Monthly Archives: March 2012

Getting Kinected

I’ve gone this long without getting a Kinect, but that’s all going to be changing tomorrow. I’m reviewing a Kinect game, so I ordered the device. I’ve always been mildly interested in the peripheral, but not had much reason to bite on it until now. That should make for a fun set-up tomorrow.

It’s a bit late, so I’m keeping this one brief. Plus, you know, I’m just playing through my backlog at the moment. Skyward Sword, still pretty good.

  • Ken Levine is definitely deserving for inclusion in the Time Top 100. (I’m more-or-less ambivalent toward Pincus, but he’s a good business man if nothing else.) I found it funny that people were hating on Adele more than Rush Limbaugh and KONY 2012 combined. The internet is weird with its rage sometimes.
  • We went with this angle for the Gearbox story, but I have to disagree with Pitchford. I went in with startlingly low expectations, and it still failed to meet them.
  • Core gamers have been afraid for years that social games would kill our types of games. Now a major developer is basically saying that exact thing, though he’s on the social game side. (I’m not that concerned, I just wonder if people are going to be all like “JUDAAAAAS”)
  • I’m only slightly familiar with Game of Thrones, but enough to make a crack or two about the game. As several commenters noted, the same day as Diablo 3? Ouch, guys. Ouch.

Avenging Spider-Man rules the funnybooks

It’s another New Comic Wednesday, and seeing as video games are pretty dead at the moment, I might as well jump straight to that subject.

Superman #7 – Superman has been on the verge of dropping for a few weeks, but I thought I’d try this one out just to give the new creative team a try. It’s definitely a marked improvement over the last run. They even make a slight reference to fitting in descriptions concisely, which I hope was an intentional jab at the prior writer’s problem with brevity. The only problem is the new villain, Helspont, who as I understand it is actually an old villain from Wildstorm. The problem is he has all the hallmarks of 90s over-design, looking like some kind of stupid mixture of Wolverine and Ghost Rider. I want to keep reading, but that character art bugs the hell out of me.

Flash #7 – Still the most creative, fresh paneling happening in comics today. Flash is a very kinetic superhero, and the artist on this book just has this amazing knack for showing that in the layout. I was starting to wonder if I just didn’t care enough about the plot last issue, but this one won me over. It made more sense and it had relatable characters doing understandable things. More of this, please.

Avenging Spider-Man #5 – Best of the week. I don’t know what the plans are for this book, or even if it has long-term plans, but the last two issues have been such sweet, pitch-perfect stand-alone stories that they could keep doing that forever. The way Wells writes the group dynamic and then hones in on Spider-Man’s relationship with one particular hero just never rings false. The last issue with Hawkeye, and this one with Captain America, don’t really have a lot of “superheroing” action, or ties to an overall plot arc, but they show these friendships forming in really creative, surprising, and even kind of touching ways.

I’m preparing for PAX East quite a bit lately, scheduling press appointments since I’ll be covering the event as well as speaking at it. I’ve also signed on to do a review and a feature in the meanwhile, among other day-to-day responsibilities, so I’ve got a lot of plates spinning. It’s a good “problem” to have.

  • Unless I get paid to write about it, I really doubt I’ll pick up this Lightning DLC. The game left a sour taste, and then the Sazh DLC didn’t do much to soothe it. I’d rather not be disappointed yet again.
  • Putting aside the actual news here, I was glad to write this SimCity article based on preview coverage from Jason Wilson. He was my copy editor back at 1UP, and he’s a great guy. A lot of his editing peeves are still things I watch for myself. There’s probably a little of his voice in my head every time I write anything. Respect your writing elders.
  • I’m probably going to be too busy this weekend to hit level 20 with even one character in Mass Effect 3, much less two. But I might give it a shot just to see how far I get. I already have a Vanguard at level 18, I believe, so if I can get another class in that range in time I might just bite on both of them at once. Still waiting for the “pick a character you want” reward.
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Nintendo 3DS: Looking back at the first year

I probably wouldn’t have remembered that it’s the anniversary of the 3DS if not for Reggie paying a visit via SpotPass. He did get me one step closer to finishing the first edition of Find Mii; I’m hoping to wrap that up so I can be collecting bits for the second version at PAX East. I assume that place will be filthy with StreetPasses.

