In the spirit of content creator appreciation week, I’ve put together a list of my favorite gaming YouTube channels about game design, critique, analysis, development, and industry issues (even some comedy) to help inspire your video game writing! Let me know which you like the most and please share any channels like these that you watch in the comments. I’m always looking for new channels to subscribe to!
Extra Credits Gaming
Extra Credits is most well known for its history series, but they have great videos about gaming too! Most Extra Credits gaming videos are around 10 minutes and focus on game design, development, or the game industry, complemented with adorable hand drawn graphics.
I expect to be meeting with a number of developers at PAX West to discuss their upcoming or recently released games, and I want to include interview questions from you! I’ll happily incorporate as many questions as I can in any time I have with the devs for these awesome indie games.
Below, in no specific order, I’ve listed each of the respective studios and the games they are showing that I’ll be trying to speak with a representative about. You can look forward to eventual reviews for almost all of them!
Haven – The Game Bakers
Haven is one of the games I’m probably most excited about at PAX West. I’ve had my eye on it from the moment it was announced by the team that made Furi.
“Like Furi, Haven is about fighting for freedom.
Haven is about two characters, Yu and Kay, a couple in love. They escaped to a deserted planet to stay together. You play both of them, you live with them, you explore fragmented planet Source with them, gliding over the tall grass.
It’s a completely different pace. It’s a game that aims at making you feel relaxed, making you laugh, making you fall in love with Yu and Kay. It feels good for all types of players, skilled and less skilled. It’s a solo game that’s welcoming for another player to tag along, so you can explore and progress together. “
Launching a strategy square tactics Switch game hot on the heels of the newest Fire Emblem release is a bold move, but Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark holds its own quite well! It is important to remember that this is not a triple A studio title, so I won’t evaluate it as such. Fell Seal is a solid entry in the genre, presenting an interesting story, a generous amount of customizable features, a memorable soundtrack, and a unique, beautiful, art style that appears as if hand drawn.
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark is a great game that will appeal most of all to nostalgic Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre fans and may be the successor they have been waiting on. Having not playing either of the games that seem to have inspired it, I enjoyed Fell Seal very much and would wholeheartedly recommend it to any lover of strategy-tactics games.
Released on April 16th, the Switch version of My Time at Portia was originally met with heavy criticism for its poorly optimized, well, everything. Compared to the PC version, there were widespread reports of texture pop-in, cut features, missing quests and items, input lag, frame rate skips and stuttering, and overall game slowdown. The game looks lovely and I wanted to try it so I was saddened to hear of these issues. After two patches have been released for the Switch port, one in May and one in June, let’s check out how things are going at Portia on the Switch.
Super Smash Con is widely considered to be of onethe definitive Super Smash Bros. events in the global competitive scene. With over 2,700 tournament entrants for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate singles tournament alone and hundreds more spread across the 9 other major SSB tournament categories, Super Smash Con is one of the largest Smash Bros. events and tournament series in the world. If you have ever thought about making the trip to attend Super Smash Con in Chantilly, VA, I would highly recommend adding it to your 2020 convention schedule!
Note: Above billboard art in front of the Dulles Expo Center is by @TheFunkyEngineThatCould.
I have a number of exciting updates to share with everyone about the state of Backlog Crusader today! This is a little long, but please bear with me.
Traffic and Followers
Backlog Crusader is three and a half months old and I am happy to report it has just passed the 300 WordPress and email follower milestone! On average the site is getting over 100 views a day, with spikes up to several hundred to over 1,000 depending on how well my post sharing strategy goes on social media.
Totals since day one on April 25th: 70 posts, 18,127 views, 9,678 unique visitors, 1,321 post likes, and 535 comments.
Dead in Vinland’s True Viking Edition released on the Nintendo Switch about a month ago, which includes both DLC updates since its original launch on PC. In an intriguing mixed-genre cocktail, Dead in Vinland will have you diving into a survival, strategy, roguelite, choose-your-own-adventure, management sim experience with a side of enjoyable, turn based combat. Whew! Those are a lot of elements to fit in one game. How does this highly stylized, artistic title handle the intersection of so many genre inspirations?
I wanted to make it easier for gaming writers to connect with the gaming blogger community, so I started this little series called “Rising Stars” where both veteran bloggers and readers can discover and welcome new or relatively unknown gaming writers into the community. I hope this will help to encourage and support individuals as well as maintain the health of the gaming blogger community overall!
You can find the last Rising Stars posts here, and now let’s take a look at this week’s five featured bloggers…
Fire Emblem Three Houses is massive and ambitious, seamlessly joining fresh gameplay elements inspired by other genres with the beloved, traditional Fire Emblem square tactics formula in a manner that feels natural and immersive. In the following review I will avoid talking about the story because no one likes spoilers this soon after release and each House has a different cast and plot-line. All of them are excellent and will command your attention for dozens of hours!
Three Houses puts the player in charge of one of three Houses of academy students, each respectively representing the three major nations surrounding the Officer’s Academy, a school run within a monastery by the Church for the purpose of encouraging peace between countries. Each of the upcoming rulers of those nations is the head of their respective House: the Blue Lions, the Golden Deer, and the Black Eagles. Will you stand with fierce, chivalrous Dimitri, charming, cavalier Claude, or confident, stubborn Edelgard? It is entirely up to you to get to know the students and decide which House you will lead into the future as their Professor, battle comrade, and dear companion.
Okay, this one is a doozy and was the first and worst thing I ever experienced in video game retail.
It was my second week on the sales floor. I was innocent and hopeful, not yet jaded by years of entitled customers demanding discounts for no reason and being generally clueless or rude about everything. I had not yet been snapped at like a dog or had anyone yell in my face, so that was nice. Such a sweet summer child…