Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 Portfolio

All my written pieces for 2017. See the first post for more details about the Mentonomicon.

The Top Shelf

The Top Shelf is a new feature for 2017 that explores a huge cross-section of the PS2's library, specifically the games I own. I'm essentially trying to determine a list of favorites via a long-form process of elimination. This repository is the "contents page" for this particular feature.

The Top Shelf: Case File Repository

These "first round" blogs consider five (later ten) games at a time:

The Top Shelf: Case Files 001-005: "From Small Beginnings"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 006-010: "Tempus Fugeddaboudit"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 011-015: "It's Oni Fair"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 016-020: "Giant Bombad"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 021-025: "The World Needs Laughter"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 026-030: "Yuri On Crisis"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 031-035: "A Raw Kickflip Off Hara-Kiri Rock"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 036-040: "No Rez for the Wizard"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 041-045: "Jaks, Max and Kodaks"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 046-055: "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 056-065: "Terror from the Deep"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 066-075: "...And My Lombax!"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 076-085: "Vexxed and Confused"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 086-095: "A Lot More Than a Thousand Words"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 096-105: "Ubivember"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 106-115: "One More Dog Rejected"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 116-125: "The Blood of the Covenant"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 126-135: "Bards, Bands, Balls"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 136-145: "And Someday You Feed On Lasagna"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 146-155: "Psycho Killer, Qu'ape Escape?"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 156-165: "Colossalvania: Soulthroney of the Fahrennight"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 166-175: "Penultimate Perambulations"
The Top Shelf: Case Files 176-185: "It's the Great Finale, Charlie Tunoku"

These "second round" blogs, for the games that passed the first round, are more in-depth articles on single items:

The Top Shelf: The Second Round 001: Onimusha Warlords
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 002: Headhunter
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 003: Nightshade
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 004: Oni
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 005: Kuri Kuri Mix
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 006: Onimusha 2
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 007: Grand Theft Auto III
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 008: Medal of Honor: Frontline
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 009: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 010: Rayman Revolution
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 011: Robotech: Invasion
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 012: X-Treme Express: World Grand Prix
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 013: Time Crisis II
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 014: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 015: 007: Agent Under Fire
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 016: Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 017: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 018: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 019: The Mark of Kri
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 020: Champions of Norrath
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 021: Dropship: United Peace Force
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 022: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 023: Rogue Trooper
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 024: Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 025: Second Sight
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 026: Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 027: Giants: Citizen Kabuto
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 028: Forbidden Siren 2
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 029: Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 030: Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 031: God Hand
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 032: The Thing
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 033: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 034: The Suffering
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 035: Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 036: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 037: Makai Kingdom
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 038: Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 039: Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 040: Champions: Return to Arms
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 041: Gladius
The Top Shelf: The Second Round 042: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

This third round, dubbed "The Battle Royales", attempts to break down two or more games from the same series (or have a similar deeper connection) to determine the superior entry for the sake of a "one game per series" rule.

The Top Shelf: The Battle Royales 01: Final Fantasy (Final Fantasy X vs. Final Fantasy XII)

These are one-off specials, usually discussing games not in my collection:

The Top Shelf: Special: The Ones That Got Away

Indie Game of the Week

Self-explanatory. An effort to play/review more Indie games, at least one a week.