So, no time like the present to look back at the first year.

Hardware: A full year and no hardware revision announced yet. Take that, doubters! That said, the Circle Pad Pro still seems like a concession, and games like Kid Icarus show that the game could really benefit from a second circle pad. For some reason, the system just isn’t quite as comfortable to hold as the DS Lite was, and it can be annoying to tip the system slightly and ruin the 3D effect. But I think by now we’ve mostly learned to live with those complaints, and it’s generally a sturdy little piece of kit as Nintendo tends to make.

Software: If you look at my purchased software for the past year on the 3DS, it’s pretty much made up completely Nintendo titles. Other developers haven’t quite tapped the system, and we haven’t seen the flood of releases that came with the DS Lite’s success. When you have so many games coming out, the cream rises to the top. This one doesn’t have that glut of games, so it doesn’t have the cream. I knew when buying the hardware that I was buying potential, and most of the time that means Nintendo’s own first-party potential. Now does seem like a good time for third-parties to start really coming out of the gate with stronger showings, though. A few on the horizon look promising, at least in concept, like Epic Mickey.

Extras: I referenced the Find Mii minigame up there, because it’s actually really a substantial part of the system’s identity. I carry around my iPhone more, for obvious reasons, but if given a choice for long-term play I’d choose the 3DS every time. I still haven’t worked through all the Ambassador games, not to mention Picross from Club Nintendo, Pushmo, and the (fantastic) Game Gear emulation. The coins are a good incentive to carry it around, and I find myself bringing it when I might not have otherwise. Lots of smart ideas are present in this system, and we’ve seen some of them coalesce and take off.

The 3DS will probably never achieve the runaway success of the original DS family, but the first year has shown some significant progress with a few stumbles. This second year will be the real proving ground, now that third-parties have plenty of first-party examples to look to, and the system is going head-to-head with Sony’s Vita. I’m glad I purchased when I did, and now I just want more third-party variety. And Paper Mario.

  • I’m not much of a gear-head, but holy cow the cars in Project CARS look pretty.
  • I tried out the demo of Shoot Many Robots and wasn’t blown away (har!), but I keep hearing it’s not bad for $10 and scratches a loot itch. Maybe I’ll have to try it again.

Reckoning and (over)empowerment

I finished Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning last night. I don’t always update with retrospective thoughts, but I felt this game deserved some more thoughts thanks to observations that came closer to the end.

We play games for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it’s to challenge ourselves, other times it’s to explore a different kind of world than our own, or experience a new story. Sometimes it’s just to get the satisfaction of building and powering yourself to the point that you can shred through enemies like wet tissue paper. Reckoning is what I’d categorize in that latter camp. Most of the satisfaction comes from crafting your fateless one into this walking weapon of destruction. It’s a great feeling, but being a god starts to feel mundane near the end.

I went for a full Mage class, because that’s generally how I like to play. (I messed around with class combos a little too, but that’s besides the point.) Around the top tiers, you gain the Meteor spell, otherwise known as the “Kill Just About Anything” spell. My mana pool was so large that I could cast it over and over after the relatively short cooldown period. So I basically waltzed through everything but the final battle, which relies on a different mechanic. Even that wasn’t too tricky, since it relied on a pretty easy gimmick.

There’s nothing wrong with a game being easy. Some games are much more fun when you set them to easy mode and enjoy the playground. But over the course of the last, I’d say 4 or 5 hours, nothing posed a challenge. I was just going from place to place, getting missions, wrecking everything, and then moving on. I didn’t even do many sidequests. My ludicrous power came just from the faction and main quests.

So, all in all, good on Big Huge for making an excellent empowerment game. For the next one, I’d hope the end-game enemies are ratcheted up to that sweet spot that makes the player feel powerful, but still challenged. It’s a pretty delicate balance, so I can see how that didn’t work out. And to be fair, they probably didn’t expect someone to spam Meteor over and over. And over.

  • Please, please be a good Spider-Man game.
  • I maintain that the best part of BioShock is that it is a story that can only be properly be told in video game form. Making a movie out of it just seems counter to all my best wishes for the medium, so I don’t mind so much when it hits snags.

Kid Icarus: Uprising first impressions

I sprung for Kid Icarus: Uprising, and had some time to try it out today. I’m probably only four or five stages in, but a lot of its strengths and weaknesses are already pretty readily apparent.

