Sonic Shuffle: Looking Back at the Hedgehog’s Most Misunderstood Game
Believe it or not, I'm on my third copy of Sonic Shuffle. It’s a game I've played so much that the discs show their wear, back when review scores didn't influence purchases as persuasively as rentals and when game reception wasn't trapped in bubbles enforced by online commentary. When I later discovered that this game I loved got hammered with criticism, I was puzzled by negativity I felt was unwarranted. Some insist Sonic Shuffle is a Mario Party rip-off, unoriginal and dominated by fault-ridden gameplay. I see things differently.
Noir Sleuthing on a Rainy Night: Celebrating Hotel Dusk: Room 215
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a quiet achievement in Nintendo's library: an overlooked mystery game for the DS that felt like it belonged on the system, but still only "quiet" for being relatively unknown to most. Following the format of a visual novel, Hotel Dusk was heavy on dialogue with a story laden with secrets, but its gameplay was in line with a point-and-click with elements of risk similar to Broken Sword, as well as the occasional puzzle treatment. This blend made for a compelling and suspenseful detective story, one that nailed a 70s-themed noir art style.