Indie Game of the Week 01: Flywrench (Messhof Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 02: Refunct (Dominique Grieshofer, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 03: Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 04: Shardlight (Wadjet Eye, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 05: Abzu (Giant Squid Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 06: VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (Sukeban Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 07: Adventures of Pip (Tic Toc Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 08: Oxenfree (Night School Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 09: N++ (Metanet Software, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 10: Pony Island (Daniel Mullins Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 11: Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 12: Valley (Blue Isle Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 13: 2064: Read Only Memories (Midboss, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 14: Doki-Doki Universe (HumaNature Studios, 2013)
Indie Game of the Week 15: Tales from the Borderlands (Episodes 1 & 2) (Telltale Studios, 2014-15)
Indie Game of the Week 16: Severed (DrinkBox Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 17: Tales from the Borderlands (Episodes 3 & 4) (Telltale Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 18: Song of the Deep (Insomniac Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 19: Tales from the Borderlands (Episode 5) (Telltale Studios, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 20: Day of the Tentacle Remastered (Double Fine, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 21: Goat Simulator (Coffee Stain Studios, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 22: Owlboy (D-Pad Studio, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 23: Rebel Galaxy (Double Damage Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 24: Ziggurat (Milkstone Studios, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 25: Lara Croft Go (Square Enix Montreal, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 26: Wuppo (Knuist & Perzik, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 27: The Room Two (Fireproof Games, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 28: Salt and Sanctuary (Ska Studios, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 29: Bound (Plastic, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 30: Yesterday (Pendulo Studios, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 31: Jotun (Thunder Lotus Games, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 32: Cosmic Star Heroine (Zeboyd Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 33: Trine 2 (Frozenbyte, 2011)
Indie Game of the Week 34: Virginia (Variable State, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 35: SteamWorld Heist (Image & Form, 2015)
Indie Game of the Week 36: Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 37: Waking Mars (Tiger Style Games, 2012)
Indie Game of the Week 38: Detective Grimoire (SFB Games, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 39: Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Yacht Club Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 40: Samorost 3 (Amanita Design, 2016)
Indie Game of the Week 41: Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal, 2014)
Indie Game of the Week 42: Stories Untold (No Code, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 43: Driftmoon (Instant Kingdom, 2013)
Indie Game of the Week 44: Flinthook (Tribute Games, 2017)
Indie Game of the Week 45: Paint It Back! (Casual Labs, 2015)

All-New Saturday Summaries

A truncated form of 2016's Sunday Summaries feature, aggregating a week's worth of writing accompanied with some musings about the past week and a supplemental piece on what I've been playing.

All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-07 (Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-14 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-21 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-01-28 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-04 (Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles X [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-11 (Nintendo's Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker [2014])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-18 (Amusement Vision's Yakuza 4 [2011])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-02-25 (Amusement Vision's Yakuza 4 [2011])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-04 (Avalanche's Just Cause 3 [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-11 (Avalanche's Just Cause 3 [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-18 (Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-03-25 (Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-01 (Drakar Studios's Ginger: Beyond the Crystal [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-08 (Hello Games's No Man's Sky [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-15 (Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee [2017])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-22 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-04-29 (Arkane's Dishonored 2 [2016])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-06 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-13 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-20 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-05-27 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-03 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-10 (ChunSoft's Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc [2010])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-17 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-06-24 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-01 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-08 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-15 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-22 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-07-29 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-05 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-12 (N/A)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-19 (An assortment of games)
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-08-26 (Bandai Namco's Tales of Zestiria [2015])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-02 (Chunsoft's Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair [2014])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-09: Gateway Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-16 (Atlus's Stella Deus: The Gate of Eternity [2004])
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-23: Switch Selections Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-09-30: Q4 Report Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-07: Game of the Generation Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-14: Star Runner Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-21: Lootbox Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-10-28: Scary Games Edition
All-New Saturday Summaries 2017-11-04: Force Min-Maxing Edition

May Maturity

This new iteration of the recurring May blogging series focused on 1990s games I'd been meaning to catch up on.

Welcome to May Maturity 2017!
May Maturity 01: Toonstruck (Intro) (Burst Studio, 1996)
May Maturity 01: Toonstruck (Outro)
May Maturity 02: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (Intro) (Blue Sky/Origin, 1992)
May Maturity 02: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (Outro)
May Maturity 03: The Legend of Kyrandia (Intro) (Westwood Studios, 1992)
May Maturity 03: The Legend of Kyrandia (Outro)
May Maturity 04: Jagged Alliance 2 (Intro) (Sir-Tech Software, 1999)
May Maturity 04: Jagged Alliance 2 (Outro)
May Maturity 05: The Dig (Intro) (LucasArts, 1995)
May Maturity 05: The Dig (Outro)
May Maturity 06: Menzoberranzan (Intro) (DreamForge Intertainment, 1994)
May Maturity 06: Menzoberranzan (Outro)
May Maturity 07: The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate (Intro) (Westwood Studios, 1994)
May Maturity 07: The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate (Outro)

A Marvelous Alternative to E3

This year's "Alternative to E3" looked at the 1996 Super Famicom game Marvelous: Mouhitotsu no Takarajima, the first game directed by Zelda bigwig Eiji Aonuma.