Nintendo did a fantastic job of resetting this series. Kid Icarus hasn’t really had an identity in years, so they got to start fresh. As a result, the game is genuinely funny, constantly breaking the fourth wall, and has likable characters. Even some of the bosses get great lines. People often criticize Nintendo for not creating new characters. Technically the characters here aren’t new, but they might as well be, and this showcases that they’ve still got that skill down.

The presentation has lots of polish, from the visual identity of the world to even little things like the UI in the menus. It’s all really well thought-out. I’ve only tinkered with a little bit of the variable challenge settings, but the idea of gambling some hearts for a tougher difficulty move is pretty brilliant. The ability to break down weapons, purchase new ones, and fuse two together isn’t the type of combat depth you’d expect from a Nintendo game. It really shines in a lot of ways. It does so many things right.

And it does one very important thing wrong.

The controls. They are not good. Now, they aren’t always outright bad. When you’re in the controlled flight segments, using the stylus to shoot feels more or less natural. (I say “more or less” because rather than holding the system, I rest it on my chest while I lay on my back. This sort of sacrifices the whole portable notion.) But the on-foot segments are extremely awkward using this control setup. Those segments are probably meant to be a minority in the game, but movement is so stilted and bizarre that those segments feel like they drag on and on.

What’s crazy about all this is that Nintendo clearly had a better option. The Circle Pad Pro is an underutilized device that could’ve greatly benefited this game. They even thought to make use of it — but it just gives left-handed people the same awkward control scheme as the rest of us. The game feels made for dual sticks, at least during the on-foot segments, and the decision not to use that is truly baffling.

I’m enjoying my time with the game, and I’m looking forward to more, but it’s a shame to see such great potential trip over such a mundane detail, especially since Nintendo is known for its incredibly precise controls. Oh well. It’s a blemish on an otherwise fantastic game — and like I said, the flying segments don’t really suffer this problem.

  • With all the attention going to the Hunger Games release this weekend, it made sense to do a quick impressions post of the iOS game. I had already downloaded and played it just for fun, so I was the one to write it.
  • My pet theory is that this mysterious Square game is some kind of iOS iteration of Crystal Chronicles. It all seems to fit to me, but I didn’t want to speculate too heavily in the news post.
  • I had sworn off the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer after I promoted my Engineer for the achievement. I didn’t have any useless gamer baubles to chase, so I figured I’d get through some other backlog games. But every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.
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Angry Birds: Adding weight in zero gravity

I never really got into the original Angry Birds. It was one of those apps that I played for probably a grand total of an hour, and that’s all I needed to digest it. “Okay, I get it,” I thought. I understood the game, but I never could comprehend that cult that grew up around it or how it became so huge.

Today Angry Birds Space launched, and their (frankly fantastic) trailer last week convinced me to bite. It’s a buck, so what’s the harm? I haven’t played too much yet, but I think this sequel really delivers more depth — or weight, as I put it in the title. Adding the gravity fields is just what this game needed to iterate in an interesting way, and the superpowers are a cute twist on top of that. I may never understand the hats and t-shirts and plushies, but in terms of game design this one gets a thumbs-up.

Plus this whole thing is very tied to NASA, complete with a button right on the game screen leading to a Web site with information on space. It’s a nice little way to get kids more involved in science with a practical physics lesson to boot.

Also, how is it the game didn’t make a Pigs in Space reference?

I also played the Hunger Games app, which isn’t bad for a free promotional game. Good to see the movie getting good reviews, but we’ll probably wait until Nina’s done with her crazy schedule to go see it.

  • As a commenter pointed out, this God of War Vita thing is super-vague. Basically, Ready at Dawn thought about it, and then decided not to.
  • $20 for Minecraft is a little steep for someone who’s already bought it on PC (like me), but it would be nice to get it eventually on sale.
  • Finally.

What happened to Stan Lee?

I walked myself down to the comic shop today, and picked up a few of my usual picks. Among them was a new Stan Lee book. It didn’t look that good, but I tend to impulse buy a comic once in a while, so I picked it up. I should’ve trusted my instincts.

Mighty 7 #1 – I am seriously convinced this is a giant practical joke. It was awful, cover to cover, in every way that a comic can be awful. Stan Lee is an icon, but yipes. Just yipes.

