
  • Doom

To keep up with the games I’m playing, have played, etc check out my Grouvee page.

Save Point January 2018: YouTube gets serious, Patreon launches, and a new video series emerges.

Hey everyone!

I’ll be posting here in a newsletter format to let you know what I’ve been up to (at the end of every month). January definitely felt like the longest month of my life. As cliche as it sounds, January was underscored by endings and beginnings (both personally and professionally). But I do love the start of a new year: it feels like a clean slate, a time to evaluate things… to commit, recommit, or let things go.

YouTube Channel

I started my YouTube channel late into 2017 but this is the year I make it consistent (starting with a new video every 2 weeks). Because I wanted to already have content on there before rolling out my Patreon I actually ended up posting 4 videos this month + an intro video and a video explaining my Patreon (like I said this month was insane).

I gave advice on managing your backlog so you can actually get through your games. There’s an awesome website, called Grouvee, where you can keep track of everything. I relayed all that info here:

Speaking of backlogs your girl BEAT 18 GAMES IN 2017 and I go through all of them here, giving a mini review of them for approx 2 minutes each. I worked so hard on this one, trying to make it as concise as possible.

Things got fiery in the comments section when I talked about how the Overwatch League has no women and sexism in gaming (in general). Specifically, I talked about Nathan Greyson’s article which includes some pretty unsettling comments from the coaches explaining why there are no women. Some of these reasons include people might think it’s a publicity stunt, whatever woman we choose needs to be able to withstand the sexism so we can’t just pick anyone, and co-ed housing adds complications. Wow.

But also hey this my highest viewed video (currently at 445 views)!

And last up I did a video showing off the nerdiest things in my bedroom which was pretty fun and a nice piece of neutral content after a controversial video.

I gained about 91 subscribers in January alone bringing my total subs to 130+ This also means I’ll be doing a Ask Me Anything video to celebrate hitting 100 subs. My goal is to keep this consistent with with the goal of making it even bigger. That’s where Patreon comes in.

Patreon

I have reward tiers at $1, $2, $3, $5, and $10 featuring early access and exclusive content. You can get the full breakdown of my background, why I’m doing Patreon, what you get, and what I plan to do with the money here:

I’m excited to say I already have 11 patrons!! Holy cow, I’m so humbled and excited. Even if you can’t give any money I encourage you guys to follow me on there cause I do public posts there that I don’t do elsewhere and it’s a way for you to keep up with my work. Click here to check out my Patreon.

The Bulletin via Nerd Much

As many of you know I’ve been writing for Nerd Much for over a year now and my boss just invited me to start my own video series! I’ll be doing 2-9 minute videos on there discussing hot topics in the industry. Unlike my YouTube channel this will be much more news focussed with me commenting on the latest trends.

The plan is to do about 2 videos a month. My first one was about where Mario should go from here…

My second was a recap/response to the Nintendo Direct Mini. There are some really fun cuts and props used in this one so definitely check it out because let’s face it, you probably forgot some of the dates for those games:

Other updates/coming up…

I’m definitely still writing! But with all the video content I was working on articles took a backseat this month. Don’t worry though. I already have another article in drafts for Nerd Much and I pitched an article to another site and it was accepted! Can’t wait to share more details with you but I’m waiting for it to actually get published first.

What I’m Playing

  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • The End Is Nigh
  • Celeste

^Celeste is my number 1 focus right now. Then Mario + Rabbids and then I’ll eventually swing back to The End Is Nigh but all these games are incredible.  Holy cow though, Bayonetta is coming and so is Fe and I need to clear out some of these games.

My New Year’s Resolutions

Here are my gaming/video game journalism related resolutions:

  • beat 19 or more video games
  • get 1,000 YouTube subscribers
  • get 1,000 twitter followers
  • get 100 patrons
  • be published on a major, big name site
  • be consistent with NerdMuch and YouTube/Patreon
  • go to more community events
  • be a better “fan” (support creators on Patreon, consume more content)

So far things are off to a very decent start. I’m on pace to hit my YouTube and Patreon goals (though Patreon feels harder to grow). I’ve joined a lot of folks on Patreon (such as Alanah Pearce, the Video Game History Foundation, and more). And I’m trying to watch more on YouTube (I actually never really watched Gaming Historian but I’m about to binge all of it to be honest).

Community events didn’t happen too much this month but I did join Chicago Loot Drop, a volunteer org that uses nerdom to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.

Now I just need to beat some games. Nothing completed in January but I’m guaranteed to finish some in February. I’m excited to catch my breathe after all this content I cranked out (that being said I recorded 3 videos yesterday so not much of a break I guess)

Website Update

When I started this website I decided it would be a hub world for all my gaming thoughts: it both has and hasn’t been that. Currently gameonysus.com is schrödinger’s blog. I want to make the focus clearer so here’s what I have in mind going forward. 

Rather than trying to make this site both a portfolio and a blog in itself, I’m going to take the former route. This will officially be a hub world rather than its own world as well. Here’s what you can expect from here on out:

  • Updates featuring the work I’ve done in a give month.
  • Permanent links to all the places you can follow me and view my content.
  • As necessary, informal posts updating you on my gaming life & career in the games industry.

So what does that mean for the other series I’ve started here? 
Rest assured, I will be adding to my fuckboys in gaming history series. It’s what the world needs.