A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part One
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Two
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Three
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Four
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Five
A Marvelous Alternative to E3: Part Six

Miscellaneous

Awesome Games Wiki'd Quick 2017 - A "Wiki Project" style rundown of a few curious games run during AGDQ 2017.
Wiki Project: Super '96 - A "Wiki Project" rundown of the 1996 releases for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom.
Wiki Project: Super Finale - A "Wiki Project" rundown of the 1997-2000 releases for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom. This completes the SNES library for the Giant Bomb Wiki.

Lists

List: "List of Games Beaten in 2017" - Usual yearly list of completed games, with mini-reviews.
List: "GOTY 2014 (Adjusted)" - Another living "adjusted" GOTY list, which continues to re-rank the year's best games as I eventually get around to playing more of them after the fact.
List: "GOTY 2013 (Adjusted)" - Similar to above and the other "adjusted" GOTY lists.
List: "Princess Personality" - A Legend of Zelda series-wide look at the evolution of its eponymous Princess as a character. 
List: "The Top Shelf: The Reserves List" - An accompaniment to The Top Shelf, sorting the surviving games in order of preference.
List: "Trailer Blazer: E3 2017" - A recurring list feature, wherein I review every E3 trailer uploaded to Giant Bomb.
List: "Iglored" - A list that looks at games that create dense amounts of world-building reading material in an optional capacity, leading to many players ignoring it completely. 

Reviews

Review: Torment: Tides of Numenera (InXile Entertainment, 2017)

2016 Portfolio

New for 2016

All my written pieces for 2016. See the first post for more details about the Mentonomicon.

An article that explores the open-world genre, and how dispassionate certain games of that genre can be about its optional content.*
Article describing how Indie games have taken the very specific "Legend of Zelda" mold into various directions.*
Part of the "SoundTreks" series, which looks at games through the lens of their music. This chapter covers the games of video game composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, known for his collaborations with famed game director/designer Yasumi Matsuno.*
An article that discusses the difficulty of critiquing how a game is "fun", as well as the emergence of games that aren't necessarily aiming to be fun.*
An article that attempts to explain the appeal of ConcernedApe's Stardew Valley by going through its features systematically.*
An article that explores how various open-world games make their worlds feel alive, with regards to NPC schedules and the like.
A short piece on how the recurring iconography/themes of Final Fantasy can help ground its more out-there entries and spin-offs.
An awards blog for the best games of 2016.*