Wonder Woman #7 – I was surprised to find this might be my favorite of the week. I’ve always liked the Wonder Woman books, but they tend to fill it with a lot of disconnected plot. The mythology carried me through. This issue had a healthy dose of mythology (with a more-or-less accurate depiction of Amazons), but used it to tell a pretty good standalone story. It factors into the overall plot, but it’s got its own arc in the issue itself.

Batman #7 – Lots of exposition, lots of explanation. A few cool reveals, but they’re clearly setting the stage for next week. Might be the best art of the week too, especially in the panels that maintained how broken Batman was after his time in the Court of Owls.

Justice League #7 – The art took a nosedive this issue, but the writing was still sharp. I know between arcs they sometimes get new artists to fill in, so it’s understandable. I wanted the book to calm down a bit and go lighter on the fights, to leave more room for plot development. I couldn’t care less about Shazam, though. Also, Baltimore and Philly both exist in DC continuity?

  • I think I said just about everything I thought about the Mass Effect 3 ending last night. Suffice to say BioWare’s promise to fans today feels a bit like a cop-out. I suspect they’ll be augmenting the story, not changing it outright. From my speculation, at least, it seems like a solution that will please no one and upset everyone, but I’ll see where they go with it before I judge too harshly.
  • Far Cry 3: the trippin’ balls simulator.
  • This revelation about future Assassin’s Creed games seems fairly obvious, and could be sussed out if you were paying attention, but it’s nice to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Spoiler Warning: Mass Effect 3’s contentious ending

I finished Mass Effect 3 last night. I think the whole controversy is a bit past its expiration date, but since I told a few friends I would blog about it, I feel committed to follow through. So why not add one more voice to the cacophony? In case the title didn’t set off your spoiler alarms, and you’ve somehow avoided all the talk so far, let this serve as your final warning. Thar be spoilars!

(As a side note, I’d be happy to talk about this. But if you reply, please do it here or on my Facebook page. Tweet replies will only spoil it for people who see them.)

First, I should review which ending I went for. I had more than a full army, and my Paragon rating was high enough to convince the Illusive Man he was indoctrinated. He turned his gun on himself. When presented the choice with the Catalyst, I went for Synthesis, since it aligned with the way I’ve been playing Shepard. He wouldn’t feel right about using the Reapers, or wiping out a sentient race, but he would recognize self-sacrifice as necessary. All in all, I felt like it was a satisfying conclusion with an interesting final set of stakes.

Now, I liked the ending pretty well. You might not have. It was a bit boilerplate sci-fi, but I think it touched on the themes of the series with a sense of finality. I’m not trying to convince anyone to like it, but I will address a few of the common complaints and why they didn’t bother me. So let’s get right to that.

Complaint: The endings are all the same

I’ve watched each of the endings via YouTube, and to be honest, I couldn’t disagree more. I can only assume that people are confusing the similarity in presentation with similarity in consequences. The endings are all aesthetically very similar and cut between similar scenes. Some of this is because the same things would be happening (Shepard remembering his crew, soldiers on the ground of earth), and sure, some was probably a time or work saving effort on the part of BioWare. But in terms of plot, the actual choice you’re presented with results in three extremely diverse implications for the universe.

I carefully considered my choice, despite knowing that this is the last game and there is roughly a 0.0% chance that it will impact anything in any future games. I was invested in the story, and so it mattered to me. BioWare knew that we wouldn’t personally feel the consequences in the next game, so they made the stakes larger than ever before. You are literally determining the fate of all life in the universe forever.

Complaint: Your choices up to this point don’t matter

I would agree to some extent that the major driving factor in the ending of this game — your War Readiness — isn’t as refined as the more mysterious system in Mass Effect 2. A status bar was a little too clean, too mathematical, too much “video game” logic. If it comes down to it, I probably preferred the complex flow chart of ME2, and it would have been nice to see a similar impact with my war choices; making strategic decisions of which armies to send and when, etc. But as far as I can tell, people are complaining more about the Catalyst choice onward, so my personal minor issues with the way they dealt with the armies is moot on that front.

