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Branden Johnson

Piano for @theseguysX2. Writing about games at Anime News Network and Static Multimedia. Would do anything for love, but won't do that.

Anime News Network
REVIEW: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The level of excitement in the Smash Bros. fan community has probably never been higher. For all intents and purposes, this is the game. The one that has everything we could possibly want (okay, except for Waluigi). From the moment the Switch was announced, we knew a Smash Bros.

Static Multimedia
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition Review

If you're new to the series, you might not understand why Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is such a big deal. A remaster of a ten-year-old game? So what? I mentioned in my Tales of Remasters piece that the original Tales of Vesperia was released only on Xbox 360 in North America, a platform not known for its Japanese RPGs, nor for its user-base of JRPG fans.

Static Multimedia
In Case You Missed It: The Game Boy Advance Was Super Good

This past weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the O.G. Game Boy. That means high-quality portable gaming has been a thing for almost my entire life, and I don't think I really appreciated it until recently.

Static Multimedia
The PlayStation Classic Is a Flop. Here's Why That Matters for Retro Gamers

I jumped aboard the hype train when the PlayStation Classic was announced, preordering right away. $100 was a bit steep, and I knew there would only be about 20 games, but I'm a collector. At best, I'd have an SNES Classic-caliber mini console that plays awesome PS1 games.

Static Multimedia
Doki Doki Literature Club Gives an Anime Face to Our A.I. Fears

Doki Doki Literature Club is not what it seems. That much is apparent, paradoxically, from the very beginning, when the game displays a content warning: "This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed." But on its face, in screenshots and in its Steam description, it's a lighthearted anime visual novel in the style of so many others.

Static Multimedia
Back in My Day: Why Play Old School Games?

I love some objectively bad games. But try not to think less of me. It's not a matter of having bad taste; it's a nostalgia thing. See, I've been playing games since I was really young. By really young, I mean barely old enough to hold a controller and comprehend tiny sprites on an ancient tube TV.

Static Multimedia
Among Friends: The Midwest Gaming Classic 2019

Gaming can be a lonely hobby. Even players who spend a lot of time in online deathmatches aren't necessarily forming close bonds with the people they're fragging, but if you're primarily a single-player gamer, your chances for interaction with like-minded people are even fewer.

Static Multimedia
Music to My Ears: The Best Video Game Soundtracks of All Time

Video game music remains an underappreciated art form. There are some out there doing the hard work of changing public perception about game music, with podcasts like The Legacy Music Hour and VGMpire producing content that highlights the best game music ever made.

Static Multimedia
Real Mature: The Best Games for Grownups

Thanks to Mortal Kombat, Night Trap, and the well-intentioned (if overstepping) zealous concern of lawmakers, games have a rating system that help inform consumers about potentially objectionable content within games. By "objectionable content," I of course mean sexuality and violence. Thanks to the ESRB, parents have a much easier time making choices for their kids.

Anime News Network
Ni no Kuni II:Revenant Kingdom

Wrath of the White Witch was a bit too traditional for me. As a lover of RPGs and the films of Hayao Miyazaki , I figured it would be right up my alley. An RPG that looks and sounds like a real Studio Ghibli film is basically a dream come true.

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