Sunday Summaries 03/01/2016: Fallout 4 - A new feature for 2016, to ensure I'm writing something every week. Sunday Summaries briefly summarizes my week, my thoughts on the week's new releases, my recent wiki work and more detailed sections on the games I've been playing.
Sunday Summaries 03/04/2016: The Witcher 3 & Lumino City
Sunday Summaries 10/04/2016: The Witcher 3 & Sideway: New York
Sunday Summaries 17/04/2016: The Witcher 3 & Teslagrad
Sunday Summaries 24/04/2016: The Witcher 3 & Viscera Cleanup Detail & InFamous Second Son
Sunday Summaries 01/05/2016: InFamous Second Son & Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Sunday Summaries 08/05/2016: May Mastery 2016 Week One
Sunday Summaries 15/05/2016: May Mastery 2016 Week Two
Sunday Summaries 22/05/2016: May Mastery 2016 Week Three
Sunday Summaries 29/05/2016: May Mastery 2016 Week Four
Sunday Summaries 05/06/2016: May Mastery 2016 Epilogue
Sunday Summaries 12/06/2016: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Sunday Summaries 19/06/2016: Rudra no Hihou
Sunday Summaries 26/06/2016: Dreamfall Chapters & Tales of Xillia
Sunday Summaries 03/07/2016: Tales of Xillia
Sunday Summaries 10/07/2016: Tales of Xillia
Sunday Summaries 17/07/2016: Stardew Valley
Sunday Summaries 24/07/2016: Stardew Valley
Sunday Summaries 31/07/2016: Stardew Valley & Cibele
Sunday Summaries 07/08/2016: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Sunday Summaries 14/08/2016: Metal Gear Solid V & Lumo
Sunday Summaries 21/08/2016: Metal Gear Solid V & Viscera Cleanup Detail
Sunday Summaries 28/08/2016: Metal Gear Solid V & Regency Solitaire
Sunday Summaries 04/09/2016: Metal Gear Solid V & Divinity: Original Sin
Sunday Summaries 11/09/2016: Divinity: Original Sin & Expand
Sunday Summaries 18/09/2016: Divinity: Original Sin & Gravity Rush: Remastered
Sunday Summaries 25/09/2016: Gravity Rush: Remastered & Dragon Quest Heroes
Sunday Summaries 02/10/2016: Dragon Quest Heroes & Batman: Arkham Knight
Sunday Summaries 09/10/2016: Batman: Arkham Knight & Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)
Sunday Summaries 14/10/2016: Final Fantasy Type-0
Sunday Summaries 23/10/2016: Final Fantasy Type-0
Sunday Summaries 30/10/2016: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Dark Souls III
Sunday Summaries 06/11/2016: Dark Souls III
Sunday Summaries 13/11/2016: Dark Souls III
Sunday Summaries 20/11/2016: Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight & Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Sunday Summaries 27/11/2016: Hitman Episode 1 & Axiom Verge
Sunday Summaries 04/12/2016: Evoland 2 & Go! Go! GOTY!
Sunday Summaries 11/12/2016: Evoland 2 & Go! Go! GOTY!
Sunday Summaries 18/12/2016: SOMA & Let It Die
Sunday Summaries 25/12/2016: Doom & The End

Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 1 - The finale of the Metal Gear Solid reactions series, covering the last MGS game Kojima would direct.
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 2
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 3
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 4
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 5
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 6
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 7
Mento Gear Solid V: The Fandom's Pain: Part 8

Welcome to May Mastery 2016 - Resumed this feature for another year. Each day I play through and provide impressions on a series of Steam games.
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 01: The Talos Principle (Croteam, 2014)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 02: The Talos Principle
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 03: The Talos Principle
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 04: Transistor (Supergiant Games, 2014)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 05: Transistor
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 06: Transistor
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 07: Downwell (Moppin, 2015)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 08: Abyss Odyssey (ACE Team, 2014)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 09: Abyss Odyssey
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 10: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (TheChineseRoom, 2013)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 11: The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles (King Art Games, 2012)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 12: The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 13: Ronin (Tomasz Wacławek, 2015)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 14: Ronin
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 15: Burnstar (Nerve Software, 2010)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 16: Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (DrinkBox Studios, 2012)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 17: Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 18: Dreamfall Chapters (Red Thread Games, 2014-16)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 19: Dreamfall Chapters
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 20: Dreamfall Chapters
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 21: Cargo Commander (Serious Brew, 2012)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 22: Cargo Commander
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 23: Among the Sleep (Krillbite, 2014)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 24: Hammerwatch (Crackshell, 2013)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 25: Hammerwatch
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 26: The Next BIG Thing (Pendulo Studios, 2011)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 27: Trine (Frozenbyte, 2009 - game played was 2012 Enchanted Edition)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 28: Trine
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 29: Super Motherload (XGen Studios, 2013)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 30: The Marvellous Miss Take (Wonderstruck, 2014)
Mento's May Mastery '16: Day 31: Ys: Oath in Felghana (Falcom, 2005/2012)

Welcome to Go! Go! GOTY! 2016 - A recurring feature, which looks at a group of 2016 games at the end of the year.
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day One: Inside
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Two: Headlander
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Three: Headlander
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Four: Grow Up
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Five: Grow Up
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Six: Let It Die
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Seven: Her Majesty's SPIFFING
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Eight: Stardew Valley (Revisit)
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Nine: Hitman (Revisit)
Go! Go! GOTY! 2016: Day Ten: Dark Souls III (Revisit)
Wiki Project: Legend of the PC Engine '89 - Continuing this series that looks into wiki "projects" I've completed and the games that they pertain to.
Wiki Project: Legend of the PC Engine '90
Wiki Project: Super '95 Q1
Wiki Project: Super '95 Q2
Wiki Project: Super '95 Q3
Wiki Project: Summer Games Wiki'd Quick 2016
Wiki Project: Super '95 Q4
Wiki Project: Legend of the PC Engine '91
Wiki Project: Legend of the PC Engine '92-'94

