A friend told me about the likely ill-founded rumor that Microsoft is preparing to make a serious offer to buy Valve. As I suspected, it does not look like it is happening. One might think in light of the fact that I use Linux instead of Windows, have general criticisms of and personal grievances with Microsoft, and qualified praise for Valve’s Steam, that I would be relieved. Not so! Microsoft buying Valve would make some things much more convenient. For example, I use OBS to record gameplay. If Microsoft owns Valve, I could count on them to do it for me. I also trust that Microsoft would take steps to take the guesswork out of which Steam games are DRM-free. Where do I sign up? (I hope readers see that this is a joke.)

Review: IPS 16Bit Pocket MD HD - A Genesis / Mega Drive Handheld That Plays Carts by Damien McFerran (Time Extension)
Back in 1995, Sega released the Nomad, a portable Genesis / Mega Drive which, for many fans, felt like the stuff of a madman's dreams. It offered the ability to play your 16-bit library on the move, as well as connect up to your TV for more traditional play. It was like the Nintendo Switch 20 years ahead of its time – and it was also something of a commercial dud, sadly.

Time Extension reviewed a new handheld device designed to play Sega Genesis carts. My first thought when I saw a modern Sega Genesis handled was the Sega Genesis Nomad, a 1995 handheld device created by Sega to play Genesis games. Time Extension, which is a game history site, unsurprisingly led with the Nomad, noting that it had many neat features but was ultimately a “commercial dud.” I actually had a Nomad back in the day to play my Genesis library on the go and I distinctly remember bringing it on a trip to Texas in 1998. It worked well and I must note for the benefit of kids these days who grow up with the Nintendo Switch and powerful phones that being able to play consoles on a handheld device was novel back in the 90s. But the first thing I think of when I remember the Nomad is not any specific gaming experience, but the batteries. As the Wikipedia entry for the device notes, the thing burned through six AA batteries in about 4 hours. One can chalk up many reasons the cool device was not commercially successful, but the battery life was unfortunately atrocious even by the standards of when it was released.

Introducing Pokémon Red Novel Project by Nicholas A. Ferrell (thenewleafjournal.com)
I introduce a project to turn a new play-through of Pokémon Red into a serialized novel and quasi-strategy guide with helpful tips and strategies.

I am making progress in my Pokémon Red play-through novel project. I am perfect. But what fun would it be to write a serialized Pokémon play-through novel of me being perfect? To make things more interesting, I decided to pretend to not be perfect on occasion. After I pretended to lose to Misty twice, I reached the entrance to Rock Tunnel and realized that I forgot to exchange my bike voucher for a bike in Cerulean City. Of course, there is absolutely no possible way that I could forget to get the bicycle before leaving Cerulean City behind. I only “forgot” to make for a more exciting story and show my future readers how quickly you can obtain Fly after making it through the tunnel.

(Or so I like to tell myself…)

I read many video game magazines when I was a kid. Back in my day, E3, which typically took place in May or June, was the major video game expo and a major event in the magazines. I used to look forward to E3 coverage. Over the years, I stopped reading video game magazines and, by extension, consuming much video game news (I am mostly content to see how games look when they are released). I lost track of E3 but was aware that it was struggling in our new, digital age. E3 had not been held in person since 2019 or in any form since 2021. It was cancelled in 2022 and 2023. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the organizers of E3 announced that E3 is no more. So closes a lengthy chapter in video game history.

I published the list of the 12 video games that left the biggest impression on me in close to 30 years of gaming over at The New Leaf Journal (see article). My New Leaf Journal article contains my reasoning for each selection. Here, I will re-post the list without the essay.

  1. Pokémon Red
  2. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
  3. Pokémon Gold
  4. Animal Crossing
  5. SMT Persona 3 FES
  6. SMT Persona 4/Persona 4 Golden
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  8. Paper Mario
  9. Super Mario 64
  10. Pokémon Ruby
  11. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
  12. Pokémon Trading Card Game

There is no strict criteria for the list. I interpreted my prompt subjectively and considered which games made the biggest impression on me for one reason or another. The list is not a ranking of the best games I have played or necessarily my absolute favorites (I do, however, very much like all of the games on the list). For example, I prefer most of the classic Mario 2D platform games to Sonic 2 today, but Sonic 2 was the reason why my first console was a Sega Genesis.

If you have your own list, feel free to write your own article linking to this one (or to my New Leaf Journal essay) and using the form below the post (unless your site automatically sends Webmentions). You can also respond to the Fediverse version of this post.

I am moving toward finishing my al|together visual novel review project. I just finished reading A Dream of Summer (which had been pending for a while) and one of two translations of Narcissu (I did not realize that the al|together Narcissu was two translations in one package).  This leaves just three novels to read. With Narcissu completed, I am almost entirely sure of what the top of my ranking, which will be published in three parts in November, will look like.  I leave no comment at this time on where precisely Narcissu will rank, I only note that it was the last remaining novel that, based on my pre-reading knowledge, could threaten the top spot.