I don’t want to announce anything just yet but my plan is to create another blog (or two!) so that my content can be given a proper home and space to grow. This will help me be more organized because now my website will have a clear purpose. I also hope this will be helpful to all of you. Maybe some people like the writing I’ve done here but don’t care for updates on my other projects or vice versa. By separating everything and giving it all a clear mission statement, I can be more organized and you guys can get the content you actually want. Remember you can read my articles on NerdMuch.com, check out my YouTube content on Bit By Bit, like my Facebook page for gaming updates and some live videos, and follow me on Twitter.

Stay tuned!

–J

Hiphop x Video Games: Super Mario World by Logic

This post is the first in a series called Hiphop x Video Games which highlights the overlap between the two. Both hiphop and games have been with me since early childhood and have made a huge impact on me. For this reason, I always got a kick out of the video game references made in hiphop songs; hopefully you do too. Here’s the first one up:


Super Mario World

Artist: Logic
Album: Bobby Tarantino

Logic’s Super Mario World has almost no direct video game references so why did he call this song Super Mario World? Personally, these are the video game references that I find most intriguing.

In the case of Logic, the answer to this question is two-fold.

1. Logic loves video games

One of the few video game references in this song are as follows:

[Hook/Interlude]

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness
Oh my goodness, oh my God
I’m like, oh my goodness
Oh my goodness, oh my goodness
Oh my goodness, oh my God
I just beat that Uncharted 4, lit

and similarly, at the end,:

Oh my goodness, oh my God
I’m like, oh my goodness
Oh my goodness, oh my goodness
Oh my goodness, oh my God
Fuck, Jurassic Park… lit

This guy is a video game nerd. So much so that he actually has his own YouTube channel for Let’s Plays, Walkthroughs, and random nerd stuff:

Thus the inclusion of Uncharted 4 and Jurassic Park was just Logic nerding out between verses/hooks.

2. The tone/mood of the song makes the Super Mario World title fitting.

This song’s beat is very “video game-y” due to the synth effect that’s used. There’s a straight forward, light hearted bounce to this track which fits the title.

But to me the grandiosity of the song is what speaks to Super Mario World the most.

Super Mario World is a classic game, a staple of the series, and arguably one of the greatest games of all time.

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On this track Logic presents himself as the Super Mario World of rap by boasting during the entire song, here’s an example from the final verse:

Yeah, it’s that Flexicution, I want retribution
Y’all gone fuck around and make me wake up Lucian
And I don’t think y’all ready for the revolution
Boy your shit is pollution, Logic got the solution
Motherfuckers used to hate us
Now they sayin’ that they made us
Everyone know I’m the greatest

Logic’s Super Mario World has the light hearted bravado that’s quintessentially part of the Mario IP. And with the fast, lyrical verses and catchy hook, I have to say it lives up to its name.

What the Nintendo Switch Needs to Do to Be Successful in 2017

I’ve had the Nintendo Switch since launch day and so far I’m very happy with the console. I’m surprised with how much I enjoy its portability and, so far, I’ve played Breath of the Wild, Binding of Issac, Shovel Knight, and the demo of Snipperclips. Still, despite my current enthusiasm, I have some concerns with the Switch. Below I’ve explained some key points for what the Switch need to do to have a successful 2017.

Online Service has to be worth it

Nintendo has had abysmal online service since the Wii. It’s always been hard to add friends, impossible to talk to people without using secondary devices, and the actual interface always looked more barren than clean. At least it was free. Not anymore, but that will hopefully be a good thing. It has to be a good thing. Nintendo has failed at online for so long that they can’t fail with this new online service that requires payment. I’m already concerned with the “you get free game(s) like with Microsoft and Sony, but then you have to pay” feature. And the vagueness of how easy it will be to communicate with friends (can I use a Bluetooth enabled headset? Can I use a headset? Will I need/ have to use the app to talk to people?) is usually is a bad sign. Also the price worries me. Xbox Live and PS Plus are $9.99 a month. Nintendo’s service is going to be $4.99 a month. Will they still have all the bells and whistles their competitors have or will it be half the service for half the price?

The app has to be worth it

Similar to the online service, this new app has to be good. I’m not too concerned about the app. I think they’ll get it right. Also since some people just won’t want to use it (I.e they won’t play online or won’t use voice chat) I don’t feel the success or failure of the Switch will be dramatically affected by the app. Still, I hope communicating with friends will be easy, and that the rollout of the app is clear to the consumer and comes out without any bugs.

Smooth release for major exclusives

We don’t know every major exclusive that the Switch will have, but with such a small amount of games (being released periodically) they can’t afford to have any issues with their exclusives. Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey: they have to hit on all of them.

No delays, no online issues, and of course great games. If these games flop it could be very damaging to sales, and with production of the Switch ramping up you don’t want Switches sitting on shelves with a lack of quality games.

Bundles

By holiday season the Switch has to have some bundle options. 1-2 Switch as a pack in game  would be good, Super Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild would be even better. Having a pack in game people actually want, with the console at a affordable price ($299 including the game), and great games will ensure a great holiday season.

Console availability

By the holiday season the Switch has to be available to all. No more low stock, no more refreshing Walmart’s website, no more notifications followed by strategic planning—the console must be available for everyone at all times. I believe the Switch can be a popular console, and bring the enthusiasm and popularity this company has had in the past. But if they have internet issues, problems with exclusives, bad apps, and low console availability, I genuinely believe this console can be a failure and perhaps the last Nintendo console we will ever see.