Mento's Alternative to E3 2016: Day 0 - A short daily series I create every year that occurs during E3 in which I cover something, anything, as long as it doesn't involve E3 at all. This year was a screenshot LP of Squaresoft's 1996 JRPG "Rudra no Hihou".
Mento's Alternative to E3 2016: Day 0 (Part Two)
Mento's Alternative to E3 2016: Day 1
Mento's Alternative to E3 2016: Day 2
Mento's Alternative to E3 2016: Day 3

The Comic Commish: Grim Fandango Remastered - Bringing this feature back for another year, as a means to thank those who have contributed to my work in some fashion.
The Comic Commish: Ys Origin

A deeper look at The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its plethora of tactical options for combat.
An explanation and exploration of the retro gaming-focused "chronogaming" projects across the internet.
To continue from May Mastery, an episode-by-episode look at Dreamfall Chapters. This blog covers Book 4: Revelations.
To continue from May Mastery, an episode-by-episode look at Dreamfall Chapters. This blog covers Book 5: Redux.
An article that explores Square's fascination with scenario-based games twenty years ago, and relates it to their present predilection for episodic games like Hitman, Life is Strange and the FF7 reboot.
An article on seeking closure on the open-ended Stardew Valley.
An article that looks at Dragon Quest Heroes, and how the "Musou" series can adapt to different licenses and franchises like a chameleon.*
An article that attempts to explain the plot of Final Fantasy Type-0, which is abstract even for its frequently bizarre franchise.
An analysis of FromSoftware's Dark Souls III, via its bosses and environments. Continues the "Bosswatch" series. (Part One)
An analysis of FromSoftware's Dark Souls III, via its bosses and environments. (Part Two)

List; "List of Games Beaten in 2016" - A list of all the completed games of 2016, including mini-reviews and ratings.*
List: "The Completionist's Lament" - A list of games that have so much side-content that someone like myself, who generally strives for 100% completion, is unlikely to play again.
List: "The Black Wind Howls" - A list of games that are effective in creating a sense of doom and gloom from end of the world scenarios, regardless of whether the player can prevent it or not.
List: "Trailer Blazer E3 2016" - Judging all 130+ trailers that appeared on the Giant Bomb site after June's E3 event.
List: "Favorite Games Without Quick Looks" - An effort to promote some games that were overlooked by the Giant Bomb staff.
List: "GOTY 2015 (Adjusted)" - My favorite games of 2015, with those I've played in the years since factored in.
List: "GOTY 2016" - The ten best games of the year. At least, of those I played.

Review: Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Bombservice, 2016)

2015 Portfolio

New for 2015

All my written pieces for 2015. See the first post for more details about the Mentonomicon.

A look at games that feel like work, but not necessarily in a pejorative sense.*
A retrospective on Cavia's Nier, shortly after the E3 announcement of its sequel.*
A look at games that tell their story out of chronological order in different ways.*
A discussion about how game design's priorities have changed over the years.*
A look at some favorite underutilized game mechanics of mine that I wish were more widespread, part three.
A discussion of how the Suikoden games spend time and invent non-essential features to develop their enormous casts of characters.
A travelogue of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, further exploring the game after the Comic Commish (below).*
A look at a handful of backlog games, including Retro Game Crunch and Out There Somewhere.
A discussion about some community Super Mario Maker levels.
A travelogue of Sega's Yakuza 3, elaborating on the various types of activities the player can enjoy.*
A "Game of the Year" awards show for 2015.*