As for choices regarding characters, that’s always mattered. Those have mattered throughout the entire series. It matters during and all throughout the game itself. Listen to the latest “Games, Dammit” podcast for a long conversation on the many permutations of the game’s plot, which are at least as complex and branching as ME2’s flowchart, if not more so. The ending, though, is a different matter. Whether or not Tali is alive doesn’t make a difference in whether you destroy an entire type of life. Why should it? Those choices were removed from the rest of the game to set them apart. They don’t just impact your crew, they impact the galaxy.

Complaint: The ending is too short

I suppose that depends on when you start measuring. I considered “the ending” pretty much everything starting from the ill-fated charge towards the Citadel beam, and that was probably about 20 minutes. I considered the ending mission sequence to start when I attacked the Cerberus base, and from that point, it was about 3 hours. It all seemed to come to a conclusion pretty naturally, so I didn’t feel like the story suddenly cut off.

Complaint: Plot holes

One friend asked me why the crew was on the Normandy, and why it was warping. I hadn’t even considered this as a plot hole, because the answer seemed obvious as I was watching it. We know Shepard and Anderson got aboard the Citadel, and Coats told everyone else to pull back. (It could have been made clearer that your two companions weren’t running alongside you, to be fair.) At that point, the only logical thing for the Normandy crew to do is head back into space to be near the Citadel to retrieve Shepard. Once the proverbial crap started hitting the fan, and not knowing what exactly was going on, Joker opted to get the hell out of there. It’s not explicitly spelled out, but does it really have to be? People may be referring to other plot holes that I haven’t considered, and if so I’d like to hear them.

Complaint: It doesn’t matter how I’ve been playing Shepard

I suppose if your Paragon rating isn’t high enough, you have to use a Renegade action to shoot the Illusive Man. But mine was, so I talked him out of it. If yours wasn’t, I can only assume you didn’t do enough Paragon actions to get your rating high enough for that option, which would mean it does very much matter how you’ve been playing. And this is without having taken Paragon actions every single time.

Complaint: BioWare promised 16 endings

I’ve had trouble digging up a place that BioWare claimed this, since any search revolving around “Mass Effect 3 endings” results in this controversy. But a friend claimed they had and I’m assuming he’s right. If so, this is one complaint I think is more-or-less valid, since it implies more variation than we actually saw. Still, I felt the three “main” endings were a solid final choice, as I said above.

Complaint: It’s sad

Yes. Yes it is. I suppose this didn’t bother me because I went into the game assuming everyone I cared about would die. That’s how these epic final chapters tend to work. The fact that anyone survived was more of a shock to me. If anything, I’d say it wasn’t sad enough, because the ending didn’t hit me with the more subtle emotional punch of Mordin or Thane’s deaths.

Complaint: Lack of closure

It’s hard to have more closure than “dead,” and I actually liked seeing the Normandy crew crash on their jungle planet. They’re all together, and they’ll survive together. But then, I tend to like a little bit of imagined continuation in my endings. Conclusions that wrap up everything in a bow bore the crap out of me.

Complaint: The epilogue was stupid

I like the idea behind the epilogue much more than the execution. The notion that civilization moves on, having taken a giant step backwards, is a nice bit of thematic relevance to the whole thing. The voice acting and writing were both pretty poor, though. I suppose that just didn’t bother me enough to overshadow the experience as a whole.

Any other complaints I missed? I’m still trying to wrap my head around the hate for the ending, mainly because some of it just seems so extreme and hyperbolic. I’ll have more thoughts on that in a moment.

My Own Cons and Pros:

Cons: Like I said before, I would’ve rather had more say in the military decisions, like a strategy RPG augmented on top of it. I think having the Catalyst appear as the child was a bit hokey. (I didn’t mind the dream sequences themselves, but at the end it was a cheese enema.)

Pros: I liked the final choice, the stakes of the last battle, the way they dealt with Illusive Man. I also thought the post-credits sequence was a clever way to set up DLC, even with the terrible voice acting. We all know it’s coming, so as far as devices to set the stage, it’s a creative solution. They’ve created a system in which Shepard’s stories don’t necessarily need to fit neatly within the timeline. He’s a “legend” now, which gives them more freedom to stretch out and try fun things with the DLC.

Now, some people think the DLC will “fix” the ending. I doubt it. So far, BioWare’s statements on the DLC seem like they’re setting out to do what the ending already implied: tell other Shepard stories. Maybe that will appease the angry fans, maybe it won’t. Frankly, I hope BioWare doesn’t cave to the demands. I would lose a lot of respect for them as storytellers.