Wiki Project: Turbo Time (HuCard) - A thorough examination of the TG16's output, after another completed project for the Giant Bomb wiki.
Wiki Project: Turbo Time (CD) - Same as above, only covering the TurboGrafx-CD and its library. It's fortunately only half as large as the HuCard library.
Wiki Project: Super '94 Q1* - More SNES Wiki updates, only in quarterly form.
Wiki Project: Super '94 Q2*
Wiki Project: Super '94 Q3*
Wiki Project: Super '94 Q4* - The culmination of six months of work on the Giant Bomb wiki. My largest "project" to date.
Wiki Project: Summer Games Wiki'd Quick - A project to ensure that every game featured in the 2015 Summer Games Done Quick speedrun charity event had Giant Bomb wiki pages of acceptable quality.
Wiki Project: Summer Games Wiki'd Quick (Cont.)

What Is Lightning Returns? Part 1 - The first in a six part series exploring the utterly bizarre and mostly overlooked third game in the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. Intended for those who had already written the FFXIII games off.

Mento Gear Solid 3: Snark Eater Part 1* - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami, 2004). An "Observation Logs" format LP, to continue with this series.
Mento Gear Solid 3: Snark Eater Part 2*
Mento Gear Solid 3: Snark Eater Part 3*
Mento Gear Solid 3: Snark Eater Part 4*
Mento Gear Solid 3: Snark Eater Part 5*
Mento Gear Solid 3: Snark Eater Part 6*

Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 1* - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Konami, 2008), To conclude the series.
Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 2*
Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 3*
Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 4*
Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 5*
Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 6*
Mento Gear Solid 4: Puns of the Patriots Part 7*

Pillars of Eternity: First Impressions - A three part series looking at Obsidian's 2015 Infinity Engine homage Pillars of Eternity. I explore how the game diverges from its inspiration as a veteran of Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale et al.
Pillars of Eternity: Second Impressions
Pillars of Eternity: Third Impressions

Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part One) - A seven-part series that explores Nintendo's N64 launch game classic and its imaginative approach to creating challenges that work in a 3D environment. Inspired somewhat by Jeremy Parish's "Anatomy of" series.
Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part Two)
Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part Three)
Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part Four)
Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part Five)
Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part Six)
Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64 (Part Seven)

An Estival ST Festival: Fantasy World Dizzy (Codemasters, 1991 (ST version)) - A seven-part series that looks at games for the Atari ST, a system popular in Europe that also happened to be the first platform I ever owned. It turned 30 years old this June.
An Estival ST Festival: Wizball (Sensible Software, 1988 (ST))
An Estival ST Festival: Elite (Mr. Micro/Firebird, 1988 (ST))
An Estival ST Festival: Double Dragon I & II (Binary Design/Technos Japan, 1989 (ST))
An Estival ST Festival: Space Crusade (Gremlin Graphics/Games Workshop, 1992)
An Estival ST Festival: Buggy Boy & Chase HQ (Tatsumi/Taito, 1988/1989 (ST))
An Estival ST Festival: Knightmare (Mindscape, 1991)

ST-urday #001: Bubble Bobble (Taito/Software Creations, 1987 (ST)) - ST-urday is a weekly feature that continues to look at Atari ST games.
ST-urday #002: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (LJN/Ocean Software, 1992 (ST))
ST-urday #003: Dragon's Breath (Dragon Lord) (Palace Software, 1990)
ST-urday #004: Federation Quest 1: BSS Jane Seymour (Gremlin Graphics, 1990)
ST-urday #005: Prophecy 1: The Viking Child (Imagitec, 1991)
ST-urday #006: Cadaver (Bitmap Brothers, 1990)
ST-urday #007: Demo Derby Alpha: ST Action #9 (Various, January 1989)
ST-urday #008: Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon (Coktel Vision, 1992)
ST-urday #009: Mega Lo Mania (Tyrants: Fight Through Time) (Sensible Software, 1991)
ST-urday #010: Shufflepuck Café (Broderbund, 1988)
ST-urday #011: Ishar: Legend of the Fortress (Silmarils, 1992)
ST-urday #012: Kid Gloves (Millennium Interactive, 1990)
ST-urday #013: Shadoworlds (Krisalis Software, 1992)
ST-urday #014: Demo Derby Beta: ST Action #29 and ST Format #14 (Various, September 1990)
ST-urday #015: Boston Bomb Club (Silmarils, 1991)
ST-urday #016: Wizkid (Sensible Software, 1992)
ST-urday #017: North & South (Infogrames, 1989)
ST-urday #018: Xenon & Xenon 2: Megablast (The Bitmap Brothers, 1988/1989)
ST-urday #019: Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus (Horrorsoft, 1992)
ST-urday #020: Black Lamp (Firebird, 1988)
ST-urday #021: Demo Derby Gamma: ST Action #21 and ST Format #21 (Various)
ST-urday #022: Drakkhen (Infogrames, 1989)
ST-urday #023: Seconds Out (Tynesoft, 1988)
ST-urday #024: HeroQuest (Gremlin Graphics, 1991)
ST-urday #025: Rod Land (The Sales Curve/Jaleco, 1991)
ST-urday #026: Night Shift (LucasFilm/Attention to Detail, 1990)
ST-urday #027: A Classic Capcom Christmas (Various)