This brings me to a more serious point. If you disliked the ending, more power to you. If you somehow think that disliking the last 10 minutes of a game erases the 100+ hours of fun you had with that series, I think you’re a little nuts, but that’s your prerogative. But going to the FTC? Demanding refunds from Amazon after finishing the entire game? Campaigning BioWare to change it? Those steps are all going beyond the point I’d call reasonable.

This might sound tough, but BioWare doesn’t owe you anything. When an author pens a story, and you purchase it, you are doing so with the inherent calculated risk that you might dislike it. Beyond all the talk of owing the fans satisfaction, the complaints boil down to one simple notion: “I was looking forward to this, and then I didn’t like it.” Guess what? That happens. It has happened to everyone dozens of times before, and it will happen to everyone dozens of times again. This medium is not more pliable simply because it is interactive. The artistry in games is making a guided experience, and mistaking that controlled degree of flexibility for true authorship is dangerous. It undermines the artistry of the medium itself. It risks making authors beholden to us as consumers, rather than to their own creative impulses. In short, it makes video games more “product” than “creation.”

One friend of a friend thought I was too harsh to use the word “entitled.” I use it because it fits. The word means you are owed something by right. You have no right to an ending that you like. You paid money for a story, you experienced that story. Transaction complete. If you dislike the story, let BioWare know. Maybe they’ll learn a lesson and take into account for the next time. But demanding that a creator alter their creation is just a step too far, and I can’t imagine anyone who respects the medium actually wanting that.

And that’s my take on the ending, the controversy, and so on. (If you’re curious about how I felt about the game as a whole, it was very nearly the perfect experience I wanted out of a Mass Effect game.) Like I said, I’m open to talking about any of this. Just try to stay civil — I won’t reply if you’re not — and keep your spoilers out of Twitter where unsuspecting friends might see.

Speaking of artistry, my feature on the Smithsonian went up today. I’m pretty pleased with how that one turned out, since I got to flex my art critique muscles a bit. It’s been years since I’ve done that formally.

  • I haven’t played a SimCity in a long time, but this video looked hot.
  • Dragon Age 2 is another BioWare game that gets more hate than it deserves, but I can’t say I blame them for canceling an expansion. Too far gone, too much bad press. It would be a losing proposition at this point.
  • Yes, Ken Levine. Yes. Fill BioShock Infinite with dialogue, and let us drink from it.
  • It would probably be overlooked by most of the audience, but I thought this story about free apps’ battery life was one of the more interesting things to run today. The actual findings seem obvious, but the degree of difference it makes is pretty shocking.

Kojima and Me

Today the first fruits of my labor in Washington DC went up, with three stories regarding my two hour (group) chat with Hideo Kojima. He’s a friendly guy, and a lot funnier and self-deprecating than I think you see from some of his more lofty “game vision” types of quotes. At any rate, here are the three products from today:

Tomorrow my field report from the Smithsonian exhibit is set to go up. I haven’t done a proper gallery response paper in years, and that’s sort of how I approached this. I think the result is one of my prouder pieces, up there with my Journey review, so I’m looking forward to sharing it.

I finished Mass Effect 3 tonight. I planned to blog about the ending, but it’s pretty late and I generally try not to go off half-cocked when addressing people’s concerns. For now, I’ll say that I felt satisfied by the conclusion, but I’ll be a little more specific tomorrow after I have a chance to read more about what specific bones people were picking.

Mr. Watts Goes to Washington

I didn’t spell it out explicitly yesterday, mainly because I don’t want to be robbed by announcing to the Internet that I’ll be gone from my home all day. I went to DC today, for a two-parter of feature research.

First up was a Q&A with Hideo Kojima. It was a nice small affair with probably about a dozen other writers in attendance. The second was a trip to the Smithsonian exhibit, The Art of Video Games, which opened to the public today. I’ll be writing about both next week, so this is more of a tease than anything. I will say that I saw Ken Levine hanging around the Smithsonian, which was pretty great, but he was busy at the time and then had to run off before I got a chance to catch him for some questions about the exhibit.

Thoughts on both will be coming next week, I promise! In the meantime, check out my Field Report on why the Game Gear emulation is far and away the best the 3DS has to offer.