Mento's May Mastery: Day 01: I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream - New variation for May Madness this year, focusing instead on trying to beat a smaller number of games for a more comprehensive analysis. These games are all "white whales" of mine.
Mento's May Mastery: Day 06: SPAZ (MinMax Games, 2011)
Mento's May Mastery: Day 09: The Room (Fireproof Games, 2012)
Mento's May Mastery: Day 19: Claire (Hailstorm Games, 2014)
Mento's May Mastery: Day 23: The Nightmare Cooperative & Lilly Looking Through (Lucky Frame, 2014 and Geeta Games, 2013 respectively)

Mento's Alternative to E3 2015: Day 0 - An annual custom, taking the four days that comprise of E3 (including the day before the floor opens during which the majority of the conferences are held) and finding something else to talk about for those beleaguered by the industry hype machine. This year: N64 platformers, as an accompaniment to the above "Scenic Routes: Super Mario 64" feature.
Mento's Alternative to E3 2015: Day 1
Mento's Alternative to E3 2015: Day 2
Mento's Alternative to E3 2015: Day 3

The Comic Commish: Harvester - A new year, a new season of The Comic Commish. Going to look at games that people have gifted me, many of which are gag presents.
The Comic Commish: Long Live the Queen
The Comic Commish: Luftrausers
The Comic Commish: NiGHTS Into Dreams...
The Comic Commish: Syberia
The Comic Commish: Freedom Planet
The Comic Commish: STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
The Comic Commish: Back to the Future: The Game
The Comic Commish: Undertale*
The Comic Commish: Nuclear Throne

Welcome to Go! Go! GOTY! '15 - A new season of the daily blog feature that looks at missed games released earlier the same year for some last minute GOTY inspiration. This "Welcome" blog includes a contents page for the following.
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 1: The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 2: The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 3: The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 4: Castle in the Darkness
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 5: Castle in the Darkness
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 6: Life is Strange (Episodes 1 and 2)
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 7: Snakebird
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 8: Life is Strange (Episode 3)
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 9: Titan Souls
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 10: Life is Strange (Episodes 4 and 5)
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 11: Blackhole
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 12: Technobabylon
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 13: Technobabylon
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 14: Technobabylon
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 15: Citizens of Earth
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 16: Citizens of Earth
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 17: Citizens of Earth
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 18: Apotheon
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 19: Apotheon
Go! Go! GOTY! '15 Day 20: Apotheon

Review: Grow Home (Ubisoft Reflections, 2015)
Review: Might and Magic X (Limbic Entertainment, 2014)*
Review: Weapon Shop de Omasse (Level-5, 2014)
Review: Pillars of Eternity (Obsidian Entertainment, 2015)*
Review: Legend of Grimrock 2 (Almost Human, 2014)*
Review: Full Bore (Whole Hog Games, 2014)
Review: Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (Insomniac Games, 2013)

List: A list of games beaten in 2015, with appraisals.*
List: A list of 3D platformers I've played, with appraisals.
List: The second part of a list of SNES/SFC games I've added to the Giant Bomb wiki.
List: A list of games that reward players for pacifism runs.*
List: My top ten favorite games of 2015.*